My best girlfriend and I just returned for a week at Aventura Spa to celebrate our 30th birthdays this fall. We had visited and enjoyed Moon Palace resort almost 10 years ago, and were originally planning to return there, but couldn't pass up the special pricing offer for the Aventura location. I am so glad we checked it out!
Upon arrival, I was very upset to see that our room was not ocean view, and was only two doors down from where the Aventura Cove (children permitted) side of the resort began. I assumed it was going to be very loud and we'd hear the kiddos coming and going, running up and down etc. I requested a different room, and was told they were full, but could put me on a list. It ended up not mattering a bit. I only heard any outside noise one night, and that was some seemingly drunk adults lingering on their way back to their room. As for the ocean view, I had one all week from the many pools, lagoons, and restaurants. We were not in our room that much, and when we were, we were too worn out from having fun (and drinks) to care.
The service is phenomenal. I definitely noticed some confusion/disorganization which I assume was due to the ongoing rebranding as a Hard Rock resort, but that was mostly at the higher levels of service. The housekeepers, servers, bartenders and groundskeepers are prompt, friendly, and polite. You can't walk past any staff without an "Hola" or "Buenos dias". No one expected or angled for a tip, and seemed genuinely surprised and appreciative of those we gave. Some examples of the service, you don't ask for bell boy service, they insist on helping you, even calling you the day before check to arrange. We were greeted by having our bags loaded on a cart, handed a champagne cocktail, and escorted to check in. Our rooms were cleaned and turned down daily, including little extras like towel art, flowers, and petite fours. Anything that was missed or we wanted extra of, we called for and it was brought promptly, then management called us back to check we had received it.
We enjoyed the spa services very much. I was told to arrive an hour early, and enjoy the hydrotherapy area, but honestly, that was not for me. There are hot and cold pools, a sauna and steam room, towel service and cool drinks. Personally, it was the cold pools that put me off, and our attendant was quite adamant about them!
The resort is beautiful. The location and grounds leave nothing to be desired. There are some dated areas, and some things such as towels and beach chairs/umbrellas could use freshening up, but this, I assume is being addressed with the change over to Hard Rock. Our beds and pillows were amazingly comfortable, and we slept like babies, aside from the fact that we were up at the crack of dawn each day, like kids at Christmas, excited to hit the beach!
The grounds are very clean. I even commented to my friend that with all the sea birds, and even people feeding them, or leaving food behind which the birds naturally came after, I never saw a speck of bird poop. That may sound stupid, but as someone with trees over hanging my driveway at home, I appreciate how attentive staff must be to keep up with it.
We really enjoyed the food and drinks as well. Breakfast is available buffet style, including smoothies, omelets, french toast and waffles made to order. The buffets also had a wide variety of American and mexican items, cereals, pastries, a yogurt bar with many toppings, and a wide variety of juices, milks and of course, coffee. We also took advantage of the bloody mary and mimosa bar daily. You can also choose to have room service (24 hour menu) breakfast, either by calling down, or pre-ordering by a door hanger. We were able to get even things that weren't on the menu, and it was delivered hot and on time.
For lunch, we found the buffets less impressive, but probably mostly because we were still stuffed from breakfast. To the best of my knowledge, it's only available buffet style or room service. I would recommend the snack bar by the pool, as we enjoyed snagging chips and guac from their nacho bar for a light lunch, and they were also grilling up burgers etc to order.
The dinners were very good, although we avoided the buffets, except for El Greco which was described as Mediterranean style, and we didn't find what we were expecting there. I will warn you, all the waitstaff ribbed us about not ordering enough, they are food pushers, so watch out, or you'll burst your bikini! Momo No Hana is various Asian style foods, which we enjoyed so much we went two nights. La Trattoria serves Italian, and has a lovely outdoor seating area. We loved our dinner there, but the creme brulee dessert stole the show! There is a pizza spot on the Cove side, and we were indifferent to that, it was fine, but not one of our faves, the crust wasn't impressive. La Huerta is I guess, modern Mexican, and was very good. We never made the mexican restaurant on cove side. If you like coffee, or just a good show, ask for a mayan coffee after dessert, it's amazing, and it's on fire!
The best meal we had was the chef's dinner. If this is offered while you are there, check it out. We were able to use resort credit, I think the meal is $99. It was five courses, paired with nice wines, and live music. Our main entree was surf and turf. The chef explains and cooks the dishes live. We loved it.
As for drinks in general: The house wines were fine. I didn't discover any new treasures, but I didn't have to choke them down either. Liquor is plentiful, and if you want top shelf, you only need to ask. I am spoiled for cheap tequila now, that is for sure, loved the Don Julio! Some of the bars don't open at dawn, but we were able to get service a bit earlier in indoor pool bar, and the VIP lagoon. Otherwise, there is the in room dispenser, and we had no problem requesting mixers for the mini bar.
I have seen some nasty reviews on here, and all I can think is some people would rather be miserable and feel entitled than to laugh off a few bumps in the road and have the time of their lives. To each their own I guess. I am very interested to see what they do with the place as a Hard Rock, and hope they keep all the best features with a little freshening up. Hard Rock Spa sounds like an oxymoron to me, but we shall see.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.