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“Do not go here, dangerous place” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

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Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“Do not go here, dangerous place”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We were a family of four, it's february 2012. Two 19 year old girls who were bored out of their minds, and well the parents didn't like this hotel.

Food: Awful, no service, I don't know if they were in training, but let just say, I bought this and what I got was excuses. The food was awful, except for the mini burgers the girls ordered, french fries and beer, and that is what we lived on. Except for one great supper. It is a long vacation when you have to go downtown cancun to go eat.

We were bored out of our minds, nothing to do, not even where kids and parents are housed.

We were bugged to no hell by the poeple who were selling timeshare, please, I bought a vacation not to be bugged by your antics that I should by into a timeshare. Leave your guess alone.

Great spas if you get in, that is it was part of our deal, but had problems with the people who did the schedule for you, every excuse that you can think of, we got it. We did finally get a massage and I had great service. But trying to spend the money per room, we could not, it was always full or the times were not convenient or the last day of our trip. That is sad, don't promise something that you can't service, people are not fools.

Drinks were fin in all of the bars, the swimming pool was just ok, there were no entertainment, nothing worked or was under repair.

Food: Oh distastrous, we complained and only the last night did we have a great dinner, apart from that not even the breakfast or lunch buffet. Stay away.

Beach well it's a lagone, my dear friends, nothing to write home about, but yes, their was snorkling and did they did clean up the beach.

The management should all be fired, from the first to the last.

A few days into our miserable vacation, it rained, and water was everywhere, it' rained into our room. Anyway we proceed to walk away to go to the restaurant, I slipped and fell, hit my head on account that it was very slippery. I got to go to the clinic, and I got to pay, because management just wanted me to sign a letter stating I was ok, so they can save their beacon.

I got myself a concussion and lost several teeth, no I was not drunk, nor had I been drinking, I was completely sober.

Room Tip: Go elswhere and get new management in their. This place will never be good
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Guest Relations Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear axxiefox,

Please accept our heartfelt apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced during your stay; As you know we had an unexpected high occupancy during your stay and the staff was not able to provide you with the service that you deserve, let me assure you that we already have increase our staff levels and step up their training. We are confident that with this actions we will be able to complete our transition to the HardRock brand in a way that does not cause any inconveniences to our guest and at the end this is going to be the most unique and great experience in the Mayan Riviera and this is all done to enhance your stay and that young and old have something exciting to do.

We are sorry you did not like the food but I am sure that if you go to one of our 7 restaurants you must be able to find something that you like.

It is our obligation to make our customers feel as they deserve and this is why we regret that you did not feel our warm service and our special treatment which is customary to our Guests.

Please be informed, we are in no way, taking your dissatisfaction lightly, in fact your comments have been forwarded to several key people in our organization for training purposes. Furthermore, we have begun putting a comprehensive plan in place to provide better and timely information, more tools and resources for our guest and improved procedures for handling challenges in the future. We are confident, as a result of these actions; we will continue being reliable and customer responsive.

Best Regards.
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  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
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  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
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Chicago, Illinois
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5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

My husband and I spent 3 nights here to celebrate my 40th birthday. We returned yesterday. After reading all the reviews and hesitating to book our trip here, I feel obligated to share my experience.
We booked directy through Aventura's website. We booked an oceanview concierge room. After reading reviews, my concerns were about poor service at the front desk and not being able to book spa services (or taking hours to book the services) to use our $500 credit since we were only there for 3 days.
I did some research and was able to make spa reservations in advance via email.
We used a private shuttle service (Cancun Shuttle which was reasonably priced and excellent service.) We arrived at a very busy time on a Saturday afternoon. It was chaotic and there was a bit of a wait at the front dsk, but nothing unreasonable. My husband generously tipped the front desk man and requested a nice room be on the second or third floor. That was a waste of effort since the rooms are assigned in advance and apparantly they cannot/will not change anything. It did not stop him from accepting the tip though. We were escorted to our room and were quite disapponted in the view. It was supposed to be an ocean view concierge room. We did receive the concierge "amenities", but it was a big stretch to call it an ocean view room. You could not see the ocean out the patio door. You could see a very small amount of blue if you stood in the very corner of the patio. Ugh. I had booked concierge only because I read these had the best ocean views. Absolutely not. Almost anywhere else on property would have had a better view. We complained to the man escoring us and got on the phone right away to the front desk. The employee suggested we leave our luggage in the room and walk back to the desk to complain. He was nice about it and obviously knew that we would get nowhere. This must be a common occurance!
The front desk was absolutely no help. The first man asked where on our receipt it said oceanview. It did not, but that was the description on the website. He said it was because we booked it through a travel site and it was their fault. We booked it directly with ASP. He said he would have someone check the website and fix it. There were many excuses...all a waste of time. We supposedly spoke to a supervisor who also could not/ would not help but added us to a "waiting list" to change rooms tomorrow. We could see the room next to us complained as well. He said he would really make our case to the person who assigns rooms since we were staying such a short time for such a special occasion. We returned to the desk the next morning at 8am and it was as if they had no idea we even asked to change rooms. They said they could put is on the waitlist again. It was a big run around. All we could do was put it out of our minds and enjoy our trip.
While I'm still complaining, let me mention that the clock/ipod dock did not work, the safe did not work, the hammock was hung way too high to use, and half of the blackout shade was missing. We reported these things the morning we realized we were stuck with that room. They fixed 2 of the things immediately. It took another call to get a rope extension for the hammock to be hung lower and the blackout shade was never taken care of. No big deal with any of these things. Overall they were pretty responsive.
Still slightly complaining... the concierge amenities aren't worth it and in some cases just seem like an illusion. I would not recommend booking concierge! (The only reason we did was for a good view...and that was certainly bad advice.) Their was upgraded liquor in the room (we don't drink though.) There was aromatherapy which helped the mustly smell that cannot be avoided in such a humid climate. There were petite fours delivered nightly (2 one inch squares of dry cake or a piece of chocolate)...fine. The "pillow menu" was placed in our room the second day but they had nothing available. Nothing. There was a concierge room service menu with a choice or two from each of the restuarants for dinner. The choices were limited. We did not have a regular room service menu and have no idea if one even exists. We used room service for breakfast the first day and it was fine. The buffet was better. There is a breakfast slip for room service to hang on your door at night. I'm sure this is for any room, not just concierge. The beachbag was okay. Very cheap, but fine. The shampoo ect. did not appear to be an upgrade either. The worst scam is the "candlelight dinner." We called to book ours for the night of my birthday thinking this would be something special. They offered us the choice of the mexican style restaurant either on the spa side or the cove side. I had read the cove restaurant was better and we booked there. They said there would be a special menu. There was absolutely nothing different about this dinner. Nothing. We asked the waiter what was supposed to be special/different and he said we could order lobster if we wanted. No thanks. They wouldn't even have mentioned it if we hadn't asked. They really shouldn't advertise this...or they should actually do something to make it special. The only real advantage to concierge for us were the (2) 25 minute massages. Again, I wouldn't book concierge! You can certainly pay for a massage with the money saved or just use your credits for the spa anyway.
Their is no concierge lounge or desk. You simply dial "0" to talk to someone to book your dinner or whatever. I don't think they really understand what concierge usually means.
Sorry for all the complaining, but I wanted to give as much detail as possible. I know it would have helped me know what to expect and make my decisions.
Now for the good stuff...
The resort is beautiful! The room actually looks better in person than it does in the pictures. The pools are nice. The lagoons although they don't look like much for snorkeling are actually pretty good. You can see quite a variety of fish especially near the ocean inlets. The lagoon in front of the cove side is the largest and probably has the best snorkeling.
The service is very good (other than at the front desk.) I was impressed with the quality of the food overall. I haven't been to any other all inclusive resorts but I travel a lot and it was better than any cruise I have been on. The buffet food quality in particualr was better than I have had from any buffet other than at a very high end restaurant.
The service at the pool and "beach" was also pretty good. Sometimes slow, but more frequent than I expected. Nobody I encountered ever expected an additional tip (I say additional because it is my understanding that all-inclusive means tips are included.) We did often give additional tips but it was nice that it was not expected.
The spa really is the shining gem of this place. The services were excellent. I had the 25 minute concierge massage which was truly excellent! And a deep tissue massage that was very good, combined with a sensitive facial which was good but I've had better. I also had an aromatherpy massage which as very good. I didn't make use of the hydrotherapy area, but I did observe it for a while and noticed an attendant expertly manage the clients through the area and get them to their spa service on time.
We only went to one show...Michael Jackson tribute because I read good things about it. I was surprised that the room had wooden folding chairs. The dancers were good. The lip synching was terrible and it's all I heard anyone talking about. Also, the main costumes looked cheap. I'm really not a show snob, but for some reason these things bothered me. We didn't stay the whole show and decided not to give the circus show a try either.
Considering I paid about half of what I would have paid at a similar all-inclusive resort, I would say I enjoyed our stay. In addition to paying half...the $500 spa credit really made it awesome! I would have loved this place if not for the deceptive practices of the front desk (maybe it's all the fault of the way they advertise the rooms, but it is obviously so common that at this point there seems to be deceptive practices.) If you're looking for a bargain all-inclusive then this is your place. Hopefully they will get themselves more together as the ownership change is completed.
Just considering the facilities and services (excluding the front desk) I would say this is a 4 (out of 5) star resort.

Room Tip: Avoid concierge rooms if you're looking for a good ocean view. All ocean views will be partial...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Guest Relations Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear MPam2

We are happy that you enjoyed your stay at the Aventura Palace, Even if you had some issues at the front desk. We have shared your comments with the staff at the front desk. We welcome your feedback and we are going to deal directly with management to solve the issues that we had.
Otherwise we are glad that you enjoyed our resort so much, you mention that you loved our food, the beautiful room and of course our amazing Spa where you got a great massage using your credits. And on top of that you got a great deal. So looks like we did our job even though that you stayed during one of the busiest times of the year and on top of this we are going to make this resort even better thanks to our partnership with Hardrock we are going to fully renovate it and make it the most exciting place in the Mayan Riviera while keeping the great service that you experienced.

Please come back soon, since all of our changes are going to be done gradually so not to disturb our gests you can come back as soon as this summer.

Best Regards.
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oregon
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We just got back from a week at Aventura Spa Palace. We had never been to Mexico before, but friends invited us to go to Aventura with them. I was very nervous about going, after reading so many bad reviews in Tripadvisor, but was so happy we went. The people there, from the front desk, restaurants, spa, pool, maid service to the groundskeepers were amazing. I never passed one person that didn't great me with a pleasant Hola! Everyone that works there goes out of their way to do whatever you need. Sometimes the communication, because of my lack of Spanish was difficult, but everyone tried very hard to understand what our needs were. The facility is beautiful, and it was everything I wanted and imagined that it would be. My only complaints are that the music in the lobby, and at the shows, is way too loud, and that you can't get change anywhere in the hotel for cabs, etc. Take many small bills and $20's. $100 bills don't work very well, because many places give pesos for change.

Room Tip: Bump to the conceirge level if possible, it's nice! Enjoyed the more private beach area. And b...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Guest Relations Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear jdtOregon

On behalf of the Aventura Spa Palace we thank you for your comments and suggestions. You were right in not listening to the bad reviews, once you experience our great service with our impeccable facilities along with the option of using your resort credits for Spa services or excursion there is just no comparison. We might have had an issue of overbooking but that was because people keep coming back to our resort year after year.

Your comments motivates all of us here at the Aventura Spa Palace to keep up with the great service and to continue to improve our resort now that we are going to fully renovated thanks to our partnership with Hardrock. But let me assure you that our service will remain being the best in the Mayan Riviera.

Please come back soon we are going to have lots of surprises in your next stay that we are sure you are going to love.

Best Regards.
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Edmonton
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

As the title says, mostly good overall, but several minor issues. I wasn't expecting perfection and the issues were fairly minor in the grand scheme of things. The value is pretty solid.

Some have mentioned a transition to Hard Rock Management being obvious, but I saw nothing.

We arrived fairly late, were welcomed with a drink and a quick 10 minute check in. Everything was clearly spelled out several times about the $1500 credit and the 11% taxes. I asked if they were full as I was going to ask for an upgrade, but they said the resort was completely booked. I never found anything that busy on the resort though, so I question that a bit. No big deal though.

Also, never once approached about timeshares or membership.

The room is pretty much as pictured. It was clean, simple and we had a bottle of wine waiting for us. There is some signs of things being a touch dated, but overall the only thing we noticed (and I've read in other reviews) are that the linens are well worn. The doors do a poor job of blocking noise though, so late night partiers and early morning staffers are pretty loud in the room. Just the cleaning staff carts make quite the noise on the tile floors.

The grounds of the hotel are well kept and maintained. The pool is clean. Chairs are tough to come by around the pool of course, but fairly easy around the beach area. The beach was a hard packed coarse white sand. I was hoping it would be more natural, but it's still a pretty nice area. The cove was calm and there were always fish around. It was fairly shallow (maybe 4' deep at most) and you can do some basic snorkeling and light kayaking in the cove. You do miss nice fine sand and some waves, but it was alright.

Smokers - please use the ashtrays. It's disgusting to see butts on the beach or even in the water when they provide ashtrays to everyone.

We used our $1500 credits for two deep tissue massages, a couples massage, wine tasting, steak and lobster dinner on the beach and two bottles of upgraded wine. You can argue that this isn't worth $1500, but for $165 - that's a bargain. On day two, we walked in, waited about 5 minutes before we saw someone and booked everything in about 30 minutes with no issue.

The men's massage experience seemed better than the women's. If you go an hour early, there is a host who runs your through the hydrotherapy routine and is very attentive to you. Several women I spoke with had no such host/hostess on their side. The massages were nice, nothing ground breaking, but they do a pretty good job.

The food was simply OK. I don't travel to all inclusives for amazing food, but this was a bit bland for me. The quality and service were good, just bland tasting. The mexican restaurant on the Spa side was more of a Mexican theme than decent Mexican food. On the Cove side, it was a little better. The Asian restaurant was the only one we enjoyed the most. The Italian was decent as well. Wine/water glasses were never empty.

Overall, we never had to wait longer than a couple minutes at any restaurant and we typically went between 7:30 and 8:30PM.

We also ordered room service 3 times. Always right on time, quick and polite. I will also add that we barely ever had to wait at the bars either.

The nightlife...is pretty dead. They have a show per night, but it's always on the Cove side (WHY?) and it's typically a bit too kid friendly. Magic Show, Circus, Breakdancing...I missed the Fire show which I'd imagine would be pretty good though. But after the show on the Cove side, they tell people to continue in the night club. The night club is the one part of the resort that appeared really dumpy. It was also dead because 70% of the place is on the Spa/Adult side, so not many people want to come to the Cove/Family Lobby to party. Walking around the resort after 10PM, there isn't much going on anywhere.

The minor issues we had were mostly related to housekeeping. Sometimes we were left without a hand towel, face clothes or were left out of soap. I always asked for extra water and left a tip - about half the time I got the extra water.

I also asked for the sheets to be changed (hanging the designated sign on the door) and they ignored it several times. I had a bit of the flu, so I had some night sweats. I also skinned my knee playing volleyball and some blood leaked past the band aid. I was hoping for clean sheets after that, but 3 days later, not changed.

We also asked for a 2 hour late check out. We were told it was not possible. I pleaded so I could spend a couple more hours on the beach before taking a shower, but I was told no and that I should get a hospitality room. I booked one, but when we went to use it, they told us none were available so we had to wait 30 minutes until they figured out a solution. They ended up giving us a key to another room on the Cove side (10 minute walk) so we had to rush over to shower and rush back. That was a bit annoying and all of it could have been avoided by giving us 1-2 more hours in our room.

That's my review. Overall, it was a pretty good deal and the resort credits were very nice. Only some minor issues/complaints. We tried not to let any of it bother us.

Room Tip: Not many bad rooms here.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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South Bend, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Transfer to hotel was unorganized we have been going to the moon palace since 1999 and never had a problem with transfers this is only the second time we stayed at a different resort since they had the 1/2 off why not try anther resort we finally arrived at the aventura spa check in was fast and our room was ready went to room very smooth
We went down and signed up for all our spa treatments witch was outstanding the food was very good the steakhouse was wonderful Alfonso our waiter was so wonderful we asked for him again very friendly the 2nd time we had Alfonso and manual Alfonso should be a trainer he is that good
The pool is beautiful but couldn't believe that people were getting away with saving chairs they would put towels on a few chairs and not show up for hours the management needs to watch that maybe if no one shows up pull the towel or perhaps put a sign up no saving chairs it's not right chairs with towels and 3 or4 hours go by with no one in the chairs
It was overbooked the service was good but not upstanding like the moon palace is
The entertainment in the lobby 2 guys and a gal she could win American idol she played brass and sing she is very talented
The monkeys were everywhere in trees out where you come and go in cars that was so fun to watch we would go out for a walk every morning after breakfast just to see them what a treat all in all it was a great vacation

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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Xavier V, Guest Relations Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear goldenstar19

We are so glad that you enjoy your stay with us here at the Aventura Spa Palace and that you enjoy our great Spa and the great food. We are going to share your comments with our staff to keep them motivated in providing the great service we are known for.

We are implementing changes in our resort in order to provide you an even better vacation experience. We have dealt with the issues that you mention and we have increased our staff to meet the demands of the high occupancy rates that we had.

We invite you to come back soon, If you loved the entertainment that we had you are going to love it even more once we change to the HardRock.

Our goal is to always provide the best stay possible and here in Aventura Spa Palace hope that you will give us the opportunity to host you again in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Best Regards.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

This is a 3/4 property that is completely ruined by the management (or I should say lack of management). The general experience here is that if things are going well, then its great, but if things aren't going well they CANNOT be fixed (unless you're willing to spend the entire day on it)...more details on this below.

My family visited this property the last two weeks of December. My parents had been before, but this was my first time. I was disappointed, and my parents felt that the quality of the property had gone down substantially since the last time they had been (about a year ago). (I blame the fact that my parents raved about it for my not checking the reviews beforehand...)

The good:
- The weather was great when we were there.
- The resort is large and has a very pleasant style. There's also a lot of places to explore on the resort. (Examples include the fitness trail, the rocks on the edge of the ocean, and the monkey walk).
- There is a lot to do around the area: scuba diving, dolphin swims, ziplines, cenote caves, etc.
- The spa is huge and has great facilities: On the women's side, there was a sauna, a cinnamon sauna, a steam room, 3 water pools (hot, warm, and cold) and a foot pool. Additionally, there is at least one person working just in the hydrotherapy part of the spa helping you go from one step to the next, etc. On the whole, the spa therapies (and the spa therapists) are also very good.
- The staff that are the "doers" are, on the whole, great. I want to particularly call out: Luis, who serves breakfast and lunch outside at El Greco, Paloma who serves dinner at the Italian restaurant, Daniel at the Asian restaurant, and Theresa, Coral, and Magdelena in the spa. However, as much as the staff tries, there are not enough people working - my parents mentioned that there was a sharp reduction in staff from the last time they were here. (For example, there used to be bellboys to clear the tables, etc. Now the waiters are expected to do everything - set the table, serve, and clear.) As a side note, I will say that we, on the whole, felt really bad for the working staff - these guys were running around like crazy but people were very rarely tipping - I think generally because people were frustrated with a number of issues and "taking it out" on the staff by not tipping.
- The $1500 resort credit + $165 tax buys ~7-8 activities. (The things for resort credit are over-priced - everything costs $200 in resort credit - but I still think that this is a great deal/perk.)
- If you are staying at a Palace resorts, you can go to (most) other Palace resorts. For example, we took a day trip to Cozumel and were able to use the Cozumel Palace. Additionally, the Palace resorts have a golf club in Playcar, which is quite good (though overpriced if you're not using resort credit).
- The alcohol is plentiful and, for an all-inclusive, of decent quality. (The food is also plentiful...but of less quality...more on this below.)

The mildly annoying:
- There is no beach on the resort. You can still swim in the ocean because they have a little cove, but there is no actual sand. (In addition to swimming, the resort also provides kayaks, but you can only use them in the cove. You can't take them into the ocean.)
- Things get delayed. (For example, I had multiple treatments at the spa start 30min+ late.)
- The timing of housekeeping can be sporadic.

The bad:
- The wifi is sporadic, at best. It never worked in our room, and it would go in and out in the main areas.
- The linens and towels are incredibly warn (as in you can see the threads fraying) and are not changed often. For example, our sheets were not changed for 10 days (and were only changed after we complained). How did I know that our sheets weren't changed for 10 days...because they had some lovely distinctive black markings on them. Additionally, we were often only given one towel when the towels were changed.
- There are not enough towels, beach chairs, or umbrellas. If you want a beach chair, you must get up before 7am. Also, if you leave your chair for long, it may be taken. This is particularly annoying because there are actually a lot of unused, open areas of the resort where you could put more chairs and umbrellas but there are just no chairs or umbrellas there.
- While the food is plentiful, it is incredibly repetitive. The buffet has basically the same things every single day and the restaurants don't change their menus. (For example, the only fish on offer every single day was grouper.) Of the restaurants for dinner, my opinion was that the Italian, the Asian, and Mexican on the Cove side were the best.
- It is a 1-1.5hr wait to have dinner at any restaurant (and they don't take reservations).
- Access to Playacar (the resort in Playa del Carmen) was restricted indefinitely. This meant that we had no access to an actual beach. Additionally, this meant that there was only one day that the resort was providing transportation to Playa del Carmen. So, if you want to go to Playa del Carmen, you will need to pay the $40+ round-trip. (Note that, in this part of Mexico, prices are set so there are no negotiations around this.)
- Booking your services takes a really long time: for us, it was 1.5hr+ of waiting for someone to help us + 2hrs getting booked. And don't even think of changing anything. It's just not worth the hassle.
- There are very few ocean rooms and we did not get one though it was promised.
- We were told we would be in the Spa side...but we were actually put in a part of the hotel between the resorts that was actually made into Cove the second week...and was filled to the brim with children.

The ugly:
- Getting anything done involves a process that would make Kafka proud. Let's say, for example, that you left your hat in the restaurant and wanted to see if anyone had found it. You would then pick up the phone and call guest services...that would tell you to go talk to public relations in-person to describe the hat. You would then walk to public relations where you would describe the hat in detail after which point the public relations person would search a database for some amount of time before calling someone else to go look for your hat in the lost-and-found. Total time not to find hat: 1.5 hrs. The process to mention that there's anything wrong is 3x as long so it's better not to bother.
- The management team (and they will tell you that anyone who is front desk, guest services, or "public relations" is management) does not want to solve your problems. Instead, they are doing everything possible to get you to give up. After all, your three hours calling/being sent back-and-forth between departments are actually valuable to you. Thus, the longer it takes you to address the problem, the more likely you are to give up. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will they actually go talk to the other department for you. That is your job. Even if they are putting you out, they will NOT help solve the problem. For example, we ended up sitting in the totally un-occupied section reserved for a special group...before it was reserved for the special group. Though there was not a single other person sitting in the 30+ chairs (because as the lady from that special group explained to me later in the spa, they actually wanted to sit by the pool), we were asked to leave by the staff member. When asked if she could help us find somewhere else to sit, she said no. We would have to go find someone else. For any problems, you will be sent back-and-forth (and back again) between the department and public relations. Also, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will you be given any contact information for anyone who is actually management (not the management of the public relations department and certainly not the GM). And the public relations department (all of which who will tell you, we are management) will tell you that they can't solve the problem or as one gentlemen did memorably to me with a talk-to-the-hand-because-I-don't-want-to-hear-it gesture, simply walk away and refuse to address the problem.
- The staff regularly lies. For example, go to the spa and and ask for a massage on the XX. The spa scheduler will ask, does Y time work. If you say, would it be possible to get something in the afternoon, the staff person will often say, no, its booked. Go over to another person...miraculously multiple times in the afternoon open up. Another example: my parents bus was supposed to take them to the airport at 9.20am. Starting at 9.30am, the bellman assured my parents that the bus was 5 minutes away for the next hour. The bus actually left at 10.40am. Things happened (especially on New Year's Day; that's understandable but, if you provide the actual information, people can actually make decisions - like whether they should take a cab instead.

One other note on management: What does it tell you that the same complaints are being made over-and-over again over the period of months and not addressed? (I know that I will get a response to this post that says that my notes have been sent to the proper departments...but how many times does the given department need to be told about the linens and beach chairs for those issues to be addressed?)

All-in-all, I can't tell you either to go or not go. I would say if you're the type of person who doesn't care if things go wrong and plans to spend a lot of time off the resort, then you could probably get a good deal here and utilize the location/the credits. If you're someone who wants a relaxing and seamless experience, this is probably not the place for you.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Guest Relations Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear Elina O

On behalf of the Aventura Spa Palace, I thank you for taking the time to send us your comments and observations about our resort. Feedback is extremely important to us as it helps us know how we are doing in terms of service and facilities.

Please accept our heartfelt apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced during your stay; this is certainly not the image we strive to portray at our Resort to our valued Customers. It is our obligation to make our customers feel as they deserve and this is why we regret that you did not feel our warm service and our special treatment which is customary to our Guests.

Please be informed, we are in no way, taking your dissatisfaction lightly, in fact your comments have been forwarded to several key people in our organization, for training purposes. Furthermore, we have begun putting a comprehensive plan in place to provide better and timely information, more tools and resources for our guest and improved procedures for handling challenges in the future. We are confident, as a result of these actions; we will continue being reliable and customer responsive.

We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back and always provide you with the experience you deserve and have come to expect from us.

Best Regards.
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Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

I just wanted to inform everyone that after coming back from adventura spa, I would not recommend going for a romantic or relaxing time. We are only 29 and 30 years old, and this resort was way too young for us! The words jersey shore were muttered about the guests there, and everything seems to have changed due to the purchase by the Hard Rock (it was my first time, but i did speak to the members who stated it used to be much nicer). The food was hit or miss, the noise was unforgivable, and the spa was just OK. One night, i even needed to make a complaint about the noise blaring outside my room at 11pm (like a club!).

They were so disorganized and messed up a lot of things. No one spoke english and no one was remotely friendly (except the guests, we met some great people there). Service was terrible. Wine was so bad I could not drink it! (im not picky, drink wine out of a box, haha).

You will not get spa robes in your room, and half the time we didn't get towels either. The bed is hard and scratchy, though the room was otherwise nice (hot tub in the room is a bonus!)

I will not deny, the beach and water is beautiful, and the whole resort is quite pretty (but then again, so is Cuba, but I wouldn't eat the food their either!). However, the size of the resort is too huge and you cannot have any quiet time there.

I will never go back. It must have been the purchase to become a hard rock, but this place is no longer a 5 star. I would say 3.5 overall, tops.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Guest Relations Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear AshleyANDMark2013

We at the Aventura Spa Palace apologize for the inconveniences that you had during your stay we are aware of the noise complaints we have taken steps to move the partying further away from the rooms and to keep the volume down we intent to keep a HardRock atmosphere but also to give our guest that want a relaxing vacation a lot of options also.

We are glad that you liked the food, with over 7 restaurants we are sure you will be able to find something that you like more often than not. Also we have already increased our staff to help us deal with the increase popularity of our resort.

Our goal is to always provide the best stay possible and here in Aventura Spa Palace hope that you will give us the opportunity to host you again in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Best Regards.
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Additional Information about Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Address: Carretera Cancun-Chetumal Km 72, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico (Formerly Aventura Spa Palace)
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya 4.5*
Number of rooms: 577
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A blend of relaxation and adventure awaits you at this adults only retreat. Set in the Riviera Maya overlooking the aquamarine Caribbean Sea, enjoy 1,266 luxurious accommodations with double Jacuzzi, balcony (most with hammock), and 24 hr. room service. Among the facilities to highlight is the state-of-the-art spa offering a perfect day of pampering. Guests can also enjoy seven restaurants, several bars, a disco, outdoor/indoor pools, and unlimited tours as part of the all-inclusive package. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aventura Hotel Palace
Aventura Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Mayan Riviera Palace
Adventure Spa Palace
Hotel Mayan Palace
Adventura Spa Palace
Aventura Palace Spa
Aventura Spa Palace Riviera Maya
Aventura Spa Palace Resort
Aventura Spa Palace Mexico

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