Prior to leaving on vacation & after reading reviews, we were very concerned about the condition of the resort during the transition to a Hard Rock. We are Palace Resort members & my husband called in advance of our departure to double check on transportation to & from the airport & to make sure that we had a king room. Seemed like a reasonable step after seeing the reviews. Maybe some of the other guests could have tried that? Just sayin'!
Resort Credits: We had read that non-members couldn't use all of their resort credit at the spa. We don't know if that was true or not, but we do know that members could. Between the two of us, we had a 50 minute massage, an hour & twenty minute massage & wrap AND a 2 hour massage/wrap/massage. My husband also got a mani/pedi with a forearm & calf massage. All told, we paid an additional $20 over the 1,500 resort credit for all of those services. All of the treatments were wonderful! I get my own mani/pedi prior to going on vacation, so I can't judge that end of things. As for complaints about hair coloring & the cost: I have a stylist at home that I go to on a regular basis & the idea of going to an unknown person, without a referral, to have my hair cut and/or colored makes me shudder.
Service: Excellent all around. Aldo, at the pool bar was attentive & had a great memory :) The room was clean, areas in & around the pool & the buildings were clean & we constantly saw the staff scrubbing & wiping things down.
Food: Food was good & there was a great variety throughout the resort. At el Greco (the buffet restaurant), you simply can't expect food to stay hot when you're serving hundreds of people for every meal & there's a constant, relatively strong wind flowing 24/7. We ordered some food (steak, salmon & shrimp) made to order & it was delicious & warm. Waitstaff was attentive and appreciative when we tipped. Italian restaurant was the best!
Rooms: We were way at the end of the resort (Tuba section) & it was a peaceful as could be. The only downfall was that the housekeeping staff would meet right by our door when they started their day. After the 2nd day, they dialed back the noise a bit, but you could definitely hear them. Housekeeping staff should have their own room or area for getting their carts organized, etc. so that they don't expose the guests to the noise or the traffic of numerous carts in one spot in the hallway. The rooms are definitely dated, but again...they are going through a conversion & we weren't expecting anything new & shiny! You could see that they were already stripping rooms of everything & getting ready for the renovations.
Shows & Activities: For a resort, they were fine! The pool stuff was fun - staff was hilarious - and the evening shows really weren't all that bad. The disco was entertaining, especially from a people watching perspective & they played great music too!
Membership: The major complaint was being hounded to attend the hour & a half meeting to upgrade our membership. She finally gave up on day 4, but the phone would constantly ring...sometimes every 20 minutes. If we don't sign up for the "special membership meeting", then leave us alone. Word was that if you upgraded there for Hard Rock, you negated your Palace contract & would only get direct reciprocity with the 4 Hard Rock resorts. I don't know if that's true, but would have been disappointing to find out you'd lose priority within Palace Resorts for all of their other locations.
Transportation: Directions that we received via e-mail were explicit & we made a beeline for the guys in the black Hard Rock shirts. It was very efficient. As for the return, I'd probably pay for private transportation. For a 3:00 flight we had to have our luggage ready by 9:50 & had to be in the lobby by 10:20. I think that all the resorts work in conjunction with the airport so that you spend so much time there that you have to grab a meal and/or have so much time you decide to shop. International flights USUALLY only require you to be there 2 hours in advance & it was just over an hour to the airport from the resort. We had a lot of time to kill.
Pool chairs: Granted we were there after the spring break rush, but we had zero issues. A few people staked their claim, but it wasn't bad at all. There were plenty of chairs to go around. The Cove side was dead...we were there one morning & only 5 chairs had towels on them & only 1 person was in the water. The only thing I saw as an issue is that they really need to get some more umbrellas. That sun gets wickedly hot & intense & sometimes a reprieve from the rays is needed.
Overall, I think that there will be nothing but improvements & at some point I would consider going back after everything is complete & all the kinks have been worked out.
BTW - no beach. Gee, Didn't I read something about that in the resort description before we booked? ;)
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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