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“Felt like Royality!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

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Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Cancun-Chetumal Km 72, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico (Formerly Aventura Spa Palace)   |  
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Ranked #12 of 16 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
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5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Felt like Royality!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2009

Honestly, my husband and I trusted a very nice lady on this forum to use her time share at this resort. We were treated like Royality! Never in my life had I felt so special. This trip was perfect for couples!!! The resort was so clean and inviting. Even the gardeners smiled and waved as you walked past. The pool was amazingly clean (and HUGE) the swim-up bars were my favorite hang out, and the people you met there are always smiling.
I'm not into telling you all about the food (which was ALL amazing) or which I liked best. But I will tell you that our room was 3528 and it was the best location for both North and South side, amazing ocean view and pool view. The maid was excellent, and the man who restocked our fridge always gave us what we asked for...
Please message me if you have any certain questions, I would love to tell you about this resort. I have too much to say on here!!! I cannot believe I am saying this but if the time share presentation wasn't on my birthday,we would have went...And after a week there...We might just have been sold to buy in!!! lol...
Hope this helps...Trust me when I say this is the nicest place I have seen and experienced!!!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,914 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (571)
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English first
Woodstock, IL
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2009

It was a long time ago...but wanted to make sure I left a review. Everything about this place was amazing. Food, Service, Hotel Design...GREAT! This was my honeymoon and would be recommended to anyone. UNREAL!

Stayed February 2006, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, Pa
Level Contributor
42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2009

We stayed here five years ago for our honeymoon and decided to return for our 5 year anniversary. My inlaws went also, so there were 4 in our group. The trip from the airport takes longer (almost 2 hours) because of other drop offs and the speed bumps. We traveled with Apple Vacations and next time will probably pay for private transfers. At the resort we were taken to our rooms (2 double beds), turned right around and walked back to the lobby and asked for king rooms. We moved immediately to the acordeon building, ground floor and both had king rooms. We didn't have a view (construction because of splitting the hotel into 2) but at this point we did not complain. We also skipped the "welcome" meeting the next morning because we knew it was the sales pitch.
The only differences between now and five years ago is that the buildings are showing their age, cracked tile, etc. Other than that and the room situation we had a wonderful time. We ate at all the restaurants except El Greco and the pizza and pasta and thought all the food was wonderful. We had room service for breakfast the morning of one of our tours which was late, but other the next time we ordered it was there in about 20 min.
At the end of our stay a group of about 500 came for a conference. They were not in our way too often as they had catered events for dinner, but we heard other people complaining at breakfast that this happened the last time they were here. The pool and lagoon area was very full that afternoon as they must have had free time. Just hope there is not a conference when you are there. Earlier in the week is was not busy with plenty of empty chairs at the pools and lagoons.
The spa was wonderful, I did the day of spa which included a body scrub, 50min. massage, facial, mani and pedi. I really enjoyed it.
We booked tours through Apple vacations, the Tulum extreme which included rapelling, ziplines, snorkeling and Tulum all with only our van of people. We also went horseback riding into the jungle with snorkeling. Again only 10 people total.
My inlaws took two of the tours the hotel offered for free and they were with a bus full of people. If you have the money pay for tours with smaller groups of people.
Go to the Fire show. They have it every couple of days and it is incredible.
Overall we had a wonderful time. The service is still incredible, food is wonderful. We did have a few problems we did not have 5 years ago but it's still a great place. We already knew there was not a real beach so this was not a problem. The water was not warm, but it's still warmer than Ocean city, Md in August!
I'm staying positive about them splitting it into two resorts, it is a big hotel. We may not go back anytime soon just because we want to try somewhere else, but I would not hesitate recommending this to my best friend.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2009

I would recommend this place to anyone who asks!! :) We went down there for our honeymoon and it's the first time we both were able to relax and just enjoy ourselves completely! :) Everyone down there treats you with nothing but respect and as if you are their top priority. One suggestion I would say is plan your excursions prior to heading down there. There is so much to do down there and so much to see. . . The food was one area we were concerned about in not knowing what options we would have. They have such a wide variety that is all really really really good (including their 24 hour roomservice) Men, don't forget to pack pants, close toed shoes, and a collard shirt otherwise some of their restaurants will not let you in at night . . . we loved it all and will be going back.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, WI
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2009

The grounds on this hotel were gorgous and the staff was very hospitable. We loved the hammock on the patio. However, the patio was a bit small and the light on the patio was timed to go on and off with no switch. This meant that if you were reading on the patio before dinner and it started to get dark, you couldn't turn the light on....you had to wait for the timer to turn it on. The suite was plenty big with a great jacuzzi. The bathroom sink area could have been a little bigger, but it was okay.

We had read the food at the Mexican restaurant was great. We went to the steakhouse, the Mexican, the Italian, the Greek and the dinner buffet. The Steakhouse's desserts were by far the best, but the food was only okay (causal). The steak was a bit tough and quite overcooked. The shrimp at the Greek restaurant was great (casual). Everyone else's dinner that night was okay. We were disappointed in both the Mexican and the Italian restaurants(both dressy). The BEST restaurant by far was the Oriental. We went there twice. We had to wait quite a while the second time (there were 6 of us) but it was worth it. Everyone had different dishes and we all loved them. They have great fried ice cream for dessert. If you like sushi, they also have great sushi. The service was excellent both times. The room service menu is big enough and they deliver 24 hours a day.

The pool was spactious enough for us to find seats each day, after getting there around 9 or so. The beverage servers come around more than enough. Howver, the pool was FREEZING! There is really no beach to speak of, only a man made lagoon area, which had warmer water and a lot of fish if you like to snorkel.

The fitness center is somewhat small and while we were there, a couple treadmill's were broken and it's quite busy in the morning. Either go later in the day or get there early (we went around 8:30 and that seemed to be peak...)

Our lobby was on the quieter side of the resort. The lobby bar often closed around midnight (oddly enough, we closed it down a couple of times). The other lobby has a disco, which stays open until 2, and a martini bar. If you like nightlife, it's better to be closer to that lobby. Otherwise you have to either walk a bit or take the lobby to lobby shuttle.

The hotel was quite far from Cancun, so if you want to go into town, it will cost a lot in cab fare to get there. Even Playa del Carmen was $20-$25 each way via cab.

The spa is wonderul. If you like spas, definitely take advantage of this one!!

  • Stayed February 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2009

My husband and I traveled with two other couples to the Aventura Spa Palace 2/21-2/28. This was my fourth trip to Mexico. We had stayed at the Moon Palace before and were impressed, so we thought we would try another Palace resort. Overall the trip was wonderful, but like all vacations, there were things we liked and didn't like.

Rooms: We asked our travel agent to call ahead our room requests which were, North side(quiet side), third floor, ocean view, and rooms with hammocks(corner rooms do not have hammocks). We received all of our requests. This may have been because our flight arrived at 10:40 a.m, so we were at the hotel by noon. The rooms were very nice. If you want to be close to the activity, request a south side room.

Pool: The pool was beautiful, but very cold. I wondered why in pictures there was often no one in the pool; now I know why. The outdoor pool is not heated and therefore cold. We only went in it if we were so hot, we were sweating(or if we had enough to drink). The indoor pool on the other hand was the perfect temperature. We also loved the hot jacuzzis near the indoor pool. Was nice to relax in these at the end of the day. The extra pools such as the volleyball pool and current pools were fun too. Of note, the swim up bar on the north side does not have stools, the swim up bar on the south side does.

Restaurants: The food was much better at the Moon Palace. We were very impressed with Mo Mo No Hana(the oriental restaurant). We ate there two nights. The sushi, egg rolls, curry, teriyaki, tempanyaki, and fried ice cream were all excellent. If we went again, we would probably eat there at least every other night. El greco(the mediterranean restaurant) and Ventanas(the pizza and pasta restaurant) were also okay. The steakhouse and La Trattoria(the italian restaurants) were disappointing. La Hacienda(the mexican restaurant) was awful. Not only was the food bad, but someone had stuck there gum under the table which later stuck to my husband's pants(of note, the resort did dry clean them complimentary).

Staff: The staff of this resort are wonderful. They were all extremely friendly and eager to please. We tipped a lot, because they were all obviously hardworking and truly wanting to make the stay enjoyable.

Spa: The spa was definitely a highlight of the vacation. Hydrotherapy was excellent. I recommend giving yourself extra time there. I showed up exactly one hour before my next appointment, and it was not long enough. I would have liked to spend more time in the sauna and the steam room. I also didn't get a chance to use the foot bath. My husbands massage and my deluxe spa pedicure were both very good.

There is a lot I could say about this resort, but my review is already getting lengthy. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed ourselves immensely. My next trip to a palace resort however would likely be either back to the Moon Palace(better food, warmer pool, close to cancun) or to the Sun Palace. We went to the Sun Palace one day this trip. It is right in cancun and has a beautiful beach. It is highly likely we will return to a palace resort.

One last note: free calls to the U.S., free 30 minutes of internet per day, and fitness center were great.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
52 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2009

We stayed at Aventura Spa Palace from February 20th through February 27th, 2009 and we loved every minute of it. This is probably going to get long winded but I’ll try to organize it as best as I can…

AT THE AIRPORT: We had booked our transfers with Traffic (it was called Elite when we booked), they’re the company that the Palace resort members use. We walked out the doors at the airport, found the guy with the Palace resorts sign, and then I realized I didn’t print out my transfer voucher. No problem! The guy found my name on his list and told us to follow another guy. Within 15 minutes we were in a van with two other couples (one going to ASP and the other headed to Xpu-Ha Palace) and we were on our way. It took about an hour and fifteen minutes to get from the airport to the resort.

ARRIVING AT THE RESORT: We were dropped off at the north lobby and were immediately greeted by very friendly, smiling bellmen. They marked our luggage and sent us to the front desk. At the front desk we were given glasses of champagne and cool towels and we were greeted by a very friendly, smiling front desk clerk. When I inquired about the room he was about to give us he explained to me where it was and what the view was. The room met all of the requests that I had made prior to arrival. King sized bed, in the middle of the resort, and not on the first floor (it was on the second floor). Just to see if it could get any better I asked if there were any rooms with a king sized bed in any better locations. He clicked through a few screens, described a couple of different rooms, and voila! We found ourselves moved up a floor!

THE ROOM: We had room 3539 in the Clarin building. Directly in front of our balcony was the obstacle course and off to the side was a view of the ocean. We were very pleased with the view and the location of the room (side note: this was NOT a concierge level room, it was one of their standard rooms). The bed was firm, not hard as some have described, but I did notice that it had a rather thick pillow top mattress pad on it. Perhaps the Palace resorts have taken note of the complaints about the hard beds? The balcony was spacious and had two chairs, a small table, and a hammock. The hammock was pretty stinky. I’d venture to guess that a previous guest spent a lot of time sweating in it. We were going to call for a new one but never got around to it. The jacuzzi was wonderful. If you use it go easy on the bubble bath that they leave for you. The first night we were there my DH put about half of the bottle in there. It was hilarious! The liquor dispenser did get used quite a few times, mainly for tequila shots and rum & cokes. Ours had Jose Cuervo tequila, Bacardi white rum, Smirnoff vodka, and some brand of whisky that I’ve never heard of and cannot recall. I guess the only complaint that I could come up with for the room (besides the hammock) would be the tiles in the shower. The grout was pretty gross in a few places and with as beautiful as the rest of the room was I was a little surprised by that!

THE FOOD: The breakfast buffets at Mundaca and El Greco are nearly identical and both were good. Both had cooks preparing made to order omelets, French toast, pancakes, and waffles. The both also had a good variety of other foods like scrambled eggs, bacon, breads, sweets, fruit, yogurt, cereal… etc etc etc. Oh and both buffets had bloody mary and mimosa bars. We ordered room service breakfast twice, both times a majority of the food was cold (the pancakes wouldn’t melt the butter). For lunch we often ate at the poolside snack bar at the south pool. They had burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches, french fries, nachos, and ice cream treats. I ordered room service for lunch once (the riviera maya salad and spaghetti al burro aka buttered spaghetti noodles with parmesan cheese) and was very pleased. One day we ate at El Greco’s lunch buffet and found a lot, A LOT, of delicious dishes to choose from. And now the dinners in order… Night #1 was La Hacienda, the Mexican restaurant. It was so-so, kind of disappointing. Half of my mahi-mahi fillet was mushy and DH’s fajitas were overcooked. Night #2 was room service dinner because someone (me) drank way too much at the pool during the day and was NOT going out to dinner. The DH ordered chicken nuggets (thumbs up), fish (thumbs up), one of the steaks (thumbs down), and a couple other things over the course of the evening. I just ate the rolls that came with the meals, I’ll give the rolls a thumbs up. Night #3 was Momonohana, the oriental restaurant, and we LOVED it. The sushi was good, our meals were good, and the dessert (tempura fried ice cream) was delicious! Night #4 was La Trattoria, the Italian restaurant. Again, so-so. We skipped dessert here and went back for more fried ice cream at Momonohana. Night #5 was El Greco, the seafood restaurant. This dinner was good, better than the Mexican and Italian but not better than the Oriental. Night #6 was Mundaca, the Argentinean steak house. The salad bar was ok, the steak was really good, and the dessert was to die for. OMG. The warm chocolate cake was so good that I ordered a second one! Night #7 was another room service night, because someone (DH) had way too much to drink by the pool during the day. I ordered another RM salad and spaghetti al pomodoro (tomato and basil sauce) and was very pleased, definite thumbs up. DH ordered toast and he gives that a thumbs up too. We ordered room service for late night snacks a couple times after spending time at the Thai lounge or the disco and most of it was pretty good.

THE STAFF: Smiles all around. It doesn’t matter who you are, what color your wristband is, or how much you were tipping. The staff at ASP is top notch. They were friendly, courteous, and seemingly very happy to be working at ASP. It seemed that they would do anything for you. One small example: my husband called room service and asked for a cut up lime and some salt and within fifteen minutes we had it. The bartenders were attentive and mixed decent drinks (the Thai lounge has the best bartender). The service around the pool was a little slow, the wait staff was always moving but there never seemed to be enough of them around, so we learned to order two drinks every time they’d come around or just get off our lazy bums and swim to the bar. The animation team was fun and friendly but not pushy like others I have encountered. Most of the staff spoke English very well, and I’d say all of the staff knows at least a little English. This may sound strange but, it was actually a little disappointing. I’d say something in Spanish (very poorly most likely) and they’d answer in English!

THE POOL AREA AND LAGOONS: No, there is NO beach at ASP. If you didn’t know this before you went that is your own fault. The lagoons are fed by the ocean and are kind of murky. They are perfectly calm which makes them ok for snorkeling in the shallow areas (it was too murky to see in deeper areas), good for kayaking, and it would probably be nice to float around in them on an inflatable raft. The sand around the lagoons isn’t really sand and it definitely isn’t soft. Don’t venture down there without some flip flops or something else on your feet. The pool areas are great. We spent a lot of time by the south pool. We met a lot of fun people, soaked up a lot of sun, swam (yes, the water is a little chilly but not that bad), and had a fabulous time. We tried the north pool one day and it wasn’t for us.

ENTERTAINMENT: We enjoyed the antics of the animation team at the south pool during the day. They were amusing if nothing else and would leave you alone if you asked them too. Every night there is a show. We went to the Brazilian drum show and it was phenomenal. A must see. It was held in the disco, if you go, go early and get a seat on the same side of the disco as the entrance. There are seats all around the disco but they perform facing the entrance. We also went to the Mexican fiesta night. The resort let some local merchants set up booths in the south lobby that night. These merchants, unlike the gift shop, will negotiate. If you don’t plan on leaving the resort this is your chance to get some better prices. The Mexican fiesta show was fun and entertaining but not as good as the Brazilian drums.

THE SPA: Even if you have no intentions of paying the $$$$ to get a spa treatment I highly suggest you spend the $25 (US) that it costs to use the hydrotherapy room. It was so relaxing. I went through the hydrotherapy room before a massage and by the time the massage was over I felt so relaxed and so rejuvenated… it was amazing! Let the girl working in the hydrotherapy room guide you through the experience. The room is intended to be done in a certain order and she will walk you through it. She’ll time you in the sauna and steam rooms so you don’t have to worry about it. No worries… just relaxation.

THE PLAYACAR PALACE GOLF COURSE: My DH loved it. He said it was challenging and a lot of fun. He also liked the all-inclusive golf concept. Not having to worry about getting money out for the beverage cart just makes it a little more relaxing and fun.

OTHER: The courtesy bus to Playacar Palace left a little too early in the morning for us. We did take a taxi up there one day and had a great time. Playacar Palace is a great home base for shopping and sightseeing in Playa del Carmen.

DEPARTING: Sad! The bellman came up to bring our luggage down for us and checking out was a breeze. The transfer back to the airport was as seamless as the transfer down had been. And now, here I sit, back in cold snowy Minnesota.

Ok, did I miss anything? At the end of our week we were both sad to have to leave. We even discussed staying a couple more days. Would we go back? I’d like to say “in a heartbeat!” But, we’ll have to see what the reviews are like after they split the resort. We don’t go to all-inclusives that allow children… but we loved ASP so much that we might have to reconsider.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 On the Beach 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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