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“Total Luxury” 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)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 15 hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Derby
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Total Luxury”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2009

The Aventura Spa Palace is as good as it gets for a total relaxing do nothing holiday. The food is excellent in all the restaurants (8). The Mexican people are so friendly and helpful. My wife and I have just spent two weeks there and have had a wonderful time. We had champagne on tap and the cocktails were very good.

If there was a down side it was the Timeshare sales reps especially the one we had (Alvor) he was a total pain and would not take no for an answer. He eventually just left the table and did not even thank us for our time.

The hotel is offering Free Spa treatments if you see a Time share rep. Should you want a massage this is probably the only way you will get one as the cost is ridiculous

This is only a small blip the rest is brilliant

  • Stayed March 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (521)
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English first
New York, NY
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2009

I read so many TripAdvisor reviews before I went - I've never posted a review before, but this place was so amazing, I had to share, so I created an account. I've been to several all-inclusive resorts before, including Sandals-Grand Bahamian (also great) and a Hilton place in the Dominican Republic (horrors!) - and this place blew them out of the water.

We had a room on the North side (the quieter side; also in the same place as the gym and spa, 2 restaurants, and equidistant between the climbing wall and the yoga hut - major reasons for my choice of this resort).

First - the room was BEAUTIFUL. The in-room jacuzzi was fantastic. The room service was so fast. Anything we asked for was taken care of immediately. The view was gorgeous. The balcony was big. Etc.

Second - the service was AMAZING. Not just room service. All over the resort; from the DJ at the discotech to the waiters at EVERY restaurant - fantastic. Example: I went to a couple of the yoga classes, which were kind of lame (for beginners, and I'm a yogi). They were also really early in the AM, and I overslept - it is vacation, after all. They keep the (beautiful, mirrored, purple, serene) yoga hut locked. All I had to do was ASK, and they opened it for me whenever I wanted, for as long as I wanted, so I could use the space myself. Alone. I just went back to the gym and told them when I was done, and they locked up after me. So cool.

Third - Spa. OHMYGOD. Okay, right, not included, you have to pay. But the prices are INSANELY reasonable. For around 100 dollars, I had a one hour hydrotherapy session (complimentary - and wonderful), a one hour deep tissue massage, was taken care of impeccably and brushed and coddled and wrapped like a baby. Also, the gym - I'm a picky gym girl. This is not a crappy hotel gym. It's BIG. And overlooks the indoor pool with views toward the ocean. Yeah, not a bad way to run on a treadmill.

Fourth - True, no beach. But...really?? I didn't think the lagoon beach was crappy at all. There's totally sand - I mean, I'm not into building sand castles or anything, but it's hardly dirt. Snorkeling was SO MUCH FUN, I wish we discovered it before our last day. And there are a LOT of pools. Indoor, outdoor - quiet and peaceful, loud and partylike - whatever you want, whenever you want. To people who posted that they couldn't find beach chairs - I have no idea what they are talking about. There was room available everywhere, all day, every day.

Fifth - Food - we went to every restaurant. The "amazing" Mexican restaurant that everyone's writing about wasn't that hot, although it was really entertaining, and the guacamole was better than anywhere else (and it is REALLY good - super fresh); the oriental restaurant actually had REALLY decent sushi and saki (I'm a New Yorker - we're picky about sushi); the steakhouse was very good, and my boyfriend is a filet snob, and he cleaned his plate. There are a couple lunch buffets - but I hate even using the word "buffet." It was the freshest food I have ever tasted, and the service, again, was amazing. We sat at breezy tables overlooking the ocean eating the freshest fruits, vegetables, fish, tacos, whatever - there was nothing you could want that they didn't have. There's a juice bar - I am a fan. The pool bars are, obviously, [--------], and there is no skimping on the liquor.

Sixth - and if this doesn't say it all - the resort was so amazing, that on our last day, we called the travel agency and spent two hours and several hundred dollars (we're not rich - I'm still a law student) to spend an extra day. And it was so worth it. Also, the other visitors to the resort range from young (22) newlyweds to older couples who have been coming to the resort for years. Everyone had so much fun. Oh - and in response to the whole "the resort is so huge, I couldn't find my way around" - ummm so not true. Yes, there is a shuttle from the north side to south side, for convenience. But the place is so gorgeous, we loved the walk, and only used it once or twice (think 3 or 4am, we're hammered because the discotech rocks, and stumbling over pool bridges in heels is dumb); and actually, like I mentioned, the service is so great that two resort workers who were zooming around on golf carts gave us a ride one of the times. Hilarious.

Best. vacation. ever.

Oh - do the climbing wall. No joke.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
TENNESSEE
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2009

Wrote a long review and lost it. Here's the short version.
Excellent service---best ever.
Beautiful pool area. Large resort (80) enjoyed the walking after found our way around.
no beach-------too rocky and strong currents
Lagoon was nice for snorkeling.
Adults only (will allow children in a month or so) was nice
Food very good but not excellent. Different than use to.
Wine quality not very good. No California wine available. Some not so good Mexican
good Spainish wine but not terrific. Some restaurants had no white wine avaiable.
All other drinks available and plentiful.
Service was excellent and very very friendly. not one rude person. Really!
Rooms were okay but small. Jacuzzi wasted lots of space and only used once.
Were not in the room often, so didn't matter. Every thing well cared for and clean.
Negative---Some pressure to become a member which is not a good deal at all, no matter how you slice it. 1 + hour from the Airport. (but no spring breaker craziness)
Positive--very relaxing.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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pine bush, NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2009

As part of their anniversary celebration, Aventura is offering many free tours. We explored beautiful Tulum and swam with the dolphins at Puerto Aventuras all for free! The hotel and grounds are beautiful and the staff are very friendly. The southern complex where we stayed will become a family (kids!) resort this month. The hotel does not have beach access, but has a lagoon on the other side of the breakwall where you can go snorkeling and kayaking. We did tours in the morning (get room service for breakfast) and did the pool and Playa de Carmen in the afternoon. A cab ride to Playa is $16. All our needs were taken care of at Aventura and we will be back. (Tip: When you go to swim with dolphins, take a credit card to buy the great photos & DVD they shoot)

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston-Salem, NC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2009

My wife and I spent a week at Aventura from October 27th-Nov 2nd of 2008. We knew going into it that this was not peak season, and I don’t think we could have been happier. The weather this time of year was PERFECT! 78-83 during the day, and in the upper 60’s at night. The water was on the cooler side, but not uncomfortable. Definitely better than the horror stories we heard from return visitors that had been there in the sweltering heat of the summer months.

Accommodations: The room was absolutely perfect. Hot tub, king size bed (with comfortable mattresses, sheets, and pillows), balcony with hammock, and a liquor bar! The room was also very clean. Good toiletries. Not a single issue with the room

Food: Let me start by saying that the guacamole is to die for. That’s basically what we lived on during the day out by the pool. Breakfast was by far the best meal of the day. Fresh fruit and well, just about anything you could dream of. You have a choice at any meal to sit inside or out, and this time of year outside was perfect. Aside from the breakfasts and chips and guacamole, the meals were just ok. It wasn’t anything to complain about (seriously, look around you), but wasn’t anything to write home about either. If you are a steak or sushi buff, then you may want to shy away from those places. We tried all the restaurants and the Italian was the best for dinner, followed closely by the Mexican restaurant. Oh, did I mention they have a smoothie bar by the north pool!

Facilities/Entertainment: We ended up staying at the far south side of the resort. It was obvious (as stated in several other reviews) that this was the “younger” end of the resort. If you aren’t into the poolside party scene, just walk 5 minutes to the north pool. We did this sometimes, but to be honest, the resort was only at 40% capacity, so it was pretty quiet all around. The Spa was incredible. We highly recommend getting couple’s massage! Also, the workout room is great and you can run around the property on the access roads.
There was always something going on at night, whether it was a party in the discotec, a fireshow, or a concert. One of the great things we loved about the resort is that there was all this stuff to do, and plenty of fun people to do it with, but if you wanted to spend time alone, you could always do that too. We met some really great people that we still keep in touch with today, so don’t be scared – make some friends!

Bars: There are several bars around the resort. Our favorite at night was the Thai Lounge. Jose, the bartender, was awesome! They have Dos Equis on tap at all of the bars but will make whatever your heart desires. Our favorite drink overall was a banana daiquiri. Some of the bars (like the north lobby) make them with real bananas, and this is the ONLY way to have them! Also, you must try a “bumblebee” shot.

Staff: We cannot say enough about the friendliness of the staff. The waiters, receptionists, and maids are all so friendly! Tipping is not required, but we made a rule before we even went that seemed to work out great:
$2/night for the maid
$1 for lunch
$2 Dinner
$1 during the day at the poolside bar
$2 at the end of the night at the bar
This really is not a lot of money, and sure seemed to put a smile on their faces. I would also recommend practicing some Spanish with them. Their faces would light up every time I stumbled through my broken espanol.

Excursions: We took two excursions the first of which was snorkeling at Maroma (sp?) beach. They took us out to sea on a catamaran and let us swim in the reef for about 45 minutes. The water was great and there were tons of fish. After snorkeling, they took us back to the remote beach and we spent a few hours there (after eating a provided meal). This is where you could pay to do some activities (horses, atvs, etc) but we chose to walk the beach and save our money, it was beautiful.
The other trip we took was to Tulum. The ruins were pretty, but the whole scene was pretty touristy (ie most of your pictures will have tourists in the background). That said, when you get time to break off from the group, go to the beach. The beach at Tulum was worth the entire trip to Mexico - it is breathtaking!

All in all, we could not have asked for a better honeymoon! We hope to go back for an anniversary soon :)

  • Stayed October 2008, 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
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New Jersey
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2009

Ninth trip to Mexico and third straight here. Perfectly safe. Best value for cost year on the Caribbean. If you cannot be happy and relaxed here, your glass is always half empty. Service is excellent. Unlike the islands, the staff is always happy and accommodating, never lazy or resentful. Not a spring break place. Plenty to do with pools, lagoons, bars, restaurants, tours, sports, spa, entertainment…your name it! The grounds are beautiful and you see something tropical and relaxing everywhere. We had two weeks of great early March weather. Remember that it is oceanfront but without a standard beach. Believe that years ago a hurricane wiped out the beach so they put up a long sea wall and built beautiful lagoons, fed by the ocean. You can get your salt water fix there. See, smell and hear the ocean while you snorkel (you will see many fish), swim or kayak. You can hang at the maze of pools or get a beach feeling at the lagoons. Not sure you would use the ocean anyway because it is rough and can be cold.

All rooms are the same and include a Jacuzzi & balcony except the larger Presidential Suites which are pool/oceanfront. This place beats the size of some college campuses so room location can save steps to your preferences (i.e. how close you like the pool, ocean, restaurants, gym, spa, lobby). But don’t get hung up on the view from your room… you will rarely be there. Three of the 7 restaurants (Italian, Asian, and Mexican) have a dress code at night. Some get very dressy, some use more casual island wear. At the very least men must have long pants for those three. The food and drink is way above average for an all inclusive. There are brand name liquors at all bars. Breakfast and lunches have massive selections. Dinners are excellent, not exactly home, but with so much variety you will definitely find items you love.

The North will remain over 21 but they will soon allow families in the South section. Probably OK for teenagers. Did not see any changes yet designed for small children. Note that it is about one hour from the airport yet. That could be a little much for young ones after air travel. Enjoy!

.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Sioux City, IA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2009

We stayed for seven days at the beginning of March 2009 and had the time of our lives.
I have been to Mexico over a couple dozen times at different resorts and locations and I can honestly say that this was, by far, the most QUALITY I have received on a Mexican vacation. Food, service, beverages, entertainment, etc. was top notch! The resort is far enough from Cancun to get away from crowds but close to many other cultural and adventure areas to fill many days, although leaving the resort is not necessary! Hint: Don't even respond to the invitation for a "tour" of the property (timeshare catch) and you will be left alone. Also, get a PRIVATE taxi service from the airport. It is WELL worth it!!!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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)
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Romantic 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*
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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