Aventura Spa Place (ASP) is one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited in my
entire life. The grounds are beautiful, tropical and lush. The rooms are comfortable and relaxing. Service is spectacular, great food and drinks, beautiful ocean, lagoon and pools. Be prepared to eat and drink yourself silly, while being waited on by the most attentive staff in the most wonderful resort. We were impressed from the moment we arrived, until the moment we left. Seven nights was not nearly enough. Imagine paradise in the Riviera Maya on the sparkling blue Caribbean combined with all inclusive food, drinks and amenities.
Overall appearance of the resort and grounds:
ASP is massive, grand and spectacular. It could easily take you 15 minutes to walk the entire length of the grounds from one end to another. It took us about 24 hours to familiarize ourselves with grounds. That is not a bad thing, seeing as each corner has a new jewel and the entire place is meticulously manicured. All the plants are green and well maintained. The entire set up of the resort was very well planned out. Almost all of the pools, restaurants and rooms have ocean views, regardless of placement. The pools are creatively shaped, not just boring circles and rectangles. Two restaurants (El Grecko and Mundaca) have open air patios that look directly over the ocean. Not bad for a sunset dinner. The size of the resort lends itself to lots of great architecture. I suggest a lot of exploring to discover all the different areas at the resort.
The rooms are very nice at ASP. We stayed in the Clarin building, which is next to the obstacle course and North pool. Our room was on the obstacle course side, so we didn't get any pool noise during the day. After sunset, you'll notice the pools clear out immediately. So even if our room had been over the pool, it would have been fine at night. The rooms aren't huge, but they are certainly comfortable. They all have tiled floors with a large two person jacuzzi next to the sliding door. It was a pretty relaxing experience to sit in the jacuzzi and look out over the ocean at night. Each room has a liquor dispenser with four bottles (Bacaradi, Jose, Smirnoff and Clan McGregor,) a fridge stocked with beer, juices, soda and water. Anything in the room could be restocked at any time from room service, or by the daily service. They will bring you bottles of wine and champagne as often as you want, as well. We left notes each day for the staff letting them know what to refill for us. Room service and the in-room drinks are all included. We ordered room service a few times and the food was good, with about a 30 minute wait from the time of the call. The bed was very comfortable. A lot of reviews have mentioned that it was not. We thought it was more than soft enough, with good linens. We got a king bed, as requested. The rooms are all attached to a semi-exposed corridor. The tiling in the rooms and corridors did make for a lot of echoing and noise. I am a very light sleeper who has suffered from insomnia for most of my life. I slept fine every night and wouldn't think twice about returning. They also do nightly turn down service. We found the shower to be huge. Room was very clean, no bugs, not even a flea or spider. The AC worked great and we were able to maintain whatever temperature we desired.
The service started out great and maintained the entire time. You are greeted with a moist towel as you step off the shuttle. They take care of everything for you the entire time. We were never left wanting. Everyone is smiling, friendly and willing to help. They will even carry your plate at the buffet back to your table. They even pick up every cigarette butt as soon as someone leaves it in an ashtray. There was a bit of a language barrier, but most people were very accommodating. Only a couple of times, did we have trouble communicating, but it was usually more my fault for trying to think I speak any Spanish. The bartenders are super nice and enjoy encouraging some fun. If you sit near the pool or lagoon, they will bring you drinks and food, non-stop. We spent a lot of time at the north lagoon and our server was super nice, the entire time. She seemed to be having almost as much fun as we were. Being an all-inclusive resort, don't be shy to ask for something out of the ordinary. They are willing to accommodate. Tips are 'included' in the price, but we chose to tip. No one really ever seemed to be expecting it, so we kind of slacked off on it, sometimes. The service didn't seem to change, regardless of how much, or whether or not we tipped. We did make sure to take care of those who took care of us.
I was very pleasantly surprised at how good the food was at ASP. A lot of the reviews made it sound like I'd be eating at Sizzler the entire time. In fact, some of the best foods I've ever had, were here. We ate breakfast/brunch almost everyday at El Grecko on the north side. They do a buffet style breakfast/lunch. There were a ton of items, including: chorizo, Portuguese sausage, Spanish eggs, poached eggs, hash browns, mini quesadillas, bacon wrapped skirt steak, fried potato balls, doughnuts, black bean and pork, chicken dishes, bread with bean topping, crispy chicken fried tacos/taquitos, fried cheese balls, omelets station, waffle station, egg nachos, eggs benedict, fresh fruits, yogurts, healthier items, deserts, toast station and cornmeal cakes. Everything was freshly made and served at the correct temperature. It was a lot of fun to enjoy this every morning, looking out over the ocean, with fresh mimosas. They switched around a lot of the items everyday (other than the American classics.) Mo Mo No Hana is ASP's "oriental" (Asian, mostly Japanese) restaurant. We enjoyed all the sushi rolls we got, but be warned, they only bring you 2 or 3 pieces for each roll. I am accustomed to getting a full size roll, like a typical sushi joint. We tried to order several, but it was clear that they aren't used to ordering sushi as you would do at a contemporary sushi restaurant. The spring rolls were also excellent, as was the shrimp curry. This shrimp was some of the most tender I have ever had. Our favorite place was definitely La Hacienda. This is ASP's Mexican restaurant. La Hacienda is one of the restaurants where men must wear long pants (jeans are ok.) It's a nice darker atmosphere with a big fountain in the middle. They had one of the best steaks I have had in my entire life, here. It was very tender and cooked to perfection. Great job here. They have La Hacienda cheese (queso fundido) served with two tortillas, for an appetizer, highly recommended. I also like the octopus dinner I had one night, this was my first time (other than sushi) having octopus, and I ordered it again. I also had the shrimp dish another night, and again, their shrimp are super tender. One of the real treats here is the Mayan Coffee, it's a show and a drink. They start with two wine glasses; add a flaming liquor and then coffee. Then they pour more flaming anis liquer from one vessel to another, before topping it off with vanilla ice cream. Tip: mix it a little with your spoon before drinking. It's awesome. It's not on the menu, but ask for it. They will serve it at any of the restaurants, we found out later. La Trattoria is another 'dress up' restaurant at ASP. This is their Italian restaurant. The best dishes were the gnocchi, which was super soft and garlicky. The Spaghetti Carbonara was excellent as well. Even the scaloppini was impressive. They bring you a big basket of bread, which you should be sure not to fill up on, as good as it is. Mundaca is the Argentine/steakhouse on the south side, on the ocean. Their steaks were as good as La Hacienda's. I had a filet that must have been a solid pound, super juicy and tender. I also recommend the Atlantic Clams here as well. They are bread and clam stuffed shells. Very good, but you only get two per order. Even the poolside bar (at least on the north end) had good eats: hot dogs, pizza, burgers, sandwiches and self serve nachos. All in all the food was impressive and I had several things that ranked among the best I've had or close to.
At an all inclusive, I was expecting to find mostly generic brand liquors. Not the case. They didn't necessarily have the top shelf brands, but they were more than adequate and probably better than most of us get at our local bars and restaurants. I recognized a lot of the better known brands (Malibu, Jack, Smirnoff, etc.) They even had some more expensive stuff, like Pernod. I read a lot of reviews that complained about the drinks being weak or in small cups. Yeah, the cups are small. It's an all inclusive, order two. I didn't find the drinks weak. Even if they were, order a double or get a side shot. I never felt like the bartenders were ever trying to hold back on us. We did shot after shot after shot. Try a bumblebee shot. It is: Kahlua, Santa Clara Rompope (eggnog flavored) and blue curaco. I also recommend the "La Cucaracha" it's a shot of Kahlua with tequila on top. I enjoy lighting them on fire and dropping into beer. Not for the faint of heart. They had a lot of top shelf brand tequilas at ASP. All in all, it's hard to complain about all you can drink. The north lobby bar gets a little 'rowdy' at night, but not in a bad way, just lots of happy vacationers.
Beach, lagoon and ocean:
There is no 'true' beach here, in the traditional sense. It is a man made lagoon, fed directly from the ocean. Basically it's a protected ocean area, because the sand has eroded in this area. I actually kind of found this better than the beach, because you don't have to worry about the hazards, but still get all the fish and fresh ocean water. The sun heats the smaller pools quickly, so they are quite comfortable. They are packed with fish, crabs and conchs. The crabs stay on the walls so you have to swim out to see them. The conchs are easy to mistake for rocks. I spent almost the entire day, everyday, at the lagoon. It's very nice and relaxing. The water is refreshed by the ocean, so it doesn't get tepid at all. The staff comes out and cleans out the seaweed (not that they really need to.) Take an underwater camera, when you go. There are plenty of loungers and we never had an issue finding a spot.
The pools aren't for doing laps, but they aren't small either. They are just shallow and winding. I thought they were an ok temperature, but everyone else seems to think they are too cool. I think it's nice and refreshing when it's 100 degrees out, but that's just me. The creative designing of the pools makes them a real centerpiece. They have small bridges over them, at various points that add to the design. They also have a great indoor pool with hot tubs. It was very nice after a day in the hot sun to go inside and float around and just unwind. This was one of my favorite spots. The pool has giant columns and a stained glass ceiling. It's very impressive.
They have a wonderful spa on the north side. The spa is very relaxing and has dimmer lights, than the rest of the areas. It has nice aromas. If you do a massage, you will get some time at the spa pool, steam showers and sauna. Then you relax in a waiting area with a hot neck wrap and cool drinks before a nice massage. This was my first trip to a spa, so I can't really say how it compares to anything, but it was awesome.
There is a lot of entertainment offered. They have a show every evening (fire show, Vegas show, casino night, etc.) They also do a lot of games at the north pool during the day. At night, there is a disco at the south end. Honestly, it was kinda hokey, but a lot of fun. It's what you make of it. They put a lot of effort into it.
ASP is about 1.5 hours from the airport. We were lucky enough to have a shuttle that was only people going to ASP, so it was a direct drive. Honestly, it wasn't too bad. It was interesting to see the stuff along the road anyway. The grounds at ASP are full of lots of animals. We saw a ton of iguanas and at night, cats. I guess they rescue cats and allow them free range. You see them more at night. Recently, the south end became a 'separate' resort that now allows children (Aventura Cove Palace.) I had booked ASP because of the idea of adults only and was upset that they changed it before our trip. ASP (north visitors) can visit the south side, but south cannot visit the north. So we still had access to the full resort. When we were on the south side, we saw about 2 kids the entire trip. We ate over there 5 times. In fact, the south side actually seemed calmer. I wouldn't, for an instant, worry about the split. I heard a lot of complaints about the timeshare presentation. What is anyone talking about? No one even offered us the opportunity to do this! Not a single mention, the entire time. And if you don't want to do it? Just say 'no.' Goodness, much ado about nothing! I am sure we could have done it, if we had scheduled it with someone, but we never made the effort and on one ever once asked us. There were three conferences there while we were there. We never once felt like the place was too crowded or overrun. The place is huge, there's room for everyone. We had to wait about an hour or less one night for dinner. That was it, and I don't even know if it was because of the conferences.
All-in-all this was an awesome trip. I'd recommend this place to anyone looking to have a nice relaxing time. The grounds are just too truly beautiful to even attempt to describe. It's huge and gorgeous. I would go again in a second. I honestly don't know how you could go here and complain. Everyone we ran into seemed to be having a great time, or better. From the great food selections (and there are a lot) to the lovely rooms and great views, it was breathtaking from start to finish. I wish I were back again already. I honestly felt like it was a great value, when you consider how much you get with it. Maybe even more than I paid for. Aventura Spa Palace is simply magnificent.
- 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