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“Nice, Enjoyable, but Quirky” 4 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 #11 of 16 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
nh
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nice, Enjoyable, but Quirky”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2010

Check-In: We arrived about 3:30pm and were told our room was being prepared. My wife thought they were adding some finishing touches as this was our honeymoon trip. So we asked where we could eat, and were sent to the outdoor Mediterranean restaurant. We came back about an hour later and were taken by the bellhop in a golf cart to our room. The bellman swiped our just-programmed cards, opened the door, and a second later slammed it shut, as there was a large man in our room in the hottub! Well back to the lobby, where the bellboy spoke with the manager who was in disbelief, as her computer said the room was empty. Oh well, she gave us another room, and that went better. This was to be typical of the occasional breakdown, in the otherwise good experience. We just took the attitude that we would keep our expectations low, so as to be happy; rather than the other way around - which would have made us complainers all week.

Food: Average to good. Breakfast was very good especially the omelets and waffles made fresh. Juice was good. Lunch was so-so in the buffets. The desserts were gelatinous and bland mostly. Dinners were fair in the ala carte restaurants. Most lacked flavor and spice. The italian restaurant was our favorite, and we went twice. Kudos to the waiters and manager there! As we were honeymooners, they arranged a special honeymoon-dinner for us at the Mexican restaurant, which is on the Cove "family" side of the resort. Does that make sense to have it there? Anyway, as we were seated at our "special-table" (less decorated!) at 7:30, the mariachi band finished playing and left the restauarant. My wife joked that they would probably reappear as we leave. Humorously enough, that's exactly what happened. So much for romantic music! You are given a special menu which had only 1 choice; and it wasn't lobster which incidently is not offered anywhere. We could not stop laughing throughout the meal, as we noted how unromantic it was to have the diner-like kitchen open to the dining area, with the pea-green walls clashing with the otherwise lovely Spanish decor. Our special-dessert consisted of a slab of cake, with no knife to cut it, and a white chocolate plaque saying "Happy Honey Moon". In general the service was excellent in the restaurants. However there were always lillte quirks like bread-plates and butter-knives always on the table but bread and butter rarely being offered. It also was not unusual to be given coffee without a spoon, or to be missing a salt or pepper shaker.

Drinks: Frozen drinks are watery and mostly without flavor. Very bad pina coladas. Top shelf liquor is displayed, but if you don't ask for it you get generic liquor. What's with that? they should charge a few more dollars per day and do away with the Blatt Vodka. Pool and beach service were fairly good.

Transport: No problem, right on time, and good drivers.

Tours and palace shuttle: We took the Chichen-Itza tour which was great except for the vendors that sell all over the site. The Tulum trip is not to be missed, but way too short. By the time you get onto the ruins you have a little over an hour, and you might want to do the ruins and the beach. We only glimpsed the ruins and chose to enjoy the beach, which is almost perfect. The 2nd part of the Tulum trip is Xpu-Ha Palace which is very nice to visit, to see the animals and vegetation. We also went to the Playacar Palace, which we wouldn't want to stay at as it is smaller, but had a great beach, a heated pool, and a great bartender at the pool.

Entertainment: The shows at night that we saw were great - Michael Jackson, Mayan Soul, and Magic Show. Karaoke and the disco were okay. The poolside entertainment was typical Disney-type fare. We thought it rather tame considering it was an adults-only resort. The pool crowd was rather quiet, with 1/2 the people planted in their lounges all day with a book; and hardly a smile. This is not to say people weren't friendly, but I couldn't tell you how many groups I walked by who were talking about their jobs, their aunt in the nursing-home, or the car accident they had 3 months ago. So don't go expecting there to be drinking-games; you have to make your own fun. Additionally, the first we saw of a weekly listing of daily events was the day before we left.

Pools: related to the above atmiosphere at the pool. What's with closing the swim-up part of the bar at 5pm? 5pm? Why are the pools closing around 6pm? Would it be so unusual to go eat, and then want to go for a swim at 10pm. This is the tropics, and it's adult-only (shouldn't that be romantic?).

Rooms: Nice as many have listed. Several nights though between 5pm and 7pm we were trying to nap, sit in the hottub, or get dressed for dinner and we had multiple workers come to the door. We had mini-bar restockers, turndown service, and more towels people knocking on the door. So we had more service than we wanted.

Overall the workers there work hard, are very polite and 95% of the stuff was right. It was just a little bit of basic stuff that you didn't have without asking, and then they tried really hard to get it. One last thought, on how quirky the resort is, was that when you go the buffet they pull the chair out for the senora, and then using tongs lay the napkin across the diners' lap. You just get all comfortable and covered, and then are invited to get up and help yourself to the buffet. So you just have to take the quirkiness lightly, appreciate that you really get a lot, and just realize that you're not at a 4 or 5-stars is not like back int he states.

It's worth staying here for the tours and use of other Palace resorts. We would stay somewhere else in the area next time, now that we've done the tours.

  • Stayed February 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (575)
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  • German first
  • Italian first
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  • Portuguese first
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2010

We stayed at the resort for 9 days and had our wedding there. We cannot say enough how fantastic the Aventura Spa Palace was! From the moment we arrived and were greeted with cold wet aromatherapy cloths, to champage at check-in, and a personal concierge we were in love with the resort!
The room was impeccably clean, the hotel staff were so attentive, friendly, and seemed to want to do anything and everything to make our stay wonderful! The grounds are gorgeous and clean, the variety of restaurants and service in the restaurants was excellent!
Our wedding planner Dulce was amazing and made our wedding like a fairy tale, even when we chose the free wedding. Our wedding cake was the best cake we'd ever eaten, the flowers gorgeous, the wedding dinner, breakfast in bed the morning after and our honeymoon package were so much more than we could've ever hoped for!
We left the resort only one time to swim with the dolphins, through a great deal at the resort, because the resort was so great and we had so much fun there we didn't want to leave! The dolphin swim through the resort was the extreme experience and we were able to ride on the dolphins belly and pushed into the air by their noses on the bottom of our feet. That was amazing!
The activity staff at the pool were fun and offered a variety of activities. The poolside waitresses were very attentive and had a great attitude!
The spa services were wonderful! We took advantage of a back massage, hydrotherapy, pedicures, and my husband had a manicure. The only downside was I broke 2 acrylic nails, and it was a very lengthy process to get them repaired because they do everything by hand, but the results were great!
We took advantage of a yoga class because we always wanted to try yoga, and thoroughly enjoyed that.
The full bar in our room was very convenient, and room service was wonderful and quick.
We couldn't have been happier with our wedding or stay at the Aventura Spa Palace, and had the time of our lives! We are going back as soon as possible and definitely for our anniversaries!
We would HIGHLY recommend having a wedding there! We chose the Tulum Gazebo which is at the end of the property and away from the main area of activity at the resort. The cake we chose was heart shaped chantilly with white chocolate seashells on top. We chose chocolate for the cake and it was 8 layers of decadent chocolate cake and cream! The wedding planner helped us decide on flowers to match our colors and we chose white roses with turquoise ribbon, and they were gorgeous! We brought our own music for the ceremony, We chose the Mexican restaurant for our wedding dinner and were so happy with our wedding dinner that we again chose the Mexican restaurant for our honeymoon dinner!
We can't wait to go back!!!

Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2010

Worst resort food and very very slow, cold room service, tame entertainment, beach not a beach, party atmosphere, hard to relax. on the positive side, room was great, employees very nice, resort was clean.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2010

Absolutely amazing honeymoon spot. The service was great for the most part and everyone was very friendly. The views were amazing. I would absolutely suggest going to the spa it was so relaxing and worth every penny. The food was decent. I would suggest the food at the Mexican, Japanese and Cali restaurants. We got breakfast a lot of the days delivered to our room and it was really good. The pool is huge with a nice swim up bar. There are daily activities hourly by the pool during the day and at night there is a show and a dance club at night.

Very close the Playa del Carmon/ ferry to Cozumel with free transport. Access to many tours with pick up at resort. We went to see the Mayan ruins which was about 2 hrs from the resort. Internet ( the whole resort has free Wyfi) and phone calls to the states are included in the all inclusive rate. We couldn't ask for a better honeymoon!

The only negitive I can think of is that the food isn't the absolute best but is VERY good. And the beach is not a beach. Luckily you can take the bus to Playa and eat and drink at the resort their and there is a huge amazing beach.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2010

I have been to the Adventura Spa 2 yrs in a row with The Alure Homeimprovements company! We won an all inclusive 8 days 7 nights trip for being such a good customer & referral source. The food is good. They have a lot of restaurants to choose from. The pools & lagoons are gorgeous! Great drinks, music & fun people, you can't ask for anything more to make a fantastick trip. I definitley suggest you get to this hotel at least once! The only negative thing is that it is far from the airport but then you get there and forget about the ride!!!!

  • Stayed March 2009
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, CA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2010

I just returned from my 3rd visit to the Aventura Spa Palace. 1st time was in 2004, 2nd time was in 2006, and now this visit in 2010. My wife and I love this resort and we love the Riviera Maya. Prior to each of our visits, we take a serious look at alternative resorts, but the Aventura Spa Palace is an excellent resort, and, therefore, we keep coming back. We njoy great vacations there and they keep us happy. Although there may be a few areas where they are slipping, the ASP is still a first class resort and we would still go back again.

I am not a Palace Vacation Plan (timeshare) owner, nor do I believe I ever will be. However, I have taken the timeshare presentation more than once, just to enjoy the substantially reduced rates at the Spa or at the golf course.

The rooms are very nice, the grounds are beautiful, the pools are spectacular, and the service is generally five star. The food is sometimes very good and sometimes just average. There are something like 7 different restaurants to choose from at the ASP, and some were better than others. We like the Mexican restaurant (La Hacienda) and the Asian restaurant (Mo Mo No Ha Na). The buffets were OK, but we thought that perhaps they were not quite as good as in past years.

I think that for us, we really appreciate the fact that several tours are included in the all inclusive price. As far as we know, this is the only resort in the region that includes multiple tours in their pricing. We like to have the activities and to keep busy and stimulated and we prefer to spend perhaps no more than 25% of our vacation time just lying around the pool or on the beach. We can do that at home in California, so our vacations are for activities that we can’t get at home. The ASP and the Riviera Maya is a great place for that.

There are now 9 different Palace Resorts in the Cancun / Riviera Maya areas. With the Palace Resorts, you can stay at any one resort and then enjoy the use of the facilities at any or all of them. With your ASP wristband, you can swim in their pools, eat in their restaurants and drink their liquor, all as if it were your one all-inclusive hotel. This is the first time that we have taken advantage of this great feature. We visited the Playacar Palace and enjoyed their recently fully restored sandy beach (guests now enjoy a 150 foot wide beach in front of the resort). Using that as a home base, we ventured into Playa del Carmen and their fabulous 5th Avenue shopping & restaurant district. On another day, we also went over to the Cozumel Palace where we enjoyed snorkeling from their waterfront. After snorkeling, they were kind enough to provide us with a complimentary room where we were able to shower and change clothes so that we subsequently could enjoy exploring the downtown area of Cozumel and the ferry ride back to Playa del Carmen.

We have always found the ASP resort, and the Maya Riviera region in general, to be very safe. English is spoken extensively by the staff at the resort, but this is an area that was not as good as previous visits. The owners need to continue to improve the English language skills of the staff. We also had some problems with housekeeping. On Sunday, the room was not cleaned when we returned from a full day of touring at 6 PM and on several days, the housekeeper wanted to do a turn-down service around 6 PM when we were showering and still preparing to go out to dinner. Generally, however, the resort personnel from the front desk to guest services to restaurant staff to housekeeping staff were all very friendly, engaging, polite and willing to do anything to keep us happy and make our stay enjoyable. It was a great time. We will be back!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2010

I don't know how people can complain about this hotel. All hotels have some type of time share speech if you fall for it thats your problem. The services was amazing especially the pool side waiters. All of the resturants were good. We perfered the Mexican and Oriential the best. The Italian one was a little too loud. The room service came right away and when we called for bag pick up they were there immediately. The hotel is large so if you have any type of disability or just have trouble walking this probably isn't the place for you. The breakfast and lunch buffets were the largest I've seen at any all inculsive. They had everything you could imagine. All of the Rivera Maya lost power one day but the hotel handled it great. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed February 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 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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