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“Doing your resort research -- stop right here....this is the one!” 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
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Doing your resort research -- stop right here....this is the one!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2010

About 6 months ago I logged on to Trip Advisor to try and begin to narrow down where we wanted to book our honeymoon. We initially looked in the Caribbean and found tons of great options...Mexico was our 2nd choice.
I looked at rates, reviews, location and of course flights when researching....found that travelling to Mexico was our best bet. We could get there in a few hours and didn't have to waste a whole day on the front end of our vacation and the back end just travelling.

We came across some reviews for AVENTURA SPA PALACE, so decided to take a further look. I think the first thing I noticed was the 2,000 total reviews...85% of them being "Excellent" or "Very good". These people definitely know what they were talking about!

We flew into Cancun directly from Chicago. Flight is only a few hours.
Once in the airport, you are immediately approached by "travel agents" who tell you stories on how you should book some trips with them...and that you "will be approached at your hotel by hotel agents who will try to book excursions for you...DO NOT listen to what they tell you". TIP#1 Avoid the airport people! In Cancun, tourism is their big money maker. These airport people are in competition with the resort travel people, so of course they will say ANYTHING to make you think twice. Don't let them sway you. Always book trips through your resort...they look out for your best interest and use very reliable tour companies. At Aventura, they have a great team of people to book trips for you --- I've never seen so many people there to help.

Upon checking in, yes, you do have to wear a wristband. So What! No tan lines were left...in fact it was nice that people were able to recognize that we were honeymooners (pink wristband) everywhere we went.
We were also presented with the current promotion of 1,500 points to use at the resort for Spa treatments, room upgrades, excursions, golf, wine upgrades etc. Book a 1 week stay for $2200 and immediately get $1500 back...are you sold yet?

The resort is MASSIVE. It really is like being in a "palace".

POOL - HUGE. One side for music and pool games...the other side for kicking back and relaxing without the commotion. We never had a problem getting chairs wherever we wanted. they have a seperate pool for volleyball and a seperate pool for "ultimate relaxation" that is a 5 minute walk down the path.

ROOM - We stayed with the standard room. Jacuzzi was awesome, mini bar was always stocked. Bed was comfy. No complaints at all. The water is filtered, everything was kept in SUPER shape.

RESTAURANTS - Great food. Going to the Japanese restaurant and the Italian restaurant were like going to a nice restaurant in downtown Chicago. Very top notch...the staff paid attention to every detail. These two places were a step above the rest. The others were fine too...each had an extensive menu to choose from. Every dish was like a piece of art rather than food thrown on a plate. I'd say that none of the restaurants Aventura Spa Palace has deserves a poor review. The food was of good quality for what should be expected from that area. (i.e. their sirloin is not going to be the best you've ever had...but it will still be sirloin)

SPA - what a treat. Their spa menu was huge. I am a guy, I never have been near a spa atmosphere for an extensive amount of time before. This Spa is like walking into an alternate resort within this resort. People wait on you hand and foot.

Want to mention this again.... with that deal they had giving you the $1500...some of that could be used at the spa. Hopefully Palace resorts keep that promotion for a long time.

We did a romantic couples massage which was great...and we also did the Temascal which is an ancient "sweat lodge". We chose it because it was unique and something we've never heard of. I highly recommend it! Try something new!

SERVICE - Around the pool, someone came around every 10 minutes asking if we needed anything. Wait staff was GREAT. Spa personnel were GREAT.

"TIMESHARE" - Yes, you do get pulled into a "presentation". I came into this honeymoon thinking that we would not listen to any of that talk, ignore the invite and go about our business. Tell you what though...after our first full day there, after experiencing the food, service and the resort....I wanted to hear their pitch. TIP#2 - Do the math, listen to what they have to say. They include transfers, golf discounts, other upgrades and the $1500 in points. you can go to ANY Palace resort.

All in all, we had a great time. 6 months ago I was sitting where you are now trying to figure out our best "bang for the buck"..this resort is IT! Please feel free to email me if you have any specific questions. mkelly778@yahoo.com Don't be shy...get your questions answered! For us it's a one time event in our life...we luckily found a diamond in the rough with Aventura Spa Palace!

  • Stayed July 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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3,886 reviews from our community

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  • 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 (566)
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English first
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2010

My hubby and I happily returned to ASP. We last stayed there in 2008 before it added a family component. We flew into Cancun on a Sunday and were on our way to the resort within a half hour. Upon arrival, I inquired about the cost to upgrade to a concierge level room. We were told that we could, but the room would be on the first floor. I am opposed to staying on the first floor and declined. I was told that our room would still be located on the first floor. I explained to Hugo that I specifically told my TA that I did not want to be on the first floor. He asked if I had any proof of that request. Luckily, I had my laptop with me and pulled up my original confirmation that did indeed have my request. He said that the info had not been transmitted to them, after looking at each other for a few moments, he offered to help by moving us to the second floor.
We were led to our room by the delightful Antonio! The room was just as clean as we remember. My only suggestion would be to paint the room so that guests can't see where repairs have been made or where the bar had been removed from the wall.
We went to meet our guest services rep...the beautiful Gabriella. She was so great! We booked our excursions through her and then went to the spa to book there. The only trip that was booked was Isla Muerjas on Tuesday. We could have gone a different day, but just decided to forgo it on this trip. We signed up for the lobster dinner, swimming with the dolphins, Coba and a couples hot stone massage.
The lobster dinner was very romantic even though it was raining buckets. We ended up booking it again so that we could experience it without the rain. Both times, the food was terrific. I would not have spent $350 out of pocket, but it was nice to use the promo money towards it.
Swimming with the dolphins was magical! I was afraid at first, but was quickly put at ease. This was one of the most amazing things I have ever had the pleasure of doing.
The trip to Coba was amazing for a different reason. I challenged myself to climb to the top and I did! Hubby and I both made the climb and experienced the beauty together. We could barely walk the next day! We needed the couples massage after that! The hot stone massage was a delicious blessing! I suggest that everyone have one.
This must have been a low occupancy week, which was great for us. We did not have to wait for restaurants or chairs by the pool. It was a perfectly relaxing week in paradise.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Kennesaw, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2010

We were approached at the airport by a representative of this resort. We were told it was NOT timeshare but that they wanted people to come see the resort and what it has to offer. Nonsense.. IT WAS TIMESHARE. I wasted almost 3 hours listening to their spill and the salesperson continuously argued with my husband when he said we weren't interested and can find a better deal without theirs. After all our time spent, we were told we could purchase up to 8 different tours from them and only pay $200 for a family of 4. We booked 3 tours thinking this was a deal. On our second tour, a zipline tour, the tour bus never showed for us. I called the Aventura Spa and they said there was nothing they could do. So my next call was to my credit card company!! I also spoke to other guests where I stayed (the Bahia Principe) and they had the exact same problem. Please be very leary of the guys at the airport. They lie!!!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Muscle Shoals, Alabama
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2010

My husband and I chose Aventura Spa Palace for our honeymoon and it was by far the best decision! From the beginning of the week to the end, it was absolutely fantastic! Everyday, we would begin our day at the lagoon and my husband would snorkle while I layed out in the sun. A waitress would bring us drinks, and always kept our drinks refilled. It was so nice! Then, we would go eat lunch at the pool, and swim and drink at the swim-up bar! Everyday, they had fun activities in the pool such as How to make a Mojito or Margarita demostration! It was just too much fun! Also, the restaurants were WONDERFUL! I think my husband and I came home a few pounds heavier because the food was absolutely amazing! We are going back next year for our one year anniversary and I absolutely CANNOT wait!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2010

Our second visit to Aventura Spa, and it didn't disappoint us. We had spent the previous week at Moon Grand and although the rooms there were much bigger and luxurious we prefer the better service and friendliness of Aventura Spa. It was easier to meet other travellers as it is a smaller resort and the entertainment staff go out of there way to encourage people to pertake in sporting activites (waterpolo, volleyball,snorkling, bocce, aqua aerobics) and therefore meet new people. The lobby bar and new Martini bar are also great places to have a chat with new friends. Big hello to Jose, Jullian and Fausto (watch out for the shots, they are lovely but too many are lethal!)
We went to many of the shows, which are quite professionally orchestrated, my personal favourite was the Samba show.
The Spa truly is luxurious and very relaxing, even just using the hydrotherapy facilities is fantastic.
In my opinion the food is of a much better standard and taste than of similar restaurants at Moon Palace. Our favourite for dinner was La Trattoria; be warned if you go for the Italian style of ordering, Antipasti, Primi, Secondi and then Dolce, the pasta dishes are extremely filling so you need to be very hungry, or have a very large appetite. We also really liked Mundaca.
When we were there the occupancy was only about 30-40%, which was great for us but not so good for Palace resorts. There were plenty of sunloungers around the pool, no need to reserve the loungers - this is not a trip to the Spanish Costas, most people didn't come out to the pool until 11 or 12ish anyway. I am suprised that one of the previous reviewers found it so busy with few staff, there were a few nights in some of the restaurants where we had several waiters who were attending to us. The buffet lunch in El Greco was very good and if you didn't want to come out of the sun you could get something to take away, there are also burgers and sandwiches made to order behind the pool bar for a more casual lunch.
The new palace promotion of 1500 dollars to spend at the resort is quite remarkable, we even found it difficult to spend them, I would advise booking all your trips/treatments as early as possible to avoid disappointment as they can book out quickly. The only downside is that you can only use $300 in the spa. If you are unsure about the dollars visit the palace website or email them for confirmation beforehand. On arrival ask them who looks after booking your choices, the majority of these can be booked at the spa reception, but guest representatives will try to sell you tours first.
We only did one trip to Tulum, which I am not sure if I would recommend, maybe the Tulum express which cuts out the unnecessary shopping trip might be better, but I felt we didn't get enough time at the actual ruins. If I was going again I would arrange my own transport.
Overall, I think we had an even better experience second time around because we knew how to make the best use of our time there. For anyone reading any advice on the TA website means you are a step ahead of those who haven't. I would not have known about the new Martini bar if I had not read it on TA, for anyone looking for it, it's in the palapa behind El Greco and only opens at dinner time until late!
I'm not sure when I will be back in Mexico next time, but I wouldn't hestitate recommending Aventura Spa or Cove, I wish I was there now!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Massapequa, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2010

Our daughter's wedding took place here last week. The only words to describe the whole experience was GREAT. When we arrived, we met Arturo the Bellman, who immediately learned our difficult last name and proceeded to make us feel comfortable at the hotel. The food and service was consistantly way above our expectation. Every employee went out of their way to be friendly and every restaurant had great food. The grounds are kept beautiful. Now on to the wedding. I would highly recomend anyone who is considering have a destination wedding to have it here. The wedding planner, Yasmin, was a real professional. From the minute we started making arrangements, she was so helpful. Even the beauty parlour did a great job. It is a very beautiful and romantic place to get married. We had 60 people with us and everyone left very happy. Everyone really enjoyed the whole spa experience. I have been to other all inclusives and they do not compare to the great service we received here.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2010

Traveled here for our honeymoon in Sept. 2008 (sorry, wasn't a choice under year listing - hence the 2009 up above). We were AMAZED in so many ways. I'll try to keep this short and simple, but I WILL tell you we are most definitely returning, no questions asked.


We did not pre-book our airport transfers and ended up piling into a van courier with 4 other couples and we were the LAST STOP- took us nearly 2 hours to get there. Needless to say, we took a cab on our departure and it cost about $5 more and we were there in less than 45 minutes. MOVING ON...

There is not a real "beach" per say in that you can only swim in the lagoon where there are lots of fish, etc. so we chose only to snorkel one day, which was fine for us because the pools were gorgeous and the swim up bars were fun, friendly and fast!


Some may look at this as a negative if they're going to a couples resort to "party" as it seems from some of the listings, but the resort was only at about 25% capacity when we visited so the pools/restaurants were not crowded (which we loved). The only time this becomes not so fun is when you do want to participate in the "nightlife" and there are about 30 people in the club and NO ONE wants to be the first one on the floor.. haha

We chose to take the "90-min presentation/tour" to get the $200 spa credit.. the tour was nice to be able to see the suites and upgraded rooms. The "sales" part sucked. We are just married at this point and worried about paying off our wedding NOT signing up for more debt! BUT, the spa was TREMENDOUS. Worth the annoying sales people.


ROOM: Huge bathroom! Huge room! Huge bed! Huge jacuzzi! Huge porch! We had so much room :) Loved how spacious everything was.

POOLS: Pools were very clean, chairs were clean and neat, towels were always available. Servers at bar and around pool were friendly and helpful. "Snack bar" at pools has TONS of food: grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, pizza, etc. Pool bars were always fully stocked, except one day they had run out of mint leaves for a mojito but the next day had more.

FOOD: Never had to wait for a meal. Never had to ask twice for something. Wine was always flowing. Great choices of fare: italian, spanish, japanese, etc. Breakfast buffet was LARGE and had so many choices I couldn't fathom to try nearly 1/4 of them. The "Honeymooners Dinner" was so fun! We got free shirts, had great food and drinks, played competitive games vs. other couples (my husband and I won a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka), and got a beautiful 5x7 picture of us taken and printed for free.

DRINKS: I read a few complains about the liquor... which confused me. My husband drank Crown Royal and Jack Daniels many nights and I enjoyed amaretto, top shelf vodkas and Bailey's on many occasions. There were no "plastic" liquor bottles to be found... I was impressed with both the liquors AND the wines.

EXCURSIONS: My husband played golf off the resort twice, both successful trips and beautiful courses- both set up through concierge. We also did a day trip 4-wheeling, zip lining, snorkeling, cave swimming, and enjoying local fare. Was SO MUCH FUN and worth the money over and over. This was ALL in ONE day trip (not multiple trips, we paid one flat fee).

SPA: Out of control beautiful. Services were relaxing and staff was A+. I wanted to fall asleep in the chaise lounges by the indoor spas all bundled up in my robe... ahhh...

FITNESS CENTER: Best I've ever seen outside of the one I belong to at home. Tons of equipment both weights and cardio, music playing, fitness classes offered... unbelievable.

We WILL be back to this place! We knew 2 couples who had gone before us and we know of other couples planning to go in the near future. Palace Resorts has got vacationing down to a tee!

  • Stayed September 2009, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 Family 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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