As far as all inclusive resorts go, this is one of the better ones. The rooms are large, clean and well stocked with drinks and liquor. All rooms have a Jacuzzi tub (which we didn't never use in hotels) and a balcony with a hammock. The rooms are attended to twice a day, with turndown service and chocolates done in the evening. They change the sheets every 3 days. We had an ice machine in the hallway next to us and it was very noisy.
We travelled with 2 children aged 8-10. The resort itself is large but once you figure out the layout, it's quite easy to get around. It's unfortunate that children are not allowed on the adjoining property, Aventura Spa, which limited some of our activities and restaurant selections. There was a rock climbing wall and beach volleyball courts on the spa side which we would have loved to use but were unable to. The Cove side has 2 tennis courts and a basketball court but they are a little bit of a walk away. The pool is gorgeous and huge. There are plenty of loungers available poolside and by the cove. The swimup bar and poolside grill are very convenient. We were there the week of March 4-11. I'm not sure if the spring breakers just had not arrived yet, but we found the place quite quiet from the Monday to Friday and then got busier on Sat. and Sun. During the week, it seemed like there were very few people there so the service was awesome. I never had to go to the pool bar because a server would come by every 10 minutes to see if I wanted a drink. Getting loungers was never an issue either, and even when it got busier on the weekend, we still found free ones. I can see some issues if there were a few more people though because they don't limit the number of towels they hand out or make you sign them out and return them. This is a good policy if everyone is considerate and returns the towels when they're done, but it seems like most leave their towels on the loungers when they leave so you never know if one is available or not. There are iguanas running around the bushes around the pool which excited the kids.
There are many organized activities in the pool such as stretching to music, water aerobics, water polo, water volleyball and water basketball. The staff do have to learn to control the activities better so that overaggressive adults and teenagers don't intimidate the younger kids. For example, a few kids including mine, joined in the water polo game. Whenever the ball got near them, a much older teenager or adult would dive toward them and start to grab the ball. As the game progressed, the younger kids would be unable to ever touch the ball so they would leave. The resort either needs to have games set up for just the younger kids, or have the organizer (who is playing in the game too) tell the adults not to grab the kids I even gave up on playing basketball because with a sunburnt back, it was very painful having others scratch and rub against your back when you got the ball.
The Cove is interesting with far more fish than I would've imagined. It's calm and great for snorkeling. There are kayaks available as well. The "sand" is quite uncomfortable to walk on barefoot. I'm not sure if we just caught a bad week or if its due to the location, but it was windy pretty much every day we were there. The waves outside the cove were quite big so I can see why the cove was built as you would not be able to swim otherwise.
The kids club is for little kids. My 8 and 10 year olds went there to check it out. They lasted 10 minutes and left because it was uninteresting to them and reported that they were too old for it.
The buffet (Ventana's) and steak house (Mundaca's) in where we ate most of the time. There is also a Mexican a la carte restaurant, the beach grill and a café as well. To generalize, the food variety is excellent but the quality is acceptable but not great. The service in all the restaurants were wonderful (no matter whether we had previously left a gratuity or not). At the buffet's it almost seemed like they were lurking around and pouncing whenever there is an empty plate or even a used sugar packet. Again, it wasn't overly busy while we were there so I'm not sure if this is always the case. There is ice-cream and popsicles available at a number of spots which pleased my kids.
The resort credits are a bit of a scam. We used them for an excursion to Tulum to see the ruins which took about 4 hours (its a 40 minute bus ride and an hour guided tour). You can use the credits for this and it was $125 per person and you have to pay the 11% tax. There are only a couple of excursions you can use the credits on. You can shop at the store for jewelry with the credits but can only use up to $300 on gold and silver items. As you might imagine, the pricing for most items seem quite high for what you're getting. We didn't try to use up all the credits as some others we talked to did. If you think about it, why would a resort give you $1500 in credits for a stay that you're only paying $2000 for the week anyway?
We took a taxi to Playa Del Carmen for the day to go shopping. The taxi costs $18 each way and is a fixed price. You can fit up to 4 passengers in each taxi.
The SunWing guide on the bus that took us there warned us this resort is bad for being harassed by time share agents. This got us all concerned but we were never approached at all the whole time we were there.
Overall, we had a very nice stay. We would recommend this resort with the caveat that you go knowing there is no sandy beach.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This is the 1,264-room Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. And this is where luxury meets satisfaction on a stage of stunning tropical views, a private white sand beach, and exclusive saltwater snorkeling areas. It's all capped off with an inviting traditional design, legendary Hard Rock hospitality, and undeniable excess at every turn. Live large at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya and enjoy the very best of paradise for all. Or, pack your appetite for opulence and hit Heaven - an elevated and exclusive retreat for adult guests only featuring a private adult beach, superlative amenities, and dining at its finest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aventura Cove Palace Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya Puerto Aventuras, Mexico