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Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Ranked #1 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Amazing value”
Reviewed January 15, 2012

We stayed at Aventura Spa Palace in early December with another couple. We were very skeptical about the $1500. resort credit, but it worked out perfectly. At that time, there were no restrictions on it, so my husband used it for 2 rounds of golf and I was in the spa almost every day. My favourite treatment was the chocolate wrap, but I had several good massages also.
We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food and particularly enjoyed the Italian restaurant, La Trattoria and the Mexican restaurant at Cove Palace, La Hacienda. Mimosas and made-to-order omelettes at breakfast were wonderful.
As others have mentioned, the resort is located on a rocky part of the ocean, so there is no beach directly on the ocean and no beach walks. They have attempted to compensate by building a lagoon of ocean water with sand around it. It is good for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking; it just doesn't have the waves. The pools were great and always plenty of lounge chairs and good bar service.
The rooms were a little disappointing (a little dated) although they were clean and comfortable.
Overall, this resort exceeded our expectations and we wouldn't hesitate to return.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CanuckDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Mansfield, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 12, 2012

The side-by-side Spa Palace and Cove Palace offer just about every kind of dining and drink availability one could want. The facilities are nice and the landscape beautiful. We have not encountered an unsmiling, unfriendly employee yet. One tip: The rooms have DVD players, so bring movies if you plan to watch anything. The TV channel lineup isn't the best.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DFWjournalist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2012

So here is the skinny, I would avoid this resort for a while. I understand that they came under new management with the Hard Rock Café in January 2012 (see other reviews). There are changes that are not so favorable that are currently affective that eventually might be resolved or enhanced to the benefit of the guests. There will be some MAJOR renovations too. This will be great eventually with updated rooms that are larger and more modernized. However, staying here during the renovations could be interesting…. Because of the possible noise and construction. It will depend on how they orchestrate that. Maybe they will shut down certain sections at a time??

All that being said, It’s kinda like a divorce. They still had information on the other resorts that they USED TO have in the palace “family” that you USED TO be able to get free transportation to. Not sure if it was a good divorce or bad one?? The staff seems happy enough. They are just in the process of working things out and the kids (guests :) get to suffer from this.

Here are a few examples.

The “other” resort information sheets and room service menus were still in our Palace Resorts Welcome Binder. This just made us long for the good ole days when we “all” just got along. We made the suggestion to remove this info from each room a.s.a.p. so that other guests did not get the same impressions. Sometimes if you don’t know what you are missing out on, you don’t know to be bummed or to have certain expectations that might not be met. Like real ocean beach to lay on. It was great to look at the clear water but I would’ve loved to have been able to step in it. The resort beach front consists of large jagged rocks (coral) so you are not allowed near the open water. You can kayak in small circles in the lagoons if you would like on the kids side of the resort. We didn’t have kids with us so this wasn’t of interest.

We were looking forward to visiting a resort with a beach (Playacar Palace) based on other reviews and the website. However, the free shuttle to the resorts that offered this luxury before are no longer available at all. If you were to pay the $20 one way to take a taxi to the area of one of the resorts nearby with a nice beach, you may not be allowed on the property anymore. The staff could not give us a good answer to whether or not this was the case. For sure, the all inclusiveness would not apply at this resort with an actual beach any longer since they are “divorced” so good luck getting a towel, drink, or nacho because the other resort is all inclusive… there are no menu prices, so you couldn’t even opt to eat at the rocking Brazilian restaurant you might have read about if you wanted to. There is, however, a shuttle that you can still take to a shopping hot spot if you would like to spend the day there. We were cautioned to be careful about eating the food, especially steering clear of the fruit and water, on the economy by friends outside of the resort so an all day trip probably would’ve been cut in half with us picking up the cost of a cab back to the resort to get some eats.

The staff all seemed very willing to please, helpful where they could be, and trying to do their best with the language. We always got a friendly hola when passing staff on the walk ways or in passing at the resort. They were always trying to properly serve us during our meals, wiping up any water condensation, unfolding napkins with tongs, etc. Not promptly, but properly. You can, by no means, expect to go into a restaurant starving and think you will get served food in less than an hour. As someone before mentioned, you are on vacation so you shouldn’t expect to fed quickly. We related it to our experience in Italy. It took us 2 ½ hrs. to eat each time we choose to do so in a restaurant where you ordered off a menu; if we were not at a buffet where we could help ourselves. More impressive and humble attempts then many fine dining places we have visited to give good service. We left LARGE tips everywhere because of this effort and the attentiveness that we sincerely felt they were serving us with a pleasure.

Any kind of room service (or service needed in the room) response time was HORRIBLE. We called the first night because our safe didn’t work around 8 p.m. We were told security would get to our room in 25 minutes. We fell asleep around 9:30 p.m. We called the next morning and waited 40 minutes. It was easily fixed when the staff arrived. We called to get help with a connecting a call to the US because the phone wouldn’t work. We held 15 minutes for assistance with the call. We called for another reason that I can’t recall and I hung up before they could answer and we headed to the lobby for the answer. One night we went to the front desk for a room service menu for the resort because although the room service menus for the other resorts were in the binder, the one for ours was not. We were told that they would send one to the room. We waited 45 minutes. When we called to order room service, we were told they were really busy and it would be an hour. We decided just to get a burger at the bar. I got to the point where I hated calling for any reason because I knew I would be put on hold for a lengthy time before waiting for a time for a response.

Make sure you ask about the activities – like the “monkey” walking tour. It is not provided upon checkin or in the welcome binder.

We agree with others this is not a luxurious resort.

Pros:

Because of low occupancy rates, you really do have the resort to yourself on the kids side or the adult side.

The buffet has tons of selection, American standards and authentic.

If you like to party, your glass is never empty and there is never a line to get more.

The nachos are plentiful and always out at the pool bar. I have to agree the music by the pool areas were way too loud until the sun went down and they turned the main speakers off. Even for the partiers in our crowd. They did a great job of yelling over it. Don’t worry partiers, the music continued at the pool bar.

We liked the rather firm bed but that’s our preference.

The room service is available 24/7

The hammocks were comfortable, my husband passed out many a time on them at night.

They are old school and not intended to necessary be swung in. A slight breeze swaying was very comfortable.

The rooms are small but delightful / had an authentic feel. For the price tag, I agree that they needed some updates ie. chipped tile, nicer grout in the shower, plastic chairs on the patio, etc. This may be changing drastically. We weren’t in the room much, which in our opinion, you shouldn’t be at a resort you paid a lot of money to go to. We liked the Jacuzzi tub and the LARGE, glass door, two person, shower with tile bench.

For those looking to party by a pool in Mexico, to visit a nice but very expensive (if you don’t have resort credit) spa, to have a decent gym, and to pay a lot per night to do this… a short visit might be ok. There is really not much to do without paying a lot extra for trips / transportation for more than three days… and you are done. This is really just a warm place to lie around a pool, drink if you so choose (we don’t), and get away. If you are looking for more, I would look elsewhere for a cheaper place and then pay for the excursions offered by tour companies locally until the improvements are complete or the Hard Rock figures out a way to take care of current guests a little better as part of the all inclusive price tag. With that, I hoped I saved some a lot of money and dissappointment :)

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank chellehi2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kinston, North Carolina
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2012

At the urging of our 23 year old son to take a "family vacation", my husband & I plus our two young adult sons traveled to Adventure Spa Palace. It is our fourth trip to a Palace resort in the last five years and the primary reason we always go back is the amazing service and value. The family side of the resort ( Adventura Cove) seemed more crowded and active than the adults only side we were on, but that was fine with us and even the guys since we all just wanted to relax . Loved the presidential suite....totally separate rooms with a great living area and dining area. Views of the ocean were great....we even saw a water spout in the far distance one evening! We were in Mandolina which was great....Piano would have been a little better for us because it was closer to our favorite place to hang out. We loved the lap/river type pool. Quiet and bartender at our beck and call! If we wanted more activity and noise we went to the main pool with the swim up bar, but generally we were happy near the smaller pool. Loved the lagoons with snorkeling and kayaks. The spa was fantastic....especially the facial I had. With the room allowance of $1500 to spend we did a lot of spa time and swam with the dophins. Also did a trip to Coba. We still didin't manage to spend all of our "extra" $. Dophin swim was fun and an unexpectedly excellent facility ( I am an animal care advocate type). Coba is a lot of walking on rough ground and worth it only if you want to climb up a mayan temple.....but worth it for the view if you do. We had done Tulum on another trip....most beautiful views because it is on the ocean.

Service as always, was outstanding. We always bring single dollar bills and tip a good deal but service does not depend on it. We just feel these folks work awfully hard for little. We used room service a great deal and it was always prepared well, delivered quickly and hot.
The Mexican chicken soup and beef tepannyaki were quite good. The most outstanding restaurant was the Italian one....service and food. The steak place at the Cove side was terrible. Stick to Mexican and Italian. The Japanese was just okay. Mexican fiesta night on the Cove side was fun....except for noisy kids!!

Would go back or might try Moon Palace next time.....the only real drawback I saw to Adventura was the extra drive (about 45 min) to get there. Still not a problem....picked up as promised and made it to the airport on return without incident. So far though, Cozumel Palace is still our favorite for quiet and personalized service. If you want lots of activity, go into Cancun proper, like Cancun Palace.....also an excellent resort.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank joy28504
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

We enjoyed our stay over New Years at Aventura Spa. They do offer many different activities which we enjoyed. The yoga was surprisingly challenging and water arobics fun and goofy. We agree with others that service is excellent but this is hardly a luxurious resort. The bed was so hard it was painful to sleep and the bathroom is pretty outdated. I am not a big drinker but if you like to party this is a place where you will never go thirsty. For New Years they did put on a pretty nice celebration with good circus acts, think more cirque de soleil and a surf and turf dinner. The food was pretty dissapointing but we were expecting that from other reviews. The best dinner we had was at the Italian restaurant. We did get suckered into their "breakfast with information about the resort". We knew they would try to make us members but went anyway to get a $100 credit for our snorkeling trip (this tour with Aventuras Mayas was the best part of our trip), but not sure if it was worth sitting through the presentations and trying to be sold their vacation packages. The resort is changing over to a Hard Rock so the place will have a complete makeover including real sand for the inlets. So, it may be more upscale in the future. Basically if you just want to go somewhere warm where you have no real cultural experience and like the all inclusive thing this place fits the bill. A very relaxing trip but I prefer something more intimate and authentic. Also, upon check in make sure you get the paper that shows the activities and times. We didn't get the schedule and had no idea what we were doing till the second day when we asked if there was anyway to find out what was going on.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank puravida2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Meadows, Idaho
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

This was our second stay at this resort, and again it was just top-notch! The food choices are just incredible and always delicious. I truly feel like a valued guest when I stay here, and any need is quickly met.

Room Tip: Rooms on the east side have better use of the balcony (too hot most of the day on the west).
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Deana N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Pole
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2012

Please forgive me for writing such a long review, this place truly deserves recognition!

Location:
The resort is located about 15 minutes (by taxi) south of Playa del Carmen. There are regular free shuttles to Playacar Palace in Playa, but taxi is easy and cheap. $20 set price and it's clearly marked at the lobby, so no need to worry about haggling or fake taxis.
However, there are so many things to do in the resort, we only went to Playa once for the requisite souvenir shopping!

Rooms:
We booked a Deluxe Garden View, and were pleasantly surprised that it actually came with views of the ocean! It is on the first floor of the Clarin building. Beware, there are some rooms on the first floor that has very little privacy or view, so a small upgrade to at least "deluxe" garden view would be wise. My friends also booked deluxe garden view, and they were placed in a 2nd floor room facing the main pool, which was also better than they expected.

The rooms were smaller than it looks online, but it's still plenty spacious for two people even with 2 double beds. The room does come with a fully stocked mini bar and tabs, which includes Barcardi and 3 other Mexican off-brands (as in... Casa Cuevo instead of the other Cuevo), and plenty of bottled water (A Evian knock-off called El Puro).

The beds were very, very comfortable, and every bed has 3 pillows, a hard one, a soft one, and a hugger. I usually need to bring my own pillow to fall asleep, but that was NOT a problem here at all, so you can say I'm more than satisfied.

The hot tub, surprisingly, is large enough for two people. Now when I say large enough, I mean it is huge. You can fit three petite people in it side by side and still have room to spare! The hotel provides a small bottle of bubble bath, which was unscented I believe so doesn't hurt to bring your own.

The only downside is the bathroom. The vanity area has only 1 sink, and there isn't a second tub in the bathroom, only a tiled shower stall, which looks oddly outdated in such a modern room. The shampoo and conditioner are called Bio Silk, which I have seen in Asia. It's not a luxury brand, but personally I find it better quality than most.

Oceanview upgrade is available for $26 per night, although they did say it's partial view.

Service:
Immaculate. Every one was so courteous and attentive. From the room serive, to the cleaning staff, to the servers around the pool, to the restaurant staff, every one was beyond helpful. Of course, tipping goes a long way.

If you are looking for peace and quiet, I suggest you avoid the main pool at the pool bar. There are constant activities at the main pool, including cooking demos, water aerobics, water polo, and many more. The activity directors are top notch, and they are NOT pushy when they try to get people to participate, but you will be invariably annoyed if you are here to just "veg out".

Amenities:
There are so many, I don't even think I tried them all.

Rock Climbing: You can call the gym to have someone come over to set it up for you, but it is staffed everyday between 3-4pm.

Fitness Trail: Not too challenging, especially considering there are shortcuts available at every stop, so don't be afraid to challenge your more-athletic partner and cheat! :-D

Zen Garden: Somewhat of a dissapointment, but maybe I'm seeing it as an Asian. The little river was shut off, and the garden as a whole is quite small.

Labaryth: My friends tried it and it actually took 20 mins to complete. Of course since the hedges are so short, you can just step over them and be done with it.

Animals: LOTS of iguanas everywhere! And they are mostly friendly. Did not see any monkeys or any other creepy crawlies. Look for activity people walking around with iguanas or parrots, the souvenir photos are actually pretty cheap ($20 for two 5x7 prints).

Value:
The $1500 credit is amazing. It was so much, we had to add extra spa treatments on the last day just to use it all!

Food:
I must emphasize this: the food was much better than we thought, certainly much better than some recent reviews suggested.

Lunch were all buffets, either near the pool or at the Asian restaurant. They aren't bad, but they aren't great either. We prefer to have food brought to us by the pool anyways, so it really wasn't much of an issue.

The four restaurants are Italian, Asian, Latino/Mexican, and Steakhouse. They are all a la carte, and they all surpassed our expectations. We ate like mad and ordered 5 courses almost every night. The presentation was beautiful. Our favorite was the Italian restaurant and the steakhouse.

Spa:
I cannot say whether they were good or not, since I don't usually get massages. I was relaxed enough to fall asleep several times so that should be a good sign.

I would advise AGAINST the ice wrap unless you have severe sunburn.The process was very, very cold and I was shivering the entire time. My friend raved about the chocolate wrap experience.

They also have a full hydrotherapy process for you if you arrive early. It was a very fun and relaxing experience so I would highly recommend it.

Tours:
I only went on the Chichen Itza tour, paid for by resort credits:
- This is important: They first take you to a tourist trap for lunch (which was a pretty bad buffet) before going to the pyramids/ruins, and they will tell you souvenirs here are cheaper than @ Chichen Itza by 15-20%. Do not fall for it (I mean why else would they take you there first?) The selection, in my opinion, was horrible. You will have plenty of free time at Chichen Itza and there are plenty of stalls there for all your shopping needs. In terms of haggling, a small Chichen sculpture went from $10 to $1, and a small face mask went from $35 to $5. So HAGGLE HAGGLE HAGGLE!


Friendly suggestions:
1. I would highly recommend you to email the resort prior to your arrival regarding your spa treatments. We received a prompt reply with the full spa menu, and we were able to reserve all of our treatments before we even arrived. This is especially important if you prefer a male or female therapist.
2. However, you cannot pre-book tours the same way as with the spa treatments. This is because they will try to give you a "tour of the resort", which is a timeshare sales pitch. We NEVER took this tour and it had no effect on our stay or use of our credits. You are NOT required to take this tour. Do not fall for the various ploys, like "special discounts" or "exclusive information". The best way to book the tours without hassle is to go to the vacation planners on the second floor near the spa (the room with architectural models of the Hard Rock Resort), especially in the afternoon. As far as we can tell, those people are not commission-based and they will complete your reservations in minutes HASSLE FREE. We booked all our tours (Chichen Itza and Dolphin Swim) this way.

Room Tip: Oceanview upgrade is available for $26 per night, although they did say it's partial view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank hkpuipui99
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

Property: 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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 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*
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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