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Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
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Reviewed November 5, 2012

My husband and I recently stayed at the Aventura Spa Palace for 7 days on a last minute vacation getaway. Overall we were very impressed and would consider going back again.

Overall impression - compared to a 5 star Canadian hotel I would say this hotel ranked about 4 stars. My husband agrees and he travels for a living so has a lot of experience with various levels of hotels. That being said, in talking to friends, having a resort meet a 4 star canadian standard is pretty darn good. The hotel, grounds, and pool area are very clean and well maintained.

Rooms - Our room look like it had recently been painted. The double jacuzzi tub was a nice bonus. We love to have a bath together every night before bed and so this an nice added feature. The shower is also big enough for two people. We stayed in building 5 on the 3rd floor overlooking the jungle garden/path. Was beautiful and nicely situated close to everything. The bed - my husband loved it, I hated it. Was very thankful for the resort credit that could be used in the spa because I needed a massage every 2nd day as my back was so bad I thought it was going to siese after 2 nights of sleeping on it.

Food - fantasitic in all the restaurants. I did learn that they cook salmon very similar to how one cooks tuna. OnceI realized this I just asked for it well done and it came out perfect, not dry, but throughly cooked through. My husband had the octopus one night and said it was the best he has ever had. Very tender. Which can be hard to accomplish as it is not an easy meat to cook.

Alcohol - sadly I have to agree that it is watered down. Sometimes I questioned if there was even alcohol in may of the drinks. I am a cheap drunk. One drink usually does me fine. I drank 4 in a row one day and did not even feel it. We did find if we went into the bar in the hotel they were much better and you could tell they had acohol in them.

Spa - I have to say after all the reviews I read I was somewhat disappointed in my spa experience. My second massage was lacking. Either the girl hated her job or she was not feeling well. There were periods of time that she did not massage at all and when she said it was over I noticed on the clock that she had ended it 10 minutes early. Thankfully I only paid $20 in ax for it otherwise I would have been more upset. Cassandra in the hydrotherapy pool area was fantastic though. She remebered me from my first time and also remembered my preferrance for sauna, steam, shower, hot tub and which temperature pool. She always had a smile on her face and ran the hydrotherapy area very efficiently.

Hotel staff - all were great. I tried to keep a list in my head of ones that stood out but honestly we did not have a bad experience with any of them. It takes a team to run a place that well and you could see that they all worked together well. Everyone seemed to throughly enjoyed their jobs there. Many of them you saw from morning to night doing some type of work. Housekeeping staff was amazing. We had a few bugs in our room but it is Mexico, there are going to be a few.

Excursions - we went to Tulum with the agency the hotel had contracted. WONDERFUL staff with them. They were quite entertaining. Yes they did ask for tip but really I do not blame them as many people are used to the "gratuities included" with their trip and they really were just letting us know that this was not the case with them. I did not think they were rude or overt about it and did not accoust anyone if they did not tip. We also went to Excaret on the recommendation of our Guest Services person (did not go to the breakfast that would have given it to us cheaper). It was also a great experience but I would recommend if you have the time to do it in 2 days. The second day is 1/2 price and there is just so much to do and see there. We also went to Rio Secreto which we booked ourselves before we went. AMAZING!!! It is hands down a must do thing.

Transportation - It is Mexico - traffic signs are merely suggestions. If you think drivers are bad here do not go to India. You almost want to be given your last rite before driving there. Mexico was nothing compared to that. I have had taxi drivers in New York City that were worse drivers that I had in Mexico. They drive fast. Very fast. But I never felt unsafe.

Overall we were very happy with our experience. We are hoping to go back next year.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KayS75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2012

Dear KayS75,

Thank you so much for sharing your nice review in Trip Advisor about our resort. We are glad to know that you like it so much and that you will be back.

We are eager to host you again and deliver the good service that you deserve.

Best regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

My husband and I got married here with 48 of our closest friends and family. It was a week long party and absolutely beautiful wedding that no one will ever forget! The Resort is AMAZING. I literally cried when we had to leave after 7 days. There are endless activities, food, drinks everywhere 24/7 and the staff is so nice and helpful. I would recommend this place in a heart beat and am looking forward to going back!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank BeachbabeJenB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2012

Dear Denvergrl3

We are speechless with your wonderful review and how emotionally you summarized this amazing experience in our resort. Thank you so much for choosing us for such a great moment in your lives.

And expectantly we hope you will come back soon for another great vacation.

Best regards.

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Reviewed November 5, 2012

This is our second trip to Aventura Spa and it's condition has deteriorated since our stay about 5 1/2 years ago. Currently there is a Cove side that allows children (this was all adult the last time we were here) and in my opinion is in better shape than the Spa side which is where we're staying. They're scheduled to begin converting this hotel to a Hard Rock Hotel in 2013 starting with the Cove side so if you're booking a trip here for 2013 you might ask to be as far from the construction as possible. We can't complain too much because this trip was 1/2 price...we are Palace members (8 years now) and went to the Hard Rock presentation and are now Hard Rock members too. The presentation they give for the 4 Hard Rock locations (Punta Cana, Vallarta, Cancun, & eventually Aventura) is quite convincing and the numbers definitely speak for themselves. They strongly encourage you to finance with 0% interest; however, if you can pay all up front they match the amount you pay in resort credit to spend over the next 30 years so paying up front was a no brainer...if you put $3800 down they'll still match $3800, but you'll be leaving quite a bit of money on the table. We had two of the best massages ever while here...the one gal's name was Luc (my husband can't remember his gal's name). Also had an awesome manicure/pedicure by Gaby. We discovered that certain restaurants have filet mignon (not on any of the menus) and it was DELICIOUS! The tuna tartare is also quite good! Overall, the food has been excellent. For $20 (each way) you can take a cab to 5th Avenue and do your shopping and eat at the Playacar Palace hotel and hang out on their beautiful beach! There is a shuttle from Aventura to Playacar Palace 3 days a week if you don't want to pay for the cab. There was a water line break while we were here and some internet challenges one day, but overall the free calls and free internet are GREAT for a working vacation. The snorkeling & kayaks are a perk, but the lack of a beach for many will be a downer. One big lesson learned is that you should ask for a specific room when booking...in my opinion, buildings 5 & 8 have the best views from the 3rd floor...just ask for a room close to the ocean when booking.

Room Tip: get the 3rd floor in building 5 or 8 closest to the ocean...the pool gets loud so I wouldn't recommend a pool view
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank myupdate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2012

Dear myupdate,

Thank you so much for sharing your great comments with other Trip Advisor users. We are very happy to learn your overall stay was wonderful and that you have just joined to our new family.

It is true that we accept minors in the other side of the resort, however respectfully allow me to inform you that they cannot trespassing to the adults area so you can still keep your privacy in the adults side. Having said this, we only have gratitude for your kind words; it is wonderful to know you enjoyed the best massages ever alongside your couple. Thank you too for highlighting our coworkers Luc and Gaby, we will acknowledge them for making your stay very special and we have shared with our Executive Chef that you simply loved the filet mignon.

We hope that with your recommendations many other visitors of this site find your review useful.

We are eager to host you again and deliver the fabulous service to which our valued Members are accustomed.

I entirely remain at your service.

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Reviewed November 4, 2012

We arrives at AVS yesterday we are here for two weeks and has loads of credits. Having read other reviews I thought it was going to be a real horror story trying to book all the golf,spa,trips we wanted to do. But how wrong I was the fabulous Sheridan made it so easy in 30 mins everything booked.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
5  Thank holidaygirl46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2012

Hello holidaygirl46

It is very wonderful to know you started your vacation with the right food. We will acknowledge to Sheridan for her efficiency to book your optional activities.

We will make our best to do these two weeks unforgettable. If you need something please approach to any of our concierge desks, we will be pleased to help you.

We hope you enjoy your stay in this heavenly place and come back in the near future.

We remain at your service.

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Reviewed November 4, 2012

We stayed 7 days at the Aventura Spa Palace for our honeymoon and had an amazing time. The staff was so friendly and helpful. We had a very comfortable king size bed and jacuzzi for two and a big shower. The room was very clean and kept up with daily by the cleaning staff. The food was wonderful and there was a great variety. We especially loved our dinners at the Trattoria Italian restaurant. It was really great that our all inclusive covered the restaurants at the Aventura Cove Palace next door as well. They keep your room stocked up with liquor, beer, soft drinks and water. They also provide extras for honeymooners--we had a romantic dinner with a special menu one night and when we returned to our room it was covered with flower petals and had a bubble bath ready to go! We also received t-shirts, a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne for being honeymooners. It is awesome that they provide you with resort credits and there are plenty of options. Most people get 1500 points but even with our 500 points we were able to have two massages and a trip to Chichen Itza (the Mayan ruins). I don't recommend this excursion however; it was very far away and took up a whole day and the energy at the ruins seemed very commercialized. A lot of people seems to like the Tulum trip instead which is much closer to the resort and also has a beach. We loved our massages and especially loved using the hydrotherapy room in the spa prior to our massages at no extra charge. They guide you through it and it is incredibly relaxing and purifying. We took a day trip to Playa Del Carmen (free transportation from the resort) and enjoyed being able to get into the ocean since you cant directly do so at the resort. We also took a night trip to Playa Del Carmen to go to Coco Bongo which is an amazing dance club that has performances every hour. The nightly shows at the resort were great and the staff even came around to the restaurants each night at dinner to encourage people to attend the shows. The fire show was our favorite but the Michael Jackson show, magic show and break dance show were also very good! And there is a dance club on site so we had a great time drinking and making new friends! We're young so we were looking to party but there is plenty of peaceful activities too. In fact, it is very quiet and romantic. We also attended yoga in the morning overlooking the ocean, went kayaking and snorkeling in the cove waters and took nightly strolls along their beach. Basically it has to offer whatever your heart desires. We highly recommend this spot for a honeymoon, anniversary or just a get away!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Pocohontas57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2012

Hello Pocohontas57

Thank you so much for your glowing review about your recent stay in our resort; thanks a lot for choosing this breathtaking place to celebrate such a special moment in your lives.

We loved how you did not forget any detail of your amazing honeymoon experience. It looks you could take full advantage of everything we have to offer from our accommodating staff, wonderful rooms, top notch restaurants, our honeymooners desk, soothing spa, fabulous shows & great resort credits promotion.

We would be pleased to host you again for your first anniversary celebration. Our entire team will be ready to pamper you as you deserve.

I remain at your service.

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