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“An absolutely wonderful experience. Top notch service, food and rooms.”

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Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed May 2, 2009

Aventura Spa Place (ASP) is one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited in my
entire life. The grounds are beautiful, tropical and lush. The rooms are comfortable and relaxing. Service is spectacular, great food and drinks, beautiful ocean, lagoon and pools. Be prepared to eat and drink yourself silly, while being waited on by the most attentive staff in the most wonderful resort. We were impressed from the moment we arrived, until the moment we left. Seven nights was not nearly enough. Imagine paradise in the Riviera Maya on the sparkling blue Caribbean combined with all inclusive food, drinks and amenities.

Overall appearance of the resort and grounds:
ASP is massive, grand and spectacular. It could easily take you 15 minutes to walk the entire length of the grounds from one end to another. It took us about 24 hours to familiarize ourselves with grounds. That is not a bad thing, seeing as each corner has a new jewel and the entire place is meticulously manicured. All the plants are green and well maintained. The entire set up of the resort was very well planned out. Almost all of the pools, restaurants and rooms have ocean views, regardless of placement. The pools are creatively shaped, not just boring circles and rectangles. Two restaurants (El Grecko and Mundaca) have open air patios that look directly over the ocean. Not bad for a sunset dinner. The size of the resort lends itself to lots of great architecture. I suggest a lot of exploring to discover all the different areas at the resort.

The rooms are very nice at ASP. We stayed in the Clarin building, which is next to the obstacle course and North pool. Our room was on the obstacle course side, so we didn't get any pool noise during the day. After sunset, you'll notice the pools clear out immediately. So even if our room had been over the pool, it would have been fine at night. The rooms aren't huge, but they are certainly comfortable. They all have tiled floors with a large two person jacuzzi next to the sliding door. It was a pretty relaxing experience to sit in the jacuzzi and look out over the ocean at night. Each room has a liquor dispenser with four bottles (Bacaradi, Jose, Smirnoff and Clan McGregor,) a fridge stocked with beer, juices, soda and water. Anything in the room could be restocked at any time from room service, or by the daily service. They will bring you bottles of wine and champagne as often as you want, as well. We left notes each day for the staff letting them know what to refill for us. Room service and the in-room drinks are all included. We ordered room service a few times and the food was good, with about a 30 minute wait from the time of the call. The bed was very comfortable. A lot of reviews have mentioned that it was not. We thought it was more than soft enough, with good linens. We got a king bed, as requested. The rooms are all attached to a semi-exposed corridor. The tiling in the rooms and corridors did make for a lot of echoing and noise. I am a very light sleeper who has suffered from insomnia for most of my life. I slept fine every night and wouldn't think twice about returning. They also do nightly turn down service. We found the shower to be huge. Room was very clean, no bugs, not even a flea or spider. The AC worked great and we were able to maintain whatever temperature we desired.

The service started out great and maintained the entire time. You are greeted with a moist towel as you step off the shuttle. They take care of everything for you the entire time. We were never left wanting. Everyone is smiling, friendly and willing to help. They will even carry your plate at the buffet back to your table. They even pick up every cigarette butt as soon as someone leaves it in an ashtray. There was a bit of a language barrier, but most people were very accommodating. Only a couple of times, did we have trouble communicating, but it was usually more my fault for trying to think I speak any Spanish. The bartenders are super nice and enjoy encouraging some fun. If you sit near the pool or lagoon, they will bring you drinks and food, non-stop. We spent a lot of time at the north lagoon and our server was super nice, the entire time. She seemed to be having almost as much fun as we were. Being an all-inclusive resort, don't be shy to ask for something out of the ordinary. They are willing to accommodate. Tips are 'included' in the price, but we chose to tip. No one really ever seemed to be expecting it, so we kind of slacked off on it, sometimes. The service didn't seem to change, regardless of how much, or whether or not we tipped. We did make sure to take care of those who took care of us.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how good the food was at ASP. A lot of the reviews made it sound like I'd be eating at Sizzler the entire time. In fact, some of the best foods I've ever had, were here. We ate breakfast/brunch almost everyday at El Grecko on the north side. They do a buffet style breakfast/lunch. There were a ton of items, including: chorizo, Portuguese sausage, Spanish eggs, poached eggs, hash browns, mini quesadillas, bacon wrapped skirt steak, fried potato balls, doughnuts, black bean and pork, chicken dishes, bread with bean topping, crispy chicken fried tacos/taquitos, fried cheese balls, omelets station, waffle station, egg nachos, eggs benedict, fresh fruits, yogurts, healthier items, deserts, toast station and cornmeal cakes. Everything was freshly made and served at the correct temperature. It was a lot of fun to enjoy this every morning, looking out over the ocean, with fresh mimosas. They switched around a lot of the items everyday (other than the American classics.) Mo Mo No Hana is ASP's "oriental" (Asian, mostly Japanese) restaurant. We enjoyed all the sushi rolls we got, but be warned, they only bring you 2 or 3 pieces for each roll. I am accustomed to getting a full size roll, like a typical sushi joint. We tried to order several, but it was clear that they aren't used to ordering sushi as you would do at a contemporary sushi restaurant. The spring rolls were also excellent, as was the shrimp curry. This shrimp was some of the most tender I have ever had. Our favorite place was definitely La Hacienda. This is ASP's Mexican restaurant. La Hacienda is one of the restaurants where men must wear long pants (jeans are ok.) It's a nice darker atmosphere with a big fountain in the middle. They had one of the best steaks I have had in my entire life, here. It was very tender and cooked to perfection. Great job here. They have La Hacienda cheese (queso fundido) served with two tortillas, for an appetizer, highly recommended. I also like the octopus dinner I had one night, this was my first time (other than sushi) having octopus, and I ordered it again. I also had the shrimp dish another night, and again, their shrimp are super tender. One of the real treats here is the Mayan Coffee, it's a show and a drink. They start with two wine glasses; add a flaming liquor and then coffee. Then they pour more flaming anis liquer from one vessel to another, before topping it off with vanilla ice cream. Tip: mix it a little with your spoon before drinking. It's awesome. It's not on the menu, but ask for it. They will serve it at any of the restaurants, we found out later. La Trattoria is another 'dress up' restaurant at ASP. This is their Italian restaurant. The best dishes were the gnocchi, which was super soft and garlicky. The Spaghetti Carbonara was excellent as well. Even the scaloppini was impressive. They bring you a big basket of bread, which you should be sure not to fill up on, as good as it is. Mundaca is the Argentine/steakhouse on the south side, on the ocean. Their steaks were as good as La Hacienda's. I had a filet that must have been a solid pound, super juicy and tender. I also recommend the Atlantic Clams here as well. They are bread and clam stuffed shells. Very good, but you only get two per order. Even the poolside bar (at least on the north end) had good eats: hot dogs, pizza, burgers, sandwiches and self serve nachos. All in all the food was impressive and I had several things that ranked among the best I've had or close to.

At an all inclusive, I was expecting to find mostly generic brand liquors. Not the case. They didn't necessarily have the top shelf brands, but they were more than adequate and probably better than most of us get at our local bars and restaurants. I recognized a lot of the better known brands (Malibu, Jack, Smirnoff, etc.) They even had some more expensive stuff, like Pernod. I read a lot of reviews that complained about the drinks being weak or in small cups. Yeah, the cups are small. It's an all inclusive, order two. I didn't find the drinks weak. Even if they were, order a double or get a side shot. I never felt like the bartenders were ever trying to hold back on us. We did shot after shot after shot. Try a bumblebee shot. It is: Kahlua, Santa Clara Rompope (eggnog flavored) and blue curaco. I also recommend the "La Cucaracha" it's a shot of Kahlua with tequila on top. I enjoy lighting them on fire and dropping into beer. Not for the faint of heart. They had a lot of top shelf brand tequilas at ASP. All in all, it's hard to complain about all you can drink. The north lobby bar gets a little 'rowdy' at night, but not in a bad way, just lots of happy vacationers.

Beach, lagoon and ocean:
There is no 'true' beach here, in the traditional sense. It is a man made lagoon, fed directly from the ocean. Basically it's a protected ocean area, because the sand has eroded in this area. I actually kind of found this better than the beach, because you don't have to worry about the hazards, but still get all the fish and fresh ocean water. The sun heats the smaller pools quickly, so they are quite comfortable. They are packed with fish, crabs and conchs. The crabs stay on the walls so you have to swim out to see them. The conchs are easy to mistake for rocks. I spent almost the entire day, everyday, at the lagoon. It's very nice and relaxing. The water is refreshed by the ocean, so it doesn't get tepid at all. The staff comes out and cleans out the seaweed (not that they really need to.) Take an underwater camera, when you go. There are plenty of loungers and we never had an issue finding a spot.

The pools aren't for doing laps, but they aren't small either. They are just shallow and winding. I thought they were an ok temperature, but everyone else seems to think they are too cool. I think it's nice and refreshing when it's 100 degrees out, but that's just me. The creative designing of the pools makes them a real centerpiece. They have small bridges over them, at various points that add to the design. They also have a great indoor pool with hot tubs. It was very nice after a day in the hot sun to go inside and float around and just unwind. This was one of my favorite spots. The pool has giant columns and a stained glass ceiling. It's very impressive.

They have a wonderful spa on the north side. The spa is very relaxing and has dimmer lights, than the rest of the areas. It has nice aromas. If you do a massage, you will get some time at the spa pool, steam showers and sauna. Then you relax in a waiting area with a hot neck wrap and cool drinks before a nice massage. This was my first trip to a spa, so I can't really say how it compares to anything, but it was awesome.

There is a lot of entertainment offered. They have a show every evening (fire show, Vegas show, casino night, etc.) They also do a lot of games at the north pool during the day. At night, there is a disco at the south end. Honestly, it was kinda hokey, but a lot of fun. It's what you make of it. They put a lot of effort into it.

ASP is about 1.5 hours from the airport. We were lucky enough to have a shuttle that was only people going to ASP, so it was a direct drive. Honestly, it wasn't too bad. It was interesting to see the stuff along the road anyway. The grounds at ASP are full of lots of animals. We saw a ton of iguanas and at night, cats. I guess they rescue cats and allow them free range. You see them more at night. Recently, the south end became a 'separate' resort that now allows children (Aventura Cove Palace.) I had booked ASP because of the idea of adults only and was upset that they changed it before our trip. ASP (north visitors) can visit the south side, but south cannot visit the north. So we still had access to the full resort. When we were on the south side, we saw about 2 kids the entire trip. We ate over there 5 times. In fact, the south side actually seemed calmer. I wouldn't, for an instant, worry about the split. I heard a lot of complaints about the timeshare presentation. What is anyone talking about? No one even offered us the opportunity to do this! Not a single mention, the entire time. And if you don't want to do it? Just say 'no.' Goodness, much ado about nothing! I am sure we could have done it, if we had scheduled it with someone, but we never made the effort and on one ever once asked us. There were three conferences there while we were there. We never once felt like the place was too crowded or overrun. The place is huge, there's room for everyone. We had to wait about an hour or less one night for dinner. That was it, and I don't even know if it was because of the conferences.

All-in-all this was an awesome trip. I'd recommend this place to anyone looking to have a nice relaxing time. The grounds are just too truly beautiful to even attempt to describe. It's huge and gorgeous. I would go again in a second. I honestly don't know how you could go here and complain. Everyone we ran into seemed to be having a great time, or better. From the great food selections (and there are a lot) to the lovely rooms and great views, it was breathtaking from start to finish. I wish I were back again already. I honestly felt like it was a great value, when you consider how much you get with it. Maybe even more than I paid for. Aventura Spa Palace is simply magnificent.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Matt R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 1, 2009

We had a quick check-in. The bellboys took our luggage except for my laptop and carry on bag which was great. Carlos greeted us at the front desk and we also received a couple glasses of champagne. Our personal concierge, Guillermo, took us from there to a desk. He explained all about the resort, the restaurants, where our room was located. He asked us if we wanted to attend the membership presentation and we agreed on a day. He asked us when we wanted to do it, he didnt pressure us. He also mentioned to us to contact him about anything we needed, including any tours we wanted to go on.

Then we were whisked off to our room.

We had a concierge level room and for me it was worth it simply because of the view from the room. We could lie in bed and see the Caribbean. From the location of other buildings, there's no way you could see the water. This was our honeymoon, so I wanted a nice view. If you dont care about the view, then no reason to book concierge in my opinion. The concierge area around the lagoon was nothing special, I thought. The other areas of the lagoons were better looking. The waiter service was pretty good though. Still, if you dont care much about the view of the room, no reason to upgrade.

I read many reviews saying the rooms are small. I have no clue why. The rooms were nice size. Yeah, the jacuzzi took up some space, but hello you have a jacuzzi in your room. how many rooms can say that, say - in myrtle beach for example?

I wanted to break down the different areas for review:

Staff (except the spa staff) - A+++++++++ These people are awesome. While a couple times at dinner we had to wait awhile on things, the service was amazing. We felt like a king and queen there. Everyone had a smile on their face and they were willing to go the extra mile.

Room - already mentioned a little but the room was very clean, very pretty. The sink and bathroom area were adequate size but nothing outstanding. The shower I thought was very nice - roomy and a clear glass wall.

Pools - Amazing to look at and get in. They had some nice contests and music and activities going on. The only negative was people did reserve chairs, despite management's statements 'in writing' that they would remove towels from chairs so people cannot reserve. Never happened. It was pretty darn irritating to walk out there at 9 am and see literally no one at the pool, but 80% of the chairs reserved just with a towel on them. It sounds far-fetched but its absolutely true.

Nightlife - as many people have noted, this is where the resort lacks a bit. Some people have dissed the disco bar, but I thought it was a pretty cool place and I would have went there more, but my wife likes her beauty sleep and wanted to hang more in the room. Dont be fooled by the name - they dont just play disco music. They play any kind of music you can think of. They also have special nights. We went there on 'latin' night, and they gave about 30 mins of lessons on a couple dances, then went back to playing any kind of music as normal. We participated and had a great time, even though I normally don't dance. However, that is really the only place to go. There are lobby bars, which dont seat that many people. It can be fun though, if there's a rowdy crowd. Still, for paying that much money there should be more nightlife at the resort. But, you can pay around 30 bucks roundtrip taxi to playa del carmen if you want more nightlife.

Restaurants - I thought the food was pretty darn good. I was a little nervous about this based off people's reviews. I am picky about the type of food I eat (but I do not expect 5 star quality), I just mean the type of food to pick from, to order. Every restaurant had something that I could eat and trust me if it worked for me, it can work for you. We liked Ventanas (pizza and pasta - but also had steak and other items), Mundaca, and we loved the food at the Italian restaurant (i had lasagna). I liked the Mundaca for breakfast. We also liked Greco for the lunch buffett. I was impressed with the food, especially considering quite a few people on here rip the food. I guess they are all gourmet chefs. The pool bar grills we thought were excellent. They had all the chips and salsa/queso/guacamole you could ever want.

Room Service - up and down. The first couple days we had breakfast brought to our room. They give you a half hour window so you select which half hour you want it. The first 2 days it came at the early part, right on the nose. Later in the week we ordered and it came 30 mins after the half hour had expired. I am guessing they were overloaded. So, my recommendation is dont depend on it and just get up earlier and go to a breakfast buffett as they are great. The desserts from room service are just awful, so dont bother. The ones in the restaurants are fine, though. We had dinner once I think wtih room service, just something like cheeseburgers or whatever and it was good.

Member presentation - this was a long day. I wouldnt say they are pushy, as you can just walk out of there and they cant do anything. But, if you want to become a member, you really have to wait it out and they will offer you a ton of stuff. But, first they dont offer much and if you are a sucker they will take you. So, my advice there is if you are interested in becoming a member, have some guts and stick it out. Never agree to their first or second offer.

Spa - My wife had a few spa treatments. She said they were all fantastic. to make a reservation though, is a pain in the neck. You have to go to a different office to make a reservation, then you have to go to a reception area where the spa is located. But in the reservation area, you have to talk to a couple people, then go sit down with someone and go over it again. It should be able to be done much simpler, such as over the phone or even online. The system is archaic. They won't let you really trade services (we had a couple back massages since we had concierge, but I could not trade mine in to use the hydrotherapy room).

Plus here is where I had the only issue of the trip. I didnt want any spa treatments. But, I did want to use the hydrotherapy (sauna,steam room, etc). So, we had obtained some spa credit so I scheduled to use the hydrotherapy on a couple certain days. I walk up to the desk, and he gives me a receipt to go in. I go thru the door (first time in there other than the 'tour') and I see what looks to be a check-in area. The first guy comes up to me and I hand him the receipt. He asked me if I had been drinking because for safety reasons you cannot go in the sauna/steam room. I told him no (and I had not, I was honest). He kind of looked at me with a smirk and handed me off to someone else. The next guy also asked if I had any drinks. I said no. Then he went back in the office and a couple minutes later I had about 6 people all staring me down, and 2 more asked if I had anything to drink and I said no (obviously getting irritated at this point but never at any time did I raise my voice to anyone). Then one of the guys tells me I should come back in a couple hours. I said 'why' and he mentioned drinking. At this point I was adament that I had nothing to drink and I picked up my receipt and walked out the door. At this point he came running after me saying 'sir, sir, sir' like they just hadnt made me sit there for 15 minutes hassling me. I talked to our personal concierge and explained the situation, and told him my wife could back me up on where I had been the whole day and could confirm I had nothing to drink. He believed me and said he would escort me up there if I wanted to go. But, at that point I didnt want to see anyone up there as they had all treated me like a child basically. I said the only thing I wanted was for him to cancel my appointments as I did not want to go. In the end, the concierge did nothing but have a bottle of wine sent to the room. He didnt cancel the appointments. To me, not believing was a slap to my face and I was not rude to any of those people and I felt they were very rude to me. I understand that I'm a younger guy, at the pool at all inclusive so they had reason to think I maybe had done it, but If I say I hadnt 5 times and if I dont smell of alcohol (no way I could have since I hadnt had anything to drink) then what gives?

In the end I was a bit ticked that they didnt believe me and the only thing I asked to be done, wasn't taken care of which should have been the minimum done. However, it was simply a misunderstanding and I didnt let it ruin anything. But, it was obviously a nuisance at the time.

Overall, I had a very pleasant experience and would recommend the resort to anyone. After seeing the member prices, and knowing what we paid for it, you should try to book thru a member as its outrageous the difference. If you want to take a few trips, its worth becoming a member or at least take the time to find a member and book thru them.

They have desks for honeymooners and guest services and tours. They all provided solid advice and were happy to help.

As far as the Cove palace, it looks like they are still working out the kinks. The kids play area was worked on the whole time, and it looked like the South pools were being worked on the last few days, and only were half filled to the normal level water and areas were roped off. I was amazed that the South area was actually less crowded. I think, though, that people were so scared of it not being adults only that there were less people on the South and it was actually the better area to go to. I only saw 2 or 3 kids the entire time I was over there, over a few days span. If I had a family, I would not take them there just yet. Let them work out the issues.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank ohioguy0301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2009

We would highly recommend this resort!!! The resort is absolutely breathtaking and the staff/service is unbelievable, very nice people, always making sure you are taken care of and having a good time. We went for our tenth anniversary of being together/ vacation/ cousin's/best friend's wedding and the wedding/reception in itself was spectacular!! The wedding reception was right on the beach- the service was great, DJ, dancing in the moonlight!! We felt like the rich and famous at the Adventura Spa Palace Resort, it was more than we ever thought it would be. The only thing we were wishing is there was more of night life there, the disco was good because there was 25 of us, so we made our own fun of it. But nightlife can improve. We did not want to go into town as we had all inclusive and preferred not to spend money we didn't need to...

Overall we cried when we were leaving, we did not want to go home to the cold windy city, but we are already looking forward to coming back next year for another 8 day adventure!!

  • Stayed: April 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank alyssasmom5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2009

We were actually rebooked at this hotel by Bookit.com (they were completely fantastic too) and it was a blessing in disguise.

ACCOMODATIONS: We had a regular king room on the North side in the Saxophone building on the second floor, room 2649. It looked exactly like the pictures, the view was just as good as the surrounding buildings. A little ocean, some palm trees, the pools. It was just a hop to the El Greco restaurant and they had a great breakfast buffet.

SERVICE: From the moment we stepped out of the van the people who worked there were great. We had a very long and eventful trip with connecting flight craziness. We arrived at 6:30 pm, it was quiet and you could tell the woman who checked us in (Brenda) had a long day. Even so, she searched for the room I requested in the building that I requested which didn't look like it was easy to do. Everyone who worked there gave us the same level of service. We even did the time share presentation which lasted exactly 90 minutes as promise and mostly consisted of eating breaking with the sales person and a walk through of the presidential suite. They gave us $250 worth of spa services and it was well worth it. We had to leave a note for the house keeping staff one day asking to refill the fridge but it was taken care of when we returned and that was the worst thing that happened.

FOOD: It's what we expected from an all inclusive and a bit better. Great breakfast buffets (we didn't have a breakfast that was not a buffet while we were there) and dinner was ok in some places and great at the steak restaurant but to be honest we mostly snacked and used room service. The steak restarant had an hour wait because it was located near a fire show and everyone seemed to have the same idea of eating before the show. Regardless, the service was fast, courteous and we got our delicious food right away.

ENTERTAINMENT: Also what you made of it. Yoga was great, poolside activities were better with some of the entertainment crew than others but for the most part very good, aqua arobics was great and the classes at the gym were also great. We saw one God of Fire show and it was good not great. Didn't go to the disco but heard it was what you made of it and it looked fairly nice. The entertainment staff was fun and they always encouraged participation. People our age didn't seem to be into it (40 something) so we did these things with younger people and that was fine by us.

SPA SERVICE: This is one of my favorite things to do in the states. There is a Russian spa where I live where there give an amazing Bania massage and you walk away feeling like a queen. My husband and I had the 80 minute hot rock massage and between Ferila's massage talents and the attentive staff in the water room we would certainly say that it's one of the all time best experiences. We were spoiled. It's expensive and well worth it.

GUESTS: We stayed at the Whyndam Maya last year for super cheap because a friend owns a time share there and got what we paid for but he guests there were from all over the world and we made lots of friends from different international places as well as from the US. My husband and I really enjoyed that. The Aventura Spa had mostly american guests (we are American) from the United States' east coast (I was born and raised in NY) and I have to say that I was not feeling so proud of all of them. We hoped for the more diverse crowd and some we wished had better manners but it didn't stop us from having fun. So if you sensative to this sort of thing you may not love this resort.

THE BUGS: Yes there are some as with any tropical place. There were even some in our room near the bathroom sink but very few and not there all of the time. I have been to Mexico and stayed in an open air condo where it's necessary to spray for bugs twice a day. That's a chellenge. Not a few microscopic critters checking out my hair care products. I didn't even call anyone about it.

We were the lowest plastic wrist band on at the resort (yellow) and we were treated great by everyone. We tipped because people in these jobs are not usually paid well but I got the sense that we would receive good service regardless. We were courteous because were decent people and we scoped out the most ambitious pool servers who were willing to keep coming back because we tipped so we were treated like kings poolside. I would recommend this place to anyone and just because we are casual people doesn't mean we are not discriminating. We have been to places where we were not completely satistified and we're not ashamed to complain when we don't get what we pay for. I did a ton of research before selecting this resort and I knew what to do to get what we wanted. Speaking Spanish and being sensative the culture differences doesn't hurt either but absolutely everyone there spoke fluent English and seemed to treat everyone with equal respect.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank brooklyngirl0611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2009

We have been here several times! Never dissapointed. Great service and great food. Beautiful views! We will definitely go back!

Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
1  Thank stellarose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2009

The resort was great but unfortunaley a small lagoon in place of an actual beach just didnt cut it for us. We would pay $18 US about 4 times a day to go into the town of Playa del Carmen to use the beach clubs or the nightlife since it was worth it to us. The food was always pretty tasty but the service was a bit inconsistent.

We love Playa Del Carmen area so will definitley return but the next time, I think we would like to try one of the boutique hotels on the strip rather than the all inclusive resorts.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled on business
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2  Thank ladolcissima
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2009

OK, I wasn’t going to write a review this time since my husband and I and another couple were there just BEFORE the split (March 4-11), but then I read reviews panning the resort and wonder what kind of fabulous over-the-top lifestyles those grumpy folks must have back home.

Regarding complaints about the rooms being too small: I don’t know what kind of hotels those folks usually stay in, but Palace rooms – any of the Palace rooms – are the largest I’ve ever stayed in. Been to Europe a couple of times and stayed in ridiculously expensive rooms smaller than my closet at home. Stayed in Washington DC last spring in a $585 room (that someone else was paying for!) and one of us LITERALLY had to sit on the bed for the other to pass by, and it had a view of a solid brick wall. So to me, the rooms are quite spacious. The Jacuzzi does take up quite a bit of room and I have no use for it. However, my husband thinks it’s great, so there you go. Personal preference.

To the Napa Valley resident complaining about the wine: We’ve had some great wine at Palace resorts, especially the wines from Argentina. The WORST most undrinkable wines we’ve ever had were on a wine tasting tour in the NAPA VALLEY! So again, personal preference.

To those complaining about the monotony of the breakfast buffet: It’s HUGE with MASSIVE amounts and types of food to choose from. Breakfast at a Palace is my favorite, and for seven days I ate like a pig and never had the same breakfast twice. I was complaining that I ran out of days before I got to try everything. Lunch at the El Greco buffet was also wonderful with tons of variations to try.

There was construction going on while we were there. The iron railings on all the room building walkways were being replaced with glass and chrome (I should buy stock in Windex because they’re going to need a ton of it!). It was annoying and messy, but you can’t close the whole place down just to do renovations here and there. They were also renovating the Cove side lobby while we were there. Mysterious new things would appear overnight, sometimes looking strangely out of place until you realized that the job was not complete.

To those complaining about there being no beach: Can you not read? If you want waves, go somewhere else. And the beach at the lagoon is quite wide and nice.

My husband and I are Palace members, and we are quite UNhappy about the split into ASP and ACP. However, we usually travel in the spring and fall while school is in session, so we don’t run across too many children anyhow. It’s all about the bottom line, and the resort was not filling up as an Adults-Only. You can’t keep the place running in top form if there are no guests to pay the bills.

We ate in every restaurant and some meals were better than others, but there was nothing inedible. If you end up with something you don’t like, order something else. This is not a problem. This was our seventh trip to a Palace resort, and we have never been even the slightest bit sick from anything we ate or drank. My only problem is I eat enough of that fabulous guacamole and pico de gallo to bust a gut. Don’t like guac? Me neither, until I had Palace guac. They even have lessons at the pool to teach you how to make it.

To the folks who say that the pool entertainment is lame: That huge crowd of folks on the Entertainment Staff had us in stitches all day long. I’ve never seen folks with such energy and enthusiasm, from early morning until late at night. I think they must work 16-hour days – and are always smiling and happy.

There were a couple things we noticed this time that caught our attention. No made in-house chocolate candies on the pillow with turn-down service. There is still chocolate, just not the heart-shaped chocolates that they made in the Moon Palace kitchen. And there is no longer a tiny bottle of Silk Therapy on the bathroom sink. Miss that as the smell was so wonderful, but the large bottle of lotion is still there. United Airlines saved thousands by deleting an olive from their salad (gee, remember when airlines used to feed you?), so I guess deleting that bottle of Silk Therapy was probably a huge money-saver also.

We attended the sales pitch with the couple who went with us to get the spa money - $400 a couple. Pays for the $399 Couples Massage – good deal. The other couple went in with their wallets tightly closed and came out owning 30 Palace weeks. The price, the golf deals and other freebies made it a good deal for them, and they can’t wait to go back.

Can't understand why some folks say it took them two hours from the airport. We were there in one hour - airport to front door.

We had a blast. Can't wait to go back. Wish we could go four times a year instead of once or twice. No complaints. Would be happy to answer any questions.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank OhioGoneSouth
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: Calle Carretera Federal 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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range: $316 - $743 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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