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“Aventura in the off season”

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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
Reviewed November 9, 2009

Just Returned from the Aventura Spa Palace on 7 NOV 2009. This is our second time at the Aventura Spa Palace in 18 months. Since our stay in FEB of 2007 the Aventura has split into two sides - the Aventura Spa (North Side - Adults Only) and the Aventura Cove (South side - family oriented) in order to "update the options". The Adventura has about 1200 rooms so the split was not all that noticiable.
Now we expected the best from the Adventura Spa which we received. Hence teh reason for the return. Now I don't know if our expectations were not as high this year or we were just used to the "vibe" but there were small "attention to detail things that could have been avoided. One in particular was the public facilities. While the facilities were always clean there seemed to be a lack of paper towels a number of times (too easy to stay on top of) when there were terry hand towels (upscale detail that I particularly like) there lacked a place to put them - again - a simple oversight but one that is easily corrected. Over the first three days they forgot to refill the mini fridge - not an issue when I told them as they brought me a fresh cold 8 pack of beer when I asked... so I am at odds on how to review this as it was not signficant but simple oversights which I attribute to being "low season" with reduced staff - (How they keep the grounds and facilities up to date with only 40% occupancy kept me thinking the entire week)
The seperation of North and South was manageable but a pain in the butt. They have installed three Frosted Storm Doors that preclude easy travel to the South Side for shows or dinner - I am sure it is a safety precaution for the Family side. This means that you are channeled all the way to the one access point near the ocean to access the South Side.
OK now the good parts - The shows were pretty darn good - I expected "cheesy" resort shows but the four that we attended were pretty entertaining. I am not talking Vegas here but the Micheal Jackson tribute was well rehearsed with back up dancers. lights and video, the magic show was also very good, as was the circus and the Firre and Drums show outside. Admittedly the "auditorium" needs to be updated but all in all enjoyable and at an hour each not a time killer by any means - and they even brught the bar with them. Bakery goods - now we call Gabe the Cookie Man - he loved his after dinner cookies - yes they were that good - Steaks were better than 18 months ago - We particularly enjoyed the Asian Dinner but we are not big sushi eaters so we are not a great judge of "great Asian" take that for what it is worth - of note is the Asian Place at the Placar Palace - much more diverse and I enjoyed it more - (we did dinner at the Playcar when we day tripped to Playa Del Carmen - better value (free) vs the Blue Lobster (which is great too - but $200-300 dollars for dinner for four). We did have problems with Italian but that was due to time constraints and a waiter that we not well versed in English (which is rare at the resort).
The workout facilites are great and we did a spinning class as well as a salsa class. For being off season we were pretty relaxed and went with the flow. The staff is courteous and attentive - the spa - while expensive is worthwhile if you ensure you put the hydrotherapy treatment in front of your massage - which makes it a 2-2.5 treatment vice one hour. We enjoyed our stay and would reccomend. If you want a point of comparrison many of the couples we spoke to were doing a week at the Aventura and then a week at the El Dorado.
Of significant note - THERE IS NO BEACH ONLY A LAGOON - which I thought would be a killer for me but I really wasn't.
I hope this is helpful and I hope you enjoy your trip.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,162 - 3,168 of 6,770 reviews

Reviewed November 7, 2009

I visited the Aventura Spa/Cove Palace October 25 through November 2, 2009. My family and I have visited this hotel a combined 10 times. The resort looks great. Remodeled lobbies, new paint (a bit bright for my taste, but pretty never-the-less), new xeri-scaping (zero scaping) and the new concierge level are just a few of the upgrades. The beef is better than it has ever been with the hotel buying USDA Prime. The desserts and breads have never been better.
The biggest problem we had was the lack of follow-up on requests. It was my sister's birthday and I (and separately, her daughter) requested a cake be sent to the room ON her actual birthday. It was not sent until an inquiry was made the following day. Also, the staff and management allow policies and procedures to manage their decisions rather than they MANAGING the p&p's. This is extremely frustrating. Many requests to speak to the General Manager were re-buffed, because the staff had to go through the chain of command. The problem was there was no resolution at any level, except the when I finally spoke to the GM.
Don't get me wrong, I love this place and will continue staying and recommending it to family and friends. It's kind of like having kids that disappoint you. You are disappointed in their behavior, but you love them regardless.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank austinfetner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2009

My husband & I heard great things about this resort from friends & decided to check it out. We chose the cheapest option & still had an amazing experience. The room was great - had a jacuzzi, wet bar & mini fridge -- all cleaned & stocked daily. The large tv was great for catching up on news before retiring to bed.

Despite the resort now being split in 2 (Cove side has kids, Spa does not), it was not really a big deal to go to the other side, which had great restaurants, night activities & a great pool. We did the timeshare talk to get a spa certificate & honestly, didn't feel very pressured at all. They knew people were there just to get the spa credit & it was only 1.5 hour.

The service was amazing! Just hanging around the pool, the employees would make certain that your drink was always filled. I really enjoyed being waited on hand & foot. Tours are also part of the package we had, so we were able to travel to Coba to climb the ruins.

Would definitely recommend this resort to anyone looking for a relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank HellzKitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2009

After booking a friend had relayed he had been to this Hotel and stated it was like "Disneyland for adults" He was right! There was not one dull moment! The staff was very engaging and up beat! The humongous pool bar was a touchstone for meeting new people! Steaks were grilled poolside round the clock! I don't even know where to begin with the rooms ...large jacuzzi's, personal bars and the ever accommodating staff! 50 words can never adequately describe this slice of five star heaven! They lived up to every star!

Stayed: January 2006, traveled with friends
4  Thank Irishlass129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2009

We have stayed at Palace hotels in the past, and visited several for meals, and have been thoroughly impressed. So for our 40th anniversary trip I had decided we would try the Aventura Spa Palace. It was advertised as "Adults Only", however they didn't mention that they had just divided the resort into two, and made half of it "family". We had specifically picked this resort because it was "child free". The time of year we went though, and the fact that they'd just changed it didn't overly upset us.
The service was great, especially if you tipped a dollar here or there. No one acted like they expected it, but were very grateful when you did.
The food was really what turned our trip sour. Only one buffet was open for breakfast, and the selection wasn't that great. Some of the specialty restaurants had a few very good things on the menu, but many were way too exotic. Seafood cocktails with way too much octopus in them, etc. No just shrimp coctails or other "normal" foods. Many times we'd find that a restaurant which was supposed to be open was NOT, after we'd walked very far to go to it. A shuttle bus runs from one lobby to the other pretty often, but there is still much walking.
The rooms were very nice, and I did enjoy ordering room service for coffee and juice (fresh squeezed) in the morning. And usually they would even send a nice plate of sliced fruit even though we hadn't ordered it.
The pina coladas were the worst I've ever had. Not sweet at all. I started telling them to add extra mix, but sometimes they didn't understand me. Most other drinks seemed to be ok.
We also listened to the pitch for time shares, though they don't call it that. We got a credit for the spa and had the romantic massage. If you don't mind lying next to your significant other, and getting beat up by a third party, go for it.....it wasn't our thing. We didn't feel relaxed, only sore.
They don't have a beach, only a lagoon, but it can get pretty rough in there also when the waves are large enough.
The pools are great though, and you can usually find a quiet spot to set up.
If you want to really feel pampered, and have great service, try the Sun Palace....it is awesome, and adults only. If you don't mind children, try the Moon palace, food is to die for!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank pennypat00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2009

I stayed at Moon Palace two years ago and would rate 5 stars. This time in Aventura we were very disappointed. Food not as good, service not as good, and they only make excuses when presented with a problem not solutions. We had problems with loud noises during the night, room not cleaned, could not get in room on two occasions because of lock. On two occasions in one of their resturants we received bad service. Other issues involving billing too involved to explain. Did not honor free tour promised on web site. On our last day we had several problems that took time talking with staff and missed the show which we were looking forward to. Oh, the shows are good. I will not go back.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank albertdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2009

We returned from our trip on October 11 after spending a week in bright sunshine. I had read up on all the posts on TripAdvisor and it really helped make our trip smoother. Our trip was booked through RCI. I was traveling with my husband, son and daughter-in-law.

Traveling in October has its pluses. The resort was only at 40% occupancy during our stay but was going to fill up after we left. We had our pick of chairs by the pool. The restaurants were never crowded. It was easy to get a drink. I'll break down our thoughts separately:

Airport: We had our customs forms filled out on the plane but upon entry to the airport we were handed another form to be filled out about a new strain of flu. This form was gathered separately from the customs forms. Customs was relatively painless to get through, just took a little time. Upon existing the airport make sure you walk fast and straight past all the people trying to "help you." Palace resorts uses a company called Traffix which waits outside the airport by the shuttles. They have men in red shirts with khaki pants holding up a Palace Resort sign. There are a lot of shuttle companies waiting outside the airport. We were quickly put into a van with another couple. The trip from the airport took and hour.

Check-in: Upon arriving in the porte cochere they take your luggage and hand you a washcloth. In the lobby while checking in they give you a nice cold alcoholic drink (not sure what it was but if tasted wonderful and a flower for the ladies). We were immediately taken to our rooms.

Room: A bottle of wine was waiting along with some fruit. There were slippers next to the bed and robes in the closet. The bathroom had a larger size shower stall with a sink outside the bathroom with mirrors. The closet held extra hangers and the safe. Rooms are actually bigger than they look on photos. We did have a view of the ocean.

Food: We ordered room service and it arrived very timely. We also got more food then we planned on. We visited each of the 7 restaurants for dinner and some were better than others. It is not that the food is bad, it is made very fancy as opposed to the informal lunch and breakfast buffets. Three of the restaurants require that men wear pants (no shorts) but I noticed men wore pants everynight and never saw anyone dining in shorts at night. During lunch and breakfast anything goes. We enjoyed La Hacienda's homemade guacamole which they make at your table. You can also request they make salsa too. My husband also had Mayan Coffee. If you like coffee, order it just to see the production.

Entertainment: Every night there was a different show on the Cove side. We went to every show. During the day they list an activity schedule for the pool so you can decide what you want to participate in ranging from trivia, exercise to contests.

Facilities: We went to the gym and were always greeted and given a fresh towel and bottles of water. The gym was very clean and they have classes going most of the morning and afternoon.

Excursions: There were 7 included excursions. We chose to see Tulum and go on the zipline. The Tulum trip included a stop at a gift shop (tedious) and then lunch at Xpu-Ha Palace. It was nice to see the other Palace resort for a comparison. It was a lot smaller with a windy pool. Their beach had a lot of coral and rocks. It had only two restaurants which were side-by-side and all the rooms were kind of like treehouses. Their occupancy was 25 people. The zipline adventure was a lot of fun. It took an hour to get there because it is near the airport and then 40 minutes to actually run through the lines. There are also two bridges to cross which were a little challenging. There was also an option to hang upsidedown which we did since the lines were very secure and it was fun. If you get a chance to zipline, do it.

We also scheduled a trip to go 4-wheeling and snorkeling which we paid for through guest services before the trip. Transportation was not included but a shuttle picked us up. It took us to Punta Venado. This facility also had horseback riding. Everyone that did horseback riding was wiped out from the heat (90 degrees, 80% humidity). 4-wheeling was a blast. They rode faster than I thought with a large group of people. Then was stopped at a cave and then a cenote for a quick swim. After that they stopped at a beach which was very deserted. My husband and I were left there since we were the only ones that scheduled snorkeling and then another guide came along and gave us a private snorkle tour of the reef. After that it was on to the beach club for fresh fruit and soft drinks. I would also recommend this trip. It was a lot of fun.

We would definitely go back. I miss being pampered. The bartenders and waiters would come up to your beach chair and get your drink order. The waiters would carry your plate back from the buffet line. It was a very memorable trip.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank shelby101999
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 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range: $388 - $871 (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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