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“Fantastic Palace resort - great for a family vacation!”

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Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Fantastic Palace resort - great for a family vacation!”
Reviewed 17 October 2011

My family of four stayed at the Aventura Cove Palace for 5 nights 10/5-10/10. OK, let's get out of the way that they have no beach. I'm not sure why people are surprised by this, when all the reviews you read for the property state this! That is actually one of the reasons we booked this resort - the private, enclosed lagoon they have felt very safe for my 9 and 7 year old kids to snorkel and swim in. If you want a white, sandy beach, look elsewhere. If you want a beautiful, clean resort with lots of amenities and safe, calm water for your family to enjoy...this is the place for you.

ACP is a good-size resort, but not huge like the Moon Palace. All the rooms (to us) were within reasonable walking distance to the lobby, restaurants, spa, pool, and lagoons. The resort is surrounded by jungle, and inhabited by a troop of spider monkeys (they have walking "monkey tours" around the resort on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays).

The service was fantastic throughout the resort - we were made to feel very welcome, including our children. From the front desk to the servers in the restaurants, to service staff all over, we really felt attended to. Every employee we passed greeted us.

Yes, they do ask if you want to attend a presentation - I'm sure depending on who is assigned to you to explain the resort procedures and resort credit you are asked differently, but we just told him we weren't interested and he didn't push too hard. We were never made to feel uncomfortable about it.

The room was a decent size, as others have said the jacuzzi takes up a lot of room but we still had plenty for 2 adults and 2 kids. We didn't spring for the family suite as it was almost twice the price of our room. The balcony with hammock was a nice feature, and allowed the kids to go somewhere and read/play their DS while they were waiting for us to wake up in the morning. The room had plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for us to enjoy, including bottles of wine, bottled water, soda, and liquor. Leaving a $2 tip daily for housekeeping got us some towel art. The room was very clean, and a couple of times housekeeping offered us extra towels when they came by. Yes, the beds are harder than most people are used to in the States - ask for a couple of extra pillows if this bothers you. The shower in the bathroom was very big, and had a sitting area. Water pressure and temperature were good.

We got a $1500 resort credit with our 5 night stay and weren't even able to spend it all. We went swimming with dolphins (even though the website says it is at Wet n Wild, at ACP you go to Dolphinaris which is practically across the street). It was a $8 taxi ride each way - we could have walked but we would have had to cross a very busy highway and we didn't want to with our kids. We also used our resort credit for a tour of Tulum, I got my hair colored and cut at the beauty salon, I got a hot stone massage and my husband got a back massage at the spa, my daughter got her hair braided at the kids' salon, and I got a deluxe pedicure. After all that we still had $200+ credit left we didn't use.

TIP: BOOK ALL THE SPA TREATMENTS YOU WANT AS SOON AS YOU CHECK IN, OR THE TIME SLOTS YOU WANT WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE. Same for the tours - some are more popular than others, but better safe than sorry. The resort credit is a great deal, though.

We were there during low season, so I would estimate that the hotel was only at around 10-15% occupancy. Because of this, on the family side, for breakfast and lunch we only had one option (buffet) or we could eat snack food at the pool bar. A few times we dropped the kids off at the kids' club and ate on the Spa side. I have to say that the food was similar at all the buffet restaurants, didn't matter which you ate. We have been to several all-inclusives and have always found it to be that way. There was always plenty to find that we liked, and the food was generally good. At any of the buffets, you could have them grill you fresh stuff like chicken breasts and shrimp if you asked for it. We only ate at one of the a la carte restaurants - Momonohana (the Asian restaurant), and most of what we got was very good. I have had better sushi, theirs was very basic, but everything else was delicious.

The Kids' Club - was fabulous. We had never dropped our kids off at one before but felt very comfortable doing so here. Joaquin and Amanda made the kids feel very welcome and paid them a lot of attention. The kids opted several nights to eat there instead of with us - they enjoyed getting to play video games, watch movies, and make crafts while they were having dinner.

Both excursions we took other than the Dolphin Swim and Tulum, I highly recommend.

One day we took a trip to Moon Palace in Cancun because we wanted to participate in the baby sea turtle release. That was absolutely amazing. We walked to the end of the beach where they have a fence around the turtle eggs, and the biologists happened to be there collecting the baby turtles that had hatched. One of them walked up to the fence and handed us two baby sea turtles! We also participated in helping the sea turtles get to the ocean that evening.

The other excursion we took was to Punta Venado ecopark to go horseback riding and snorkeling. The horseback riding was very relaxing and beautiful (and exciting for my 7 year old who had never been on a horse!), and our guide took us through the outskirts of the jungle and along the beach. He also took pictures of our family on horseback. After the horseback riding, we rode ATVs to the beach where we went snorkeling. With a friendly sea turtle! The only thing I regret about that trip was not spending all day there.

We would definitely return to this resort, and would recommend it.

Tips:
-Going during low season was great - lot of personal attention and felt like we had a lot of the resort to ourselves!
-When arriving at the Cancun airport, avoid the people in light blue shirts. They will try to talk you into attending a timeshare presentation at one of the resorts.
-As mentioned, book all spa treatments and tours you want to use your resort credit for as soon as you have checked in.
-Things you can use your resort credit for (at the time we were there): Spa treatments, beauty salon, kids' beauty salon, $300 credit at Matis jewelry shop, room upgrade (don't waste your money here, all rooms are same size - you only upgrade for a better view), lobster/wine dinner for two, upgraded wine list, swimming with dolphins, Tulum Tour, Chitzen-Itza tour, Zip-lining tour, Isla Mujeres trip, Wet n Wild water park, Coba tour
-Buy vanilla extract at the gift shop. Mexican vanilla is SO much better and SO much cheaper than vanilla you can buy in the States.
-Visit Punta Venado and Xel-Ha if you have the opportunity.
-Use your Palace privileges and visit one of the other Palace resorts for a change of scenery. The Playacar Palace is only around 15 minutes away and has a pretty beach. The Moon Palace does sea turtle releases from May to the first week of October (I think).
-If you have kids, drop them at the Kids' Club for dinner and a movie one night and go to the Spa Side for a "grown up dinner".
-Bring a stack of $1 bills for tipping. I suggest $2 per day for housekeeping, $1-$3 per meal in the restaurants, and $1 for when someone brings you a drink by the pool or lagoon. I also tipped the masseuse, hairstylists and on the last day I tipped the person at the Kids Club who had lavished attention on my kids. Gratuity is not mandatory, but it certainly is appreciated by these folks who don't make much money. I'm writing this here because I'm never sure how much or if to tip and would have appreciated someone telling me :). No one ever acted like they expected a tip other than I did feel that way at the spa after my massage.
-Don't schedule out your entire trip! This resort is great for relaxing, with lots of options for doing so.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
29 Thank AmyNora1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 26 February 2017
Dear AmyNora1,

It´s been such a pleasure having you with us, we hope to see you soon to share more Rock memories.

Best regards!

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
54 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2011

This hotel is a great property. The hotel staff was also great and very accommodating. The kids club and staff was fantastic. I love the palace resorts. This being said I would not stay here again. There is a limited amount of restaurants unlike most palaces. Also there is no sand on the "beach". The beach is made up of pebbles, and this is not what I envision when I travel to the caribbean. The Playa Palace has great sandy beaches as does the beach palace, both I would rather stay at instead of the Cove Palace. I have stayed at the Spa Palace next door to the Cove years ago and they used to have great white sandy beaches. However when the hurricane hit some years ago they did not reinvest in the beaches.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank jason f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 26 February 2017
Dear jason f,

It´s been such a pleasure having you with us, we hope to see you soon to share more Rock memories.

Best regards!

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 October 2011

I have not yet visited tihs property, but do have a trip planned at the end of the month for 9 nights. I do not wish to discourage anyone from visiting this property, but in hopes to get in touch with management, I felt I needed to write a review with poor ratings. I also hope to warn future travelers of Palace resorts regarding their current management/bookings setup.

My husband, son and I had originally booked this trip with Palace resorts through their website for the XPU HA palace. I was never informed that their sister property was being sold to another resort company. I found this out on my own by visiting their website.

Upset, but not devistated by the thought that I would have to alter my travel plans, I began my calls. I have made a total of 23 phone calls to various numbers, along with 5 emails listed as urgent to Palace resorts customer service.. I have been on the phone for literally hours upon hours on hold in an attempt to rectify this situation. Today, finally, after a 6th call to an outside call center handling reservations, I was able to verify that my hotel room had officially been transferred to Adventura Cove.

In a poor economy, nevermind, ANY ecomony, this experience has simply been unacceptable. I would think that given Palace resorts status as a large corporation dealing with competion in a saturated vacation market, they would take every measure possible to ensure that their current bookings are taken care of. If I had the time and the energy, trust me, I would have quickly pulled my reservation. My family is very understanding and easy to deal with... we do not complain, especially about something as wonderful as a rare opportunity to get away (after saving diligently for such a trip). We understand that hotels close and corporations go through restructuring, but to not be informed of this and have to deal with this discovery on my own, is UNACCEPTABLE. A phone call, email, etc. from Palace resorts would have been all it would have taken to avoid this... this sadly, was never received.

Due to the proximity to our departure date, we are going to hesitantly maintain our current booking (that after 3, yes, 3 weeks of calls and emails have managed to change and confirm). I truly hope that our trip makes up for this terrible experience. I will be back at the beginning of November with a final review which I hope makes up for this.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sarahanny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 26 February 2017
Dear .

Thank you very much for visiting us and sharing your comments.

Rock On

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2011

My wife and I have vacationed in Mexico each September for the past several years, and as a result, have some experience with the all-inclusive resorts. We prefer this time of year simply because it IS the low season and we don't have to stand in long lines to get a drink, eat a meal, or go to the spa - we can schedule our activities so that it fits our desires - not just take what we can get. In this particular case, the Aventura Palace has earned it's name.

To begin with, this quite large and very beautiful resort, is actually composed of two resorts - the Aventura Spa (couples only) and the Aventura Cove which allows children. For couples staying at the Cove, it is just a longer walk to visit the spa, restaurants and entertainment on the couples side. That being said, the resort supplies golf cart transportation from lobby to lobby.

The resort property is beautiful and very well maintained. The rooms are very well maintained, impeccably clean and very well appointed. The housekeeping and turn-down service at night is - exceptional.

The spa facilities and services were excellent and my wife spent as much of the incentive money there as she could - she absolutely loved it!. While my wife was enjoying a leisurely morning in the spa, I was usually out diving, but about day 4, I turned my sore muscles over to them and the experience was wonderful. I'm personally not much of a spa person, but this place was impressive.

The food is very good and the variety is excellent. I don't go to Mexican resorts to eat hamburgers, chicken wings, pizza or other Americanized foods - I want to try new things, and the international buffets are actually my favorites. The specialty restaurants are really good as well, offering a large variety of ethnic tastes. On this visit, we had dinner at the Momonohana restaurant in the Aventura Spa section - absolutely the best meal I have tasted in years - amazing.

The nightly entertainment was excellent - we went to the shows on the Cove side. Excellent, quality entertainment - an amazing magic show one night, singing another and a Circus type performance that was super. Afterward, there was a nightclub for karoke or disco for those who wanted to party the night away.

The resort location has it's plus and minus sides - it relatively isolated. This makes for a relatively quiet, relaxing atmosphere that can be punctuated with the on-property venues - but you won't find a disco at every corner, or dancing on the bar every night. The resort is located relatively close to other major attractions - Xcaret, Xplor, Xel Ha and many of the Mayan attractions like Tulum, decreasing the travel time to get to places that everyone will want to go to. We were never at a loss for something to do. But, if your tastes are more into the clubbing scene, shopping, movies - all those things you do at home - Cancun would be a much better place for you.

Room Tip: The standard Palace jacuzzi rooms are great - if you get a room #3000 and above, you'll be close...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank pacman07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 26 February 2017
Dear pacman07.

Thank you very much for visiting us and sharing your comments, we sincerely hope to see you soon here and being able to pamper you like a true Rockstar!

Rock On

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerset
Level Contributor
119 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2011

Putting it simply, we can't wait to go back. Nothing was too much trouble, the staff were helpful and friendly and the rooms were superb - clean and comfortable. The food was excellent and the location was lovely and quiet. Can't speak highly enough about the place!

Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Henwife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 26 February 2017
Dear Henwife.

Thank you very much for visiting us and sharing your comments, we sincerely hope to see you soon here and being able to pamper you like a true Rockstar!

Rock On

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 September 2011

I attended our industry conference at the Aventura Spa this past week and felt compelled to give a good review. The resort complex is huge, and very well kept. The rooms were well appointed and well stocked. Food and drink was everywhere you turned and the staff who were all so warm and friendly must have outnumbered us 3:1. The conference facilities were also very impressive.

I would give this resort another point rating but it does suffer a bit from its size. There are over 1200 rooms in the complex and occupancy was about 30% while we were there. It probably would have been closer to 20% if our group wasn't staying there. Apparently, during the high season it does get closer to 80%. I would imagine that the resort would really start to come to life then.

I would suggest that if your preference is for a peaceful, restful, vacation, with outstanding personal attention from staff, and instantly available hotel spa services...then this is the place for you! If however, you prefer a more lively vacation with crazy pool antics / late night discos and playing about in beach side waves...maybe look to a different resort, or at least book your vacation in the high season. In short - you can't socialize if there is no one to socialize with.

A shout out to our night time bar staff pals Israel and Ulysses (great guys). They kept our nights fun. To the Hotel GM...give these boys a raise, or do the humane thing and release them back into the jungle wild!

Room Tip: There are so many rooms that I would imagine that you could pick any room you want and you would lik...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Keith M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 26 February 2017
Dear Keith M.

Thank you very much for visiting us and sharing your comments, we sincerely hope to see you soon here and being able to pamper you like a true Rockstar!

Rock On

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston, Jamaica
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2011

I am jamaican, here for 4 days on a conference. Whilst this is very similar in setting to many hotels in jamaica my homeland the staff's courtesy and attention to detail is amazing! I am so impressed with the people, especially isreal cervantes manager and his servers menalio and miguel. They made me feel so at home. From the spa staff to the bell hops, you will be extremely well taken care of.....highly recommend aventura spa palace, the only hotel for me in mexico!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dominicazan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 26 February 2017
Dear Dominicazan.

Thank you very much for visiting us and sharing your comments, we sincerely hope to see you soon here and being able to pamper you like a true Rockstar!

Rock On

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Property: Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Address: Km 72, Carretera Cancun-Chetumal | Solidaridad, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico (Formerly Aventura Cove Palace)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya 4.5*
Number of rooms: 1264
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is the 1,264-room Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. And this is where luxury meets satisfaction on a stage of stunning tropical views, a private white sand beach, and exclusive saltwater snorkeling areas. It's all capped off with an inviting traditional design, legendary Hard Rock hospitality, and undeniable excess at every turn. Live large at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya and enjoy the very best of paradise for all. Or, pack your appetite for opulence and hit Heaven - an elevated and exclusive retreat for adult guests only featuring a private adult beach, superlative amenities, and dining at its finest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aventura Cove Palace Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya Mexico - Puerto Aventuras

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