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.
-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.
- 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