We stayed at Aventura Cove Palace Jan 27-Feb 3, 2013. We traveled with our kids, age 3 and 6. We had stayed here once before in 2004 when it was all Aventura Spa Palace and adults only. We had been treated so well before we decided to see how it was changed to a family resort. Once again, we had a fantastic time!
- Check-in was super easy. The bellmen, front desk and concierge all greeted us warmly and made us feel welcome. We were given a ride on a golf cart to our room in the Accordion building (very close to the kids club and Mundaca's).
- Our room was always fully stocked - the fridge was stocked early in the day, our room was cleaned and new shampoo, soap, towels were ready before lunch. At bedtime, turn down service always gave us plenty of chocolate.
- The staff was so friendly! Everyone we met greeted us nicely, and seemed to get a huge kick out of our kids trying to speak to them in Spanish. I really couldn't get over how happy and helpful they all were.
- Service was amazing. Anywhere we were in the resort, there was always someone with a smile asking if we'd like something to drink, and it almost always came quickly!
- The resort was well kept and clean. Everywhere from the lobby area, the rooms, the restaurants, pools, kids club - immaculate. The resort also has WiFi and free calling to Canada from your room!
- Food was great and plentiful! I've got picky eaters, and there were always choices that they would eat. Other reviews made me wary of the food, but it was never a concern. Our kids aren't the greatest at restaurants, so we stuck mainly to the buffets and an a la carte at Mundaca's, as well as the Sweets counter and the pool side bar. No reservations needed for a la cartes. Room service comes quickly!
- Kids club. Staff were so good with all the kids. Even after only meeting them for a few minutes at a time, they remembered their names and made them feel welcome. They were fun, enthusiastic and seemed to love working with kids! Definitely do the Saturday night show - it's a 45 min show with all the characters - Barney, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and Thomas. The daily events are at 4pm, and only about 15 min.
- Kiddie pool. It's only about a foot or so deep, and it's a small structure, but great for my 3 year old. He played in that pool for hours.
- Nightly entertainment - We especially liked the Mexican Fiesta!
- No ugly wrist bands that some resorts make you wear.
- Construction - although we were told there was construction going on for renos to become the Hard Rock, we never heard it, nor noticed any of it.
- It's not a huge resort. Since we had kids with us, we mostly stuck to the Cove side. Everywhere is easily walkable, even for our kids.
The not so good (if I have to be really, really picky):
- It's about an hour from the airport. Felt like a long ride after the flight from Toronto, but I've heard of others having to go further.
- We had forgotten how small the rooms are. For a couple on a honeymoon, it was fine. Now that we have two kids and considerably more luggage, it felt a little cramped. The huge jacuzzi does take up a lot of space, but the kids loved having baths in it!
- The pools felt cold. We were there during a not-so-hot week, weather wise, and I'm sure that made the difference. It was still fine to swim in the pools, just took a few more minutes than usual to get used to the temperature. The cove was warmer.
- The cove is not a beach. Obviously, we knew this from going before. Still okay, as long as you know what you're getting into. Definitely bring water shoes, as the bottom of the cove has some sharp rocks/shells. I got a small cut on my foot. The kids were fine in their water shoes and flippers.
- Food at the pool side bar takes a long time. Don't order from a server, just walk up to the grill where the food is being prepared and serve yourself. Same with the frozen drinks - it's quicker to pour your own. These servers serve the entire pool area, cove area and the bar, so that's why it takes longer.
- The $1500 credit. You still have to pay the 11% on whatever you use it for. Our Sunwing agent recommended to use it for spa services, the special dinners or the tequila tasting, rather than excursions. We were mostly interested in excursions and jewelry. We didn't even come close to using it all up. Using it for the jewelry store was confusing, and they didn't even ask for the credit, but I still got a good deal. We used the credit for the Tulum tour, and the beach club. The Tulum tour guide could use some help with manners, but that's not the resort's employee. The credit is not applicable toward the more well-known parks - Xelha, Xcaret, Xplor. On a positive note, we heard it would be difficult to access the vacation planners, but they were always available within a couple of minutes whenever we needed them.
- The games room / teen room - didn't have much in the way of their arcade. Two machines weren't working properly when we were there.
- Sunscreen is $20 USD a bottle. (Silly us for not bringing enough :( )
I would absolutely recommend this resort for a family with young children, assuming you are okay with not having an actual beach. My biggest concern is always service - and the service here was excellent! Happy, friendly, extremely helpful staff! Book early though, as we noticed the price went up significantly as the trip got closer.
- 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