This was my second stay at Aventura, the first visit being years before for my honeymoon, when the entire resort was adults only (just called the SPA palace). Now, the resort is delightfully split into two, with the one side still being Aventura SPA Palace (18 and over only), and the other side being the Aventura COVE Palace, which is family friendly. Both sides were essentially identical, although the cove side was actually calmer, quiter, and more private, so even the guests that attended my sister's wedding and stayed on the spa side spent most their time on the cove side.
I want to first say that Marino, the man who runs the hut down by the lagoon on the cove side, was AMAZING. He gave so much personal attention to us, especially my 3-year old son. He was so amazing with young kids, making balloon animals, games, providing personal service and care, and remembering every one of our names from day one. He brought items that he purchased with his own personal money and time to entertain the kids. We did notice that despite being "family friendly," there is very LITTLE for kids to do at all, unless you stick them in the children's room/kids center that is indoors. If you want to spend the day at the lagoon or the pool, there is not much to entertain the young kids. It would be great if the resort would offer more toys, equipment, or activities tailored to toddlers or small children, since they do advertise themselves as being family friendly. Marino did make up for anything not provided by the resort though. It would be great if they had paddle boats in the lagoon too!
Our waiter every day by the pool and lagoon, Angel, was FANTASTIC. He seemed very mild mannered and shy at first, with little expression, but very quickly remembered our names, our favorite drinks, and delivered with a great big smile every time. He was great. Ibeth, another waitress at the pool, also met our every need.
The entertainment crew, especially Jairo, Eduardo, and Victor, not only provided numerous activities for us every day and all day, but made us laugh and became our FRIENDS. My daughter, 14 years old, particularly enjoyed all of the sports like water polo, sand soccer, or volleyball that were offered. They also made water aerobics and zumba less like exercise and more like fun. They definitely kept us entertained, and wrapped up our week with a fantastic Michael Jackson show.
As for excursions, the only time we left the resort was to go ride the dolphins at Dolphinaris (which we were able to use our $1500 resort credit for). This was GREAT for all ages (we even were able to bargain my 3 year old into the water), and it was directly across the street.
Being that we were guests of a wedding (my sister got married), there were lots of private activities for us. But never did we feel bored, underfed, or unentertained. There was one event for the wedding that was held over at the adult side, and require me to use the babysitting room. My son was a little intimidated by being stuck somewhere with strangers. Marisol was TERRIFIC. She made my son feel at ease, and even offered to stay LATE to watch him should my event take longer than anticipated and longer than the regularly scheduled hours of the kids room. I felt so personally taken care of and treated so well. For a nice (and well deserved) tip, Marisol stayed an extra half hour past her shift to help me, a stranger out. Now THAT was customer service.
I highly recommend the monkey tour, which leaves the Cove lobby, a few days per week at 4pm. The entertainment staff guides you down the driveway of the resort for a short walk to see the spider monkeys as they travel from one side of the forest to the other. It is so neat to see these monkeys swinging from tree to tree in the wild. Take your camera and enjoy!
Food was delicious, especially the Mexican Restaurant on the Cove side (La Hacienda I believe?) Also really enjoyed Japanese on the Spa side. The Mundaca Steak House was out of this world. One night I ordered a filet but also wanted shrimp, that was not on the menu. I just asked if they had any, and with my filet came at least a dozen gigantic, delicious, grilled shrimp.
Only negatives: the computer system and apparantly different parts of the resort do not communicate very well with each other. Sometimes it seems as if the left hand does not have a clue what the right hand is doing. We were told, for instance, at the front desk that we could use our resort credit to purchase wine to take home. When we went to do this, the restaurants looked at us like we were crazy. TWICE my credit card dropped off my room, so I was denied purchases at the gift shop and had to go back to my room and then back to the lobby to reinstate the same card. To book any excursions or spa treatments, we had to wait in line to meet with the one person in the lobby that was able to do this. We spent A LOT of unnecessary wasted time just dealing with the front desk and problems. It would be SO MUCH EASIER AND BETTER if there was a computerized system to book your own excursions and/or spa appointments via the internet. When you are on vacation, the last thing you want to be spending your time doing is sitting in a lobby waiting to deal with administrative staff. There wasn't any very clear "instructions" provided as to what to do/where to go at the resort. It was often difficult to determine the "rules" of the $1500 resort credit program, the phone numbers of certain departments (like excursions/tours), and Restaurant times and locations were changed without notice. It would be nice to have more information available to guests (half of the info in the in-room booklets pertained to other Palace resorts, not the Aventura Cove or Spa), so that less time has to be spent doing those un-fun tasks in the lobby.
The country of Mexico is beautiful, this resort is beautiful, and most importantly, the people make you feel like you are part of their family. I have NEVER been treated to kindly - I felt like a Queen! And so did my kids....they can't wait to go back!
- 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