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“Went For Business, Stayed for Pleasure”

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Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Went For Business, Stayed for Pleasure”
Reviewed 28 September 2011

First - ORDER THE MAYAN COFFEE after dinner!!!

Now that I got that out of the way...

We went there for a business conference, but stayed a few days longer to take a few days to relax. The grounds are beautifully maintained and the staff is amazing. They go out of their way to be helpful. The food is plentiful, but not overly exciting. We either had room service or a buffet for breakfast. Lunch was typically at one of the buffets, and dinner was a la carte. The dinners were much better than the buffets, but still nothing to write home about. Because of the other amenities and service at the resort, I can easily overlook this (besides, the drinks keep flowing).

My only true complaint were two of the tours we went on. One to Chichen-Itza and the other to Tulum. Both are fascinating Mayan archaeological sites to visit. Unfortunately, because the tour operators have to take you to the crappy overpriced gift shops owned by their relatives, there is very little time to explore the sites on your own. They give an hour of the guided tour, then we had less than an hour on our own. If I didn't use resort credits to pay for these tours, I would have been screaming for a refund. I recommend renting a car (there is an Avis rep onsite at Aventura) and going there on your own. They are both very easy to get to, with clearly marked highway signs.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same. We spent very little time there, so location made no difference.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
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1 Thank Barry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Los Angeles, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2011

Horrible, Terrible, Do Not Stay at Aventura Spa Palace Playa Del Carmen Rivera Maya

My wife and I saw over two thousand reviews on Tripadvisor.com with 87% being very positive so we figured we would have a great experience and enjoy our New Year holiday at a wonderful place like Aventura Spa Palace. Unfortunately for my wife and me this one week stay at Aventura Spa Palace turned out to be the absolute opposite of positive. In fact this tops as our least enjoyed vacation together. We were planning on celebrating New Years in Mexico and never in our previous experience did we want to go back home as much as on this visit.

This was our first all inclusive trip and our first visit to Mexico after a recent one week trip to Maui Hawaii. Having already experienced first class service needless to say majority of Aventura Spa Palace staff left us with a very bitter experience. So our intent is to inform you, the reader, to consider other resorts and our experience when planning your trip to Mexico Rivera Maya and Playa Del Carmen area.

We arrived on the 29th of December and considering that the resort was at approximate 30% occupancy (if not less) we were checked into the farthest room in the resort, not too far from where they keep horses for wedding celebrations. As we entered the room we immediately sensed the unmistakable smell of mold in combination with manure and other indescribable stench. The ceiling was stained with large ugly yellow spots throughout the living room and the bathroom area, but I guess placing visitors in rooms like these helps guests quickly make up their mind that they should be upgrading their rooms thus having to spend additional money. An up-sell attempt perhaps, maybe? Well since we had a $1,500 credit to go along with our package we spent $980 to upgrade our room to Aventura Spa Palace’s highest room level available – “The Concierge Level” room.
The perks of this top level room included an upgraded coffee maker which we did not use, a hair dryer which my wife really did not need since she brings her own and aroma oil. Additional “extras” included snacks that were brought to our room every night, but by the time we would get back to our room these sweets were completely infested with ants. These sweets looked good, but unfortunately we did not get a chance to try them out.  One evening we found a tiny black bug on our bed of unknown species, which I killed. That was my Mexican hunting experience. You can find bed bugs practically everywhere, but the ants were very annoying.

On the third day of our stay we have learned purely by accident that as part of our Concierge Level upgrade we could actually request a “special” dinner at two of their restaurants (two restaurants, same “special” menu though).
My wife and I found this out when we strolled into the “Family” side of the resort looking for something to eat. Very helpful Aventura Palace employee explained to us some other small extras that were included with our upgrade to Concierge Level. When we were discussing the upgrade with Aventura Palace service members in the “Adult” side of the resort this wasn’t mentioned. Many guest service members and other staff on the “Adult” side of this resort were not helpful at all and sometimes even rude. Certainly this information would have helped when we got to resort instead of half way through our vacation.

The overall food selection was sad considering the expectations and other reviews. At times we felt that we came to mid-to-low level all you can eat dinner. We ordered room service which offered decent selection, but this wasn’t what we were expecting by far. Food was very disappointing.
The upgraded mini bar in our room was a joke. Having seen the bar in our previous room and then in our upgraded room we saw that nothing was different and even the bottle of Vodka in our new room was completely empty when we got there. Our room service staff went to another room to bring new bottle after we realized our fridge needed to be restocked upon our first arrival. The room did not look like it was prepared to accept guests.

From the moment we entered the Aventura Spa Palace hotel lobby we have been chased by a hotel activity planner who wanted to ensure we plan our stay and utilize our credit as much as we could. When we saw him the next day he was making rounds and fulfilling other duties (making rotations) so he could not answer a single question and sent us off. This was very awkward.
Initially we thought vacation planning by guest services was done with good intentions until we later realized that the only focus of that representative was for us to book the tour of the hotel where they pitched us on purchasing their “memberships” insisting it is not timeshare. Call it what you want, but a timeshare is a timeshare no matter what you package it as especially if you are using the same pitch and the same sales tactics. By the way the price of this “non-timeshare” membership started at $42,000 which then quickly dropped to $26,000, then to $18,000 and then finally to $5,000 after speaking with 4 sales representatives.

Every available tour that was offered, like a trip to Chechen Itza or Tulum, etc. includes an additional stop at a nearby resort where they also pitch you on a “non-timeshare” packages sponsored by Aventura Palace. This extra stop adds an additional two hours to these trips, as we learned later from other guests. Gust services planners intentionally forget to mention this detail during the booking of a tour. The tour schedule was also not very accommodating and we unfortunately did not make it to any of these amazing historic places. We encourage you to find more pleasant ways to explore them.

I planned a day of diving on the 31st, but the waves were too high so it got rescheduled to 2nd. Nobody at guest services bothered to let me know about this change and if I haven’t spoken to a person at diving facility where I called at 7am, I never would have known of the switch in schedule. Unfortunately I still had to cancel the diving trip, because I was congested on the 2nd so I called the diving facility to inform them that I won’t be coming. They canceled my reservation without any additional questions letting me know that they wish to see me next time. When we were checking-out of Aventura Spa Palace I still had to pay $98 dollars for this diving trip, because I failed to notify hotel Guest Services that I won’t be coming. So it’s okay for them not to let me know that the dive won’t happen, but if I make my own arrangements I have to let them know about the changes. I don’t like to argue so I just pay. How that justifies a fee for service that wasn’t provided is something I can’t understand. Oh well, live and learn I guess.

Even if you receive a $1,500 credit with your package, you can only allocate a limited amount towards the most common perks of this resort. For instance you can only use up to $300 on spa treatments and considering that an aroma therapy treatment is $189, if you decide to enjoy this with your wife or husband that leaves you with $80 out of pocket after your allowed credit. Every other perk has a limit too so don’t think of this $1,500 as cash, because it isn’t. My wife and I enjoyed their spa treatment services. Facility there and service was nice. Chances are you’ll end up spending more than you planned once it’s all said and done. For instance diving was a completely out of pocket expense so was all the shopping in the resort.

There are a lot more things we could say about this vacation experience and our stay at Aventura Spa Palace, but most of them won’t be good. Certainly there were pleasant people in the resort like the great bell boy service and all the guys there especially “Jay Leno” who is a king of all bell boys.

We were leaving Aventura Spa Palace on the 4th and on that day we were absolutely shocked of the contrast we saw in service and food. Every empty service desk that we saw for seven days of our stay was occupied by a service representative who was ready to answer any questions you might have. It felt like the buzz in the resort was that some big shot is coming or there is a huge inspection going on. The place where we went for breakfast that day had more staff than we’ve ever seen. Cooks were standing around their areas ready to take any order and prepare the freshest food available. Surveys were given out where you could fill out comments and feedback about your stay. We were stunned! What happed that all of a sudden on last day of our stay service changed so much and food was fresh and enjoyable? Is it because New Year’s period was expensive and fewer people were there and business starts to pick up after the holidays so let’s not bother with lesser crowd? Is it because people were actually switching hotels in the middle of their stay going to other resorts and this got to the top management so they decided to fix the problem? Is it because many couples said that they have never experienced anything as awful as Aventura Palace and that got to top management? Whatever it was, the last day of our stay was a lot better than six previous days. That however will not make us come back there ever again.

We hope you’ll find our feedback helpful in making your decision about your trip to Mexican Rivera. If you do decide to stay at Aventura Spa Palace we hope you’ll have a much better experience than we did so that you’ll never have to say to yourself “We read about this and we should’ve listened”. Consider other places that’s what we suggest.

Los Angeles

Room Tip: if you want a good room find a different hotel to stay at. don't stay here. it's not worth i...
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  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank RegularVacationeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lindsay
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2011

We arrived at 10:00pm and were still able to go to a restaurant for dinner. We ate at the Oriental and it was okay. We were on the third floor and the room was a little smaller than expected especially with the big tub in there by the patio door. I would have liked two vanities and the door to the bathroom opened up where you would stand in front of the vanity so you had to make sure you didn't kill your spouse...unless you wanted to.
I enjoyed the Italian Restaurant the best. I am a fussy eater and the food was okay but Secrets definitely had better food. I don't like wearing wristbands and they require you to wear them there. I had them make it looser and I just slid it off most of the time and very few people asked me about it.
We knew there was no real beach and I did get to see some cool things in the lagoons. Sea cucumbers, sea urchins, starfish and so on. We went on the Monkey tour and saw monkeys swinging in the trees but they didn't come real close. We did see a boa constrictor and it was over 6ft in length...very cool....the guide didn't seem so excited especially when some people went quite close to it to take pictures.
I enjoyed the Circus show. Contortionist and a few other acts were better than I expected.
They give you credits of $1500.00 right now and they make you listen to someone explain the perks of it and than try to make you go to a timeshare blurb...or they call it something else can't remember what they called it because all I heard was blah blah blah after that and said no twice to going and he left it at that. Be firm and just say no and give them the evil eye.
I enjoyed the manicure and pedicure. I tried a body scrub but not a good idea if you are burnt. Tried the seaweed wrap and felt I was in an episode of Dexter. They make you wear some disposable underwear and put you on a plastic sheet. She puts on these gloves that feel like brillo pads and rubs you down first. When she put the seaweed crap on my back she sat me up and instead of me laying on my stomach and being somewhat uncomfortable. Then you are wrapped up in plastic and you rinse it off after and she made me keep the disposable underwear on in the shower....they fill up with water and I would guess this would feel similar to wearing depends.

Bucket list checked off:
Body scrub
Seaweed Wrap - one time and last time.
Aromatherapy Massage - not my thing.
Introduction to Scuba Diving with Max...will do scuba again.
Rode a Mechanical Bull...Awesome
Saw a boa constrictor not in a cage
Swim with the dophins...they charge for lockers, walked to it instead of paying for cab, pictures are stupid expensive and they won't let you take pictures of yourself or family with the dolphins.

Our flight wasn't until 9:00pm but they want you to check out by noon...they should change it and I know they have to clean etc.
Another couple did have some items taken from their room. One of the items did show back up after a few days probably because they were prescription glasses and couldn't be of benefit or that's the conclusion we all came to. The items were not in the safe so the hotel wouldn't do anything but if they are in the safe that would have been another issue. Make sure if anything goes missing it was in the safe.
I did enjoy all the amenities and tried Yoga, the spin class and weight room....the best weight room we have seen so far.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lushuslaura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
League City, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2011

We stayed here for a week and loved every minute of it! The service is top of the line. The amenities are wonderful. I recommend the couples massage. My husband who would NEVER have considered having a massage, joined me at my urging and loved it so much he wanted to do it again! There is such a broad range of restaurants on-site that we only ate one meal off property and that one was at Playa Car another Palace resort. That happened to be the best meal of the trip. If you are looking for a place for a wedding party or just a get away KID FREE, Aventura Spa Palace is the place. And if you are wanting to bring the kids, there is an adjoining property, The Cove, that hosts families. The shows were entertaining, the pool is great, be sure to be patient enough to look for the monkeys. It took us three days but we finally got to see them and they were amazing.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms have a jacuzzi in them and a hammock on the balacony. Make sure you go with one of...
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank kena_looker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ankeny, Iowa
1 review
Reviewed 26 September 2011

The staff at Aventura Spa Palace is so accomodating and nice! We ordered a drink from the lobby bar on day 1 of our honeymoon and the next day we went back for another drink and the bartender remembered our names! My favorite drink was the welcome drink that they gave you when you first arrived. It didn't have any alcohol in it, but if you ask them to add rum, it's a yummy combination! The food was so good at the restaurants on the property that we were never hungry because we constantly ate. The only downfalls to this hotel are that it doesn't have a beach and every room is the same.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank modendahl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincolnton, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 September 2011

It was great. The hospitality was awesome. They bring you anything you need and are so nice.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hollyspecht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2011

We just returned from a week at the Aventura Spa Palace.

Where do I start, the rooms are beautiful and pretty spacious, the Jacuzzi in the room is a nice touch but could be intrusive if the room is for more than 2 people, the mini bar was kept stocked twice a day and if you want extra of anything a quick call to guest services will provide. The hotel was amazing, and the staff even better, it was our first trip to a 5 star resort and I can honestly say we are now spoiled for life!

The food was of very good quality in the restaurants, even the buffet restaurants were fantastic, usually the buffet is not as good as the A la Carte restaurants but not in this case. We particularly enjoyed the Mexican restaurant on the spa side, Daniel was our waiter on both occasions, nothing was too much trouble and he made the strongest and best tasting espresso I have ever had.

The pools were large, the entertainment staff friendly and fun-loving, you were always made to feel welcome and important. We even joined in the pool activities and we have never done this before. There is also a lagoon to swim in or snorkel with fish.

The evening shows were done by entertainers coming into the resort and were pretty good to watch, the first time for us that hotel entertainment actually entertained. The shows were at the cove side (family side) but the bellboys at the spa reception would take you over in a golf cart so you didn’t have to walk. The walk was only 5 minutes if you feel energetic. Miguel (one of the bellboys) was amazing and very helpful.

Nothing was too much trouble for the staff at this hotel. I have never stayed in a place as good as this. We will definitely be returning without any hesitation. The hotel is in a great location for a relaxing vacation, there is little nightlife without returning to Cancun however but many of the excursions Xcaret and Dolphinaris are very close by.

Now for the 2 negative points

Because it was low season not all the restaurants were open so it’s a good idea to check with guest services to make sure you aren’t disappointed.

On check in we were asked to attend a welcome meeting with hotel staff, this is a sales presentation for membership of the resort and RCI, an affiliation organization. If you travel to a lot of 5 star hotels around the world it is a good deal, but if not you would be best served just not turning up. The deal gives you a preferential rate at many hotels around the world including Hilton and Wyndham resorts, for us it works but for many it wont.

Overall the hotel is superb, some people will find the sales trick a big turn off but don’t let that ruin the experience of a first class hotel with the best staff I have ever had the pleasure of staying with

Room Tip: There all good rooms. We stayed in the resort view and it was beautiful.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank 154913Tracy
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

Property: Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Address: Carretera Cancun-Chetumal Km 72, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico (Formerly Aventura Spa 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 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 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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