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“AMAZING Honeymoon! Did NOT want to leave!”

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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
Reviewed 27 July 2010

My husband and I chose Aventura Spa Palace for our honeymoon and it was by far the best decision! From the beginning of the week to the end, it was absolutely fantastic! Everyday, we would begin our day at the lagoon and my husband would snorkle while I layed out in the sun. A waitress would bring us drinks, and always kept our drinks refilled. It was so nice! Then, we would go eat lunch at the pool, and swim and drink at the swim-up bar! Everyday, they had fun activities in the pool such as How to make a Mojito or Margarita demostration! It was just too much fun! Also, the restaurants were WONDERFUL! I think my husband and I came home a few pounds heavier because the food was absolutely amazing! We are going back next year for our one year anniversary and I absolutely CANNOT wait!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank mrsaustin710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 July 2010

Our second visit to Aventura Spa, and it didn't disappoint us. We had spent the previous week at Moon Grand and although the rooms there were much bigger and luxurious we prefer the better service and friendliness of Aventura Spa. It was easier to meet other travellers as it is a smaller resort and the entertainment staff go out of there way to encourage people to pertake in sporting activites (waterpolo, volleyball,snorkling, bocce, aqua aerobics) and therefore meet new people. The lobby bar and new Martini bar are also great places to have a chat with new friends. Big hello to Jose, Jullian and Fausto (watch out for the shots, they are lovely but too many are lethal!)
We went to many of the shows, which are quite professionally orchestrated, my personal favourite was the Samba show.
The Spa truly is luxurious and very relaxing, even just using the hydrotherapy facilities is fantastic.
In my opinion the food is of a much better standard and taste than of similar restaurants at Moon Palace. Our favourite for dinner was La Trattoria; be warned if you go for the Italian style of ordering, Antipasti, Primi, Secondi and then Dolce, the pasta dishes are extremely filling so you need to be very hungry, or have a very large appetite. We also really liked Mundaca.
When we were there the occupancy was only about 30-40%, which was great for us but not so good for Palace resorts. There were plenty of sunloungers around the pool, no need to reserve the loungers - this is not a trip to the Spanish Costas, most people didn't come out to the pool until 11 or 12ish anyway. I am suprised that one of the previous reviewers found it so busy with few staff, there were a few nights in some of the restaurants where we had several waiters who were attending to us. The buffet lunch in El Greco was very good and if you didn't want to come out of the sun you could get something to take away, there are also burgers and sandwiches made to order behind the pool bar for a more casual lunch.
The new palace promotion of 1500 dollars to spend at the resort is quite remarkable, we even found it difficult to spend them, I would advise booking all your trips/treatments as early as possible to avoid disappointment as they can book out quickly. The only downside is that you can only use $300 in the spa. If you are unsure about the dollars visit the palace website or email them for confirmation beforehand. On arrival ask them who looks after booking your choices, the majority of these can be booked at the spa reception, but guest representatives will try to sell you tours first.
We only did one trip to Tulum, which I am not sure if I would recommend, maybe the Tulum express which cuts out the unnecessary shopping trip might be better, but I felt we didn't get enough time at the actual ruins. If I was going again I would arrange my own transport.
Overall, I think we had an even better experience second time around because we knew how to make the best use of our time there. For anyone reading any advice on the TA website means you are a step ahead of those who haven't. I would not have known about the new Martini bar if I had not read it on TA, for anyone looking for it, it's in the palapa behind El Greco and only opens at dinner time until late!
I'm not sure when I will be back in Mexico next time, but I wouldn't hestitate recommending Aventura Spa or Cove, I wish I was there now!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank gastronomoIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2010

Our daughter's wedding took place here last week. The only words to describe the whole experience was GREAT. When we arrived, we met Arturo the Bellman, who immediately learned our difficult last name and proceeded to make us feel comfortable at the hotel. The food and service was consistantly way above our expectation. Every employee went out of their way to be friendly and every restaurant had great food. The grounds are kept beautiful. Now on to the wedding. I would highly recomend anyone who is considering have a destination wedding to have it here. The wedding planner, Yasmin, was a real professional. From the minute we started making arrangements, she was so helpful. Even the beauty parlour did a great job. It is a very beautiful and romantic place to get married. We had 60 people with us and everyone left very happy. Everyone really enjoyed the whole spa experience. I have been to other all inclusives and they do not compare to the great service we received here.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank tumbles14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2010

Traveled here for our honeymoon in Sept. 2008 (sorry, wasn't a choice under year listing - hence the 2009 up above). We were AMAZED in so many ways. I'll try to keep this short and simple, but I WILL tell you we are most definitely returning, no questions asked.

NEGATIVES:

We did not pre-book our airport transfers and ended up piling into a van courier with 4 other couples and we were the LAST STOP- took us nearly 2 hours to get there. Needless to say, we took a cab on our departure and it cost about $5 more and we were there in less than 45 minutes. MOVING ON...

There is not a real "beach" per say in that you can only swim in the lagoon where there are lots of fish, etc. so we chose only to snorkel one day, which was fine for us because the pools were gorgeous and the swim up bars were fun, friendly and fast!

NOT GOOD OR BAD:

Some may look at this as a negative if they're going to a couples resort to "party" as it seems from some of the listings, but the resort was only at about 25% capacity when we visited so the pools/restaurants were not crowded (which we loved). The only time this becomes not so fun is when you do want to participate in the "nightlife" and there are about 30 people in the club and NO ONE wants to be the first one on the floor.. haha

We chose to take the "90-min presentation/tour" to get the $200 spa credit.. the tour was nice to be able to see the suites and upgraded rooms. The "sales" part sucked. We are just married at this point and worried about paying off our wedding NOT signing up for more debt! BUT, the spa was TREMENDOUS. Worth the annoying sales people.

POSITIVES:

ROOM: Huge bathroom! Huge room! Huge bed! Huge jacuzzi! Huge porch! We had so much room :) Loved how spacious everything was.

POOLS: Pools were very clean, chairs were clean and neat, towels were always available. Servers at bar and around pool were friendly and helpful. "Snack bar" at pools has TONS of food: grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, pizza, etc. Pool bars were always fully stocked, except one day they had run out of mint leaves for a mojito but the next day had more.

FOOD: Never had to wait for a meal. Never had to ask twice for something. Wine was always flowing. Great choices of fare: italian, spanish, japanese, etc. Breakfast buffet was LARGE and had so many choices I couldn't fathom to try nearly 1/4 of them. The "Honeymooners Dinner" was so fun! We got free shirts, had great food and drinks, played competitive games vs. other couples (my husband and I won a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka), and got a beautiful 5x7 picture of us taken and printed for free.

DRINKS: I read a few complains about the liquor... which confused me. My husband drank Crown Royal and Jack Daniels many nights and I enjoyed amaretto, top shelf vodkas and Bailey's on many occasions. There were no "plastic" liquor bottles to be found... I was impressed with both the liquors AND the wines.

EXCURSIONS: My husband played golf off the resort twice, both successful trips and beautiful courses- both set up through concierge. We also did a day trip 4-wheeling, zip lining, snorkeling, cave swimming, and enjoying local fare. Was SO MUCH FUN and worth the money over and over. This was ALL in ONE day trip (not multiple trips, we paid one flat fee).

SPA: Out of control beautiful. Services were relaxing and staff was A+. I wanted to fall asleep in the chaise lounges by the indoor spas all bundled up in my robe... ahhh...

FITNESS CENTER: Best I've ever seen outside of the one I belong to at home. Tons of equipment both weights and cardio, music playing, fitness classes offered... unbelievable.

We WILL be back to this place! We knew 2 couples who had gone before us and we know of other couples planning to go in the near future. Palace Resorts has got vacationing down to a tee!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank SaltSandSurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2010

We stayed here for our honeymoon and had an amazing time. The resort itself was beautiful and had a great view.

ROOM: The room had modern decor, the shower was huge, and the room included a jucuzzi (we never used it because we were too busy enjoying the rest of the resort). We paid extra for 24-hour room serivice and turn down service. It was a really nice touch to come back to the room to find rose petals on the bed and music playing. The housekeep staff did a great job keeping our room clean.

FOOD: Overall the food was good; however, there were a few meals that were not as delicious as others. The wait staff was friendly and accomodating. The bar staff was super friendly and happy to serve us. The had some great drink offerings.

RESORT: Unforunately the ocean in this area is too rough to swim. The resort has a man-made lagoon (very big) that inlcudes fish and coral. You can use (free) snorkeling equipment and see some amazing fish in the lagoon. It's also great for just floating around if you're tired of the pool. The pools were very nice. However, I often had trouble finding an available chair in the pool. There were plenty on the side, but not enough of the lounging in-water chairs.

ENTERTAINMENT: We truly enjoyed the entertainment on the resort. We saw a magic show, a Michael Jackson show, drums, dancing, etc. We also had fun dancing and drinking in the nightclub.

Overall this resort was amazing and we will definitely be back!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank MrMrsBurns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2010

My husband and I stayed at the Palace for a week on our honeymoon. I thought it was amazing as did my husband. Both of us having customer service backgrounds thought the bar and wait staff were great. Carlos at the pool bar knew us by name and what we liked to drink (maybe that should have been a sign to us that we were there way too often) :) The day entertainment staff (dj, "sexy eddy", snorkling guide, ect...) were all very nice and could speak perfect english.

The only CS flaw that I would have changed was that we were pretty confused as to how we could use our 1500 points. We had the honeymoon package and didn't know that we got a romantic dinner, breakfast, and tshirts until the last day we were there so we only got the tshirts....bummer. I guess they check-in staff could have been more clear on what we should do.

We thought the food was GREAT! We loved loved loved the Italian resturant. The buffet is a buffet so you can't expect it to be the best food ever. The pool food is suppose to be snack food and thats what it was. Nachos, pizza, hot dogs, ect, and it did the job. (note- i think my husband and i both gained a few pounds) :)

I would definitly reccomend skuba diving at Dive Adventuras. We set it up through the hotel and it was the coolest thing that we did all week. You don't have to be certified to do it. They have a training class that took about an hour. Totally worth the 100 bucks per person! And we dove 40 feet!

Our rooms were very nice, we had a Garden View which I was a little dissapointed with and had I known you could use your 1500 points to upgrade rooms we probably would have. The only con is that in the morning the birds were soooo stinkin loud. It sounded like they were in our face.

If you are looking for a relaxing, get away i'll recommend this place to anyone. If you are looking for more night life, partying, ect, this may not be the right spot for you. Overall, perfect honeymoon!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KMac2784
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2010

OK. Just want to try to throw a few things out that we learned from this really enjoyable trip. Many are not original and learned from reading the other awesome reviews below. This was our first time to experience an "all-inclusive" resort and it was an experience to remember.
List (in "stream of consciousness" order):
Food: Simply amazing. While the wife and I aren't exactly the dine out every Friday type, this stuff was good. We are also a bit of a high maintenance couple (I'm allergic to beef and pork and the wife is a vegetarian that eats seafood: vegaquarian or whatever you call them). Regardless, we were able to find numerous options at all the restaurants on both sides of the resort that fit our demanding palates. The Ventanas on the Cove side even has a kid friendly buffet with hot dogs/ mac and cheese and other tempting treats. Advice: try the stuff that is local to the area...Yucatan style, etc. Loved the sea bass at El Greco. Mexican food at La Hacienda (Cove side) was yummy.

Mayan Coffee: Try it. Not only is it a heck of a drink but it's one heck of a show putting it together. At one of the restaurants, ask for it at least once and don't wear anything flammable (if that's not too subtle a hint)

Tips: Apparently they aren't required but we brought around 50 $1 (try sitting on THAT wallet for a 2 hr plane ride!) and passed out tips when we had really good service--which was nearly always. These folks aren't getting paid much and each time we tipped they were very appreciative. Helped keep the drinks coming at the pool also.

Seats by the pool: We found that it worked well to bring a book to breakfast and then afterward, go by the towel hut, grab a towel and leave the two on a deck chair to come back to later. Seemed to be a fairly common practice and gave us a little extra time to go back and change before hitting the pool.

No seats by the pool: Look for two deck chairs with books and dry folded towels on them...

Meals to go: You can ask for a "to go" box at any of the buffet meals. We grabbed some lunch at Monohoma and took it out to the lobby to eat while we watched the World Cup games.

Spanish: You absolutely don't need to know a single word of Spanish to enjoy your stay. Having said that, break out that 11th grade Spanish a little and try it with the service staff. They always were very helpful and very graciously corrected us when we got it wrong. (Note: Que Tel? (Kay-Tell) is a music distribution company that churns out "hits of the 70s and 80s discs while Que Tal? (Kay Tall) means "what's happening?")

Band aids: had some trouble coming up with those. You could get them from a lifeguard or the gym but we wish we'd just thrown a few in.

Rain gear: We had biblical rains (thanks Tropical Storm Alex!) during part of our stay and on our trips to Tulum and Chichen Itza. You can buy little cheap-o panchos for a couple of bucks a piece or just bring some and an umbrella. BTW, both places were really interesting and worth the trip!

Wristband of power: The wristband you get allows you into any of the Palace resorts. We took the free shuttle up to Playacar Palace to use it's beautiful beach (Aventura cove and spa don't exactly have one). It's right next door to the ferry out to Cozumel so we jumped on that as well and just a 12-15 minute walk after turning right at the end of the pier and we were at...suprise! Cozumel Palace! Had lunch and enjoyed the pool. Took the ferry back and hung out at the Playacar Palace beach until our pick up. We also saw Xpu-Ha which is near Tulum. It's much more nestled into the jungle than the other two but was fun to visit. Wish we'd had time to do the snorkeling/kayak down there. (Note: the guide told us to buy ferry tickets one-way rather than round trip because there are two different companies that run ferries and they stagger their return trips. So just buy a ticket for the "next" ferry...same price.)

Vanilla Ice: Ok. Everyone knows Mexican vanilla is really good but I'd never thought that the regular vanilla ice cream would be so good. Oh. My. Lord. It was amazing but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go back to regular vanilla again. Kinda like now going back and trying to date Angelina Jolie again after I'd met and married my wife... (Sorry Ang!). Sounds un-exotic but it's good.

Tip the Maid: Thanks Chuck Thompson! It's true.

Play dress up: Dont' forget the "formal casual" wear. For the dinner meal, some of the restaurants have a dress code that requires men in pants (not shorts). Not a big problem unless you didn't bring any or have a raging sun burn on the front of your legs. So, throw in those khakis!

Three strikes: Should you choose to try to run the "$200 value gift" for sitting through the timeshare talk a word of warning: you'll get the initial presentation after promising and signing that you'll see the entire 90 min presentation, if he can't close the deal, a "closer" will come in and if he's unsuccessful, a "closer" to the "closer" will come over and take a hack. It sounded like a great deal for someone with a little more disposal income and a few fewer kids in college than we had at the time.

Hope you have a wonderful time. You'll love it! The wife and I really had a great time and would love to go back soon.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank JKome
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

Address: Calle Carretera Federal 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 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range: £257 - £583 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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