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“First time in Mexico”

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Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 9 July 2012

Just returned from a family trip that lasted eight days. Overall a very positive experience. The staff is by and large superb: enormously friendly, helpful, trying to accommodate one's every whim. I want to single out Angela Moo and Diana in the Patio, always ready to serve extra hot cappuccino, Marino and Jack, intrepid snorklers at the inlet, and Patricia over in the Spa who gives the greatest manicure/pedicure. And the aquatic aerobics guy, J, is not to be missed. Also enjoyed the great evening entertainment with the kids, who felt entertained and safe at all times. And my wife and I loved the gym at the Spa, which we used daily. The sauna and steam bath ("hydrotherapy") are gender segregated--oddly, I think, in a place that caters to couples; we never went back.

One word of advice: bring plenty of one- and five-dollar bills. You can easily make someone's day by being generous. Tips might be included, but they certainly don't hurt, and you can't travel to these places and hope to come out ahead. I doubt the people who work there get paid very much.

Now some things that weren't so great. What's with the loud rock music blasting from speakers at all times of the day and into the night? Please! And whoever lodged a group of seminar attendees in the rooms around us?! These were mostly men who started to party at one at night and went on until three or four in the morning. On the family side! What a screw-up! Silencio, por favor.

As for the food: if you're looking for simple Mexican fare, you'll be disappointed. The Hacienda isn't bad, but the pickings are slim. There's a chicken enchilada, which our kids chose every time we went there, but where are the burritos or tacos we were looking forward to? El Greco and La Trattoria at the Spa were good (no kids allowed at either place), but not at all Mexican. Alas, the buffets at the eateries (Mundaca etc.) were nothing to write home about: indifferent American food. The burger patties were terrible, and the steaks almost equally bad. Stick to the fish and some of the veggies (I liked the daily red beets and carrots). The desire to cater to American palates is absurd, in my view. What went wrong there?! (We were also amazed at the quantities

Room Tip: We were on the ground floor in a wing (Accordeon) b/t the Cove and the Spa and had a lot of traffic...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank mfr3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Xavier V, Guest Relations Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2012

Thank you for choosing our resort in your first trip to Mexico; it is our pleasure to know that that your overall experience was positive and that our staff transmitted you the warmness and kindness that characterizes our collaborators at Aventura Palace.
Your feedback if very much appreciated, we will share your comments with our Entertainment manager and F & B team in order to ensure our guests satisfaction.
We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to our beautiful hotel.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,611 - 6,615 of 9,916 reviews

Reviewed 14 June 2012

We've been to Cancun twice. First time we stayed at Barcelo Palace, second time at Aventura Cove. We brought our children here the second time because of the "1500 hotel credit" lured us which promised to be used toward certain activities. We were interested in using it for activities if family fun.
Before booking, we took the average to poor ratings seriously as mostly the poor ratings listed was because it had no beached entry to the caribbean, (though it is on the water), and it is an older hotel. We thought we would be on excusrions daily so we took the chance.

I'll list good and bad briefly:

BAD-the $1500 credit is misleading! For example, it promised to be used toward "wet 'n wild", when we got there, "no longer do that." We used it toward "swim with dolphins" which is across their street and is a half day event. Very fun, but we had $900 left of credit. There were no choices left to use it toward parks. The only things we could put it towards was only DISCOUNTS of specified items in their shops, and their spa. For example, a specified $100 of that credit can be used towards silver jewlerly... the silver jewlerly that is at least $300 dollars. So it's just for discounts. That's it. Very disappointing when it led us to believe we could use it toward daily experiences.

BAD- Vacation planner service. Neglectful. No "vacation planner representative" ever was introduced to us, or we were not told of one when we checked in. When we did try to speak to a vacation planner whom we sought out, he was very unfriendly and "put off" that we would plan a couple of excursions to Xplor and Xel-ha with our travel agency rather than that hotel and tried to guilt us. I asked for a list of things we could choose for our $1500 hotel credit. He had no physical print out. Weird. Everything is all verbal with what to use the $1500 credit. I even called the hotel before we arrived. Their response, "you have vacation planner to work with you when you come." But the print out we had from home was not valid of what they actually do. Warning.
Also, besides hotel credit, there are things included in the hotel stay. For example free shuttle to Playa del Carmen and also food at Playacar Palace is included with this hotel as the all-inclusive! We found that out "on accident", in which this should have been offered for us to know in planning with the hotel our experiences there... if we had a formal contact person to help us.

BAD-hotel is older. An elevator close to our room location did not work. There were buckets in the lobby when it rained to catch leaks. Nothing impeded our stay however, but should be lower priced because of this.

BAD- hotel is on the water with no white sand beach. After staying at Barcelo Palace and staying here, I would never return to a hotel without white sand beach entry. It's on a reef or something, so there is constructed walls and a "cove" which you can enter a closed off small area of swim. Nobody ever swam in the "cove." There are plenty of pools, one small toddler water play area. Pools are pretty, but plain.

EXCELLENT- nightly entertainment was excellent. Elvis impersonator, magic show, circus. Even though it was "low occupency season," the entertainment still was high value. Very impressive and fun for our family. Well done.

FAIR- Food is OK. Not many choice of places to eat within the resort. We did go to the upscale Italian restaurant on the "spa" side adults only. Again, pretty good. Not amazing.

GOOD- room service, food service was all very good. Computer area was great and always available. Internet speed was decent. Workers were always friendly and accomodating.

At the END of our visit, a different vacation planner approached us and was very nice and friendly. She noticed we hadn't used all our credit, and asked who was our representative. We told her we were never told or introduced to anyone. She was shocked. I told her I tried to arrange vacation planner the first two days after we had returned from xplor or xelha., and there was always someone different , no message we were trying to arrange plans, in which we had to start from the beginning each time we tried to plan our credit. She was embarassed and said that should never have happened. When she spoke to the gentelman that was supposed to be our representative, he relayed to her the message that we were always too busy. He turned his back. Big strike for us to never return.
If this had been our first visit, we would have been LOST.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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12  Thank debbie s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 3 July 2012

We strive to provide you with the best possible service that is why we thank you for pointing out what you consider both our strong and weak points.
We distress to know you were not properly advised about how to use your resort credits. Please be informed that we work very much in the training and supervision of our Vacation Planners in order to deliver the best service and provide accurate information to our valued customers.
We are glad to learn that you enjoyed the nightly entertainment and that you found our staff to be always friendly and accommodating.
The best way we have to improve in all aspects is through the communication of our valued guests. Be sure that your comments will be passed along to our Management team.
We hope that you will give us the opportunity to host you again so that we can share our improvements with you and provide you with an amazing vacation.
Kind regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2012

I must start by saying that we just completed our June 3rd through June 10th of 2012 and couldn't be happier. My name is Reid and I was lucky enough to bring my wife Amanda and my son, Jonathan. We were invited to Aventura Cove Palace by my brother. He brought his wife and 3 children. It is important to specify ages when writing a review so that someone may relate to a certain group and generation. My wife and I are both 34 and my son is 5. My brother and his wife are around 41 and they have a 22 year old son and a 20 year old son and their youngest daughter is 10. We all have different opinions, so I will try to recap all of them.
First, my review: Totally awesome!!! The employees are amazing and always ready to serve you. They never say "no." They will do anything for you at any time. From arranging an activity, to getting transportation somewhere, or even a snorkle tour in the cove. I got to go out with one Cove Attendant on a snorkle tour and he showed me and let me hold live starfish, sea creatures, and showed me dangerous underwater things as well, like jellyfish that sit on the ocean floor and critters that can poke you and cause pain. Although he was able to pick them up safely, he simply told me not to do the same for my own safety. He would swim upside down at least 10 feet just to grab something for me to look at. Amazing to say the least. I spent hours snorkling and showing my family the things he taught me. Also, the area is so safe that you can trust all of the crew to protect your belogings without any question There is no funny business there and there is no problem with luggage ever going missing or being tampered with. They are true professionals and would bet my life on their personal effort to do the job right every time. The Bellmen were awesome and went out of their way to make sure we were dropped and picked up safely when we would go out. Two times the cab drivers were willing to give us a ride to Playa Del Carmen and give us a cell phone to call them back personally for pickup. They would only collect the fee when we were back at the resort. That is a huge level of trust on their part. I cannot thank the whole Crew again for all they did to make our stay the best of my life. David, Antonio, and Carlos are by far the fastest friends I have ever made in my life, and I look forward to finding a way back to spend more time with them all.
Now, for my wife Amanda, who was sick when we arrived with a sore throat. She woke up the day we were going to Dallas to fly to Mexico not feeling well and sure enough was sick with fever on day 1. Sad, but true, we had to decide how we would manage her illness. We decided to contact the Front Desk Manager about how we may find a Doctor, and to my suprise, there is a Doctor onsite at all times!!!! He came right over and was able to provide an evaluation and a diagnosis and had shots and meds available within the hour. She had tonsilitis and we were lucky to have his services available. She wasn't able to do much, but did manage to keep here head up and try to have fun when she could.
My 5 year old son had the best time of his life. He had two heated small shallow pools he named the Jonathan Pool. He loved the gameroom and he loved the workers of the Kids Club. His favorite worker there was Jessica. She was very sweet and spent a lot of time trying to keep him occupied while we went out for spa services next door at the Spa Cove side of the resort. It was a very nice getaway at times, but didn't leave him there too long since this was family vacation. He couldn't get enough of all the shows and looked forward to them every night. The favorite show as the Michael Jackson Show. We all sang along and danced like there was no tomorrow.
The occupancy was low, but we didn't mind. It just meant that we walked into any of their awesome eating establishments and asked or grabbed whatever we wanted at any time. There was a sweet Mexican Lady named Olga that made some awesome Pizza's from scratch in a brick oven at the Buffet. She could barely speak english, but could make the best pizza ever. They always tried to speak english the best they could and helped me practice my spanish as well.
We did pay our own way and enjoyed the all inclusive to it's fullest. We didn't need money for any food or drinks ever, so we would drop a 20 peso bill with anybody who was working towards making us happy, and that was pretty much everybody. The employees that are working the driveway, the waiters, desert staff, housekeeping all make very little money. Average is $5.00 american dollars a day. It was worth it to give anyone with a mop or broom or even just someone saying hola a 20 peso bill just to see them smile and say it wasn't necessary. I had my son handing out the 20 peso bills for me and telling him to give them the money and hug and say gracias every time. It was good for him to learn that giving is important and they really did deserve it.
Now, for anyone who has thought that this place may not be the best or the most fun or too expensive, just consider that you get what you pay for and I promise that you will not find yourself regreting the stay. It is a vacation of a lifetime and will not be forgotten. There may be a moment where you say I want to go do something else....that is when you say to a bellman, I want to go out and have some fun....what should we do....they will easily give you their local advise and make sure you get there safely. If anyone has a question about the level of service, ask a manager to get them answered, and they will with the utmost quality care.
We appreciate all they did and look forward to a future visit within the next 5 years.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank Reid H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 3 July 2012

Thank you for taking the time to share with us this review; we are very satisfied to know that we were able to provide the best vacation and entertainment option for each member of your party.
We are very glad to know that you enjoyed the snorkel tour and that your little boy had a great time at our Kid’s club. It is great for us to learn that our staff provided the excellent service that characterizes us and helped making your stay the best of your life.
We will be delighted to welcome you back in the future to provide you with another unforgettable experience.
Best regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2012

We are frequent guests of palace resorts...this time we took our whole family including our 7 yr. old granddaughter. Our favorite restaurant is always La Tratoria. Pamela is an outstanding server and makes the best mayan coffee we've ever had. Her partner Carlos is also wonderful, but Pamela is a standout...friendly, fun and thorough. Our maid, Jose Perez, was amazing as well. He obviously gives extra time and care to his duties. Rafael at the vacation planning desk was incredibly helpful and informative also. Ismael, a server at the La Hacienda was an exceptional server as well. Jorge at the front desk was delightful and made us feel at home in a very special way. Finally, you have a jewel in Julia Tunyogi, the manager of public relations. She was so very warm and friendly, happy to go to extra lengths to make our stay as wonderful as possible. I look forward to seeing her and the others again on future trips. As usual the facilities were outstanding as well as the service. Everyone from the pool side servers to the bell men are remarkable and make us want to come back soon. Our stay was from May 25 to June 2, 2012.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank Cindy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... A, Guest Relations Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2012

Thank you for your sweet review. We love hearing feedback when our staff members provide outstanding service, our collaborators will be acknowledged of your special mention.
We are very glad to know that you and your family had a “fabulous”l stay at our Aventura Palace and we look for the opportunity to welcome you back.

Kind regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2012

Pros:
What we enjoyed the most was that the place was practically empty. But, as it changes to a Hard Rock, I imagine it will start to fill back up again. It was really nice having restaurants, pools, and the beach to ourselves several times.

We really enjoyed the Jacuzzi tubs, but were told during the time-share sales pitch they will be removed. Probably for the best, since they do waste a lot of water.

24-hour room service was a nice perk, but we never used it.

The drinks were really good with a nice selection of liquor.

Staff was all very nice and helpful. Tipping isn’t required, but the staff were all so great we tipped often.

The gym was really great. I’ve never seen such nice equipment at a hotel. The spa looked nice too, but we didn’t use it.

The room was nicely stocked with drinks.

The location is great, just a quick trip to Playa del Carmen.

Lots of iguanas and a few monkeys around the hotel.

Cons:
The worst part of our stay, and reason why I would not go back, is that our rooms were so loud. I think it would be OK if you were not in a hallway with rooms on both sides. We couldn’t sleep at night with the noise of people coming back from the bars and then the noise of them ordering room service.

The tile walkways were very slippery.

For such an empty hotel, I was surprised they would only give us a room with 2 full-sized beds. We are a married couple staying for our anniversary.

The food wasn’t that good and few restaurants were open. We had dinner in the Italian restaurant, which I kept hearing was their best, and I was impressed at all. There was always a nice selection of fruit at least.

I like a rocky beach with lagoons over a sandy beach and ocean waves, so I thought the beach was fine. But, the lagoons were not nearly as fun as the Catalonia next door. We had such a great time kayaking around the Catalonia. At Aventura Cove, it was more like kayaking in a swimming pool. You can’t get in the ocean there, either. It would feel safer with kids though, so this is a great beach for families.

As nice as it was having the place to ourselves, it got boring. There wasn’t enough to do around the hotel during the day. The shows started too late for us to enjoy. You also couldn’t walk to the town from there, which is something we enjoyed before.

We signed up for what we thought was a tour of the changes to Hard Rock. Instead, it was a cheesy sales pitch to pay for a membership to the hotel. It was really overpriced. We told them we paid way less to stay at the Catalonia & they told us how their hotel was so much better, but we really enjoyed the Catalonia so much more. I can’t believe people would actually purchase this membership plan. Sounds like such a rip-off. We did get $100 off an excursion though for sitting through the sales pitch. Something they had during the sales pitch said the hotel is ranked #3 in the area on Trip Advisor, but right now it’s ranked #13 out of #16 in Puerto Aventuras.

We were told long pants were required for the nice restaurants. My husband didn’t pack any and pants were $70 in the hotel shop. By the end of our trip, we learned they were not enforcing the dress code, but by then we had missed most of our chances to try the other restaurants. I felt like this place was trying too hard to appear upscale.

The bellhops left people’s luggage sitting outside unattended for a long time. As we were waiting for our van to leave, we saw someone’s bag sit alone for 30 minutes. It would have been so easy for us to steal a couple of bags on our way out.

The shuttles to PDC don’t run very often so we never got to take advantage of that. They also really promote the stay at one, play at the others, but it wasn’t clear how to get to the others.

Overall, this place felt kind of sterile and lacked the character and fun of the Catalonia. Changing to a Hard Rock will probably be very good for this place, but the Hard Rock brand doesn’t appeal to us, so we will not be back.

Room Tip: Avoid the loud rooms inside hallways
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank mlb36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... A, Guest Relations Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2012

We are glad to know that you enjoyed our restaurants and pools and that you felt the kindness and warmness that characterizes our collaborators at Aventura Palace.
The best way we have to improve in all aspects is through the communication of our valued guests and your observations are much appreciated. Be sure that we will share your comments with the areas involved in order to improve our quality and service.

Kind regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Address: Km 72, Carretera Cancun-Chetumal | Solidaridad, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico (Formerly Aventura Cove 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range: ₹ 19,739 - ₹ 47,308 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya 4.5*
Number of rooms: 1264
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 Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

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