I recently had the enjoyment of staying at Hard Rock Riviera Maya. I grew up in the “Rock” era of the 80’s and 90’s and I’ve always been a fan of Hard Rock. Whenever I’m visiting a city that has a Hard Rock Cafe I tend to find my way in for dinner. The classic American food is always great but the main dine at Hard Rock is for the atmosphere. The music is always great, staff friendly, and it’s fun to see a guitar signed by Eddie Van Halen, or clothes worn in concert by Madonna. So when I get to stay at an entire resort with the Hard Rock name I know it’s going to be fun. Here is a brief recap of my “rockin” stay.
Flights to Cancun are reasonably priced from most American cities. I traveled from Buffalo with a connection through Charlotte and arrived at CUN a little after noon. We quickly cleared customs, grabbed our bags, and exited the airport. Whenever in Riviera Maya I arrange non-stop transfers with Lomas Travel (and yes I’m happy to book your transfers in advance of your vacation). I met the Lomas staff outside in their familiar teal and white outfits and we were on our way. Hard Rock Riviera Maya has 2 sides to the resort. The Hacienda side is for families, and the Heaven section is for adults only. No matter what section you stay in you have access to all sides of the resort (unless you are kid of course). The entry is beautiful and the familiar Hard Rock look stands out.
Depending on which side of the resort you are staying (Hacienda – family, or Heaven – adults) will determine which lobby you check in at. The lobbies are very spacious and both sides have great rock memorabilia to walk around and view.
We arrived before our room was ready so we grabbed our swim suits from our bags and the great staff at Hard Rock took our bags to have delivered to our room. After a quick slice of pizza at the Pizzeto brick oven pizza restaurant it was time to hit the pool. If you like pools, you will enjoy the pools at Hard Rock. There are several pools, each bigger than the next. Add in the swim up pool bar, and water slides, pool games, foam parties, and more. We spent a ton of time in the pools throughout the week. So much fun!
After an hour or so of swimming we checked in to our room. Usually we stay in a larger suite as a family but for this vacation we didn’t splurge for a top room category. Obviously the higher room categories are nicer than the lower room category but unlike many resorts the entry level rooms are actually really nice. I book a lot of clients in this category and I wanted to experience it for myself. The beds are a little smaller than we are normally used to but we got along fine. The kids really enjoyed the Jacuzzi tub (included in every room). My 9 year old daughter enjoyed a soak to warm up daily before getting ready for dinner after coming in wet and cold from the pool/water-park. The bathroom is nice with dual sinks, shower, and a private closed area for the toilet. That’s a bonus when you are sharing the room with your family. Since the toilet is separate someone could be in the shower or at the sinks getting ready without blocking the entire bathroom.
We’ve seen the pools and we’ve seen the room, not let’s talk about the fun stuff. There are plenty of resorts (and some are cheaper) that you can consider if you just want to swim and eat. However, if you are like my active family simply swimming in a pool all week bores us. That is one of the reasons I really like Hard Rock Riviera Maya. There are endless things to do. We jump from the pool, to the arcade, to the water park, to the obstacle course, to the rock wall, ride bikes, kayak, play beach soccer. I even escaped from the family for a couple hours and played 9 holes at the great championship golf course. The kids enjoyed the kids club. We even signed out Fender guitars to take to our room. They even have a cool channel on the TV that gives free guitar leasons! The Rocktube music video making is also a blast with the family. There is so much to do you’ll want to stay at least 6 nights!
We LOVE the pools and waterpark. One thing that is a little different than most beach locations is the beach at Hard Rock Riviera Maya. It’s not your typical sandy look over the water beach. This section of Riviera Maya has a natural sea cove. Their are natural channels that the water flows in and out and it keeps a wonderful calm swimming area. If you are a walk miles down the beach type of person this is not the ideal beach for you. However, I enjoy the natural cove. It’s kind of neat to look at and it really makes a great location to swim and do water sports (especially with kids). Here are a couple pictures so you can get a feel of what it’s like.
Hard Rock has a program they call unlimited resort credit. This limitless credit can be used at so many places including the spa, off resort tours, photos, beach cabanas, and more. Here is the lowdown on how it works. They say you can use unlimited amount of credit on these items but you have to pay a 25% service fee. So it doesn’t really make everything free, but it’s still a great program. Let’s start with tours. Perhaps you decide (as my family did) to go on the ATV & Cenotes tour. Ride ATV’s and discover ancient Myan cenotes in the Yucatan jungle. A Cenote is a underground freshwater cave that has filled with rainwater through the centuries as it seeps through the soil. It’s great – you can jump in the crystal clear water, see stalactites and more. This is a 4 hour tour with a normal cost of $150 per person. But you don’t have to pay the $150. With the unlimited credit you just have to pay a service fee of 25% or in this case $37.50. If you have traveled you know that $37.50 is an amazing price to pay for a tour like this. Another tour we love is the Mayan Extreme tour. It consisted of a great zip line course, cave exploring, and traditional Mayan lunch. It’s a 5 hour tour priced at $99 for adults, and $69 for kids. But with the resort credit it only cost $24.75 per adult and $17.25 per kid. WOW!
Want to go to the spa? Of course you do! Get a couples massage normally priced at $450. But since you only have to pay a 25% service fee the cost is only $135. Not bad for an hour couples massage! My wife and signed up for for the Deluxe Experience. In included a 50 minute chocolate body wrap, followed by 50 minute massage, followed by 50 minute him and her facial, followed by 30 minute hydrotherapy experience. Amazing! Without the resort credit we would never have signed up for that, but since we only had to pay 25% why not!
The restaurants are fantastic. Even if you have picky kids (or wife) they will enjoy the food. From poolside snacks, to room service, ice cream, pizza, buffets, Mexican, Brazilian, Stir Fry at Zen, steak house, Italian, and more foodies love Hard Rock
As a family we really enjoyed the nightlife at Hard Rock. Great musical artist performed daily and the nightclub is excellent. On the Heaven side there is Club Heaven. It is fantastic. They even have a pool made for dancing inside the night club. How fun is that!!
I travel monthly to the Caribbean to experience the resorts and learn which ones are the best. Take my word, I love the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. In fact, I love all the Hard Rock Hotels. With the amazing new water par, Camp Woodward, Wrecktangle, and the unlimited resort credit this one is my first choices for families. Call me at 1-800-838-3725, e-mail Larry@EMvacations.com or visit our Hard Rock page online for more information on making this the location for your next vacation!