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Reviewed 20 August 2017

We have just arrived back from a wonderful Stay at the Hard Rock Riveria Hotel.
Overall
A great stay we would highly recommend this hotel.
We particularly loved
The Beach
Music Lab activities
The Spa
The Food
The trips
Resort Credit system
ice cream in the coffee bar
Woodward
Beach Cabana experience
Hiring a guitar for the room
Improvement Required on
Sound proofing in the rooms (see facilities)
16 to 18 year old slots in spa on heaven side (see spa for more detail and suggestions)
music playlists by the pool (see entertainment for more detail and suggestions
Facilities
We were really lucky, your standard room had a spectacular sea view (9314). There were four of us in our party, my husband, myself and my two teenage daughters (13 and 16). We stayed on the Hacienda side. The room was on the small size for American standards but adequate for us. It had two double beds. A mini bar stocked with soft drinks and a selection of four spirits (you can request your favourites by dialling the front desk). Bathroom was also fab, with a lovely large shower and twin double basins. Rooms were very clean and we always had plenty of towels and toiletries. On the negative side, our room had an adjoining door (locked of course) to the next room and the sound travelled from the next room very badly. If someone coughs it sounds like they are in the room with you so it would have been a nightmare if there had been a baby next door. They really need to improve the sound proofing through the adjoining door. We did not report it as a problem during our stay as we loved the location and view from our room and luckily did not get particularly noisy neighbours so it was not too much of a problem to us.
The hotel is very large and has lots of facilities. There is a great sheltered lagoon beach with soft white powder sand and clear turquoise waters. This was beautiful. You can hire beach cabanas for $200 per day (you only pay 20% on resort credits so $40 in reality), for which you get a personal waiter, lobster lunch and a bottle of chilled wine and ice bucket with water. We really enjoyed this day so it was worth doing to feel special. There are plenty of quiet areas on beaches around the resort too, you have a walk a little further along towards Heaven if you want less people around you, but on the whole the beach area and pool areas did not seem crowded and you could always get a good spot (we stayed in a one of their busiest weeks).
The pool area is large but mainly quite shallow. The water sometimes felt a bit too warm in the afternoons (sea swimming was more cooling then) but refreshing in the mornings. A pool bar serves cocktails and whatever else you want (all branded drinks available) throughout the day.
Entertainment
The daytime entertainments team run activities through the day, stretching a yoga on the beach, water aerobics, quizzes and competitions, water volleyball etc. Parts of the pool are quite loud with the music but we found plenty of quieter places to go if you want less people round you. The play list of songs did get quite repetitive after a while however. 'Play that Song' seemed to be featured around 10 times a day, along with Human, which although a great song wears thin after 10 repetitions per day. My suggestion for variety would be to allow guests to submit playlists of say 10 songs. This could be done via an app and would be a fun feature fitting with the theme of the hotel.
Night-time entertainment was good and varied, we had Michael Jackson dinner show, Fire dancers, plenty of great rock party bands, Mexican fiesta evenings etc. All good. As our kids were under 18 we were not allowed to the heaven side for entertainment, but this did not present a particular problem.
One aspect we particularly enjoyed, although this was not greatly advertised, was the activities provided by the Music Lab team. These were great and free and very professionally run. We did Studio time (you can pick and record a song of your choice and have it sent to you, mixed and tweaked so you sound fab). MixLab - My daughter learnt how to use a DJ desk and then did a live DJ show by the pool and Rock Jam - participants were formed into groups, rehearsed a song then performed it in the lobby. These were all fabulous activities and well worth it for musical teens (I had a go at the recording bit too). Another unique aspect for musical kids was the 'picks' programme. This allowed you to hire a guitar for a deposit - the deposit is $1000 but it only gets charged to you room so you don't have to find it unless the guitar does not go back or is damaged. There are then a series of lessons on the Hard Rock TV channel for you to jam along with. I would say the lessons were intermediate rather than beginner level though!
Another unique entertainment for older kids (and adults) which opened the day before our last day, was Woodward. This is a huge complex with a big gymnastics, trampoline, foam pit area, for you to practice landing, backflips etc. You can also hire scooters, skateboards, BMX bikes to go around the large indoor courses. There is also a parcour area (balancing and jumping off things basically). My daughter booked in for a four hour workshop and had individual instruction from Hester who was amazing with her. My daughter is not the most gymnastic child and struggles with stuff like this but wanted to have a go, Hester was patient and encouraging and she ended up jumping around eight meters into the foam, doing back flips and little jumps on the scooter. She had a blast and the complex is amazing so well worth checking out.
Out and About
We enjoyed the following
Shopping trip to Playa Del Carmen - $25 taxi each way, but a fun way to spend the afternoon if the weather is not so good.
*Chitchen itza - a long day but well worth it. You look around the ruins which are one of the new wonders of the world and then have lunch and cool dip in a Cenote (natural pool) on the way back.
Xcaret - A great natural park, with lots of animals, snorkelling, a wonderful underground river (takes around an hour and is so cool and refreshing), shark swimming, dolphins and a fantastic evening Mexican history show. The swimming with *dolphins can be purchased on resort credits and was well worth doing although the photographs were stupidly expensive so we declined these (there was no pressure).
*Tulum and Cenote - Tulum is another very famous historic site, we had a great Mayan guide. It was hot but worth it and we were back by 3pm so still have plenty of pool and beach time to cool off.
*Snorkel Extreme - we were really glad we did this one. I was unsure when I booked it as it included zip wires and Rappel (abseiling) as well as snorkelling in a cenote and also a lagoon. My husband and my youngest daughter really enjoyed the jungle activities, there was no pressure for me and my elder daughter to do them, so we just enjoyed watching. Don't forget the insect repellent on this trip and the mossies are fearsome in the jungle (we forgot and were scratching for days afterwards). The cenote and lagoon snorkelling were spectacular and the trip was well run. Once again we were back by around 3pm which gave us plenty of chill time time by the pool too.
*Sunset cruise - This a lovely final trip. A breezy ride on a catamaran with all the cool drinks you wanted and snacks too. Only a three hour cruise to watch the sunset so you don't go far but great fun and very lovely. You get a sea view of the hotel too.
* All of the trips marked * were paid for with resort credits, this made them very good value as you only pay the 20% service charge on the cost of the trip (the rest is credits). So for example, Tulum was around $119 each, but we only paid around $25 each for the tip with credits.
The holiday planners are always in the lobby, they are plentiful and very helpful so make sure you make good use of them to enhance your holiday.
Spa
The spa is on the heaven side and is wonderful. You can pay for most things with resort credits and so it works out pretty reasonable. Around $30 for a massage, only around $6 for manicures and pedicures. Massages come with a hour in the hydrotherapy complex. You get individual attention for the therapists there and it is a lovely experience.
Unfortunately my 16 year old was not old enough to use the facilities on the Heaven side which she was very disappointed about. There was a salon on the Hacienda side but it was geared for much younger children and she felt pretty silly having a nails done watching cartoons and sitting under Angelina ballerina to be honest.
What the management need to do here I feel is have some time slots in the salons on the heaven side for 16 to 18 year olds. I don't feel that this age of young person would spoil the adults only vibe for the other guests, but it would enhance the stay of the young people in this age bracket greatly. Perhaps have a couple of hours per day that you can book that make 16 to 18 year olds welcome.
Eating
The hotel has the following restaurants. Ipanena - Brazilian in the evenings, but open for breakfast and lunch too. Mainly buffet style with meat carved at your table in the evenings. Great views from this one. The Garden - the largest buffet type restaurant - Always a good choice here for breakfast lunch and dinner. I would imagine it would have something for even the pickiest eaters. Zen - Japanese restaurant where they 'show cook' your meal in front of you. Lots of healthy options at this one too. Friyda - Mexican restaurant. Open for breakfast too. A good selection of Mexican dishes served nicely from an al a carte menu. You can also go across to Toro on the heaven side with a family. We had a lovely meal there overlooking the sea. This has a steak, salmon, chicken etc. We also particularly liked the coffee shop in the main part of the hotel which served a wide selection of ice cream and cakes through the day and great coffee. This one was also good to snatch breakfast at when heading out to trips. Great takeaway fruit and yogurt pots to take away. Food is also served buffet style at lunchtimes by the pool. Mainly fast food, i.e. burgers pizza, salads fries etc but all good. There is also an Italian but this is not open every night, it has a small menu of pasta, pizza and a few steak and chicken dishes but good if you are looking for something a bit quieter (take the bug spray though!).

Room Tip: 9314 had an amazing view for a standard room
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
15  Thank TrishReading
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Hello TrishReading!

On behalf of Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your valuable feedback. Your opinion is very important to us since we strive to create authentic experiences that Rock. However, please accept our apologies for the inconveniences you experienced during your stay.

It has been a pleasure having you here and we all look forward for your next visit to keep on pamper you as a Rock Star!

Cordially,

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2017

Our second time there and very pleased. Lagoon is perfect for snorkeling and swimming with the kids while still hearing the waves crash. Kids club is fabulous! We're very picky and we trust them with our kids. Private beach dinner on Heaven side was amazing! Ask for Alex as your waiter!! Warm friendly staff, good food.

Room Tip: Partial ocean view is still pretty great view
Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Jennifer T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Thank you for the rockin’ review, Jennifer T!

We are delighted that you had a fantastic vacation and feel the great service from our staff, we are happy to hear that you loved the Kids Club. We would love to roll out the red carpet for you and your family again in the near future.

Cordially,

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2017

I have been to many All Inclusive hotels and they have all been great experiences but the customer service I experiened at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya was beyond outstanding! The attention to detail, going out of their way to make you happy was perfect! I applaud the all the waiters, pool attendants, room service attendants,etc for making my stay at the Hard Rock a memorable one. The food at the Hard Rock was delicious as well! We had a lot of variety to choose from and everywhere we went was great! You have food service at all hours of the day! It's great. I highly recommend this hotel if you want to have a great time, eat well, and be treated like you are the most special person at the hotel.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank 811carolac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Hello 811carolac!

Thank you for the excellent review on TripAdvisor for the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. We are delighted to hear that you had a great stay and enjoyed the customer service. Thank you for the positive comments about our staff. We strive to create one of a kind experiences for our guests. We hope to have you as our guest again soon.

Best regards,

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2017

We stayed at Hard Rock Riviera Maya this past week and had a great time. Celebrating retirement and special birthday with family. Staff very friendly and helpful. Both kids and adults had a positive vacation. Definitely planning on a return trip.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank mcnyp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Hello mcnyp!

We were honored you rocked out with us! From the awesome music selection to our team of Rock Stars, we strive to create an experience that truly rocks. Thank you for the stellar five-star review, we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Best regards,

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2017

Took Family on vacation here through Costco. Resort was nice, but super busy and you felt like your very in a sea of people everywhere you went. Staff was super nice. Amenities were average. Room was fine. Avaerage resort at best. I'm sure you can find a better place in the Riveria to stay. Oh, and the resort credit game is not what they make it out to be. We did our excursions on our own- just took taxis and saved so much money.

Room Tip: We got the 2 room family suite- confortable. Hot tubs didn't work well. And the rooms smelt like a wet mildly scent. Kids liked the mini bars and free water toys. Nice bathrooms. Room service was hit or miss, sometimes they cleaned the rooms and provided turn down service and some nights they didn't.
Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank GunnMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan_Hundrieser, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Dear rocker,

We are disheartened to hear about your experience as it falls short of the world-class service we pride ourselves in providing. It has been a pleasure having you here and we all look forward for your next visit to assure you will receive the memorable vacations you deserve and create new memories.

Cordially,

Jan Hundrieser
General Manager
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

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