Fodor's Expert Review Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Carretera 307, Km 72, Puerto Aventuras, Quintana Roo 77782, Mexico See on Map

The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is a luxury all-inclusive resort located in the northern edge of Puerto Aventuras. The place has lots of amenities and activities for children, teens and adults alike, everything with an intense vibe full of energy just like a hotel for rock stars should be. Half of the property is family-friendly, and the other half called Heaven at Hard Rock is adults-only.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The beach is artificial and set in front of a rocky lagoon, which takes away part of the allure of a beach resort.


In-room jetted tubs is the signature touch in all the suites at Hard Rock Riviera Maya. The design is modern and impressive, with the Heaven rooms pushing the boundaries into eccentric territory. All rooms include a hammock, and balcony or terrace, with of them also featuring an outdoor whirlpool tub and outstanding ocean views.

For the real Hard Rock experience, you have to book the Bret Michaels Rock Star Suite extending over 9,000 square feet. Feel like a true rock star at this outrageously lavish suite filled with a couple of cocktail bars, outdoor wood fire, and plenty of electric guitars. It’s like living in a nightclub, neon lights included.


The bathrooms are stylish and spacious, and they all feature showers, as the bathtub is already inside the room. The sink designs are varied and modern, they include vanity mirrors and aromatherapy sets. All bathrooms are equipped with their own brand of toiletries Rock Spa. The Bret Michaels Suite includes a 5-person shower with one-way mirror because, of course, why not?


Hotels like this are made to impress and lobbies are the first opportunity to do it, and the lobby at Hard Rock Riviera Maya doesn’t disappoint. During the day, a set of floor-to-ceiling blinded windows let in plenty of sun rays into a wide and modern courtyard like area, while in the night a large collection of hanging lamps lit the lobby in colorful ways. The Heaven section lobby is more serious and luxurious, with a few shops and restaurants in the surroundings. Of course, rock star memorabilia fills both lobbies.


There is the main Float pool which features swim-up bar, water slide semi-submerged loungers and a couple of Jacuzzis. Then there is the kids’ pool and a Splash Park. The family-friendly section also includes a Scuba pool. At Heaven’s section, you get a Dive pool, a semi-Olympic pool, and a rhythm pool. All this, without even mentioning the lagoon which feels like a salt-water pool.


The Rock Spa, with 75 treatment rooms, takes the rock theme to a different level with the introduction of its Rhythm & Motion music-centered therapies. They use amplified vibrations during massage therapy to enhance the healing power of the treatment. For more traditional treatments you can always book a Temazcal session or a hydrotherapy room.


The Body Rock Fitness Center is a large, modern and stylish gym with all you need to work out while on vacations. But there is also a Yoga Temple, for those that approach fitness from a more spiritual side, and you still have a climbing wall and a jogging trail.


With a total of 10 restaurants between both hotels, gastronomic diversity is all but guaranteed. You can choose from Asian, Mexican, Brazilian, or International cuisines, plus a pizzeria on the family-friendly section, or French, Italian and Latin American dishes plus a steakhouse at the adults-only part of this huge resort. Needless to say, they all create its own vibe with outstanding design and upscale service.


Each section has its own swim-up bar. The Sun Bar is the lobby bar of the family-friendly section. At Heaven, you’ll also find a Martini Beach Bar and the Club Heaven & Heaven Lounge with live DJs every night. And no, we are not counting the multiple bars of the Bret Michaels suite.


Getting Around

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is located just between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, and only a one-hour drive away from Cancun International Airport. There are many car rental agencies to choose from, or you may simply take or a shared van to get to the hotel. The car rental option is convenient if you want to further explore the area during your stay.


The hotel has good restaurants but you have to try some Playa del Carmen and Tulum specialties. Frida Kahlo (30-minute drive) in Playa is definitely worth a short trip, especially if you book the Frida Experience. It’s classy, different and you will have all your senses awaken. Kitchen Table (40-minute drive) is a jungle restaurant very integrated with its surroundings. You will love the food and how it is served. Another must.


The Beached Bikini Bar and Grill (20-minute drive) could become your next favorite place. This is how you imagine drinking beer on a beach when working in an office in a big city. Tequila Sunrise, Mojitos and lots of fun. Coco Bongo (30-minute drive) in Playa del Carmen is the most famous club in the area with shows that are better than many in Las Vegas. It may get too crowded sometimes, but the night is still worth it.


Because it’s intense and unapologetic. The rooms' design is fantastic and bold (especially at Heaven’s section). You’ll never get bored here!


On the beach


Phones: 984-875–1100;800-346–8225-in the U.S.

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