Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Mexico

25/06/2024
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If your clients are looking for a high-energy, amenity-laden, all-inclusive resort for all the family, then Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya could be the perfect choice.

Set on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, an hour from Cancun’s international airport, the complex is huge, with 1,264 rooms spread across its lush gardens and beachfront location.

The hotel has been a popular pick for couples and families alike, but recent additions including swim-up rooms and dining venues in its adult-only section and a new family centre, Vibe City, have amplified Hard Rock’s offering.

First Impressions

At the entrance, you pass Hard Rock’s recognisable giant guitar which the chain has become known for, before being whisked by golf buggy to check in at one of the resort’s two distinct areas – Hacienda Roja for families and Hacienda Azul with its ‘Heaven’ section for adults.

Both have a similar feel with rock memorabilia and famous outfits adorning the walls (you can take a free tour to see it all) and iconic tunes drifting through the atrium.

‘Heaven’ is complete with three tempting pools and newly-added poolside cabanas (which come at an extra fee), a nightclub, beauty salon, gym and the Rock Spa, with a whopping 52 treatment rooms. Clients will be kept busy from morning until night.

One thing to note across the resort is that you cannot go directly into the ocean at the property – instead it has protected lagoon areas to take a dip.

Adults can wander freely between the two resorts, but families can only use Hacienda Roja.

The Room

There are 1,264 rooms spread across the complex, each of which offers signature Hard Rock amenities including a mini-bar stocked with soft drinks and alcohol (included in the all-inclusive offering), a huge in-room spa bath and hammocks on the balcony.

You can turn the rock star treatment up by ordering guitars and turntables to your room to release your inner performer.

I was lucky enough to stay in one of the recently added swim-up rooms. Located exclusively on the adult-only side, they’re perfect for a quick dip when the Mexican heat becomes too much.

Food & Drink

As far as all-inclusive options go, the hotel excels. With dozens of restaurants and bars, you don’t have to go far to refuel after a day of relaxation or activities.

Catering for every palate, dining options range from French cuisine to steaks and sushi. Two recent restaurant additions to the Heaven section in the past year are the Thai fusion restaurant, Wai, with dishes such as yummy Green curry and Singapore noodles, and Umo, which serves traditional Yucatán delicacies including grilled octopus with recado paste and chilli tahini, and guacamole mixed with ribeye steak.

The only things customers will pay extra for when it comes to dining is tequila tasting ($28pp), wine tasting ($37pp), private dining (prices vary) and the Awaken Your Senses dining experience – a multi-sensory feast which includes video projection, an interactive touch table and scents and sounds. This costs from $150pp and is available for eight people at a time.

Accessibility

Accessible rooms are available in both sections of the property and they include wider doorways, accessible toilets, bathroom rails, shower benches and roll-in showers. In addition, there are ramps and lifts throughout the hotel to easily access the main reception, pool and beach access areas.

Family Friendly?

Hard Rock has recently taken things up a notch with child-friendly amenities. The hotel already has the Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club and the impressive Rockaway Bay Waterpark (pictured), but throughout 2024 the resort is adding Vibe City to its family offering.

The indoor space (great for when there is a Caribbean downpour) features a giant soft play area for children aged four to 13, a climbing wall and arcade. An interactive area with VR headsets is set to come by the end of the year.  In Vibe City you will also find a bowling alley (extra charges apply), escape rooms, laser tag and a gaming room for kids and adults alike.

Who would you sell to?

Families and adults who are interested in non-stop action.

With the likes of Bon Jovi, Madonna and the Rolling Stones blaring around the pool each day, it’s not for those who want a quieter holiday.

The property attracts mainly an American and Mexican crowd, but during peak season it says there will be a bigger mix of Brits and European guests.