Looking for a kid-friendly all-inclusive resort in Mexico? How about the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya? Keep reading for my review of this fantastic family resort!
This Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya post was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Before our visit to the Hard Rock Riviera Maya, I’d never been to Mexico.
Being a traveler from the U.S., that’s kind of crazy that I’ve never been. For a lot of Americans, it’s the only country they’ve been to outside of the U.S.
My mom lives in Hawaii, so we usually spend our “tropical vacations” there. So Mexico hadn’t really been on my radar.
But, my son and I had a great opportunity to check out the Hard Rock Rivera Maya and we couldn’t pass it up!
Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya Mexico Overview
Before I really get into the details, I wanted to explain a bit about how the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is laid out.
Basically, there are two areas:
This is the adult-only section of the resort.
Although, kids are welcome at all of the restaurants and we played in one of the pools with several other little kids. It didn’t feel like we were breaking any rules, but I know it’s supposed to be geared just for adults.
They have a bar right in the lobby.
This is the family-friendly section of the resort.
You’ll be able to tell because it’s packed with kids! The other half of the restaurants are here, as well as a bunch of pools, a splash pad, a kids pool, a kid-friendly beach area, and the new KIDZ BOP Experience.
They have a coffee shop in the lobby.
There are two distinct lobbies (one on each side) and this is where you’ll find shops and more restaurants.
While there is a bit of signage to show which side is which, the resort feels like one big resort. There are paths that meander through both sides and you’ll be able to use amenities on either side.
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Where is the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya?
Riviera Maya is about an hour (or up to 80 minutes) south of Cancun Airport. You basically go down the highway and the resort will be on your left.
It’s tucked away from the highway and you’ll go through a security gate before entering the grounds.
Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for monkeys! They hang out in the trees in front of the resort!
What’s an All-Inclusive?
I admit, this was the first time I’d stayed in an all-inclusive resort and I had some questions before we arrived.
How does the food situation work? Is everything covered or will I still need my wallet? What about tipping?
Basically, an all-inclusive resort is where you pay a set fee that includes your room, food, and gratuity.
When you are done eating at a restaurant, you just get up and leave (which felt so weird to me!) And you can grab free drinks and ice cream and don’t worry about money.
The only things you need to pay for are things at the store. We ended up buying a pool inflatable and a few souvenir items.
Spa treatments also cost money.
Otherwise, I never needed my wallet.
What are the Rooms Like at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya?
There are a few different room styles for all family sizes. They range from basic hotel rooms, to 2-bedroom suites, to a full lounge with a personal assistant.
We had the Deluxe Platinum Double Room, which was perfect for my son and me. As far as hotel rooms go, this one felt really spacious and there were obvious places for suitcases and other items.
We each got our own bed, plus there was a table and chairs, a huge soaking tub in the main room, a mini fridge, lots of closet space, a full bathroom, and more.
They even have louvered shutters in between the bathroom and the main room which made it easy to talk to each other or get privacy.
What made it awesome is that they replenished the mini fridge every day and you could request particular items. We loaded our fridge up with juice boxes and extra water bottles.
What made it epic is that each room has a hammock set up on the balcony! It’s the first place we’ve ever stayed with a hammock and the novelty never wore off for us!
You can also ask the front desk to send up a kid-size robe or a Fender guitar if you like. And there’s a full pillow menu. Check latest prices and more details.
World Class Restaurants at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya
A huge part of staying at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico is that you can enjoy free dining at restaurants that use fresh and exotic ingredients!
I want to note that all the restaurants (in both the Hacienda and Heaven sides) offered the same kids menu.
If you know you want to eat at particular restaurants or you are visiting during a popular time, be sure to make your dining reservations in advance!
Since we were only there for 4 days, we couldn’t possibly try all the restaurants. And we did take advantage of room service for a few meals (it’s one of our favorite perks!)
But, here’s the rundown of the restaurants we did try and the other Hard Rock Riviera Maya restaurants:
I’m listing this first because this is where you get your COFFEE! And it’s really, really good! They have a bunch of different kinds of milk, including dairy-free.
They have a continental breakfast and lots of grab-and-go breakfast and lunch items. It’s super easy to grab food and then go stake out a lounge chair by the pool.
And in the afternoons, they serve ice cream!
We ate breakfast here every day and it saved us a lot of time.
This is where we ate dinner the first night. It’s a steak house with lots of yummy side dishes and the desserts sounded fantastic.
We were a bit rushed (because my son was falling asleep at the table) but the food was pretty tasty!
This was our favorite restaurant experience! It’s a teppanyaki restaurant (like Benihana) where the chef comes and theatrically cooks traditional Asian cuisine in front of you.
My 5-year-old was mesmerized!
If you don’t do the teppanyaki, there are regular tables set up and you can order a variety of Asian dishes, from sushi to stir fry.
Le Petit Cochon
Another notable meal was at the French restaurant. I was able to get beef tartare (they also had a vegetarian version made with beets!) and delicious risotto.
But, the standout was dessert.
You have to order the chocolate souffle! They do a big presentation at your table where they light it on fire and your kids will think it’s the coolest thing ever!
This is where we had a rooftop welcome party and the location is fantastic!
We didn’t have a chance to try any of the food, but they specialize in authentic Rodizio service (Brazilian steakhouse where they walk around and cut off pieces of meat for you.)
They also have an Italian restaurant with a la carte items. I feel like almost everyone loves Italian food, so you’ll probably want to make a reservation here.
This is a Latin American restaurant with traditional flavors.
If you are fans of buffet dinners, you’ll probably spend a lot of time at The Market. They do a breakfast buffet every morning with fresh and exotic foods.
In the evenings, they offer themed dinner buffets.
Since most people love pizza, this is also a restaurant you’ll probably want to visit. They create crispy brick oven pizza, salads, soups, and a la carte pasta dishes.
I’m embarrassed to say that we didn’t really eat Mexican food during our trip to Mexico.
If we had one more night, I would have made a reservation here because they specialize in regional Mexican Yucatan cuisine.
Plus, they had a super cute statue outside their restaurant!
While it’s not really a restaurant, I wanted to make a note that you can get great snacks, top-shelf drinks, and service by the Heaven pool.
The same goes for the pools near Hacienda. They also offer a lunch buffet, which is convenient.
Best Things to Do at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya
If you are looking for an all-inclusive resort in Mexico where there’s always something to do, this is it! Be sure to grab a schedule when you check in so you’ll know where the fun stuff is.
Here are a few of the standouts:
There is a zero-entry kids pool with a play structure, a splash pad, and a family pool that has a swim-up bar.
Food and drinks are served throughout the day with their poolside service.
There’s also a private white sand beach perfect for swimming, kayaking or building sand castles! You can also find exclusive saltwater snorkeling areas.
The pool areas have lots of lounge chairs and even some with umbrellas and cabana areas.
Rockaway Bay Water Park
We didn’t head here until our last full day and I totally regret not coming sooner! This is a water park that really has something for every age.
It’s open 10 am-6 pm and they have 9 slides geared for children/teens, 8 slides for younger kids, and 6 high-speed slides for teens and adults.
My 5-year-old met the height requirement to go down one of the “big” slides and he literally closed the place down there!
There’s also a snack bar there where you can stock up on yummy frozen drinks to stay cool!
And best of all, it’s included in your stay!
Of course, another perk of all-inclusive resorts is taking advantage of their kid’s club.
Kids ages 4-12 are invited to get dropped off at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya kids club for lots of fun activities like magic shows, discos, games, face painting, castle making, and more.
If your kids like playing with other kids, this is extra fun for them. My son loves making new friends on vacation.
It’s open daily from 8 am-9 pm and they will feed your kids if you drop them off during mealtime.
If your family is into indoor play spaces or extreme sports, you might want to check out Woodward.
They have an indoor concrete skate park, trampolines, foam pits, ParkBoard and ParkSki indoor snowboard and ski equipment, a Ninja Obstacle Course and more.
It’s geared for kids ages 7 years old and up, but they also offer micro sessions for kids ages 3-6 years old.
This is an additional fee, unless you book it as part of your Hard Rock Resort package.
Find out more things to do in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Is the Hard Rock in Riviera Maya Kid-Friendly?
Not only is it okay to bring your kids, but they also go above and beyond to make sure your entire family is set up!
They can bring you cribs, rollaway beds, extra juice boxes, and basically anything you need to make your hotel room comfortable!
And for an additional cost, you can get a baby package that includes diapers, wipes, bottle sterilizers, etc.
How to Get to Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya
The easiest way to get to Riviera Maya is to fly to Cancun Airport.
From there, you’ll want to take a shuttle to get to your resort. As soon as you exit the Cancun Airport, there will be tons of tour operators that will try to get you to use their services.
That’s totally up to you.
If you want something pre-arranged, you can book the Hard Rock Riviera Maya shuttle for an additional cost.
When’s the Best Time to Go to Cancun?
The peak season is from December to April. That’s where you’ll get almost-perfect weather and score cheap flights and room rates.
November is a great month for families with children, as long as you don’t have to worry about school. The weather is great and the prices are pretty good.
The summer rainy season is from July through October, so you might have to deal with a bit of rain. Or you might not. And crowds are usually pretty low.
We went in the middle of August and it was in the 90s and super humid. It rained overnight a couple of times, but it was plenty sunny every day and we got some pretty nice tans!
My son and I like to be warm and there was A/C in all the buildings.
Hard Rock Hotels FAQs
What did the Hard Rock used to be in Riviera Maya?
The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico was formerly the Aventura Spa Palace. The hotel was built in 1991 and underwent a $140 million renovation in 2013 to become a Hard Rock Hotel.
What does all-inclusive mean at Hard Rock Riviera Maya?
Hard Rock Riviera Maya is an all-inclusive resort, which means that the price of your stay includes all of your meals, drinks, and activities. This includes water sports, fitness classes, and nightly shows.
Is there a beach at Hard Rock Riviera Maya?
Yes, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya has a private beach. The beach is located in a secluded cove and is surrounded by lush vegetation. The water is clear and calm, and the sand is soft and white.
Is there a private adult beach at the Hard Rock hotel?
Yes, there is a private adult beach at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. It is called Heaven at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya and is located in a secluded area of the resort. The beach is only accessible to guests of the Heaven section of the resort, which is an adults-only area.
Does the Hard Rock Riviera Maya have a fitness center?
Yes, the Hard Rock Riviera Maya has a fitness center. It is called the Body Rock Fitness Center and is located in the Heaven section of the resort. The fitness center is open 24 hours a day and has a variety of equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, weight machines, free weights, and a variety of cardio and strength-training equipment.
How do I make dinner reservations at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya?
There are a few ways to make dinner reservations at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya. You can call the hotel directly at +52 984 877 0000, make a reservation online at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya website or use the hotel’s mobile app.
Is there valet parking?
Yes, there is valet parking available at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. Valet parking is free for guests of the hotel.
Does the Hard Rock hotel have free wifi?
Yes, the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya has free WiFi throughout the resort. This includes the rooms, the lobby, the pool area, and the beach. The WiFi is fast and reliable, so you can stay connected with friends and family while you’re on vacation.
Is there a kids club at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya?
Yes, there is a kids club at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya. It is called the Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club and is located in the Hacienda section of the resort. The kids club is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm and offers a variety of activities for children ages 4 to 12.
What’s the room price at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya?
The price of a room at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya varies depending on the time of year, the type of room you choose, and the length of your stay. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $500 per night for a standard room. If you are looking for a more luxurious experience, you can choose from a variety of suites, which can cost upwards of $1,000 per night.
Who owns the Hard Rock Riviera Maya?
The Hard Rock Riviera Maya is owned and operated by RCD Resorts, a Mexican hospitality company. RCD Resorts is a subsidiary of Grupo Vidanta, a leading Mexican tourism company. The Hard Rock Riviera Maya is one of 12 Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico.
How Do I Book My Stay at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya?
Ok, have you decided that the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya is where you’d like to go for your next family vacation?
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya Wrap Up
Our experience at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya exceeded our expectations and further solidified its reputation as a top family travel destination.
This elevated and exclusive retreat offers an unparalleled level of luxury and entertainment, allowing families to indulge in a vacation experience like no other.
The private white sand beach beckons guests to relax and unwind, while the stunning tropical views serve as a constant reminder that you’re in paradise.
And, of course, the legendary Hard Rock hospitality ensures that every guest feels like a rock star, from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave.
One of the highlights of our stay was the exceptional room service, which catered to our every whim and made us feel truly pampered.
Whether it was breakfast in bed or a late-night snack, the attentive staff went above and beyond to make sure our needs were met.
So, if you’re searching for a family vacation destination that combines the perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and luxury, look no further than the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.
We guarantee that your family will leave with memories to last a lifetime, and you’ll find yourself counting down the days until you can return to this unforgettable haven.