Just Back: Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Ready to rock out in Riviera Maya? Travel Agent is back with a first-hand experience from Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, a member of Hard Rock's All Inclusive Collection that opened its doors in December. 

The sprawling resort combines two vibes: families and adults-only, each with their own dedicated lobbies. Hacienda is the lobby for families, complete with shopping, restaurants, bars and a central courtyard where DJs spin into the wee hours. Over on the Heaven side, adults will find a more tranquil environment, with dedicated adults-only restaurants and bars. There is a section of the massive pool area that is specifically for adults as well. 

Throughout the property there are 1,264 private guest rooms, nine restaurants, eight bars, pools (including a grotto pool that becomes a nightclub after hours) and the Rock Spa. Our favorite restaurant was Frida, the dedicated Mexican restaurant which serves up traditional Mexican specialties (and some killer mango margaritas). Guests should also treat themselves to the hydrotherapy experience in the Rock Spa, to experience the healing benefits of hot/cold treatments before relaxing into a massage. 

Travel Agent checked into room number 6316, a Deluxe Platinum Grand Sky Terrace room. On the third floor, these rooms have steps that lead up to a private terrace with its own hydro-spa (perfect for gatherings of friends, we say). The room included complimentary wi-fi, a private balcony, mini bar with soda, bottled water, juices and domestic beer, flat screen television, 24-hour room service (included in the rate) and calls to the U.S. and Canada, also included in the rate. 

On the Town

Hard Rock Riviera Maya is about an hour and change away from the Cancun International Airport, which may make travelers antsy when they are ready to get down to relaxing. But the Riviera Maya resort's location puts it just minutes from some of the area's top attractions like Tulum and Xcaret. We were able to take the quick 15-minute trip over to Xcaret to explore what it had to offer.

This massive outdoor cultural park embraces the Yucatan's Mayan culture and allows guests to learn about historic Mexico in a fun and engaging way. Travelers can snorkel through the underground cenotes (sacred underground river systems), explore caves, swim with sting rays and dolphins, watch traditional Mayan ceremonies, check out the butterfly conservatory or simply lay by the beach and soak in the sun. The park also has a large selection of restaurants, including Mexican food, seafood and international buffets. 

It is best to spend the whole day at Xcaret, as there is so much to see and do. While we recommend Xcaret for families, there were many options for adults to enjoy, as well. 

Visit www.hrhrivieramaya.com or www.xcaret.com.