Here is my review.
What we enjoyed the most was that the place was practically empty. But, as it changes to a Hard Rock, I imagine it will start to fill back up again. It was really nice having restaurants, pools, and the beach to ourselves several times.
We really enjoyed the Jacuzzi tubs, but were told during the time-share sales pitch they will be removed. Probably for the best, since they do waste a lot of water.
24-hour room service was a nice perk, but we never used it.
The drinks were really good with a nice selection of liquor.
Staff was all very nice and helpful. Tipping isnâ€™t required, but the staff were all so great we tipped often.
The gym was really great. Iâ€™ve never seen such nice equipment at a hotel. The spa looked nice too, but we didnâ€™t use it.
The room was nicely stocked with drinks.
The location is great, just a quick trip to Playa del Carmen.
Lots of iguanas and a few monkeys around the hotel.
We enjoyed the jungly fitness trail and other landscaped areas between the rooms. Except the one on the far spa end had a pond and therefor tons of mosquitos.
The worst part of our stay, and reason why I would not go back, is that our rooms were so loud. I think it would be OK if you were not in a hallway with rooms on both sides. We couldnâ€™t sleep at night with the noise of people coming back from the bars and then the noise of them ordering room service.
The tile walkways were very slippery.
For such an empty hotel, I was surprised they would only give us a room with 2 full-sized beds.
The food wasnâ€™t that good and few restaurants were open. We had dinner in the Italian restaurant, which I kept hearing was their best, and I wasnâ€™t impressed at all. There was always a nice selection of fruit at least. My husband liked the food more than I did, so perhaps they are better with cooking meat than vegetables. I liked the beach buffet, but it was closed half of our stay due to rain.
We were told long pants were required for the nice restaurants. My husband didnâ€™t pack any and pants were $70 in the hotel shop. By the end of our trip, we learned they were not enforcing the dress code, but by then we had missed most of our chances to try the other restaurants. I think we would have found it more entertaining if we had gone to a different restaurant each nice, instead of the buffet each time. I wish we had tried the Mexican restaurant, because it sounded like fun.
I like a rocky beach with lagoons over a sandy beach and ocean waves, so I thought the beach was fine. But, the lagoons were not nearly as fun as the Catalonia next door. We had such a great time kayaking around the Catalonia. At Aventura Cove, it was more like kayaking in a swimming pool. You canâ€™t get in the ocean there, either. It would feel safer with kids though, so this is a great beach for families.
As nice as it was having the place to ourselves, it got boring. There wasnâ€™t enough to do around the hotel during the day. The shows started too late for us to enjoy, since we were getting up really early each morning. You also couldnâ€™t walk to the town from there. This is where I think it would be a different experience if you were there with friends & family. We werenâ€™t interested in the pool parties, but it would have been nice to have little activities, like painting ceramics, markets, or early evening shows.
The rock climbing wall was closed for maintenance, and judging by the condition of the sign, it had been closed a long time. We were disappointed in this, because we were looking forward to climbing.
We signed up for what we thought was a tour of the changes to Hard Rock. Instead, it was a cheesy sales pitch to pay for a membership to the hotel. It was really overpriced. We told them we paid way less to stay at the Catalonia & they told us how their hotel was so much better, but we really enjoyed the Catalonia so much more. I canâ€™t believe people would actually purchase this membership plan. Sounds like such a rip-off. We did get $100 off an excursion though for sitting through the sales pitch. Something they had during the sales pitch said the hotel is ranked #3 in the area on Trip Advisor, but right now itâ€™s ranked #13 out of #16 in Puerto Aventuras.
The bellhops left peopleâ€™s luggage sitting outside unattended for a long time. As we were waiting for our van to leave, we saw someoneâ€™s bag sit alone for 30 minutes. It would have been so easy for us to steal a couple of bags on our way out.
The shuttles to PDC donâ€™t run very often so we never got to take advantage of that. They also really promote the stay at one, play at the others, but it wasnâ€™t clear how to get to the others.
Overall, this place felt kind of sterile and lacked the character and fun of the Catalonia. Changing to a Hard Rock will probably be very good for this place, but the Hard Rock brand doesnâ€™t appeal to us, so we will not be back. If you are there for a wedding, it should be wonderful, since it will be so much fun just having your group together. For just the two of us, not wanting to pay for an excursion each day, it was lacking.