Hey Fellow HR Brides, I found this post on a facebook discussion about the Hard Rock and thought it would be helpful for everyone as I found it helpful!
I just returned from the Hardrock, I was there from July 23-31st w/12 people. Just wanted to share the pros and the cons....Take 150 in $1 bills to have handy to tip your servers, tour guides, and your housekeepers.
Building: 4a, 5a (best locations) 1a, 2a, 7a, 8a (area for kids)
I booked 5 rooms and had an issue with 1 room. The lights wouldnâ€™t turn off for two days so they slept with the lights on for a couple days. They had an issue with service, but to be honest anytime I called about the TV or Air conditioner not working they were very prompt. Just an FYI the air turns off if the doors are open and not centeredâ€¦.
If you are a Palace member u get the Dominican experience and the morning snorkel included with your stay (itâ€™s a bumpy road but well worth the trip). U also get a mani/pedi & 25 min massage free of charge.
Come prepared w/a schedule on what U want to do-U have the following options w/UR resort credit: $76 pp for rock the boat (adult only snorkel and music/dancing), $76 morning snorkel (same as rock the boat kids allowed & they provide show), $250 for moon rocker, $300 spa credit, $100 in either slots or BJ(use the BJ because you can double ur money with the match), $300 for lobster dinner or chefs dinner, kodak pictures (set up an appointment with a photographer towards the end of your vacation to capture ur golden tan or lobster look) it is fun and u probably will have plenty of credits to put towards the package.
Back to the chk-in...find your concierge & insist on activating your credits they will ask you to attend a welcome to resort breakfast(a good way to see the resort and get some extra cash for tours or spa but if u are there for a short time pass on the tour its longer than 90min)-walk over to the area in front of the market place buffet and look for an open table to talk to your schedulers if they are busy go enjoy the resort and be there bright and early at 8am(donâ€™t be late or you will have to wait) Set everything up: massages, casino credit, spa, all activities. Be patient and be prepared to sit for a while grab a drink some ice cream and remember UR on island time (Destin was great but service is hit & miss there).
U get $300 in credit. The 50 minute massages and facials are $125. All 80 minute massages and facials are $185.
Show up an hour early so you can go through all the stations to exfoliate and close ur pores including: steam room, sauna, clay room, ice room. While at the resort I had a facial, 50 minute holistic massage, 50 minute aromatherapy massage, 25 minute back massage, scrub, 50 minute facial, and an 80 minute hot stone massage. I would suggest the hot rock massage THE BEST I EVER HAD & request Mercedes all the other massages were okay and I do not recommend the scrub or facial at all.
In order to eat at Toro you have to go to the table by the market place and get an RSVP for Toro from 8-11am. No RSVP was needed for Zen when we went
The very best service & food was at Los Gallos & Zen. We ate @ Los Gallos, Zen, and Toro twice....The service was poor at Toro but you could get a good meal Rib-eye and tenderloin was the best....Zen had great service and pretty good teppanyaki . Los Gallos isnâ€™t traditional Mexican but pretty good food (Enchiladas arenâ€™t traditional they are more like tacos there) the managers there are really nice and itâ€™s the only opportunity to get a good shot of Tequila (Don Julio). The lobster and champagne romantic dinner is okay but would recommend the chefs dinner. The Caffeto had pretty good breakfast & they have a really good breakfast plate called taco something but itâ€™s not tacos itâ€™s more like breakfast chilaquiles (really yummy). Try the creperia it opens at 4pm really delicious
Isla was not very good the best plate there was the red snapper and the seafood soup. Ipanema has mediocre food not too yummy. Market buffet has a different cuisine every night.
Room service is great avenue if u want to relax in the room or sleep in the morning.
Mama Juana is a root drink that is said to be an aphrodisiacâ€¦contains: honey, red wine, rum. People will run around yelling mama juanaâ€¦shots shots shots, it kind of tastes like cough medicine.
I suggest when you order drinks make sure u ask to have a particular liquor in it. Any rum ask for Bacardi the Dominican rum is a bit roughâ€¦..the liquor varies from bar to bar. The best service bar is in the casino Johan is a saint he will take care of you all night!! Zen has yummy Mojitos but remember ask for Bacardi as the rum of choice.
Beer will be presidentâ€¦..
The night club isnâ€™t open yet but they have a karaoke bar that is kind of hard to sing at because they have kids sign up from 9-10 and adults from 10-11pm. But the kids usually havenâ€™t stopped. Once that is over you can walk over to the moon lounge and listen to a band and the DJ starts after that. The casino is open until 230-3am.
They have a couple shows: Friday is Michael Jackson & Saturday the Circus show
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful itâ€™s rough so donâ€™t go in too deepâ€¦I would suggest you let your Picasso out and sign up at the beach to paint. I never painted in my life but it was a great activity for young and old, artists and non artistâ€¦.
If you want to relax without children head over to the Eden pool (itâ€™s â€œtoplessâ€ but no one was topless while I was there). Itâ€™s really relaxing, sheik, good music, cabanas, hammocks, hanging beds, and sushi bar. Good place to chillâ€¦.
Pool in front of 5A & 4A busy, lively and where the party is atâ€¦.Games, exercise, entertainment, pool by 8A is the kidâ€™s pool and lazy river.
$100 Sauna Island I would hold off if you are doing the morning snorkel or the rock the boat. You are only on the Island for a couple hours and the food is subpar. The liquor is cheap but itâ€™s a good time. You will get the same adventure with any of the snorkel tours.
$76 Rock the boat evening snorkel 2pm on a catamaran good timesâ€¦adults only (Frenchy the tour guide is not bad on the eyes either).
$76 Morning snorkel w/kids great show on boat and you will have the ability to pet sting rays, or swim with sharks for $80 (donâ€™t worry the stingers are removed from the rays, and the sharks are only left with a few teeth for safety. I didnâ€™t swim but the guys on the boat noticed I had a water camera and offered to take pictures ( that was really sweet so I gave him $10 bucks).
$250 Moon Rocker: fun adventure for 2 make sure you book early in the day if you wait until 6 it will get dark and your tour will get cut short. Itâ€™s like a mini jeep/quad. Beware of the bulls I had one charge at me thinking my quad was trying to mate with its cow ;-)
Dominican Experience: It is funâ€¦.take water and bug spray!!! You will go to Marias house a native in the jungle and see how she lives off the land and taste homemade coffee and cocoa. Then you will head to the cigar shop to see how they are made and try a flavored cigar. BEWARE: If you have a bad back donâ€™t go on this tour its fun but rough. On this tour you have the ability to try zip lining for an extra $72, if you havenâ€™t tried it go for it your on vacation its fun. Most importantly: pay to eat at this tour it is by far the best meal you will have while on vacationâ€¦.Itâ€™s authentic, fresh and unprocessed.
Befriend them leave a $20 bill the first day just to say I appreciate you and Iâ€™ll take care of you so please take care of me. Push the little green light by the door, when you leave the room to tell them you are ready for the room to be cleaned
Overall the experience was GREATâ€¦..Beautiful beaches, Johan the bartender and fun in the sun. There is Great, good, bad and uglyâ€¦So just remember you are on vacation and try to let loose and enjoy. The resort is the best you will get in Punta Cana but they are still working on improving the service and all the small detailsâ€¦and remember you can always have mama juana when you are a lil on edge. Hope this helped a little bit to make your stay a little more enjoyable