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Hard Rock, Riviera Maya

by Camille Pepe Sperrazza

 

The stairway to heaven exists.

 

It is at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya, at the entranceway to the beach/pool area of the all-inclusive adults-only section of the resort.  This area is named, "Heaven," fitting for the resort's rock and roll theme as well as the beauty and serenity of the area. "Your stairway lies on the whispering wind," is written on the wall above the stairs, quoting Led Zeppelin's immortal words to the song, "Stairway to Heaven," setting the tone for guests' expectations.

 

Famous lyrics appear on walls throughout the resort; pillow cases feature small guitars; and lampshades encourage people to "rock around the clock." Yet, it is all done tastefully and subtly, creating a destination that appeals to people of all ages.

 

This is the resort that celebrated its grand opening with a concert by Jon Bon Jovi, a helluva way to say, "Let's get this party started." There are two sections - Heaven and the family-friendly, Hacienda section. Adults who are housed in Heaven have access to pools, restaurants, and beach areas that are child-free. Yet, they can rock both sides of the resort and may dine at all restaurants. A shuttle bus is available to transport them across the sprawling property. Families stay on the Hacienda side, where there are plenty of appealing restaurants, amenities, and activities for them. But there have been some recent changes to this: At certain times of the year – usually summer – the entire resort becomes family-friendly, and each section is open to all.

 

No matter what, a stay here transforms you into a rock star. The wait staff is everywhere - at check-in, at the beach, by the pool, and throughout the resort - asking what you would like to drink. This is Margaritaville, so order Margaritas as they are meant to be enjoyed – made with fresh lime juice, sour rather than sweet.

 

Rooms are stocked with soda, juice, bottled water; and full bottles of booze are at your disposal. Indulge while soaking inside the Jacuzzi of your room. Nothing less will do, and just like a rock star, you’ll have unlimited resort cash to spend any way you wish. Book a spa treatment, take a tour…the options are yours. Hard Rock will make the arrangements, and you pay only a 25% service fee.

 

Bring it up a notch by starring in a professionally made video, lip-synching and playing musical instruments to your favorite rock song. This is no amateur karaoke session. Professionals are brought to the resort to take 45 minutes of close-ups and long shots, featuring you – in costume – rockin’ to your favorite song, guitar and mic in hand. When you get home, you’ll receive a link to an expertly-edited video that puts all your other vacation home movies to shame.

 

Dine at a variety of delicious restaurants that include Italian, French, Mexican, and Asian fare. The latter has hibachi tables, where chefs create meals in front of guests, with Benihana-type fanfare. There’s visual excitement at the Mexican restaurant as servers prepare specialty coffee drinks with flaming liquids.

 

Entertainment includes rock bands that perform in the lobby and music-themed performances at the Hacienda showroom. Late night, guests can dance at Club Heaven, where a D.J. spins tunes. 

 

An incredible 20,000 square foot sports area called Woodward features activities such as skateboarding and gymnastics. A nominal fee applies.

 

The resort is located about an hour and 15 minutes from the Cancun airport, about 20 minutes from the busy Playacar area. The beach area is gorgeous – the water so clear, you can see fish swim – but it is more like a lagoon, the ocean separated by barriers that break the waves, contributing to the serene setting that many find appealing.   This means there is no vast ocean for those looking to swim.  

 

Be sure to catch the free monkey tour. Follow a guide on a stroll of the grounds and watch the trees. The very smart monkey we saw looked down on us, turned its back, and positioned itself on a palm tree leaf that tilted downward, making a deposit that landed too close for comfort. While the monkey tour is fun for us, it seems the monkeys enjoy it even more.

 

Ready to book your vacation here? Contact "Commodore" Camille today.

 

 This article was accurate when it was written, but everything in life changes. Enjoy the journey!

 

 Copyright: Camille Pepe Sperrazza   

 

View from "Heaven" section of Hard Rock Riviera Maya.