Riviera Maya | Hard Rock Hotel
At the Hard Rock International Hotel:
- Rock Spa: Couples massage on the beach in private palapa <3
- Tight Rope walk over the ocean
- Feeding the fish (think: 100s of brightly colored fish around your feet in 10 seconds)
- Reserve a Private ocean front Cabana with waiter service
In Riviera Maya:
- Chichan Itza: one of the 7 Wonders of the World
- Drive the Yucatan Jungle & swim in a Cenote (natural swimming pool in the Yucatan Jungle)
- Main street shopping
Kiana Travel Review & Journal
Aloha! What a wonderful trip to the Riviera Maya in Cancun. I had never been their before, but we did our homework. It's often referred to as the French Riviera of Mexico. It was much newer, cleaner and nicer than most parts of Mexico, with dozens of fabulous hotels, resorts, shops and restaurants. However, having been to the real French Riviera to watch the Ferrari / Porsche Races at the Concourse de Elegance in Monaco, this is not like the real French Riviera where $60,000,000 yachts will the sea.
At the Mexican Riviera, Hard Rock Hotel International in Riviera Maya, There are 2 Hotels: One for Adults. One for Families. Guests get access to BOTH hotels and all restaurants at BOTH hotels.
The hotel grounds are beautiful, lined with palm trees and windy paths. Turquoise ocean as far as you can see.
We flew out of LAX which was convenient. A limo picked us up. We took our Moms with us and wanted to spoil them a bit. Gotta love my 9 year old Mini Me, Kiana Jr., throwing a sleepy bicep pose in the limousine at 5am. Love my little Fit Kid.
When we arrived, it was mandatory beers for the adults is what every tourist does in Mexico I'm told. A short drive from the airport, we arrived at the Hard Rock International Hotel. Beautiful resort.
The 1st thing I noticed was the iconic Hard Rock Guitar at the entrance to the Resort. Gorgeous entrance that really stood out like an oasis.
The 2nd thing I loved was the guard(s) gated entrance. Guards confirmed you are on the Guest list before entering. Safer this way 🙂
The 3rd thing I noticed, (being the Diva Traveler I am ) were the HUGE ants on steroids! Wth? Literally the size of a soda pop top. Yikes! No barefoot walking for us!
Love the iron gates and private entrance.
Then... we see a little wild monkey run by in front of us!? Haha! If you look carefully, there are monkeys all over in the trees 🙂
The Hotel Lobby is really fun and all Rock and Roll with a Mexican touch. Fun costumes, concert collectibles, instruments to look at and read about.
Beautiful art on the ceilings too!
The hotel was all inclusive meaning all food and drinks are included. Being the Fit Mom Fitness Queen I am, it took discipline to eat healthfully! I loved the fresh fruit bar and fresh squeezed juices every morning esp. the green drink with banana, greens, pineapple and mango.
For breakfast, I always had a fresh egg white omelette and avoided the pastries and bacon etc. I prefer my food be prepared fresh for me, as opposed to food that has been sitting out. Lunch and Dinner: fresh grilled fish. Loved the Seeds and Nuts Bar to sprinkle on toast and oatmeal.
Loved the swings to relax and have a glass of wine.
And some grapes, cheese and crunchy bread sticks
The Music bars to check out new tunes and the game rooms. Rock and Roll Memorabilia all over the resort. Loved the huge boots from Paul Stanley from KISS
Beautiful Pools to lounge, swim and relax
Our Hotel Room: Beautiful Mexican Style 2 Story, 2 Bedroom Suite
We had a beautiful spacious 2 bedroom suite. It is 2 floors. Has a connecting room for the kids. Private balcony with little pool. Stocked bar. 24 hour room service. Very nice complete with Adorable Hard Rock themed nightly treats on your pillow 🙂 Love these touches.
MUST ENJOY AT THE HOTEL:
The Ocean front Cabanas
There are 2 Hard Rock Hotels: one for Families and one for Adults. I loved the adults only side with the beautiful cabanas over looking the ocean. The ocean is such a different color blue in Cancun then in California or Hawaii. So gorgeous. I sat here all day and enjoyed being served cold drinks and fresh seafood. Make sure and reserve one for the whole week, as soon as you get there!
The Gym. Yes you read that right. We're Fit Moms, right?
The Adults side had a wonderful gym, complete with racks of free weights, barbells, dumbbells and a complete line of machines. I had the gym to myself since most people were there to party! Tip: Workout early. On the pretty walk to the gym, put out towels, hats, magazines to hold your chairs on the beach or by the pool. The best spots are taken by 7 am! The Gym is fully a/c which is so nice as it was over 100 degrees mid day.
Bicycles waiting and ready to ride around the grounds
Couples Beach Side Massage at the Private Palapa
One of the "Must Do" things at the Hard Rock is the Couples Beach Side Massage in a cabana. You are literally on the beach, in a shady palapa. LOVE!
Okay I have to be honest. Next to the gym, pool and beach, I spent most of my time at the Rock Spa. I had to try 99% of all the facials, massages.... Before any of the services, you meet in the beautiful spa beforehand. I thought it resembled a sexy lounge you'd see at Hard Rock in Vegas. BTW: The resort offers "points" that you can use toward massages and other things. I used ALL of our points at the Spa 🙂 OOPSY. My bad.
Of course, they have rock star themed zebra blankets 🙂
There were so many fun activities to do there! Our favorites were the Kayaking. What a fun way to see the ocean while being active with the kids. The only downside is that it's a small area to paddle. We're used to paddling in Hawaii where you can go anywhere.
Pools and Pool Slide
Many pools to pick from and a fun water slide too! Yes, Kiana Jr. throwing yet another bicep pose 🙂 (proud Fit Mom moment.)
Loved spending time with my Mom, aka Mom Tom as the cast of Kiana's Flex Appeal call her
Feeding the Fish
Walking the Ocean Tight Rope
We loved walking the ocean tight rope! It was so fun! We even had contests to see who could stay on the rope the longest while we tried to knock the other off!
Every morning I loved feeding the fish! We would save some of our toast and get extra crackers to feed the FISH! It's truly amazing how many dozens of colorful fish, large and small, that gather in 5 seconds!
Foamy Bubbles Pool Party: Adult Pool
Okay, this did NOT appeal to me. It seemed as if you would be taking a bubble bath with dozens of sweaty strangers. But that obviously appealed to everyone else!? Fun to watch everyone though! Hilarious! Basically they take a huge blower and fill the whole pool with bubbles
Must Do Things in Riviera Maya
Even though we live at the beach, going to another beach across the country is a fun option. We took the kids to see 1 of the 7 Wonders of the world: Chichan Itza or as they call it "Chicken Pizza." We hired a private car and driver to take us there, about 3.5 hours away but worth it. Driving thru the Yucatan Jungle, make SURE you have ROAMING on your mobile phone in case of an emergency. Remember, there's NO AAA in the Yucatan Jungle! Chichan Itza was really impressive. It was much larger than I expected and you could feel the history just standing next to it. You used to be able to run up the steps. Not any more since it started to crumble.
- It's a drive, but worth it. I recommend MAKING SURE you confirm it's an air conditioned private car, taxi or tour bus. We opted for a private car because we (um, okay I) didn't want to be held to staying out there for 6-8 hours with a group. I wanted for us to be able to leave when we wanted to go and stop along the way to see the Cenote and buy souveniers if we saw a small town. The Hotel offers tours and all sorts of options.
- Bring your own cooler back pack loaded with ice and water. Bring an umbrella to shield from the sun. When we went in June, it was over 100 degrees. Much to hot for my mom and mother in law. They stayed back at the hotel. You are in the jungle, only shade is under a tree. Really hot. We could have sold all of our water to the tourists who weren't prepared.
Tour the ruins puzzle maze and hike to the ocean view cliff. Tulum was built late in the thirteenth century, during what is known as the Mayan post-classic period. With a little imagination and knowledge, the ruins become a giant puzzle waiting to be pieced together.
Swim in a Cenote
It's a gigantic natural pool with long vines hanging from the trees above. It's a Natural sink hole / swimming pool....NOT the kind of sink hole you see on the news in Los Angeles...that's what I thought too! Really beautiful, but beware of the tiny catfish. Just don't look at them and you'll be fine. It's really amazing but for me, I kept thinking a sea snake would grab me! Quick dip and that's it! Kids and hubby had so much fun jumping off the steps!
Tips: yes. public bathrooms. public group rinse off shower. wear your swimsuit. don't bring valuables. rental life vests. small souvenier shop.
Great photo opps and selfies 🙂
One afternoon, after a fun day at the beach and pool, we went into town and did some shopping. The kids loved buying souveniers and I loved haggling. Tip: Put everything you want into one big pile. Give them a low offer for all of it. You get a better deal than 1 at a time.
I am not a big Tequila drinker, but really enjoyed learning and tasting all the different types of Tequila. They were all really delicious but my favorite was the $225,000 / bottle of course 🙂 My mom, aka Mom Tom, as the cast of Kiana's Flex Appeal ESPN call her, loved it too! She usually loves champagne, but ended up loving the tequila! So much, she hit the dance floor for hours!
Thanks to the Hard Rock International Resort & Spa Riviera Maya for hosting my family and me during our stay. Thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.