The Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, formerly known as Cancun Palace, had its official “Hard Rock” debut in October 2012 starring a brand new general lobby, separate group and VIP check-in areas, a new Brazilian steakhouse, the addition of Rock Star Suites and newly decorated rooms, pool renovations, and live music performances. The resort also recently finished renovating its Mexican restaurant and spa.
The resort’s overall décor is chic and modern with an industrial twist–a definite change from the cool and sedate look of its predecessor, the Cancun Palace. From a design perspective, the entryway from curbside to lobby resembles the shape of a guitar (the walkway/driveway is the long neck of the guitar, while the entryway fountain is supposed to represent a “pickup” or bridge of an electric guitar); approaching guests may not get a good sense of the guitar design until they view it from above, or know beforehand that this is a classic Hard Rock Hotel entry. Don’t miss the rock ‘n roll memorabilia scattered about the resort–another Hard Rock classic.
This resort has one of the best infinity pools in the Hotel Zone with its two swim-up bars and overall length of the infinity edge. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy such live musical performances as Battle of the Bands, guest DJ’s, and performers such as Lil Jon who “hosted” a great pool party last March.
Those who enjoy built-in pool loungers will be glad to know some have been added to the upper terrace, there are even several double loungers. For those guests who want a more intimate pool setting, the third floor has two smaller “pools” (they are more like very large Jacuzzis)–one is adults-only, while the other is family-friendly. There is also a bar and snack area on the third floor for those who don’t want to go far for refreshments.
Beach lovers will enjoy this stretch of powder white sand and turquoise Caribbean Sea with easy ocean entry. There are two lounging areas, one for timeshare owners and VIP’s (the roped-off area with cabanas and padded double loungers), while the general guest area includes palapas, shade umbrellas, and some additional cabanas (these are reserved in advance for an extra charge).
Parents will be pleased with the expanded Kid’s and Teen Clubs. The Kid’s Club here is particularly suited for children ages 4-7 with its themed activity rooms and characters including Barney, Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, and Angelina the Ballerina. Younger children will also enjoy the water park with its waterslides which is adjacent to the Kid’s Club.
Hard Rock hotels in general are known for their edgy yet classy guest rooms, and this resort is no exception. Check out the décor in some of their room categories–every room has a double Jacuzzi!
Hard Rock Cancun recently began a music program (what else) for guests age 12+ entitled “Music Lab”. There are three different Music Lab programs available at this resort–Jam Band, Spin Session, and RockTube. Jam Band allows guests to rehearse and play live in a band made up of seven members (also guests), Spin Session focuses on remixing tracks with a live performance just like a real DJ, while Rock Tube gives guests an opportunity to star in their own music video and walk the red carpet in their resort debut. Music Lab is Tuesday at 12 p.m. and Friday at 11 a.m.; guests can register by contacting the concierge desk.
Since this is still a Palace resort (of sorts), guests will continue to receive USD $500 to $1800 resort credit based on length of stay. Although resort credits can no longer be applied to room upgrades, they can still be applied to tours, golfing, and spa treatments. There are specific rules and restrictions for using resort credits these days, such as the 20% surcharge, so read the fine print carefully or ask the concierge for details.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Recently renovated, great beach, complimentary WiFi, two swim-up bars in the main pool, guests can check-out Fender guitars/amp/headphones for room use.
Con: Can get noisy, pricey, weak A/C in the common areas which will hopefully be fixed sometime soon.
Best Suited For: There is a wide guest age-range at this resort. Families with younger children should be aware that during certain live performances (guest DJ’s and other performers), conversation and song content can be adult-oriented. These shows are typically advertised in advance with a parental advisory. To be comfortable at this resort, guests should enjoy rock ‘n roll music since it’s blasted everywhere in the common areas.
No. of Rooms: 601
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, in-room dbl Jacuzzi, A/C, balcony/terrace, liquor dispensers and welcome bottle of red wine, mini-bar, flat screen TV, in-room safe, telephone with complimentary long-distance calls to the USA and Canada, alarm clock, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, robe and slippers, hair dryer, dbl sinks, shower, toiletries, complimentary WiFi, and 24-hr. room service. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Deluxe Room: King or two dbl beds. Views are limited or partially obstructed. There are no ocean views available in this category.
- Deluxe Gold: King or two dbl beds. Lagoon view.
- Deluxe Platinum: King or two dbl beds. Ocean view.
- Deluxe Family: Two connecting rooms (king bed, two dbls) with a lagoon view. Additional amenities include Fun in the Sun Bucket Kit, kid-friendly snacks, and kid-size robes and slippers. DVD’s, Xbox 360 and games are available upon request. Lagoon view.
- Deluxe Diamond: King bed, iPod dock, upgraded liquor dispenser selection, private concierge, CD/DVD player, special room service menu, nightly petit fours, nightly turndown service, use of beach bag. Ocean view.
- Rock Suite Platinum: Two bedroom suite (king and two dbls), separate living and dining room with sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, dining table and four chairs, three flat screen TV’s, balcony with full loungers and table and two chairs, upgraded liquor dispenser selection, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, robe and slippers, special room service menu, aromatherapy, nightly petit fours, nightly turndown service. Most are ocean view, but there are a few corner suites with both lagoon and ocean views.
- Rock Star Suite: Two bedroom suite (both king beds), separate living and dining room with sofa, armchairs, coffee table, three flat screen TV’s, dining table and four chairs, fully stocked bar with premium liquors, large shower, CD/DVD player, pillow menu, aromatherapy, beach bag use, two 25 min. massages, exclusive telephone concierge, private check-in/check-out, early check-in/late check-out based on availability, use of beach bag. Ocean view.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Beachfront infinity pool (two swim-up bars), two smaller pools off the third floor, three Jacuzzis, spa, beauty salon, sauna/steam room, fitness center, tennis courts, theater, complimentary WiFi, 30 min. use of the resort’s computers at the business center, complimentary phone calls to Mexico, USA, and Canada, resort credit, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12) with small water park, teen hangout called “The Cavern Club” with games tables/flat screen TV and dance area (for ages 13-17), concierge, tour desk, gift shop, clothing store, car rental, and ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: There is one buffet restaurant (The Market) and four a la cartes including Italian (Ciao), Asian (Zen–teppanyaki tables available), the newly remodeled Mexican restaurant (Frida), and the new Brazilian steakhouse (Ipanema). All restaurants have children’s menus; none require reservations. Snacks, light fare, and brick oven-fired pizza are served poolside; there is also a taco bar in the late afternoon. The third floor bar area by the smaller pools serves light snacks as well during the afternoon. There are two swim-up bars in the main pool, a very popular lobby bar, beach bar, theater bar, and third floor bar.
Entertainment: There are nightly shows or theme parties, live concerts, guest DJ’s, lobby TV screens, and the Ipanema restaurant is sometimes the setting for the late night disco.