While we were nearing the end of our Arizona/Nevada 2016 trip, I received notification that, through the direct sales company I was with,  I had earned an all-expenses paid trip for two to the Hard Rock Riviera Maya in Cancun, Mexico.

We arrived home from Arizona and Nevada with two weeks to pack up and get ready to head out on this 5-day getaway.

This was a great trip and it didn’t hurt that absolutely everything was covered – from our flights to airport shuttle, to resort credits. The only time hubs had to take his wallet out was to give tips for the wonderful service we experienced at this first class resort!

I apologize in advance for some of the grainy photos I’m using in this post. My good camera was pretty much useless due to the high March humidity, so these are mostly iPhone pics.

Our stay at the Riv Maya Hard Rock included $800 in resort credits which could be used for tours, the spa and the golf course. The only extra we would have had to pay to use these credits were the reasonable applicable taxes. We opted not to use any of them and to just relax after all the driving we had just done on our Arizona and Nevada trip. 

When this resort says all inclusive, it means ALL-inclusive. We enjoyed dining as many times as we wanted at the many fine restaurants. There was zero limit on A La Carte dining. The beverage fridge in our room looked like a regular bar set-up, complete with 26 oz bottles and press-up pouring spigots and immediate room service for a refill if any bottle would be emptied. (We know this because …)  We enjoyed breakfast delivered to our room every morning and it was always hot and fresh and exactly what we ordered and always at the exact time we requested it!

There are two sides to Hard Rock Riv Maya. One is the adults only side (named Heaven) and the other is the family side (named Hacienda). We chose to stay on the family side because we correctly thought it would be quieter. The kids were at the pools all day and were tired early in the evenings, so the rooms were very quiet at night. The stunning pools on the Hacienda side were vacant after about 8pm, and so were the restaurants on that side.night pools 4

more night pools

romntic dinner

Adults have access to the Heaven side, regardless of which side you’re staying in, so we chose to do daytime and evenings at Heaven and then just return to Hacienda to sleep and on one night, to dine. Because we were there over St Patrick’s day, we enjoyed many festivities in the daytime on the Heaven side. 

st pats

The waters are rough along the coast, but there are safe swimming lagoons available for resort guests. 

_DSC0125private beach

Our room was everything we had hoped for and more – from the king bed with a cute  towel decoration to greet us every evening, to a stairwell that took us up to our own private terrace and spa! 


stairs behind bed


rooftop terrace

The view from our balcony was perfect and we enjoyed many other spectacular tropical views as we toured the resort. 

view from balcony


Although it’s “pricey” according to our warm getaway budgets, we’re already looking at booking again at the Hard Rock Riv Maya. The price is SO worth the experience!! 

last day

A vacation spot out of season always has a very special magic. Max von Sydow