Executive Group Travel Blog

Hotel Review - Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

[fa icon="clock-o"] Mar 14, 2016 12:06:00 PM [fa icon="user"] Marci McCormack [fa icon="folder-open'] Travel Recommendations, Incentive Travel

The Hard Rock Hotel:

We recently just returned from a two hundred and twenty person incentive trip to the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, Mexico.  This was our second trip to the property which included a site visit back in November.  

We provide this review to help others looking to book future events at the property.  One thing is for sure, the views from the oceanfront rooms were amazing with impressive morning sunrises.  And you won't be able to beat the service provided by the Hard Rock staff.



Good, Bad and Ugly:

 First for the great:

  • Service was incredible.  Anything we asked for they delivered.  They jumped through hoops to provide the perfect experience for the meeting planners, the executives and each attendee.  The check-in process was extremely impressive and much better than we could have ever expected.  They moved over 80 people through the process in under 20 minutes!!  They setup a party at no additional cost with full bar, buffet, DJ, etc.  At no time were guests waiting for drinks or food but instead they provided exceptional service down at the beach and around the pool.  The VIP team was amazing, our event coordinator was always in a great mood and a pleasure to be around.  I can't say enough about the service from every member of the staff at Hard Rock.  They are the shining star of the hotel. 

Now for the good:

  • Size of the property was perfect for this type of group.  As a young technology company they enjoy spending time with each other so this compact resort was a perfect solution.  At all times you could find members of the group either in the pool, playing volleyball on the beach or enjoying the cabanas.  For the executives they offered VIP access so they could access two of the smaller and quieter pools on the 3rd floor (one being adults only).Hard_Rock_Pool.jpg
  • Outdoor event space.  The space for the welcome party was perfect for this size group.  Great views of the ocean, protected from the wind, one large bar, and great fire pit in the center.  (In the future we would recommend 1-2 additional pop-up bars for this size group).  The 3rd floor terrace on the opposite side of the building is as impressive with a little help with some decor.  The views and sunset are incredible from this lagoon facing space.  


  • Activities on property.  There was always something going on at the property from pool games to DJ's to beach volleyball.  They even turned the Brazilian steakhouse into a "club" our last evening with a DJ and full bar which ended up being a blast for the group.  


 Now for the bad:  

  • Unfortunately the food was not up to standards for what we expected.  With that said most all-inclusives run into this same issue.  The breakfast and taco bar were highlights but the lunch was a bit disappointing along with most of the group events.  Overall the food rating would be a C+/B-.  
  • We were nervous during the site visit as the property is a 3.5-4 star property (not a 4.5 or 5 star property).  With that said there are a few updates to the rooms that need to be made and a few small recommendations to the housekeeping team.  The oceanfront rooms were impressive with great patios but many guests found the in room hot tub to be extremely dirty and small issues with shower/toilets, etc.  
  • The noise around the pool is just too much and too often.  During most days the music would start as early at 10am and continue until 6-7pm.  The volume itself from 12-2pm was daunting and it took away the opportunity for those looking to relax.  The live music they provided was enjoyable in the evenings but the DJ yelling into the mic by the pool all day got old quickly and put a small damper on the on-site enjoyment.  We found our guests move to the beach during most periods in which the DJ was on the mic around the pool.
  • Construction noise.  During our stay it seemed that the music at the pool was set loud enough to attempt to offset the jackhammering that was happening on one side of the property.  This led to a few guests requesting to change rooms which unfortunately wasn't possible given capacity.      

Now for the ugly:  

  • We had two issues that tainted what would have been an awesome trip.  First almost 30 guests found themselves pretty sick once leaving the resort, some even requiring hospital visits.  We haven't been able to figure out the cause after many conversations with the hotel.  The hotels doctor they brought in for one guest said food poisoning, others said drinking the water.  Overall it was a tough ending.
  • The last issue was very unfortunate and does not reflect the entire property, just a handful of employees who could not be trusted.  I won't get into full details but in the end the hotel did the right thing by crediting us back for the issue but it still left a sour taste in our mouths.


Final Words:

Overall the ratings from the trip came back favorable over the previous years trip to the Atlantis, Bahamas.  Guests loved the fact that they could stay on property and not spend one dollar for their four day trip.  They loved the opportunity to spend time with co-workers in a relaxing setting while also getting to participate in one activity off-site.  Many went as far as saying it was the perfect trip minus the food issue.  The question remains would we book another event at the Hard Rock and we continue going back to the issue with the guests who ended up sick following the trip.  It's a tough decision since the service was some of the best we have ever received.

Overall we give the property a B rating! 


Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any entity mentioned herein. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.  

As is standard practice, our group of talented and experienced travel agents will often accept hosted stay invitations and hosted dinners and activities within destination in order to facilitate more detailed reviews.  

All images by the author.