Caribbean, Destination, Family, Mexico

What Makes Hard Rock Cancun the Best All Inclusive Resort

Hard Rock Cancun Resort View

Welcome to Hard Rock Hotel CancunThere are so many all inclusive resorts in Mexico that it can be difficult to choose. Whether you’re old or young or looking for excitement or relaxation, Hard Rock Hotel Cancun is one of the best all-inclusive resort in Cancun. They define all-inclusive. The activities program is one unbelievable experience after another, the culinary options are an internationally inspired treat, the suites offer over-the-top indulgence and the amenities are beyond what you’ll find anywhere else. We spent five days at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun and it ruined me for all-inclusive resorts anywhere else. I’d be here for days explaining all of the greatness of Hard Rock Cancun but I’ve compiled a list of the highlights that will show you why Hard Rock Hotel Cancun is the best all-inclusive resort in Cancun.

Number One: Unlimited Phone Calls to the Continental US and Canada

On the day that I arrived at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, I received news that there was a death in my family. If I had of been at any other resort in Mexico, calling would have been difficult and costly. All I needed to do was pick up the phone, dial 9001 and the phone number and it was completely free. Hopefully, you won’t have a similar situation while you’re in Mexico but having unlimited phone calls will give you peace of mind. It allowed me to call my family in a time of need and not worry about how long I was on the phone. I chatted with my parents, grandparents and siblings for hours. It allowed me to “be there” even though I was so far away.

Even as parents, we can see the value of unlimited phone calls. I travel often without Athena. Usually we Skype or Facetime but having options is reassuring and a step above the typical all-inclusive resort.

Number Two: Unlimited Free WiFi In-Room & Resort-Wide
Relaxing in the pool at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

You’d think that all all-inclusive resorts would offer free WiFi but it’s not the case, especially in the Caribbean. Even when it is included, it’s usually weak, not available resort-wide, requires a password and only available for one device. I love being connected. It’s become a huge part of our lives (maybe too much but that’s an entirely different post). Some people choose resorts or destinations based on the internet service. Hard Rock Hotel Cancun makes it hassle-free. No password is required and you can use it anywhere on-site.

Number Three: Top-Shelf In-Room Liquor Dispenser & 24/7 In-Room Service

You expect dining and liquor options at an all-inclusive but I’ve never been to another property that offers a top-shelf in-room liquor dispenser and 24/7 free in-room service. Our refrigerator was stocked with drinks for everyone including juices and sodas and the liquor dispenser had rum, tequila and vodka choices that I would drink at home. I like Diet Coke and I drank the two in the fridge on the first night. When we came back to the room after daily maid-service, there were two more Diet Cokes stocked again. It was like a magical fairy came and replenished our favorites… for free!

We were even more surprised with the in-room service. At 1:30 am, long after Athena had fallen asleep, Darren and I decided to order snacks. We ordered chicken strips, quesadilla and cheesecake. Within 15 minutes, it arrived at the door without an additional charge. We felt like rock stars. When I checked out, I was waiting for an additional bill because I still didn’t believe that it was all included but nothing came.

Number Four: Daily Activities Program
Hard Rock Hotel Cancun Foam Party

There is never a dull moment at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun. In one day, we participated in aquaerobics, Spanish lessons, pool volleyball, a horseshoe tournament, a water balloon fight, Michael Jackson trivia and Karaoke.  One of our other favorites during our stay was the Foam Party. The entire pool was filled with foam making it like a huge bubble bath. There was a DJ, dancers, balloons and games. It was a little more adult-focused but Athena joined us for an afternoon of rock star fun.

Number Five: Kids Club
Hard Rock Hotel Cancun Kids Club

Not everyone is interested in the Kids Club at all-inclusive resorts, but I can guarantee the ones who are consider it one of the best amenities at a hotel. The year-round kids program includes a daily schedule of dreamy activities like the Character Breakfast with appearances by Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and Barney, crafts, pool time at the children’s pool playground, musical performances at the theater by Barney and dance classes with Angelina Ballerina.

Although the schedule is continuous throughout the day, there is an array of ongoing activities in the Thomas & Friends Activity Station, Barney’s Music Room, Bob the Builder Construction Zone and the Angelina Ballerina Dance Studio.

Athena loved the supervisors, activities and children at the club. It was the first kids club that she wanted to stay for hours and when I arrived to pick her up, she asked if she could stay longer. Every morning she woke up begging to go to the kids club. When I picked her up, she was bouncing with excitement to tell me all of the amazing things she did that day. The supervisors were hands-on with her as well. One day, she had her nails painted, another she had her hair done in braids and another she was passed out, sleeping, in a chair with an Angelina Ballerina costume, a head band with ears and pink-painted toe nails. She never naps during the day anymore but it was just too much excitement for her. She had the ultimate hard rock play time.

Number Six: 9 World-Class Restaurants that Don’t Require Reservations
Dining at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

One of the worst things about staying at an all-inclusive is usually the food. Who wants buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner every day? Who wants to rush around trying to make reservations at a restaurant that’s usually sold out before you even arrive? Who wants to wait around for one restaurant to open when you want a snack? None of it is a worry at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun. A few of our favorites include: Zen – an Asian-themed hot spot, Ciao – an Italian-themed fine-dining experience and Ipanema – a Brazilian steakhouse. No reservations are required at any of them and they are all fine-dining, gourmet restaurants with menus and table service. For lunch, we loved Pizzeto. It offers artisanal brick oven-style pizza as well as other Mediterranean influenced dishes. It’s next to the pool and only steps from the beach. It’s a “no shirt, no shoes, no problem” type of place and perfect for kids and adults. For breakfast, Zen is the place to be. They have specialty chefs making fresh crapes, omelets, waffles, pancakes and quesadillas. The other options are unlimited and fresh. You can order any drinks you want, including alcohol without judgement and the servers are willing to bring you anything you want.

Number Seven: Friendly, Non-Judgmental, Personal Service
Service at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Sometimes, on vacation, I like to order Diet Coke for breakfast; sometimes I like to order a Pina Colada for breakfast; and sometimes I want a snack at 3 o’clock in the morning. At Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, the staff never judge and they serve you with a smile. One morning, I embarrassingly asked for a Diet Coke for breakfast. I said, “Could I get a Diet Coke, please? I know it’s pathetic at breakfast.” I’m so use to people judging me if I ask for it that I feel like I need to justify myself. He said,” You can get anything you want. I’ll add some tequila if you’d like.”  Then, when we ordered late-night snacks the following night, I called and was embarrassed to ask for a burger at 3 am. The server was receptive and kept asking if he could get me anything else. He also asked if I wanted drinks or any dessert. It all sounded completely normal and expected. They delivered it with a smile and never hesitated for a tip. It was the most amazing service that I received at any resort in the last decade.

Equally impressive was how the staff at the pool remembered us like we were family. On the first day, one guy asked Athena her name. He was blowing up balloons for the Water Balloon Fight. He picked her up and let her play in the balloons while chatting with her. Then, the next day at the Foam Party, he not only remembered her name but brought her up to the stage area to dance and party. Yet again, at the surf competition, he called on her to do a demonstration. We, along with everyone else, felt like one big group. We enjoyed all of the activities together and interacted regularly. It was all because of the staff interactions and communication.

A Rock Star Paradise at Hard Rock Cancun
Athena and I in the pool at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Obviously I travel a lot, but it’s rare that I’ll return several times to one country. Mexico has a hold on me though. I can’t get enough. I’ve visited tons of properties and many of them have been all-inclusive, but none compare to the experiences and amenities at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun. I’ll be back again and again. Sometimes I travel alone; other times I travel with Darren and Athena; and other times I travel with others. Hard Rock Cancun works regardless of who is traveling with me. It’s the perfect all-inclusive vacation.

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26 thoughts on “What Makes Hard Rock Cancun the Best All Inclusive Resort

  1. Monica says:

    Isn’t it a little bit too overwhelming to stay in such a big hotel?
    I’ve never tried it, I always go for much smaller places and in Mexico I skipped Cancun – maybe I shouldn’t have?

    1. Lesley says:

      Although it is a large hotel, it doesn’t feel like it. There are so many options that people are doing their own thing, expect during the awesome events in the pool. You can have as much or as little of people as you want. When it was time for Athena to go to sleep at night, around 8 pm, we didn’t hear anyone else. It was quiet. It was the perfect blend of activities and downtime. The in-room service also made a huge difference as parents when we were stuck in the room after Athena had gone to sleep. We felt connected even after she was sleeping become of the drinks and food in the room. We could go on the patio as well and still see the pool and resort activities.

      We loved it!

    2. Peter says:

      A great reason to stay at these larger resorts is the interaction you will enjoy with other guests, and the wondrous luxury offered. If you come to Mexico to enjoy Mexico, you won’t find it here.

      If you enjoy nightlife, Cancun has a lot to offer. I prefer staying farther south, in Playa del Carmen “the Mayan Riviera”, or Tulum area. You are much closer to the natural beauty of the area.

      1. Lesley says:

        I love Playa del Carmen as well. I was just there last month. This trip was about enjoying the Mexican hospitality but not the natural surroundings. Sometimes I just need a vacation from everything even exploring. 🙂

  2. I’ve been to and through Cancun several times and once only at an all-inclusive. I think they’re the best choice for a small group or family. On my own or with my partner, I love to wander more than stay on-site. That being said central Cancun is best experienced from inside the properties.

    1. Lesley says:

      I really love to wander as well. Exploring an area is one of the main reasons for visiting but sometimes it’s just nice to hit the “easy button” and completely relax. Everything is taken care of and we can have a vacation from planning, working or even preparing dinner.

    2. Lesley says:

      I love wondering too so an all-inclusive isn’t always a great fit. Sometimes I wonder why I get a hotel at all because I’m away from it so much but this trip was about spending every second with my family while at a beautiful property that took care of everything for us. Hard Rock was everything, and more, that I hoped for.

      What’s your favorite area in Mexico?

  3. Anda says:

    I see Cancun has come a long way since last time I was there. This seems like a huge and fancy resort and but I don’t like the all-inclusive idea. I tried it before and it didn’t prove beneficial for my waistline… ha, ha, ha!

    1. Lesley says:

      Well that I understand! It’s really difficult to eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol while at an all-inclusive. I honestly haven’t mastered that yet 😉

  4. I’m not a big resort person, but I do think it’s a great idea for families!

    1. Lesley says:

      Normally, I choose smaller places and leave the resort more than I’m there but sometimes I like to completely relax and forget about planning, preparing or stressing about anything. That’s what Hard Rock does for me. It’s a complete vacation.

  5. In-room liquor dispenser…that is most interesting! I like staying at the Hard Rocks and face it, all the resorts in Cancun are fabulous, but you’ve made some pretty good selling points on this one!

    1. Lesley says:

      Do you have a favorite resort? Have you visited other cities in Mexico as well?

  6. Holly says:

    I have been thinking of staying at a Hard Rock All Inclusive for some time now and I think you have 100% resold me on the idea. The amenities sound amazing. I stayed at an all inclusive that did exactly what you said, reservations for certain restaurants, no free wifi, only for one device etc. Great pics! Also sorry for your loss.

    1. Lesley says:

      Once you stay at Hard Rock, all other all-inclusives seem crappy 😉 That’s the only downside of staying.

      (Today is one of the most difficult days and I’m struggling, but thank you.)

  7. Top-shelf in-room liquor dispenser and 24/7 free in-room service – enough said! 😉 Looks like this resort put thought into every detail in delivering an exceptional experience! Also looks like you guys had a great time. I’d love to go!

    1. Lesley says:

      We kept asking if it was free (included in our price) every time we called for room service. Darren finally said, “You don’t need to ask them. It’s included.” Then he laughed at me.

  8. Ana O says:

    This resort looks ideal for families, there’s something for everyone!

    1. Lesley says:

      It was great for all ages even larger families would find something for everyone. Have you ever been to Cancun before?

  9. Peter says:

    The Palace resorts offer extraordinary AI experiences as well! One awesome feature they offer is multi resort AI and use privileges, and extended AI after you check out. I stayed at Cozumel Palace where I went on a day trip on the mainland. While I waited for the ferry back to Cozumel I enjoyed the pool and AI at PlayaCar Palace. The day I checked out, I went to Moon Palace and Cancun Palace and enjoyed lunch and dinner, as well as pool and activities. While Cozumel Palace is smaller and might not directly compare to Hard Rock, Cozumel Palace most certainly will.

  10. Mia says:

    I do love an all-inclusive resort! We tend to fall back on them when we just want rest and relaxation. Normally, when we go to Europe or Asia, we spend so much time exploring and not much time relaxing. We’ll have to try the Hard Rock. I like the fact that you don’t have to make reservations at the restaurants. That’s one thing that drives me nuts about some all-inclusive resorts. Well, that and the waking up early to reserve a good spot at the pool or on the beach!

  11. Laura says:

    It looks like your family had a really great time there. I’ve been to a number of Cancun resorts and I’m still to find the best one – I guess next I’ll give Hard Rock a try. It does look nice. And the food looks good.

  12. Karen says:

    I’ve been staying at this resort since 2008 when it was Cancun Palace. What keeps us going back is the staff, many that I consider good friends. Food is very good & love the variety of specialty drinks (Bumblebees, Miami Vice…). Love this resort so much!!!

    1. Lesley says:

      The staff were really amazing and personal. We felt like they remembered what we said and really cared about us as guests. That might have been my favorite part. Where are you from?

  13. Kayla says:

    I have been looking around at all inclusive in cancun, what other ones have you stayed at?

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