10 Reasons we LOVE Hard Rock Riviera Maya!

10 Reasons we LOVE Hard Rock Riviera Maya!

We just returned from one of our FAVORITE All Inclusive Resorts in Mexico- The Hard Rock Hotel, Riviera Maya. We traveled with 5 kids; ranging in age from 2-8, plus grandparents. This resort offered family friendly activities for all ages!

Find out why we think this is an absolutely fabulous resort for a great family vacation and all the reasons we love the Hard Rock Riviera Maya Resort! 


  1. The pool is amazing!!

Between the water slide, the fountain features, sun decks and alcoves – the Float pool has a spot for everyone in your family.

The Children’s pool and splash park was also a lot of fun for our wild crew! 



We think that it’s pretty unique and awesome that even those of us with transparent family members (like my husband *cough*) can enjoy a full day outdoors without the dreaded, vacation ruining sunburn. We really liked the sun sails over the alcove pools we mentioned above. Plus, there is plenty of shade offered around the pool with umbrellas and tiki style covers.

3. The Food.

Just to reiterate – ALL the food is included. You see two things on the menu that sound good- order both! Hard Rock, Riviera Maya is home to specialty restaurants, Frida (traditional Mexican fare), Zen (hibachi style and Japanese fare), Ipanema (classic steakhouse) and the Market (varying menu and historic buffet). You can also find light fare all day at Pizzetto and the Sun Bar. You can also find adults only dining at the Heaven side of the resort.

If you have ever had to prepare a meal for 1 kid; you know the struggle is real. 5 varying palates, plus a vegetarian and a diabetic – the food was consistently excellent and the staff was eager to make sure everyone left with a full tummy….(with a tiny spot left for some ice cream)…

4. About that ice cream…The Cafetto offers gourmet coffees and delicious treats all day long! It was definitely a frequent stop for our crew! They loved stopping in for an ice cream or piece of cake a few times a day. (It’s vacation!)

5. The drinks! All Inclusive means ALL included- the food and the drinks!

Hard Rock Riviera Maya has the best Margaritas in Mexico!

6. Rockaway Bay, Waterpark

When you’re ready for a change of scenery from the beach and pool, this was another great spot for kids to burn off vacation energy! We really liked visiting here in that crazy time between lunch and dinner.

7. Woodward.

For those who have athletic children – Woodward is the absolute perfect place for them! World class instructors help your children learn or improve extreme sporting skills from skating, biking and gymnastics. There is a fee to use the facility, but, minimal. 

8. The Beach!

The family beach is divided into 2 sections; Maracas Beach (a cove), and the Hacienda Beach. We love this beach because the seawall not only protects your children (and your beverage of choice) from waves – it also keeps the Sargasso Sea Grass from piling up along that soft white sand! While the beach isn’t huge, we found it to be the perfect size for the children to explore. They all really enjoyed snorkeling and observing a variety of sea life.

9. The live entertainment!

The Hard Rock name is synonymous with great entertainment!

Nightly events, poolside concerts and soloists in dining locations immersed us in the rocker lifestyle!


10. Cool props everywhere!

We loved seeing all of the costumes, instruments and artifacts from our favorite entertainers!

The hospitality at this resort is incredible. We absolutely love the family-friendly vibe at Hard Rock Riviera Maya. It’s cozy and welcoming. Children are free to be children without judgement.

We can’t wait to visit again!

Ready to plan your family getaway? Get started here with a no obligation quote!

How can a Travel Advisor help with group travel?

How can a Travel Advisor help with group travel?

Have you been talking about and contemplating a big family or friends vacation for years and you are finally ready to take the plunge? Your first call should be to your trusted Travel Advisor to make sure your trip is smooth sailing!

Who can benefit from using a Travel Advisor for a big (or small) group? EVERYONE! Our clients are multigenerational families, friends traveling with each other- both as adults and families, sports groups, family reunions, religious retreats and more! Any group of people looking to travel together can benefit from using a Travel Advisor.

How Can a Travel Advisory help with group travel?

1. We can help secure the best deals to save you time and money! We work with vendors all over the world and build strong professional relationships. We can work with these vendors to make sure your group is not overpaying, and also negotiate upgrades, additional amenities, onboard/resort credits and private group activities.

2. We keep track of payment schedules.

It is an inevitable part of group travel- Money will cause issues – budgets vary, people get busy… tracking down a member of your party that is “ghosting” you when a payment is due can be extremely stressful! Your Travel Advisor is the one to step in and track down the rogue party member and mitigate any financial situations that arise.

3. We can streamline the planning process.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the choices and opinions the group is coming up with for travel? We can streamline choices best suited for your group. Our first hand knowledge and past group experiences help make us experts as to the best destinations and travel experiences to suit your groups unique needs.

Does everyone want to be near each other? Did you know you can’t make changes to a room booked by another person? Do you know who can?… Your Travel Advisor. We can play “room tetris” with suppliers to get everyone near each other (or far away… we can always say “there wasn’t any availability next to grandma’s cabin.. the only cabin available was 3 floors away”…**Your secret is safe with us!).

A Travel Advisor will also map out important dates, payment due dates, airline tickets, transfers and help make sure the whole group has the proper documentation for travel.

4. Excursions may vary

Does everyone have a different idea of “fun”… maybe some of the group wants to lay in a hammock in the sun, and the others want to test their bone density on a thrilling adventure. We can help make sure everyone has a great time with suggestions and mediation to plan time together, and time apart.

5. Planning group travel is STRESSFUL.

When dealing with different personalities, finances, expectations and overall communication with multiple people- it can become VERY stressful for the novice planner. Your Travel Advisor is a non-partial advocate for the WHOLE group- not any individual (unless it’s a wedding group- then, we are team couple). We will not be strong-armed by your sister Karen – who insists everyone MUST attend Island Basket Weaving, when everyone else wants to drink rum in the sun… Your brother Mark – who calls with the “best idea ever…” we can shut him down too. When your mom calls to try to re-arrange the whole trip 3-days before you leave- we can cool her jets too.

A Travel Advisor can help save your group time, money, stress and ensure that your vacation is full of happy memories!

Contact us today at 516-366-9008 or info@castlevacations.net to plan your next great adventure!

Top 10 Reasons to stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Top 10 Reasons to stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Top Ten Reasons To Stay At Disney’s Contemporary Resort

1. The monorail. It’s a fun, easy, and fast way to get to Magic Kingdom and Epcot, or the other monorail resorts. Plus it goes right through the resort!

2. The walking path to Magic Kingdom. It’s just a short walk there, and it’s incredibly convenient if you have a stroller or wheelchair.

3. The views. You can watch the fireworks over Cinderella Castle right from your room, or several spots around the resort.

4. California Grill. This restaurant offers fine dining, and beautiful views from atop the resort.

5. Chef Mickey’s. If buffets are more your thing, Chef Mickey’s has great food, and fun characters to meet. And if you’re lucky, you can get a great view of the castle here as well.
6. Electrical Water Pageant. This beautiful water parade floats across the Seven Seas Lagoon most nights. You can watch it right from the resort.

7. The pools. There’s a fun water slide, cabanas for rent, and hot tubs for relaxing. Plus a quieter pool to relax in away from the excitement.

8. The rooms. Guest rooms are spacious, and comfortable. My family of five, including two teenagers, fit very well.

9. The Contempo Cafe. This quick service location is where you’d pick up your refillable mugs. It’s also a great place to stop for a quick bite to eat, or a snack. There’s so many great options!

10. The art. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who loves the art around the resorts. There’s so many great pictures to see just walking around the Contemporary.

Adults at Disney…

Baby Booming at Disney!!!

For those of us who were around to enjoy Disney when we were given little
paper tickets for rides in categorizes of “A”, “B”, “C”, or “D” going back to Disney may be better than it was the first time! This time around, we don’t care if a child who is with us eats 2 ice cream bars or eats nothing but corn muffins at the buffet that just cost us $30 for his meal. This time we might have just a little more time to enjoy our surroundings without the constraints of school, work and all the craziness that raising a family entail.

Having more time lets you savor the moments. Screaming is still allowed and encouraged on “Big Thunder Mountain” and laughing at Big Al in “Country Bear Jamboree” is still as much fun as it was when you were sitting next to your 5-year-old in the ‘80’s. Everything is still the same, but still a little different. Here are some tips to make your trip memorable for all the right reasons:

1-If you are tired or hot-STOP! You aren’t running a marathon. Take the time to have a drink and people watch. Going to the ER on your vacation is never fun. BTW, always carry your Insurance card in case it is ever needed and make sure you have someone to call in an emergency.

2- I’ll admit it. I take Blood Pressure meds. If you forget to bring yours, all is not lost. Contact the front desk. They can give you the names of local pharmacies that can help you get a few days worth so that you aren’t going to miss your dose. There are pharmacies that will even deliver to your resort. Also, if you have medication that needs to be refrigerated, there is a mini fridge (or larger in some cases) in EVERY Disney Resort room.

3-If you are traveling with multiple generations, you may not want to go on it’s a small world 4 times in one day, it’s possible to plan fastpasses to please the whole party.

4-If you are on a special diet – Disney is super accommodating to ensure that your food is safe for you. Disney Culinary staff is very sensitive to
the dietary needs of their guests.

5-If you get a blister walking (and that’s easy to do) there are first aid stations in each park.
Sometimes there are band aids available at Disney shopping areas. It never hurts to ask.

6-If you need a room with handicapped accommodations, please tell me. I can arrange for you to
have a room that will make you as comfortable as possible.

7-Read the precautions on the rides. Disney posts them to assure that everyone is safe and has a
great time. If you don’t think a ride is for you, DON’T RIDE IT!!!

8-If you are driving and use a handicapped designation at home, bring proof so that you can park
in the handicapped areas of the parking lot.

9-Disney and outside companies rent ECVs as well as wheelchairs. If you use an assistive device
at home, you will probably need it on your vacation. I can arrange for you to have a rental
waiting for you if you don’t want to bring yours from home. Most Disney transportation has the
capability to let you board in, or with a wheelchair or ECV.

10-Fast passes are your best friend. No one wants to stand for an hour or more in the sun to ride.
We can arrange for you to have your day scheduled so that you see and do what you want.

11-Don’t be a hero! If you need a hotel break, take one. No one will think less of you if you decide to go hop in the pool or read a book.

Believe it or not, you are on vacation!!!