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!

Travel Insurance

Matthew Kondrup the owner of The Matty K Travel Group including Castle Vacations discusses the importance of Travel Insurance. 

Insurance is just as important for a trip to Disney as it is for a trip around the world. As you will hear in this video, travel insurance servesmore purposes than just cancelling. If you have any questions, you can ask your Travel Advisor or send Matt and email at matt@mattyktravel.com

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Shares First of Many Exciting Announcements to Be Unveiled at D23 Expo 2019

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Shares First of Many Exciting Announcements to Be Unveiled at D23 Expo 2019

The Disney Parks pavilion at D23 Expo, taking place Aug. 23-25, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif., shares sneak peeks at highly anticipated new areas and experiences coming to Disney parks around the world. The largest Disney fan event in the world, D23 Expo celebrates all the wonderful worlds of The Walt Disney Company under one roof across film, television, theme parks, products, online, music, live entertainment and more. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

As we previously shared, this weekend’s D23 Expo 2019 will showcase dozens of exclusive reveals and announcements for Disney parks and resorts across the globe.  And to kick things off, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek shared exciting news from Anaheim tonight as a preview of what’s to come this weekend! 

An all-new Star Wars vacation experience is coming to Walt Disney World® Resort! 

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be a new, first-of-its-kind vacation experience where Guests will check in for a two-night adventure aboard a glamorous starship.  Once onboard, Guests will interact with characters and become active participants in stories that unfold around them on their galactic journey. 

Inside the Disney Parks “Imagining Tomorrow, Today” pavilion at D23 Expo, visitors will be able to see a new model and incredible visuals of the starcruiser – called the Halcyon

Also at Walt Disney World Resort, we’ve got big plans for our multi-year transformation of Epcot®, with new experiences that will make the park more Disney, more family, more timeless and more relevant to the millions of Guests who visit each year.

The reinvention of Epcot will include Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana.” This first-ever attraction based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit film, “Moana,” will let Guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.

And this October, you will be able to visualize all of the exciting plans for Epcot at a new experience center in the Odyssey Events Pavilion, called Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience. Inside this first-of-its-kind offering within a Disney park, your Clients will discover engaging and interactive exhibits that allow them to step inside the relentless innovation, energy and excitement and see some never-before-revealed details driving the future of Epcot all throughout this unprecedented period of transformation.

At Disney California Adventure® and Disneyland Paris, we’ve already shared updates that we’re building immersive Super Hero themed lands. Today, we’re thrilled to announce these fantastic lands will be called Avengers Campus.

When you visit Avengers Campus, they will become part of an interconnected, global story that spans from California to Paris to Hong Kong with the Avengers recruiting new extraordinary people to join them. 

Inside our pavilion at D23 Expo, Guests will be able to see an in-story experience where they’ll learn why the Avengers are building these campuses. And on Sunday, we’ll share more details about what our Guests will be able to experience when they open. 

The pavilion will also feature many of the attractions and lands coming to our sites around the world including TRON Lightcycle Run coming to Magic Kingdom® Park, as well as additional expansions in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Here’s a quick look inside:

If you’re excited about today’s announcements, the best is still to come!

New Mid-Day Magic Ticket Offer Launches at Walt Disney World Resort

New Mid-Day Magic Ticket Offer Launches at Walt Disney World Resort

Beginning today, Aug. 15, 2019, you can “fall into fun” like never before at Walt Disney World® Resort with a new ticket offer. With the “Mid-Day Magic Ticket,” you can enjoy admission after 12 p.m. to one theme park per day. 2-, 3- and 4-day Mid-Day Magic tickets are available for start dates on or before Dec. 15, 2019.

  • 2-Day Mid-Day Magic Ticket: Valid for admission after 12 p.m. 2-day Mid-Day Magic Tickets are available from $88 per day plus tax (from $176 total plus tax) and expire four (4) days after the selected start date. 
  • 3-Day Mid-Day Magic Ticket: Valid for admission to after 12 p.m. 3-day Mid-Day Magic tickets are available from $84 per day plus tax (from $252 total plus tax) and expire five (5) days after the selected start date.
  • 4-Day Mid-Day Magic Ticket: Valid for admission after 12 p.m. 4-day Mid-Day Magic tickets are available from $79 per day plus tax (from $316 total plus tax) and expire seven (7) days after the selected start date.

This is the first time Disney is offering a late-entry ticket with special pricing that allows you to enter theme parks starting at noon and enjoy the day and evening. This option works best for Guests who are looking for an opportunity to start their morning at a leisurely pace, to enjoy other early-morning activities (golf, pool, etc.), or to travel from their accommodations. 

With these tickets, the magic starts at noon as you will receive admission to one theme park per day after 12 p.m. Additionally, you can secure afternoon and evening FastPass+ to select attractions, entertainment and Character Greets up to 30 days in advance.  You can enjoy new seasonal excitement, including new sips and savors at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and the holiday Hoopla Dance Party in DinoLand U.S.A at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park starting Nov. 8. 

For our guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels, their date-based ticket product is still the best option, giving you the flexibility and opportunity to experience all the magic that Disney theme parks have to offer, including the morning Extra Magic Hour benefit.

Contact your Castle Vacations Advisor Today!