HB ON THE SCENE: Hard Rock Flag Flies in Riviera Maya

RIVIERIA MAYA, MEXICO—In a ceremony backed by throbbing rock music and followed by a flashy fireworks display, two former Aventura properties here were officially rebranded as the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya as hundreds of revelers looked on.

The newly branded hotel is the fourth Hard Rock property to become part of the All Inclusive Collection, a growing group of hotels owned and operated by Mexico-based RCD Resorts.

Frank Murano, VP/marketing for the All Inclusive Collection, told the gathered group, “We’re going to experience what we call a reflagging, but in our case, since we’re Hard Rock, we don’t reflag. We re-light and we really rock on.”

To bring home the point, the hotel threw a beach party for those gathered, treating the crowd to traditional Mexican cuisine and beverages, with live entertainment by Boston band, Big Party Orchestra who—in true Hard Rock style—had the crowd dancing for close to three hours.

In advance of the rebranding, RDC Resorts shuttered its two Aventura properties—Aventura Spa Palace and Aventura Cove Palace—in August to begin the multimillion-dollar, four-month transformation to the Hard Rock brand.

The property’s 1,264 guestrooms are spilt between two guest experiences—Hacienda, which is family-oriented, and Heaven, which is adults-only accommodations and features a more-sophisticated assortment of restaurants and amenities than its counterpart. Deluxe guestrooms feature en suite deep-soak hydro-tubs and duplex terrace rooms feature outdoor hydrotubs on the second floor. There is a presidential suite and rock star suites are being conceptualized.

Both hotel sections include Hard Rock’s brand signature: a collection of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia that includes such items as Elvis Presley’s multi-color, multi-square robe, Elton John’s blank-and-white-check suit from his South American tour, a velvet jacket worn by Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones and a military jacket worn by George Harrison of The Beatles, as well as items of significant Mexican artists, such as Molotov and Café Tacvba.

Fronting a private beach with a lagoon, the property features several pools, nine restaurants, eight bars/lounges and offers close to 89,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, including a convention center.Stefani C. O’Connor