Music is in the details at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya


Knock, knock, knockin’ on Heaven’s door.

The Guns N’ Roses cover greeted me as my driver pulled up to the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya for the grand opening celebrations earlier this month.

I couldn’t quite figure out where Axl Rose’s voice was coming from, but it seemed appropriate — I was, quite literally, at the gates of the resort, which led to the adults-only “Heaven.” (The family-friendly side is called “Hacienda.”)

Music is integral to the design of Hard Rock properties — and one usually associates that with, well, hard rock. There was, of course, the Hard Rock’s signature guitar smash to inaugurate the opening of the new resort, as well as a Jon Bon Jovi concert and VIP after-party at Club Heaven with DJ Jack Novak.

But music has been designed into every last detail here — from Tracks, a music download program that features three unique playlists, to Mix, where you can play DJ in your room with a Traktor Kontrol S2 system.


Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya – Rock Spa

Music has also been integrated into the spa experience in a unique way. John Galloway, chief marketing officer with Hard Rock International, said the brand is about plugging you into music — and they wanted to find a way to plug music right into your body.
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya – Rock Spa

He described his first musical massage at the Rock Spa “as if you were at a Pink Floyd concert with no shirt on and you were lying in the grass and somebody was giving you a massage to the rhythm of Pink Floyd’s music. It was a very Zen-like experience, (with) the music just sort of exuding through your body — it does the closest thing we can possibly do to plugging music into your body.”

Well, that was certainly intriguing.

I’ve had plenty of massages over the years and there’s usually music in the background. But that’s the key word: background. I don’t usually notice it.

As I got on the massage table in my treatment room at the Rock Spa, I noticed a Bose speaker directly above me. This, I was told, would create a “sound dome” where music would essentially wash over me, yet wouldn’t be heard by my neighbouring spa-goers.

I was ready for my Pink Floyd experience.

I was half expecting “Comfortably Numb” to start blaring out of the speaker, but it was, instead, the type of relaxation music I’d expect to hear during a relaxation massage — only better.

It felt like the massage was choreographed to a carefully curated selection of songs, designed to put me in a Zen state of mind. And while the music certainly wasn’t blaring, it was loud enough, with crisp, clear acoustics, that I felt totally immersed in it — like music was being plugged right into my body.

As I left the spa and took the stairway from Heaven (literally, a stairway leading from the Heaven side of the resort), I found DJ Jack Novak spinning beats by the pool. And I felt … comfortably numb.

One could say my relaxed state of mind — which is not easy to achieve, with my Type A always-on-the-go personality — could be attributed to the hot sun, the azure Caribbean Sea or the free-flowing frozen margaritas. But I’m more inclined to think it was the music.

Travel Week Logo

Get travel news right to your inbox!