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Rock On

Austin Holt | November 28, 2012 | Articles National

Slowly, I opened my eyes.

It was… blurry. My vision, yes, but also, the night before. Something happened—a lot of somethings happened.

I slowly—gingerly—peeled myself off of the still-made bed and glimpsed outside, my eyes adjusting to the light. Beyond the balcony, the sun was high over the azure waters of the Caribbean. People with more resolve were already chilling out by the pool, cocktails in hand. They were laughing. They were dancing. If they, too, felt like they were hit by steamrollers, they didn’t show it.

Come to Cancun, they said. Hang at the new Hard Rock Hotel, they said. Party like a rock star! they said. Check, check and double check.

Then, like a slideshow in a smoky room, it came back: I was hanging on the beach with Flo Rida. There was tequila—so much tequila. There were guitars being smashed, Pete Townshend-style. There was that pass I made at Rumer Willis (and the questionable response that ensued from her entourage). Fast-forward to hugging the drummer from the Goo Goo Dolls and insisting that I did, in fact, have moves like Jagger. And, then, a small torrent of non sequitirs that left me puzzled and amazed that I ended up in my room in one piece—actually, at all.

There was a knock on the door. I stole a peek through the peephole to see a man in a vest carrying a tray of food.

Yes… this was the morning’s first glimmer of hope. Room service had come bearing powerful restoratives.

OK. I overdid it on my first night. Don’t judge. You probably would have done the same thing. It’s all par for the course at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, where the party goes on all day—and well into the wee hours.

Here’s the deal. Fly into Cancun and grab a cab. Once you’re dropped in the sprawling, memorabilia-lined lobby (a small selection of Hard Rock International’s 70,000-plus piece global museum), you check in and get your little black bracelet strapped on. That’s your ticket—your ticket to everything.

The Hard Rock, you see, is all-inclusive. Drinks, food, room service, the parties, the swim-up bars, the concerts, the guitar rentals—you name it. Leave the wallet in the safe, amigo, and you’re set.

But let’s dwell for a second. First, there’s your room—your home base. Don’t let the size of this sprawling resort fool you: Every one of the 600-plus rooms at the Hard Rock is fit for a front man. Each suite, from the cozy Deluxe to the sprawling Platinum, includes some sweet standards, like an in-room Jacuzzi and a fully stocked liquor cabinet—just the thing to help you unwind before you take a few minutes to absorb your balcony view of the sparkling sea or Cancun’s famed lagoon.

Speaking of unwinding, a trip to the Hard Rock wouldn’t be complete without an hour or two spent in the decadent tropical Rock Spa. You think a little hair of the dog does wonders the day after? Go ahead and book (in advance) an outdoor palapa-style room for a Reborn package. Trust us: There’s no hangover cure like an herbal massage and a facial.

Then, there’s the food. Aside from the burgers that made the Hard Rock a household name, world-renowned Executive Chef David Cruz has engineered myriad menus for the property’s restaurants that showcase some stunning international fare. The Italian-infused Ciao blends casual elegance with expertly prepped pasta; the Asian-inspired Zen serves up outstanding à la carte specialties like a rippin’ teppanyaki; Ipanema doles out the finest cuts of meat in a lush steakhouse setting, all to mesh side by side with local cuisine. Lest we forget, fresh, coastal Mexican cuisine is about as good as it gets (though we still couldn’t get enough of the addicting guacamole—simple tastes, and all that).

Lavish rooms, world-class service, stellar grub and luxurious spas notwithstanding—you’re going to pick Hard Rock for one reason: the vibe. It’s the party. It’s the fact that something is always happening, whether it be a live concert on the shore or an epic after-party where you’re finding yourself rubbing elbows with celebs. It’s the action at the pool, where tub-thumping DJs keep the action going. It’s never knowing who you’re going to see, or what the day has in store. It’s, as the man said, living like a freaking rock star.

Because when you’re in Cancun, the party hardly ever stops. And when you’re at the Hard Rock, the party certainly never stops. Put on the swimsuit. Grab some hair of the dog. And, in the immortal words of Katy Perry, do it all again.


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