Having just returned from a week at Desire Riviera Maya, one has to wonder if Desire is losing its Mojo. Having been to this property somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 visits, I have seen many changes; both good and bad. However, I have never felt Desire was cheapening the experience or disregarding necessary maintenance until this visit.
The week started out extremely rainy which of course is no fault of Desire. However the rain did make it extremely obvious that maintenance on the palapa roofs was long over due. The disco was leaking in many places and at one point the area behind the bar was ankle deep in water. It was practically raining inside the disco. The leaking was so bad that the disco had to be closed down for 2 days for emergency repairs to be made. When the disco reopened, it was still leaking but not as badly.
I am aware of at least 2 couples that had to move rooms due to flooding from roof leaks. The palapa area in the lunch restaurant by the pool leaked profusely with obvious daylight showing through in at least five places. The palapa roof in the main buffet restaurant leaked but was manageable. This was not the "normal" leaking from the air conditioners. The palapa roof below our porch had HUGE holes all in it and the people below us reported leaking in their rooml
The rooms at Desire seem to have lost all of their "sexy" and are not as nice as many low budget hotels. There is no color but white and a touch of brown. The plastic flower decoration is really quite tacky and not sexy at all.
During the disco closure the disco activities were held in the dining area and had the feel of a junior high school dance. Quite frankly, it was unacceptable and very few stayed long. During the rainy days (all day rains) the activities staff was invisible. No games were brought out and very, very few rainy day activities were offered. Those that were offered were not publicized in any way so nobody knew about them. A note under room doors or white board announcements would have made a big difference. This may seem picky but we have been to Desire many times during extreme rains and there have been much better attempts made to keep folks entertained.
The new evening entertainment at Desire leaves a lot to be desired. Gone are the Mother Funkers the Reggae Band, the Rock band, Illusionists, and gymnast pair. Instead they offered very low energy flamenco dancers (could have been sexy but was not) and very bad opera singers. The power went out while the opera singers were singing and the whole bar and lounge area cheered that they could not sing anymore! The "special" disco entertainment was also cut back upon with 2 male dancers and no female dancer. The DJ in the disco played the exact same songs in the same order nightly. We finally just quit going to the lame entertainment activities which is sad because it used to be some of my favorite time at this hotel.
The food in the buffet was, in my opinion, much improved from previous years with the exception of the desserts. I also feel the food offerings, especially noticeable on Mexican night, were much less than in the past. The pace of the meal in the "white" restaurant was a death march.
The booze at Desire has always been watered down and I have been okay with that. However, this time the booze was so watered down that it was difficult to ever feel like one had been consuming alcohol at all. The top shelf brands were also watered down and sometimes tasted like inferior brands poured into top shelf bottles. The repeaters party was a joke...terrible cold food that was intended to be served hot and premade mojitos. No free nights or hats or jewelry were given away.
The staff were very accommodating, as usual. However, none seemed as happy as in the past and many have left or been fired. It is clear they have been told to be more "in the background" which was often awkward. What has always made Desire "work" was the staff and vibe which is changing dramatically. It seems as if management is trying to create a less sexy and tamer environment. This is not the vibe that keeps us coming back.
The pushiness of "the "premier" (read also time share) program was much more evident than in the past and many guests were complaining about this.
We did have a nice time. The hot tub still hops (but body shots are no longer allowed on the bar) and the service is still good. However, at $550.00 per night per room (garden room) the price has become so expensive that putting up with all of the issues I have mentioned becomes harder to take. While other properties in the area are charging similar prices, they are much more upscale and better maintained. I am willing to pay a bit of a "fun tax" for the Desire concept but no longer feel the property is worth the cost. We used to go 3 or 4 times per year and now only go once per year. If things do not change based on this visit, I'm not sure we will return. There is a HUGE 600 room property being built right next to Desire and one has to wonder if the "concept" can continue next to such a large property. The construction runoff during the rain flooded the Desire Kitchen and "white" restaurant. Something tells me this problem will only get worse. The cooks were wearing firefighter boots to cook in the flooded kitchen,
While I hope the ownership and new management will take heed to return the property to its former grandeur; one has to wonder if the Desire mojo is gone for good. Competition from lifestyle cruises and travel groups as well as the sale of Hedonism2 and its refurbishment should concern Desire. They have two properties that require constant care and feeding.
For now this swinger is going to swing past Desire and go to Hedonism 2 for Halloween. At this time it is a better value for money and I feel the management and ownership there are trying.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Desire Resort & Spa is a unique couples only resort, the first and only of its kind in Mexico, that located on Cancun’s Riviera Maya will surround you with amazing landscaping and a deliciously erotic atmosphere to unleash your imagination and stimulate your senses. A place of freedom where fantasies become real, a place to abandon inhibitions and truly be you. Imagine sharing this paradise with like-minded couples who also seek a sensuous, clothing optional upscale venue or an adventurous lifestyle experience.Desire Resort & Spa Riviera Maya is a unique, adults only resort (+21) ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Desire Hotel Riviera Maya
- Desire Resort Mexico
- Desire Resort & Spa
- Cancun Desire Resort
- Desire Resort Cancun
- Desire Resort And Spa
- Desire Riviera Maya Resort Mexico