Desire Riviera Maya Trip Reports
H & T Castaways Clients Sept 2017
Thank you for your expert help in arranging our recent trip to Desire Riviera Maya. As usual (our fifth trip), Desire was wonderful: beautiful, well-maintained rooms and resort, delicious food, great service! Allyson and Jennifer were very courteous, responsive, and efficient in booking our stay and arranging ground transportation. Due to Hurricane IRMA (Sept 2017) our flight home was canceled, so we were "stuck" in Paradise with beautiful weather and pool drinks for three extra days! Looking forward to our next trip through Castaways!
F & O Castaways clients June 2017
My wife and I just returned from Desire Riviera May - Cancun. Of course, we had a good trip and had no issues with the hotel. Even the pressure to join the Premier (Vacation) Club was minimal and non-existent once we said no. We had a Gardenview room which was a nice room and plenty cold. Poolside had a good concierge (Daniel) who coordinated the seating, beds and umbrella chairs around the pool. He did a great job in accommodating our preferences. And unlike Pearl, we never got bumped by Premier Club members (maybe because there weren't very many). The upstairs hot tub was lukewarm. But maybe that's a good thing so one can stay in longer. (Also, not much PDA to speak of:)
The restaurant served great food which we think is actually better than Pearl.
The only issue we had was with Lomas Travel (for arrival service) who provided our transport to and from the hotel. On arrival., Lomas dropped us off at Pearl instead of Desire Riviera Maya Cancun. Once inside the hotel we discovered we were in the wrong place and had to wait over an hour for Lomas to return to pick us up. The Pearl staff was very helpful. However, all in all Lomas returned and took us to the right place.
On the return trip Lomas provided a special Navigator SUV private transport back to the airport to make up for the mixup.
We appreciate Castaways in assisting us with our travels. Your representatives are very helpful. We look forward to future service.
Castaways Note: Before you enter your vehicle, confirm the driver knows where to take you and make sure he knows how to get there. Majority of the time, the driver speaks English and if there is any doubt while you're at the the curb BEFORE you depart ask a Lomas Supervisor at the dispatch desk where you check it to confirm: 1) Driver knows the correct name of the resort 2) Directions or location of the resort. 3) How to get there and 4) Has the telephone number of the correct resort.
A & D December 2015
Desire: Pearl vs Riveria Maya
Food: Equal and very good. There are differences. Rivieria Maya has more Mexican food.
Service: Equal and Excellent
Rooms: similar but smaller at Riveria Maya
Shows: better at Pearl
Exercise facility: better and more up to date at Pearl, but Riveria Maya is adequate
Sin Room: Very good at Riveria Maya, too small at Pearl
Hot Tub: Much nicer at Pearl. RM is small on top of the roof
Disco: similar, but see re Crowd
Crowd: Riveria Maya had a wider age range which meant there were more and wilder dancers at the Disco. Not much in the way of PDAs except in the designated areas.
Pool: much better at Pearl, Riveria Maya’s pool is very small and you can’t swim if there is an activity, such as water volleyball going on
Out-of-resort excursions: slight advantage turns major if you can find Cesar at Pearl
Wildlife: alligators and coatis at Riveria Maya, iguanas at Pearl
Beach: both becoming over-run by seaweed but Pearl’s Warf is a major plus, both for snorkeling and for romantic moments.
J R July 2015
We like Desire Pearl so much better. Too many young people acting crazy this time of year. Didn't get room we wanted although requested. We had requested white love seat/stool we had last time. Great for play! Didn't get it front desk couldn't understand English good enough. Bed was horrible..uncomfortable. we travel often with no problem this was horrible. Sheets were very rough. But room was clean and quite no view of anything. We will spend more and go back to desire pearl. Like more mature crowd and more intimate easier to meet others. (Castaways Note: Even though the room was requested, Desire will not guarantee a room number or location.)
A & R July 2015
We like pearl so much better. Too many young people acting crazy this time of year. Didn't get room we wanted. We had requested white love seat/stool we had last time. Great for play! Didn't get it front desk couldn't understand English good enough. Bed was horrible..uncomfortable. we travel often with no problem this was horrible. Sheets were very rough. But room was clean and quite no view of anything. We will spend more and go back to desire pearl. Like more mature crowd and more intimate easier to meet others.
The entertainment, food and service was awesome! It was great to see Silvia, CC, Daniel and others again. We experienced the erotic massage and it was nice but overpriced. This was our 2nd trip to Desire and this was our least favorite out of the 2. The beach was covered in several inches of stinky seaweed which attracted many insects. The mosquitoes were terrible at the resort even though they fogged in the evening. The pool water was miserably hot so there was no way to get refreshed from the heat. The Catamaran ride from Pearl was boring. Too few couples and seas were too rough to snorkel or swim but the Capt and deck hand was fabulous. We will definitely go back but never in the hot summer. Travel to the resort was a breeze with Castaways Travel.
Uncle Jack - June 2015
This resort is a great place to vacation and unlike other resorts open sex in the pool or surrounding premises is prohibited. Now the Hot Tub is completely different. Places like HEDO gets a little sickening of all the body fluids that end up in the pool from open sex. Desire's personnel have always been very friendly and always willing to help make your vacation a wonderful experience. You don't hear the 'no problem mon' at this place.
All the restaurant's are in air conditioned buildings, with the exception of the grill near the pool, but with the gulf breeze and ceiling fans it's nice. Make reservations for the International and the Oriental restaurants to guarantee your seating. And remember the International restaurant is fine dining, so don't go in there like your eating at a fast food establishment with all your friends making a lot of noise.
A tip for those of you wanting to buy liquor, buy it at the duty free store at the Cancun airport. Their prices are the lowest. Now be careful as you buy this after your checked luggage has been taken, so you are bringing (your purchase) on the plane with you. If you don't have a direct flight, non-stop to your home town ..... like us, we changed planes in Houston. First off you go through customs in which they ask you certain questions about your visit and what you are bringing back. Don't be afraid to say you have 3 or 4 bottles of your favorite liquor, I know your only supposed to have 1 liter per person, Customs is not set-up to collect duty for the extra bottles. Just be honest and they have always just let me go on. Now you get our checked luggage and go through customs again and leave a secured area for about 20 ft. and then you have to recheck your luggage. It's at this time you need to place the liquor in your checked luggage as you will have to go through TSA security and you cannot board with all those big bottles of liquor. If you go without placing in your luggage, you will have to turn it over TSA for their annual Christmas party or go back and check it in.
Enjoy yourself as we have the past 3 years and will be going to Desire again next year.
DN - February 2015
Some of the (marketing) issue is that their (Desire's) marketing makes it sound like the resort is so over the top. I wonder if that extreme marketing actually hurts them more than it helps, since it tends to scare people who just want a free and open environment rather than a "drunken orgy." One more point to add on the "drunken orgy" issue, is that despite the free and strong alcohol drinks, it's true that I never saw anyone out of control, staggering or drunk.
My wife and I just returned from a few days at Desire RM. This was our second trip there, previously we had visited a few years back.
The weather was perfect and staff was as good as we had remembered them from before. I few of the same people were still working, including C.C., Sylvia, etc. Sylvia is so sweet and always has a smile on her face. I just don't know how she can maintain such a caring attitude in the face of all us demanding vacationers, but she does somehow. I think she is motivated by a "Higher Power", or some such...... 🙂
Food is good-not spectacular for the most part, but very nice with appropriate portion size in the restaurants. If you need more calories just order more at the Melange bar. The pizza is good there.
Several of the entertainment nights and pool games from "The Playmakers", as they are called, were a bit lame, but I think it was because this was a weekend. Pool games got more fun on Monday. They had a cover band one night that was fantastic and some gymnasts that were talented. They need to make a rule that the disco has only live DJ's. Otherwise the music by the pool and the disco was pure 1980's.... By Sunday night and Monday, they were playing some more modern stuff which was a great relief.
They need to attach the mirror to the wall in our bedroom--we stubbed a toe on it and it's just leaning up against the wall.
Pickup at the airport with Lomas was a bit chaotic--we stood in 3 different lines and kept being sent to another line. Eventually we got onto a bus by ourselves and had a great driver. When they returned us to the airport, the driver even went inside the airport and printed out boarding passes. That was an unexpected plus!
I left a room tip for our cleaning lady and $20 for a few other staff in an envelope when we left the resort. I never felt any pressure to tip and didn't see much tipping going on around me either.
All inclusive is so awesome.... much less stress than being nickeled and dimed to death and I've done travel both ways.
We had fun with the water craft, taking out the Hobie Cat and kayaks. The "instructions" were minimal, I'd say and it's a good thing that we are sailors already or we could have easily ended up beached far downwind. They will go out with you on the Cat if you ask and if you are not confident at sailing a Sunfish or Hobie Cat, I suggest you ask for Alfredo or his associate to keep you afloat and pointed the right direction.
I know it sounds like I'm being grumpy, but that's everything that was bad. Otherwise you just can't beat Desire for being a place of openness and no judgment. We are not swingers, although several nice couples engaged us in conversation about it to determine if we were "curious" or not. No one was rude, but non-swingers need to be prepared to speak up about what they want or don't want. It's a compliment to be asked. I'd guess it was about 65/35% non swingers/swingers ratio when we were there. It's nice to have the freedom to wear as much or as little as you want at the pool and hot tub area and enjoy PDA with your love without judgment. As plenty of people have said, the hot tub (upstairs and out of site), associated outdoor beds and (private) play room is where 90% of the X rated action happens. They try to keep that out of the pool and beach area. If you get too much, just stay away from those areas and your vacation will be pretty tame.
My wife was a bit nervous this time and "competition", only remembering the beautiful people from years ago and not the average people. It took her about 15 minutes to relax, as expected, when she noticed that there were only a few "perfect" bodies present and no one was judging. Pretty much everyone feels beautiful and "Desire--able" at Desire. Staff does a good job of drawing in people who seem to be hanging back. There were a few couples in their 60's and 70's who were smiling and very few under mid 30's. A couple of girls in their 20's were probably models (that comment about the "perfect" bodies above?) and my wife and I wondered if they had been paid to be present by some generous benefactor, owner or wealthy guest. We had fun coming up with various scenarios that we obviously had no evidence for creating...
I can't wait to go back! Just call us "Anonymous and in love."
KW - Nov 2014
Desire RM was very nice and we went to Desire Pearl also for the day which was breath taking! We would do Desire Pearl on a takeover group trip. RM was nice and the people were a bit less aggressive than Hedo; however we still made friends and received invitations to share drinks in the room of our neighbors. The RM roof top hot tub was over the top even compared to Hedo as there was full open adult play and all the above in broad daylight. The disco was smaller but nicely appointed with a better serving of drinks than the bars I was the only male in 5 nts to participate in theme nights in the disco and it was well received by the ladies!..
Dr Dangerous, M.D. - October 2014
This was our second trip to Desire, the last one being more than 8 years ago. The changes were nice, but sorry the beach has shrunken a little. We found the ambience and atmosphere about the same, maybe a little tamer (the nuances of the crowd at any given time dictate how 'wild' things will get, Obviously being there on Halloween was fun, lots of fun disguises and happenings.
The resort had some dancers, some bands, a lingerie guest runway show, and of course the hot tub area and the disco. All were fun though we did not partake much of the hot tub area. We had lots of fun taking photos of ourselves (we did get in trouble one evening for taking photos) and we totally agree with the 'no photos of strangers', but we were able to get nice photos without compromising anyone.
We took some afternoons off, going to some of the numerous activities and natural parks, cenotes, etc and had a grand time. Every employee at Desire was great! The Yucatan is filled with things to do ....from shopping in Playa del Carmen and Cancun, to multiple theme parks (Explore, Xcaret, Xel Ha....and one we really enjoyed, Rio Secreto) and stunning Mayan Ruins such as Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza. For us, the full gamut of what is available for fun by staying at Desire Cancun makes it a great place in its own right, but a great jumping off point for further adventures.
The beaches around Tulum ARE CLOTHING OPTIONAL, so that makes a great afternoon adventure. All in all, we had a wonderful time at Desire Cancun and the Maya Riviera area. We had our own rental car, had no problems, except when we went to check out and found out the policia had taken our front license plate 'cause we had illegally parked (in Playa DC)....that parking fine cost us $106!!!! when we checked the car in .......that was a damn rip off!!!!!!!.
Our only other discouragement is that Mexico has now caught up with American prices for restaurants and theme parks, entertainment. They know what we are used to paying and have now matured to expect the same from the vacationing gringos. But, the package is well worth it! Go to Desire Cancun, enjoy the freedom, renew, enjoy the natural wonders of the Yucatan and all it has to offer.......it makes a grand vacation! JUST DO IT!!!!
K&K - June 2013
From K& K June 2012 and June 2013
We went to Desire Riviera Maya (RM) in 2012 and Desire Pearl (Pearl) in 2013. We were very happy with both resorts. In general we do not sweat the small stuff and find enjoyment in most places. But here are some comparisons between the two...nothing a major problem though.
First, both resorts are very nice and offer a great environment for a clothing optional vacation. Both have amazing staffs that go out of their way to help. Both are close to Cancun airport with Pearl just a little further. Both had a great entertainment staff that was not overly pushy. You want a staff to pick up the fun but not "force" you into the fun...they hit the right mix.
Rooms: The rooms are nice at both but we probably give a nod to Pearl. We were in the cheapest room at both and the rooms were very nice. RM room had a much bigger shower that was really nice but no tub. Pearl's room had a nice couch in the room and a tub. We would actually rather have the large shower than the tub, but that is us. The TV at Pearl had more channels and was bigger...not that we watched much TV, but the NBA finals were on:)
Pool: Nod again to Pearl only because there is a swim up bar. At RM you have to get out of the pool. But at RM you have Sylvia who is always ready to get you a great drink. We just like the swim up bar idea. Other than that, the pools at both are nice. Pearl's pool extends along the length of the resort. Nice if you want to wonder in the pool, but not a dramatic benefit. Foam party at Pearl was just awesome.
Food: Kind of a tie here depending on what you want. We thought the individual food items were better at Pearl, but there was more choice at RM. We liked the buffet they had every night, but you could order something if you wanted. Pearl had a 4-star presentation quality for their food. We ate at Aphrodite mostly at Pearl and loved being able to sit outdoors near the ocean. At RM you eat inside...not as nice, but this is not a big deal. We did not eat at Pearl Restaurant at Pearl because we did not want to spend 1-2 hours eating. Heard it was great quality, but we wanted to eat outdoors and get through dinner.
Nightly Shows: RM wins here because they have a central area outside for their shows. We only made portions of a couple shows at Pearl because they were in the Disco. Seemed out of place. We made all the shows at RM. Pearl should try to do them in the lobby area maybe.
Playroom: RM is better here. It is much bigger and the "beds" give a sense of privacy. We never used the playroom at Pearl and did not see anyone go in. It is just a small room at Pearl.
Drinks/Bars: Top notch at both. Great booze choice. Would be nice if they had a "drink menu," and a published drink of the day. It is nice to look at a list of specialty drinks and martinis and choose vice trying to remember something and tell the bartender how to make it.
Hot tub: Pearl wins here. RM rooftop hot tub is neat but much smaller and the stairs are a bit dangerous. Pearl had snacks available at hot tub time after our first day there and that was awesome. You need a little food while drinking in the hot tub.
Beach: Beach was nice at both resorts, no real winner here. It is nice at Pearl that you can walk to Puerto Morales if you want.
Shopping: We do not like to go off resort so RM had local artisans come one night to sell their wares. This was great and Pearl did not have this so it was hard to get a keepsake for the trip. The resort-identity bracelet that you get at Pearl was nice and made a nice keepsake we still have vice the plastic band you get at RM.
Pool Chairs: Equal at both. This is the most annoying part of the resort experience. We don't have a fix so we just deal with it by getting up early and getting a chair with the "chair guy" and then going back to bed. There are more than enough umbrellas to keep you shaded. RM had "couch beds near the pool and that was neat...Pearl did not.
In the end we had a great time at both resorts and would go back to either in a heart beat. The people you are with make the experience more than the resort amenities. Both Pearl and RM are great resorts and offer a wonderful time to connect with the one you love.
J&C - Desire Riviera Maya - March 2013
Desire Rivera Maya
· Pros – Good food. Decent bars.
· Cons – These guys started trying to sell us on their “club” before we had even got past the lobby at check-in. The room that they gave us was smaller than some of the closets in my home. And, the room came with a double bed. Again, I’m not cheap, but when I’m paying $500 + per night, I want a king or a queen. There was a huge mirror leaning against the wall that protruded into the walkway to the bathroom. I stubbed my toe on it within the first 30 minutes of being in the room but it took multiple calls to the front desk to get it removed. The room was so small that we had to think about which side of the closet door that you wanted to be on before opening it (otherwise you would be trapped behind it). The room was dirty, and the mirror in the bathroom was broken. The Italian restaurant requires long pants for men – that’s OK but I was not prepared for this. In order to get a beach or pool chair, you have to tip an employee. The nude hot tub has a funky layout, and is located in a strange place. The crowd seemed younger and not as friendly as some places we’ve been.
· Summary – we were scheduled to spend four nights here. We were miserable and left after only two. We will not be back here.
· Pros – beautiful property and nicely laid out. Excellent food. Pool is very large and attractive. Nude hot tub is expansive and was a lot of fun. Master suite was huge and we enjoyed it very much. Had a great couples massage here. The gym is the biggest and nicest of the three properties.
· Cons – The beach is right next to some family resorts so there was a lot of foot traffic that made us feel a bit uncomfortable being nude. Limited number of restaurants (two). Like the other Desire resort, they push you hard to listen to the time-share / loyalty program speech.
· Summary – we really liked this place. We may return.
JG - Desire Riviera Maya - January 2013
Desire Cancun is by far the best resort my wife and I have visited, the staff is so friendly and caring and always go the extra mile to insure our positive experience. The grounds are beautifully manicured and maintained everyday, the rooms are very nicely decorated and very clean..the free stocked mini bar is a nice treat.
The food is not amazing but very good and very enjoyable. The entertainment staff is great also and is one of the factors that really sets this resort apart from others, we were constantly entertained which was so much fun. As non "lifestyle" visitors we still had an amazing time and enjoyed the sensual energy and were respected and never harassed by those in the lifestyle, actually the two times we visited Desire we met some of the nicest folks from all other the world and some of which are still friends. I highly recommend this resort and appreciate greatly the team at Castaways Travel for all they did for us and making our experience so much better. JG