As a lifestyle travel specialist, whenever I visit events, clubs or even go on social sites, I get constantly asked which of the two primary lifestyle resorts is the best. When they ask me this question, they are indeed referring to Hedonism II in Negril Jamaica and Desire Riviera Maya in Cancun Mexico.
For the last ten or so years, these two hotels have been rivalling each other for the best-known lifestyle or clothing optional resort, both of which have their loyal die-hard clients who swear by the one they choose and refuse to visit the other. Everyone has a different reason for his or her preference. For some, it is a preference of Location, for some, it is the people, some too old, others too expensive, some just made friends at one hotel and they go back with the same friends every year and haven’t ventured into trying anything else.
First of all, let me say this, by not visiting one or the other, you are definitely robbing yourself of the best that the lifestyle travel industry has to offer. While they market to the same audience, these two hotels offer two totally different experiences, and in my honest opinion, neither of them will be able to recreate what the other has to offer.
Desire Riviera Maya is a small 4-star clothing optional Resort, conveniently located about 30 minutes from the Cancun International airport. This hotel has a boutiques style feel, elegantly decorated with beautiful trees, cabanas and sexy ornaments that make the hotel feel very cosy and warm. Regarding presentation, Desire gets the nod over Hedo as it is way more modern and amenities are way superior. Every corner of the hotel has a very beautiful looking cabana, calling you to come over and lounge with your partner or whoever else you invite over to join. The entire hotel is clothing optional so you can feel free to be naked or not, by the pool, on the beach as long as you don’t take your saggy balls to the buffet. My favourite part about Desire Riviera Maya is the rooftop hot tub. In the main, Desire is quiet when compared to Hedo, but after the nightclub around 12:30 am, everybody congregates in a large hot tub on the roof, and that is where the real party happens. All the naughty fun you can handle is right there for you as you never really see any PDA during the day at Desire.
The rooms are beautiful; the food is above average even though I find most of their meals to be a bit salty. My favourite restaurant was the II Paciere, the international restaurant, so I end up eating there most of the time. The staff is excellent, and the location is very convenient and has a lot to offer outside of the resort. For me, this hotel is ideal for a week away with a group of 5 or 6 couples if you are looking to have some exclusive fun and you are not necessarily searching for a non-stop party. Desire Riviera Maya provides the perfect setting for daytime relaxation and enough alcohol and sexiness at night for you to create a party.
Hedonism II Negril Jamaica is the grandfather amongst clothing optional resorts. Known to most as Hedo 2, this hotel sits right at the top of the world famous 7-mile beach in the tourist capital of the country, Negril. It is about 1 hour from the Montego Bay International airport, and the jerk chicken stops *wink *wink along the way makes the journey to the hotel even more entertaining. Hedonism is three times the size of Desire Riviera Maya with close to 300 rooms and it sits on 20 acres of beautiful landscape. The hotel has been around since 1975, and it is not very hard to tell. The rooms are very basic and provide 3-star accommodation at the most. Hedonism has recently been sold and renovated, with a small portion of the rooms entirely gutted and upgraded. Hedonism II now features a brand new lobby and main dining room area and a few additional upgrades that have brought the hotel back to respectability. However, you do not go to Hedonism II for the rooms and amenities. What you get there you will not find anywhere else in the world. The atmosphere is electrifying from the minute you set foot onto the resort. The nude pool and hot tub with swim up bar are always packed, DAY and NIGHT, and goes on for as long as you can stay up.
The hotel offers a side of the beach where getting naked is mandatory and a clothing optional side for those who do not wish to expose their below average wiener lol. The only negative to this is if you are not a nudist, you may miss out on all the daytime fun as 99.5% of the guest at the hotel are on the nude beach, so the other side is pretty quiet in the day. Personally, I do not mind the daytime rest because the nightlife is what defines Hedo. From the nightly shows put on by the incredibly talented entertainment staff to the ever crowded and raunchy piano bar and the nightclub, you will find yourself sometimes hiding to get away from the party for a few hours.
The food at Hedonism is good enough for you always to find something that’s satisfying whenever you remember that you haven’t eaten all day. Your best bet for a great dinner is the Italian restaurant, even though the afternoon JERK CHICKEN on the nude beach is the favourite among most. The staff makes you feel like family, and the overall hotel atmosphere makes it easy for you to fit in. The general appearance of the hotel, until it is renovated, leaves much to be Desired (so to speak), but the activities and entertainment are enough to make you forget that you haven’t had a warm shower in 3 days.
In my conclusion, these two hotels are fantastic and offer an entirely different experience for lifestyle vacationers. If you are in the mood for something similar to a Sandals experience but with a sexy twist, Desire Riviera Maya is that. If you are looking to have 7 days of non-stop fun and live out all those fantasies you had written down in one week; Hedonism is the place for you. Both hotels are doing significant upgrades as we speak, with Hedo undergoing a total facelift, so I will be definitely giving you an updated review in the upcoming months as I will be travelling to both hotels several times over the next year or so.
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