Despite being an Irish lad who enjoys a party, I have to admit feeling a tad nervous in the weeks leading up to my topless-optional resort experience. Will I be surrounded by naked people? Do I have to get naked? Will people be having sex?
Yet shortly after arriving at Temptation, my concerns quickly subside as the property not only lives up to its reputation as a fantastic party resort but also proves itself a worthy rival up against the best of Cancun’s hotel options.
The resort is just 25 minutes from the airport, and on arrival I am impressed at how slick everything looks. Curvy contours and a predominantly white colour scheme with hints of candy pink make for a modern and refined feel. The brainchild of designer Karim Rashid, Temptation’s $40 million revamp has been fashioned to reflect the shape of a human body.
The chic check-in area acts as a meeting hub and contains several cool amenities. For example, party animals in need of a boost can stock up on fresh pastries and coffee at the Caffeine cafe. The hotel’s Logoshop is fully stocked with party accessories should guests forget their neon leotards or white outfits for Temptation’s theme nights. And the Rose spa, where I indulge in a 50-minute massage, has plenty of options for couples seeking an intimate afternoon of relaxation.
After a quick check-in and speedy shower in my snazzy Bash Tower Ocean View room, I head to Bash – a buzzing bar-cum-nightclub area just outside the lobby. Tonight the theme is Let It Glow and I feel a little overdressed. A sea of neon-clad revellers, bouncing along to Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy, fill the space and I’m blown away by the energy. Several tequilas later and I’m busting out my best moves on the raised dance floor with an American couple who tell me it is their third time at the resort.
Theme nights play a large part in the Temptation experience and agents should urge clients to dress up and get involved. During my stay, I spend an evening in a Chewbacca onesie for the Bedtime Bash; dance with devils and angels at the Heaven & Hell event; and dress to impress at the resort’s official opening party, which takes on the theme of the Imperial White
Night. Although Temptation is topless-optional, there are rules in place. This is not a swingers’ resort and it operates on a strict “no means no” policy. Sex is forbidden in all public areas, as is full nudity. For those who desire a little intimacy, there is certainly a free-spirited vibe and clients should expect a little raunchiness in some of the hotel’s Playground areas, namely at the Sexy Pool and the Beach Area, which are designated topless-optional spaces.
Temptation isn’t just for couples however; singletons will have a blast here too. Fans of Ibiza or Las Vegas will love the Sexy Pool with its adult-themed games and swim-up Boost Bar fully stocked with premium alcohol brands. This is my favourite area and the foam parties make for an entertaining way to spend an afternoon in the Caribbean sun. Alternatively, the Beach Area and Quiet Pool’s Zilanzio Bar offer more chilled out surroundings.
And for those keen to explore nearby Cancun, there are lots of attractions there too. Coco Bongo nightclub is a 10-minute drive away while catamaran excursions and trips to the Xcaret eco-archaeological park in Riviera Maya can be booked at the lobby.
From the Trendy Garden View rooms to the Oceanfront Penthouses, Temptation has plenty of room stock to suit all tastes and budgets. The latter, which I am lucky to sneak a peek at before Mr Rashid arrives for the opening party, features a wrap-around balcony, an outdoor hot tub, fully stocked bar with butler service and a pole should the party continue after hours.
Agents should not confuse Temptation with the Desire properties in Riviera Maya. Although these are also Original Group hotels, the Desire brand is marketed towards clients looking for a more sexually adventurous getaway.
Mario Cruz, concept manager at the Original Group, tells me about the genesis of the hotel’s overhaul: “We believed it was time to renovate the property. The original hotel was demolished to build the seven-storey Bash Tower. Right now we are at 70% capacity and the figures are looking good for the rest of the year.”
Cruz explains that the UK will be an important market for Temptation in the coming years. “We are working very hard with UK agents and I have recently been there doing training.
“We have some really great consultants who are already getting onboard. Our main markets will be the US, the UK and Canada.”
UK operators currently selling the property include Gold Medal, Travel 2 and Thomas Cook and the future for the brand looks bright with a planned expansion into Punta Cana in 2019 as well as a Temptation cruise for the Caribbean by 2020. Agents earn £20 in rewards per booking and for those who fancy trying it out themselves, agent rates are available from $46 per person per night.
Temptation isn’t just about partying either; discerning gourmands will be pleasantly surprised at the high standard of cuisine across the resort’s eight restaurants. I had the pleasure of feasting on freshly prepared Asian cuisine at Sutra, where I witnessed impressive fire-fuelled knife juggling at the live cooking station.
For a more relaxed vibe, Sea Flirt offers diners Peruvian, Caribbean and Creole-inspired seafood in the cool blue surrounds of the beachfront restaurant while the Flame steakhouse and Romanza Italian restaurants offer hearty portions in equally authentic settings.
Sadly, my trip has to come to an end and, from the rip-roaring parties to the fun-loving guests I rub shoulders with, the experience boosts my confidence in ways I never imagined. I have to admit that I fully gave in to the Temptation experience and I think the right type of clients should have no problem doing so too.
Book it: Travel 2 offers seven nights with British Airways Gatwick flights from £1,299pp. Travel based on departures from December 1-14, 2018.
Aaron Hyde, sales consultant, Kenwood Travel: The service and food in the restaurants. For a four-star hotel with an all-inclusive concept, I thought this was excellent.
Joanne Evershed, sales consultant, loveholidays: The hotel’s design and the entertainment on offer.
Danny Anike, travel adviser,The Holiday Place: The fact that something was going on every night was great.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ON THE FAM TRIP?
Hyde: The trip opened my eyes to what the resort is really about and experiencing it first-hand took away a lot of the misconceptions I had.
Evershed: Before the trip, I had the impression Temptation was more to do with swingers. Now I see there are a lot of married couples who want to rejuvenate their relationships.
Anike: The fun, although a little risque, was a lot cleaner than I expected.
WHAT TYPE OF CLIENT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE RESORT TO?
Hyde: Temptation is for open minded party people who like to shed their inhibitions and go all out to have a good time.
Evershed: I’ll be recommending this to older married couples as a fun trip and exciting adult experience – similar to a spring break for grownups.
Anike: It’s perfect for older couples who like to party.
HAVE YOU SOLD TEMPTATION SINCE RETURNING?
Hyde: Yes, I’ve done two bookings since I returned.
Anike: I’m in the process of convincing someone to book at the moment.