• Temptation Cancun Resort photo gallery
You might think of Temptation Cancún resort in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as a kind of Disneyland for adults — if Disneyland were rated R.
The all-inclusive resort, nestled along a pretty turquoise lagoon facing the Caribbean, bills itself as a “playground for grown-ups,” and the description fits. Temptation caters to adults 21 and up who consider themselves free-spirited travelers. Not that there's anything too licentious or eyebrow-raising taking place in the public spaces, but you will see some women take advantage of the topless-optional areas, especially around the aptly named Sexy Pool. (Appropriate attire is required in all restaurants and the lobby area.)
Last month I had the chance to spend four sun-splashed days and three rollicking nights here as part of what's known in the tourism trade as a familiarization trip. I was encouraged to sample the nightlife, amenities and restaurants while getting an insider look at all the room categories and sophisticated decor designed by world-renowned designer Karim Rashid.
My overall takeaway? Wow. The place is stylish, chic and pulsing with hip entertainment, interesting guests and smart service — including butler service in all rooms.
The resort appeals chiefly to the young at heart, with the vast majority of guests ages 30 to 45. The clientele is overwhelmingly from the United States, though I chatted up guests from Germany, Belize and elsewhere. Three-quarters of the guests are couples, though if you're looking for a laid-back, romantic getaway with your honey, Temptation is probably not your ticket.
Appealing to the hip & adventurous
Instead, you'll find a Europop vibe, with modern dance music (awesome playlist) at the main pool, daily games — including my first-ever foam party, complete with a foam cannon packed with plenty of ammo — and athletic performers on stage every night. Some of the theme nights, which change every six months, include “School Girls & Nerds,” “Lingerie Lounge” and “Angels & Devils” and, yes, the shows have a risque streak. But this is Cancún, and many of the resort's guests dress to fit in with the theme. After each show, the elevated Bash bar stage turns into a dance floor with tunes spun by international DJs.
Photography is not allowed at the pool, and you're not allowed to photograph guests anywhere on the grounds. Privacy and discretion are the watchwords here.
The resort seems like a good bet for a batchelorette party, a divorce party or a memorable renewal of vows. I even saw a wedding take place on the beach near the jetty.
Fine dining at no extra cost
With few exceptions, the cuisine at Temptation Cancún was consistently superb. And unlike all the major cruise lines, whose specialty restaurants come at an extra cost, all meals are included with your stay at Temptation Cancún Resort. No reservations are required except at She, the "aphrodisiac specialties" venue that I didn't have time to check out.
I did, however, have a fabulous meal at the Italian restaurant Romanza. Dinner included free-flowing bottles of wine and courses of rustic Italian fare with locally sourced ingredients: a choice of beef fillet, chicken or salmon, osso bucco, Caesar salad, carpaccio and ending with a sumptous dessert of tiramisu, chocolate cake and panacotta.
The Mexican restaurant Amores turned out to be a real highlight, not only for the tasty mole dish from Puebla but also Sergio Carmona Sergio and his trio of musicians playing traditional folk songs.
Sutra serves up Asian specalties. Winners were the tempura roll, bun bo hue and spicy tuna roll. The chop suey seemed like a good idea but was a bit dull and lifeless.
I try to avoid buffets when I can, so I headed every morning to Sea Flirt, with great views of the waterfront and appetizing Caribbean-seafood breakfasts.
Temptation Cancun features 430 rooms. I stayed in one of the 213 basic but very comfortable Trendy Garden View Rooms, with a king bed (you can opt for two doubles), 50-inch LED television and full bathroom with rain shower and luxury-hotel toiletries.
Other choices include 62 Trendy Ocean View Rooms, 30 Plush Jacuzzi Ocean View Rooms, 12 Seduction Beach Front Suites, master suites, penthouse suites and 99 swank rooms in the resort's newest addition, the Tower with its Sky 3.5 rooftop bar and fabulous views of the oceanfront.
Other highlights worth singling out:
- Other resorts claim to be all-inclusive but find ways to nickle and dime you throughout your stay. Not so Temptation Cancun. Everything really is included: drinks, meals, activities and entertainment. Only when you wander outside the property — say, for a catamaran excursion or to visit the nearby Hotel Zone — do you even need to worry about Mexican currency. (A buck will get you 20 pesos.)
- The minibar comes stocked with bottles of water, soft drinks, Tecate and Dos Equis cerveza. Help yourself. It's included.
- The Rose Spa was serene and gorgeous, and its whirlpool refreshing. (Worry not, the lighting is subdued and the colors not as vibrant as in the photo above.) I went for a 50-minute deep muscle massage (gratis) on the first day that made the rest of the stay even more invigorating.
- Internet speeds were very impressive (and, of course, land speeds like this put any cruise ship to shame): 42.45 Mbps down, 9.26 up. That's faster than I get at home with high-speed Internet.
- The Pump Gym has a stellar lineup of modern exercise equipment, and guests used it throughout the day and evening.
It's worth noting one annoyance as well: The room's electronic shades do not open with a button, switch or by pulling a cord. No, you have to hunt for the right tiny little icon at waist-level height on a digital control pad. This was decidedly not part of the world-class design.
That said, the stay might best be summed up by one guest, who told me: "It’s all about freedom here. Freedom and no judgment."
The parent corporation is also preparing to launch a series of cruises, with a sailing Feb. 13, 2020, out of Tampa Bay aboard Brilliance of the Seas on a five-night journey to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
Its Desire Greek Islands Cruise in September 2020 sold out in four months, but it has a Rome to Athens itinerary departing Sept. 10, 2021, and other sailings in December 2020, May 2021 and June 2021, all with the same naughty-but-nice vibe.
The reviewer's accommodations and on-site meals were paid for by Temptation Cancún Resort. The writer paid for travel. See Cruiseable's Ethics & Disclosure policy.
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