First Time Visit, Dec 21-26, 2018

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First Time Visit, Dec 21-26, 2018

Postby SportyCpl18 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:38 pm

We have gone to Hedo for the last three (3) years, but the big boss wanted to try something different and head to Desire for our Christmas vacation. She wanted to try something a bit classier, and it is a classy resort. We both felt like each had its strengths. We mentioned that we did like Hedo to someone and they sort of fussed! We like them both. We think what you like will depend on your tastes. We're not interested in causing a flame war -- just felt at moments like we wanted both at the same time!

Food
First off – food matters to us. We love food. It doesn't have to be over the top – but we expect it to taste good. We took for granted that the food at Desire would be on par with Hedo.

For us, the food at Desire was bland, meat was overdone, and at times the food was not very appetizing. How do you make bread taste bland? They found a way!! Desserts looked great but never tasted as good as they looked. For our part, we didn't care if it looked great if it tasted bland. It was a big surprise. We don't claim Hedo has fantastic food....but I didn't feel disappointed like we felt at Desrire.
Wife: Desire 2 stars. Hedo as 3.5 stars.
Husband: Desire 1.5 stars. Hedo 3.5 stars.

Restaurants
We ate at the buffet most nights and ate one night at Sahlo. The buffet tables were small (2 and sometime 4 seat) and at breakfast it felt really, really dark. Sahlo was nice but small – the people we ate with made it an exceptional evening, but the food didn't stand out except for an odd salad with way too much mayo. At Hedo tables range from 4 seats to over a dozen. At Hedo we sometimes would see a table with people and ask if we could join – it's a nice way to meet people in a low pressure way – but that didn't seem like a good idea at Desire. We didn't end up eating at the Asian restaurant, but it might have been a good idea – it seemed like it was busy and it looked like it might have been fun. The servers were more formal than at Hedo, setting your place and helping you sit. But we ran out of water at almost every meal.
Wife: Desire 2.5 stars. Hedo as 3.5 stars.
Husband: Desire 3 stars. Hedo 3.5 stars.

Snacks Between Meals
Basically not a thing at Desire. And, when we were at the hot tub at 1am, we wanted a snack!! The bar near the lobby has snacks....but you have to climb down three flights of stairs – which if you were drinking without food....well I have a hunch someone has taken a drunk header down the stairs. The snacks at Hedo aren't great....but at 1am near the hot tub they soar in 'value'.
Wife: Desire 0 stars. Hedo as 5 stars.
Husband: Desire 1 stars. Hedo 4 stars.

Service
This was the area we expected excellence. We were sort of disappointed. When we arrived, we were taken near our building and pointed to the proper direction but not escorted there. And, they didn't offer to carry my wife's bag. I didn't mind, but at Hedo they were insistent they they take both our bags and escorted us to our rooms. With all we had read and heard, this was very surprising given the reputation. Maybe it was our fault for not saying anything. We're not the sort of people who fuss, and we can find things out on our own – we just had heard service was exceptional and it just felt average.
Wife: Desire 2.5 stars. Hedo as 3 stars.
Husband: Desire 2.5 stars. Hedo 3 stars.

Entertainment
Desire has MUCH better entertainment. The Play Makers are very outgoing, very nice, and work very hard. Mariana, Anna, Kevin, and Achmed busted their chops. The evening shows were a lot more interesting. The only negative was that the entertainment was outdoors near the main lobby....it was cold one evening and any wind made it worse. We left our cold weather clothes at home expecting it to be warmer.
Wife: Desire 4.5 stars. Hedo as 1 star.
Husband: Desire 4 stars. Hedo 1 star.

Pool
The pool at Desire was great. Lots of sun beds. Didn't love having to pay for them, but it was worth it. The pool was near the lunch restaurant. The Play Makers made sure to greet people and made us feel welcome.
Wife: Desire 4 stars. Hedo as 2 stars.
Husband: Desire 4.5 stars. Hedo 2 stars.

Beach
We didn't spend much time on the beach at Desire. The sand was nice and soft, but seaweed covered most of the shore for 3 of 4 days. We spent a lot of time at the beach at Hedo, but it is probably because the trees offered great shade.
Wife: Desire 2 stars. Hedo as 3 stars.
Husband: Desire 2 stars. Hedo 4 stars.

Hot Tub
The hot tub was smaller, but was still a good size. Temperature was good – the part near the bar was warmer than the spot away from the bar....which was great to avoid being overheated. Would have liked a better entry than a ladder, but loved the sun beds up there. People were more restrained than at Hedo. It might have been nice if people had been more intimate, but sometimes at Hedo people get raunchy.
Wife: Desire 3.5 stars. Hedo as 2.5 stars.
Husband: Desire 3 stars. Hedo 3 stars.

People
Ok – so people are a major reason you go to either resort. People at Desire seemed much more likely to strike up a conversation. It might be that we were getting 'sized up', but no one actually ever asked us what we were into. My wife said she might have liked someone to have expressed some sort of interest, and I was surprised no one did. On the last evening, I decided to 'pay it forward' and complemented a fellow husband on his performance with his wife on the sun beds at the hot tub earlier. So....we really liked the crowd but never felt like we had a match. A fair number of the ladies at Desire seemed enhanced. We didn't feel like it was nearly that common at Hedo. It's a pity to see a lovely lady with a bad boob job -- better to be natural we feel. Also, the couples at Desire seemed less likely to be separated. I can't recall any one-on-one conversations with a member of the other couple other than one wife who stayed at the lobby bar after her husband went to bed.
Wife: Desire 4 stars. Hedo as 3 stars.
Husband: Desire 3.5 stars. Hedo 3 stars.

Rooms and Resort Upkeep
The rooms at Desire are much much nicer, albeit smaller. We had a superior ocean view room at Desire, a Jacuzzi suite at Hedo. At Hedo we had a ton of space which was nice. We did like the nicer room....but we missed having a deck and Jacuzzi even though it wasn't as nice a room. We also missed the mirror on the ceiling at Hedo. My wife is lovely.....and I like looking at her in the mirror. Desire, however is in better shape.
Wife: Desire 4 stars. Hedo as 2.5 stars.
Husband: Desire 4 stars. Hedo 3 stars.

Spa
My wife was looking forward to the spa. She tried to book for Christmas day – our last day. She was told it was closed. Turns out it was open. Epic fail. This will down on their permanent record!!
Wife: Desire 0 stars. Hedo as 3 stars.
Husband: Desire 0 stars. Hedo – didn't use

No Means No
When we arrived, we were told “no means no”. We agree. But its doesn't seem to apply to the sales people. My wife was lured by the offer of Spa credit (which as mentioned above she didn't get to use) to attend the sales presentation. We listened....and were intrigued, but not prepared to commit right then and there. After many attempts to say we were not going to join that day, we asked for a brochure to look over and were refused. We were told we had to to sign paperwork saying the offer was null and void, which PISSED ME OFF. I have never dealt with a business offer that required you to sign something saying you were declining. It felt disrespectful. Maybe they need to do it for legal purposes as the say, but ask me at the beginning to sign something to make me an offer. Don't demand me to sign something to decline an offer I told them at the start I wasn't going to agree to that day. They made me feel like they were selling the entire time. I'm on vacation people! Never once did I feel like anyone at Hedo was selling me.
Wife: Desire 0 stars. Hedo as 5 stars.
Husband: Desire 0 stars. Hedo 5 stars.

Overall, we really liked Desire. But we sort of missed our Jacuzzi suite at Hedo. And I feel bad that I didn't fall in love Desire. We both agree it is worth going again....but we aren't sure where our next trip will be to.
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Re: First Time Visit, Dec 21-26, 2018

Postby dcnewbies703 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:41 pm

Don't have time for a point-by-point comparison, but wanted to note for Forums readers that our experience (a few times at Hedo II and ten or more times at DRM over the past 9 years) has been very different. Hedo is OK but we definitely prefer Desire, but I don't want to re-tread the well-worn Desire vs. Hedo path (other than to note that this trip report's "People" comparison made no note of the single men at Hedo, which is a huge and, to us, undesirable difference at Hedo).
But a couple of specifics about the comments on DRM: (1) Yes, if you wanted seating among a larger group, you should have tried Suki, the Asian restaurant -- our favorite for a number of reasons, including the tastiest food with the best presentation -- which has a central double-sided table that seats 7 or 8 couples, typically arriving alone or in groups of four, plus the two Benihana-like grills that seat at least 3 couples each. But there are a couple of larger tables at Sahlo in the corners, and we've had them make up tables for a group of 8 or more numerous times. (2) There's neither room for cooking nor room for much eating at the rooftop Jacuzzi. The food at the lobby bar, especially the pizza, is well-loved, and there's room there to eat it. We're happy to have food and food droppings separated from the Jacuzzi. (3) We've never just been pointed to our room and left to find it while carrying our bags. Must have been a problem related to Christmas staffing? The bellmen have always been exceedingly helpful. (4) Are you sure the spa was open for spa services on Christmas day, and not just open for access to the lockers and exercise equipment? And even if it was, it's hard to see a mix-up about operations on Christmas day as an "epic fail."

P.S. Women with bad boob jobs deserve our sympathy, not our approbation/shunning. :-)
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Re: First Time Visit, Dec 21-26, 2018

Postby Justskin » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:29 pm

Thanks for the write-up. Amazing how we all see things differently. We've visited Hedo II twice about a decade ago so our thoughts may be dated, while we did have fun at Hedo, it isn't a fraction of the resort that Desire is in our opinion. And Desire staff is the best in the world for the price point.

Things can vary a bit at Desire, from the restaurant experiences to the couple interaction. It's all very crowd (and sometimes capacity) dependent.

And if a couple wants to enjoy the sexy company of another, someone has to engage in that discussion--approach the topic in a fun and non-pushy way. If there is attraction then the the rest usually follows naturally.
Regarding the DRM membership sales pitch at check in...if a couple isn't interested give them a simple and firm 'NO.'

Our guess is that if you two try DRM again, your 'scores' would vary significantly.
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Re: First Time Visit, Dec 21-26, 2018

Postby Explorer79 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:50 pm

Sounds like the post sales pitch "sign this document thing" was presented poorly (not exactly their strong suit). When we did it, and we signed, the guy made it pretty clear that we were signing so that he could show his bosses that we did indeed sit through it and said no - maybe he doesn't get paid otherwise or somehow he's punished? In any case if it was presented to us as something we "must sign" with no sufficient explanation as to what or why I'd probably get agitated as well.
\m/
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