Hotel Deseo: Playa del Carmen’s Savvy, Hip Place to Party

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The hotel’s name is Spanish for “desire” — it’s not a quiet hideaway for those seeking a low-key or quiet beach haven! But Hotel Deseo, located in Playa del Carmen, on the Riviera Maya in Mexico, is a favorite haunt for young, hip, savvy vacationers looking for a contemporary place to see and be seen. And that’s the emphasis of this establishment: interaction among the guests. The heart of the hotel is an open-air lounge that’s at once lobby, restaurant, bar, and pool area. Climb the stairs to the roof to reach it: besides the pool and Jacuzzi, it’s equipped with a self-service kitchen, cocktail and snack bar, and the most unusual cocktail-lounge furniture you might ever see: oversized daybeds. Once night falls, a DJ takes over, and the partying kicks into high gear…until it’s time to collapse in one of the 15 guest rooms.

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These rooms, light and airy as they are, are also spare and minimalist, all uncluttered plain white walls with some playful details (a wire clothesline strung along the wall holds, among other things, a room-service menu!). And, while they have plenty of modern amenities such as air conditioning, minibars, hammocks, beach kits, and Wi-Fi, they’re also not set up for people wanting to retreat. As one review site puts it, “Amenities are purposely kept at a minimum so as not to tempt guests into isolation; there is not a cozy armchair or 20-inch television in sight.” Other services such as massages are available — but no nature hiking, panoramic ocean sightseeing, or snorkeling happens here. While it may be only steps from the beach, Hotel Deseo is all about the nightlife and bright lights.

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