Temptation brings its open‑minded ethos to the Dominican Republic. Sarah Bridge explores the new resort
It’s 4pm at Temptation Miches Resort in the Dominican Republic, and Popeye, one of the hotel’s team of effervescent ‘Playmakers’, is at the main pool (officially known as the ‘Sexy Pool’) corralling guests for the afternoon competition – a pole‑dancing contest.
Contestants need little encouragement to show off their best moves to the pumping music, taking it in turns to spin, spurred on by applause and whoops from fellow guests. One ambitious hopeful tries some moves on the swimming pool rail instead and topples head over heels into the water, but emerges to laughter and cheers to try again.
The atmosphere is fun and friendly with a hint of sauciness: yesterday, there was a lap-dancing contest; tomorrow, there will be a foam party. And throughout it all the Playmakers will be dancing and serving cocktails.
Welcome to the Dominican Republic’s newest resort and ‘playground for grown-ups,’ an all-inclusive adult-only property from the Temptation brand, which has hotels in Cancun, Mexico, and also runs themed Caribbean cruises.
Temptation bills itself as a refreshing new option for the free-spirited traveller, but the theme feels more playful than overtly sexual. It’s definitely adult-only, though: guests can go topless in either of the two swimming pools and each night there’s a party with a different theme, from ‘sexy circus’ and ‘sexy tropical’ to ‘animal print’ and ‘lingerie and masks’.
Many guests have packed accordingly and emerge resplendent in lace or leopard prints for the nightly party. But dressing up isn’t compulsory, and neither is dancing until dawn, although the loud music reverberates throughout the resort well into the small hours.
The resort didn’t have an easy launch. Just a few weeks before opening, it was hit by Hurricane Fiona, whose 150kmh winds weren’t quite the ‘uninhibited vibes’ the hotel was hoping for.
The pretty little town of Miches is less than a minute’s drive away
Flooding and damage meant that the opening was pushed back until December as repairs were carried out. As sales co-ordinator Luz Franco recalls: “It meant a lot of hard work, apologies and refunds, but we kept going and opened just two months later than planned.”
The resort is now fully up and running, with guests coming mainly from the US and Canada but also Spain, the UK and Israel, and its location on the relatively undeveloped north coast means that the sandy beach at one end of the resort is quiet and unspoiled.
The pretty little town of Miches is less than a minute’s drive away and its marina and colourful buildings make it a charming place for guests to explore off-resort, but Temptation’s guests are more likely to stay put and enjoy the resort’s six restaurants, six bars and non-stop party atmosphere.
As you’d expect of a new-build hotel, the landscaping is still a work in progress, so mini palm trees greet you as you arrive at Temptation Miches, together with a prominent pink ‘Let’s Play’ sign on the side of the main building.
The hotel’s vast lobby is the central hub, off which there are amenities including the spa, gym, excursion office, several restaurants and bars, plus a separate lounge for VIP members.
Head out into the open air and you’ll find yourself at Bash, the main hotel party bar overlooking the rest of the resort, including the two swimming pools, accommodation buildings and, at the far end, the Atlantic Ocean and beach, where staff arrange loungers every morning.
No golf buggies are needed to get around here, though, as you could walk across this compact resort in less than 10 minutes. Next door is the smaller and quieter Temptation Grand Miches – guests can come from there to dine and dance at Temptation Miches, but not the other way around.
At Temptation Miches, six bars offer 24-hour drinking, if desired. And there are six restaurants, ranging from Italian to Mexican and Dominican Republic fusion.
You can join in as much or as little as you want to. It’s just a lot of fun
SHE – which stands for Sexy, Hot and Exciting – is a smart casual couples-only dining venue with an illuminated dance floor, where diners can watch live dancing and entertainment during their meal.
I share the theatrical Teppanyaki dining experience at Sutra restaurant with two couples from Ontario who are regulars at Temptation Cancun and are already loving the Caribbean version.
“Staff are so friendly here and the whole set-up is very easy, very welcoming and very relaxing,” says Marie. “We were reluctant to tell our friends at first about coming here as we didn’t want to sound like swingers, but the thing about Temptation is that it’s very respectful and very consensual, and you can join in as much or as little as you want to. It’s just a lot of fun.”
Tried and tested: Temptation Miches Resort
The 382 bedrooms and suites at Temptation Miches Resort are located in two colourful, curved, three-storey buildings. The room types vary in size, facilities and services, spanning Trendy, Trendy Playful Experience, Lure Swim Up, Celebrity Swim Up, Private Pool Master Suites and Signature Private Pool Suites.
Rooms facing inwards (Pool-Vibe View) overlook the swimming pools while those facing outward (Tropical View) look on to yet-to-be-landscaped grounds or the gardens of the neighbouring Temptation Grand Miches hotel.
The rooms are light and airy, with either balconies, terraces or swim-up pools, and the style is clean and minimalist, with splashes of colour provided by cushions, rugs and abstract artwork.
Each room and suite has inclusive Wi-Fi, a safe, 24-hour room service, coffee machine, alarm clock, hairdryer, TV and rainfall shower. Some rooms have butler service, a minibar and some restaurant experiences included, while others charge extra.
Day excursion: need for speed
It’s Monday morning and instead of being stuck on a commuter train I’m hurtling along on a quad bike; high above my head are waving palm trees and, just metres to one side, the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
It’s laugh-out-loud exhilarating and makes the 8am start all worth it. We head off on our quad bikes around a rice field, before driving along the stunning Playa de la Limon, stopping off for a drink of fresh coconut milk from a coconut seller who deftly cuts slices of the white fruit for a snack.
There’s little time to hang around before part two of the excursion: a nerve-jangling ride in a tour bus up a steep track to the top of the 1,102ft-high Mount Redonda.
While the track is rough, the summit is anything but: the Instagrammable views of lush countryside, green lakes and the Atlantic are complemented by a neatly manicured green lawn, restaurant, shopping huts, a zipline and half a dozen seats, swings and hammocks.
Price: $140 for a full day.
Kenwood Travel offers seven nights’ all-inclusive at Temptation Miches Resort from £1,713 per person, based on two sharing, departing on December 7. Price includes return flights from Gatwick.
PICTURES: Thiago da Cunha; digitalmediacancun.com.