Saturday, January 07, 2012

Occupy Hedonism! – A New Year’s Eve Trip Report



I do not represent the 99%; instead, I represent the 1% – that is to say, the 1% of the people who vacation at Hedonism II in Negril, Jamaica and somehow manage not to hook-up with anyone.  This is unfair!  There is an uneven distribution of carnal wealth going on around this place and damn it all, I think it’s about time for me to protest!  So, taking some inspiration from the folks who caused such a ruckus down on Wall Street a few months back, I’ve decided that the theme of 2011’s vacation at Hedonism to celebrate New Year’s Eve has to be “Occupy Hedonism”! 


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Occupy Your Room

So how would you like your room this year:  No hot water or no water at all?  That’s the choice a number of guests were presented with upon check-in to due the fact that a pipe had burst just prior to our Boxing Day arrival.  Gradually, this was addressed – but not after some hard feelings and inconvenience on the part of the guests.  I started out with hot water, then warm water, then cold water only as the problem eventually worked its way to my room.  Fortunately, the matter got corrected before too long, but the water just returned to something of a lukewarm state, never hot. 

Occupy The Pool/Beach

The weather was, in a word, uncooperative.  From Monday 12/26/11 through Wednesday 12/28/11 (or at least, the portion of Monday that I was there), there was perfect weather – warm with partly cloudy skies.  However, from Thursday through Sunday (12/29/11-1/1/12), the weather pattern was abundant sunshine in the morning, rain in the afternoon, followed by enough cloudiness that there would be no more sun for the remainder of the day.  The worst of these days was Saturday (the afternoon of New Year’s Eve) when we had heavy rain for about 3/4 of an hour.  Neither Monday nor Tuesday (1/2-3/12) had rain, but it was mostly cloudy for both afternoons.   

The dinner menu for New Year’s Eve 2011:

Occupy The Piano Bar

Dion, despite whatever issues people may have with him, drew some rather large crowds in the Piano Bar every night he appeared; the place was considerably less crowded (and enthusiastic) on the karaoke nights.  His band played in the courtyard on New Year’s Eve after midnight, with many people dancing in the outdoor space that lovely evening (and many more too pooped to even stand after partying all night).  In the piano bar, Dion consistently put on an entertaining show and exhibited the right spirit for Hedo.  The air conditioning worked rather well, making the place very comfortable for everyone.

Occupy The Disco

As comfortable as the Piano Bar was because of its excellent air conditioning system, that’s how uninhabitable the Disco was due to its lack of such a system.  Quite simply, it was impossible to breathe in there night after night because there was no circulating air.  One guest quite accurately said to me, “You can smell the mold as soon as you walk in”.  Very few people put in an appearance at the disco and those that did, didn’t stay for very long.  An unfortunate consequence of this was that the PJ Party on Tuesday night wasn’t terribly well attended; in fact, the only night I saw it even somewhat crowded was on Friday night (12/30/11) when one of the groups visiting during that week – The Bare Bottom Bunch – successfully threw a rather well-attended foam party.

The Champagne Menu for New Year’s Eve 2011 at Hedonism II:      

Occupy The Dining Room

Generally, I haven’t found conditions in the Dining Room to be quite as bad as others have, but this year, it was pretty stuffy on New Year’s Eve.  As an example, by 10PM, some male guests who originally came to dinner in tuxedoes had switched to t-shirt and shorts because it was way too warm to stay dressed-up for very long.  Contributing to this was the fact that all of the hotel’s guests were crammed into the dining room (the alternative restaurants were closed that evening) and there were plenty of outsiders present who had purchased a night pass for the evening.  On top of that, the entertainment staff had decorated the space in such a way that the breeze you might normally get from the beach was blocked by some curtains.

While the food was its typical mediocre self, the two nights that they got it right were New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (Saturday 12/31/11 and Sunday 1/1/12).  On New Year’s Eve, they had their traditional grilled lobster tails, which – for a delightful change – weren’t overcooked.  One tip if you go there when they are serving lobster:  don’t pour the melted butter over your lobster tails.  Instead, prior to queuing up for the lobster, grab both a plate and a bowl from the soup station and ladle the butter into your soup bowl.  This prevents drowning the lobster tail in butter; it tastes better (and is a bit less messy) to simply dunk the lobster tail into the butter. 

On New Year’s Day, they served roast suckling pig for dinner; it was cooked to perfection – in fact, I went back for seconds.  Both times, the cook was smart enough to include some of the cracklings when he sliced meat off the pig.  I also asked for the pig’s ear both times; I was not disappointed.  Now that’s my other tip for eating at Hedonism:  if they are serving the suckling pig, by all means get some, make sure you get the delicious and crispy skin and ask for the ears from the pig’s head (assuming no one else has somehow managed to snag them before you).  If the ears aren’t available, then go for the cheeks!   

In conclusion, here now is the countdown to midnight from the dining room at Hedonism II on New Year’s Eve 2011:


The Countdown

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