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Back home from "home" last night..
#130645 04/23/2016 07:15 PM
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....and the State of the Hedo is...."ok".

Not tremendous, but OK, IMHO.

More tomorrow with trip details.


Rosetta Stone Jamaican Edition !!!

http://bit.ly/1euljyZ
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130646 04/24/2016 11:09 AM
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Just got home Friday night.

Here are some tidbits of the visit.

Arrival in MoBay. Very speedy. There are now automated kiosks to scan your passport for immigration in addition to the clerks. Sadly, many of them malfunctioned and it took the clerks to process .

Arrival at Hedo.

First thing you notice is the 24/7 construction of the new Royalton hotel. Hundreds of workers, construction vehicles and NOISE. Jackhammering began at 7 AM dailky and continued until dark. The dust created is a big problem both for the workers (who were in particle masks or bandanas) as well as the surrounding area. The lobby at Hedo was constantly taking a lot of dust and was being mopped almost non-stop.

No welcome champagne/rum punch/water, etc.

New fountain out front still out of service.

Check in was speedy.

Air conditioning was a HUGE problem. Many of the rooms were without A/C for 48 hours which required relocating folks to other rooms. Pedestal fans were given to guests who requested them.

On Tuesday, the entire A/C system was down ALL DAY for repairs. The central chiller is about "shot". Even after repairs, many guests still reported issues. Harry advised that the next major project is to scrap the entire system and to install separate A/C units for EACH ROOM. This is happening shortly.

Water issues remain. Guests were either scalded or had no hot water. There were more rooftop pipe breaks. Some rooms had power-washer pressure and others very little.

Harry advised along with the new A/C units that ALL guest bathrooms are to be redone, perhaps this year. New tiles, new fixtures. He also hopes to have the bathroom doors open INTO the
bedroom rather than the bathroom.

Property well maintained. Remainder of old dining room tables and chairs either placed around the property or sold/trashed. Mini golf course totally gone and landscaped behind the piano bar.

A new smoking area is planned, and pavers in stacks await, next to the gate for the luggage trucks.

Piano bar. The bar top is partially covered in thick, black, tar-like substance. Brough to Harry's attention for prompt attention.

Still unbelievably ear-shattering at night with Deon and Stephanie. Numerous complaints but nothing done. Deon now plays in the courtyard on Friday nights. They have a portable stage with huge speakers. It's a concert rather than a sing-a-long. Again, painfully loud. Folks went into the empty piano bar to escape the NOISE. Bad idea, IMHO. Nowhere to get a little quiet time on Friday night.

Foam party. Moved to the courtyard 2 weeks ago from the disco. Most folks panned the idea as it lacked the lighting,mood, music; etc that the disco has.

Toga night. The resort now has bolts of cloth in red, green and gold that the EC's cut for you to make your own toga. Despite a toga tying demo and folks getting fabric, participation was minimal.

Espresso and wine bars. Little to only scattered interest.

Boutique. Well stocked with sundries, gifts, etc. New Hedo logo merchandise now with the mermaids/trident. Found out the new logo was contest among the employees for the design.

Engraved pavers. Maybe a little over a dozen or so still. Not much interest judging by the numbers.

Food. IMHO, the buffet is still very average. Typical offerings including the chicken picante burritos. Nothing special.

Flame. This new dining option was popular and got high marks from guests. Beef and seafood options were very tasty and with a more Caribbean flavor. There are glitches though. They only have a few 8-tops, and a few 4 tops. To get these tables you must fill every seat from your party. If not, a long communal table that seats about 20 sits near the beach side is your only option.

Pastafari. Still pretty good and we had no problems getting a table on any night. Flame frees up Pastafari I think.

HarrySan. Still very good and easy to get a seat for most nights. The chefs there have funny and interactive exchanges among themselves and guests. Quite enjoyable.

Sushi was in great quality/abundance everywhere.

Watersports/Beach.

Watersports equipment looked well maintained, especially the Hobie Cats. New sails and riggings. Scuba gear in good shape and rescue sausages/whistles now on all BC's. Dive boat in good shape still.

Chair pads. In good supply. They a textured/ribbed surface now and lack the Hedo logo so maybe they won't get stolen now.

More beach umbrellas and a few more tables. Bottled water tubs usually well stocked. Additional lifeguard stands on the beach....why ?

Pool areas. No changes to prude beach although plans are in the works to upgrade that are and to heat the swimming pool and add some sort of "hot tub" there. No trees will be cut down. No time frame given by Harry.

Nude pool. No changes except that there are rubber mats on the pool deck to prevent slipping. Extremely painful to walk on as they have a sharp, pebble finish. Harry advised these are temporary until a smoother, custom-cut-to-size deck comes in. The new matting will follow the contour of the pool edges. Future plans, again...with no time line, are to extend out the front of the bar and renovate the grill, perhaps with an expanded roof. The pool and hot tub will remain unchanged.

There is now a DJ booth built on the pool deck along the rock wall. It extends onto the pool deck about 4-5 feet. Eats up space where chaise lounges used to be. Most thought it was a poor idea.
DJ's didn't seem receptive to guest requests for music. Once again, it was the DJ's flexing their egos. Didn't hear much, if any - reggae music.

EC's. Still doing a great job led by Winston. Shows were a bit improved. Pool deck activities were often painfully loud.

Ironing boards and irons have been removed. If you want them, ask for them. New iPod clocks in rooms are OK - until there's a power failure. Guests can't reset them. Housekeeping knows the procedure though.

We had about 6 short-term "brown outs" during the week. Most last less than 1 minute. This seemed to be an island-wide problem.

Club Mobay has expanded on both levels. On the terminal level they have a large bar area with windows that face the runway. Nice if you want to watch landings. On the tarmac level, they've expanded that out about 20 feet, also with windows facing the runway.

That's all I recall right now. Any questions - just ask.




Rosetta Stone Jamaican Edition !!!

http://bit.ly/1euljyZ
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130649 04/24/2016 05:08 PM
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Is Agstus still working the beach section next to Sandals?


If this be a dream do not wake me up; if not a dream, wish me no sleep
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130650 04/24/2016 05:51 PM
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Yes he is. Still pleading daily to go back to the nude side.

Not gonna happen.... ever.


Rosetta Stone Jamaican Edition !!!

http://bit.ly/1euljyZ
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130656 04/25/2016 08:13 AM
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Only 12 bricks? Why buy a brick when you can hijack a tree?

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130658 04/25/2016 09:43 AM
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I think the hesitation with buying the bricks is a lack of confidence they will stay put. How can you be sure they won't get dug up in the next round of renovations?


All in all, I'd rather be a hippy.
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130660 04/25/2016 01:23 PM
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Your point on the DJ's is well taken. Years ago I asked some of the locals why Jamaicans, especially the ones under 50 have little tolerance to reggae music. I was told it's old people's music from another era for the country. Much of what it would be like for young Americans to listen to 1950's / pre-rock'n roll music.

The problem however is THE GUESTS want to hear relaxing reggae music and instead of a DJ most would be happy with a Pandora Bob Marley channel playing throughout the day.

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130665 04/25/2016 08:20 PM
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I would think that management would have the DJs do what the PAYING GUESTS are asking for, and not what the DJs want.

JMHO

Judy

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130666 04/26/2016 04:54 AM
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What Judy said.

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130667 04/26/2016 05:45 AM
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If they would only turn the volume down!

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130668 04/26/2016 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug
Engraved pavers. Maybe a little over a dozen or so still. Not much interest judging by the numbers.


I just viewed a video of said pavers taken by someone this morning. At quick count there are at least three dozen. People are ordering them and Harry is even offering one as a contest prize.

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
happy cpl #130670 04/26/2016 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by happy cpl
If they would only turn the volume down!

I'll second that motion!

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130671 04/26/2016 06:08 PM
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Why can't Augustus go back to the nude side?

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130672 04/27/2016 05:29 AM
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Augustus was banished to the prude side a few years back, don't remember why. the place wouldn't be the same without him!

Last edited by happy cpl; 04/27/2016 05:30 AM.
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130691 04/29/2016 01:21 PM
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My understanding about Agustus is that some his good-intentioned comments and pranks wore thin on some folks, among other things I can't openly discuss.

He is on the prude side as a matter of hotel courtesy and respect for his many years of service. He would have a difficult time being hired at any other property due to his literacy level.


Rosetta Stone Jamaican Edition !!!

http://bit.ly/1euljyZ
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130693 04/29/2016 02:19 PM
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Appreciate the info Doug. The last sentence totally unnecessary, condescending, paternalistic and downright nasty.

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130695 04/29/2016 04:06 PM
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I don't think that anything is that wrong about the sentence. I have known Agustus far longer than just about any of you.He is my friend. People would be surprised at the large number of Jamaicans, men in particular, that can not read and write at a functional level. Agustus can hear out of just one ear well enough to understand anyone. He carries an inadequate hearing device. If anyone has access to a hearing aid that could be easily fitted, I am sure that he would really appreciate it. We became really aware of the extent of his hearing problem during our recent visit. We come to Jamaica to relax and enjoy ourselves and are as guilty as anyone can be in being callous towards local problems. Years ago, we decided that we would be overwhelmed if we tried to solve so many problems. I am going to enquire about hearing aids here and in Jamaica. Doug is correct in his post. Agustus's physical condition would also hinter his finding a job anywhere else. Kevin has to be wisely tough in his position. One could go crazy if they worried about all the problems in Jamaica. At the same time, I have been touched by some of his acts of kindness toward employees and ex-employees. No one would ever know. I have met ex-employees on other parts of the island who have related how he quietly helped them. I have yet to talk to any of the staff who were not selected to stay with the change of ownership who will say a bad word about Kevin.

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
T-38 #130696 04/29/2016 04:16 PM
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it was an unnecessay comment. he had no right to assume that it was okay to broadcast that and what you say is probably entirely true. what you don't see is the audacity to pass that judgment and publicly state it no matter how right he thought he was. you are far more sensitive to Agustus than he is and you did a noble and caring job of defending him when in fact had the judgment had never been passed publicly you wouldn't have had to do so. the characterization and sentence was disrespectful of him as a person. it was unnecessary.


Follow your dream! Unless it's the one where you're at work in your underwear during a fire drill.
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130706 05/01/2016 10:11 AM
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I was there the same time as Doug and heard Bob Marley and other Reggae most mornings from the nude pool. Doug you may have missed most the Reggae music because you are usually diving in the mornings. Once the DJ shows up they crank it up after water aerobics.

I have no complaints about the food and think it has improved across the board. I heard about the Flame denying couples a four top tables but saw six couples using four tops on Wednesday when we ate there. So this issue must depend on demand.

I did not like the Friday night piano bar 'show' in the courtyard either. I had to move out to the outer pool deck to talk to anyone.

We were in the building next to the nude pool 2178 and did not have any issues with our a/c or the water in our shower. That said we did keep our a/c on 60 the entire time...but it was cool as were our friends room in 2176.

I do hope they clean the grunge off the piano bar top. Personally I do not lay my palms on the piano or nude pool bar EVER.

It was a terrific trip with great weather and wonderful friends.


Anita
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130710 05/01/2016 07:10 PM
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Being a picker-type of gal, I think I'll bring a tool to scrap the black tar crap off the piano bar...better than my fingernail. Ewww!


Regards,
Chris
"The Naked Truth About Hedonism II" New 3rd edition!
at www.chrissantilli.com
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Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130711 05/02/2016 04:29 AM
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What is the grunge/tar stuff on the bar? Any idea?
If it's not supposed to be there I would like to think the resort would clean it off rather than leave it for guests to do with tools from home. Any clue what it might be or where it came from?

Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130712 05/02/2016 06:25 AM
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Apparently, the wood top of the bar was painted some time ago. It appears the paint has worn down to the original wood finish closest to edge up from, but not back towards the bartenders.


Rosetta Stone Jamaican Edition !!!

http://bit.ly/1euljyZ
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130803 05/14/2016 12:33 PM
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Thanks for sharing your review - I went there back in February after a 10 year hiatus. I also noticed no welcome champagne when I arrived after not going for 10 years. I was eventually given one since I complained.


I'm BACK!
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130805 05/14/2016 02:31 PM
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On arrival, I was asked what I'd like to drink...at it appeared moments later, delivered to me at the front desk.


Regards,
Chris
"The Naked Truth About Hedonism II" New 3rd edition!
at www.chrissantilli.com
Print, audiobook and ebooks
Re: Back home from "home" last night..
Doug #130806 05/15/2016 07:04 AM
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We were there in February and offered champagne, mimosa or rum punch when we walked in.


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