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Just back Saturday.....
#146477 11/29/2021 11:31 AM
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Doug Offline OP
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Greetings all. Just returned from a nice 8 day trip. Some quick tidbits.

Check-in was very easy. Quick show of paperwork and done.

MASKS.

ALL staff are wearing masks. EVERYONE from front desk to landscapers. Mask use by guests was almost non-extistent. Plenty of sanitizing stations spread around. Sanitizing of hands was mandatory before entering the gift shop. They had a mandatory mask rule as well, but it was hit or miss on enforcement.

FOOD.

New executive chef Michael is doing a very nice job. All the specialty restaurants were as good if not better than under Anthony. Buffet was sketchy at times except for breakfast. Breakfast offerings were various and great. There is now a breakfast burrito station as well. They had a pop-up burrito station on the nude side one day.

Beach grill is expanding in choices. Made to order pizzas and delicious chicken kabobs are available from 11-3 every day. There are also hand-battered onion rings as well. Fantastic !

FLAME STATUS.

Still untouched after the fire. An area next to Harry San is serving their menu. I was told by the new chef that Flame is to be completely razed and replaced with a 2-story restaurant in its place. Plans are submitted to parrish council and as soon as they are approved, construction will begin.

WATER.

Each guest will get a reusable water bottle to keep upon check in. There are filtered water refilling stations all over the property. Hooray for the environment !

BARS.

A few premium brands were not available during the week due to supply chain issues. Note to all Red Bull drinkers......Red Bull is NOT part of your A/I package ! If you want a Red Bull, it is $4.00 and will be charged to your room.

ROOM KEYS.

The room keys of old are gone. You now receive a rubber wristband with a computer chip in it They must be returned upon check-out. If not returned or a replacement is needed, it's $30 !

MAIN POOL DECK.

The water slide tower has been removed. It opens up a lot of space on the deck. The bridge to the beach is still there. Also noticed tarps over sections of the main dining room roof to prevent leaking.

DIVING.

Derrick, Tremaine and Orane are still there. New DM Davon.

The sunken boat is back in use. New paint job. The old sport-fisher boat was sold to a private entity in Negril. New Cressi BCD's. Rumor has it....and just a rumor, is that the 2 dive policy of last year has been scrapped totally. Seems there was a ton of negative feedback to the hotel and much of it was from non-divers. The policy was from the former GM, not Harry.

Random stuff.

The old Delroy's bar/massage hut is gone. Large open area now. Large hammock in it's place.

Courtyard now has powerful fixed and portable misting fans. This is a relief for anyone during the day.


Agustus is still there every day.

Vendors are now permitted on the prude side next to the pool.

H-block courtyard has undergone major renovation. All of the trees have been removed and replaced with pebbled areas and some new plantings. I was told the tree roots were invading the pipes underground.

More as I remember or just ask.

Irie !

Last edited by Doug; 11/29/2021 03:51 PM.

Rosetta Stone Jamaican Edition !!!

http://bit.ly/1euljyZ
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Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146478 11/29/2021 01:42 PM
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We were just there too. How did we miss the area serving the Flame menu? We only ate at Harrysan once (had just about everything on the Pastafari menu) and I thought they were serving sushi next to the Harrysan tables. The kabobs were good. We only got the onion rings once. Other times they were not available. New room keys are great. Just put it on your wrist and forget about it.

Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146480 11/29/2021 04:18 PM
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Thanks, Doug. The message board isn't the best place for trip reports as they will get lost as new posts appear and people not on the board won't see it weeks from now. How about emailing me a trip report for posting for eternity on my web site? You can email me a copy of what you have above. Thanks.


Quotes & Reservations from DennyP Travel L.L.C. - https://www.dennyp.com/dennyptravel/quote_request.htm
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146481 11/29/2021 04:38 PM
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OK, wow. Big changes.
When you said Flame is to be completely razed and replaced with a 2-story restaurant - I was wondering if it would look like the one at the old Hedo III. Kitchen downstairs, upstairs eating with a view. It was nice.

Are all the rubber wristband keys the same? I would like to see them in a range of colours. cool


All in all, I'd rather be a hippy.
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Parracky Parrot #146482 11/29/2021 05:30 PM
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Wristbands are all red and identical.


Rosetta Stone Jamaican Edition !!!

http://bit.ly/1euljyZ
Re: Just back Saturday.....
DennyP #146483 11/29/2021 05:33 PM
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Ok.


Rosetta Stone Jamaican Edition !!!

http://bit.ly/1euljyZ
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146484 11/29/2021 07:32 PM
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Thanks for all of the details, Doug.

Any issues with wearing the wristband in the water? Should it be removed before going into the pool?

Was the piano bar open? I'm scheduled to be at Hedo after Christmas and you said that guests were not masked for the most part, so I'm a little concerned about being in the Piano Bar when it's crowded with unmasked folks.

How about testing? Anyone quarantined as far as you know? What was the testing experience like when you were leaving?

Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146487 11/29/2021 11:04 PM
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Thanks for the great newsy post, Doug! Great to hear news from the Front.

Great news about the keys. I hated those key cards. Very poor choice for a resort where you don't have any pockets.

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Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146488 11/30/2021 05:53 AM
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Awesome news Doug, thanks for sharing. A two story eatery on the beach sounds fun!

Last edited by roy; 11/30/2021 05:54 AM.

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices...have very few virtues." Abraham Lincoln
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146490 11/30/2021 06:26 AM
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Thanks for update, Doug. I really appreciate it!

Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146503 11/30/2021 06:43 PM
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Thanks very much Doug !!!! You lifted my spirits big time !!!
Not to mention your cheerful tidbits helped me remain calm. After today's Canadian Government announcements we may be facing additional testing when we arrive back in Canada which could easily cause us to miss our connecting flight to Calgary. Worried because today's Canadian government announcements might possibly mean 2 week quarantine in a hotel in Toronto. Hopefully we can quarantine at home in Alberta . We could fine no current info on the WestJet website or the Canadian Government Travel website despite the ' breaking news ' reports.
Our trip is coming up quickly and thanks to your posting cheering me up, I stayed calm and convinced my husband to carry on with our plans !!!


"Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful...meet the sun and the wind with more of your skin...For the breath of life is the sunlight and the hand of life is the wind ....". Kahlil Gibran
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Lucie73 #146509 12/01/2021 10:13 AM
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A little off topic but:
Get a Covid test done just before you return. If it's done within 72 hours they may accept that. The rules keep changing, so check on the government website.


All in all, I'd rather be a hippy.
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Re: Just back Saturday.....
Lucie73 #146517 12/02/2021 03:43 PM
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Lucie73


Did not want to hijack Dougs most excellent trip report, so I PM'd you the current entry requirements for Canada, as posted TODAY Dec 02 2021 14:30, plus a link to the Gov web site.

Of course now, after reading Dougs report my DIF is ramping up again, LOL

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Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146519 12/02/2021 06:04 PM
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Great post indeed - thanks! Could you (or anyone) expand on the buffet? It was a bit hit & miss in recent years IMO.... some superb dishes and periods where the menu got a little repetitive. (BUT... it was always better under Anthony than the prior chefs!) I'd be curious to hear about any new/different dishes there, whether the menu was nicely varied or not, etc.. etc..

Would also be curious what premium liquors were missing... Don Julio other high-end tequilas were a nice addition in recent years, as were the high-end Appleton's.

Tnx again!


Chris in NC (previously VT & FL) smile
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146520 12/02/2021 11:10 PM
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I'm pretty much happy with any food that is not the same as at home. I discovered ackee down there, and now use it when I can. The curried goat is interesting.
Of course, you don't go to Hedo for the food but for the people.

. . . as long as long-pork is not on the menu. . .


All in all, I'd rather be a hippy.
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146521 12/03/2021 03:22 PM
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Buffet was poor at dinner, according to many. Breakfast was super .

As far as premium liquor, Tanqueray gin was one item.


Rosetta Stone Jamaican Edition !!!

http://bit.ly/1euljyZ
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146522 12/03/2021 03:46 PM
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Agree with Doug. We were just there for 10 days. Other than the 2 galas, we ate dinner at the buffet once and Harrysan once. Pastafari the rest of the time. As long as they have Grey Goose and Ciroc we are happy. They even had limes for a few days. Lot of new stuff at breakfast.

Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146525 12/05/2021 05:56 PM
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Tnx for the food scoop! Glad to hear about limes. Those were like hen's teeth in past years. (I fondly remember the lime tree outside the back door of the disco.... and the best bartender Matta making a margarita in the empty piano bar at 6pm with fresh squeezed lime, which was excellent... Unlike all other margs to date in JA. He was the best... fast & consistent.)

Those lamb chops at Pastafari are consistently superb. (Dang!! Now I'm hungry again...!) smile

Last edited by Chris_in_NC; 12/05/2021 07:28 PM.

Chris in NC (previously VT & FL) smile
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146531 12/10/2021 01:07 PM
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The food on the buffet Dec 2 to 8 ( we are a third way through our trip, moving to naked GLN across the street from Hedo Dec 16) has been the best we have EVER had in the last 15 years. Twice this past week we have also been delighted with the FLAME menu served behind potted palms beside Harry San. FANTASTIC experience !!!! I was thrilled Patron tequila was plentiful at all bars !!!
Favourites : Seafood including coconut shrimp at repeaters party, chilled shrimp and Seafood Newberg ? at lunch...delicious 😋


"Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful...meet the sun and the wind with more of your skin...For the breath of life is the sunlight and the hand of life is the wind ....". Kahlil Gibran
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Doug #146532 12/10/2021 01:09 PM
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Fewer desserts and smaller salad bar but the quality of EVERY item (and I like a wide variety) .....outstanding !!!

Last edited by Lucie73; 12/10/2021 01:10 PM.

"Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful...meet the sun and the wind with more of your skin...For the breath of life is the sunlight and the hand of life is the wind ....". Kahlil Gibran
Re: Just back Saturday.....
Chris_in_NC #146533 12/10/2021 01:12 PM
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Must ask Paulette for a frozen Mojito !!!!


"Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful...meet the sun and the wind with more of your skin...For the breath of life is the sunlight and the hand of life is the wind ....". Kahlil Gibran

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