I promised several people a trip report and blog entry from my latest travel adventure so here's an abbreviated entry.....
Friday, June 17:
My 5th annual group trip of FantasyFesters and KrewedeKrazyLife friends to Hedonism II resort in Negril, Jamaica is now within 24 hours. This will be my 7th trip to a SuperClubs Hedonism all-inclusive, clothing optional beachfront and tropical resort.
I’m so excited and packing my 3 luggage bags and 2 carry-ons only adds to the excitement as I try to figure out how to pack and balance my costumes, wigs and boots. Believe me, it’s a real process and has taken me years to figure it out and it is not for amateurs -- lol.
I also had 2 late night/early morning and last-minute bookings for the Hedo trip adding to our group numbers!
Saturday, June 18:
A few short hours of sleep and a 6 a.m. wakeup for a drive to the Orlando International Airport for my flight. Actually I went to the Park and Fly to drop off my car and catch their shuttle to the Jet Blue terminal. Yikes! Talk about some LONG LINES—even for curbside check-in but then the security line was only 10 minutes so it was a trade-off -- almost.
A quick bite to eat, short wait and change of gates before my flight whisked me away to Montego Bay Airport in Jamaica.
Arrival in MBJ was uneventful and the usual nice reception in the SuperClubs lounge with complimentary water and 30-minute wait. While waiting, I treated myself to a margarita from the Margaritaville just outside (behind) the SuperClubs lounge.
On the shuttle bus, which was full, I met with so many great people including several that knew of me and the 90 minute ride went quick and even included a quick stop at the ‘Golden Apple” bar.
Pulling up in front of Hedonism II-Negril, I was very happy. I was also excited about meeting in person with some of the staff that I had worked with over the past few months telephonically. Needless to say, I love the Hedo staff.
After a quick and efficient check-in, I headed to my room for a change of clothes, a shower and my 1st glass of champagne of my 8-night adventure.
Overall, the process in getting to Jamaica was 10+ hours from my doorstep to room #2128, which was a standard room just one building away from the nude pool in the nude section. Timewise, it was not too bad but considering my flight was only 80 minutes, it did make for a long day.
Once cleaned up and dressed down in something very “airy”, I located several friends and Krewe members plus I was stopped by several guests who knew me or knew of me and my travel exploits. This happened almost every day and considering it was my first lengthy stay at Hedonism II (I did do the since closed Hedo III on 6 different occasions), I was pleasantly surprised that some many people knew me. I guess my reputation as the TravelSlut preceded me.
I have to say that with the other two groups there that we all meshed very well and fed off each other’s fun attitudes, energy and actions. You all know who you are and you are special friends now and in the future.
And THANK YOU Miss Jodi for the wonderful “TravelSlut” beaded necklace. Wow, what a nice surprise and awesome gift!
For the next 168 hours (8 nights/7 days) many things blur and both day and nights blend into each other so I’ll just point out some highlights and add some tips and mostly non-judgmental observations in no particular order. I’ll do my Top 10 TravelSlut Tips for Hedo II later. J
NOTE: In addition to misplacing -- or having my waterproof Olympus digital camera stolen while on a catamaran to Rick’s Café on Thursday’s clothing-optional cruise -- I ”lost “(or failed to save properly) two full pages of notes made on my computer from earlier in the week from this trip so you will have to excuse me as some of my information may be scanty or slightly skewed and much will have to come from memory (see above about things “blurring and blending” during the week). J
Sunday, June 19 to Sunday June 26:
Late morning sleep-ins were the norm for me and they were such a gift. My room was mostly dark (adjusting the curtains to insure that minimal light seeped through was necessary though) and always cool/cold so it made sleeping in or napping a real treat.
I was usually up late with the Krewe and others and rarely got back to the room before 2 a.m. after a late-night snack (only available from the main dining room area) and my nightly after-midnight swim and drinks in the nude pool.
I did costume up every night except for the last Saturday night (when I was exhausted and simply could not make it to dinner or anywhere else after a week of partying — plus, I have posted in my personal Flickr and Yahoo! Hedonism Groups a photo of me sleeping soundly on the ride back to the airport on my departure day that tells the whole story — lol).
I got lots of positive feedback from Hedo staff about our group's costumes and antics in costume as it seemed to raise the energy level wherever we went. Plus, it was contagious and interacting with the other guests and two groups only made the nights even more and wild. (Remember, some of what happens at Hedo stays at Hedo!)
The nightly “themes” at Hedo saw (surprisingly) a high percentage of participants — and this made for great interaction at dinners in any of the three restaurants (Munasan, the outdoor Asian teppanyaki-style grill; the main outdoor terrace buffet restaurant; and Martino’s, the indoor Italian restaurant.
NOTE: All three restaurants had “relaxed” approaches to guests in either non-casual/resort attire or costumes that were much more revealing. I did Martino’s three times, Munasan once and the buffet three times plus I skipped dinner twice.
The nightly Hedo II themes included:
Futuristic Fashionistas (or any variation from alien to robotic to whatever)
Rock Star (which ranged from glitter and glam to over-the-top wild and crazy but always sexy)
Toga (probably the most participation by the guests and the costumes ranged from simple draped bedsheets over the body to elaborate Roman soldiers and even an Egyptian pharaoh (good work Y!)
Jamaica night (all Jamaican colors and I loved D’s bodypainting of T with the Jamaican flag)
School Girls & Boys Uniform / Retro (always fun with lots of plaid which fits in with ourFantasyfester and KrewedeKrazyLifer theme parties)
Sexy Wear / Lingerie (easy and so many different, unique, fun designs and variations)
Pajama Night (how easy is this?)
Fetish and Fantasy Night (another theme that brings out the wickedly-wild
in many guests)
The large, accommodating, nude hot tub always seemed to have people in it but it was REALLY active after midnight until nearly dawn on some nights. Space could sometimes be extremely limited. Don't be surprised at the creativity of some people also but if you blush, no one will notice.
Despite being included in the all-inclusive price of the resort, I saw very few guests utilize any of the marina’s watersports opportunities. An occasional kayaker was about all I ever observed yet Hedo has a full range of complimentary watersports and even an extra-charge activity that includes scuba diving and/or certification.
A Piano Bar must is to get there early (before the 10-10:30 start each night) and the closer you get to Deon, the wonderful piano player, the closer to the infamous piano-top action you will get. And don’t be surprised if you see things you never expected to see on top of a piano. The sound level can be high at times but the bar service is just steps away and if the air conditioner is working right, the room is filled with energy and laughter.
Throughout the week, the entertainment crew (EC’s) could often be found in and around the pools. I will say the sound system at the nude
pool is not the best. The EC’s were all friendly though and they made up for any audio deficiencies.
Before I forget, I want to say that I REALLY enjoyed being with our Krewe (C&J, C&B, M&M, T&D, L&R, M&J, C&R R, Y, & C) and new friends from the other groups and such (T&A, C&J, M&T, J&T (thanks again for the beaded necklace!), M&C, J&G, M&T, B -(K), R, and of course my BoyToy for the trip. My special times with both Krewe members and others that I met during the week (from the B-52’s and Travel Naked Group) will always be
remembered and I hope we all get together again next June. :-)
The iconic and famous watertube slide (on the prude side near the pool and ending in front of the disco window) went “nude or clothing optional” several times during the day while I was there. Just check with the attendant when you see him and ask about its operation. Even if it is not working, it may simply be a matter of the attendant turning it on for you.
The reception marquees also list the daily events and activities and you can check the day(s) and time(s) the slide goes nude.
On any cruise to Rick’s be extremely careful when disembarking the catamaran into the shuttle boat (a large rowboat-type) off-shore from the steps up to Rick’s on the cliff bluff. The day I went the waves and swells were large and significant and the transferring back and forth between boats was difficult for some and challenging for everyone.
Also, thank you T&A for the gracious invite to your birthday party on the Caribbean waters on the catamaran. The trip out to the caves and the snorkel sites were awesome and the special "fun" with the alcohol-infused whipped cream made for a good show and good time by all. It sure is a great way to spend a birthday in a festive, clothing-optional manner.
During my time at Hedo I tried not to do much comparing between Hedo II and the former Hedo III but it was difficult not to do so. The point is, however, it that it is all moot now anyway and hopefully Hedo II will continue to make improvements and renovations for the comfort and convenience of all its guests. With an 85% return guest rate, keeping some things the same and adding new methods of having fun and comfort will only increase guest satisfaction and repeat business. I try not to dwell on the negative because I’ve often felt that just about any “bad day” on holiday or vacation is better than a good day at work.
Don’t be shy at breakfast asking for fresh fruit smoothies (the machine is between the bread and ice cream stations), or personal waffle or omelets at the individual stations in the buffet. The breakfasts were available until about 10:30 a.m. and seemed to be a favorite of some of the guests with enough choices so that something was there for everyone’s liking.
The internet café across from the reception desk and next to the Tour Activities desk in the lobby was often busy and the one time I accessed the internet I found the speed very fast compared to the Wi-Fi that I utilized the during the week on my personal laptop computer. I did pay $90 for a week of 24/7 Wi-Fi access and I had no issues except on the two days where we had some thunderstorm and lightning in the area and even then any service interruption was just temporary.
There are swinging rope web-mesh hammocks scattered throughout the resort property but I think in 8 days I don’t recall ever seeing anyone use them (including me).
Here’s a tidbit you might like to try. Before 1 PM, massages in the Mahoe Spa are just US $1.00 per minute with a 30 minute minimum but the
people I spoke with that did it said the full hour was well worth it and recommended it highly.
Next to the spa is the fitness center which is air-conditioned, modern and well-equipped with new machines and the center is often occupied during many hours by both guests and staff.
The gift shop located between the piano bar, tennis courts and billiards/ping pong/fitness center outside the main dining room had some great 50% off sale items which put the prices either in line with or below what the nearby Negril straw market had available (The straw market is located within walking distance across the street from the entrance to Hedo II) or the Montego Bay airport shopping mall. The gift shop has some nice costumes and Hedo-related items if you dare bring any back home.
In my room 2128, I had both adequate quantity and quality hot water in my shower (no tub unfortunately) but be prepared to get somewhat sprayed as the shower has opposing nozzles that sprayed from both ends of the tub. I don’t recall how I figured out the procedure but I know I got unexpectedly wet the first time I tried to turn them on.
My room had either too-short or well-used and overworked rubber seals under the door and the room is not soundproofed from the outside. Don’t
be surprised to hear people’s voices as they come to or leave their rooms (or walk up and down the stairs in the staircase outside the door). Plus, expect cicada bugs buzzing in the night. However, I found them soothing as white noise.
NOTE: TURN OFF your room clock radio alarms before you go to sleep the 1st night. I do this as a habit whenever and wherever I travel in the world. There is nothing worse than being unexpectedly startled-awakened early in the morning when you might be jet-lagged or hung-over.
Switch #1 on the wall plate by the door turns on the TV. NOTE: Always have your bellman show you the little details of your room when he delivers your luggage and be sure to ask him anything you can think of about the room that you might have questions about.
There are numerous satellite TV channels and some in different languages (German, French, and Japanese) and there are at least two channels in the 105-110 range that are adult-only oriented---VERY adult oriented. One is the Playboy Channel and another is more explicit.
I liked the fact the rooms are green-eco compatible and you have the choice of re-using your towels and sheets but no worries--- your room attendant will exchange them whenever you wish.
My room attendant was super nice and kept my room spotless. She made me some towel animals and I’ve always made it a point to leave either
a tip, school supplies or gifts for them as they do a great job.
Christopher the Wood Carver was there most of the week and he was working on both a new totem and custom wood-carved planks. His work is awesome and I intend to have both a TravelSlut plank created with my caricature image next year and also start a FantasyFesters and Krewe de Krazy Lifers totem pole with our group name and any member’s names that wish to be immortalized. he even maintains the pieces after you leave.
Also, some of my group had rocks custom painted for them on the beach for US$ 20. I failed to get a new one painted professionally so I did a quickie (all in red) and placed it just outside my door (room #2128). See if you can find it.
NUDE POOL NOTE:
Be careful on the last step of the ladder as it is a longer-than-expected distance to the pool bottom. Several people learned this the hard, wet way.
Also at the nude pool grill: Don’t forget that you can ask about guacamole and salsa (kept cold inside the grill) to add to your chips from the nacho station table next to the grill window. You can also add some grilled Jamaican chicken to the nachos to make an excellent lunch or snack. The
grill usually closes around 5-6 pm. One more thing at the nude pool grill.
There is a popcorn machine plus a heated, rotating rack for yummy (when real fresh) Jamaican meat patties. Still my favorite lunches/snacks at the nude grill (and the Reggae Café) were the grilled sea bass dishes. So good!
Drinks by Scumba at the nude pool bar can be as varied as you ask. All I know is that they never ran out of champagne and I saw everything from special flaming drinks to colorful concoctions that wowed the guests. Red Stripe (Jamaican) beer was the drink of choice by many but many variations of fu-fu drinks could also be seen. Remember, if you try a drink that does not suit your tastes, you are not obligated to drink it and simply return it or discard it and try again. That is one of the great things about an all-inclusive resort like Hedo. You might never consider pouring out a $6-7 specialty drink at home but at Hedo, drinks are 24/7/365 and you should consume only that which meets your bodily approval.
Down the beach towards the marina and prude pools, you will find the Reggae Café Beachfront shack with awesome good Jamaican food. It seemed to be overlooked by many looking for local foods.
A nice touch is the hand sanitizer dispensers in the restaurants and various locations around the resort. Between sunscreen, sand, and perspiration—they do come in handy (literally).
For a little variation, ask one of the gardeners or staff members to show you the herb, vegetable and plant garden behind the bathrooms
of the nude pool. Very impressive plants.
And in the area between the nude hot tub, nude pool and path back to the rooms is a self-service vending machine that has water, sodas, ice,
etc. and I utilized it several times coming from and going back to my room.
As for the disco, the few times I went inside, either it was too early (midnight or so) and too empty or it was way too loud for me. A quick
walk through in costume was generally sufficient. They did have some well-attended and wild theme nights but it can be hit or miss.
The mini-cabanas scattered throughout the prude side (primarily) appeared to have little occupied use. They are nice from what I observed however.
Martino’s, the Italian restaurant, was an excellent choice 3 nights for our group and the “relaxed “ dress codes later in the evening (never crowded) allowed us to have fun and enjoy great cuisine in an air-conditioned venue. The food was almost always rated excellent by the Krewe but on three nights, there was no lettuce for salads. That was the only downside. Our servers were efficient and fun.
Munasan, the Japanese/Asian restaurant, was also fun and the food was great however it was REALLY hot outdoors especially being so close to the teppanyaki grills blazing however the biggest drawback was the noise from the adjacent dining area and main stage where the nightly entertainment and music was occurring while we ate, and the noise prevented comfortable conversations amongst us.
All in all, Hedo trip #7 for me rated an solid “A” and I can’t wait to return next June 2012 with an even larger group of friends—old and new. I’ll be posting exact dates probably in October but right now it appears to be June 16-24, 2012 for the 6th Annual TravelSlut Group Trip. Anyone wanting information or details for future trips or photos and trips reports, etc. from past trips need only check my two primary Hedonism-devoted groups online: groups.yahoo.com/group/KrewedeKrazyLifers4Hedonism
Remember, for those that have experienced Hedo, no explanation is needed. For those that haven't--no complete explanation is possible.
In the meantime, take care, travel safe and have safe fun!
Ann, The TravelSlut