Hedo celebrates 28 years of fun
Published: Sunday | November 8, 2009
Talk about good company! (From left) Gary Stevens from Couples Resorts, Angie and Norman Bedasse and Hedonism.com Web Mistress, Michelle LaPorte-Reid, share a moment of laughter during Hedonism II's 28th anniversary party. - Contributed
It was a time of great trials, business trepidation and national angst, as Jamaica had unwittingly found itself caught between the then so-called international superpowers, in what was referred to as the Cold War.
Twenty-eight years ago seems like a lifetime away, it laid a foundation it laid for others to follow! Back in the day, Jamaica, was a 'badword' due to the political posture of our government of the day. Some states were opposed to one or more of the competing political views of the time. They were then put into an untenable position by the political oligarchs, who sought to bully them into submission with threats of boycotts of their products in an effort to create an economic stranglehold.
Among all the crazy costumes that were on display at Hedonism II's grand Halloween party we found the invincible 'caveman'.
It was a time for innovative ideas and creative thinking and marketing just to stay afloat in business. The pressure was on from all and sundry whose ultimate goal was to make this island the proxy of one superpower or the other. The people suffered because of the political posture of government. It was also a time for great men to emerge and one such was the illustrious John Issa. He was a man of great foresight and intellect, whose independent, creative, marketing genius helped in fashioning a new tourism image and product. The result has the test of time as his forward-thinking agenda saw the Jamaican tourism product not only taking on its own unique national identity, but asserting itself as one of the world's primary vacation destinations!
Issa acquired the then Negril Beach Village, rebranded it and created the Hedonism II Resort, a fab, catchy and racy brand that would go on to lead the way in innovative and shrewd marketing. The resort emerged as one of the most-talked about and visited resorts. Today, it stands like a beacon of the spirit and essence of the Jamaican tourism product. It is still debatable which came first - which gave the other its flavour. Did Hedonism II give Negril its flavour, or did Negril give Hedonism II its flavour? The answer might be that each one influenced the other, but pretty soon Negril became the destination of choice. A number of hoteliers and would-be hoteliers rushed in to claim their place in the sun on the sleepy seaside town's reputed seven miles of pure white sand beach! Each passing year, Hedo II has become the only place to holiday in Jamaica. For locals and visitors, it is regarded as the ultimate adult get-away and playground. The wholesomeness and hospitality of the staff of the resort are to be credited for that.
On Sunday, November 1, to celebrate its 28th anniversary, under the leadership of General Manager Kevin Levee, the resort hosted a simply fab reception and celebratory bash. It will be long remembered by those who attended. One of the more beautiful things about the place is its multi-repeat clientele from all across the globe who descend upon the property, especially so for its Halloween and anniversary celebrations. This year's celebrations were no less so.
Businessman and Rotarian Prakash Chuganey enjoys the company of a masked Rochelle Forbes, resort public relations manager, at the recent rebranding ceremony in which Grand Lido Negril unveiled its new branding, Breezes Grand Resort and Spa. The ceremony, held on Halloween, October 31, was dubbed 'The Phantom's Ball' and featured re-enactments from the classic musical, 'The Phantom of the Opera'.
We are talking the camaraderie and fellowship of friends of long-standing. The theme for the occasion was all-white. White would be the predominant colour, but some chose a protesting colour - red! Ninety-five per cent of those in attendance observed the dress code in glorious detail. There was a throng of flawless, leggy blondes dressed to thrill in flaming red gowns, and with some mini-skirted wonders, it made for a fabulous attention-grabbing contrast!
Public Relations and Promotions Manager Tavis Smith and his team, were simply the best. They hosted a simply divine entertainment package that included a Broadway revue, a Cuban-style cabaret show, the crowning and talent show that represented the Miss Hedonism II pageant and the parade of the Miss Hedonism II winners over the years. A fabulous jazz concert in the courtyard of the resort and the capping of the activities with a party-type celebration in the resort's disco, completed the fun. And the mode of the celebration was maintained by the evening's culinary fare. Food and Beverage Manager Jeffery Johnson put on a show-stopping fare that was literally a gastronomic party all by itself! Dears, we can't wait for the 30th anniversary bash!
Among those out celebrating were SuperClubs' VP-Operations; Gary Williams and his fabulous wife, Anna; wife of general manager, the fab Cecile Levee; GM Breezes Negril's, André Dhanpaul and Luciana Gordon-Smith; multi-repeat guests Hugh Blount, who jetted in from the US for the celebrations; popular Negril businessman Cosmo Brown; Couples Resorts VP Operations Gary Stevens; GM of Couples Negril, Karen Lanigan; her colleague of Couples Swept Away, Ricardo Bowleg; John Protz and wife Dr Maria Protz; Norman and Angie Bedasse, in from Canada; the lovely Allison McHayle, in from Mandeville; Eddie DePass, in from Kingston; Dwayne and Jackie Hughey in from London; Lleyton and Dianne Duhaney, in from Perth, Australia; Dr Bancroft and Laura Biddle from Ireland; Andrei and Ivanka Oleg from the Ukraine; Paul Reid and wife, Michelle LaPorte-Reid; US-based travel agent Maria Lodico; the dynamic songstress Ashley Martin, plus a number of others!