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Pure Hedonism

Negril, Jamaica

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Not every vacation is about mom and dad taking the kids off for a couple of weeks in the sun. These days lot of tourism bucks are spent by singles, couples in the 18 to 30 age-range and groups of young people out for a great time. Do you fall into one of these categories? If so, one of the Hedonism resorts is for you. These are part of the SuperClubs group of brands, and they are league leaders when it comes to providing great vacations for a young clientele. Although prices aren’t extortionate, the Hedonism destinations aren’t about super-budget vacations for broke spring-breakers who want to drink and dance and cause trouble. Hedonism may be about having a good time – but it’s about having a good time in style.

Hedonism II, at Negril on the western tip of Jamaica is entirely focused around a dominant club culture. If dance is your idea of a good time, you’ll love it here. Hedonism II’s Disco (the slightly retro name gives something of the styling away) is open all night every night – right through until 5am. The whole place is awash with bars – five of them, including two swim-ups – and live bands play every night. For addled clubbers needing chill out time, the pace slackens a little in Veronica’s Piano Bar. In addition to these regular features, special events run throughout the year – ranging from reunions for former guests through toga parties that Nero himself would have considered a little on the debauched side to shows and competitions for guests and outside entrants. ‘Miss Black Nude America 2004’ was a particular hit, and gives a flavor of the wild entertainment on offer to young party people bent on a good time.

You won’t be surprised to learn that you have to be 18 to stay at any of the Hedonism resorts – this is a great place for clubbers and twenty-somethings, but families will be much better off elsewhere.

If, rather against the odds, you find yourself awake during the hours of daylight, there are a number of great activities on offer. All the usual resort activities are available, including volleyball, golf, climbing and watersports. The resort operates a number of scheduled activities, including workouts and runs in and around the well-equipped fitness center. You can take one-on-one tennis lessons, and even practise your rock climbing skills. But this is a very different kind of resort, and, as you might expect, some very different activities are on offer. Have you ever felt like improving your circus skills? No? Well, to be fair, the idea had probably never even occurred to you. But you can do it here: learn hot to walk the tightrope, juggle, swing on the flying trapeze and do things you never imagined possible on a trampoline. There’s even a circus showcase every Friday night for eager students to show off the skills they’ve been learning during the week.

(The tiny part of you that’s still worrying about mundane things – indeed worrying about anything – after a few days at a Hedonism resort will be relieved to know that safety is paramount. All the instructors know exactly what they’re doing, and they won’t let you do anything that requires fine motor control if they think you’ve had one cocktail too many. They may not always look it, but these are responsible people.)

If all the partying and having a good time has left you a little hungry, Hedonism II features a wide variety of dining options. You’ll be pleased to know that you won’t have to pack any formal clothes: the greatest demand on your attire at mealtimes is that gentlemen should wear ‘tailored’ shorts in the more upmarket of the resort’s restaurants.

The restaurants reflect a broad selection of cuisines. In keeping with the style of the whole resort, the cooking is relaxed and fun, but not altogether without sophistication. Munusan serves excellent Japanese cuisine for discerning fans of oriental cooking, while Pastafari, as the name suggests, has a menu that represents an interesting and original Caribbean twist on traditional Italian favorites. Rather more standard resort-style fare is on offer in the Terrace Room, which features a rotating buffet menu for day-long dining. If you can’t be bothered to drag yourself off the beach to eat, there are also a couple of beach grills, including one on the resort’s nude beach that you can enjoy if the some of the scenery hasn’t made you lose your appetite.

Hedonism II is up front about what it offers – wild, unrestrained fun for people in the 18-30 age range. This isn’t a resort for kids and families, or even for younger people wanting a relaxed time in a Caribbean hideaway. But if you’re young, you’ve got endless energy, few inhibitions and you like having fun, Hedonism is calling!

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