Hedonism’s Helm

Elizabeth Bryant

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of the word “hedonism” is “the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole or chief good in life; a way of life based on, or suggesting the principles of hedonism,” but many people know of it as the all-inclusive, all-adult resort in Negril, Jamaica, where you can be a hedonist to your heart’s content.

That’s what originally appealed to Harry Lange, who recently spearheaded the purchase of the resort to keep it as Hedonism II. Previously divided by an invisible demarcation line into two areas with a nude area and a “prude” area requiring swimsuits and clothes, the resort now is all clothing optional, save for the more “public” areas such as the dining rooms, gym, tennis courts, and the welcoming, outdoor lobby. “Allowing the entire area to be clothing-optional was one of the first things I wanted to change. Now everyone can be comfortable in their own skin throughout the resort, not just on the nude side,” Lange recently stated.

One of our first priorities is investing $10 million to update the property: the rooms, the infrastructure of the buildings, and many other things that may or may not be visible to our guests.

Hedonism began during the swinging late ’70s that also brought us Plato’s Retreat sex club in NYC and many others that have since disappeared from the scene. Originally opened in 1976 as Negril Beach Village, the name Hedonism II was applied in the early 1980s to focus on the adult theme of the resort. Sitting on 22 well landscaped, lush acres paralleling a long, white sand beach with pristine blue water, the property boasts 280 rooms, several with private Jacuzzis on the patios. While there was never a Hedonism I and Hedonism III’s lifespan ended in 2010, Hedonism II has successfully survived as a liberally-minded resort for more than 35 years.

When Lange found out the property was on the market in September 2012, he learned the sale would be most likely be between himself and a developer who, no doubt, would have dropped the Hedonism concept. Lange felt it was important to retain Hedo II as a place where consenting adults could explore more about themselves, whether there as a couple or on their own. He created an investment team which took over the property in March, 2013.

Hedonism has, in many ways, retained the same look since its development in the ‘70s and that is one of the first things Lange and his team are going to change.

“One of our first priorities is investing $10 million to update the property: the rooms, the infrastructure of the buildings, and many other things that may or may not be visible to our guests,” Lange said. “We will be adding private beach cabanas, new beach amenities, more diverse alcohol selections, new menu additions for the buffets and many others. We will be building pools and hot tubs on the former “prude” side and add cabanas all along the beach for guests to enjoy a little beachside private time. We’ll be updating the furniture in the rooms and the beach loungers, too.”

But not all the action takes place within the bedrooms at Hedonism. Equipped with a solid dock that extends into the ocean, Hedo boasts many water-based activities such as boat rentals, snorkeling and scuba instruction, and expeditions. “We are planning on expanding the offerings for those who like to partake in the aquatic activities we have at Hedo. It’s part of the experience here and with our large beachfront presence, it is easy to accommodate,” Lange said. “It’s all about being a hedonist here.”

The changes will be subtle but noticed. As the name implies, “all-inclusive” means non-stop drinks and food, both offerings to be expanded with top shelf liquors and food selections that will be second to none.

“We’re even upgrading our kitchen facilities which guests will not see but will certainly be able to taste the results of,” Lange said. “One significant change is that the gift shop will be rebranded to become the Hedonism Lifestyle Boutique to better reflect our mission. We’ve hired industry veteran Kim Airs to coordinate the purchasing of adult products that have been sorely lacking in the store. We truly believe that enhancing the experience here for our guests is of utmost importance and adding Kim with her years of experience to our team will definitely be a win-win for everyone. Kim will also be teaching many of her sex ed workshops to guests and specific groups during their stay at Hedo. Not only that, she’ll expand our presence with the many aspects the adult industry can offer including sponsored weeks at the resort and many other opportunities.”

Lange continued, “We’re not really changing the spirit of Hedo: we are keeping that in place, the place in the world, the vibe, the essence. Hedonism is the most popular resort with the highest return customer base in the resort industry as a whole and I’m not planning on changing that!”

Companies interested in being involved with Hedonism II may contact Kim Airs at kim@grandopening.com

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