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Saturday, March 05, 2011

Photos from NCC Traditional Characters Parade






















Lime The Experience Review

On Wednesday March 2, 2011 after months of anticipation, the Hyatt Regency Trinidad held their first all inclusive fete called "Lime". With promises that this was to be the ULTIMATE Lime and an experience parallel to none I was excited about what to expect since the Facebook Fanpage had been active for months but information on what patrons were in for was kept guarded and let out in small doses. To say that the Lime lived up to it's billing is true, though I do have some suggestions as to what would make Lime 2012 a stellar experience for me.

I took the decision to make the Lime an event and booked a room at the Hyatt for the night especially since a special  fete rate was being offered for the period. This was a decision I never regretted as from the moment we checked in, greeted with sparking wine, the service was excellent and top notch. Not to mention the ease and convenience  of being able to take an elevator ride down to the fete without the hassle and worry of traffic was just phenomenal. Since we were guests of the Hyatt we maximized our time at the fete arriving at 5PM and leaving to take the elevator back to our room at around 11:00PM.


On arrival to the entrance to the Lime it felt as if you were indeed walking the red carpet as Lime photographers were constantly snapping your photograph as you made your way down the walkway. After posing several times, we were greeted at the steps leading down to the venue with cocktails, canapés and hors d'oeuvres .It took us a while to orient ourselves with the layout as the fete  was spread along the entire Hyatt waterfront. Standing as you entered the food was on your right with the bars and stage to the left. This made for a lot of walking from one end to the other.


On the menu was an Arabic station serving gyros, kibbi and the like, there were also tents serving Indian and Chinese Cuisine ; excellent pot stickers and pepper shrimp at the Chinese tent and the Indian tent also served gourmet doubles. There was a soup station with a variety of soups, Richard's Bake and Shark, Wild Meat accompanied by dumpling, provision, callalloo and pigeon peas. The grill station had the tenderest beef and pork you ever tasted.  Points for having regular sized plates and being able to self serve at the buffet instead of being rationed like other all inclusives I have been to. I loved the seating area set up outside for dining with large round tables and proper chairs ( no plastic chairs to be seen).  Staff were constantly removing empty plates and cups so there was never any garbage lying around .

The VIP area served sushi, and since I love Hyatt's sushi I was a tad disappointed that it was not served on the regular menu as well. Nevertheless I never went hungry, the food lines were not too long and there was still food available by the time we left, they never ran out.


I wish I could tell you all the drinks on the menu but I found the Nuvo Bar and that was my drink of choice all night. 


There was also  a champagne bar, a tequila bar as well as the impossibly huge circular bar where you never had to contend with a crowd for a drink, ever! 



I know Johnny Walker Blue was on the drinks menu as well as fantastic looking cocktails that I saw people sipping on. There were several smaller bars that I went to and again no crowds fighting for service even though the event was packed. My friends ventured over to the desert area, I never made it. All I know is that there was Häagen-Daz ice cream and other sweets.


The stage was positioned in a good area, close to the bars albeit far from the food, this meant if you were sitting dining on the other end you could not hear the live performances on stage. Speaking of live performances I enjoyed Kes The Band because that was the only one I made it stage side for even though I took in part of Ravi B's performance. We were having a bite to eat so missed Charlie's Roots. Hopefully for 2012 the performance roster could be beefed up with Machel Montanto or Destra or eliminate one of the bands altogether. 


As for the crowd, it was nice to see that 90% observed the dress code, the white did make an impact especially looking down on the waterfront from my room and seeing a sea of white! I personally enjoyed the mix of ages in the crowd, as it meant it was less of a "poser" crowd for want of a better word. There were patrons jamming down in front of the stage,  people getting makeup and massages, others were liming and socializing and even still there were those who sat waterside and just took in all the performances. Because the area was so spread out you could easily find your little niche, again this could be seen as a pro or con.


My main recommendation  for 2012 is that for the layout it to be more compact  to eliminate all the walking and out a bar by the food area. It did get a bit tiring especially since there were no bars close to the dining area. This meant if you wanted to have a drink while having something to eat you would have to walk to a bar set up further away. To Hyatt's credit I did see waiter service offering water at the dining area, I did not inquire if they were also serving other drinks. 

When it comes to the celebrity factor, Idris Elba never made it (his flight got in late)  and my friends who had access to VIP were disappointed in not being able to see Idris up close and personal. However  other than seeing Hosea Chanchez and Wendy Raquel Robinson try to wine which was entertaining, that is certainly not a selling factor for any fete for me.


Overall I had a great time at Lime, I think it was the whole experience and being with friends that made it wonderful  for me. Drinks were up to mark, food was tasty, and plentiful, service was top notch plus I enjoyed the performers and I had lots of  fun planning my outfit.  Looking forward to Lime 2012!


Soca Monarch Results

Groovy Soca Monarch
1st Kees Dieffenthaller - Wotless

2nd-  Benjai - Trini

3rd - Destra Garcia - Cool It Down

4th-  Blaxx


Power Soca Monarch 
1st - Machel Montano - Advantage

2nd - Neil Iwer George - Come to Mih

3rd - Bunji Garlin - Hold A Burn

4th - Fay Ann Lyons - Consider It Done 
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