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Grand Lido Braco, Jamaica

August, 1999.

These Trip Reports Created Expressly For the Use Of Members of

The Grand Lido Visitors Hangout

Martha's Lido Superclubs Visitors Hangout -Jamaica

Permission given to reprint this report.

Our Grand Lido Braco Vacation, August 18 - 24, 1999.

This was our first trip to GL Braco. It proved to be "at least" everything that had been promised, and in most ways, more than we had hoped for. Everyone knows the basic trip report format, describing the room, pool and restaurants in exacting detail, so don't expect another rerun of the same old stuff here. I will try to highlight the good and bad experiences that are the most memorable to us.

We arrived at Montego Bay airport about 10:30am on the 18th, and all our bags made it on the same trip, too! We had no problems, mon, clearing customs and headed toward the Superclubs Desk. They seemed to be a little surprised about our Braco destination, they were not ready for us and had to round up a driver. In the meantime, there were other "pretend" baggage assistants that were making a play for the tip intended for the "real" baggage handler. When he showed up, in official uniform, they scattered to the wind, no problem! In all, we had to wait about 15 minutes before we were on the bus and on our way to the resort.

About the drive, well just pretend you are in a re-run of "Dukes of Hazzard" or "Mad Max" and just relax, mon! Being from the rural south, I grew up driving narrow, unmarked two-lane and sometimes dirt roads, my boyfriend Bob did also, so we weren't shocked or outraged or (very) scared. When you go just realize that the roads are narrow, shoulders are dirt, people walk verrrrry close to highway traffic, and than in an hour you will be in paradise! The van was air-conditioned, the driver very courteous and eager to point out items of historical interest to us. The drive to and from the resort was in no way the "bus ride from hell," that so many trip reports describe.

View of the resort from the ocean wall

When we arrived at Town Hall about noon, we were greeted very courteously and offered the cold towels and anything we wanted to drink. I took them up on both. Check-in was fast, and since our Au Naturel room wasn't ready, we took a walk-about. We checked out the merchants, the prude pool & bar, the piano bar and ended up at Victoria's Market for lunch.

The photo on the right shows a view of the resort from the ocean wall. To the left of the wall is the prude beach and accommodations. To the right is the downtown area. Victoria's Market is under the large, white roof. The prude pool is in front of Victoria's Market and borders the beach. The Au Naturel accommodations, beach, bar, clubhouse, pool and hot tubs are further down the beach on the right, separated by another ocean wall. The AN area is very secluded.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner buffets at Victoria's Market were always delicious, filled with wonderful salads, savory soups, heavenly breads, decadent desserts, luscious fruits and all kinds of entrees you could imagine. Being a vegetarian, I was delighted to have so many choices to make at each meal there. I did eat the seafood; Bob enjoyed just about everything on the menu. He especially loved the food from the Jerk Pit, and visited there several times between meals.

I have read about the scanty drink service on several trip reports and wish to say that you can hardly get one cocktail finished before another one magically appears before your eyes! The Braco staff in all the restaurants bend over backwards to make sure you have everything you need and try to anticipate your desires. They seem determined to make your stay most pleasant in every way.

On the two "big nights" - the Beach Bash on Wednesday and the Street Dance on Friday, both ended up being held in Victoria's Market, due to rain in the afternoons. The layout of food and presentation was just amazing and delicious. You will be just as pleased, when you visit. On Wednesday, a Jamacian cultural group did a show of Jamacian dances, folk songs and a history lesson! They had wonderful voices and it was a very colorful and enjoyable show. The Friday night street dance did get to be held in the streets in the "downtown" area, and it was a blast. The entertainment staff led hundreds of us dancers through the paces of countless line dances, there were dance-off contests, circle dances, you name it. What a lot of fun.

Downtown at The Street Dance

Other nights we enjoyed the house band and featured local entertainers at Victoria's Market. We also visited the karoke bar in the piano lounge. We were treated to some amazingly good performances by other Braco guests in the karoke competition. We visited the French restaurant one night and the Japanese restaurant another night, and both were equally professional and elegant in their presentation, atmosphere and quality of food. They were exactly as you have read about on all the other trip reports - just great!

The other talked-about event, the PJ Party, was on Thursday night. All modes of dress were represented. At one extreme was flannel pjs for both sexes. At the other end of the spectrum of disco-wear was g-strings for the men and a "topless" merry widow with garters and stockings for the ladies. Bob wore a red/white/blue g-string that we discovered glowed in the disco lights. The "stars & stripes" were flying high that night! I wore a black spandex "spider web" bra and thong with metal grommets in strategic places. I did not participate in the "sexiest" competition, though Bob did. The female winner was a lovely lady in black see-through lace camisole and matching thong. The male winner was a very cute 20-something on his honeymoon. He did not have on anything very revealing, but the ladies liked him a lot! The winners in the most virginal division were the flannel pjs.

Bob and I both had the manicure & pedicure services. I had read a lot of past trip reports commenting on the poor attitude and service at the nail salon. I can say that they were very kind, professional and friendly. When my time for an appointment arrived, Bob hand-delivered a tray of hummingbirds from the bar for our enjoyment (salon ladies included). We had a great time!

Bob and I worked out in the ocean-front gym twice, then the island rhythm got the better of us. The gym has a great view of the ocean with a lot of excellent equipment, treadmills and free weights. The trainer/instructor is enthusiastic and very energetic.

This was our first trip to an au naturel resort. At the ages of 46 & 47 we weren't worried about the being nude part, just how a lifestyle of living "in the buff" would be. After doing a lot of research over the net, I was convinced that I had found the BEST place in the Caribbean to "try this out" and as far as I am concerned, I was right! The whole set-up - the beach, clubhouse, hot tubs, pool, separate accommodations, make Braco a most comfortable environment. If you stay on the AN side, you literally can take your clothes off when you arrive, and never put them back on AGAIN until you get ready for your ride back to the airport.

With 24-hour room service, a separate clubhouse with grill/bar/pool table/ping-pong, a separate tennis court, 2 hot tubs, on-the-beach volleyball and in-the-pool volleyball, strolling musicians, the visiting fruit lady, and a whole range of au naturel social activities (like mixology, aquacize, line dancing, body painting, etc.) there isn't much reason to leave the AN side at all! Here you can see Bob helping out the musicians that entertained us daily.

The big hot tub on the AN side was filled to the brim with people (couples and singles) each night. I had read many trip reports complaining that the temperature was too hot, but for the 6 nights we were there, it was just fine. Most of the time, after the dinner entertainment, everyone ended up back in the hot tub by 11:30 - midnight. Several nights we were there close 'til 3am. All the husbands and boyfriends provided "nude butler" service to us girls, shuttling back and forth from the AN grill and bar, serving up mixed drinks, champagne and all sorts of snacks from the menu. Many of the people that joined the hot-tubbers each night came over from the "clothed" side. I heard many, many comments that the people on the "other side" were not friendly, did not speak to each other, were rude to the Braco staff. Everyone just seemed to like the atmosphere more on the AN side.

We had a Junior Beachfront Suite, the lowest-level accommodation on the AN side. We were on the first floor, and had a lovely, unobstructed view of the nicely maincured lawn and the beach from our patio. Our room had a living-room area with sofa, coffee table and TV with 24-hour Playboy channel to enjoy. We had a king-size bed and ceiling fan and a kitchen area, with sink, refrigerator and stove. The housekeeping staff kept the whole place immaculate and the refrigerator fully stocked at all times. The bathroom had a built-in hair dryer, soap and shampoo dispenser in the shower, and a nice large vanity area.

Room service was always friendly and speedy. We ordered once about 3:30 am and it was delivered promptly within 15 minutes. Another morning, although we had not specified it the night before, we decided to have breakfast in the buff on the beach. After calling, we were enjoying our breakfast under the umbrella beach-side in 20 minutes.

The best part about the vacation was the people we met. We spent a lot of time socializing, enjoying the various activities, just relaxing and enjoying a drink - always in great company. The age range on the AN side varied from very early 20's to late 70's. Ages or body types didn't seem to matter there. Most everyone was completely "all the way" au naturel. Two or three of the ladies wore a bottom, but it seemed to make them stand out all the more instead of helping them to blend in. There were no men who had the problem going au natural.

Are there any downsides to include in this sunny report? A few, but even though they irritated me at the time, they hardly seem significant when compared to the wonderful vacation we had.

1) The air-conditioner is positioned on the wall just above the bed and the vent is rigid. It blows directly down onto the bed! That is the only position. We solved that problem - we put the a/c on "sleep" cycle and turned on the ceiling fan.

2) The maintenance crew sent someone around every evening about 6pm to "fog" for insects. It was loud, smelly and annoying.

3) I went into the Pastry Shop 3 times, twice for a cookie and once for a drink of Coke. The attendants were rude, said they were closed, and told me to go the Piano Bar for a drink. I went to the Pasta Shop after one rebuttal, and asked for a drink. The attendant replied "Is that all ?" and told me to get one in the bar downtown. These incidents happened during the day or early evening, when both places are supposed to be open.

Stupid things I packed: swimsuits, too many shoes

Things I needed more of: sunscreen, photographic film

We can't wait to get back next year. August soon come, mon! Hope you enjoy your trip to Braco as much as we did!

Martha and Bob

August 18 - 24, 1999

Grand Lido Braco

Rio Bueno, Trelawny

Jamaica

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