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Reviews of Passover Hotel Programs?

c
Curious Apr 23, 2006 09:31 AM

After reading the review of the Chevra program, below, I'm Looking for reviews and reports about Kosher for Passover hotel programs, from those who participated in them. While the experience is still fresh in your mind, please share your opinions. I'm particularly interested in those in the greater New York/New Jersey area.
Thanks!

  1. d
    DeisCane Apr 24, 2006 01:56 PM

    This is a great post. I hope you get some replies. I've never been to a hotel, but it's always intrigued me, and once our daughters get a little older, I think we might take the plunge.

    5 Replies
    1. re: DeisCane
      j
      Janet Kornblum May 2, 2006 01:21 PM

      I was in Aruba with "Club Kosher" and my husband and I had a wonderful time. Of course, the ocean was awesome and the weather was great but the food was also very good, especially considering it was on Pesach- 3 huge meals each day (not to mention the Tea Room and amazing desserts). And for everyone looking for next year, I highly recommend them- their pretty reasonable.

      Link: http://www.clubkosher.com/

      1. re: DeisCane
        s
        Sherry Jun 21, 2006 05:44 PM

        We have been going to VIP Passover's program for seven years at the Arizona Biltmore. The resort is spectacular, historic and has amazing facilities. The setting in Phoenix is surreal. The program is extremely well-run with a very nice crowd of people (from all over the US, Canada, Israel and even the U.K. and Australia. The food is truly amazing and gourmet- really hard to believe it is Pesach.! It is always our best family vacation.

        1. re: Sherry
          m
          mdaniel Mar 13, 2007 03:00 PM

          We are going to be in Scottsdale during Passover but not staying at the Biltmore. Do you know if their seder is available for people that are not part of the program or who I would contact? Also, we are reform and do not keep kosher and tend toward an abbreviated seder. Would this be too much for us? Any advice is much appreciated.

          1. re: mdaniel
            j
            jlq3d3 Mar 14, 2007 12:26 AM

            Usually they have a fee you pay if you want a guest for a meal or seder, so you should ask them.
            In terms of the seder, usually these programs have communal seders led by a rabbi or cantor as well as the option of doing it on your own in a separate room with other people who are doing the same. The communal one usually takes longer.

            1. re: mdaniel
              s
              sherry f Mar 15, 2007 10:40 AM

              I would seriously doubt there is any room at the Biltmore. I understand it is waitlisted only and it is always more crowded for the seders as many families want private rooms which take up more space. We always do our "own thing" in a ballroom with other families doing their own thing and you pre-order your dinner before you start your seder and then signal the waitstaff when you are ready to eat, so you are basically going at your own family's pace. While it is not as heimeshe as being in your own dining room with your extended family and friends, IMO it is a very small concession for being away for Passover.

              There are two other Passover programs in Phoenix/Scottsdale that I am aware of. The Scottsdale Princess runs a program that many of my firends go to and love. Additionally, I think Lasko runs one at one of the area Marriott's. Last year was the latter's first year. As they say, competition is good for everyone.

              In terms of your comments about being reform, I think the level of "observance" (am I being politically correct?) varies from location to location. I know the Biltmore and Princess cater to a modern orthodox crowd, as opposed to other programs which are more to the "right". Our family keeps kosher but we are conservative and have never been made to feel uncomfortable. There are a number of families like ours who keep Passover and are not orthodox, particularly in Toronto, Canada where we are from. Common sense should dictate certain behaviour- ie no cell phones in dining room on the Yom Tov days etc.

              Hope you find what you are looking for.

              Happy Passover to all.

        2. l
          Lindy May 15, 2006 04:59 PM

          I was with WorldWide Kosher at the Hyatt Monterey and would definitely go back. Great price, great food, great staff. The hotel was clean, but not what you would expect from a Hyatt though.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Lindy
            e
            Elliotu Feb 25, 2010 08:40 AM

            We were with them twice and had great times and would highly recommend them. They are running one in California and one in Las Vegas. Good food, great programming

            1. re: Elliotu
              4
              4107md Jan 11, 2014 05:35 PM

              Are you familiar with Meisner's Pesach? How does it compare to Motti Katz?

          2. m
            MartyB Mar 13, 2007 04:52 PM

            I think a ballpark figure of cost p/p would be in order in order to compare apples to apples.

            1. c
              chai18 Mar 14, 2007 05:57 PM

              we've stayed at the wyndham hotel in miami its run by leisure time tours, the hotel and roms are nice the food is excellent and very well done as is the tea room, the service is ok and during chol hamoed there is a massive BBQ for lunch

              1. d
                DeisCane Mar 15, 2007 02:23 PM

                The Biltmore is definitely more varied than most in terms of observance and more open.

                1. j
                  jlq3d3 Mar 15, 2007 06:44 PM

                  Anyone know anything more about Club Kosher? This year it is in cancun mexico.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: jlq3d3
                    s
                    sfk Jan 7, 2008 05:16 PM

                    I'm also curious about club kosher... i am looking to go on one of their trips but haven't been able to find any substantial reviews. also, i'm a little concerned that they don't accept credit cards. any feedback?

                    1. re: sfk
                      j
                      jlq3d3 Jan 7, 2008 06:51 PM

                      last year club kosher canceled their program a couple weeks before it was to start for some dubious reason. I would be wary.

                      1. re: jlq3d3
                        s
                        sfk Jan 9, 2008 04:46 PM

                        interesting. i just signed up to go next week, so hopefully it will be fun. did you end up going to cancun with them or was that the trip that they canceled?

                      2. re: nechama
                        j
                        jlq3d3 Feb 27, 2008 06:03 PM

                        They did not "move" people to an adjacent resort, but made them pay the difference. Furthermore, what exactly could have been wrong that they didn't know earlier but they knew 2 weeks before Pesach began? They should have known the status of the hotel months before when they started advertising it.

                        1. re: sfk
                          e
                          ebdreyer Apr 15, 2009 08:46 AM

                          I have been to 6 of these over th years; none have taken credit cards.

                      3. m
                        momrn Jan 9, 2008 04:53 PM

                        For the last 2 years,we have spent chol hamoed and the last days of Yom Tov at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch,NJ,run by Matza Fun Tours.It is only between an hour to about one and a half hours from Brooklyn. The hotel is right on the boardwalk on the Jersey Shore,near Deal. The hotel is gorgeous. The first things you see upon walking into the hotel are a grand piano and a lovely fountain. The rooms are spacious,modern and clean. The toiletries are attractive . Liquid soap and body wash are even thoughtfully included. The food is excellent and plentiful.On Yom Tov and Shabbos, it seems like the food is never ending. On Chal Homoed breakfast and lunch are buffets. This is a wonderful thing as you can sample all and eat more of what you like. For the most part,the flow is fine. There are omelet stations, pancakes,french toast(yes I did say Pesach
                        program),potatoes,cheeses,lox,whitefish,herring,sable,,fruit,cereal for the kids,smoothies,and more. Lunch included pizza(gebrochts made outside the ballroom),nongebrochts inside,paninis,fish,potatoes,pesach noodles,vegetables,tuna,egg,vegetable,and Israeli salads and more. Dinners generally offered a red meat option,a chicken option a vegetable option and a kids' option.There was generally also a salad course as well as fruit and dessert. The food choices were imaginative and delicious .We loved the soups,both at lunch and dinner. The tea room was generally open before/during breakfast(if you need to take breakfast and go to work-fyi the hotel is near 2 NJ transit stops.), and after meals , into the wee hours of the morning. It offered snacks,dried fruits,cakes,cookies,frozen treats(both dairy and pareve).The tea room is a great place to relax and socialize . Shmurah Matzo is always available. Cholov Yisrael is readily available. The location definitely enhances Yom Tov. Two years ago, Yom Tov was eighty degrees. Kiddush was on the hotel's deck overlooking the ocean . What a wonerful,memorable experience. Chol Hamoed was spent on the beach in good weather. On Yom Tov, the afternoons could be enjoyed by walking on the boardwalk just behind the hotel and (for Shabbos)in an Eruv. The program provided varied enertainment as well. There was a bus for teens to Great Adventure,only about 45 minutes away. There was a day camp with shows on Yom Tov afternoons . They had a carnival for the kidson the second day of Chol Hamoed complete with inflatables ,carnival games and video games. There were air hockey,fooz ball and basketball games for the boys. Adult entertainment was varied as well. There were excellent lecturers,singers and a casino night. There is an indoor pool with mixed and separate hours with a jacuzzi. There is a lovely spa with womens' and mens' sides. People loved the massages. The jacuzzi in the spa was as hot as could be. I loved it. The dry sauna brought me back to Grossinger's days. In case of cool weather, there are malls,movie theatres, and bowling alleys nearby. We recommend it.

                        1. t
                          tomby Jan 16, 2008 08:46 AM

                          I've also been with Elite Dimensions in Disney, I thought the food was good. The food was also good with Ma'adan tours at Sanibel Harbor, and Resort Classics tours at various locations. All the crowds were modern, although there were people of all stripes.

                          1. m
                            matzohrella Jan 22, 2008 03:17 AM

                            does anyone have any info or a review of any of the las vegas programs? how about the programs in cancun (other than club kosher)? thanks.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: matzohrella
                              t
                              tomby Jan 22, 2008 06:11 AM

                              I have travelled with the group sponsoring the Lake Las Vegas Montelago trip. It was fine. I would travel with them again.

                            2. f
                              FrankRan Dec 18, 2008 06:06 AM

                              I for the Past Ten years have been to the Doral gofl Resort And Spa. Beautiful Location and great wether your a gofler or not. But The Food is unbelivable. They Do things that you would swear are not kosher for passover but rest assured they are. What i find great about this hotel and program is there is really somethign for everything. Even all religious levels are attended to and the hotel staff is so willing to please it is very easy to feel at home.
                              It is run by MIlt Cohen at UKT in Rockville Centre NY

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: FrankRan
                                q
                                queensgirl55 Dec 18, 2008 10:48 AM

                                Thankyou for commenting on a positive experience in a hotel for passover. I would appreciate any other feedback from anyone who has stayed in the tri state area for pesach and had a positive experience, re: food, sedurim, atmosphere and we are looking for a modern crowd if possible.

                              2. m
                                MartyB Apr 7, 2009 07:33 PM

                                Not quite a review more of a comment. My daughter will be going to the Gateways program. Last year they had one hotel this year they have two, DoubleTree in Tarrytown NY and the Hyatt in Long Island NY. Her friend wanted to come along and was told that they were completely booked at BOTH locations. Considerng the current state of the economy, that is quite a feat.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: MartyB
                                  h
                                  hanistor Apr 8, 2009 09:03 AM

                                  My friend is going to a hotel in Lancaster, PA.

                                  He was told they have 1,000 people and are consolidating with a hotel "across the road".

                                  Go figure...

                                  1. re: hanistor
                                    f
                                    ferret Apr 8, 2009 10:10 AM

                                    You can't overlook that many programs have merged or been canceled.

                                2. e
                                  ebdreyer Apr 15, 2009 08:28 AM

                                  This is about Vim's Mendy Pocono Passover getaway.

                                  This was their first time at this hotel, so I will cut them some slack.

                                  1) They took over the whole hotel.
                                  2) The food was a B+ or so; decent variety at lunch and dinner; ltd variety at breakfast
                                  3) The entertainment, and things to do (other than eat and daven) was mediocre (we are not as frum as the majority of the attendees, and since they controlled the whole hotel, there are no real options. tennis, raquetball etc were all closed down, which would not have been the case if they had only taken over part of teh hotel, as in the other places we have gone to.)
                                  4) The staff was friendly and helpful
                                  5) We had paid for a private seder room; we got a small area cordoned off with canvas, and very ltd privacy. This was probably my biggest gripe.
                                  6) The crowd was modern orthodox and fairly frum; eg, they had separate swimming during chol hamoed
                                  All in all a decent experience, but we have had better passover experiences at other places. We had picked this ONLY because it was equidistand for my parents and we to make the drive.

                                  1. j
                                    jerseykosher Apr 20, 2009 08:27 AM

                                    Looking for comments on the program in Lancaster, Pa and Princeton, NJ.

                                    1. m
                                      magsm Apr 20, 2009 08:01 PM

                                      Anyone hear anything about the Pesach program at the Radisson For McDowell Resort in Scottsdale Arizona run by Paradise Kosher Tours?

                                      1. m
                                        MartyB Apr 22, 2009 01:08 AM

                                        If you are following this thread then the following thread would be relevant.

                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6139...

                                        1. d
                                          DebbyT Apr 22, 2009 05:08 AM

                                          I'd love to hear reports on the Vim programs and Granit for 2009...

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: DebbyT
                                            s
                                            sanekosher Apr 23, 2009 06:24 AM

                                            I spent Pesach at the Granit/Hudson Valley Spa & Resort...was my first time there after having been at the Nevele for many yrs. Thought the program was pretty good...crowd was mixed Orthodox...many women wearing sheitels but chol homoed there were also women wearing pants. Hotel was decent...my room which was the cheapest available was old, small, tiny bathroom, limited closet space (and incredibly didn't have a clock/radio...you'd think for $10 the hotel wld supply that!) but I did see a room 1 or 2 grades up that were slightly roomier, renovated bathroom, walk in closet...so to a degree I think you get what u pay for. And the Hochdorfs who run the pesach program did accurately describe the rooms when I made my reservations. The food was mixed...generally decent but not spectacular. Definitely plentiful and a good variety. Besides the facilities the hotel offers (golf, spa, tennis) they did have an organized hike ea day of chol homoed, free golf lessons, canoeing, hayrides among other stuff. They had shows the 3 nites of chol homoed...which ranged from bad to fair. Also had a number of lectures and exercise classes. Tried to show a couple of movies but believe that had limited success due to technical difficulties. Had a daycamp for kids but I can't give any feedback on it. Overall I wld say that even tho' it wasn't a fantastic experience, the Hochdorf's do try and will attempt to accomodate ppl if they can. (also fyi, it's a large program...900ppl!)

                                            1. re: sanekosher
                                              m
                                              Moach018 Apr 28, 2009 07:07 AM

                                              I've been to the Granit for Pesach for a number of years and would generally agree with sanekosher's review. While the program is not spectacular, it is reliable, consistent and well run. You may not be blown away, there is little risk of the disasters described here in reviews of other programs. The Hochdorf's and their staff are ever present and will do what they can to accommodate.

                                              The day camp is first class. The same head counselors for over 10 years. The crowd is a nice mix - mostly MO, with a black hat representation. They have both separate and mixed swimming hours. All meals are full waiter service, so no buffet lines to contend with. The core of the wait staff is stable from year to year and they are experienced in dealing with a pesach crowds and the sedarim. I would agree that the food is plentiful and good - not spectacular. There are few activities in the area, but there was hardly a minute on either Yom Tov or Chol Hamoed where there wasn't something going on. This is a Catskill hotel and the rooms reflect that. The hotel was renovated a number of years back, but you won't confuse it for a Hilton. The good news is, aside from sleeping, you should not need to spend much time in your room. The lobby is lovely and huge with a lot of seating. We always enjoy ourselves at the Granit and this year was no different.

                                          2. m
                                            MartyB Apr 22, 2009 05:42 PM

                                            Were there any programs that were poorly attended or that did not open. Will there be a consolidation next year. From the ads it looked like there were way too many programs around, especially all those overseas ones.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: MartyB
                                              m
                                              marlox60 Apr 28, 2009 05:09 AM

                                              PASSOVER REVIEWS 2009.

                                              It would be a good idea if as many people as possible could write in their reviews of their programs (2009) as this will help people make informed choices based on real experience for 2010. Try and include as much detail as possible.

                                              1. re: marlox60
                                                m
                                                momrn May 3, 2009 09:34 AM

                                                I think that it is a shame that people had such subpar experiences with Pesach. This was our fourth time spending Chol Hamoed and the last days of Pesach at Matza Fun's Ocean Place Resort . The food was imaginative, delicious and plentiful. The breakfast buffet was large enough to allow for easy flow around all of the varied choices. Breakfast consisted of an omelet station,smoked fish(such as lox,gravlax and smoked whitefish),assorted cheeses-both domestic and imported,toast (from the most unbelievable Pesach bread),cereal,yogurt and daily varied hot dishes,such as pancakes,scrambled eggs,french toast, different kinds of potatoes,and griled cheese. Chol Hamoed lunches were a wonderful treat. There were two different kinds of soups daily. One was generally borscht and the other was a delicous dairy,creamy soup. There was fish daily as well as pasta ,vegetables and other imaginative dishes. I loved the stuffed portabella mushrooms. There were omelet and panini station daily. I loved my tuna melt sandwiches on Tuesday of Chol Hamoed. Yom Tov lunched were served and fleishig. They, as well as Chol Hamoed dinners generally consisted of one or two red meat choices such as veal chop,veal shoulder roast,rib steak,duck etc , a chicken choice,a kid's choice , a fish choice and a vegetarian choice. Dinner on one night of chol hamoed was an unbelievable Asian buffet which consisted of mouthwatering beef ribs,veal ribs,chicken wings,vegetable lo mein and sauteed bok choy among other items that I did not try. Dinner started with fruit, salad(either served as a lovely buffet or family style) then went to a different interesting soup every night. My personal favorite was the Latin Sancocho which was a spicy vegetable soup with meat. Dessert was an elegant end to every delicious meal.
                                                The tea room was open from 6 am-2 am ,except for meal times. Late breakfast was served there if you missed breakfast. In the afternoon and evening ,it was a mecca of drinks,dessert,candy ,dried fruit ,ice cream and socialization.
                                                Nightly entertainment was quite enjoyable. We missed Las Vegas night on motzei Shabbos, there was a game show for the famiies on Sunday night with Soulfarm appearing later in the tea room and Pey Dalid on Monday night. Pey Dalid was my favorite . They brought me back to the days of Diaspora Yeshiva band and Reb Shlomo Carlebach.
                                                There were both separate swimming and mixed swimming hours. There was a fitness center adjacent to the pool . The spa was quite enjoyable,with a hot jacuzzi and a sauna that reminds me of Grossinger's. There was a bus to Great Adventure, van trips for Seniors, activities for teens and a day camp with shows on rainy days and Yom Tov. The hotel is within an easy drive of bowling,miniature golf,par 3 and regular golf,movies ,outlet shopping and mall shopping. We had an another great Pesach.

                                                1. re: marlox60
                                                  m
                                                  marlox60 May 5, 2009 03:41 AM

                                                  PESACH IN CANCUN

                                                  Did anyone go to Cancun? I have heard that they are the best in every respect - aside from SWINE FLU!! Also does anyone know where they will be doing it next year, as rumours have been circulating that they only had their contract in Cancun for three years?

                                                2. re: MartyB
                                                  m
                                                  marlox60 Apr 28, 2009 05:55 AM

                                                  KOSHERICA - The BILTMORE HOTEL CORAL GABLES.

                                                  The biltmore hotel is located in Coral Gables and is a golfing resort. It is in very close proximity to Miami Int Airport.

                                                  The hotel is spanish/ mediterranean style and is very well looked after and is huge. The spa as my wife can attest is outstanding.
                                                  The swimming pool is huge however there are no child friendly swimming areas.
                                                  Their is also not a lot of space around the pool so get their early. The pool staff very attentive/ helpful.
                                                  The rooms are very large with great bathrooms.
                                                  The waiting staff was all from the hotel, and as this was their first year bent over backwards to provide an outstanding service- every morning whatever "extras" we required, eg string cheese, ketchup was already at our table. We did not have to wait in line at the buffets as our waiter offered to do it for us!
                                                  The ground, as I said huge, plenty of place to get lost and not be with the crowd the whole time.

                                                  NOW on to the program.

                                                  We chose kosherica as I believed/ was told that after being in the kosher hospitality game for more than 10 years, they should be pros! wrong!

                                                  This was their second year doing Pesach.

                                                  MANAGEMENT
                                                  When we checked in we were greeted by a young girl who gave us the schedule for the next few days( we thought she was rep who would be there our entire stay- she dissapeared that day only to be seen on check out!) and also a rep from the hotel who was there to give us our keys and take an impression of our credit cards.
                                                  We were told that shabbat keys were not on offer, and if we are shomer shabbat would have to have the room locks disabled for yom tov and shabbos and use the room safes for valuables! annoying.

                                                  By this stage our family 2 adults and 2 young children were exhausted after flying 9 hours from Europe and wanted something to eat.

                                                  We headed towards the welcoming bbq. On offer salads (average) and bbq'ed chicken, hamburgers and sausages- ALL FREEZING COLD- no rep from kosherica present, As we were so tired we did not really care.

                                                  The next day we headed for breakfast hoping to see someone from kosherica and again no one. at the end of breakfast I saw a man talking to the waiters and went up to home. He introduced himself as MD of kosherica and said if I needed anything please call him. I must have called him 5 times and left messages throughout our stay- none returned. We met his wife and same experince with her.
                                                  First night seder there were issues (discuss later) and he kept a low profile as did she! only had waiters to deal with from the hotel.
                                                  Many many other issues ie no one running the shul (a very helpful guy from Riverdale volunteered to run all the minyonim) head of day camp(daughter of kosherica MD moved on to one of their other hotels chol hamoed) no official scholar in residence. The key rabbi had to leave chol hamoed for another program! Was told that there would be a rabbi from miami (head of jewish day school) on the program giving shiurim. Never saw him until the end - someone picked him out for me!
                                                  Meals only people to talk to were hotel staff.
                                                  Summary - MANAGEMENT & STAFF (KOSHERICA) non existent! if it wasnt for the hotel staff this program would have fallen over!

                                                  FOOD. first bbq a disaster as was first seder (main courses on arrived around 11 pm) however the food improved substanitially over the next few days.
                                                  1. expect BBQ's all the same Hamburgers/ Sausages/ Chicken Pieces the same at every single BBQ!
                                                  2. Childrens Meals - not bad but a lot of repetition- and if your child has a nut allergy stay well clear of this program (at first they did not know which foods had nuts) and these quickly ran out! they were not really bothered.
                                                  3.Breakfasts, a lot of people complained of no variety, however we were generally happy. Large variety of smoked fish, all salads, great muffins/ cakes, different cheeses, omelette stations, hash browns pancacks/ cereals hot porridge/ french toast.
                                                  3. Lunches (buffets) quite varied/ on the whole good.
                                                  4. Dinners mostly sit down and on the whole good.
                                                  5. Tea Room- good suppy of sweets (lollipops etc) fruit chocolates, ice cream, vegetables- however only open for a few hours in the morning and again in the afternoon, and late at night unitl midnight. Should have been 24 or 12 continuous hours as with previous programs, especially with kids!

                                                  DAY CAMP.
                                                  Let me say this, if it was not for the outstanding councillors, this would have been a complete disaster.
                                                  As I said the woman that was in charge, MD's daughter, was more concerned about enjoying her own passover! and soon left to help out at one on their other programs.
                                                  Completely disorganised from beginning. We were told that their were supposed to be prep meetings but never occured. Councillors unsure of what to even do and very unhappy!
                                                  Infant Care- we were told that their would be cribs. Also one toy kitchen and a handful of soft toys for all the babies to play with- they did go Chol Hamoed to buy more toys! The hotel let them use a room for the babies, as they did not pay for their own, and on some days had to give the room up and all the kids, all ages (infant right through) all together in one room, absurd! obviously no cribs and they said the babies can sleep on the carpet and then brought in blankets.
                                                  As the days went on program improved and the councillors made do - and that they did well.
                                                  We were also told the kids would be looked after while we had lunch and dinner, YES FOR $22 an hour! ie babysitting cost.
                                                  At the end of the program the councillors asked us what we would be tipping and I asked what about the 25% gratituity charge and was told that does not go to them- paid $120 per child (seemed reasonable)

                                                  SCHOLAR IN RESIDENCE- not what was detailed.

                                                  NO COMMUNAL SEDER- if thats what you are looking for.

                                                  I can go on and on and if you have any more specific questions please reply. Feel free to make your own decisions.

                                                  I did ask a number of families if they would be coming back and they said def not. They said there are fare better organised and more varied programs out there for less money.

                                                  1. re: marlox60
                                                    m
                                                    MartyB Apr 28, 2009 08:11 AM

                                                    What was the cost (not your cost), standard accomodations, pp/dbl occupancy for the program?

                                                    This type of info puts things into perspective for people contemplating going away for pesach, be it this program or another.

                                                    1. re: MartyB
                                                      m
                                                      marlox60 Apr 29, 2009 02:26 PM

                                                      2950 pp stay from 8 ~ 17 april standard acc.

                                                      1. re: marlox60
                                                        c
                                                        Cholent Fresser May 1, 2009 05:04 PM

                                                        Wow! I've heard of some bad programs, but this sounds pretty nasty!

                                                        Sorry for you! and at almost 3000 a person!

                                                3. m
                                                  MartyB May 4, 2009 04:03 AM

                                                  Did anybody go to Lancaster Host Resorts. They were advertising a program for for $1699/pp. They advertised that they had separate swimming, 18 hole golf, exercise and massage room, tennis, basketball, entertainment, etc...

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: MartyB
                                                    f
                                                    Foodtekie May 5, 2009 04:15 PM

                                                    MartyB:
                                                    I went and the program and it was great. Did they cut the steak for you? No. But it was a friendly group and the food was plentiful and tasty. The location was great for chol hamoed and the rooms were fine. If you want more details you can email me off line at Foodtekie@aol.com.

                                                    1. re: Foodtekie
                                                      m
                                                      MartyB May 5, 2009 05:01 PM

                                                      Glad to hear it. I recommended this program to someone who was querying for a Pesach program near the NYC area. The wife was pregnant and didn't want to venture great distances. I originally said that the Jackson Hotel might be an option since it was a hotel without any facilities. When she responded that they were asking $2,500 I said that it was ridiculous considering the fact that I saw programs with grounds and facilities for much less. I therefore asked her to check into Lancaster Host Resorts based on what was advertised. She said that she was going there and I wanted to get a feel of what people thought about the program.

                                                  2. e
                                                    EatMeNow May 4, 2009 07:33 PM

                                                    I went only on Sunday to Gateways in Happauge, NY. Place was a comlete zoo. Food was not Michael Schick-standard (he is usually wonderful). Service was worse - they were taking the food away as you ate.. ISupposedly there were two excuses: 1) was told they had 25% more people on Sunday as guests came from the NY area. 2) the dining room was converted into the ballroom to hear Schwekey (or Gabay or whoever)....I went away to a hotel for Pesach for many years before this one (due to the economy) and I was not happy at all at Gateways - at least that Sunday Chol Hamoed. Folks who were there the entire Yom Tov seemed fine.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: EatMeNow
                                                      k
                                                      kosherfan Nov 13, 2009 07:41 AM

                                                      Would you be so kind and tell me more about Gateways. Is this the one in Tarrytown ??
                                                      We had been going to The Nevele, then got disgusted and have been at Ocean Place in Long branch NJ for the past few years. It is nice there, but we are considering other options.

                                                      1. re: kosherfan
                                                        berel Nov 13, 2009 08:55 AM

                                                        I used to love the Gateways Shavous program, food shuirim etc all great, but it just got too big, too many people. It's their profit maker for kiruv programs so they out to make maximize profits I think.

                                                        1. re: kosherfan
                                                          s
                                                          sanekosher Nov 16, 2009 04:40 AM

                                                          kf- wondering why yr thinking of straying from Ocean Place...my family are also nevele alum (or shld I say survivors!)...and we've gone to a couple of different places since (mendy vim's program, hudson valley/granit) and haven't been thrilled w/any them. so we were thinking of ocean place...any feedback u cld give wld be appreciated!

                                                          1. re: sanekosher
                                                            m
                                                            marissaj Nov 28, 2009 03:19 PM

                                                            Any good East coast recommendations for pesach 2010? Anyone go somewhere mid range (under 2500 a person) and were so thrilled they cant wait to go bck this year?

                                                      2. a
                                                        a727 Jan 2, 2010 06:32 PM

                                                        We are looking for a pesach 2010 progam in florida, - not in Miami - for ourselves and our two sons who are at YU and not interested in a beach scene. All suggestions are welcome.

                                                        1. r
                                                          rebecca2010 Jan 6, 2010 06:34 AM

                                                          The amazing people at RAM catering are doing the catering for the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando. Orlando isn't the New York area, of course, but RAM is. Info at http://www.passovergg.com

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: rebecca2010
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                                                            Cholent Fresser Jan 8, 2010 03:15 PM

                                                            Please tell me more about RAM catering, I'm seeing them a lot. are they Good? who gives the hechsher?

                                                            Thanks

                                                            1. re: Cholent Fresser
                                                              a
                                                              a727 Jan 9, 2010 02:34 PM

                                                              RAM is great - it has a reliable hashgacha.

                                                              Does anyone know anything about Elite Dimensions Orlando programs?

                                                              1. re: a727
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                                                                Cholent Fresser Jan 9, 2010 07:16 PM

                                                                Wow, Thanks. great, and reliable. How bout being just a little bit more specific??

                                                                1. re: Cholent Fresser
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                                                                  ferret Jan 9, 2010 08:58 PM

                                                                  RAM's pretty well established. OU supervised:

                                                                  http://www.ramcaterers.com/

                                                                  1. re: ferret
                                                                    tamarw Jan 9, 2010 09:59 PM

                                                                    Are there any other Passover programs that RAM caters? I'm surprised they don't mention it on their website.

                                                                  2. re: Cholent Fresser
                                                                    c
                                                                    cheesecake17 Jan 11, 2010 07:03 AM

                                                                    RAM is excellent. They catered my wedding a few years ago. I've been to at least 30 weddings catered by them in the past few years. Always good food, even when the menu is not super expensive. Food is very innovative.

                                                                2. re: Cholent Fresser
                                                                  r
                                                                  rabbiyisroel Feb 9, 2010 03:01 PM

                                                                  The Ram program in Orlando has ORB hechsher

                                                                3. re: rebecca2010
                                                                  k
                                                                  karenqrz Mar 1, 2010 07:47 AM

                                                                  I e-mailed the Waldorf Astoria Orlando program four days ago requesting information about the program. I have yet to receive an answer. Certainly it does not speak well about a program if they do not have the time or interest to contact a potential customer who comes with a large family.

                                                                4. t
                                                                  travlr Jan 10, 2010 07:08 PM

                                                                  Can anybody who has attended the Kosher Expeditions Passover program at the Ocotal Beach Resort in Costa Rica please provide some feedback regarding the facilities, food, organisation and any other positive or negative information.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: travlr
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                                                                    a727 Jan 10, 2010 07:16 PM

                                                                    Does anyone have experience with Elite Dimensions Orlando programs?

                                                                    1. re: travlr
                                                                      j
                                                                      janetldd Feb 7, 2010 07:38 PM

                                                                      we have been on a regular january vacation. the facilites are not that fancy. in fact one of the hotels had bugs in the beds. the food was ok. they did run out of stuff. the organization is great. i think you are better off going to cancun with club kosher. they have amuch better program,much better facility and much better food.

                                                                    2. m
                                                                      MartyB Feb 9, 2010 03:47 PM

                                                                      Just an observation. I noticed that there are alot more hotels this year that are advertising their prices. I don't quite know what to read into this but I for one welcome this development.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: MartyB
                                                                        berel Feb 10, 2010 04:58 AM

                                                                        if they don't advertise their price you probably can't afford it :-)

                                                                        1. re: berel
                                                                          m
                                                                          MartyB Feb 10, 2010 05:24 AM

                                                                          As they say ""if you have to ask, you can't afford it" or "Money is no object".

                                                                          As more places advertise their prices this will hopefully bring price into the equation and hopefully result is either lower prices and/or lower cost Pesach options. One of the (few) positive effects of the economic downturn.

                                                                          1. re: MartyB
                                                                            berel Feb 10, 2010 06:33 AM

                                                                            I can't even afford the $1600 pp place (which would actually be $4000 for two after the gratuities etc) at the present time. this would be the year to go too as it looks like we're only going to have the kids and gkids the first two days of yomtov. Wouldn't mind all the prep if I knew everyone would be here for all 8 days

                                                                            1. re: berel
                                                                              m
                                                                              MartyB Feb 10, 2010 10:13 AM

                                                                              I may go away for Pesach, but only after my kids are married and only to Israel. Best deals there and I just love that country.

                                                                              In the meantime, I expect Pesach to be a breeze this year. I have my stick margarine from last year and kept a careful record of what I bought and what I actually used in an Excel spreadsheet. I will simply use that as my shopping list. Paid ~$600 for my Pesach food last year. Come to think about it, I still have cans of items that I bought for Pesach still in my cabinet. As the Yom Tov approaches I will ask fellow Hounders which of my items are still ok (like potato starch, matzo meal etc).

                                                                              One thing I will definitely do is buy alot of Yehudah Matzos. For some reason I can't find it during the year (at least not here in the 5 towns).

                                                                      2. s
                                                                        shanirum Mar 1, 2010 03:02 PM

                                                                        Hope I am not being redundant here- has anyone heard anything good or bad about the program in Tampa run by J & T caterers at the Mainsail suites? I saw an ad in the Jewish Press and their prices seem extremely reasonable. Would like to know about experience with the food as well as the crowd, amenities etc.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: shanirum
                                                                          y
                                                                          yanky613 Mar 14, 2010 09:25 AM

                                                                          I am also trying to find out info on Mainsail Suites in Tampa> If u/ anyone else hear anything.....can u please let me know ? Thanx so much!
                                                                          Yanky5@verizon.net

                                                                        2. m
                                                                          Mar123 Mar 3, 2010 07:53 PM

                                                                          Last year my family went to the Biltmore in Arizona, was really beautiful, would most definitely recommend! In previous years, were at the the Chevra but it started off nice, and only went down hill so we left the Chevra program and wen to the Biltmore and were really pleased. However, this year we wanted to try a new place KMR Tours at The St. Regis Monarch Beach/ Laguna Niguel. Ill post how it was after Passover.

                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Mar123
                                                                            m
                                                                            marlox60 Mar 15, 2010 08:17 PM

                                                                            HAS SMILOW CANCELLED PESACH THIS YEAR?

                                                                            1. re: marlox60
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                                                                              Cholent Fresser Mar 17, 2010 10:16 PM

                                                                              yep. Does anybody out there know of any other cancellations?

                                                                              I know some programs that SHOULD cancel...

                                                                              1. re: Cholent Fresser
                                                                                queenscook Mar 17, 2010 10:58 PM

                                                                                I fully admit I am completely unknowledgeable about these Pesach programs, so this may be a terribly naive question, but . . . are you saying that less than two weeks before Pesach, these programs can cancel? What do people do? Do they go elsewhere or do they somehow do all their cleaning and cooking in the extremely limited time left?

                                                                                1. re: queenscook
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  Cholent Fresser Mar 17, 2010 11:34 PM

                                                                                  Most of these guys could care less, and the crowd forgets year to year. Although in all honesty, I heard Smilow tried to place, or at least find locations for, his guests at other places. and it wasnt 2 weeks, this happened around a month ago so it was six weeks before Peasach, plenty of time to get screwed by the Chevrah and such, just imagine the desperation.

                                                                                  1. re: Cholent Fresser
                                                                                    m
                                                                                    marlox60 Mar 18, 2010 03:06 PM

                                                                                    what about paradise in arizona? seen their website lately?

                                                                                    1. re: Cholent Fresser
                                                                                      m
                                                                                      marlox60 Mar 18, 2010 03:07 PM

                                                                                      took your advice went with bookie!

                                                                                      1. re: marlox60
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        Cholent Fresser Mar 19, 2010 06:34 AM

                                                                                        great let me know. Say hi to "Liel" he'll take care of u

                                                                                    2. re: queenscook
                                                                                      m
                                                                                      MartyB Mar 18, 2010 04:10 AM

                                                                                      Years ago I got cancelled out of a program two days before Pesach!! I got my cleaning lady to come over on EREV Pesach. Was invited by a neighbor the first seder night and had my own seder already the second night.

                                                                                      That is right! I made Pesach on one days notice. Lost all my money because I prepaid in cash. Never again - use only credit cards guys!

                                                                                      It really wasn't that hard. With all the takeout food available one does not have to go away to get out of the cooking nightmare. Mind you, prior to this fiasco I went away for Pesach for many years.

                                                                                      Ever since then I have made Pesach at home. Listen, if I was able to make Pesach in one day, imagine how easy it is if I have a few weeks to do it!

                                                                                      1. re: MartyB
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                                                                                        ferret Mar 18, 2010 07:43 AM

                                                                                        My son was on a program several years ago that was evicted from their hotel mid-Pesach.

                                                                                        1. re: ferret
                                                                                          m
                                                                                          marlox60 Mar 18, 2010 03:07 PM

                                                                                          thats almost laughable tounge in cheek!

                                                                                          1. re: ferret
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                                                                                            Elliotu Apr 14, 2010 07:07 AM

                                                                                            I heard about such programs. There are some unscrupulous tour operators that did not pay the hotels and the hotels through them out mid pesach

                                                                                          2. re: MartyB
                                                                                            e
                                                                                            Elliotu Apr 12, 2010 10:18 AM

                                                                                            Marty. Its important to list the name of the people and company name of a pesach program that cancelled and did not give you a refund. Its not loshon harah. to not do this is to put a stumbling block in front of a blind person. Many unscupulous vendors do crooked things and then re-open using a dfferent name. Its important to protect the public

                                                                                            Elliot

                                                                                  2. f
                                                                                    freudala Mar 9, 2010 07:49 PM

                                                                                    Is there a hotel that is a popular Passover destination but is not all-inclusive? We'll be in the northeast where we don't have family and am thinking of ways to enjoy Passover in a warm environment without breaking the bank. I can take care of my own food. I can't afford the all-inclusive getaways! I want something simple. I'm looking for a Passover observant crowd.

                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                      marlox60 Apr 7, 2010 08:07 PM

                                                                                      AND NOW LET THE REVIEWS FOR 2010 PASSOVER (PESACH) BEGIN.......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: marlox60
                                                                                        m
                                                                                        MartyB Apr 8, 2010 08:24 AM

                                                                                        Made Pesach at home. Weather here in New York was for the most part fabulous. Food prices were not excessive, enjoyed the family get together. Will probably do the same next year, unless we all find ourselves in Jerusalem!

                                                                                        1. re: MartyB
                                                                                          berel Apr 8, 2010 08:37 AM

                                                                                          Fabulous Pesach all around (even with 6 inches of rain the first days) We bought one of those bug checkers http://www.kosherimage.com/bugchecker... , made checking the romaine a snap

                                                                                        2. re: marlox60
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                                                                                          Elliotu Apr 8, 2010 10:37 AM

                                                                                          We went to the program in Chesseapeake Bay at the Hyatt. The hotel was gorgeous and the program was good. We lucked out with the weather. They did not serve hand Shmurah at the Sedorim and the rav hamacher said that he paskened against hand shmurah because it might get folded over.

                                                                                          How have some of the other hotels been this year? Did they all take place?

                                                                                          1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                            berel Apr 8, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                                            this has got to be the first time I've ever heard of anyone poskening against hand shmurah.

                                                                                            I'm sure the fact that machine shmurah is much cheaper had nothing to do with the pasek.

                                                                                            1. re: berel
                                                                                              g
                                                                                              GilaB Apr 8, 2010 12:12 PM

                                                                                              I've heard of it before, but I'm skeptical. My guess is that back in the day, they didn't exactly make perfect squares of machine-shmura to eat with the korban Pesach.

                                                                                            2. re: Elliotu
                                                                                              m
                                                                                              MartyB Apr 8, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                                                              re: he paskened against hand shmurah because it might get folded over.

                                                                                              How does something as stiff as a shmura matzo get folded over, you would think it would just snap.

                                                                                              1. re: MartyB
                                                                                                c
                                                                                                cheesecake17 Apr 8, 2010 01:32 PM

                                                                                                I think he meant before it was baked.. maybe the dough could have folded or flopped over.

                                                                                                1. re: cheesecake17
                                                                                                  queenscook Apr 8, 2010 05:11 PM

                                                                                                  This is a very common minhag; there are many who even avoid eating matzah itself during Pesach except when it is a mitzvah to do so (seders and for lechem mishna on shabbos/last days), for fear that some uncooked flour might have remained in the matzah in a fold or bubble and could be leavened on Pesach itself.

                                                                                              2. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                m
                                                                                                marissaj Apr 8, 2010 02:00 PM

                                                                                                How was the food? Who catered there?

                                                                                                1. re: marissaj
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                                                                                                  Elliotu Apr 8, 2010 05:54 PM

                                                                                                  The food was great. Too much and too good. I am afraid to weigh myself. The caterer was HLF caterers out of Baltimore. The variety of the food and the quantity was over and above.

                                                                                                  We live in driving distance from the Chesseapeake area. Normally we go far away but this year our familly decided to stay locally and after in depth searches we opted to go with the Hyatt with HLF tours. Good choice. I would like to hear about many of the other programs

                                                                                                  Elliot

                                                                                              3. re: marlox60
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                                                                                                Elliotu Apr 12, 2010 10:29 AM

                                                                                                Very few people are commenting about the programs they attended. Its important for knowledge on programs to be disseminated. These programs are very expensive and require a major committment from a family and people should know what programs work and which ones fall short of their promises.

                                                                                                Elliot

                                                                                                1. re: Elliotu
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                                                                                                  chicago maven Apr 12, 2010 10:40 AM

                                                                                                  Did anyone out there go to Weekend Connections in Wisconsin?

                                                                                                  1. re: chicago maven
                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                    KA2CSH Jun 26, 2012 02:31 PM

                                                                                                    Yes, I did.

                                                                                                2. re: marlox60
                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                  Damu Dec 13, 2010 04:46 PM

                                                                                                  We went to Aruba with Booky (Afikoman Tours) and found it disappointing. The resort, Westin Aruba, was fine but the food was well below par. We have previously traveled with Presidential and Lasko. Presidential is clearly the gold standard. The food is such an important component on a Pesach trip, you are stranded away from home and let's face it, we're Jews, we love to eat! Booky clearly cheaped out and didn't have enough servers so the meals were served very late (1-2 hours past the announced time). In addition, the quality was very mediocre. Not sure what we will do for Pesach 2011 but we are not going back to Aruba with Afikoman Tours.

                                                                                                  1. re: Damu
                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                    bzb Jan 13, 2011 10:21 AM

                                                                                                    Hi, I noticed you"ve gone to both Presidential and Lasko. Either in Miami? We are currently debating between the 2 and I would love to hear your feedback.

                                                                                                    1. re: bzb
                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                      Damu Feb 3, 2011 02:13 PM

                                                                                                      Hi, we went to AZ and Mexico with Presidential but I've been to the property in FL. It's nice but not on the beach. They have a shuttle to the beach but it was a hassle to us. We went to Orlando with Lasko. We're trying to decide if we want to go with Lasko to Miami this year!!

                                                                                                3. m
                                                                                                  Mar123 Apr 8, 2010 07:06 PM

                                                                                                  Got back from KMR Tours, Pesach at St. Regis Laguna Beach. Program was great, food was not great at all, apparently the caterer stiffed the heads of the program (Werner Brothers) and they say that KMR will never use that caterer again. Was I hungry? no, Was I happy with the food? no. The hotel was unbelievable the grounds were magnificent besides for the food everything was out of this world.

                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Mar123
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                                                                                                    Elliotu Apr 9, 2010 06:07 AM

                                                                                                    We almost went there. It seemed like a great program. We however had to stay locally this year. Did any of the programs advertised not make it because of the recession?

                                                                                                    1. re: Elliotu
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                                                                                                      all4theboss Apr 13, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                                                      In answer to your questions there were quite a few programs that either didnt advertise from the start or cancelled around purim time. Smilow cancelled his luxury CA program and his cheaper NJ and FL programs. Paradise also cancelled Arizona. From the start a few of the big operators either didnt open this year or cut back from multiple programs to only one or two.
                                                                                                      We were in AZ with TWersky and the program was phenominal. Catering by RAM was the best I ever had in 40 yrs of going away for pesach. The amount and selection and taste of the food and on site baking was unbeleivable. It was non stop food and drink.
                                                                                                      The staff of the JW Marriott were amazing and the Twersky staff were also great. The hotel is beautiful with great facilities. The only drawback is outside of the ballroom area this group in nonexclusive so you are among a lot of non jews mingling all over. We knew this in advance and still went and were amazed at how good the program was. cant wait to go back with YOGI and RAM.

                                                                                                      1. re: all4theboss
                                                                                                        The Chowhound Team Apr 14, 2010 08:37 AM

                                                                                                        We've removed a number of posts discussing the legalities of refunds for programs that didn't take place -- that's really not a food question, more of a legal one, and we're not really the right venue to address it.

                                                                                                        1. re: The Chowhound Team
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                                                                                                          Elliotu Apr 15, 2010 06:54 PM

                                                                                                          What forum exists where the issue of programs that did not take place can be discussed? Is there a forum set up for this and similar issues? This kind of information and how to deal with it is important because going away for Pesach is not going to a restaurant. Its a very expensive experience and if a program folds people should have some idea on how to approach the matter.

                                                                                                    2. re: Mar123
                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                      all4theboss Apr 13, 2010 11:53 AM

                                                                                                      Thats a shame as they as they are very nice people and they have always had a very good reputation. Hope they can fix this for next year.

                                                                                                      1. re: Mar123
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                                                                                                        gailr Apr 3, 2011 12:51 AM

                                                                                                        I was at KMR Tours for Pesach of 2010 and plan to join them again this year. I found them to be by far the best program I have been to, and I have been to quite a few (including the Chevra, Gateways, programs in other countries like spain, hungary and swizerland). The food was good, although this year they plan to improve it by bringing in Michael Shick to cater.

                                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                                        Mar123 Apr 13, 2010 06:18 PM

                                                                                                        this year went to KMR St Regis Laguna Beach. The program/resort/accomodations were out of this world! The food was the complete opposite. Because the food was so terrible, it ruined the entire Yom Tov. I dont know if we would go back to that program (KMR). anybody else go there this YT?

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Mar123
                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                          magsm Apr 13, 2010 08:29 PM

                                                                                                          Besides the gorgeous hotel, what was the program that it was so fantastic? I heard that the shows were so so and there wasn't much of a children's program.

                                                                                                          1. re: magsm
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                                                                                                            Golfer65 Apr 13, 2010 11:25 PM

                                                                                                            For the past 10 years I have been taking my family away for Pesach, This year we joined KMR at the St Regis, and it was by far the best program we were ever at. The children's program was incredible; in fact my children did not want to come with us on any day trips, they preferred to stay in camp. The program was well organized, the entertainment was top notch and professional. The hosts were always around and truly cared about the guests needs. As for the food, the quality was excellent, the taste was great, though I think the presentation was lacking somewhat. KMR can certainly count my family back again for next year!

                                                                                                            1. re: Golfer65
                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                              Cholent Fresser Apr 21, 2010 10:37 PM

                                                                                                              While we decided not to go out this Pesach, I feel very close to this topic, as I started the original post about my experience at the Chevrah a few years ago, that engendered all these reviews.
                                                                                                              Here is what I picked up form relatives and close friends who's opinion I respect.
                                                                                                              KMR, was only OK, I'm a bit surprised because I know them to be a quality program.
                                                                                                              The weather was cool, and the food was ok, getting better as it went. The caterer, Scharf, who works for Shick, is a whacko, and a kind of tyrannical "my way or the highway" type of guy, and he just didn't perform up to par this year.
                                                                                                              The tea room and the wine list etc. were under par. although the guest list was stellar.The grounds were simply amazing though, pity they could'nt really put it together, it was the place to be.

                                                                                                              The Chevrah was ok, no disasters there although they lost their shine. They are not the place to go anymore, especially now that they're in Arizona.

                                                                                                              Bookie in Aruba was great, he runs a good program. but the crowd was mixed.

                                                                                                              Any other resorts will just be hearsay, and i'd rather not do that.

                                                                                                          2. re: Mar123
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                                                                                                            all4theboss Apr 14, 2010 08:16 AM

                                                                                                            Amazing how different people have diff takes on the food, see below. Do you know who catered for them this year and what was the real problem with the food. Everyone agrees the hotel was amazing. what made the food so bad.

                                                                                                          3. w
                                                                                                            wallstbnkr Apr 25, 2010 03:24 PM

                                                                                                            We went to HLF Chesapeake Bay Maryland. The hotel, grounds, food, service were all amazing. The speakers were great (Rabbi Lamm spoke once), the Tea room was great, Baalei Tefillah wonderful, heard the kids loved the day camp. Weather was beautiful most of the time, so pools were always open. Not a word to complain, as we've been to a few programs, in the past, and none compared to this luxorious program. We'll be there as long as they keep coming back.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: wallstbnkr
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                                                                                                              Elliotu Apr 28, 2010 05:16 AM

                                                                                                              We were at the same place-HLF Chesapeake Bay maryland and your comments were all on target. There was one thing we found that was totally unadvertised at the convention itself that was a real "find" for us. There was a cantor from a Morrocan synagogue who came with his wife and kids and he did his own service in a board room. There were only 12 people who found out about it but the services and his singing were phenomenal. I hope the caterer has his back again. The services went fast and it was very spiritual.

                                                                                                              1. re: wallstbnkr
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                                                                                                                elmoz Apr 28, 2010 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                Who was the caterer?

                                                                                                                1. re: elmoz
                                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                  Elliotu May 17, 2010 05:51 AM

                                                                                                                  The company running it was the caterer. They do wedding and Bar Mitzvah catering all year around.

                                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                                sweetfern Nov 21, 2010 03:09 AM

                                                                                                                Anything in the Boston / Cambridge area?

                                                                                                                sweetfern

                                                                                                                1. n
                                                                                                                  naviw Dec 7, 2010 10:44 PM

                                                                                                                  For the last 5 years I have been going with my family (ages 6 months thru 80+years) to Matza Fun Tours at Ocean Place in Long Branch, NJ. The crowd is a nice mix of people from all over the US and some from overseas as well. The hotel is beautiful, the crowd is friendly and the food is great. There are shiurim and lectures as well as evenings of entertainment. Mixed and separate swim hours, gym equipment and a beautiful boardwalk. Spa treatments are available at an extra cost. The day camp is well staffed and has special programs every day for the kids. I highly recommend it!

                                                                                                                  1. k
                                                                                                                    kosherfan Feb 3, 2011 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                    Used Leisure Time Tours for about 5 years (at The Nevele in the Catskills) but always had problems which they tried hard NOT to resolve. You could see them sitting at the same large table in the dining room, but if you went up to them with a problem they didn't want to help It seemed like THEY were the guests and after you paid they were through with you. We went with Ocean Place after that for a few years but I guess due to the economy the food quality got worse and more sparse, and the help they hired in the dining room were rookies with absolutely no experience (which showed). We're thinking of trying Gateways this year.
                                                                                                                    CAN ANYONE HELP US WITH GATEWAYS ? Todah Rabah.

                                                                                                                    1. k
                                                                                                                      kosherfan Feb 3, 2011 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                      We were wondering about Gateways Pesach programs, not "Getaways" which is a different group, but thank you for your quick reply.
                                                                                                                      Does anyone have any feedback about GATEWAYS ? They have Pesach in Stamford, CT this year at The Hilton.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: kosherfan
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                                                                                                                        a727 Feb 3, 2011 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                        We went to Lasko's Florida Aventura program in 2010. The food was not good. The scholars in residence were not good. They had set up candle lighting for the first night of yom tov out at the pool - it was a windy night and candles were almost immediately blown out - questions of bracha levatalah certainly existed - This is an all inclusive program and frankly they take advantage of that fact.
                                                                                                                        We have been at Lasko's Miami Beach program another year. That program, which is much more expensive was amazing by comparison.

                                                                                                                        1. re: kosherfan
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                                                                                                                          gailr Apr 3, 2011 12:43 AM

                                                                                                                          I have spent many yomim tovim with Gateways including pesach. They run a great all around program. The shiurima re top notch, the day camp kept the kids entertained all day and the food was over the top. As far as local NY programs, they are probably one of the best.

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                                                                                                                          Remco Feb 16, 2011 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                          My family is considering the Heritage Hotel in Connecticut for Pesach 2011. Has anyone been there? It's only about 3-4 years old and is run by Mendy Vim who's run other Pesach programs. Would appreciate any comments re the food, atmosphere, management, etc. I would describe my family as modern orthodox and some of the younger folks may go out jogging on Yon Tof. Would they feel comfortable there (mixed crowd)? Thanks for your help - or any other suggestions you may have.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Remco
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                                                                                                                            Elliotu Mar 29, 2011 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                            The hotel is very nice but some of the rooms are smaller than others. Mendy Vim has a solid reputation in the kosher hotel industry, you can't go wrong. We are considering his event in Cape May but have not made a decision yet.

                                                                                                                            Elliot

                                                                                                                          2. The Chowhound Team Feb 16, 2011 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                            Chowhound has a very narrow mission--where to find deliciousness. General travel planning questions, like where to stay or what else to do while visiting, are off topic for our boards. Please keep your replies focused on helping the poster find great chow, as off topic replies will be removed.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: The Chowhound Team
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                                                                                                                              IRASWIFE Feb 16, 2011 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                              Passover programs can cost upward of $2,000 or even $3,000 per person. This isn't a $75 dinner in a restaurant. As you can see from the 126 entries and the five-year life of this thread, rating Passover hotel programs is very important to certain people. Don't forget that people who attend and rate Passover hotel programs are generally affluent foodies, exactly the kind of consumers your advertisers want to attract to this website. I'm surprised by the insistence of the Chowhound Team on keeping such a very narrow mission unlike other social networking sites which have constantly worked to broaden their popular appeal. Why not expand your mission to include enjoyable food and cooking vacations that discuss side activities as well? People interested in spending thousands of dollars on food and cooking vacations seem to be a very desirable demographic to reach.

                                                                                                                              1. re: IRASWIFE
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                                                                                                                                Elliotu Feb 16, 2011 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                Iraswife makes a good point. People are paying thousands of dollars to go away for Passover and its not just to have gourmet meals. There are lots of factors which go into making the decision on what program to choose. Food is only one part of it. Other parts of the decions making process include the quality of the accommodations, activities and what there is to see and do in the area for 8 days. Another factor is what goes on at the resort during yom tov and Shabbos. Are there shiurim or as in some resorts, just access to a beach or pool. I would hope that the managment of Chowhound would recognize this difference in the way people make decisions on where to vacation for pessach vs going out for a night to a restaurant in New York City.

                                                                                                                                Another issue is that for some people such as with my family, Passover getaways is our only annual vacation. Hence we want to know everything about it before making a decision on where to spend our yearly vacation

                                                                                                                                1. re: Elliotu
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                                                                                                                                  Remco Feb 17, 2011 06:13 AM

                                                                                                                                  Wanted to thank you and Iraswife too for your responses to the Chowhound blackout. Am feeling somewhat frustrated as I do want feedback re the Pesach Program (at Heritage Hotel). Can you suggest another site that covers this topic? Thanks again.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Remco
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                                                                                                                                    kosherfan Feb 23, 2011 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                    We went to a Gateways retreat in Dec 2010 and found the speakers/Rabbis in residence to be top notch. That IS the reason we willbe with Gateways in Stamford for Pesach this year. We have read only good reviews about them, and if the food is only good, with the speakers they advertise we will be very pleased. If the food is excellent as it should be with their fine caterer, we will be overjoyed.

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                                                                                                                              Elliotu Mar 26, 2011 10:33 PM

                                                                                                                              Anyone have reviews on he Passover Program run by the Jewish Heritage Center, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania?

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Elliotu
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                                                                                                                                gailr Apr 3, 2011 12:40 AM

                                                                                                                                Although I didn't join them for Pesach, I have spent shavuot and rosh hashanah with the Jewish Heritage Foundation. I only have great things to say. They run a professional and organized program. The lectures are inspiring, the food is great and the atmosphere is very relaxed. I did stay in the hotel in Lancaster with another program for succos. The area has tons to do and very child friendly.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Elliotu
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                                                                                                                                  Elliotu Apr 27, 2011 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                  We just returned after spending Pessach with the Jewish Heritage center. It was really good. It was catered by Greenwald Caterers who did a fanstastic job with the food. There were two problems with the food. 1) It was so delicious and so overabundant that it was almost impossible not to gain a lot of weight over the holiday. 2) There was such variety that it was eady to forget that it was passover. I will never never know how they make the things they do on Passover that are kosher for Passover. It is amazing. As for the hotel itself. I've been in better and worse hotels. The program was excellent. The Jewish Heritage Center really did a great job

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                                                                                                                                  AdinaA Mar 30, 2011 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                                  Prime Grill in Manhattan, one of the finest kosher restaurants in the world, is offering a Pesach package with a nearby hotel Cassa Hotel and Residences.

                                                                                                                                  Talk about a chow destination holiday.

                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: AdinaA
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                                                                                                                                    IRASWIFE Apr 28, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                    Let's hear some more reviews of Passover 2011 hotel programs. Elliotu gave the Jewish Heritage Center program in Lancaster, Pennsylvania a very good review, and everyone knows that Greenwald Caterers has top notch standards in Kashrus. How was the Gateways program at the Stamford Hilton in Connecticut? What about the Passover programs in Florida? It's never too early to start thinking about next year Passover 2012.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: IRASWIFE
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                                                                                                                                      MAHOSCH Apr 28, 2011 08:58 PM

                                                                                                                                      We just came back from the Gaylord Palms in Orlando. The hotel is great although too big to run a small pesach program. The staff is as friendky and accomodating as any of the best hotels in the world. The program is Gemstar Tours which used to be Palace Tours. Palace has had some good years and one or too not soo good(hence i assume the name change). The food was for the most part very good. The breakfasts were pretty standard and covered all the basics, eggs, cereal,2 tyoes lox, cc, and some salads and a hot buffet with scrambked eggs,mini quiches,pancakes hash browns etc. Not over the top but more than enough. The lunches were also good but mostly redundant on the cold items with a hot buffet also with ff,fish,and potato and a pasta dish. the dinners they put their money into with the main course with steak,duck, prime rib, and two tyoes of veal. the issue was a few minor things,they didnt always have a appetizer, you had the premium main choice and chicken and a kids option and deserrt was pretty shwach, a few pieces of cake served family style. For the most part what the chef cooked was quite good tasting. interesting enough the first days it sometimes felt like they would run out of food but by shabbos and the last days they couldnt stop throwing the food at you.I think they had a behind the scenes problem gauging how much food to put out when and at what time. They also had a bbq each afternoon with hamburgers/hotdogs and chicken cutlets. Not fancy or over done but a nice touch. The tea rood was pretty basic untill shabbos when they started running out of items. again either mismanagement or maybe on purpose as some items later started appearing in smaller quantities for the second days. by the last day they were pretty much wiped clean.Also the yom tov kiddushim were pitiful. Even at this price level the type of kiddush was pitiful. Overall even though Lenny had some prev issues other years he did a pretty good job and gave you what you expected for the price and everyone was basically satisfied. he picked a pretty good caterer to avoid the issues he previously may have had.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: MAHOSCH
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                                                                                                                                        pesachmaven Apr 29, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                                        I was also at the Gaylord Palms over YT and for what he was asking I agree that overall the food program was very good. Since this was their first time at the hotel they were probably a little off on their management and portioniong but what they served was usually very good. I waiters told us the kitchen setup was a 10min walk to the dining room but suprisingly all the food came out hot. The issue was the wait for condiments or items they didnt bring up from the kitchen to the dining room in advance. Also for some reason they didnt set place setting every meal at the table,just dinners. So you had to get forks/knives with your dish from the buffet and soda although plenty was on the buffet so u had to shlep glasses,ice and soda back to the table. i wonder if that was a waiter issue or the caterer instructed them to do that. On the upside we did have 2500 cheerleaders invade the hotel from Thur to Sunday chol hamoed. imagine that scene.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: IRASWIFE
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                                                                                                                                        gailr Apr 29, 2011 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                                        We just got back from KMR in Palm Springs California. It was the best all around program I have ever been to. Michael Shick did an unbelievable job with all the meals especially the kiddashim. You would never believe it was Pesach with hot dog buns, crackers pizza and imitation white bread. Every meal had an abundant of choices of dishes. There was even freshly squeezed health drinks at breakfast. There was a large "KMR grocery" open that supplied all you need for trips. The hotel grounds are gorgeous, the weather amazing, and rooms oversized. The speakers were inspiring especially Reb, Jungreis. Entertainment was top notch. They had Chazzan Helgot , Benny Friedman, Eli & Rivi Schwebel and the Eighth day along with a 50 piece orchestra. The children's enteratinment was super including the juggler. THey set up a huge game room with pool tables, ping pong tables and basketball hoops and more. Day camp was run professionally with enough counselors who were involved with the kids. The Werner brothers made the whole Yom Tov an extremely relaxing vacation. I have to mention the handmade Belgium chocolates that made me gain a couple of extra pounds. It was the first time in 20 years of going away that I didn't hear a single person complaining about something. That is not an easy accompllishment to attain when dealing with a large crowd of us for a whole yom tov. Sign me up for next year!

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                                                                                                                                          magsm Apr 30, 2011 09:34 PM

                                                                                                                                          for 9,000 a room I'm not surprised they gave you handmade Belgian chocolates. after all how could you have Pesach without handmade Belgium chocolates. Anyway, I heard people had problems with the day camp and babysitting.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: magsm
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                                                                                                                                            MartyB May 1, 2011 05:46 AM

                                                                                                                                            I personally would prefer machine made ones unless I get some guarantee that they are wearing gloves in the manufacturing process :)

                                                                                                                                            $9,000 a room. Not too bad, can I fit my family of 8 in one of their rooms?

                                                                                                                                        2. re: IRASWIFE
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                                                                                                                                          rmvaron Jan 9, 2012 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                                          For Passover 2011, we attended the Elite Dimensions Passover Tour in Orlando, FL. This was our first time attending a Passover program. My mother passed away a few months before Passover. Frankly, we were physically and emotionally exhausted and, as far as the holiday was concerned, our hearts simply weren't in it. The idea of all the Pesach cleaning and cooking was simply overwhelming, so we opted to just lock the door and go on a program. Our ideal Passover program would have been 8+ days at a beachfront hotel in Maui, Hawaii, with a full complement kosher for Passover meals. Unfortunately, such a program does not currently exist (if anyone starts such a program, sign me up!). We just wanted to sit in the sunshine, swim in the pool, read our books, and relax. And then for mealtimes, we wanted a plentiful supply of kosher for Passover food that we didn't have to prepare and serve. I know that doesn't sound very spiritual, but that is exactly where our heads were at the time. We keep kosher, we're committed Jews, we wanted two Seders, and my husband wanted to attend Shabbat and holiday services, but we're also modern (and Sephardic). Mixed swimming isn't an issue for us and we also don't have a problem with hanging out in the pool on Shabbat or Chagim. We realize that not everybody holds that way and we didn't want to cause a scene, but this is who we are and, when we are dropping a major chunk of cash, we don't want to feel guilty and we don't want people judging us for our choices. We were looking for a program where we could be ourselves and "do our own thing" and we raised these concerns with the Elite Dimensions staff before we signed up. We were assured that the program could accommodate our needs and we were pleased to find that this was indeed true. The program drew an interesting mix of people, some were obviously way more religious than we are, some were considerably more secular. In some families the parents and grandparents appeared to be quite religious, while the children and grandchildren were less so. In other families the parents and grandparents were quite secular, while the children and grandchildren were obviously observant. In my considered opinion, such is Jewish life in America. As far as the food was concerned. Some of the meals were to die for. Others were simply standard Passover fare. The food was plentiful and there were lots of options (including non-meat options which was important for us). By the end of the holiday, the food was kind of boring and repetitious, but isn't that always the way it gets by the end of Passover? We had some special needs and many special requests and both the Elite Dimensions staff and the kitchen staff were very accommodating. The weather was fabulous and we returned home feeling rested and relaxed, so for us, this program not only met our needs, it exceeded them!

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                                                                                                                                        ebdreyer Apr 28, 2011 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                        I just returned from the Boca Raton Resort, featuring Leisure Tine Tours,
                                                                                                                                        The food was A+++.

                                                                                                                                        There is a limited amount to do in Boca; the beach and pool is about it (no fault of leisure time, but they badly mishandle how one reserves chairs poolside; a high end resort needs to do better.)

                                                                                                                                        The level of Yiddishkeit is flexible; from black hats to conservative. No one (as far as I could tell) felt uncomfortable.

                                                                                                                                        5 stars to leisure time tours. expensive, but worth it.

                                                                                                                                        23 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: ebdreyer
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                                                                                                                                          kosherfan Apr 28, 2011 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                          Stayed with Leisure Time Tours at Catskill NY hotels in past (at least 5) Pesachs and found they were very UN-helpful with anything after they had the money. They did their best to be unavailable at the hotels when needed, and said they would get back to us and never did. This was a routine they had with many of our friends as well, the reason they lost a tremendous amount of bookings in the Northeast and had to merge a few locations in recent years due to low bookings. We know many people including ourselves who will never trust them again.
                                                                                                                                          Anyway, we stayed with Gateways in Stamford CT this years for the first time and had a great time. They took care of everything as The Hilton was lacking in many "Hilton" things which were expected. The problem with the lectures was that there were too many great ones scheduled at the same time by expert lecturers. We finally had to split up and then discuss what we learned at each other's lectures !! A problem was with the food, Michael Shick, which had a great reputation but went down to average halfway through Pesach. The head chef, however, continued to come out into the dining room during every meal looking for compliments which were less and less as the week went on. In spite of the caterer, we might rebook next year.

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                                                                                                                                            Elliotu May 1, 2011 07:28 PM

                                                                                                                                            Organizations like Gateways and the Jewish Heritage Center have other agendas and that is why they don't skimp. Their purpose is kiruv and fundraising and they don't want to burn bridges even if it means making less money.

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                                                                                                                                              MartyB May 2, 2011 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                                              I don't find Gateways programs to be cheap. I should qualify that by saying that the Gateways programs for the "less frum" are very reasonable, the "Introductory retreats" and "stage two" retreats. However the ones geared for the frum, Pesachm Shavoth, Succos, Selichus etc where there is no agenda, those are their money makers and are always sold out and are no great bargains. The problem that I see as of late are that they are concentrating more and more on the "money making" retreats and the other retreats are far and few between. I guess I can't blame them.

                                                                                                                                              Years ago kiruv was a bigger issue, this day and age things have changed. Just look at the yeshivos of today they are much less tolerant and are not accepting of children who need to be brought closer to the fold.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: MartyB
                                                                                                                                                berel May 2, 2011 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                I'd love to go to the Shavous Gateways retreat, but at $680 pp it's going to cost close to $1500 (with tips and taxes) for the Mrs and me. My wife would rather stay home then go to one of the cheaper retreats where the speakers are not nearly as good.

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                                                                                                                                                  Elliotu May 2, 2011 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                  680 is pricey

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                    berel May 2, 2011 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                    well it is 3 nights @ the Stamford Hilton (5 stars IMHO) and they give a "gateway's breakfast Friday morning. Plus they don't skimp on the food and their lecturers are all 4 star lecturers . But you're definitely paying a bit extra to help them fund-raise.

                                                                                                                                                    They should just break it down and offer charitable contribution receipts for the difference in price

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                                                                                                                                                    MartyB May 2, 2011 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                    For me that would be 4 people so I assume we are talking about $3,000 for the 4 of us or $1,000 per night. I can buy (not to mention make) a heck of a lot of cheese blintzes for $3,000. As to food shavous night. Here in the 5 towns one can eat quite well by doing a few shul hopping between some of the majors like Beth Shalom and YILC not to mention Chabad of the 5 towns huge shavous kiddush (all variants of blintzes, cheese cakes, baked ziti, lasagna, salads, ice cream - free) I can understand the counting of the omer, just do a little subtraction to get to how many days to the next eating orgy.

                                                                                                                                                    Cheese blintzes and cheese cakes - my favorite foods!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MartyB
                                                                                                                                                      berel May 2, 2011 08:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I can stay home and learn in Yeshiva all night, but for my wife the Gateway lectures inspire her for the whole year. So if it were just about the food I'd stay home too.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: berel
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                                                                                                                                                        MartyB May 2, 2011 09:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                        I hear you. My daughter has been going to the Gateways programs for a while and enjoys them (on my dime of course). Fortunately as time goes on one can get more and more educational content online, both religious and secular. My wife spends quite some time daily on the computer listening to shiurim online. I have downloaded many college lectures from iTunesU. Obviously one cannot listen to them on shabbos and yom tovim but it does lessen the need to spend lots of money and stuff oneself just to get to hear a good lecture.

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                                                                                                                                                          pesachmaven May 2, 2011 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Im with you Marty. Pesach is hard with all the koshering and special foods etc. Shavout is no diff than a 2 day shabbat. Used to be you could get away with 100-150 pp pr night, now its double and triple. not worth it for my dollar. i could get all shiurim I need in KGH.

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                                                                                                                                                            MartyB May 2, 2011 05:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                            What is happening is that an addiction is being fostered whereby there is now a class of people who are so conditioned to go away for two+ days yom tovim that the thought of preparing food for such a "long" stretch of time is overwhelming. What I personally would like to see being offered is that your local shul offer catered meals for yom tov (all except breakfasts). You can then avoid the cooking, help support your shul, be with friends, listen to a good shir and “save some (a lot) of money”. If you need the 24/hr tea room, go to the bakery, buy lots of cakes and keep it in your kitchen with a shabbos urn.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MartyB
                                                                                                                                                              berel May 2, 2011 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                              most of the people I met at the Shavous retreats I've been to did not go away for Pesach. My wife and I prepared a lot of meals over Pesach for a lot of company. It's nice to get away to a hotel for a break..

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: berel
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                                                                                                                                                                MartyB May 2, 2011 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I would love a less food intensive program stretching from Tues before yom tov till the following Sunday. What a natural this year.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MartyB
                                                                                                                                                                  berel May 3, 2011 06:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  try the Jewish Hertiage Shavous retreat (Rabbis Portnoy and Turk) I don't think it goes thru Shabbos/Sunday but it's definetly less food intense and cheaper than Gateways.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: berel
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                                                                                                                                                                    MartyB May 3, 2011 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Just got an email from Gateways about their shavous program. Followed the link and then searched their web site. No mention whatsoever as to the price for the program. Not a good sign.

                                                                                                                                                                    I just emailed them requesting the link and will see what they say. I can't believe that they are running out of disk space on their web server.

                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.gatewaysonline.com/shavuos...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MartyB
                                                                                                                                                                      berel May 3, 2011 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      $680 per person not including tips & taxes

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: berel
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                                                                                                                                                                        Elliotu May 3, 2011 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I feel like singing Tevye's song from Fiddler on the Roof, "If I were a rich man."

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                          berel May 4, 2011 02:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I have plenty of practice from singing about Pesach hotel prices

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                                                                                                                                                                          MartyB May 4, 2011 05:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          So a minimum of $3,750 for a family of 5. That translates to quite a bit of blintzes and cheesecakes - yum :)

                                                                                                                                                                          This is good to keep in one's mind. This way when I go to the takeout I can be more generous as to what I buy by simply saying "Look how much I am saving by not going away!".

                                                                                                                                                                          As an aside, if you want heavenly cheesecake for a song, Costco has huge ones for less than $20.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MartyB
                                                                                                                                                                            berel May 4, 2011 06:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            The JHC program is about half that price. If we go we'll probably go there

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                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                              MartyB May 4, 2011 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Their Pesach program looked quite nice. I see that they had Rabbi Wallerstein who my daughter really likes and shleps into Brooklyn to listen to him speak. I will let her know. Do you have a link to their shavous program?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MartyB
                                                                                                                                                                                berel May 4, 2011 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                they sent me an email stating it would be at the Long Islan Hyatt and that the brochure would be out by the end of the week

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: MartyB
                                                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                                                              MartyB May 4, 2011 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              They just got back to me so the revised total for 5 would be $4,112.50 or over 200 Costco 5lb cheesecakes:)

                                                                                                                                                                              By the way, just how much is Costco's cheesecake price these days?

                                                                                                                                                                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                              Good morning,

                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you for showing interest in our upcoming Shavuos retreat. This will take place at the Stamford Plaza hotel in Stamford, CT from Tuesday June 7th – Friday June 10th.

                                                                                                                                                                              Pricing starts at $680 per person based on double occupancy. Service and gratuities is an additional 21%. So the total for a couple is $1645.

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                                                                                                                                                Elliotu Nov 3, 2011 09:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                Anyone hear of any new Pesach programs for 2012? Which ones will still be around this year?

                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                  berel Nov 4, 2011 04:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                  there should be a Halacha forbidding asking about Pesach programs before Chanukah ;-)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: berel
                                                                                                                                                    v
                                                                                                                                                    vallevin Nov 4, 2011 05:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I agree with Berel. But will add my 2 cents:

                                                                                                                                                    The best way to find out about Pesach programs is to read the Jewish press and look for advertisements there.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: vallevin
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                                                                                                                                                      Elliotu Nov 20, 2011 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                      But the JP will not give you the inside scoopl

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                        v
                                                                                                                                                        vallevin Nov 21, 2011 05:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Elliotu....you are the one who asked: Has anyone heard of new programs, and which ones will still be around.

                                                                                                                                                        I'll do my broken record shtick and say, that is information is most easily and reliably found in the Jewish Press, starting in about 3 months before Pesach

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: vallevin
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                                                                                                                                                          momrn Nov 21, 2011 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Matza Fun Tours at Ocean Place Resort will be around this year. The food and kitchen was even better last year than the previous year. Chef Marty was back last year and will back this year. Mauzone did an excellent job keeping the kitchen running smoothly. The food came out of the kitchen quicker than the previous year. This was even the case when they had rib steaks on the second night on Yom Tov and needed to wait until the first day of Yom Tov was over to start cooking.Mauzone will be back this year as well ,as evidenced by their web site. They will have a second scholar in residence this year,Mendy Ganchrow . His bio on the web site sounds interesting. Check it out.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: reny80
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                                                                                                                                                            Elliotu Nov 26, 2011 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Every hotel is different depending upon the crowd they are attracting . One way of determining it in advance is to find out if they serve gebrochts or not. If its not, in all likelihood all other aspects of the convention will also cater to a frumer element.

                                                                                                                                                            What you can do is call the promoters of a specific Passover program and lay your question on the line

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                                    benrez Jan 31, 2012 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                    There is a new program in Long Beach, CA - on board the stationary Queen Mary.
                                                                                                                                                    Not sure where their information is, but here's their ad from last year:
                                                                                                                                                    http://www.adsla.us/ViewAd.aspx?Ad=457

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                                                                                                                                                    Elliotu Jan 30, 2012 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Does anyone have any info on the Pocono Manor Passover program? Was anyone there last year?

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                      tamarw Jan 30, 2012 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Looks like they do a tour in different places every year: http://www.pesachtime.com/Photos_Vide...

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                                                                                                                                                        Elliotu Jan 31, 2012 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Last Pesach (2011) we went to Lancaster with the Jewish Heritage Center and were very happy. Our only complaint was that the hotel is very large and some of the members of my family have difficulty walking. If they give us a room close bye, we will probably go back again this year .

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                                                                                                                                                      MartyB Jan 31, 2012 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Anyone have any experience with a program called "Pesach for Less"? They are located in Somerset NJ so it is not such a schlep from NYC and is priced at ~2,900 for a couple - price includes tax.

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                                                                                                                                                        pesachmaven Jan 31, 2012 08:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                        To put it simply peach for less is really less. You get what you pay for. Nice hotel
                                                                                                                                                        Good food(remember) lake house/pinevuew
                                                                                                                                                        Real basic no frills. Super heimish(re black hat) frum.
                                                                                                                                                        Lastly the hosts are lacking in customer service niceties.

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                                                                                                                                                          MartyB Jan 31, 2012 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Ah the memories!

                                                                                                                                                          My family went to the Lake House for many years when my kids were young. They had a ball. Young kids don't (or should I say didn't) need much. They had a large lobby and the kids had a blast running around and playing with the other kids. I remember after shabbos/yom tov lunch the family would go for a walk down the road to the lake (it was the Lake House after all) and enjoyed the little waterfall. Chol hamoed typically meant going to the Apollo mall or Middletown with the family. Most of the crowd came back year after year so it was great to see the same "pesach friends".

                                                                                                                                                          Good food, good friends, good price, it was a shame when it closed! Sigh!

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                                                                                                                                                        pesachmaven Jan 31, 2012 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Anyone know If pesach with the chevra is opening this year
                                                                                                                                                        Hsvent seen a single add yet,

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                                                                                                                                                          SPARKYSMOM Jan 31, 2012 10:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                          We sell food and just got a call from the "CHEVRA" last week that they will be opening though they didnt tell us yet where. Btw- has anyone gone with Majestic Retreats last year. We went there several years ago when the hotel was a Sheraton and were not impressed with the hotel or the program. It seems Westin has taken over the hotel and renovated and majestic is claiming it is a NEW hotel. Be that what it may that doesnt guarentee a good program.Any comments?

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                                                                                                                                                          Elliotu Feb 1, 2012 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Has anyone gone to Kutchers hotel for Passover? What was it like?

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                                                                                                                                                            morris Feb 2, 2012 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Yes... The hotel is moldy, mildewy, smelly, damp, dirty and in disrepair. Some areas of the hotel were stifling hot and others were freezing cold. All meals are ordered from a menu and served by a waiter - even breakfast. There were many food choices at meals, but few were tasty or healthy. Many dishes were returned after a couple bites. Most meat dishes were not edible. Tea room is open a couple hours in the afternoon and then again late at night. At other times of the day, you can't even get a drink. Hotel rooms are large and spacious.

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                                                                                                                                                              Elliotu Feb 2, 2012 07:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Is it uncomfortable or do you think there is actually a health hazard? I have not been to this hotel in many years and looked it up on Tripadvisor. There were some people who gave it excellent ratings and others who rated it worse than you did. Right now my family is looking for a place in driving distance to go for Pessach and anything is on the table as a possibility but mould would trigger my allergies. Thanks for the heads up.

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                                                                                                                                                                morris Feb 2, 2012 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I had an air purifier running 24 hours a day in my guest room. It helped. And I had to trash the filter when I got home. But my allergies weren't triggered.

                                                                                                                                                                Wondering how they were affected by the hurricane.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Elliotu Feb 2, 2012 03:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I think that Tripadvisor is probably the best place to see if the structure of a hotel is sound or not but Chowhound is the place to get a sense of the total picture of the program which includes the food.

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                                                                                                                                                                    guest123 Feb 2, 2012 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    anyone know about the program at the DORAL RESORT in MIAMI,
                                                                                                                                                                    BTW, for those interested the Chevrah is not opening this year

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                                                                                                                                                                      pesachmaven Feb 2, 2012 07:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Doral is run by Eden tours out of Miami. My buddy works for them. Top notch program,food all around. The program is very frum,Black hat,yeshivish.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Elliotu Feb 2, 2012 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        We attended an Eden tours Passover program several years ago. It was in Georgia. Not only was the food excellent but the program was superb. The rabbinic lecturerers were A+ and the owner of Eden, Dr. Goldwasser, is himself an excellent speaker on psychological issues and Torah. My critique of the program was that he was so busy running the entire program that he only had time to give one lecture and I felt he was possibly the best speaker and the others were very seasoned public lecturers.

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                                                                                                                                                                        pesachmaven Feb 2, 2012 07:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Anyone out there have any recent feedback on Worldwide pesach in the Loews Lake Hederson. hotel looks fabulous but dont see anything about the food /progrma here.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Elliotu Feb 2, 2012 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          We went to Worldwide Kosher Tours program two years in a row. Both were in different parts of California. This was roughly five years ago. We had a very good time. We found the food to be excellent and plentiful and the hotel and program was also excellent. We stopped going there because members of my family could not deal with the time change from New York to the West Coast. For a New Yorker, the Seder would in essence be starting at midnight, NY time.

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                                                                                                                                                              wantstoknow6 Feb 2, 2012 08:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Has anybody heard of the Five Star Program in the Bahamas at Sheraton Nassau Beach? Is this new? Does anyone have any experience with them?

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                                                                                                                                                                MAHOSCH Feb 2, 2012 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Five Star was at the Gran Melia Puerto Rico last year. I havent seen any feedback but i heard they ran a nice program last year. not sure why they switched places this year. I cant remember who Five star is but I think theve been around a few years and last year the guys from paradise joined with them and took over running the program.

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                                                                                                                                                                  SPMom Feb 4, 2012 11:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Does anyone have any info on the Hochdorf at the Hudson Valley (formerly Granit) Passover program? Was anyone there in previous years? How was their food?

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                                                                                                                                                                    Elliotu Feb 5, 2012 05:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I've had many friends who have gone to HOchdorf at the Hudson Valleyand they return every year. They do an excellent job

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                                                                                                                                                                      MAHOSCH Feb 5, 2012 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      yes they have been around almost a million years and always do a great job. still filling up and doing it right.

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                                                                                                                                                                        SPMom Feb 5, 2012 09:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, you made up my mind.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Moach018 Feb 6, 2012 05:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I've gone there for years. While it may not be a spectacular program it is solid in all areas and very consistent. You may not be blown away, but you won't be unhappy either. One of few, if any, programs to provide waiter service for all meals which is a big plus for someone like me who doesn't like having to wait on a line to get my food. The food is good if not great, consistent and plentiful.

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                                                                                                                                                                      esther55 Feb 19, 2012 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      We also are thinking of Five Star in bahamas.
                                                                                                                                                                      would like to know if modern orthdox or frum crowd
                                                                                                                                                                      and I can't get info on the caterer.
                                                                                                                                                                      In the pastt we attended Leisure time in Boca.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. The Chowhound Team Feb 5, 2012 08:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Folks, just a reminder that we're a food oriented board. We'd ask that reviews and questions focus on the deliciousness of the food on offer in these programs. Other attractions, swimming arrangements, hotel quality, etc, are all off-topic here. It's fine if they get a short mention in a post that's otherwise focused on the quality of the food, but they shouldn't be the main point of your post.

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                                                                                                                                                                        rmvaron Feb 8, 2012 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Has anyone out there ever attended Pesach in Hawaii program? I would love a review of the food and the experience in general

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                                                                                                                                                                          Elliotu Feb 8, 2012 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I havn't seen it advertised anywhere. Where would one find out about it?

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                                                                                                                                                                            rmvaron Feb 8, 2012 06:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            On a whim, I typed Pesach in Hawaii into Google and I found the following link -- http://pesachinhawaii.com/ ... So now I'm trying to find out if anyone out there has ever been on this program.

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                                                                                                                                                                              EllieS Feb 12, 2012 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              From looking at the website, this is being run out of the Ala Moana Hotel where Chabad of Oahu has their shul and dayschool. So, I am assuming it is the chabad running the program. I have never been there for pesach, but going during the year the food was good, reasonably priced for being kosher in Hawaii and plentiful. Also, if you stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village it is an amazing hotel located right on Waikiki beach.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Elliotu Feb 6, 2012 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Has anyone heard or attended any of the Tampa, Florida programs? There is one at the Mainsail hotel and there is one run by Greenwald caterers which is in the outskirts of Tampa.

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                                                                                                                                                                          travelingjew Feb 6, 2012 05:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Both of them are very frum programs, there was another one at the Hyatt Tampa bay run by Gemstar tours for the more modern crowd but they canceled it last Friday.

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                                                                                                                                                                            pesachmaven Feb 6, 2012 06:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            You sure about the gemstar program, we were hoping to go there .
                                                                                                                                                                            Whered you hear that info?

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                                                                                                                                                                              travelingjew Feb 6, 2012 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              a freind tolled me, their website is down and they are not advertising anymore.

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                                                                                                                                                                          a727 Feb 6, 2012 08:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Review of majestic retreats, please.

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                                                                                                                                                                            wantstoknow6 Feb 6, 2012 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Friends went with Majestic to the Westin in Fort Lauderdale last year and said it was very good...majestic owners are very nice, spoke at length with them on the phone today and better priced than other programs. Last year they had problems with beach chairs but ordered more, beach is right across from hotel, crowd is mixed and food was good.

                                                                                                                                                                            Anybody hear of "Pesach at the Cove" in Riviera Maya near Cancun?

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                                                                                                                                                                              melikecookies Feb 12, 2012 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Great program! Went there last year and had a blast. Can't go back this Passover due to work on chol hamoed:)
                                                                                                                                                                              We loved the food, camp and hotel was really nice. Best is the beach - much quieter and pretty than miami beach. I came back looking like burnt toast :) Ask for table along wall because they put buffets in middle of ballroom. No complaints really...been going away for years. hope to go back to Majestic next year...

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                                                                                                                                                                              IRASWIFE Feb 7, 2012 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              OK, it's now less than two months to Pesach 2012. Let's hear from the commenters. Which of last year's programs were terrible, and why? Which of last year's programs were great, and why? Which ones do you recommend for this year? Which ones are definitely, "Stay away"? Give us your brutally honest reviews, folks...before we plunk down a couple of grand. Thank you very much, everyone.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Elliotu Feb 7, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                We went to the Jewish Heritage program in Lancaster, PA last year. It was catered by Greenwald Caterers and they did a magnificent job. We have gone away for Pesach almost every year for the past ten years and foodwise, it was the best. The food was plentiful, delicioius and very good.. The hotel is large, very large and spread out. If you have a problem walking, this could b a problem. The shiurim were good to excellent. The scenery in back of the hotel was beautiful will farms and cottages. It is also in the AMish area which adds its own touch. We will most likely go back this year if we can get a closer room to the dining room

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                                                                                                                                                                                  SPMom Feb 8, 2012 12:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  We have gone away for Pesach for over 15 years and needless to say have seen a variety of programs. The best, least expensive and most memorable one was at the Lake House. But alas it is long gone. We have thereafter been to Florida at the Sans Souci which is also no longer. We then lost our money for a prepaid Pesach stay at the Tamarack Hotel (which closed down 1 day before Pesach). We then went away with Mehl Caterers (excellent food and program) at the Tamiment in Pa. - We have not heard anything further of him. We then went for a few years to Schick & Katz at the Double Tree in New Jersey. His program is a bit expensive but food was delicious and entertainment quite interesting (especially the Doctor's Panel). We then went with the Kreisels to Hauppage Long Island. They were only one year in business. We then went for a number of years to the Friar Tuck with Pruzansky Caterer (decent food). The Friar Tuck is no longer. The Pruzanskys are now with Meisner Caterers in New Jersey. We then tried the Jewish Heritage program at Honor's Haven (former Fallsview). They had fantastic Food (catered by Greenwald Caterers & interesting lectures. They had approx. 4-500 guests and we had a marvelous time. The following year we went with them (JH) to Lancaster, PA. They had over 1200 guests and the food was ok but not as good as the year before (even though Greenwald catered). We are a bit older (60/70s) and it was not easy getting around. All in all it is a good program. The tea room/tent is fantastic. Rooms are spacious and clean. Price is reasonable. If you do not mind travelling 3 - 4 hours its well worth trying it. David Kay of JH is wonderful to deal with.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Last year we went to Pesach for Less and as someone else reported "you get what you pay for". This program (the most reasonable one around) is run by the Tennenbaum family who try very hard to accommodate their guests. The food was basic (by Locker Caterers). The hotel was clean/newly renovated. We never tried the more expensive programs, i.e. Gateway, Ocean Place Resort, etc.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    MartyB Feb 9, 2012 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I too went for years to the Lake House - and loved it. My last hotel was the Tamarack Hotel where I too lost my money. Amazing that I was able to make pesach in one day!! Good thing my cleaning woman was available on erev pesach while I ran to the takeouts, got lots of plastic plates and silverware. It helped living in the 5 towns with all those shopping choices.

                                                                                                                                                                                    After that numbing Tamarack experience I made pesach at home. This time I give myself more than one day to make pesach :)

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                                                                                                                                                                                    pesachmaven Feb 12, 2012 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    anyone have any information on the passover in the lifestyle holiday vacation resort in DR which has a new OK kosher kitchen. website looks great,resort looks great just waiting for info and pricing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Elliotu Feb 15, 2012 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Does anyone have any feedback on the Passover program in Tampa, Florida at the mainsail hotel?

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                                                                                                                                                                                        wantstoknow6 Feb 23, 2012 01:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Just received a coupon from "Jewpon" for 30 percent off Pesach hotel in Mexico...called "Pesach Luxury in Mexico" at a Hotel Called Grand Bay on Isla Navidad...it occurs to me that maybe 30 percent off is due to the fact that people don't sign up because it is Mexico and considered dangerous? Anyone have information on their program?

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                                                                                                                                                                                          The Chowhound Team Feb 24, 2012 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Just a friendly reminder, Folks. Please keep the focus on the food.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            benrez Feb 25, 2012 08:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I"ll keep it to food: Kosher on Location catered by son's brit milah, and it was entirely Kosher for Pesach - absolutely delicious, didn't even use gebrochs. They're doing Pesach in Long Beach CA and I"m sure it will be delicious. Great balance of great food without being a pig out. http://www.kosheronlocation.com/Passover.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    eric123 Mar 24, 2012 09:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Does anyone know anything about Ocean Edge Passover program in New England? I am not sure but I think it may be their first time so does anyone know anything about this operator. Also, if you know of any other New England programs, I would love to hear. We don't have too much time left to book, so any info would be helpful. Style would be more Modern Orthodox. Balck hat style programs are not for us. thanks

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Elliotu Mar 24, 2012 11:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know of the specific program but they are advertising Greenwald caterers and if this is their caterer you cannot go wrong

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: eric123
                                                                                                                                                                                        bagelman01 Mar 25, 2012 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree that Greenwald does a very good job with Pesach food.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Now a word of warning about the location. I own a home on Cape Cod. Early April is NOT a great time for Cape Cod outdoor activities. The weather is cool to cold. You still get winter rates atr hotels. More than 50% of the attractions on Cape Cod are SHUT DOWN until the season starts in Late May. Your kids will be bored,as will you if you are looking for off site attractions/diversions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Elliotu Mar 25, 2012 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          This is a cause for concern. Whenever you are planning a vacation in the North East in the early Spring, especially New England, you cannot count on warm weather or for their to be resort attractions that are open. Ifone is e planning to go that hotel in Cape Cod for Pesach I would recommend that you call the hotel and speak to the conceriege and find find out what is going on in that area at that time period. He or she can also fill you in on the weather in early April. Find out if there are enough indoor activities planned by the program coordinator so that if it rains, you will have something else to do

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                                                                                                                                                                                            karenqrz Mar 25, 2012 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I vacationed at Ocean Edge several summers ago. The hotel is very nice, though the weather in JULY was only in the high 60's. The add for the Ocean Edge for Passover shows two people bicycling on the beach - it will be too cold to do this in early April. We went for many years to the Catskills and Poconos for Passover - the weather varied from bad to worse. So we started going to Florida, until that became too expensive to justify. Now we are home!

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                                                                                                                                                                                              eric123 Mar 25, 2012 04:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks everyone for the fast responses. I was shuffling between Ocean Edge, Ocean Place in NJ, and Stamford, CT. Because we also have a young baby, putting him on the plane even for 3 hours to Florida would be a nightmare, so I opted for driving distance, and those were the 3 I came up with that were more Modern Orthodox (which suits us best). If the weather in NY continues the way it has been, I should probably just go Ocean Place, NJ. Its right on the beach, and the reviews here have been great!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Elliotu Mar 25, 2012 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                If the you have a young child, check out the program run by the Jewish Heritage center in Lancaster. We went there last year.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  eric123 Mar 27, 2012 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  elliotu - is it more modern orthodox or more black hat. we are more modern orthodox.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    momrn Mar 27, 2012 05:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ocean Place is modern orthodox.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Elliotu Mar 27, 2012 05:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eric, We went there last year. The people running it are definitely "black hat." This is good because you are assured of having hand shmurah matzah and no problems with kashruth. The crowd was mixed. There were modern orthodox people as well as people who were from more right wing elements. We sat with a haredi family from Israel and had a wonderful Pesach. A big plus is that they are one of the least expensive programs and the food service was A+++. Not only was it gourmet but the wine was exceptional and as I said, they served hand Shmurah all Pesach and you know what that costs these days!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just heard from them yesterday that they are filled but are trying to get another block of rooms from the hotel.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        eric123 Mar 27, 2012 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        appreciate the fast response. thanks

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Elliotu Mar 27, 2012 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Eric, feel free to contact me direclty if you have further questions about the Lancaster program. My e-mail address is: Elliotu@aol.com.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            momrn Mar 27, 2012 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ocean Place has been advertising for Chol Hamoed and the last days. They also had hand shmurah a whole yom tov last year. The crowd is a mixed, albeit , largely modern orthodox crowd. There are definitely some ,not many,wearing hats on yom tov. It is a great ,friendly, crowd.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          wallstbnkr Mar 27, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyone know anything about the Clarion Hotel program near AC?

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks.....

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                                                                                                                                                                                            pesachhotel Apr 9, 2012 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            How is Ocean place 2012 so far? Is there any teen activities? Hows the food?

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                                                                                                                                                                                              kosherfoodie1226 Apr 15, 2012 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Just got home from Ocean Place. We had a great time. The food was great. We had sweetbreads and tongue for kiddush many of the days,as well as a delicious meat kugel.There was a top level red meat at practically every meat meal,which was every Yom Tov meal.We had veal,lamb, rib steak , prime rib. We had chinese night on one night of chol hamoed with beef and veal ribs. There was plently of meat on them. They also did fake Lo Mein and spring rolls. My son looks forward to this every year. They did a Western night,replete with souvenir cowboy hats and bandannas. The soups were out of this world,really interetesting-butternut squash,mushroom,egg drop, sancocho with meat in it.They had hot food at the tea room every night. They had a very good teen program. There was a free bus to Great Adventure on the first day of Chol Hamoed. There were trips to Jenkisons Arcade and Monmouth Mall. There was a 24 seater game mobile on the last day of Chol Hamoed. There was billiards shooting and ping pong tournaments every day. My son had a great time. He met a a wonderful chevra. There was great matza pizza ,panninis and a pasta bar for lunch. The only problem was that he had to wait on a long line for them. Once he got them ,they were very good. He enjoyed them.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: wallstbnkr
                                                                                                                                                                                              w
                                                                                                                                                                                              wallstbnkr Apr 15, 2012 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Horrible, Horrible, Horrible. Nothing as advertised. No kiddushim, tea room had only tea and coffee mostly, except for some left over cold cuts. Mostly chicken dishes. Absolutely no activities. Had to pay for a bottle of wine. Tracci really cheaped out here. Hotel was also pretty disgusting. Hopefully they won't have this program again!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: wallstbnkr
                                                                                                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                                                                                                Elliotu Apr 15, 2012 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Wallstbnkr, what program is this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                  w
                                                                                                                                                                                                  wallstbnkr Apr 16, 2012 01:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Clarion

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. e
                                                                                                                                                                                              Elliotu Apr 15, 2012 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Now that Passover 2012 is history, we owe the community to comment on our experieces . Where have you gone in 2012 and what were experiences with the food and other things and would you return to the same hotel next year? Remember if you had a great experience let the world know. If you had a very bad experience and others did as well, in the name of "preventing a blind person from falling over a stumbling block, let us all know while the details are fresh in your mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Elliot

                                                                                                                                                                                              22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                                                                                                naviw Apr 15, 2012 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Agree completely with Kosherfoodie, the food at Ocean Place was exceptional this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                                                                                  daniklein780 Apr 16, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is exactly what YTK is trying to resolve ... and is asking that anyone who attended a Pesach Hotel/Program should fill out this 3 minute survey: http://j.mp/Passover-Program-Reviews

                                                                                                                                                                                                  They'll be publishing the results & reviews to showcase the best and worst of the Passover Programs from 2012.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: daniklein780
                                                                                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                                                                                    MartyB Apr 19, 2012 05:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would love to see the following study

                                                                                                                                                                                                    (1) Name of program
                                                                                                                                                                                                    (2) Cost pp
                                                                                                                                                                                                    (3) Weight gained
                                                                                                                                                                                                    (4) Will go back again (Y,N)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This will speak volumes by analyzing the various correlations, if one exists.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    As an example is there a correlation between weight gained and rate of return, weight gained and cost of program, average weight gained per program, return rate vs program cost, return rate and program etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MartyB
                                                                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                                                                      a727 Apr 19, 2012 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here's the thing - nine years ago we went to the Eden Roc - the food was wonderful as was the programming - I gained no weight since whatever I tasted was delicious, I didn't need to take the next bite or try the next item because I was satisfied with my first choice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Another year we went to a program (NOT this year) where the food was not good and the programming horrible. I gained weight since - a. I kept trying stuff hoping something would be delicious and b. I ate out of boredom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: a727
                                                                                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                                                                                        MartyB Apr 19, 2012 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting, I once visited my brother-in-law at a Gateways pesach program. They had a room with nothing but choclates and it was being hit very hard so I imagined that with 24 hour tea rooms and many meals and kidushim per day I would assume weight gain is a given. I see what goes on in my shul when there is a kiddush. People eat like there is no tomorrow so if one extrapolates this pattern for 8 days - gevald! I gained weight this pesach without any chocolates, pizzas, cakes (save one brownie and one pudding pie) I would have exploded if I had omlet stations, tea rooms, chocolates, BBQs, kidushim etc. However it is true that I did not have a golf course to go to burn off all those calories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        One year I went to the Sheraton in Jerusalem for pesach. Things are different in Israel. No 24 hour tea rooms, you want food, you pay for it save the Israeli breakfasts - but oh, those breakfasts!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Last year I went to Kutchers for a 6 day 5 night stay for shavous. Good thing they had a Walmart nearby in Monticello for me to buy a new (larger) pants - no kidding!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                    p
                                                                                                                                                                                                    pesachmaven Apr 16, 2012 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just got back from WorldWide Kosher Tours at The Westin Lake Las Vegas(formerly Loews). All i can say is wow. As opposed to previous years reviews here this year this program was great. The food was overall very good to excellent, the selection of items on the buffet was very varied each day and good. This is not a high price program(comparitively) but she served some very nice mains and buffet offerings that you may not expect at her price level. They really did a excellent job and the cooks for the Westin made it all taste really good. The programming was excellent, the crowd was mixed with all types and the hotel is beautiful. The tea room was large and spacious and had a nice assortment of chocalates,nuts,candy,chips,soda,water etc (not over the top or high end but more than enough) and it lasted thru the last days(no running short ). In fact the buffets pretty much never ran dry till the end of the meal. A really nice touch was the standard Thur Eve chometz barbque and she even did a chometz bagel breakfast friday am. Lastly on Sunday(when most programs just leave you whats left) they had bagels and were preparing fresh eggs and full dairy buffet. Thats probably the first time ive seen that in a lot of peasch going years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pesachmaven
                                                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                                                      SPARKYSMOM Apr 16, 2012 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      glad to hear you enjoyed. i was there this year and last and i agree wholeheartedly that they took the food up a notch from previous years. We don't have to convince others about the beauty and serenity of the location we can keep it our own great secret[let everyone else run to the expensive programs and enjoy themselves}.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                                                                      a727 Apr 16, 2012 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      We were with Majestic Retreats at the Fort Lauderdale Westin Beach Resort and Spa thru Tuesday night, of chol hamoed. This program costs half of the fancier ones and I believe you get good value. The food was tasty but not fancy - breakfast and lunch (dairy) buffets were varied and plentiful - Dinners were fine, but with the exception of the first seder meal, not special. Kiddushim were basic - fish, sweets, tuna and egg salad -, but plentiful and fresh. Tea room was was nice - food was fresh - but when there was a special item - like chocolate dipped strawberries - they weren't refilled. Crowd was low key and mostly "mizrachi." hashkafah. I don't know if I would go back - it was: "nice" and a good value but again, still thousands and not amazing - Also, there was a daily afternoon barbeque and barbeque two of the chol hamoed evenings we were there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: a727
                                                                                                                                                                                                        tamarw Apr 16, 2012 09:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My parents were there this year too with my sister and brother-in-law. My mom said that the program this year was much much better than last year. She's trying to convince me to go there. If I'd go, I guess it's not for the food but for that beautiful beach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tamarw
                                                                                                                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                                                                                                          a727 Apr 16, 2012 09:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          the beach was wonderful - very accessible and they had water, fruit and chips down there - no problem getting a chair (free) and umbrella was included - that made chol hamoed for us - we didn't have small children with us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: a727
                                                                                                                                                                                                            tamarw Apr 17, 2012 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That'd make the difference for me. Thanks for the info. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: tamarw
                                                                                                                                                                                                            a
                                                                                                                                                                                                            a727 Apr 27, 2012 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            see my latest post - not sure you want to go there

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tamarw
                                                                                                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Elliotu Dec 31, 2012 10:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              One of the considstent problems we have found with Pesach programs is that many of the programs lack consistency. Some years they are excellent and other years they bomb out.. I have experienced this with one program and heard about this from ohers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                            e
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Elliotu Apr 22, 2012 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lets hear from people who went to Kutchers, the Jewish Heritage Center program in Lancaster and some of the California programs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                                              SPMom Apr 22, 2012 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              We went this pesach to the former Granit (now Hudson Valley Resort & Spa) which was run by the Hochdorf family for the 37th year. The food was plentyful (duck, tongue, ribsteaks, primeribs, etc.) and we had many choices with each meal from very heimisch i.e. homemade borscht, schaf, etc. to International foods, i.e. Chinese, French & Italian. Deserts were delicious. We especially enjoyed the sable & pickled lox at every breakfast. Every meal was a sitdown affair -- no running to the buffet tables and having the kids/adults' hands touch the food. There was no buffet other than the richly laden tearoom tables which had everything from delicious cakes, pastries regular & sugarfree, chocolates, brazil/pistachio/walnuts, candy gefillte fish, whole baked salmon, eggsalad, tunasalad, fruit & vegetable platters, eggplant salad, humus, various dips cold drinks, coffee & tea - too much to mention all. My 96 year old mother-in-law said this was the best time she ever had (as the lobby there is large and allows for schmuzzing & meeting people). The guests (800 - 900) were a nice mix from very modern to blackhatters and were very friendly. On Shabbos & Yom Tov there were many minyanim and there was a kiddush (with cholent/fish/fruits/cakes/latkes/salads/wine & liqueur tasting) after every davening. The children seemed to have had a good time. The adult programs were more geared to the younger crowd. But there was something to do for everyone -- from scrabble tournaments/bingo to lectures. Some guest were there with their entire family - 3 generations. Many come back year after year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SPMom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Elliotu Apr 22, 2012 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                What is the distance from the bedrooms to the dining area and schul? We went to the Heritage Center/Sabra Tours program in Lancaster and the distance was huge and for people with handicaps or arthritis, it was a problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SPMom Apr 23, 2012 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Partly the reason we chose Hudson Valley was the convenience of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1) Distance from Monsey to Kershonken - 73 miles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2) Short distance from rooms (especially the tower with elevators) to dining room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  abt. 75 feet. The rooms for handicapped guests are even closer but they have to be reserved early as they get very quickly sold out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3)The schul is on the same/main floor as the dining room --very close and there are no stairs to climb.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 years ago we were with the JHC in Lancaster and one of the problems was the distance/stairs between the various events (especially for my 90+ year old mother-in-law who needs a walker to get around). The other problem was buffet breakfasts & lunch. Also the Shabbos elevator was an issue meaning it was only operated if someone walked downstairs and told the front desk that it was not running. To get to a shiur we had to climb a very steep/long staircase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SPMom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Elliotu Apr 25, 2012 09:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am very surprised at the leadership of the Jewish heritage Center with regard to the Shabbos Elevator situation. They had a sign on the elevators that a gentile would be operating it all day and stopping at both floors. I did not see any gentiles and if a person was physcially handicapped they were forced to ask a gentile on Shabbos and Yom Tov to press the buttons in the elevator for him or her or try to crawl up a long flight of stairs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Another problem wtih found with this program was that there was no access to tea or juice late at night and if someone needed a drink late at night in order to take medications or for whatever, they were out of luck. Other than that the food was good and the program was excellent. The surrounding area is gorgeous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jackness Apr 27, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      @elliotu- just curious, did you try asking the leadership what the reason for this was? in my experience with them (and i have been with them for many years) they are very well run, and i am SURE they had a reason for this "mistake"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jackness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Elliotu Apr 27, 2012 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Both I and a lot of people asked them what went wrong with the food service.. This is the second time we went with the Jewish Heritage Center for Passover in Lancaster. We even recommended others who came this year and they were upset with me for recommending it .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Apparentlyi they hired Greenwald Catererers to prepare and deliver the food and hired a separate company to provide the waiters and dish out the food etc. These were people brough in from Queens. They had never experienced a Passover program and arrived shortly before Yom Yov. There was supposed to some overall manager who was supposed to train the help but this person supposedly never materialized. It was also a much larger group of people than in the past. - 1100 people. We learned after a few days of struggling that if needed something like wine or juice or whatever, we would have to track down the owner of the company that ran the serving staff and he would personally honor the request. toward the end of Yom Tov the staff became far more attentive and we did not have run to the head of the company anytime we needed something. Would we come back to them for Pesach? I don't know. We asked for a closer room and it was not honored and the distance from the far rooms to the dining room or schul room is long, long walk. With elderly people in my family who have difficulty walking this became a hardship. We could not fully take advantage of the program because of distance issues. Having had 1100 people, if my family does not come, it won't make a dent in their finances and they are an honorable charity that does good work for the community. If the nine of us don't go back, we would probably just send the Jewish Heritage group a donation anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: SPMom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MichelleInSanDiego Mar 10, 2013 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i just phoned and Mrs H told me they are booked for sedarim and the rest of the holiday for 2013, but will be in touch about 2014.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MichelleInSanDiego
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kosherfoodie1226 Mar 10, 2013 01:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I saw an ad in the Jewish Press this week for Ocean Place. if you are looking, they may still have a little room if they are still running ads.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              wallstbnkr Mar 10, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Anyone know about the program at Days Inn Miami Beach? They're advertising 1750 pp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: wallstbnkr
                                                                                                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                kosherfoodie1226 Mar 10, 2013 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I dont' know about the program,per se, but I ate at the restaurant on Shabbos of yeshiva week and was very unimpressed. The buffet was small, uninteresting and cold. Despite my having told that there would be chopped liver and potato kugel, not only was there none, but the way in which I overheard one manager say to another staff member after I asked for potato kugel "some people are never satisfied" was galling. They brought chulent around to us an hour into the meal; it was raw and inedible. The only good thing about the meal was sliced meat and veal. Other than that, the best part of the meal was dessert. I would spend more and go elsewhere where more food was served and served with a smile. I would be very cautious of going there for Pesach , where you can't supplement what they give you easily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Elliotu Feb 11, 2014 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Any suggestions about 2014 passover programs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MartyB Feb 11, 2014 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pesach for Less sounds promising. $3,200 for a couple including tax sounds hard to beat. Got good reviews too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.pesachforless.com/2014/about.html

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.imamother.com/forum/viewto...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Elliotu Mar 1, 2014 10:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyone have any experience with the Passover program at the Hudson Valley Resort hotel?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    SPMom Mar 2, 2014 08:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Moach018 Apr 28, 2009 07:07 AM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been to the Granit for Pesach for a number of years and would generally agree with sanekosher's review. While the program is not spectacular, it is reliable, consistent and well run. You may not be blown away, there is little risk of the disasters described here in reviews of other programs. The Hochdorf's and their staff are ever present and will do what they can to accommodate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The day camp is first class. The same head counselors for over 10 years. The crowd is a nice mix - mostly MO, with a black hat representation. They have both separate and mixed swimming hours. All meals are full waiter service, so no buffet lines to contend with. The core of the wait staff is stable from year to year and they are experienced in dealing with a pesach crowds and the sedarim. I would agree that the food is plentiful and good - not spectacular. There are few activities in the area, but there was hardly a minute on either Yom Tov or Chol Hamoed where there wasn't something going on. This is a Catskill hotel and the rooms reflect that. The hotel was renovated a number of years back, but you won't confuse it for a Hilton. The good news is, aside from sleeping, you should not need to spend much time in your room. The lobby is lovely and huge with a lot of seating. We always enjoy ourselves at the Granit and this year was no different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SPMom Mar 2, 2014 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SPMom Apr 22, 2012 07:07 PM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We went this pesach to the former Granit (now Hudson Valley Resort & Spa) which was run by the Hochdorf family for the 37th year. The food was plentyful (duck, tongue, ribsteaks, primeribs, etc.) and we had many choices with each meal from very heimisch i.e. homemade borscht, schaf, etc. to International foods, i.e. Chinese, French & Italian. Deserts were delicious. We especially enjoyed the sable & pickled lox at every breakfast. Every meal was a sitdown affair -- no running to the buffet tables and having the kids/adults' hands touch the food. There was no buffet other than the richly laden tearoom tables which had everything from delicious cakes, pastries regular & sugarfree, chocolates, brazil/pistachio/walnuts, candy gefillte fish, whole baked salmon, eggsalad, tunasalad, fruit & vegetable platters, eggplant salad, humus, various dips cold drinks, coffee & tea - too much to mention all. My 96 year old mother-in-law said this was the best time she ever had (as the lobby there is large and allows for schmuzzing & meeting people). The guests (800 - 900) were a nice mix from very modern to blackhatters and were very friendly. On Shabbos & Yom Tov there were many minyanim and there was a kiddush (with cholent/fish/fruits/cakes/latkes/salads/wine & liqueur tasting) after every davening. The children seemed to have had a good time. The adult programs were more geared to the younger crowd. But there was something to do for everyone -- from scrabble tournaments/bingo to lectures. Some guest were there with their entire family - 3 generations. Many come back year after year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RECOMMEND0LINK FLAG REPLY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Elliotu Apr 22, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What is the distance from the bedrooms to the dining area and schul? We went to the Heritage Center/Sabra Tours program in Lancaster and the distance was huge and for people with handicaps or arthritis, it was a problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RE: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      S SPMom Apr 23, 2012 06:34 PM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Partly the reason we chose Hudson Valley was the convenience of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1) Distance from Monsey to Kershonken - 73 miles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2) Short distance from rooms (especially the tower with elevators) to dining room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      abt. 75 feet. The rooms for handicapped guests are even closer but they have to be reserved early as they get very quickly sold out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3)The schul is on the same/main floor as the dining room --very close and there are no stairs to climb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pesachmaven Mar 3, 2014 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyone know anything about a fairly new program in San Diego called happy Holidays.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am also interested in in getting feedback about resort classics in Valencia ca.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pesachmaven
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        superdanni Mar 4, 2014 08:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My family and I went to the this program in 2012 and have not returned, and we would not recommend it (based on our experience that year, perhaps it has improved since though)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Elliotu Mar 4, 2014 08:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyone have any feedback on the Hudson Valley Resort hotel passover program? What is there to do at the hotel in April?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Moach018 Mar 4, 2014 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My comments from 2009 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2746...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          are still valid. Solid program with good and plentiful food and activities going on all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To your specific question - I assume you mean on Chol HaMoed - they have a number of outdoor activities: basketball, golf, mini golf, tennis, and baseball (baseball field is down the road). They also have paintball off-site and hiking and kayaking in nearby Minnewaska State Park led by local guides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For the kids they bring in a small petting zoo and have hay rides as well as a variety of "bounce house" type attractions. Some years there is also roller skating. There is a very organized day camp as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Indoors there are a variety of daytime activities including lectures, shiurim, Israeli dance, zumba, swimming, fitness center/spa, movies, bingo etc. The typical daily schedule run three sheets of legal sized paper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chicago maven Mar 4, 2014 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Has anyone gone to any of the KMR Passover programs over the last few years and is anyone planning on going again this year?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wallstbnkr Mar 10, 2014 05:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We've given up... all the programs have gone up tremendounsly! Even the lower end programs are asking a minimum of $20k for a family of 6 and that's after a lot of bargaining... One hotel we went to in MB last year, absolutely no frills was $3400 last year and this year they want $4700 for 2... I guess they're getting people because they're not being very flexible even at this late date....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: wallstbnkr
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Elliotu Mar 10, 2014 05:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Try the program in Lancaster, PA at the Host Farm Resort. They tended to be the least expensive game in town, although they are more expensive than they were last year. It is an OK program and the food is great. The area around is beautiful. If they are filled, you can stay in a hotel next door and walk over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: wallstbnkr
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                pesachmaven Mar 10, 2014 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fact is in tri state metro area there are not too many modern places left and those that are get a decent dollar. its the more yeshivish ones that are plenty and will deal better. I know you can still get the Raleigh for a reasonable price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pesachmaven
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Elliotu Mar 10, 2014 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, Flakey Jake is running the Raleigh program and they are adveritising it for 1500 dollars a person or near that rate. the Hudson Valley is not off the wall

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Elliotu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    SPMom Mar 10, 2014 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How much is the Hudson Valley - approx,?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SPMom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Elliotu Mar 10, 2014 10:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You have to call them directly. The Hochdorff family runs it. Different rooms have different prices. We might go there this year. Its possible.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Moach018 Mar 10, 2014 10:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The rate sheet is also available on their website passovergranit.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Elliotu Apr 8, 2014 05:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hudson Valley price is not bad.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MartyB Mar 12, 2014 07:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pesach for less, $3,200 per couple including tax (normally a 25% addon).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.pesachforless.com/2014/about.html
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.imamother.com/forum/viewto...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Elliotu Mar 12, 2014 08:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Has anyone been to their programs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MartyB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bagelman01 Mar 12, 2014 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Marty....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That first link to their own website, says the special price you post was only good until Feb 25.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So, if anyone is interested, be prepared to negotiate.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wallstbnkr Mar 10, 2014 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lancaster..Too Frum

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pesachmaven Mar 10, 2014 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not sure where your shopping but if you don't mind going out town CA, Fl etc you can get 2 rooms in a bunch of places for around 12k. im looking at these places myself.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kosherfoodie1226 Mar 10, 2014 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ocean Place is very middle of road, everyone from modern to women that cover their hair . My husband has always said that he has never seen more than a minyan of men in shul wearing hats. The most important thing is that everyone is friendly and down to earth. The food is great.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            queenscook Mar 10, 2014 02:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are many "modern" women that cover their hair.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              kosherfoodie1226 Mar 10, 2014 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sorry, didn't mean to offend to you , just trying to say that they get a wide spectrum of people, this is why I hate labels to begin with. Please forgive me.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                queenscook Mar 10, 2014 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No problem . . . just trying to break a stereotype.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Elliotu Apr 8, 2014 05:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They are very frum. The rabbis running it are black hatters . The food is good and the surrounding area is beautiful

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MartyB Apr 9, 2014 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, black hatter rabbis are I guess better than ones running around with streimels. As long as the food is good.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Elliotu Apr 9, 2014 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                they run a good program and the food is great

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            lutherjensen Mar 10, 2014 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I highly reccomend Pesach in the Northeast...they have great food and my family went to thier program in 2 years ago....anything....

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              wallstbnkr Apr 8, 2014 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This one looks pretty pricey, but does look like they give you your money's worth. any comments from anyone who was on this program? crowd? food? speakers? venue? Thanks...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Elliotu Apr 8, 2014 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Can you repeat exactly which hotel?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wallstbnkr Apr 8, 2014 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's the Ocean Edge Program in cape Cod

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Elliotu Apr 8, 2014 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Got it. We are leaning toward Hudson Valley. Hope it is good.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tcohen Apr 3, 2014 01:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2014, Pearl's Pessach Program - Grand Island NY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We've had Pessach with the Pearls in Grand Island, NY twice before and going again this year and can ‎only recommend it to anyone who's looking for a pleasant place to spend Pessach. Delicious food ‎served esthetically in huge quantities and great quality. Lovely entertainment, lots of activities for ‎kids and adults. The hotel may not be 5 stars but everything else is. We've been to different Pessach ‎programs in the US and Canada, and this is one of the best if not the best. And FYI, We're not related ‎to either the Pearls or Nesher cateres; merely satisfied customers. ‎
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              T. Cohen and family

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wallstbnkr Apr 8, 2014 04:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                looks pretty frum, nothing wrong with that if that's your thing...

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