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Apr 18, 2007 12:33 PM

Passover experience

With Passover behind us I think some feedback is in order. This being "ChowHound" what I am looking for if as follows.

(1) Name of Hotel (duh)
(2) Satisfaction of food on a 0-5 scale. (Looking for rating of quality/taste NOT quantity)
(3) Approx p/p price excluding airfare. (Hey, if I am looking for a car in the 25-30k price range, you can talk to me until you are blue in the face about the virtues of Bently, Royce, Ferrari etc - get my drift)

This way I can use as a guide when (and if) I choose to go away with family for passover next year.

Again, this being ChowHound, please leave out any comments not food related.

I will begin. I stayed at home but my mother went to ->

(1) Hotel - Capitol Hotel (NJ)
(2) Food - "3" (Average)
(3) Cost - $1,000 p/p (She and my aunt, her sister shared room)

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  1. I think this post might prove helpful but, as you said, "this being Chowhound" I would love if people would elaborate about the food they ate, if they are up for sharing more than a rating point. I really like details about what people eat and not just a general impression, so please share. Also, please don't post if you are in any way (self, friend, relative, neighbor's cousin's dentist's son-in-law) related to the program you describe. Let's only hear from REAL customers.

    I'd answer about a program I've attended but it was a long time ago and is no longer in business.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Clarissa

      Of course! Elaborate about the food experience! This is ChowHound! I just stated the minimum requirements to begin a meaningfull search. Responses should be kept to the food experience, not to ex. 24/7 food availability. I am looking for best food for the money, not a place to "fress" morning to night

      1. re: MartyB

        Well, Club Kosher Cancun was a big disaster. The owner called about 2 weeks before it was going to start to say that there was a problem with the hotel when the mashgiah visited, and that they had to cancel. It seemed like a lie. No offer to compensate for plane tickets that can't be fully refunded. Never using them again.

        1. re: jlq3d3

          For many years my family went to a hotel called The Lakehouse. Simple place but kids loved it, lots of repeat customers so passover at the Lakehuse was like a home away from home. This goes back a while so the $500 p/p is dated. Then they closed. The next year we booked by a place called the Tamarack Lodge, $750 p/p. We got a call the night before passover that they will not open!! Lost almost all my money (wanted cash up front - moral - pay ONLY with charge card!). Had to make pesach in less than a day! Haven't gone to a hotel since.

          I now find passover a big pain and am entertaining the thought to go to a hotel again, hence this post.

          Last year I paid for my married daughter and her husband and child, (they live in Israel while my son-in-law completes schooling) to ->
          (1) Hotel - Kings (Jerusalem)
          (2) Food - 3 (OK)
          (3) $550 p/p (Half board i.e. breakfast & dinner)

    2. We stayed at the Boca Raton Resort. First time away from home.
      The food was from good to excellent. No restrictions mon wine and spirits and a wide selection. Service was impecable.
      Unfortunately it is pricey, but they make you feel like you are paying top dollar.
      It is organized by Leisure Time Tours and the Catering is Prestige from New York.
      Meat dinners with excellent choices of beef; most lunches were dairy so was breakfast.
      They have so many choices for the buffet style breakfast and lunch, that after a while some items repeat, but that is probably expected when they offer a large numbre of choices every day.
      The Tea Room at night had excellent desserts

      2 Replies
      1. re: mrotmd

        Please define "pricey." I went to the International World Plaza in Orlando. I thought the food was good to excellent. Mickey Montal was the caterer. I also thought the place was a bargain at $2000 or so per person.

        Re the club cancun cancellation--that is terrible! But it explains the ad in the Jewish Press by another organization saying "your program cancelled--come here instead!"

        1. re: mrotmd

          boca raton hotel also happens to be beautiful

        2. We spent our seventh year at The Arizona Biltmore run by VIP Passover, catering by Stuart Danziger of Chicago. Just when we thougth it couldn't get any better, they completely outdid themselves this year. In addition to the daily fresh fish spa table, high quality dinners, 6 kinds of lox at breakfast, and an outrageous tea room, there was a "quinoa" sushi bar in the tea room all the time, a grill of hot dogs and hamburgers outside all of the time during the day except on Shabbos with Potato buns, and a new "tuna melt" station at lunch. Another very nice feature is they posted the wine list on the web before Pesach and you could pre-order your selections for the sedarim (all inclusive) so it was organized.

          This is a gebrokts program catering to a modern orthodox crowd.

          The program is pricey, as the hotel is five-star and truly spectacular, but is well worth it. In an upgraded room with a patio and pool view, it is $3,899 pp (double occupancy) plus 25% for tips and taxes. I think the upgrade is about $500 pp.. There were 1,100 people with 300 on the waitlist.

          3 Replies
          1. I agree with you about the rooms. They are getting somewhat tired. I don't know if any $ will be pumped in as I believe a private equity group (Morgan Stanley rings a bell) bought the property. Nonetheless, the spectacular setting and the genuine warmth of the people seems to make up for it.

            The spa and facilities are amazing. My husband and I comment how we lose weight over Pesach because of all of the light and healthy choices available, the time we have to work out and go for long walks given we are on vacation, and the discipline of staying out of the tea room.

            1. re: Clarissa

              You're on! I'll leave my husband and kids at home too. It will be a girl's Yom Tov.

              Actually, our oldest son was unable to join us- he is a Freshman at Brown and the timing was very difficult this year. They had a Pesach meal plan (Lunch and dinner), and even a lunch on Erev Pesach plus a choice of five different Sedarim and takeout available if you wanted to make your own seder.

              Perhaps I will ask him to post a thread on the quality of the chow at Brown Hillel.

            2. re: sherry f

              Sounds spectacular! I guess its time for me to buy lottery tickets :) With my family of 6 comes out to close to $30k. Better to buy a car instead. I may go to Israel next year. Priced it this year at $8k for 4 airline tickets and 3 rooms in Jerusalem for the six of us for half board (breakfast & dinner).

              But if money is no object your program sounds spectacular! 24/6 of hot dogs and burgers, can't you hear those arteries just harden!

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