29 August 2007

Location, location, location

As it is in marketing, houses, and businesses a location for DXing appears to be one of the most important aspects of getting contacts. From a purely DXer's point of view, whomever you communicate with needs to be somewhere that you want or need for a contest, or award.

From the Hunted aspect, that is the DXer that goes to some distant location to send his signals, the location has to be within reach, and the person or persons setting out on the trip have to make sure that everything falls into place.

JoAnne and I are finding this out daily. In our case, we chose the location prior to deciding to do DX. So, we've got a couple of good advantages. Our trip is paid for, whether we can operate our radios or not. No sponsors (if anyone wants to, certainly contact us with information!) and little else to worry about except getting there, and of course, getting weight down, building an antenna that is both transportable and will work, replacing a power supply... et cetera...

So, let me tell you a wee bit about the resort where we plan on spending our vacation.

It is a little 80-100 room hotel on the northern coast of Jamaica in Runaway Bay, St. Anne called "Club Ambience". This place is not a five star hotel, nor should anyone planning on heading there expect it to have room service or some other amenities you might find in the more expensive places.

What you WILL find for your cost is an all-inclusive price for food, drink, soda, water, room and entertainment. There is a night club, three bars, a swimming pool, and some awesome staff members at Club Ambience. The staff, without exception are helpful, great people. They have an entertainment staff as well, whose sole job it is to keep you busy and involved in things.

There are talent shows where the staff and guests get involved, doing everything from comedy to singing, to Shakespeare. There are sports, volley ball, Cricket and some staff-guest competitions (including beer chugging!) and some interesting things that I'd have never thought to do to entertain myself!

This resort is considered about a three-star place, and it has a separate house attached, with it's own pool that can be rented privately. There is outside dining at least once or twice during the week -- with lobster and other interesting meals, this of course, costs a bit more.

Your drinks, alcohol, or otherwise, are part of the cost, so tipping is appreciated by the staff but it's not "required". If you have Google Earth (download it for free) you can zoom in on the hotel yourself at 18˚ 27’ 47” N Lat. 77˚ 27’ 35” W Long. The image has changed slightly since the picture was taken. There is another walkway cover from the main bar to the eastern building (one part of the hotel).

If you look carefully at the northern most portion of the place, you will see a long walk out to the ocean, with a round building, that's a night-time bar area, and where we will be setting up our radio operations. We've already obtained some permissions to operate there, and we shouldn't have any trouble during the day.

My main reason for writing today is to tout the location. I think they are an affordable vacation, and in a good location. It's quiet, no children, adults only, not "wild" like some places we've heard about, and the staff and hotel are pretty awesome.

Here's their contact information:

P.O. Box 2Ø
Main Road
St. Ann, Runaway Bay
Jamaica W.I.
Toll free USA:
(8ØØ) 822-3274

Operated by:
Jemara Resorts Inc.

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