New Year’s Day saw the debut of all-inclusive entertainent brand Esquire Entertainment’s newest event, Bliss Beach, after being first announced to a surprised but welcome audience a few months earlier. This marked a departure from their previous Old Year’s Night parties and looked at a new way to ring in the New Year. The announcement brought a buzz as a Bliss party was nothing to be taken lightly. The brand has showcased itself to be a guaranteed good time and value for money. It was only left for patrons to decide how they were going to make that December budget work.
Even though Bliss was not directly competing with other top billed brands such as Limerz Cruise ‘First Light’ or Elevate Events ‘Suit & Tie: Winterfell’, few had the expansive budgets to choose more than two out of the three, especially coming right out of the Christmas season. Patrons were spoilt for choice at all these great events to choose from and Bliss knew it could not rest on its laurels, especially with a new type of party and a notoriously shy fickle audience who would rather wait to hear reviews of the first party to decide if they would patronize it. But with a tougher economic situation and without the support of the usual overseas contingent as is the case with Crop Over, Bliss was faced with double trouble in having a great first time event and being able to secure enough numbers to make sure that Bliss Beach would be profitable in both the short and long term.
It is a given fact that Bliss and luxury are no strangers. The highly anticipated all inclusive event is a must attend every year at Crop Over so with a bombshell announcement of a brand new Bliss installment, naturally people were curious and excited. The question was, could Esquire and Bliss, in a new partnership with Copa Cartel, deliver on their much vaunted much hyped brand outside of the Crop Over season. Would the brand live up to the high bar set by its previous parties and would this translate to a new type of party at a new venue?
And what was the result? Did Bliss Beach live up to the hype?
A resounding yes.
It cannot be overstated, Bliss retains its mantle as Barbados’ premiere all-inclusive event and Bliss Beach has cemented that fact. Bliss has proven yet again that the brand is strong, secure and sustainable. Further to that, the expansion into Bliss Beach and its resounding success showcase that the brand still has room to grow. All other all-inclusives need to take note: Bliss Beach has set the bar and it is in the stratosphere.
Bliss Beach was so successful that we will even go as far as to say it was better than Bliss Crop Over. What made it such a success? Everything was correct. Bliss set targets and hit all of them. Entry was seamless, setup was immaculate, security was on point, food court was extremely well laid out, the bars were adequately staffed and kept drinks flowing all day and into the night with no lines or backlog. One part that impressed us was that the Wine World bar had champagne flowing well into the night until nearly 10 PM. An impressive feat as champagne is not known to last long at other events.
What We Didn’t Like
This is the hardest part of this review because how do you say that there was nothing wrong with the event?
You know ya can't say these things. Next thing the phone start ringing with promoters complaining ya bigging up Bliss too much :/ But any "problems" we had with the event would really just be quibbles, slight criticisms or trivial points.
What are we gonna say? The fireworks went on too long? There wasn't a garbage can close enough to where we were? The water stations were too ample? The wind from the fan was too cold?
At the very very end of the event it appeared that all the various cooler stations around the event that contained bottles of water had finally run out of their seemingly inexhaustible supply but it was really that all the water was focused at the door to give to patrons when they were leaving. Bravo Bliss bravo.
The only real quibble we have is that the DJs each played very individual singular sets. That is not to say that they played badly, it's that it didn't feel as though one DJ would capitalize on the vibe built by the previous DJ, so when each new set started it felt like the vibe had to be reset and rebuilt. Perhaps it was the patrons who were just looking for a very chill party and would not be jumping jumping in them nice clothes. Perhaps a combination of both.
Again, these are all trivial grouses and extremely minor objections. The party really did absolutely nothing wrong. Bliss hit all the targets for what makes a good party and any event promoter or brand organizer worth their salt should pay heed, especially to the finer details of planning a party, to make sure everything goes well. It is often the little touches that really help move a party from good to great.
What We Liked
Where to begin? We liked everything. Bliss brought in the New Year in fine form. Let’s break it down:
The location: with its central location on Browne’s Beach with adequate parking nearby, Copacabana was ideal for Bliss Beach. The event had hitherto been unused for an event like this and with the new upgrades since the Virgin Holidays Departure Beach it came as an ideal location.
The setup: As we stated before, it is a fact that Bliss and luxury are no strangers so there would be no question that the venue setup would not reflect the traditional luxurious Bliss setup. Luxury is one theme that carried throughout for the entire event, from bars to food to added details. Bliss opted for a wholly uncomplicated event setup that was simple and effective. Bliss seemed to opt for a tropical, light vibe with its decorations at the door, which led down a path to a dance floor that was absolutely perfect in size for the capacity of the party. #Goldilocks - not too small, not too big, just right. The food court setup with the cabanas was a nice touch as well as the way that Bliss increased its bars by utilizing Copacabana’s own bar and food stations. The food station lineup and use of the stage all were beautifully uncomplicated and made moving around easy. Additional touches such as the large fans to beat the heat, the cooled handheld towels, the handheld fans provided as well as the snocone cart were brilliant and helped push the event up a notch. It is the attention to detail and the thought of the little things that made it such a fantastic party.
The bars: The bars were adequately stocked, properly staffed, clean and well managed. The staff were polite and friendly and always willing to serve. Bars ran well into the night right up until the end, a welcome change from most events where the end of the event means the bars have run out or are serving bare minimum. Even the champagne bar flowed all day and into the night. There was no shortage of top shelf liquor for patrons. The variety of bars dotted around the fete meant there were also no lines or backlogs.
The food: From the jump, there was no shortage of food available for the discerning palate. We liked the inclusion of vegetarian fare as well and the food was all well made. Same as with the bars, the food was served from the start of the party well down until the end of the party. One food we will highlight as the best of the evening was the chickpea empanadas with chadon beni and spicy Caribbean sweet potato cake by Yummy Mummies. Out of all the delectable food there, including some amazing sushi, this one was by far a favourite and it’s no surprise it went quickly. Yummy Mummies take a bow for this creation. But in highlighting one we don’t want to take away from the others. We loved the mac & cheese with ham or seafood and the ham cutters. Shoutouts to the gourmet corner on the stage as well.
The crowd: for this installment the crowd was the perfect size. We wish it could stay this size but we foresee the crowd growing in size, possibly even doubling for Bliss Beach 2020. The venue was perfectly suited in size the handle the demands of the crowd at all the various stations. The crowd itself also came out to have a time, to ring in their new year at a sumptuous affair with Esquire. Everyone made sure to deck off in their finest easy breezy beautiful beachwear, St. Barts chic and came out to have a good time and celebrate New Years Day in fine style.
The vibes: Bliss Beach had good vibes from the start that only increased as the party went on. By the time night fell and everyone hit the dancefloor it only went up from there. Bellies full, great tunes playing, drinks flowing, patrons were happy and excited to party the night away. It rarely felt like there was a lull in the party. Shoutout to the crew infront the stage who made sure to party as hard as possible from sun up to sun down.
- The music: DJs touched every genre of music at this party and played music that everyone loved. The music played was ideal for the whole night and kept the party lively from start to finish. Major shout outs to Salt and DJ Hutchy who were crowd favourites. We especially loved the pairing of DJ Richie R.A.S out of Jamaica and DJ Hutchy. The inclusion of DJ Richie R.A.S was also a subtle nod by Esquire to its Jamaican roots which was a nice touch. He played big tracks from Jamaica like ‘Tom Cruise’ and ‘Rock The World’ but sadly Barbadians aren’t au fait with these new dancehall tunes
as Ding Dong learnt at Tipsy we aren’t a dancing cultureso he had to settle for older tracks to get a good crowd response. Nevertheless he was a skilled DJ to keep the crowd moving and played a fantastic number of hits. We also want to give a major shoutout to DJ TG for his closing set which featured some amazing tracks including some 80s hits like ‘Break My Stride’ which he closed out the party with. A job well done by both TG and Richie R.A.S, they were both outstanding and worth every penny.
In conclusion, we really cant fault Bliss Beach on anything. As we said before they hit all the notes, got all the points and got everything right. All we can simply say is job well done. Congratulations to Esquire on starting off the New Year on the right note. We look forward to seeing the brand continue to grow and throw amazing parties and we hope that they set the bar for others to rise and match.
Basically what we thought of Bliss in a nutshell was
It was amazing and we look forward to next year’s installment.