Back On Memory Lane – Smoke & Dine Hyatt Regency Mainz

7 Sep


nfc capIt’s been a few years since the last Smoke & Dine event at the Hyatt Regency in Mainz.

Almost exactly 5 and a half years to be precise and the last guest speaker we had was my doctor whom I had invited to talk about cigar smoking and health.

The Mainz Hyatt became a non-smoking hotel according to their US rules, and the tri-monthly events were discontinued.

We posed in the hotel lobby for a last picture and became history – after ten years of those interesting gatherings that we started in 1998.


So it was with some interest that we learned about a planned re-launch of these cigar events at the Hyatt, kick-started by our friend Tom Paris and some of us decided to give it a try for old times sake. Call it walking on nostalgic avenue …

The format seems not to have changed much – just has become pricier.

It’s 55 € now just for the dinner, no beverages or cigars included, whereas it was the same amount including beverages and 2-3 cigars before. In the end it was 80 € for dinner & drinks plus the cost of cigars.

But time has passed, inflation rules and curiosity is strong.

Here are my/our notes on the evening :

It was just as we used to have it before they “invited us out” – a welcome drink in the courtyard ( the bar is non-smoking and we were lucky with the weather ) and formal dinner setting in the wine cellar where we suffered due to the ambient heat and the lacking ventilation. Could have been improved if they’d listened to us – but they wouldn’t open the windows or start the ventilation for fear of disturbing the guests in the bar upstairs ….

It looks as if the Hyatt would like to “seem” cigar friendly while not disturbing their clients with our smoke … we were happy the weather was Havana-like glorious so we could sit outside for the dessert and smoke our cigars open air after the heat and the stuffed air inside.

What cannot be improved is the atmosphere we used to have, the gang of friends, the easygoing pleasure among a good group and interesting invited speakers – that we didn’t have this time.

Food was good as it should be given the location.

Cigars were well supplied, starting with “the smallest hand rolled cigar” from Laura Chavin out of the DR, nice but not really a show stopper.

Much better were the boxes that Jochen Klenk of Cigardeluxe, the friendly, knowledgeable and very professional cigar supplier brought along.

A quite fresh box of Bolivar Belicosos Finos, GUT OCT 12, I smoked a stick and it was, well, fresh, of course but delicious and perfect, as the factory code indicated : GUT = Good 🙂 – and a box of equally fresh but very good RA Gigantes from ’13.

Kudos to his excellent assistant Cassandra who expertly cut, lighted and offered the cigars and took care of our smoking needs.

I finished my dinner with the yummy chocolate dessert in the courtyard while enjoying a Cohiba Gran Reserva that was divine up to the last third.

All in all – mixed emotions were had by us, the old-timers, it was good to be back, but somehow we felt that there’s no real attachment or love to be had for the 10 years of business we gave to the Hyatt.

Hard to say whether I/we’ll be back – we have enough cigar friendly venues locally that cater happily to our needs while providing an equally good food quality at lower prices to believe that we need to become “show piece” accessories to a global US hotel chain that feels it is flavour of the month to have us in for a “Cigar Night” occasionally and doesn’t really care about us as cigar smokers.

Guess you get my drift.

Andreas and I finished the evening having a few Roseschorles at Cafe Fritz in the village, shooting the crap, it just felt good to be on familiar turf ….

Besides the Hyatt event, the last month has also been a bit of memory lane.

Re-reading old and interesting books, preparing the next Cuba trip, having fun in the village, giving away my old and nicely worn airline flight kits for a cigar to a friend, I have no use for them anymore.

Just like with all the Festival del Habano coffins I collected over the years – they’re in good hands now with a friend.




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