Posted the following review on Trip Advisor this morning - it should be viewable in a few days.
We stayed in a beachfront room (6306) at Couples Negril August 20 – 27. This was our first trip to Couples Negril but with the stay we have now been to all 4 Couples resorts.
We arrived in Montego Bay and after taking the Tim Air flight we stepped into the lobby at Couples Negril at 3:30. They had a ground floor room ready for us but we requested a 3rd floor room – they agreed to change our room but a third floor room would not be ready for 45 minutes. No problem we quickly walked the property to orient ourselves and we were very lucky to run into the water sports manager who signed us up for scuba diving in the morning despite the dive shop being closed.
When we returned we were taken right up to our room which had a great view of the beach. It was nothing fancy but it was clean and comfortable. The balcony had two comfortable chairs and a small table; the room had the bed, a flat screen TV and a chair. There was plenty closet and drawer space for a week stay. The bathroom only had one sink but plenty of counter space. I am short and the sink was a little too tall for me, it was long and shallow so I never did figure out how to wash my face without flooding the bathroom. The tub/shower combo had good water pressure and hot water most days; I did think it was a little odd the window in the bathroom vented into the common breezeway so we left this closed for privacy. The minibar was empty but we filled out the request sheet and it was stocked the next day.
The food ranged from good to excellent. Breakfast was pretty much the same everyday but good: egg station, fruit, cereal, pastries, hot buffet, etc. We alternated between the beach grill (loved the jerk chicken and jerk burgers) and the lunch buffet (still craving the tempura snapper). We loved Lychee for dinner (Asian) and ate there twice. The food was fabulous although the service varied. We also ate at Otehaite twice, the food was also excellent there and the service was consistently excellent as well. We ate at Hellonica once; I thought the food was good but nothing special. The Caribbean buffet was good but I might skip it next time. The repeaters dinner at Lychee may have been our best meal with top notch service as well. The red flag service on the beach was wonderful when you were feeling lazy and occasionally they walked by with cool towels which were really nice. We loved getting the fried calamari at the beach grill in the afternoon as a late snack. There were build your own nachos and soft serve ice cream by the beach grill but we only took advantage of it once as we had really gotten hooked on the calamari.
The beach is beautiful. We had rough seas a couple of days but mostly sunshine. We had blowing driving rain our first 2 afternoons and thought that would be the pattern but they ended up being our only days of rain. There was lots of shade on the beach from trees but no beach palapas or umbrellas. This was fine for us but you did sometimes have to work to stay in the shade. We found the barking of the vendors to be annoying – although some people like them they really kind of ruined the tranquility for us – this is one of the main reasons we prefer the Ocho Rios side of the island despite Negril’s superior beaches.
We went scuba diving everyday and we loved the dive team. Shrek, Craig & Alain were so much fun even when the rough seas made it a little dicey getting in and out of the boat. We would go back just to dive with them again.
We did 2 massages with the resort credits we received as an early booking bonus. We did the first massage on the beach during the rain. I thought this would be perfect but it was too loud with carts going by and the bass turned up at the Riu next door. The massage itself was nice but hard to relax with the constant upbeat next door. The second massage we did later in the week in the tree house was much better. No music cranked up and a more secluded location made it much easier to relax and so we definitely enjoyed that massage more – these are just relaxing massages not deep massages. There was an extra $10 charge per person to have the massage on the beach or in the tree house vs. the treatment rooms. The therapists are not Couples employees and should be tipped.
We took the catamaran one afternoon. It was fun, they take you about an hour down the coast, let you swim for a half hour and then take you back. They supply beer and rum punch on the boat, unfortunately some of our fellow cruisers imbibing a little too heavily before the swimming and I was really worried a couple of them were not going to make it back. The music is cranked up and the crew works hard to keep it fun, they are not Couples employees either and should be tipped as well.
Overall we had a really great vacation and really enjoyed the resort. We still prefer the Ocho Rios side of Jamaica because of the private beaches but we will definitely add Couples Negril to our return list.
Thanks for your great review! Block 6 is our favorite...although we love first floor rooms. Is Richardo still at the dive shop? He taught me to scuba this year. Miss those other guys...they are a great team. Craig especially...he was the dive guide for my first "deep" dive. I kind of freaked out on the initial descent. I surfaced and wanted to go back to the boat. He kindly wouldn't let me. He held my hand,had me look into his eyes and got me under calmly and safely. I'll always remember that. It ended up to be an awesome dive. I bet if I got in that boat I would have stopped diving. Now I'm hooked!!
We'reheaded to CSS for our first time in March. Looking forward to meeting that dive team and getting more experience and dives in.
Great review and thanks for sharing it with us!! We have booked all 4 resorts 11/28/12 thru 12/23/12 so that we wont come home and question the other resorts and what they are like and then we will know when we go back where we want to go back to! We love the beach and I love the vendors selling their stuff so I really believe our hearts are going to be on the Negril side but we will be able to tell you that answer I'm sure 12/24/12! Thanks again for a great review!
Richard and Sugar are 2 different guys. Richard is one of the skinnier guys with braided rows and Sugar is the one that runs the intro resort course & dive. Sugar's real name is Karl.
MnK, Richard is still there. I talk to him on Facebook once in a while.
It was hard to keep up since they all have nicknames but I did not see anyone matching that description there the week we were there - maybe he was on vacation or working at another resort for the week.