Dec 19-26, 2010 Couples Swept Away. WOW sums it all up! We booked CSA this year as we had stayed at CN December 2009, wanting to see the differences between the 2 stellar resorts! CSA did not disappoint us whatsoever.
We arrived Sunday afternoon around 4ish via a non-eventful bus ride. 2 bus trips now, and we have never had a driver that is chatty. It is just drive and get us there, although we did a quick stop for one of the passengers and a bathroom break.
We were checked into our booked Garden Veranda Suite. I did notice they had put us in the older section, although we had booked this past January when there were the 2 types of Garden Rooms. We had paid the extra back then for the ďVeranda SuiteĒ, I mentioned this and we were quickly switched to the new side which we had paid for. This was a great start, so accommodating Couples is! We ended up in Bldng 8, 3rd floor, 3303. Awesome, we even had an ocean view from our room. The room was everything we could hope for. I did find the bed a little hard, but my wife thought it was fine. Not enough for me to be stiff or not able to sleep. As for room noise it was not an issue for us. During the day we could notice some noise but at night once asleep nothing would wake us until it was time to get up. IF you are a real light sleeper I could see it being an issue but for most people I believe the road noise is a non-issue. We requested my Ting, Rum and some juices and it was stocked then daily! Ahh to have it so good at home!
We did find CSA a little big for us size wise the first few days, which had us thinking that CN might be more our style. But once we walked it in the daylight on our first full day, Monday, the size wasnít such an issue.
Every morning my wife would go across the street to the gym. Made us feel like kids again with the crosswalk guards, lol. The Sports complex is amazing! Massive selection of equipment in the gym, which my wife found to be top notch! She never found the lack of AC an issue minus one day that the fans were not on. As that was a concern of herís but it was quickly a non-issue! The pools we never used, but they were very clean looking. I used the hot tub here one day, it was very nice. Tennis Courts, 10 of them! And busy at all times. The juice bar here was awesome for getting your healthy drinks. Red Bull and Ting was my choice though while I found myself waiting on the healthy one us that did work out! There is a big screen here with ESPN usually on that I found myself watching during my wifeís workout. Or I could play pool also.
We also used the spa one day for a Couples Massage. Very professional! All I can say here is, book one! Even myself who doesnít have a massage too often, and can find my shoulders full of knots, was very happy and not sore after! Just totally relaxed!
Patios, their breakfast lived up to all the rave reviews. The banana stuffed french toast or classic French Toast was great. We also ate here a couple nights and found it amazing. We ate here on the night of the Couples Repeaters dinner and found the Surf and Turf amazing. We also met some really nice couples at our table that night. Everyone at our table had been to CSA before and came back due to falling in love with CSA before. We were the only CSA rookies, and still were settling in to CSA.
Palms, the buffet breakfast was great! We never had a disappointing meal here. Only regret was that I didnít have the made to order waffles till our last day! We had dinner here only one time and again all good.
Lemongrass, we reserved for one night. Although we screwed up on the days, showed up a whole day early, not realizing it was for the next day. When we did get there, the food was amazing. Hunter took care of us here. She was awesome! There was a mix up at one point in the night as our food was a little late in getting to us. Hunter apologized for this, and all I said was she had to get the next round of drinks. A few minutes later, Hunter brought us some complimentary drinks, we all had a good chuckle about this.
Feathers, we hit on Christmas Eve. It was the most formal of the dinners, but one we were glad that we didnít skip! As we had thought we might not want to sit thru the courses, etc. Word of advice, DO It! It was probably the best meal, minus the repeaters dinner. I wasnít sure on having the veal or the tenderloin, so they brought me both! Amazing food and service!
The Beach Grill in front of Patios, was a usual destination for lunch. Just so easy and so tasty there. We would also get snacks there for our late night snack and take it back to our room. The service here again, top notch!
Christmas Eve, Couples puts on this huge Christmas Event! You walk in on red carpet to a massive Christmas tree, carollers, Martini Bars, Desert Bars, and just the perfect atmosphere! It really made our Christmas! Couples staff were continuously walking around handing out food or Champagne, or refilling your drink. Somehow Couples grabbed that Christmas spirit and had it all right there. It really brought a warm feeling over you, priceless and touching! For a couple of Canadians that were missing the Christmas snow and family atmosphere that we are used to, Couples brought it all to us that night! We never imagined we would miss the cold snowy Canadian Xmas but we had been till that night, weird I know! Well Done Couples!
Christmas Day, Santa showed up on a Dune Buggy! There was a huge crowd to see Santa show up, and it was quite fun to see! My wife managed to get a present even from the jolly old elf, Coffee! Santa does know her well!
The Beach at CSA is awesome, as is the water! We never had a problem getting a chair even later in the morning. Most days it was quite warm, but we did have one day that was fairly windy. Other then that the weather and beach time was great! The beach vendors were never a problem. Acknowledge them and show them respect back. If you said no, they will carry on up the beach. We had no incidents with any beach vendor. We did walk every day up and down the beach, most times way past Margaritaville. It was usually around Alfreds/Grand Pineapple Resort that we turned around at. We did buy some bracelets etc. I would also get a Red Stripe usually at Sunbeach/For Real Bar. $2 US. I did go to buy one at the Boat Bar one day but they wanted over $3 so I waited for my usual bar.
We did the transfer on Wednesday to CN. When we arrived, we felt like we had never left there. Knew exactly where everything was. Took up residence on the beach where we did previously last year. While there, we felt again like we were home. Ate at the snack bar on the beach, again amazing. We found the beach vendor from last year that we missed when we had decided on buying from him. We wanted head bandanas with brims. This time, we didnít procrastinate and purchased them. Great for on the beach, keeping the head cool and easier to read too! If you get the chance to visit CN on a Couples exchange, we do recommend it!
When our time at CSA was up, we had decided to try Tim Air on the way back to the Airport. This was awesome. We showed up and within 10 minutes we were in the air on the way to MBJ. The view is awesome! I recommend doing this at least once, and if you can afford it, more often! We decided doing it on the way back is best.
When we booked CSA and even the first few days there, we were comparing the 2 resorts, CN. And to begin with we were totally for CN. But as the week went on, we got over the size of CSA and became to enjoy CSA more and more. Do we think one is better then the other, no. But both bring so many good things to the table. Food choices/Restaurants we have to give the edge to CSA. Rooms are a draw, for the Garden variety style anyways. If you were looking beachfront rooms, CSA would come out ahead. CN is more compact which is nicer. Pool is CN. But, once we found our ďareaĒ at CSA, we were in heaven. For us, we are going back to CSA next year, but a week before Christmas next time. And then after that I can see us going to CN again. Maybe flip flop every year. Or better yet, do 10 days, 5 at each! Anyways, CSA gets a 5 out of 5 for us!
Thanks Couples Swept Away!
Great review! Good to heaer that Couples captured the Christmas holiday so well. We have 54 days until CSA, but who's counting! We went to CN in Feb. 2010 and are trying CSA Feb. 2011 so I was really interested in hearing about your trip now that you've been to both resorts. The layout of CSA seems to be much more spread out than CN but after eating/drinking all week, I think we'll be glad for a little more exercise. LOL Like you, once we seem to find our "spot" on the beach, I'm sure we'll be just as comfortable and it will like "home". Thanks again.
It was nice to meet you two at the CN exchange! Glad you turned us on to the do-rags with the brim -- our little grandson looks great in his!
Fabulous review. Thanks for taking the time to post it. Wish we would have experienced Christmas Eve and Day there -- we left C Eve -- and got stuck in Atlanta overnight. Would have much rather have been "stuck" at CSA! Maybe we'll see you the week before Christmas next year. Have a great 2011!
Lisa and Randy
Great review. I thought the rooms at CSA had airconditioning. Is that not the case?
Also, was the "drinks on the house" simply a pun or are drinks in the restaurants not included like they are in the rest of the resort? Sorry if that's a silly question. We are planning our first visit to Couples.
Lisa, was also great to meet you guys, and introduce you to the do-rags! Shauna still wears her around the house a bit, but come summer it will be in full force!
Sucks that you got stuck in Atlanta,, next year flights will be better, and for sure 2011!
Tannins, AC is in the rooms, not in the Workout Gym. But they have fans that keep you cooled off.
Drinks on the house was a pun! A joke with our waitress, Hunter! You will have a blast there, relax and enjoyourself you lucky dog! It's all irie!
tannins...if you read it again the ac they refer to is in the fitness area, this is not air conditioned. The rooms have air conditioning except the atrium rooms, you will find this info in the room descriptions on the CSA page. The fitness center is open air with ceiling fans.
And yes, the reference to drinks "on the house" was a pun, CSA is all-inclusive. Truly all the food and drinks are free once you are on the grounds.