April 2nd, 2013, 07:28 PM
CSA review (March 22-27) One word ... amazing!
A little about us: Me (37), has traveled to other all inclusives in Mexico and Negril, a few cruises around the caribbean and mexico, other vacations around the US and Europe. Him (45), has traveled to Mexico, Negril, and St. Lucia, other vacations around the US and Europe. This was our first trip to Couples.
We could NOT have picked a better place for our first vacation together - everything was AMAZING!
AIRPORT/LOUNGE/BUS: We landed around noon on a Friday, took no more than 20 minutes to go through immigration/customs and make it to the Couples lounge. We were travelling from Chicago, so we changed into shorts in their very clean bathrooms. We only had time to have a few drinks before we were taken to our bus. I am not much of a beer drinker, so I tried a "shandy" - half Ting, half Red Stripe. It was delicious and very refreshing! Thanks for the advice, Amy! The bus ride from the airport to the resort took about 1 hour 15 minutes.
CHECK-IN: We arrived at the resort around 2pm. We were greeted with cold towels and champagne. The entire check-in process took 10 minutes. We were escorted right to our room since it was ready.
ROOM: We had a first floor Atrium and absolutely LOVED it! What you see on the website is EXACTLY what you get. The room was always clean and very comfortable. We left the shutters open during the day, and closed them up at night when we put the AC on. One night our air conditioner wasn't working right, so we called the front desk. Within 5 minutes, people showed up at our room to fix it (which only took another 5 minutes). Mini bar was stocked each day with what we wanted (just remember to put out your order the night before). We also enjoyed ordering breakfast (our first one) and eating it on our verandah - what a great way to start the day! There were a few bugs, but NOTHING to complain about - you're in a tropical location, afterall. With the beautiful, lush surroundings, we felt like we had our own private bungalow. Noise of any kind was not an issue for us during our entire stay - we loved the sound of the tree frogs at night!
BEACH: Since we had both stayed in Negril before, we knew what to expect. This is what people come to Negril for - soft white sand, and beautiful, warm water... What else could you ask for? It is absolutely beautiful! We spent all day, every day in the same spot on the beach. It was our home away from home for those 5 days We never had a problem finding chairs, and it never felt crowded.
BEACH VENDORS/MUSICIANS/SECURITY: We never felt bothered by the vendors or musicians walking up and down the beach. A polite no thank you worked just fine. Give the musicians a dollar or two and they'll play a song for you. It was nice to hear some local, reggae music while in Jamaica! The security was wonderful. I don't know how they do it, but they know who is and is not staying at the resort. We wandered off property a few times during the day. We gave them our room number when we left the beach, and checked back in with them when we got back. No problems at all. We felt safe the entire time we were there.
FOOD: Everything we ate was delicious! We never left a crumb of food on any plate at any meal! I don't eat any seafood,
or much meat (only chicken), and was NEVER hungry. WARNING: I am going to use the word delicious a lot!
SEAGRAPES: We ate lunch here EVERY day - the food and service (Thornea & Janet especially) was outstanding. We
ordered 5 or 6 things off the menu each time. They aren't lying about those sweet potato chips and dip!
We ate tons of those every day. Other favorites: gazpacho, sweet potato soup, falafel cakes, the
daily smoothie, veggie burger, and the char grilled veggies with focaccia (sandwich) - definitely
try that one! Need I say it's delicious?
PALMS: We only ate here once - breakfast our first day. The food was good, and there was plenty to choose from.
Plus, you can't beat the bloody mary/mimosa bar!
PATOIS: We ate breakfast here the second day (and then every morning after that!). We each ordered our own
meal, plus split a third each day. Things to try: eggs over easy, the veggie omelet, smoothies, the banana
stuffed french toast, blueberry griddle cakes, and the homefries (yummy!).
We also ate dinner here every night that we didn't have reservations at the other restaurants! Every
single thing we ate was delicious! And we ate A LOT of food- appetizers, soup, salad, pizza, entree, and
one of each side (plus dessert) every night! We had some of THE BEST service here! Thanks Radane,
Cutrone, & Jovon! (I hope I got those right!) You will not be disappointed eating any meal here The
bar service was also excellent here! Our drinks were never empty!
LEMONGRASS: The food and service was great! Try the green curry chili chicken and the creme brulee! During dinner,
there was a power outage for about an hour. No worries! They had people holding flashlights in the
kitchen so they could continue cooking!
FEATHERS: Again, the food and service was excellent! The chicken dish was REALLY good (I think it was bacon and
sweet potato wrapped chicken breast). Everything else was delicious, too! Get there early and sit at the
bar - we had some of the best drinks here
DRINKS: All around, they were great! They didn't run out of alcohol, and they don't skimp on it either. If you're not sure what
to order, try anything off the menu. Some of our favorites: miami vice, pina colada, coco mania (cocnut rum) and
pineapple juice, pinapple daquiri, etc... My only complaint of the entire vacation is with the Dirty Bananas. If they
were made with real bananas, they were my absolute favorite drink! It's just not the same (not even close) with the
banana puree. Oh, ask for some rum cream, and then pour it over ice cream from the self serve machine - yummy!
(I saw that on here somewhere, and was glad I remembered to try it!)
OVERALL: From the minute we arrived, we knew we found someplace special. Everything exceeded our expectations! We fully understand why there are so many repeaters... which we hope to become someday soon We are planning on returning to CSA again next year (and hopefully many more times after that). No resort is perfect 100% of the time, but CSA is about as close as it gets. More importantly, it was the perfect place for us. Why mess with perfection?!?
April 3rd, 2013, 12:22 AM
I forgot to write about a few topics in my review above...
ACTIVITIES/EXCURSIONS: This pretty much depends on how you want to spend your vacation. There are PLENTY of things to choose from to keep you busy while you are there (if that's what you are looking for). For us, we wanted to spend most of our time relaxing on the beach with each other. We did go snorkeling, played beach volleyball, took advantage of the catamaran cruise, and went kayaking this time around. We figured we'd leave some stuff to try on our future visits
SERVICE: I think it's pretty obvious from my long review above, but wanted to make sure... from check-in to check-out and everything in between, the service was outstanding!
Ok, I think I covered pretty much all of the important stuff! I know I was addicted to this board before we left looking for any and all information regarding CSA. I hope my review helps answer a few questions for anyone who's lucky enough to be heading there in the future! I hope you enjoy every minute of your vacation, just like we did
April 3rd, 2013, 09:50 AM
Thanks for reassuring us that our favorite place has not changed as we have read in other posts. We love this place and can't wait to go back home in 37 days.
April 3rd, 2013, 09:57 AM
What a great review! Thanks so much for giving us a great read on your trip.
We are returning to CSA for our 2nd time (next week) and like you, have reserved an Atrium Room. We have not stayed in an Atrium Room before. So glad to hear how much you enjoyed the location & the room. Hopefully, we will have the same experience.
We too have very fond memories of CSA! So glad you had such an awesome trip!
April 3rd, 2013, 12:15 PM
It's great to know that a new couple is still experiencing the same magic that hooked us a few years ago! In 10 days, we're headed back to CSA for the third time! Thanks for the tip about the ting/red stripe. I'm not a beer fan either, but usually drink one just to get into the Jamaica vibe when we arrive. Adding a little Ting to that can only make it better!
April 3rd, 2013, 01:47 PM
How could I forget the tree frogs! I am really anxious for our trip next month now. Great review! Did you use the spa? Love it there! You are very similar to us - I am almost 39 and hubby just turned 45. We fly out of Chicago too - live in SW MI. Glad you had a great time!!
April 3rd, 2013, 07:08 PM
Thank you for the incredible review... after reading a few other posts I momentarily questioned our decision but you have restored my faith.
22 days and 7 hours (but who's counting?) left before we get to experience all that is Couples.
THANK YOU! from the CSA newbies.
April 3rd, 2013, 07:57 PM
Thanks for the review -- awesome that you had such a great time. We have to wait till Sept. to get back but we are sure looking forward to it.
April 3rd, 2013, 09:42 PM
fawcette17, thank you, thank you, thank you. This is such a welcome post, so reassuring that we made the right choice. You even answered my question about food since I have a shellfish allergy. Only one request, PICTURES, Pleeeezzzze
24 days and some hours, first trip and can't wait
April 4th, 2013, 12:32 PM
Thanks for your great review!! It reminded me of our previous three trips to CSA. Looking forward to the next visit in May!!
April 6th, 2013, 02:37 PM
Originally Posted by Rhunter72
I will try to get some pictures up within the next week for you!