September 14th, 2013, 06:52 PM
CSA review posted on TA
Here is the review I posted on TA. It turned out to be a little lengthier than I had expected. I also included a few pics. If anyone has any questions - ask away.
My husband and I were at Couples Swept Away for 8 nights to celebrate our anniversary. We had a fabulous time and are trying to decide on when to go back. I canít say everything was perfect but we are extremely happy with the time we spent there and hated having to leave.
The Couples lounge at the airport was a really nice start to our vacation. Weíd had a very early start to our day and the travel had been rather stressful so the greeting we received when we reached the lounge was fantastic. We used the restroom and my better half went outside for a cigarette while I got a drink at the bar. The bartender made me a delightful concoction of Red Stripe light beer and Ting (grapefruit soda). This ended up being my go to-drink all week. When I asked for it at the resort bars though they made it with 7-Up (I think) until I requested it be made with Ting. I thought it must be a common drink but I got some strange looks from the bartenders.
The bus trip from the airport to CSA was not too long, maybe an hour and a half but it was a pleasant drive. We were greeted at CSA with a cold towel and a glass of sparkling wine. Check in was quick and easy. We had booked at Beachfront Verandah Suite and were hoping for one on the first floor. There was only a second floor available but we were told we would be able to switch rooms the next day to a first floor. We were completely happy with that. Our room wasnít ready yet so we took a stroll around the property and had a bite to eat at Seagrapes. We decided to share an order of sweet potato chips and fish tacos. We didnít realize you need to specify if you want more than one taco so we split a single taco and the chips. The food was really tasty and frankly it was enough to tide us over until dinner.
The first room we had was #3224 and was a second floor corner room. It was certainly showing a lot of wear and tear. Bathroom fixtures were corroded and the shower had very little pressure. The air conditioner wasnít working so we called the front desk and someone came very quickly to check it out. It took a couple of different people looking at it before it was fixed but it really didnít take a long time. We didnít have any robes in the room and that was something I thought would be there. There were also no flowers and I kind of expected flowers (I donít know why). We had requested a couple things from the mini-bar menu and they were brought up fairly quickly after we got to our room Ė very nice. We had consistent mini-bar service and our fridge was stocked each day with water and Red Stripe and any of the soda we may have used during the previous day or evening.
The second day we were transferred to a first floor corner room one building over from the first room. This was #4117 and seemed to be in better condition than the previous room. The air conditioner worked, the bathroom fixtures were not corroded and the shower worked better. There were also robes in this room. We enjoyed ordering continental breakfast early and sitting on the verandah and drinking coffee and juice and listening to the ocean. Being able to just walk off the verandah and right onto the beach was absolutely fabulous.
We did have turn down service each night unless we had our do not disturb sign on the door and it is a really nice service. I had seen pictures of towel art and flowers in rooms and was kind of expecting that but we never had any flowers. We did get a really nice towel arrangement on our last night at the resort and I was really happy to see it. I think more than once or twice during a stay would be really hard to accomplish and I was happy
As soon as we checked in I went to the concierge to make reservations for Feathers, Lemon Grass, Trading Places and the Catamaran Cruise. There was no problem with the restaurants and we were able to eat dinner at Feathers on Saturday for lobster night and that was nice because it was also our anniversary. There wasnít any recognition of our anniversary and I thought it would have been nice since the resort had asked if we were celebrating anything special. The only day we could get a reservation for the cat cruise was on Tuesday and the weather was really stormy that day and the water was rough so we decided to pass on it.
Iím not sure if Trading Places is only on certain days but we were put on the Monday trip. We were in the lobby waiting for the bus to go to Couples Negril by 9:30 because our reservation slip said the bus would leave at 9:45 and we didnít want to be late. At about 9:50 we asked at the desk if the bus was there yet (there were a couple buses out front) and we were told no, it wouldnít be there until 10:00. So, we went upstairs to look at the pictures of repeaters and history of the area. While we were upstairs we saw a bus pull up to the front and in the time it took up to get down the steps the bus was gone! I was pretty upset until the gentleman at the front steps said not to worry he would have the airport bus drop us off at Couples Negril. And we made it there just after the original bus. No worries!!
We did enjoy getting a chance to see Couples Negril to compare it to CSA. We played a beach game that the entertainment staff was doing and it was fun. We spent some time in the pool and had lunch at the buffet. Our overall impression of CN was that it was maybe a little more on the fun side than CSA because everyone seems to interact a little more. But that might be because everything is so much closer together than CSA. So I think we like CSA better because itís more spread out but we would have liked a little bit more interaction with other couples.
I really liked taking the classes at CSA like the basket weaving and hat making. They were fun and informative and you have a handmade souvenir. We also took the Appleton Rum class and the Margarita Mixology class and my husband took the Jamaican cooking class. Now he says he will make me coconut fish (hmm, weíll see). We did the tie-dying class and had a good time. We actually took shirts and pillow cases that we wanted to dye and then just paid the $3.00 per item fee. They only had red and green but they turned out pretty good. We tried to play some of the games the entertainment staff (Alex and Tomeka) were running but not too many other people seemed interested in playing the games.
One thing I think needs to be addressed by someone, not sure whom, because I donít know exactly what the problem is. What I noticed is a distinct stench by the serve yourself soda and beer stand. It is a really strong raw sewage smell.
We visited the sports complex and took the Couples massage class. We enjoyed using the pool, sauna and steam rooms and the class was fun. The only negative I will mention is that at the sports bar we were completely ignored by the bartender. I donít mean he was busy and may have just missed us, we were the only people standing at the bar while he talked to a couple other employees. He glanced over at us a couple of time (perhaps to see if we had left yet?) and then would just turn his back and continue a lengthy conversation. We did leave.
We enjoyed a couple of meals at the Cabana Grill. My husband enjoyed the burgers and the nacho chips with cheese (ask for the cheese) and the fries were good. The beef patty was tasty as was the salad. Patois was not open for lunch while we were there but you could get pizza at the grill and it was also tasty. We had breakfast at Patois one morning but it really took way too long to get our food. It wasnít busy but just took forever so we didnít go again.
The meal we had at Lemon Grass was delicious and the service was fantastic. We had the appetizer tasting platter and it was SO GOOD. We went to Feathers on Saturday and Tuesday and they had the same menu each night but it was truly delicious. The beachfront party was moved into the buffet and was quite tasty and was pretty good on Monday for International night also. I had been a little bit bummed that our anniversary hadnít been mentioned in some way (I know everyone is celebrating something and it would be very hard to keep track) but our server at the buffet asked if we were celebrating anything special and I told her that this was a trip to celebrate our anniversary. She brought our dessert plate decorated with a congratulatory message in chocolate and an anniversary card that was really lovely. We ate dinner at the buffet on Wednesday night also and liked that you can make a salad from the salad bar and have pasta made how you want it (Rose was really nice) and still order your entrťe from the menu.
The Silverbirds steel drum band played on Wednesday night and they were awesome. They put on a super show.