CTI Feb 15 thru Feb 21
I enjoyed reading reviews and tips on this message board before our trip, so I will provide a review in case others may find it helpful...
My husband and I traveled with one other couple (our foursome is late 20s and early thirties, if that matters) and spent a wonderful vacation at CTI. This was a first time Couples trip for all of us, my husband and I had been to Jamaica one other time several years ago.
Travel to resort:
Long drive from Mo Bay, but our driver Uncle Shorty was fantastic in pointing out highlights and answering questions (I'm a big question asker, so I kept him busy). He kept on the reggae music and was a great driver. I've been more worried about my safety in cabs in the US and Europe and felt at ease. Stopped twice- once for beers and jerk chicken (awesome) and once to take photos. We loved seeing where Usain Bolt went to high school, and I loved seeing the ports and some industry (we work in manufacturing).
Arrival: The lobby is GORGEOUS. VERY South Beach feeling, elegant and classy. I thought the couches and chairs were very cool. Our rooms weren't ready, despite arrival at around 4:00 pm. Wasn't a big deal as we were given cool towels and sparkling wine, and were walked to the pool grill to get a bite to eat, more Red Stripe, and take in our surroundings. After we ate a bit we went back and our rooms were ready- and then were given lovely rum punches. :)
Rooms: We each had garden view rooms. Ours was on the first floor, which I loved, because it was very roomy and I LOVED the patio and garden RIGHT THERE. The big downside was that we were only two rooms from the lobby and it was QUITE loud. I didn't say anything because I liked the patio enough not to mind TOO much. I was woken up several times each night and early in the am, but no one was obnoxious-just worker noise and some "happy" folks heading back to their rooms. Also, hot water was hit or miss but the temp was usually comfortable enough not to be a big issue. We had the problem with water all over the floor after showers, even when aiming the shower head in different directions. But all in all, the room was beautiful. Quite comfortable and lots of storage space. I LOVE the light fixtures and art work throughout the hotel. I didn't realize that the carafe in the rooms had ice water in them until I got home and read that on TripAdvisor. Duh. Assumed they were for coffee and never double checked. :)
Food: Fantastic! I was SO impressed with the buffet, as I do NOT like buffets. This was was terrific. I especially liked the Jamaican stations. We loved the veggie bar for lunch, delicious healthy options which made me feel better about drinking all day... :) Pool grill was delicious too. Loved the evening restaurants.
Grounds: Beautiful. I loved finding the parrots and appreciate signs telling me what the trees are and things. SO well maintained and lush.
Spa: LOVED IT. Very professional and luxurious. Liked the spas and steam rooms that were available without other services.
Staff: Top notch, of course. So friendly and helpful, ALL the time. How do they do that??!!
Island: Quite frankly, we quickly lost our nerve after our first night. We went over to the hot tub at the spa but some nekkid people were already there, not a problem as they were friendly and didn't mind us keeping our bathing suits on in the hot tub. They explained that there was some sort of "Islanders gathering" happening over Valentine's day. However, a VERY LARGE gathering was building in the Buddah pool and some others came over and expressed displeasure that we were dressed. As the group grew, we decided we'd give up the hot tub and left. I'm sure they had a fun time, and to each their own, it was just enough to intimidate us from trying au natural. Oh well! The group did seem to be having fun as they gathered in LARGE groups at dinner and bars in the evening.
Beach: The weather didn't always cooperate, so we didn't get to do any water sports. It was either raining or too windy for our trip. But we had plenty of fun laying in the sun on the beach when it was available (the sun, not the beach) and loved the fruit kebobs and beach drink delivery. HEAVEN.
Overall, we had a fantastic time and would recommend this resort. Oh, the evening entertainment was WONDERFUL. That was an unexpected surprise- we are talking professional quality shows every night. Good stuff.
Hope that helps! Have FUN when it's your turn! :)
Outstanding review and I always enjoy it a little bit extra when I learn something new. In this case it was regarding how the trees and other flora are identified with signs. That is so cool. It was also funny to learn how all one has to do is become the world's fastest human and presto! His high school is suddenly a tourist spot! LOL
I really enjoyed reading it all, thanks again.
Hey! You're just the person I need to talk to! I don't suppose you have pics of the view from your room do you? I'm trying to get a feel for the garden view ones. They sound lovely, despite the noise.
You review has got me even more excited to go. Only 33 more days! Woot!
PS - judging by your user name, you wouldn't happen to be an RN in MN would you? Because I too am an RN in MN. :D
I'm sorry, but I didn't take a picture of my view as we were having camera issues (thank goodness we traveled with another couple!). But I can tell you we walked out, had lots of room and a table and chairs on the patio, and couldn't see much at all beyond lush flowering greens. BEAUTIFUL. The room was huge too, plenty of drawers and everything.
I am a nurse in Minnesota, and we had to visit the nurse at the resort when my husband was stung by a jellyfish. I was embarrassed to admit I was a nurse but didn't know what to look for regarding jelly fish stings... as you know, we don't run across THOSE up here! :)
Sounds heavenly! I'm still hoping for an oceanview, but I think we'll be plenty happy with the gardenview, from the sounds of it.
Certainly true about the jellyfish. And I'll take it one step further. If it doesn't involve babies, in utero or out, I'm pretty much useless. Can you tell I'm an OB nurse? LOL