CTI review, Hats off to Couples, Yes its One Love"
Feb. 5th through the 14th.
Arrived in Jamaica on Feb. 3rd, and had spent two very quite nights in the mountains, transferred over on our own to CTI, so no comments on the airport lounge or bus ride to the resort.
Check in was very smooth and a warm gracious welcome from a beaming smile, Byron. We were the only couple checking in, cool towels, champagne, and our room was ready (2 pm), whisked away and in our beautiful superior ocean view room, 3328. Comfy king size bed with nice plush pillows. Small walk-in closet with a safe. Small bathroom, but sufficient, nice tiled shower, (no tub), one problem, water didn’t drain well, instead ended up on the bathroom floor, no problem though. We had a large balcony that overlooked the swim up bar pool area (directly beneath us), a good view of the ocean and island. Felt we had a great location, and view.
We had plenty of time the first afternoon, to hit the beach and check the place out.
We are CN lovers, so we had some comparing to do…..with that said, our first impression wasn’t good. Felt it was too upscale, south beach feeling, we wanted the tropical, Jamaica feel we have grown to love at CN, but we knew we had to give the Grand Lady a chance.
First stop the Dive shop; dropped off our PADI information so we could be on the first dive in the morning. We met Collin, and Lloyd (Rasta) and David. Ok, this place is good; those guys were just the best. Couldn’t wait for our diving.
Food; Buffet and Beach Grill were ok, unfortunately, we liked the buffet & beach grill set up at CN better, had we not had that to compare to, I think CTI would have been fine. Verandah, was excellent. Nice option, décor and setting are very beautiful, with a nice menu. 8-Rivers, was excellent as well. Had two dinners here, and both were amazing.
BaySide, was our favorite, can not beat the location, waves crashing, stars shining, and the fresh sea air surrounding you. The food was just amazing as well, Asian with some nice elegant flare to it. So I will give it up to CTI for the food, the private dining is superior.
Island; oh, what a great experience. The beauty of the island will draw you in, the freedom of the island and peace we found will encompass you. Have to shout out to who drove our little islander to and from, and Ricardo, and Damion, and Terry!!!
I know this is a review of the resort, but I can’t do this without mentioning the other guest on the island. We had the unique experience of being there during the start of the “Islander” time. What a terrific group of people, who graciously invited us into the games, and socializing that happens on the island. There are plenty of loungers, and spots to be alone on the island, and there is plenty of socializing and fun to be had as well.
Daily routine began to unfold, would order our blue mountain coffee, sit on our wonderful view of the sea, enjoy the spirit of the resort waking up, and listen to the sounds of peace, and clear our minds and bodies. After, our peace in the morning, we would head down to the dive shop…for what would be the best part of everyday;)
Our trip was truly made by the wonderful dive staff!!! Every day we had the true excitement of seeing Lloyd and David, (only dove twice with Collin), who would have our dive gear ready and waiting. Now the dive boat had some issues, so we had to make due with the glass bottom boat, but the dive crew never made it an issue for us, it was clearly more work for them. Off we went to reef after reef for nine days. The full professionalism and charm of these two guys made our mornings; such adventures. I just can’t say enough. We have to give CTI dive staff the big gold star, between CN and CSS these guys here are the top.
The grand lady gives beautiful walks on the newly poured concrete and shell pathways, while providing elegance at any glance; from the crisp white hip swim up bar, to the sheik retro furnishings in the main entrance and lobby. Followed by the many options to eat, or drink (which were all top shelf liquor for us, never an issue, champagne for me, good vodka for my hubby), wonder mango-pineapple-soy-fruit smoothies, plethora of options at the buffet, and of course plenty of hummingbirds after diving.
So, did CTI hold up to CN, yes and no. We will always love CN, because it’s our Couples first love, but CTI gave us that wonderful Couple vacation, with no, no complaints.
And oh, for the Tripadvisor review…we never felt pressured to tip anyone!!! And we could not see the naked people from the main resort, hmmm, because, we were one of them. Relax! All is Irie.