CTI vs. CSS??
So...we're getting married the end of March and I've gotten the approval from the boss (Bride to be) that I can go ahead and at some point make our reservations for Couples in Jamaica for our honeymoon. I'm pretty pumped for this, and know I can't go wrong with any of them...but I over analyze everything, so I've got to ask which one of these to pick??
Things that are important:
A nice beach, with possible snorkeling activities?
Watching a great sunset or sunrise (if she can wake up)
I know the off site excursions will be the same..so does one offer more to do on site than the other?
Are vendors allowed on CSS beach?
I'm sure the rooms will be great in either, but which has nicer rooms?
Thanks in advance! Been pulling 70 hr weeks at work for 6 months straight and am looking forward to some serious fun and relaxation the end of March!!
This is a very hard.if not impossible,question to answer...Each of the four Couples Resorts have their own die hard fans.
CTI and CSS are different but we love the differrences..Both offer outsanding food and services..Both have wonderful rooms with CTI having maybe the best views...Both have private beaches that local ,not pushy,vendors are allowed on..I like CSS's beach better while my wife Peggy likes CTI's beach better.
CSS in my opinion is the most beautiful and romantic..Others think CTI is.
You can not go wrong with either resort.
Hugs from 10 0 c
I went to CTI in Dec, but no sunset. CSS i hear has a sunset. Other than that I am guessing you cannot go wrong with either resort. When we were at CTI, it had a little night life, we heard others say that CSS has no night life. We are wanting to try CSS next, but CTI is georgous. Its mostly remodeled with a historic, but very clean, chic feel to it. The island is cool. My suggestion, pick one for this year and do the other property next year. Congrats!
hard comparission since they are very different properties... i'll describe my interpretation of the differences that we noticed and then try to answer your questions based on that... we stayed at CTI in late August and did a trading spaces day at CSS so keep that in mind...
CTI is a newly remodled hotel... the beach is on the small side, the property is compact.. everything feels fresh and new, the rooms aren't lavish but feel airy, modern and have the little touches of luxury that make it special... the crowd seemed fairly young and social... the property is set up nicely to be social (or not if you don't choose to)... it's not a party place, but definitely a place where you feel like you can make friends easily if you will... food and service top notch, we enjoyed the catamaran cruise (which isn't offered at CSS)... no (unauthorized) vendors at CTI (same with CSS i believe).. We loved CTI and would return in a heart beat...
CSS is a widely spread out tropical resort with tons and tons and tons of stairs :) it is in a beautiful setting, very peaceful and serene... the decor/property in general is a bit dated, more traditonal furnishings/decor give it more of an old world charm... i noticed quite a few areas that could use a little TLC... it's far from the same new, fresh and funky vibe of CTI... food and service were also execellent (in off season they had replaced the buffet lunch with ala carte, we preferred the buffet).. CSS to me is a property you go to get away from it all... i'm sure there are outlets to be social, but it had a much more private vibe to us... we hardly saw more than a handful of couples during our walking tour... it's very spread out and has a few different pool options...
the beach was small but nice enough...
if you do the au naturale thang, CTI has facilities on the island (which is private to nude guests unless you have a wedding or a private dinner there), CSS has a nice private beach area which is a bit of a walk away, open to clothed guests at 5pm...
so all and all if you'd like a modern, fresh vibe with lots of social options, CTI.... CSS is more a tropical paradise with slightly dated decor, but a more priave romantic feel... we preferred CTI on just about every aspect since were coming from the hills (my husband is jamaican) in a tropical jungle so to speak, it was nice to have something different :) we preferred the new funky vibe at CTI and loved the buffet so we would have been a bit disappointed to only have over breakfast and special occassion meals... during busier times this would not be an issue... and the social thing might have just been the crowds that week, so i can't say that CSS is never a social property, but i think all and all, you have more options to socialize with the more compact layout of CTI...
I also preferred the slightly more sterile spa environment at CTI (CSS is open air, which is a lovely concept in thought, but if i'm sweating i'm not sure i want someone massaging me!)
finally the stairs at CSS would get to me after awhile... it's a workout to get up to the lobby!
okay now to your questions
the two resorts are close and there are daily boat trips to snorkling areas, they may very well share the same spots? apparently you can self-snorkle off the island if that's of interest (nude only tho)
CSS has a sunset beach which apparently has a lovely sunset view, but i imagine it's more over the land than the water... since both are on the north coast of the island they don't get the best sunsets, that would be Negril.. i imagine some times in the year are better sunsets than others... same goes for sunrises, but they are lovely still with the colours they paint across the sky... i've put up a nice pic of a CTI sunrise on the photos thread...
food... both were great (we loved CTI a touch more here).. i'm a thai lover and i believe CSS might be the only one not to have a Thai option.. bayside atmopshere is amazing right over the water...
the catamaran cruise is probably the only big difference in offerings...
didn't see any unauthorized vendors on either beach, both are slightly remote , so this isn't an issue... the Negril area is where you have more of a problem with vendors.....
we preferred the rooms at CTI with the rooms in CSS being dated... I think CSS has better chance of getting a tub (which was the only thing we missed)... at CTI they have garden rooms, where at CSS all rooms are ocean facing... we had a premium oceanview and loved it...
i know those who love CSS don't care for CTI nearly as much and visa versa, so i think it's more a resort style and preference when it comes down to things rather than which is better... choose the one that fits best in your style and you'll enjoy! :) i've tried to be as objective as possible and identify the pros and cons of each, but as i've said, we are bias :)
Enjoy and congrats!
Which ever one you end up at. The beach at CSS is somewhat longer than CTI. The Ocean rooms at CTI are right at the ocean, and CSS they are further back, but they have the rooms on the cliffs at CSS. CSS is more spread out, CTI more compact. Spa at CTI rated top in the Caribbean. The only time vendors are allowed is on Beach party night. I don't know about CSS, but CTI has one vendor that sets up outside the logo shop every day, but not a problem. The view from CTI as you enter the lobby is amazing. Sunsets can be viewed from the pier or a room in Building 1. Sunrise can be viewed from almost any room. All rooms at both have full room service and mini bars. CSS is all suites, CTI has a few suites, but the rooms in Building 2 are huge! Food is amazing at CTI. We have only had lunch at CSS, but I am sure dinners are good also. Just keep visiting the photos for both and reading reviews here and else where. You will find one that you keep going back to and that is the resort that is "calling" to you. For us it is CTI. We have visited CSS for Trading Places and that confirmed our decision.
Vicky and Chell summed it up pretty good. I'd add that we found the food a little more diverse at CTI and you can't beat Bayside for ambiance and great thai.
Snorkeling is probably a little better at CTI, but both have great trips out to the reef - highly recommend.
Both beaches are private - we liked the water off the beach at CTI a little better as its deeper faster.
Great sunrises at CTI - better sunsets at CSS. But it depends on the time of year. Closer to the summer you have a better chance at a sunset near or over water. Not sure what its like in late March.
We liked the rooms better at CSS b/c of suites and minibars, but now CTI has the minibars as well.
Enjoy your trip and make sure to post your findings!
Whichever resort you choose will be wonderful. Not only are the resorts great but so are the staff. Have fun choosing your first Couples resort and don't forget to sign up for "Romance Rewards" so you can do the "Trading Places" and visit the one you did not choose to visit this time. It'll prepare you for your next Couplese visit.
Originally Posted by BostonTexan
Bart & Bug
Thanks everyone!!! I appreciate everyones advice and input...I really like the idea of surprising her with one of the suites offered at CSS, so I'm leaning towards that.....Both hotels and most posts discuss "watersports"...what does this include??
Also, can anyone tell me if I should book now or if I should contemplate waiting for a hopeful wednesday deal that applies to what I want? Are the Wednesday deals generally better than the specials offered now??
Watersports include water skiing, sailing kayaking, snorkeling, intro scuba dive course, scuba diving daily if you are certified, glass bottom boat.
My husband and I married at CTI just over 4 weeks ago at CTI. We were in heaven. The resort blew us away. It had everything we could ask for. We only wish we had more time to do more activities.
We did take a cab over to CSS one day and we honestly didn't like it. It was very spread out, more jungle like, secluded and we saw hardly no one as we walked around. LOTS OF STAIRS.
I think that since we had already spent the better half of a week at CTI, we were already in love with that resort and how it was laid out. Had we gone to CSS first, perhaps we would have liked it better.
My best advice to you, and this is how we made our choice is to look at ALL the pictures from the resorts, look at the message boards, read the reviews, make a list of your top priorities. For us, we wanted to be as close to the beach as possible. Our room at CTI was less than 50 yards from the waters edge. That was so amazing.
Regardless of where you go--Couples will treat you right and you will have such a memorable time.
Enjoy your trip where ever you book!
Tim and Danielle
can anyone fill me in on the beachfront suites at css?? are they actually as beachfront as the name implies?!
The beachfront suites are in Buildings A & B. They are located in front of the lawn area which if in front of the beach. They have an excellent view of the beach, but all of the rooms are situated so they have a view of the ocean and all the rooms at CSS are suites. The main difference in the categories is the location of the rooms (although all have a great view) and the beachfront suites have a jacuzzi.
Originally Posted by BostonTexan
I think you are making a fabulous decision on CSS. We really enjoyed the resort. We think that CSS is the most romantic of the four.
In answer to an earlier question that you had: At CSS you can snorkel from the shoreline if you bring your own gear. There is some nice snorkeling from the main beach over to the area by the spa. There isn't really any snorkeling off the main beach at CTI. Although both resorts offer snorkeling trips and pretty much go to the same spots.
If you like buffets, CSS does not offer a nighttime buffet except for the Gala Dinner and Beach Party. We are not buffet people so we loved CSS.
I'm not sure if this was clear, but both resorts offer all the same on-site activities except for the catamaran cruise which is not offered at CSS due to the reef.
Don't get intimidated by the stairs. They really are not that bad and you aren't running up and down them all day. Plus the stairs are surrounded by lush vegetation and have wonderful views along the way that you can stop and take photo ops. CSS truly is a wonderful resort.
As Coloradojuli said, the beachfront suites are not truly on the beach. The other thing to note is that they have a very small balcony. We were much happier with the balcony of the 1 bedroom oceanview suite. It is nice having a jacuzzi in the room though but if you are at the other end of the resort there's a hot tub above the mineral pool that's hardly used.