So, we've been to both; CN 03/2011, CSA 06/2013 and another Negril resort in 12/2011...so I'll add my 2 cents;
1. Is the beach really that much better at CSA? It seems like they would be fairly similar since they are so close to each other.
I like the beach better at CSA, my wife prefers CN. The beaches are very similar, CN is in Bloody Bay a two mile bay dominated by all-inclusive resorts and little else. I preferred the action on the beach at CSA and the fact that you can easily walk off resort and visit small bars, shops, restaurants and other resorts. Both beaches are pristine though!!
2. I've read it's only a five minute walk apart...is that true?
Not at all true. If you chose one and want to visit the other for a day you can if you sign up for the romance rewards and do the trading places...highly recommend this.
3. Which would be better for a younger couple? Not looking for a frat party, obviously...but some people around our age (29) would be nice.
Either. The other thing is time of year can dictate the type of crowd...May/June is wedding time lots of wedding party's which can change the dynamic of the resort, we couldn't get to the pool bar in June at CSA because an enormous wedding party pretty much took it over most days of our stay.
4. Does anyone have any pictures of the CSA Premier Suites/BF Suites, especially the bathroom? Are those bathrooms big/nice looking like the ones at CN? I like the photos of CSA rooms much more than CN (don't really care for the colors/wall hangings at CN), but the small/dated bathrooms I've seen at CSA aren't very appealing.
No, sorry we stayed in an atrium suite at CSA and a Deluxe Beachfront at CN. The rooms at either resort will be simple, tastful and clean. We liked both, the room we had at CN felt brighter versus our atruim suite at CSA. However the verandas at CSA blow the balconies at CN away...Honestly you aren't in the room that much so who cares.
5. I know Couples isn't about "luxury", but does one have more of that feel than the other?
Not really. The "Couples" chain is more about "romance" not "luxury".
6. I've read that people are a lot more active at CN, and CSA is more of a lounge on the beach atmosphere...is that true?
This is probably a little true, it's a combination of the staff and resort geography that lends to this. CN is much smaller more intimate in size. We preferred this, the guest were more engaged with each other, we also found the staff to be more engaged with the guests at CN as well.
7. I would like to come for our anniversary in late January, but I might opt for the cheaper April rates. Is there a big difference in the weather/crowd?
We've been to Negril in March, December and June. Different experience each time. The weather is definately better in March and December (just a bit cooler and drier). But we enjoyed June as well, only a little bit of rain. We will likely plan our next trip in June it is cheaper, the weather is fairly reliable and the wedding crowds didn't seem to bother us too much.
Bottom line for us is that we liked our experience at both resorts very much! But probably prefer CN...it just fits us a little better. Both are great options and we would not hesitate to recommend or return to either resort.
Hope you enjoy which ever resort you choose!!!
"Love is the only thing we have to share"