Negril vs. Ocho Rios
We're new here - never been to Jamaica, only ever stayed at an AI once in Mexico. After countless hours of researching TripAdvisor and reading reviews on all hotels, we've decided Couples is the way to go for our honeymoon! I'm sure this question has been posed before, but I was unsuccessful in thread searches.
We're going on our honeymoon in the second half of September 2010 and are debating between Negril and Ocho Rios. We are more active and want to take advantage of as many activities and excursions as possible on our honeymoon, but also have the option of a nice beach and pool to enjoy when we want some downtime. We enjoy a good nightclub scene, so we'd like to select a location with enough evening events/parties that last well into the night. We've heard that Negril has the best beaches, but there's nothing to do there excursion or nightlife-wise, and that Ocho Rios is the best for activities with Dunns Falls, etc but that the beaches aren't that great.
For those of you that have traveled to both Negril AND Ocho Rios, what do you think would be the best option for us, and what was your favorite aspect of your preferred location? Also, if you recommend Ocho Rios, would CSS or CTI be more suitable for us? I did read on some other threads that the CTI beach has been in somewhat rough shape as of late due to Mother Nature. Although we're not going to spend the entire vacation on the beach, we'd still like to be able to enjoy it!
Your input is greatly appreciated! Thanks everyone!
No doubt you've done a lot of homework on this. Good for you, it helps to have as much info up front as possible.
Based on your criteria and as I interpret what matters most to you, I'd first of all lean toward Negril. Altho the one big advantage the two Ocho Rios properties have with respect to their beaches - complete privacy - I just don't think the quality of them in general can match those found in Negril. While the Negril beaches lack the privacy being they are technically public, it allows for you to walk off property.
None of the resorts are infamous for late night entertainment, altho CSA does feature a dedicated hightclub/disco of sorts, the Aura Lounge. If by nightlife you were talking about off resort, then again, the Negril side better fits the bill, with easier access to other clubs & restaurants just by hiking down the beach.
Best pool overall? Without question CN's gorgeous main pool, which is the largest single pool in the chain. It's the focal point of the resort and features a great swim up bar, as well as host to the daily pool volleyball games. However, if I was to combine the best TWO pools, then CTI gets the nod. Their main pool tends to be a bit quieter in general unless there's a volleyball game taking place, then it's pretty active. Plus the main bar is right there. And CTI is the only resort to feature a separate, dedicated swim up bar pool. It's often quite active during its daytime hours of operation, in fact too active for some.
So there you have it. While I would continue to keep researching as much as possible (books, mags, YouTube, etc), I'm thinking Negril is going to eventually tug at you the most. The question is will it be CN or CSA, each a fabulous resort in its own right. But then again, the same can be said about CSS or CTI as well.
Decisions, decisions..... :D
CSA for sure but you will get people saying CSS for sure too and that is not a bad choice but I think for your first time CSA all the way. Killer beach that you can walk off resort into JAMAICA and have a blast. Killer beach where you can lay around and sipping drinks. Killer swim-up bar where you can meet tons of nice people. Killer food and drinks all over. and if you need it, Killer Fitness center to stay in shape. Go there and you will have a Killer Vacation....
If you have the time, maybe consider 4 nights in Negril, 4 in Ocho Rios?
If you love a great beach then Negril is for you.
Nightlife can be hit or miss at any of the resorts, depends upon the time of year and the mix of peeps at the resort. We find the resorts quieter in the fall/winter and more partiers in the summer when the wedding crowds are there.
We have been to negril 10 or 12 times and Ocho maybe (6) times at many different resorts.
You can visit Rick's Cafe in Negril, that is always fun, we have never went to any clubs outside the resorts while in Jamaica with the exception of The Margaritaville in Negril and Ocho.
some nights the clubs are Couples are going strong at 2:00 am and other nights they are dead.
You sit in the sun and drink all day and your are tired at night. We are night people but we always manage to find something going on.
You could always get a night pass to H-II if you go to CN (right across the street), now they will show you a party.
Welcome! You most certainly have made a great choice to honeymoon at one of the Couples resorts. We were married at CSS and have enjoyed returning there as well as visiting CTI and CSA. We will be visiting CN next year.
You'll find that each couple has their own opinions of which resort is right for them. This is something you'll need to decide for yourself after doing some research.
To that end let us give you our view with regard to the questions you posed. CTI has more excursions than CSS on the Ocho Rios side while CSA and CN have the same amount of included excursions. As for the nice beach...CSS has the better beach over CTI (both being private beaches) while CSA has the nicer beach over CN (longer, with both being beaches having public access). As for pools...CTI has the nicer pools over CSS while CN has a very large pool compared to CSA (the resort is built around the pool). The nightlife at CSS and CTI is good with entertainment at the Ballon Bar and Patio Restaurant respectively, but CSA has got them beat with a sing-along at the piano bar and disco afterwards (it's a little more up-beat) along with entertainment at the Palms. The Ocho Rios excursions are nice (horseback riding, Dunn's River Falls and the catamaran cruise at CTI while CSS only offers the Dunn's River excursion). The Negil excursions are a little more limited but offer a long beach that you can adventure out onto for long walks.
Hopefully we've answered your questions and given you some things to think about so you can make the right choice that will satisfy you. Good luck and rest assured, there is no bad resort at Couples so whichever you choose to stay at will be wonderful!
Bart & Bug
Trebina... We have been to CN, CSS and CTI. CTI is really not for us because it seems too hotel like and we don't get the feeling of being in the Caribbean. We love both CSS and CN and will probably just go back and forth between the two of them. The beach at CN is gorgeous but there is access to a couple other resorts along the beach plus you get locals along the beach. And if you like AN, the beach is not private. Anyone walking along the beach can see you. The only thing CN has that we miss at CSS is the Cat Cruise. But CSS offers things that CN does not. They have a Friday night Gala with a good show in addition to the Beach Party night. Plus you can get room service anytime up to 11 PM. We usually have dinner on our balcony one night with Filet Mignon. Plus CSS is the most beautiful with a lot of areas to explore and they have a mineral pool up on the cliff with a beautiful view. CSS also has very private romantic Spa Huts where you can hear the water hitting the shore. We think the food and entertainment are better at CSS also. The beach at CSS is smaller but private and large enough for us. We love CN and CSS, but CSS is definitely our favorite. We are heading to CSS in 14 days and cannot wait. Dunns River is a definite must if you are in Ocho Rios and the shopping is better in Ocho Rios too. The only reason we go to CN is for the beach and the Cat Cruise and it's nice to have a change in scenery. You will have to make a list of what each offers and see what you are most interested in. For a honeymoon, we think CSS would be the most romantic. A lot of people love CTI and they do have the CAT Cruise plus horseback riding. CTI probably offers the most activities of all the Couples resorts.
You've nailed it - the beaches are much better in Negril and the nightlife/activities are better in Ocho Rios. As far as Negril - there are about three/four bars that you can taxi to that have a descent nightlife. As far as Negril's day activities - most active excursions will take you an entire day away from the resort and they do cost extra. There is kayak, hobiekat, boat tours, snorkeling, tennis, & fitness center included on the resort & included in your stay. You can also rent jet skis for an additional cost. Personally I wouldn't trade the best beach for any activity. Negril is my vote!
One thing I might suggest to consider is how much you will actually participate in later-night activities. My husband and I are usually night owls (because of my work schedule, we usually go to bed around 3 a.m. and wake up around 10 or 11 a.m. We have found, however, that in Jamaica, we're usually pooped by 11 or 12, after getting up "early" (for us) to enjoy breakfast and what is usually the best weather of the day in Jamaica, followed by a day in the sun and heat, complete with food and cocktails sprinkled liberally throughout. Of course, this isn't to say that this will be your experience (i.e., mileage may vary), but it might be something to consider.
Other people who have more experience have had and will have more to offer in terms of comparison, but personally, we love the beaches at CSS. My husband and I both grew up very close to some very big, lovely beaches, and we'll take private over expansive any day.
Our first time to Couples we went to Ocho Rios and we had a blast. It was wonderful. The next time we went to CSA and though they are both awesome we prefer CSA and have made that our home. We did do a lot of excursions at OR (Duns Fall, Canopy Tour, Horseback riding, shopping trip, MargaritaVille). But we don't really do the excursions anymore, we jus go and relax and rarely leave the resort. But one reason we do like CSA is because we have the freedom to walk up the beach and leave the resort and you can't do that at OR. Margaritaville is walking distance from CSA, it is right up the beach. There is a night club at CSA but I am not sure what kind of nightlife you are looking for. The resorts are not all night party resorts, they lean more towards romance and relaxation. There are always activities at both resorts. It seemed like OR has more activities during the day than CSA did. But it may be that we don't necessarily look for them either. The beaches in Negril are better but OR also has the AN island. OR used to have a diving board at the pool that we liked them we were there... hahaha... ya we were that couple. But they removed it when they remodeled. They both have the CAT cruise and water sking (which we love), snorkeling, scuba... etc.
I think you will enjoy either one..... one is not better than the other it is more of just a personal preference. Go with your gut feeling and whichever one feels right. No matter what you are on your honeymoon in Jamaica so how bad can it be right? No problem!
Sorry, I have nothing to add to your dilemma. It will be me and my hubby's first time to Jamaica and Couples. I saw though that drbcwp said that you can get a night pass to H 2. We like a good nightlife too. I was wondering how you go about getting a night pass to there? How far away is it from CN? walking distance or taxi? How much does it cost? Thanks a bunch! Trebina, good luck with your decision! They all sound amazing! I wish I could go to all of them like NOW! We chose CN for our 4th wedding anniversary in September 2011!
Ocho has much better excursions.
Negril has one of the best beaches in the world.
We choose Negril.
It is just a block or so from main entrances. I think you just go to the main desk and buy a day or evening pass, no idea how exactly.
Originally Posted by meg&clay11
I think HII has been renamed super happy fun resort or something incredibly stupid, but it will be the same crazy atmosphere.
Thanks IA couple! Wow, that is a pretty stupid name! Any other info on the subject would be appreciated!
hedo is 2 doors down. an easy walk i think the day / night pases are 150.00 per couple please check to see waht that entails exaclty. If you are looking for a night out that may be your best bet dollar for dollar else you may want to look into hitting soem of the deeper west end local spots that normally start kicking around 1 am. ask you bartender tell him what you are after and your comfort zone and he will hook you up
Originally Posted by meg&clay11
we picked css because it is closer to a few of the things my wife wanted to to, the rooms, and the fact that the beaches are private.