We spent a week at Couples Negril from Dec 4th through Dec 11th. We really enjoyed the resort and had a great time. This was our 6th trip to Jamaica. We’ve previously stayed at CSA and several competitor's properties. Overall we’d put CN at or near the top of the list.
The bus ride from the airport was more grueling than usual due to road construction and traffic. About 2 hours total without a stop. It made us very happy we booked a TimAir flight for the return. More on that later.
The warm greeting we received on arrival set the stage for a wonderful week. Herbert greeted us, brought cold towels and champagne and got us and our luggage quickly to our room. He smiled and waved all week wherever we saw him. What a great ambassador for Couples.
Herbert was just the beginning. The service and attitude of all the staff was CN’s best attribute. Everyone was friendly, eager to please, and we were repeatedly asked how we were enjoying our stay. The few minor issues we had were addressed quickly. We had no liquor in our minibar on arrival. One phone call and it was delivered within the hour. Housekeeping didn’t service our room until 6pm on our first day. We mentioned our preference to the housekeeper when she arrived and our room was cleaned before noon the rest of the week. We did not receive our spa and gift shop vouchers at check-in, so I went to the customer relations desk to inquire. He printed them for me immediately and greeted me by name for the rest of the week.
I wasn’t sure we’d like the smaller layout of CN compared to CSA, but as it turned out we loved the small and intimate feel of the property. Everything was just a short walk from our room in bldg 7. The resort was full for several of the days we were there, yet it never felt too crowded. We never had any trouble finding chairs, floaties or shade on the beach. The high occupancy in this economy was a surprise. Couples must be doing things right. The neighboring properties were not nearly as full.
We were very happy with room 7208, on the 2nd floor in bldg 7. Yes the rooms are a bit dated but we found ours clean and charming. We had a surprisingly good view of the pond, wedding gazebo, beach and sea. Much better than we were led to believe from previous reviews. In fact this was probably our favorite balcony among all our stays in Jamaica. We had no issues with hot water or road noise.
We tried all the restaurants and found the food uniformly good though, honestly, there were only a few “wows” among our meals. The lobster at Cassava Terrace was fantastic. Giant lobster tail, perfectly cooked. The appetizer and sushi platters at Lychee, and the fish entrée’s at Heliconia were also highlights. Despite the hype, we found nothing special about Otaheite. For lunches, we really enjoyed the patties, jerk chicken and snapper sandwiches at the beach grill. Plenty of lunch options at Cassava Terrace too, and the breakfast buffet had plenty of variety.
The Repeaters Dinner on Monday was held out on the pool deck due to the large number of repeat guests. There were 80 returning couples in a resort with roughly 240 rooms. What amazing loyalty. The beef tenderloin and salmon combination was delicious.
We didn’t do too many activities but we liked the cat cruise and the opportunity to slide off into the water and swim through the caves. It’s always fun to see all the other resorts along long bay and the cliffs. We also really enjoyed the kitchen tour. We were able to meet Chef Misja and learn about his background before the guided tour of the kitchen facilities. One can only imagine what it must be like during dinner service. We also took advantage of the spa and gift shop credits included in our booking. Our first-ever massages were wonderful and won’t be our last.
I must say we were surprised at the number of groups present. The property had a much less romantic feel than we anticipated. Wherever we went there were groups of guests having fun, but rarely did we see couples walking hand in hand, sharing a floatie, or sitting alone in a private spot. We did, however, encounter a group of guys throwing a football on the beach and “rating” the women walking by and a raucous hot tub group serenading us during dinner at Heliconia. I looked around one night at Cassava Terrace and there were far more tables of 4, 6 or 8 than tables of two. Oh well, to each his own. Clearly everyone was having a great time at CN, as did we. But we found CSA and other properties to have a more romantic feel.
For the first time in 6 trips we chose to book a Timair flight for the return to MoBay. What a fabulous experience! We left CN at 11:30, took off from the Negril airstrip at 11:45, and were checking in at MBJ at 12:15. It was a gorgeous 15 minute flight along the coast. The alternative would have been a 9:15 departure from CN on the bus! It was a great way to end the trip versus another grueling 2 hour bus ride.
Finally, our thanks to a few extra-special staff members: Herbert (mentioned above); Tennyson and Ivylin, who took good care of us at the swim-up bar; Courtney, the Asst Maintenance Manager who sat with us at the Repeaters dinner and had a small maintenance issue fixed for us the next morning; and Ayana, a trainee who brightened our days at the Cassava Terrace salad station with her smile and friendliness.
Overall, we had a great time at CN and would recommend it to others. We are likely to return.