Help! Having fell in love with CN last March on our first ever Couples experience, we are really torn about where to book for next March. We have read such wonderful things about Sans Souci that we are considering booking there. However, we are really worried that once we get there, we will yearn for CN.
We honestly did not find the staff at CN overly friendly and definitely would not say that the staff is why we loved CN. We loved the basic garden room, the food (Lychee, Otaheite), and the gorgeous pool area and beach! One day when it was really windy on the beach, we went up to the pool area, turned our loungers around and had a phenomenal view of the ocean but without the strong wind and sandstorm! Yes, there were actually waves in Bloody Bay for several days that we were there...apparently quite uncommon.
For daytime activity, we love just lounging on the beach and reading, and enjoyed that we could easily find a shady spot all day, anytime of the day, at CN. My husband has had previous issues with pre-cancerous skin lesions so his dermatologist has instilled the importance of shade (and using high SPF) so obviously access to shade is an important quality in the resort we choose.
So, can anyone who has been to CSS let us know about the beach and if lots of shady spots are available? We have been to other resorts in the past where we've had to go down to the beach with our bag and books for the day by 6:30-7am in order have a shady spot (which totally ruins the whole point of being on vacation).
Also, we enjoy playing tennis in the morning and were impressed with the quality of the courts at CN and that there were 4 of them so they were never busy. What are the courts like at CSS, and how many do they have? Are the racquets excellent quality or should we bring our own?
Thanks so much! And if anyone has been to both CN and CSS, I'd appreciate your honest opinion on the resort you'd return to first!
We have been to CN twice (1/05 & 11/06) and CSS 2/10 to celebrate our anniversary. (and spent 4 nights at CSA after the week at CSS, too)
We loved CN, but we wanted to have a little adventure and experience something new. When we go back (which won't be for a while - darn kids getting married and going to college, etc.) it will definitely be to CSS. It fit us the best.
Do not worry - the beach is lovely and has plenty of shade available. Yes - there are a lot of steps, but we enjoyed exploring and finding where all the pathways went. Don't miss the whirlpool above the mineral pool. It is totally surrounded by foliage and we never saw anyone else in it.
Awesome spa - awesome food. We miss the staff. I'd have you give out hugs for me, but there would be so many that you'd have no time to relax.
Oh my, you should book CSS. We went to CN 3x in a row and heard such wonderful things about CSS from other guests that we went last September. Go with an open mind, and you will love it. It is so completely different from CN, but completely wonderful.
The grounds are simply amazing and breathtaking. It is very secluded, and when we would walk along the paths we often felt like we were the only people there. Never had any trouble finding shade on the beach. Yes, it is smaller than CN but very beautiful. I think you will really enjoy the mineral pool, gorgeous location. The food and staff and rooms are fantastic. CSS is truly magical...that is the best word to describe it.
We have now been to CN 4X... 5th time in 10 days, CSA once, and CSS once. CSS and CN are tied in my book, I just can't pick which I like more. I can't wait to return to CSS. Book it, you will not regret your decision. I'm so excited for you!
We stayed at CSS last year, after having stayed at CSA previously. We did get to see CN on Trading Places this past January while staying at CSA again, so I think I can answer at least some of your questions.
We never, ever had a problem finding loungers and shade on the beach at CSS, no matter what time we showed up. This was a bit of a change from CSA, where it can be tricky finding two chairs during peak season if we get to the beach late morning. Even though the beach at CSS is not large, it is plenty big enough for the guests. The beach at CN is certainly beautiful, and you can't beat the swim-up bar. But the swim-up bar at CSS is fairly big, and there is a huge jacuzzi on the beach that is a lot of fun to soak in and meet people. The mineral pool is also very nice and quiet for relaxing. There is lots of shade at the mineral pool (umbrellas).
There is nothing that tops having a massage on the cliffs of CSS in the huts. Listening to waves and feeling the breeze - magnificent!
Bob would jog around the trail that winds around the tennis courts every day at CSS. I walked the trail a few times. It is lovely. We do not play tennis, but the courts looked to be in great shape, and we spoke with the pro on several occasions. He really seemed to enjoy his job. The setting of the tennis courts is spectacular - a view of the mountains, pond, and a peek of the ocean.
While we like so many of the staff at CSA, the staff at CSS are even more spectacular (I didn't think this was possible). They went out of their way to get to know us, and we did the same with them. I still talk to the house keeper who took care of our room from CSS. I think this is the influence of Pierre, who runs an exceptional resort and it shows. I cried the entire way to the airport when we left CSS. That's never happened to me at CSA.
While different, all the Couples properties are great! We have been to CTI (COR)x1, CSS x1, and CSA x3, we are hitting CN in August 2011 then back to CSA in 2012 for the big 20 anniversery. Go, open minded and remember...this is Couples, what could possibly be wrong with that?