CSA Review - Sept. 19th - 25th
I don't even know if I ever posted on the site before, but I found it extremely helpful when planning our trip so I thought I'd post my review that I just posted on TripAdvisor. It was the perfect time to go, as itís the resorts slow season.
Ride to Couples/Check-in: The ride is roughly an hour and a half long. Neither driver talked to us. I was hoping the drivers would tell us about Jamaica, but it never happened. You can tip the driver and the baggage handlers at the airport. They separated the women and men at check-in so the men could ID the luggage and the women could check-in.
Resort: We usually stay at Excellence resorts, which are more modern and full of granite. We were very unsure about Couples because it is the complete opposite Ė more true to Jamaica. The resort grounds are FULL of beautiful trees, plants, flowers, little ponds, etc. Itís very pretty. The buildings are nice. There are no elevators so if you have any issues climbing stairs, definitely request a 1st floor room. The resort is right on a road so you can hear traffic sometimes from anywhere in the resort. The spa and sports complex is across the street.
Room: The room is okay Ė not bad but nothing to write home about. We stayed in an Ocean Verandah Suite, so we had a tv and mini bar. I did hear traffic in our room, even with the AC and fan on, but it wasnít enough to bother me. I also heard loud music one night until at least 2am. Iím not sure where it was coming from. The bathrooms could definitely use some updating. I should also mention that an OV Suite does not mean you will definitely have a view of the ocean. We had a very small view from one side of our verandah.
Staff: The staff was always SO nice to us. Iím very bad with names, but I actually remember the names of some of the staff, which means they definitely left an impression on me. It felt so weird to not tip them. I wanted to so badly, especially when they were so good to us, but I didnít want to risk them getting fired. The bell boys had no problem asking for a tip though.
Food: The food was really delicious. We never had a bad meal and really liked everything we ate. Weíre both very picky eaters so this is always a concern for us when traveling. Reservations were required for Lemon Grass, Patois Patio, and Feathers, but we never had an issue getting a reservation for when we wanted. Lemon Grass was our favorite restaurant. The International Buffet at the Palms was great with many options. The buffet breakfast and lunch had many options. I didnít get all of the hoopla over the banana stuffed french toast at Patois Patio. It was good, but didnít taste much different from the regular french toast. Lunch and dinner were both excellent. The hostess was unbelievably sweet and remembered what we were doing each day. The sweet potato chips with the Tomato Jalapeno and Artichoke dips at Seagrapes Cafť were so good! They also have a soft serve ice cream machine by Seagrapes, which I unfortunately didnít discover until our last day. Cabana Grill was good Ė nothing extraordinary. Unfortunately we never ate at Feathers but heard the food was delicious. Room service only includes a continental breakfast. I wish they had a full room service menu 24/7.
Beach: Words can not describe Seven Mile Beach. The sand is white, the water is a crystal clear blue. Couples provides floats on every beach chair so you can take the float into the ocean, which is pure bliss. There are security guards day and night, so we never felt unsafe.
Beach Vendors: Itís a public beach, so you do have local vendors trying to sell items on the beach. There seems to be this invisible boundary they can not cross. We always sat closer up to the resort, so they never really bothered us. Security, which is an outside contracted agency, is on top of the vendors. If they come too close or ask you multiple times if you want to buy, they quickly intervene. If you do want to buy something (which I highly suggest because these people are so nice and work their rear ends off walking this beach all day long just to make a few bucks) you need to go to them by the water because they can not come close to the resort. The security guards come over and monitor all transactions. You can and should negotiate with the vendors.
Sunsets: AMAZING. Thereís no other word to describe them. Make it a point to sit on the beach and watch the sunsets. You do not want to miss them.
Pools: This is a beach resort so pools are definitely not the focus. There are two small pools on the property. The swim up bar isnít a true swim up bar because thereís a wall separating it from the pool. The pools were clean.
Activities: The resort includes more activities than any other resort Iíve seen. We did the Glass Bottom boat tour, which was really nice. We didnít see a ton of fish, but OíBrian was a really great guide. He fed some of the fish to make them come to the surface for us to see. We saw the biggest starfish Iíve ever seen. He also showed us all of the resorts along the beach.
Spa: The spa was ok. My husband had a Swedish massage and I had a facial. Weíve been to much better spas so we werenít too impressed, but it was still nice. It wasnít very relaxing because they didnít have the spa scents in the room (only in the waiting area) and the music they played was not the typical spa music. I could also hear other people talking, so it was a slightly annoying. Maldena was so great though. She gave me a great facial and was very nice. Sheís been there 11 years and isnít the longest, which says a lot about the resort and how they treat their employees.
We would definitely return and recommend the resort to others. I did come back covered in close to 40 bites and with stomach issues, but I donít think it had anything to do with the resort itself. Jamaica has been my favorite place to visit so far.