Amazing 25th Anniversary @ CN!!! July 25-Aug 1, 2011
Sorry this is sooooo long, I just had so much to say!
CN is not a gigantic, marble and granite type resort. It’s small, cozy, quaint and charming. Anywhere you needed to be and/or wanted to go is no more than a few minutes walk.
Our room was in Block 4 on the third floor. We knew that specific rooms couldn’t be reserved, but they accommodated our wish to be in Block 4 or 5 on the top floor. We loved the privacy it gave us.
The view from our balcony was beautiful and overlooked the gardens – it was very jungle-like with the large assortment of palm trees, flowers and plants, and with all the cicadas, birds and insects “singing”. During the daily afternoon showers we would often siesta with the balcony doors open listening to the rain and thunder rumbling in the distance. We never once thought of the rain as ruining our day. It gave us the excuse to leave the beach for a much needed break from the sun and to recoup our energy.
The daily room service was excellent, although you never knew when they would get to you – it could be early morning or late afternoon. One afternoon we were in the room when the maid came by. We sat on the balcony while she worked. We had a lovely conversation and some laughs, and it was priceless when she made an “elephant” with the towels and put my hubby’s sunglasses on it. Another afternoon we came back for our siesta but the room hadn’t been cleaned yet. We decided we didn’t need service that day so we put the “do not disturb” sign on the door. We went for dinner that evening and returned just as the maid was leaving after the “turn down service”. We were pleasantly surprised to find the room spotless! Talk about service!
We had a visit from some pesky ants one day – but it was our fault – I emptied a drink in the sink and some of it must have splashed onto the counter. The resort provides bug spray for the rooms, so I sprayed the little critters and cleaned them up and that was that! We made a point of rinsing out the glasses we had/used in the room, and never had any problem after that.
Lychee Restaurant - Outstanding food and service! We had the best desserts here! Hubby had the chocolate crepe with coconut ice cream filling for dessert, and I had the best and creamiest rice pudding ever!! Something I noticed and was impressed by - on both visits to Lychee I saw the chef come out of the kitchen to chat with some of the patrons.
Otaheite Restaurant - It was superb! It was very romantic sitting side by side rather than across from each other as is the usual norm in restaurants. I ordered lobster – it was absolutely delicious!!! I should have ordered another one – it was that good! My memory of the whole evening is a little vague - apparently I indulged in too many before dinner cocktails and, of course, red wine during the meal. Hubby tells me I was like a teenager that evening – I was “all over him” during dinner, and kept telling him how much I loved him - LOL. He said people probably thought we were on our honeymoon rather than celebrating our 25th anniversary.
The Helaconia Restaurant/Grill - It was wonderfully charming at night, and the food was very good. Dining outside on the covered patio felt particularly special. We should have dined there more than once. That night there was a lightning storm in the distance – it added to the whole ambiance of the evening, and we enjoyed watching it while we ate. The young lady who served us kept bringing us drinks – without us ordering them. Again, outstanding service!
Cassava Terrace - It was very good – nothing substantial to complain about at all. We ate breakfast and/or lunch there every day. The omelet station in the morning was outstanding! I especially liked the made to order salad stations – my favourite was the Asian Noodle Salad on the Asian lunch buffet day. A small thing I noticed during lunch and the evenings we dined here was some of the staff singing and swaying and/or dancing to the live entertainment. You couldn’t help but smile seeing them enjoying themselves.
Activities We Did:
Glass Bottom Boat Ride – lots of fun!!! “Captain Crunch” and his sidekick Jovane (aka “Bubbalicious”) were a great team. Jovane’s quick wit, silly jokes, sense of humour and general observations and commentaries were a true delight. A very entertaining and likeable young man is Jovane, and I think a major asset to Couples Negril!
Snorkeling – hubby loved this the most – amongst the countless sea life and coral reefs, he came across an old cannon and anchor. We also had Jovane on this trip and he was just as much fun as on the Glass Bottom Boat excursion.
Catamaran “Booze” Cruise – good times!!! We loved swimming to and in the cave. But a word of caution…. if they bring out the bottle, only do a couple of shots, or best yet, decline – LOL! Hubby learned this the hard way. He doesn’t remember getting off the catamaran after the cruise… enough said - LOL?! Thank goodness one of the crew helped me get him to shore!
Golf –hubby played 9 holes one morning and really enjoyed himself, although he did say it was very hot and he was “drenched” after the third hole.
Massage – I had a massage in the tree house, and loved every second. It was incredibly relaxing and enjoyable and different from the usual spa setting. TIP: go in the afternoon. During my morning massage there was a scuba training session in the small pool close to the tree house, and I could sometimes hear them talking, etc. However, it didn’t put a damper on the whole experience.
Parasailing – I loved the fact that we were able to go up together. You launch from the boat and land on the boat – not having to land in the water was a major plus! The view of Bloody Bay from the air was spectacular! You’re only in the air for about 10 minutes, but it was worth it! It was a wonderful experience.
Bonfire Night – it was nice dancing on the beach around the bonfire listening to the local entertainer play his guitar and sing, but it was a little disappointing when the fire died out within a half-hour and people started wandering away.
The Beach (a few of the highlights):
The beach and Bloody Bay are extraordinarily beautiful, and the water so calm and peaceful early in the morning! The beach in front of the resort is swept and cleaned every morning and always in pristine condition for the day. No matter what time you headed down to the beach there was never a problem in finding loungers or shade. I am not a beach lover and/or sun worshiper, but I couldn’t get enough – day or night! Most evenings after dinner we’d head back to the beach to star gaze and stroll along the shoreline for a bit. Relaxing in one of the hammocks at night on the beach is a must! We tried the pool and swim-up bar once – it didn’t appeal to us at all, and we couldn’t get back to “our spot” on the beach fast enough.
We loved Donovan (I believe that was his name) and his guitar. He would come by almost daily and play for people. He’d always end his routine with “end of the show/way to go!!” and then play a couple more songs. He was very talented, and we looked forward to seeing him every day. There was also a group of 3 (2 men/1 young lady) who occasionally came by and entertained people with a few songs. They too were quite memorable.
At first we thought the “ceeeegarettes/cigars” and the “paaaaarasailing/jet ski” guys were annoying. However, it wasn’t too long before we were anticipating their arrival every day. They kept us thoroughly entertained with their unique “sales pitch”. My hubby, on a couple of occasions since our trip, has mimicked the “ceeeegarettes” man, and I laugh every time! It takes me right back to the beach! Oh, and I shouldn’t forget the “its gonna be hot! hot! hot!” guy and the conch man (he’d randomly stop along the beach and blow 3 times). Even if we couldn’t see him yet, we knew he’d be coming along shortly, and we’d watch and wait and smile when he eventually came by.
While walking from our room to the main complex area one day, we noticed/discovered the resort’s herb garden. It was an unexpected and pleasant find. We thought the same when we happened upon all the painted rocks in the garden near the Lychee Restaurant. These were just 2 of the things we noticed on our side of the resort. I wonder what we missed by not venturing to the other side?!
Things We Absolutely Loved:
- the cushions on the lounge chairs that you could take into the pool and ocean to float on
- the beach and Bloody Bay - I couldn’t understand why people wanted to hang out by the pool and swim-up bar with that incredible beach right there
- the “red flag” service - a couple of days after we got home hubby and I were sitting in the living room and he was looking around for something. When I asked him what he was looking for he said “the red flag” – LOL!
- the resort photographers – thanks to them, we have some great pictures of the 2 of us together
- sitting on the beach the first night after dinner watching the lighting storm in the distance and listening to the waves breaking on the shore while the band played in the background. Seeing a shooting star and my favourite constellation – what I call my “dinosaur” in the sky made it a super special evening!
- dancing alone on the beach to the band playing ‘What A Wonderful World” – it was a totally spontaneous and incredibly romantic moment
- listening to thunder rumbling in the distance during the afternoon rain showers while in our room for our siesta
Wished We Had:
- rented a jet ski
- used the kayaks
- took out one of the Hobiecats
- had lobster and cold beer at the “Office of Nature” (about a ˝ mile up the beach from the resort)
Small Nuisances / Tips / Observations:
- jet ski traffic in front of the resort could get quite busy and loud some days
- bring and use your insect repellant (especially at night) – I didn’t think they were biting me so I didn’t put any on, but the sand fleas got me on our last night – my legs were a mess and drove me insane for about a week after getting home
- the resort could use and needs a fresh coat of paint – especially around pool area and main building
Overall, this trip was everything I wished for and more! It was unbelievably relaxing and rejuvenating. We had so much fun, and it was pure heaven to reconnect with each other again –quality time for sure! My wonderful husband was charming, attentive, romantic, spontaneous and very loving – in other words, the boy I married 25 years ago!