5th time back 4/15 - 4/22
We stayed at Couples Negril from 4/15 – 4/22. This was our fifth stay. Bus trip from the airport was non-eventful. Driver was quiet the whole trip. We met a group of first-timers from Iowa. We filled them in on a few sights on the way and some things to try to do during their stay.
We got to the hotel about 2:15 and went through the usual check-in. Our room wasn’t ready so we went to grab a bite at the Beach Grill. Things here are about the same. Confusion was evident in the grill area with orders either being misplaced or lost. We ordered the jerk chicken and a snapper sandwich. It took about 20 minutes to get our order.
Went back to the front desk after lunch and our room still wasn’t ready. So, we walked around the grounds for a while, stopped at the swim-up bar and the beach bar and had a couple of drinks. Ran into the Iowa folks. We asked if they had gotten their rooms. They told us yes. We went back to the front desk and were told our room wasn’t ready. This is now about 4:45. I asked what the problem was and magically our room was ready. We thought that repeaters would have been treated with a bit more care. I requested a call from the GM but never got one.
When we got to our room our bags had not been delivered. The bell-person had gone to the wrong building. He eventually found us and we got our luggage. We get a knock on the door and it’s the in-room bar stocker. I asked if we could get our Carib beer replaced with Red Stripe. I was told that I had to talk to the manager about it. This has never been a problem in the past. It seems logical to me to have a Jamaican product at a Jamaican hotel in Jamaica. The choice of Carib has never been explained to me.
We ran into many staff that remembered us from past visits. The staff and service is the main reason that we have kept coming back. You can have the best location and food on the planet but if your staff is lacking your business will not do well.
Went to the repeaters dinner and the menu was outstanding as usual. We went to Lychee for dinner on Tuesday. My wife asked for a Lychee martini and I asked for a vodka martini with an olive. I was told that I couldn’t have a regular martini. I was never told why. The food was very good. We ate at Cassava several times for both ala-carte and buffet dining . Service was always prompt and friendly and food was tasty for the most part. Entertainment for us there was hit or miss. The house band is quite talented. You can tell that they don’t really enjoy playing dinner music. A couple of acts were brought in to work with the band. Some of the music is very Americanized. A group called Jah Messenger was excellent. A male vocalist was also there. He sometimes used the band and sometimes used “canned” music. Although he had a great voice, for us this was no more than glorified karaoke. We never ate at Heliconia except for lunch. We checked the menu daily and nothing really ever stood out. We did find it odd that one night for an entrée at Heliconia a hamburger was listed and on another there was some type of macaroni and cheese.
Overall our stay was as expected but for a few unwanted experiences. Because of these negatives, we are not sure we will be returning to Couples Negril.