Review of my split stay - CN/CSS
Just got back Saturday from a wonderful 10 days at Couples. We stayed at CN first for 5 days and then the resort provided us a ride to CSS for our last 5 days (3 hour drive that went extremely quick). This was our fourth stay at Couples but first one at CN. We have never been to the Negril side previously. When we arrived at CN, we were greeted immediately by staff who told us to have a seat and they would be right with us. We were then given cool towels and glasses of champagne. Check in went smooth - we booked a beachfront suite and when we arrived, I requested not to be given a first floor room. We were given a third floor room and although the steps were a bit much at times, I loved the view from the room. Totally enjoyed the view from the hammock on the balcony!! Room was as expected from the pictures on the website and yes, the bathroom grout was looking a bit shabby but this didn't bother us a bit. Everything was clean and in working order. Bar was already stocked with our requested liquor from pre-check in. We never do the orientations as we like to discover the resorts on our own so after we settled in, we walked through the whole resort and familiarized ourselves with the restaurants, etc. By day two, we had everything all figured out. This is the third Couples resort that we have been to and we find that each resort has their own positives and negatives. The beach at CN is beautiful with soft white sand and calm water. Since the beach is not private, there are numerous people walking along the water line trying to sell stuff but no one bothers you at all. My husband got a kick out of the cigar/cigarette man each day. The down side to this beach is the smell of gas - there are jet skis, boats, etc. going back and forth very closely to the roped off swimming area and sometimes the smell of gas was overwhelming. We still enjoyed floating in the water each day though. We did not care for the au naturel section of the beach since, of course, it is not private. People from surrounding resorts were constantly walking by and gawking. We did notice a Couples guard chase someone down one day who took a picture while walking by and made them delete it. LOL. The best thing about CN, in our opinion, was the food. We did not have a bad meal here. There are 4 restaurants and we ate in every one and enjoyed each of them. Only one restaurant requires reservations and we really enjoyed that. While on vacation, we do not like to plan our evenings far in advance. We also really liked the fact that the beach grill that turned into an Italian restaurant each night changed their menu often. At the reservation restaurant, I had the best beef tenderloin from any of my previous visits. The staff was efficient and friendly. No complaints there. The only negative aside from the smell of gas for us was the atmosphere of the resort. We did not find it romantic at all. There were quite a few large wedding parties while we were there and for us, it took away from the "Couples" feeling. Seemed to us that some people thought it was "spring break" and that is not why we go to Couples. This didn't take away from our trip but it would probably stop us from returning. We then moved on to CSS which we have been to twice previously. When we arrived, Pierre was there to greet us which was nice. Again, check in was smooth and quick. We booked a beachfront suite and when we arrived, we requested a room on the second floor of block A and that is what we were given. Unfortunately, it was an end room and we did not enjoy that. We were bothered by a lot of noise from the road that the employees use to transfer materials back and forth from the watersports area to other areas of the resort. They used a tractor to carry towels etc. back and forth all day long and the noise became annoying. The road was also used to set up and take down materials for the beach buffet, etc. So now we know to request a room in the middle of the block! LOL. There was also some problems with our room when we arrived. The air conditioner was leaking all over the floor, the safe wouldn't work and the lock on the door was broken. When I called the front desk, they immediately sent over the maintenance men and the issues were fixed as quickly as possible. We then went and had lunch at the beach grill which was good as usual. We have never complained about the food at CSS before but after our experience in Negril, we found the food choices a bit lacking at CSS. While we love the room service option a lot, we feel the resort could use another restaurant. There are 3 restaurants, two of which require reservations. The beach grill turns into a restaurant on the beach at night which doesn't require reservations but my husband doesn't always like to eat on the beach at night due to the bugs so we find the choices are extremely limited if you don't plan ahead and make reservations. We also do not like that the restaurants are closed on Tuesdays and Fridays for the beach buffet and the gala. While we enjoy the gala, we are not crazy about the beach buffet so we are forced to order room service. We missed the repeater's dinner at CN but we did attend at CSS and it was very nice. It is now on Wednesdays and set up around the pool. The appetizer and soup are served but the remaining portions of the meal are buffet style. We absolutely love Sunset Beach and find that of the three resorts we have visited, this is the nicest au naturel area. The set up is wonderful. The atmosphere at CSS was just as we remembered it - very classy and romantic. The only negative issue aside from our room location was the fact that workers put a ladder up to our balcony one day without any prior notice and just jumped onto the balcony while I was in the room in a towel. If someone is going to be working on a room that is occupied, I believe we should have been given notice - I would have at least closed the blinds! A lighter was also taken off the table on our balcony that day. All in all, it was a wonderful 10 days and I wouldn't hesitate to return to Couples. Even with the food issues I mentioned, we would probably return to CSS as we feel most comfortable there. Two minor things I would like to mention about both resorts - when you are at any of the restaurants, you are only offered a piece of bread once. They leave your bread plate on the table through the whole meal but no one ever comes back with the bread. The second issue is that my husband and I are not wine drinkers with dinner so we would ask for a cocktail. Again, we would only be offered this once even though people drinking wine or champagne were constantly getting refills. It was not a big deal since we would just go get another drink after dinner but it would be nice to be offered a second while at dinner.