Questions about CTI
We just had our first trip to Jamaica and stayed at Couples Negril - absolutely loved the resort and beach. But now were are exploring the idea of going to CTI next winter. Any advice on the difference and a few questions.
(1) Do all room categories have a mini bar and a fridge? - some of the pictures of CTI rooms didn`t show a fridge.
(2) What is the best room category for a private balcony and a nice ocean view?
(3) Does CTI offer massages on the beach in a hut similar to CN?
(4) How far away is CTI from Ocho Rios - is there shopping nearby?
(5) Weather? Is the chance of having bad weather and rain/wind/cool temps in early january better in Ocho than in Negril?
I think thats it for now. Really appreciate any advice or answers you guys can give.
Our first trip was to CTI, so I'm going to answer the questions I can for you:
1. According to my understanding, yes. We had a Superior Ocean room, which had some palm trees between us and the ocean, but it wasn't blocked. Still a very nice view.
2. All. :) I don't think I'd go out on any of the balconies AN, as due to the shape of the resort you can see (somewhat) into balconies further down (not in the same building) but they're 99% private.
3. Sadly, no.
4. Not sure, we didn't do the shopping excursion.
5. Again, can't say. We went in November, and it only rained once, and only for about 30 minutes. The rest of the time, it was sunny, warm, and comfortable (never really got oppressively humid)
1- They did not when we were there in 2010 but they all have them now. The pictures online are from after the remodel but before the minibar/fridge's were placed in the rooms.
2- Premier ocean has the best views. For more privacy I would choose Superior Ocean.
3- No. But you could do a Trading Places day with CSS which has the #1 rated Spa.
4- About 15 minutes. There is the market.
5- We go in April so no personal experience with January weather. You could always check averages for January on a weather website. The rain doesn't last long in my experience.
Do they do private dinners on Tower Island itself? and whats the cost? anyone?
1: Yes, all rooms have a mini fridge. You can see all room amenities here: Couples Tower Isle | Caribbean Hotel & Resort Packages and Deals
2: Any of the Deluxe or Premier Rooms will have an ocean front view. I'm happy to share the room map if you'd like (amy.welch@Hotmail.com). I prefer the Premier in Building 3 but hubby prefers the Deluxe in Building 4.
3: No, CTI does not have a specific beach hut like at CN, but they do offer massages on the pier.
4: CTI is about a 10-15 minute drive to Ocho Rios. However, a personal tip? Skip the shopping trip to Island Village (it's more of a tourist trap). We prefer to buy souvenirs from either the gift shop or logo shop on property; the craft market across the street; the local potter up the street from CTI; or from the local vendors that are on property, particularly during the beach party on Monday.
5: Weather will be similar in Ocho and Negril in January. However, since Ocho is on the northern coast, they do get storms that hit direct, whereas Negril is more protected on the west. In all of our trips (11) to both Ocho and Negril (we've been in January, March, April, May, August and December), we have had way more choppy water and closed watersports days at CTI than any other resort.
Also, quick differences between CTI and CN:
CTI (Ocho Rios)- Completely private beach, yet small; Completely separate island (Tower Island) for AN sunbathing. Island open from 9a-5p pending good weather. Access via small boat that runs all day. AN sunbathers cannot be seen from the main beach. Textiled guests cannot access the island. No beach on island, just rocks, but ocean access. 6 restaurants (Bayside, 8 Rivers, Verandah, Patio, Pool Grill, Veggie Bar) including one that sits on the water; the most inclusions (Dunn's River, catamaran cruise). Only 3 buildings with rooms so the resort is very compact and intimate. Everything revolves around a central location. Recently underwent a $30 million renovation - new rooms, new decor, new pools, etc. Swim-up pool bar. Also includes room service from 7:30am - 9:30pm. All rooms have mini bars.
CN (Negril)- Sits in Bloody Bay which it shares with 3 other resorts and public beach access. Separate section of main beach used for nude sunbathing, separated by a hedgeline. Individual buildings throughout the resort for the rooms. All on beach level. Somewhat spread out. Huge main pool with swim-up bar. 3 restaurants (Beach grill/Heliconia, Otaheite, Lychee). Rooms decorated in bright colors. 24 hour room service only in select room categories and it must be ordered a day in advance. All rooms have mini bars.
Hope this helps!
1. Not sure, our room did have a mini fridge, deluxe ocean view, you could call the 800# and ask
2. We were in building #4 overlooking the swim up pool, great view
3. no, the spa was in the front of the building but they had massage tables setup several days out on the lawn overlooking the water
4. 10 minutes, they had vendors selling misc stuff there every day
5. It seems to be more wind in Ocho than Negril from our experience, but still much nicer than Eastern US in January. We were in Cancun one year in January and the pools were really cold. We have been 4-5 times to Negril in January and it was beautiful but most of our Negril trips were in November.
I've never known Tower Island to be open for private dinner bookings. We did a private dinner at CTI and our only options were the pier, beach or gardens. I think that for one dinner, since there aren't any cooking facilities on the island, it's too much work to get the people and food out via the boat. They recently started allowing wedding receptions to be booked out there, but it's at a pretty good cost.
Originally Posted by Long Island Couple
As of when we went in 2011, they were doing the private dinner on the Isle in the evening. If I recall, it was about $100 more than the dinner on the beach, so about $370.
Originally Posted by Long Island Couple
They shuttle the couple out on the pontoon boat they use during the day to take people out to the Isle. Seeing as the dock on the Isle was washed away by a storm recently, I'm not sure if they've changed this.
They shuttled us out to Tower Island in a little boat our first day there (Feb 8) Then they closed the Island the next several days to construct a new dock/pier. We did observe two Island dinners ( before it was closed for construction) I dont know the cost of the island dinners.
Good to know about the Island dinners - I bet if you emailed the Romance Concierge they would know the cost. I'll ask when we are there in a few weeks just to find out.
I just found this on the CTI website under Restaurants & Bars:
PRIVATE DINING ON THE BEACH
For the ultimate in romantic evenings, allow our talented culinary team to create an unforgettable private candle-lit meal for you under the stars—complete with Couples private label wine, three delectable courses of Caribbean—inspired cuisine and the soothing sounds of the waves lapping onto the beach. view »
To reserve your private dinner, please contact the Romance Concierge in advance or visit the guest services desk upon arrival. The dinner is $170 per couple. If you prefer a more exclusive experience, ask about our Tower Isle Dinner. For only $240 you will be ferried offshore to legendary Tower Isle for a remarkable dinner with a romantic view of your resort from the island.