An honest review of our new home: CTI
This is what I submitted to TA and figured I would share with all our friends here. Forgive the length but we could go on so much more!
We are repeaters who have previously stayed @ CN in April 2011 and have just returned from CTI where we stayed from April 25th to May 2nd 2013. We were quite apprehensive at first after we booked since we loved our stay at CN so much, but now I can safely say that we have found our new home @ Couples Tower Isle. So, on with the review:
Check in: Check in was smooth considering about 10 couples were there checking in but we were a bit disappointed to find out they had overbooked the resort and did not have the Deluxe Oceanview Room we had booked. Tara at the front desk was however very apologetic and accommodated us in one of their unadvertised ďVillasĒ in the front garden area until they could move us the next morning. The Villa had its own small courtyard w/a sitting area, outdoor shower and pool with mini-waterfall, a huge bedroom and bathroom with whirlpool bathtub. These little private getaways would be perfect for someone who wants complete seclusion and could care less about an ocean view. They were however in dire need of repair and upgrades which would explain why they are not advertized and seem to be used for overbooking only. In the end, we realized our disappointment was mainly due to our travel exhaustion and wanting to ďsettle inĒ. We still enjoyed our one night of seclusion in what would have been the best rooms in the house about 25 years ago and appreciated that we had the opportunity to experience it.
Rooms: The next morning we were immediately moved into room 4412. We were quickly blown away by the Deluxe Oceanview room and the view of the ocean and island which well exceeded the rooms we experienced in Couples Negril. The room really showcased the upgrade the hotel went through in fine fashion and was spotless. We liked the fact the rooms were laid out in hotel fashion with a quick walk even from the far end of bldg 4 where we were to the main pool. We also enjoyed the garden area which I walked each day to see the parrots. The resort has an air and ambiance to it that is hard to explain which is very breathtaking giving you a very romantic feeling. You can really feel how the stars of the 50ís and 60ís felt when you just pause to look at the resort from the beach or Bayside restaurant. It is a very beautiful building built in a beautiful part of the island. CTI definitely edges out CN for room quality and view.
Food: We are foodies and did not experience one meal we disliked. Our favourite was the Eight Rivers Repeaterís dinner on Monday night. We ate dinner again @ Eight Rivers, twice at Bayside, twice at the Veranda and once at the buffet for dinner. We found Eight Rivers narrowly exceeded Negrilís Otaheiteís style and food quality. Bayside was also quite good but was clearly not as good as Lychee in Negril. We enjoyed the Veranda more than Bayside overall but Heliconia in Negril was better than the Veranda. The buffets at CTI and CN are very good but CN had more selection and slightly better quality. The grill @ CTI we did like better than CN also the Veggie Bar at CTI was to die for. We enjoyed lunch there and I had the best Panini I ever had: Smoked Marlin. The sweet potato chips and dips were out of this world as well as the Lebanese choices of Falafel pitas and Kibbeh! As a result however, I have to say that the edge goes to Couples Negril for food quality and selection but only by the narrowest of margins.
Pools: Outstanding. The quiet main pool is where we parked each day and is very relaxing as you get to hear the ocean and waterfall all day. What an enjoyable pool and view of the ocean from it. We never spent any time @ the pool bar but it looked as enjoyable as Negrilís but smaller. I have to give CTI the nod over CN for pools.
Beach: Small but very picturesque and unlike CN: Private. However, Negril has a beach and water that cannot be matched so itís no surprise CNís beach getís the win here. Being pool people it didnít matter much to us because the rest of CTI made up for it.
Staff and Service: This is where CTI really shines. While CNís staff was very friendly, nothing compares to the genuine caring, happy, very engaging and helpful staff at CTI who get to know you personally and treat you like family. It starts with the Bellman Byron when you check in who remembers your name and shouts out to you daily. We became quite attached to our new friend Adrian who worked the pools. His smile, conversation and friendship truly made each day a delight. Thank you Adrian, we will really miss you. We also got to know Charmaine, the resortís Operations Manager at the repeaterís dinner. There was also Tanesha who worked the rooftop martini cocktail parties who we enjoyed great conversation with. Also Ramon who also worked the pools always came by to say hello and chat each day. You really became attached to these and the other wonderful people and THAT is what really sets CTI above what we have ever experienced before on vacation. It was so much harder to say goodbye this time because you truly become attached to the staff.
Nightlife: This was excellent. The Gala, the bands that play at night and the piano bar put this resort on top for us. We are not big partiers but really enjoyed our after dinner activities more so than at CN.
Excursions: We went to relax and only did the glass bottom boat and didnít regret missing out on the other great inclusions others we met and made friends with thoroughly enjoyed.
Lobby and Patio: Very elegant and stylish with large doors open with a constant cool breeze blowing on you as you sit in front of one. This leads to the front patio where we relaxed after dinner and looked out at the ocean and stars. This is truly a wonderful part of the resort.
Overall: This resort should is a slice of heaven and relaxation where you truly feel at home and are treated like royalty. CTI is a magical and romantic place that anyone who has any hesitation about trying should bite the bullet and experience. We are so happy we chose CTI that we will be returning next year. Thank you Couples once again for such a wonderful experience. We are so blessed to be able to come into your home and leave relaxed and satisfied beyond belief. We have indeed found our new home at CTI.