We just returned on Wednesday from our vacation. I know how everyone enjoys reviews so here is ours. It is extremely long, but here you go!
We have been to CN three times and love it. We decided to try out the other side of the island and decided on CTI to see the Grand Old Lady that so many call home.
We arrived a little before 2pm and were shown directly to our room. We were staying in a new room and were the first to stay there. Unfortunately I don't think a checklist had been completed and there were items missing from our room. We had to make a couple of phone calls, but all was eventually taken care of. The safe in the room was large enough that I could place my MacBook laptop in there. I'm pretty sure a regular sized notebook would fit in the safe.
The room we were in had a bathtub/shower combination and we were a little disappointed as I wanted to experience the zero shower line shower. The water pressure was very good. Not sure if this was a plus or minus, but it was funny that it only took two steps to get from the bed to the toilet. Made for a very fast trip in the morning. :-)
CTI is very different from CN. CN has winding pathways located throughout the property. CTI is more compact and had a hotel 'feel' to us. We missed the winding pathways, but it was nice when it was pouring rain and we were able to get anywhere on the property without going outside.
We like to sunbathe AN and used the Island while we were there. I'm not sure if we were there during an unusually busy week, but the first day we went over there were no loungers available. Later in the day they did bring some over. It was nice to have the pool to cool off in and the bartenders were great. We enjoyed the little beach a bit, but missed being able to take a floaty into the ocean and float.
We decided 4 days into our 10 day trip that we had given CTI a fair chance and it just wasn't for us. We ended up doing a Trading Places over to CSS on our 4th day and fell in love with the place. We talked with the staff at CSS and they said that they could accommodate us and that we just needed to talk to CTI when we returned. We spoke with CTI when we returned and they immediately made the arrangements for us to move over there the following morning. It was so nice that there was no questioning us or arguing with us. CTI made it a pleasurable experience.
We transferred over early in the morning and our room was not ready. We were not surprised and gladly headed to breakfast and then to the beach. We had asked if our room could be ready by 2pm so that we could put our valuables away before heading on the shopping trip at 3pm. They were more than happy to accommodate us.
We were given a room in the "D" block and loved it. We were in the perfect location as we were in the middle of the resort. Just a few steps up to the Balloon Bar or a few steps down to restaurants and the beach. It also had the zero line shower which was really cool. One drawback on the room was the water pressure, but we discovered that we were able to drink champagne while taking a shower and didn't get any water in the glass. It was perfect for this task! LOL The safe in the room was just big enough for us to put our MacBook in, but I'm not sure if a 'regular' size notebook would fit in it.
Even though we arrived the night of the Repeater's Dinner and had already been to the Repeater's Dinner at CTI, we received our invitation. Not only that, but we also received our other Repeater's Gifts. We were really impressed.
This resort is so romantic. We had a wonderful time. From the second we stepped on the property all cares fell away and we were able to focus on each other and had a very romantic vacation. There are pathways everywhere! And they all lead to a fun little surprise. There are lots of romantic hideaways to cuddle with your loved one and spend quiet moments. We spent one afternoon exploring the property and making sure we swam in each pool and soaked in each hot tub. Silly I know, but fun.
The AN facilities are amazing. They have a nice deep beach with lots of shade. The ocean can be a bit cold from the river, but we still had fun floating in the ocean. The pool is large enough that you can take your floaty and float away. They bring lunch over everyday and it is more than just burgers and fries even though those are also available. Each lunch had an entree, sides, salad and dessert. It was also very cool that the entertainment staff would come over twice a day and offer games on the beach. We had lots of fun with trivia games and bocci ball.
It was a bit windy one day and we checked out the textile beach which was less windy so we headed over there. So remember if the water is a bit rough on the AN side to check out the textile side. We sat near the water sports hut and the employees would come over and take drink orders from us.
The Friday Night Gala was amazing. And the entertainment was fabulous. We really enjoyed this event.
It was very nice that all restaurants were a la cart in the evenings. Plus having the option of room service at anytime was great even though we only used it the night before we left.
One thing missing from CSS that CN has is the option of daily sushi. We were talking with a Chef one day and mentioned this to him. He asked us what type of sushi we like. We were very impressed when later in the evening a huge plate of sushi was delivered to our room.
Every staff member at CSS makes you feel like they are your personal attendant and are ready to do anything you request of them. We were blown away by the staff.
I really could type forever about CSS. We loved the resort. We love it so much that we aren't sure whether we like CN or CSS more. They are both neck and neck.
Needless to say we had an incredible time at CSS. We are already booked there in 2011, but are trying to see if we might be able to return there in 2010.
What room type did you stay in at CTI that gave you a bathtub/shower combo?
Juli, so glad you got to experience all the wonders of CSS. After the trading spaces we thought about moving also but decided to stick it out at CTI since we had already been to CSS twice.
After spending that one day at CSS we remembered why we fell in love with it (and it's staff)! CSS, we will be back!
We also agree with you that it is very hard to pick a favorite between CN and CSS.
Thanks for the review. We have been to CSA and loved it, but decided to try the north side next time. We went back and forth and finally decided on CSS, so I find your review very reassuring.
any comments/review about the couch in the lobby of cti ?
Thanks fro the review it seems we were at CTI at the same time basically.. We had a wonderful time there and will definitely return. We didn't run into any of the issues you had.
I'm pretty sure you can take a floaty into the water behind the island if you want, people were swimming back there all the time.
It's really interesting to find what works for some and not others. I think we chatted with several couples at CTI, one who had started at CSS and moved to CTI and another that was going to CSS from CTI because it didn't mesh with them. We were in building 4, 3rd floor and loved it. The room wasn't anything super special, but it was clean and had a nice shower. The safe fit my full size laptop. I suppose that is why couples has 4 locations, something for everyone! They seemed to always be ready to help and would do whatever they could to accommodate you. I'm glad that you found a home at CSS!
Thanks for the great review, Juli !!
When we were at COR in Jan 2007, after 2 days, we tried switching over to CSS. But, CSS was full & could not accommodate us. We ended up having a really nice trip at COR & loved the food. But, while we love A.N., the island situation just wasn't for us.
Anyway, we've been to all 4 Couples & really enjoyed all of them, but CSS is #1 in our opinion (so much so that we're returning for our 5 visit in April !!).
Good review and it once again just goes to show that different folks have different takes and perspectives on their needs & expectations. Glad to know that CSS was able to do for you what CTI couldn't. And of course a huge credit to Couples for making sure their properties offer something unique unto themselves, yet carry the consistency of quality service thruout.
I must admit I am a bit bummed. Of course I realize that to each his own as Barren had pointed out - but I just jumped on this board ready to share my crazy excitement almost jumping out of my skin that we only have 4 more sleeps till CTI - and now I am deflated! We chose CTI for the newness of the facility - but I am wondering if we wouldn't appreciate CSS more as you all are indicating?!
Juli......I am so glad you got to visit our "home" I just wish we had been there to greet you!! Maybe next time, we will happen there at the same time. We have made time in our schedule for a one day pass to CTI, but I believe we will feel as you did....CSS is so much more romantic and the AN facilities are unbelievable. They did not bring over extra food at lunchtime when we were there but I had heard they have started....good to know, I often had to drag my DH back to the textile side to eat from their wonderful buffet. Glad you had a great time.....maybe we will meet you next time!!
For anyone that doubts that CTI will give you a wonderful time, let me take away your fears. We have been going for 9 years, before and after the renovations. It is enchanting! You will love it!
Deanne ~ The food was very good and was just another way that CSS made us feel special.
sshik~ Don't be concerned, there are different Couples because there are different types of people. CTI might just be what you are looking for. Jump back into your skin and stay excited.
Absolutely! I did not mean to offend......I am sure CTI is fabulous, just CSS may be our special "home." We are excited to head over for the one day and look at all of the renovations, pictures and especially visit the famed island! Couples has something for everyone and each one has its own mystique.
I may do a trading places one day at CSS next year when I'm at CTI but I doubt it will beat out CTI for us... we love it there! The island breeze really seals the deal for us.
This will be our first trip to Jamaica and Couples, I have been reading the board every day for months and getting really excited!!!
I was wondering if you could tell me what room you had (deluxe, superior, etc) that you had a tub/shower combo at CTI. We are staying at CTI and I was also hoping for the zero entry shower. We have booked a deluxe ocean view room.
Wonderful review, we feel exactly the same way, after two trips to CN, we found CSS and are returning to CSS in April, 2010! Those two resorts are neck and neck! Very different, but both incredible in their own rite!
We were scared to death to try something new, and now that we did, it is almost like you need to flip a coin to decide.
We are looking forward to a trading places day to check out CTI. We toured CSA our last trip to CN before trading places was an option. I loved CSA, my husband did not, just goes to show you, everyone does indeed have their own opinions.
The shower in the deluxe ocean view room is basically zero entry... there is a tiny lip on the floor.
Thanks for the shower info Barron! I can't wait till me and my DH get there in January!!!
I really enjoyed your review for several reasons. One, we've only been to CN and are headed to CSS (and CSA) in just a few weeks, so it was nice to hear a recent review from someone who loves CN and now loves CSS. Another reason - I laughed out loud with the champagne in the shower comment. :) Thanks for the laughs!!
Trading places questions
We are booked for 7 days at CTI in February. We had a hard time deciding between CTI and CSS. We decided on CTI because we had been to COR/CTI 3 years ago and loved it so we figured it would be that much better with all of the renovations.
If we do a Trading Places with CSS, what time do we leave CTI and what time do we get back?
We tend to go up to our room often for different reasons so we don't carry a lot of stuff down to the beach. What do we need to take with us to CSS for the day? Just a beach bag? When reading about the winding pathways and things, I know we will want to explore so I don't want to be carrying stuff around all day.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
I really don't know what room category we were in because I think we got upgraded because of our repeater status. We were in building 1 if that tells you anything.
For a day at CSS you will need whatever you would normally need for a day on the beach. We took our towels, sunscreen, books & camera in a beach bag. While we were walking the grounds we left our bag with our lounge chairs and just took our camera with us. You will leave CTI at 10am and return at 4pm.
Melea ~ We really got a kick out of the shower. At first we were a bit bummed, but decided to make lemonade out of lemons and it turned out wonderful. We sure don't have that option here at home. LOL
We also thought the shower with no shower curtain or divider would be a pain in the butt but agree that it turned out being a plus.
For example, get under the shower head, get all wet and realize you forgot something.....no problem, mon, just step out from the running water and get it! No worries! LOL
It may have been more of a problem if we had one of those sinks that gets water all over but we had a normal sink in our room.
We had a gardenview room #3209.
Just back from 14 days at CSS of which we did the trading places at CTI. Loved CSS (first time to Couples at all).
Did all activities and eat all the food imaginable. Changed rooms, swam in everypool/hottub but SSB. Plenty of tours and diving, golf etc.
14 days was not enough.
LOVED the walk-in shower overlooking the beach. Both G4 and D18 were lovely.
Staff couldn't have been more accommodating.
Now wishing I had an all-inclusive chef back home.
Juli---did Scott go diving at CTI, if so, how was it?
Jenandmikeb ~ Yes, Scott went diving. He said it was about the same as on the Negril side, but we did talk to the dive staff and they don't have dolphins follow the boats like they do on the Negril side. He did say that Collen at CTI was the best dive master of the three resorts we have been to (CN, CTI, CSS). Collen was a lot of fun.