Newbies CSS Review 12/20-12/24....really long!
We had never stayed at a Couples resort before, but after reading the msg board daily for months I felt we had made the right decision. Thank you all for posting reviews and answering my questions!
A little background: DH and I are in our 40's and had been to other AI's in Jamaica, Mexico and the Bahamas. Our youngest child had recently moved out and it was our first trip as empty nesters.
Ok, onto the review...
Arriving: We were on US Air out of Denver, leaving at 1 AM and connecting in Charlotte. We wanted to get there as early as possible but the anticipation was too much and I couldn't sleep on the plane. Oh well, sleep is overrated anyway! DH had no problems catching some zzzz's, before we knew it we were there!
Breezed through customs and made our way to the Couples lounge, it was fairly crowded but had no problem checking in. The staff were warm and welcoming. Our bags were tagged and after a Red Stripe for DH and a bottle of water for me we were taken to our bus. Triple R was the driver for the 2 hour trip and he told us about each parrish we drove through and pointed out the local attractions and resorts. It started raining along the way, but we figured it would soon pass (more on that later). We stopped for bathroom break and snack of jerk pork and patties. The jerk pork had great flavor, just wish there wouldn't have been so much fat and bones in it, but nontheless it was delicious, as were the patties.
The remainder of the trip passed quickly and we arrived in the early afternoon.
Hopped off the bus and escorted to the lobby where we were quickly greeted by a glass of champagne and a cool towel, very nice start! Check in was quick and efficient. Because it was our first time staying there, we were given an overview of where the restaurants and other ammenities were located and advised to take the tour later that afternoon. We did go down to the tour, but we didn't go wandering around because everything was wet, instead we were told about the restaurants, bars, the spa, the location of the game room and what activities would be going on.
Our room was ready upon arrivial, we had booked a beachfront suite and I had requested an upper floor. We were given a suite in A block on the third floor with a lovely view of the lawn, beach and the ocean. Thank you for accomodating our request. :)
The room looks as it does on the webpage, I have pictures if anyone is interested. The room could do with a bit of attention in a few areas but nothing too serious. The only issue we had with the room was with the jacuzzi tub. DH
tried to fill it up the second day but the water pressure wasn't co-operating, it seemed to take quite awhile to get the tub to half full, so he made do without the jacuzzi. He was bound and determined to get it going so we could enjoy it together, so another night we started filling it and got it half way full, we left it that way and went to dinner, came back and filled it the rest of the way. After enjoying a nice soak with the jets going we started draining it, it was about 3/4 empty when there was a knock on the door and the announcement of "Maintainence", seems we were flooding the room below us :o. Sorry about that to the folks below us!
The cleaning staff did a great job of keeping the room tidy.The bed was comfy, the pillows fluffy. Our bed was turned down one night of our stay, never did have it decorated with flowers, but not a big deal. The mini bar in the room was stocked with an assortment of sodas, water and beer. There wasn't any liquor at first, but a call to room service quickly remedied that! We called and quickly received bottles of rum and champagne and a snack and we were set.
As previously mentioned, it was raining upon arriving, but we weren't going to let that stop us! We enjoyed our snack and frosty cold drink and changed into our bathing suits, heading out to explore. There wasn't an umbrella in the room, but we were just happy to be there and out of the snow. While wandering around in the rain the second day an employee (I wish I knew his name, sorry!) stopped us and gave us his umbrella. Just goes to show the level of service provided here :).
It rained most of the time we were there, so we made the best of it. I have to say that I've never sat in a hot tub in the rain with an umbrella before...lol. We wandered all over the resort finding all the hidden areas and dashing into the ocean when the rain let up. I wish we could have done some of the water sports but because of the weather that wasn't possible and they taped off the beach because of the debris that washed up for safety reasons. It was interesting to watch them clean the beach with a front loader, there was a huge mound of stuff that had come ashore! There were breaks in the rain and we did get the opportunity to get in the ocean, both on the textile and AN side (that's another story..hehe).
The food was wonderful! After staying at other AI's we looked foreward to upscale dining and was not disappointed. We ate at all the restaurants, enjoyed Lobster Night at Casanova immensly. Breakfast at Palazzina had many choices- fruit, cereal, eggs, an assortment of breakfast meats and sweet pastries. Lunch was usually at the beach grill, yummy variety available here as well. The patties were our favorite. We ordered room service snacks a few times too, all arrived quickly despite the weather.
The entertainment staff did their best to keep things going, playing games, sing alongs etc. We did attend Casino night, we played Blackjack with Maurice. He was alot of fun and kept the group laughing. I managed to win a bottle of coconut rum and a t-shirt for having the least amount of money :D.
Our last day was a short one, the goodbye bus would be taking us back to reality at 11 AM. The rain had let up and the sun was out, we laughed and figured that was just our luck.
Our luck continued with departure. I checked our return flight the night before and everything seemed to be in order, only to discover when I printed out our boarding passes that the second flight of the trip had been cancelled! American Airlines had cancelled the flight between Dallas and Denver, they had rebooked us for the next day. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal, actually it would have been a bonus, but we were due to fly to see out daughter that day. We talked to the service agent and she was able to book us on a flight with Delta, only problem there was it was departing in 30 minutes! So a mad dash through the airport ensued, no stopping for goodies to bring home. We made the flight just before they closed boarding....whew!
Overall, we did enjoy CSS. The grounds are lush and beautifully maintained, the service and food were over the top. We did get our fair share of excercise with the steps. I'd like to say I didn't gain weight because if them, but I did gain a few pounds...lol!
Thanks to all of you that took the time to read this review, I'll post one on TA as well, so I can sing the praises of Couples!