CSA Review 5/23-5/29 (LONG)
This is basically the same review I put on TripAdvisor but with some tweeking for the Couples message board.
We stayed for vacation May 23-29th 2010 (it was supposed to be our honeymoon but we decided to delay the wedding til next year). It seems that people either love this place or hate it so I was a little scared of how I would feel after going. We are both 35 years old and MOST of the people there were a little younger - mid to late 20s - and were on their honeymoons. We were in the lounge one night and we went around telling why we were there and out of about 10-15 couples, we were the only ones that weren't on honeymoon! Not that this had any bearing on our stay, just letting you know the majority of couples that you will encounter here.
CHECK IN: smooth and easy. They handed us cool towels and champagne, sweet!
THE ROOM: We booked an Atrium Suite. It had a hammock and no TV (which I thought would be romantic) and no fridge. I didn't care about the fridge or the TV at the time I booked it. We loved the hammock and spent alot of time relaxing there when we were taking a break from the water or when it rained. However, about mid week...we were missing a TV. I see the point in the romance of not having it, but it would have been nice to watch just while getting ready or in the morning eating breakfast. No biggie though. But the fridge...that was something that was needed. We were quite far from a bar or restaurant and if we got thirsty for something besides water when we were in our room, we'd have to walk quite a ways to get something. You couldn't get anything in a bottle besides beer or water so the idea of putting something on ice for later was not an option. As for the road noise, we were somewhat close to the road. So at night we did hear it just a bit. It wasn't bad but I can see if someone booked a Garden Suite (which was in the buildings right behind us) it would be a HUGE problem. We also had a problem with ants - like swarms of them! We told our housekeeper and she would get rid of them but they would come back in a day or so. It was an ongoing problem, but the rooms are completely open so I'm not sure what can be completely done about it. All in all, we liked our room and our housekeeper was wonderful and she took great pride in her job. I loved the hammock on the Atrium suite - I mean LOVED - however, next time I'll have to book a room with a TV. I understand the love of some not having that TV in the room, however it's just not for us.
THE FOOD: The food was awesome! Fabulous! If you can't find something you like here, then something is wrong. Between the buffets and the restaurants, there is tons to choose from. We had no trouble booking Lemongrass or Feathers and neither did anyone else we encountered. I found them both to be splendid and so was the service. I loved Lemongrass (the yellow curry with shrimp was some of the best food I've ever ate!). I wanted to book it again, but didn't have time. The only service trouble we had was at the buffet and that was when you ordered something besides water. A couple of times it took a few minutes to get a Pepsi or a drink from the bar. We ate at Patois twice for dinner. Neither meal was bad but just not as good as the other restaurant choices. Also, I gotta mention the fish tacos at Seagrapes...yum! And I HATE fish, but everyone was talking about them so I had to try them. They were sooo good.
THE BEACH: The beach and water is so beautiful and breathtaking. It was more than clean everyday and the staff does an awesome, over-the-top job of keeping it that way. The water activities were easy to book and there was tons to do. We went on a catamaran cruise, wake boarded, went scuba diving, and sailed the hobie cat and paddle boats. All this was included in our stay! What we didn't like about the beach...the TONS - TONS - TONS of vendors and solicitors. Most took a simple no thank you and left you alone but it seemed constant! There were a couple of jet ski and para sailing guys that would not leave you alone. They would come hound you while you were relaxing in the water. We had to literally move away from the jet ski guy while he kept yelling at us. We had to keep telling him NO all week long. I understand it's a public beach but there should be some sort of way to limit this kind of solicitation at the resorts.
THE NIGHTLIFE: There is none. Everyone is in bed by 10pm. The only thing that stays open is the Aurora lounge/club/piano bar. Don't expect anything exciting to be happening there though. There was a beach party (although it happened indoors due to rain) the last night we were there and it was quite fun, however still over by 10pm. The nightlife was a bit disappointing for us.
Don't let my review seem as if our stay wasn't fantastic, because it was! I'm just pointing out the good and the bad in MY opinion. It was actually beyond my expectations. We had a wonderful time and would not hesitate going back with some minor tweeking on our end. By about mid week we were a bit bored. We wished we could have taken some off site excursion tours but couldn't afford it - they were quite expensive. So maybe next time, we will save up for that or even consider doing a split stay at another Couples resort.
The resort was awesome!! The staff was friendly and great. Like I said, beyond my expectations. The grounds were lush, tropical, and beautiful. I don't think I could see myself staying at anywhere else in Jamaica besides a Couples resort. In fact, I'm planning my next trip in my head right now! Dreaming...ah yes, dreaming...