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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    612

    Default CSA Vets Thinking About CTI

    Hi All -

    We've been to CSA x7, and are going again at Thanksgiving 2011. We're thinking about going back to Jamaica the end of March/Beginnig of April (about 8 days). The cheapest rate we can get is at CTI. I know there have been many comparisons here, and I've always read Crabracer's commentaries, and appreciate his perspective. I would, however, like some feedback based on our profile:

    We're not mixers. Both of us have jobs where we have to mix with people who aren't our friends (I'm a headhunter, and my SO is in senior management and travels to Asia regularly). We're not looking for a place where we can make friends, but are looking for a place where we can have time to reconnect with each other and just enjoy each other's company.

    We've found that at CSA things are spread out enough that we aren't on top of other couples, and honestly, although we aren't rude about it, we have never really made "life long friends" in our multiple trips to CSA.

    My big questions are: Will we feel pressured into meeting people, and if we don't want to, will we be made to feel somehow "guilty" about not being joiners? And how are the staff about not being "mixy" with guests who aren't interested in becoming "lifelong friends" with either staff or guests??? We've made some good friends at CSA, but we're not the type to email/call staff/guests when we're not there, and we're not looking for that when we return to JA.

    I understand that the physical lay outs of the 2 resorts are VERY different, and am just looking for some feedback on the interpersonal vibe....

    Thank you -

  2. #2

    Default

    We've now been to CSA, CTI and CSS. Most recently we did a CTI/CSS split.
    Based on what you've told us, I'm not sure how much you would love CTI. It's a great resort, and we had a fabulous time, but one of the best parts, we found that was we kept seeing the same people. This made it quite social. Not that you have to be, mind you, and no one will pressure you. However it is much more compact than CSA so it's a bit more difficult to "escape" everyone, as it sounds you'd like to do.
    How about trying CSS for a change of scenery? We found it much more like CSA (which we love, but we are biased as we got married there!). The grounds are so large and lush that it's a great place to really escape. Of course people do sit at the beach bar or swim-up pool and socilaize, but it is a very easy resort to find a quiet place away from everyone and just reconnect with your special someone. There are hidden away hammocks, and terraces we never even saw people at. There's the mineral pool, which didn't seem busy, and the mineral hot tub tucked away. I'd walk around the pond in the morning and maybe only see one or two people - staff. So many spots we didn't even spend time at all of them. It's such an incredibly romantic resort.
    Check out our pictures (keep in mind the ones with NOBODY around are mostly in the mornings before people were out and about)
    http://picasaweb.google.com/diverdebbie

  3. #3

    Default No worries

    Our first trip we got married at Couples Ocho Rios..now CTI as you know. We wanted the same experience. We picked that resort because it seemed to be the most romantic and low key of all the resorts. I'm not sure how it is now since it is CTI. From what I can see the resort looks bigger after the renovations so there should be more room to have alone time. Which we had no problems being by ourselves. If CTI is all you can afford at the moment I say "DO IT" We did meet up with the Moonshiners the next year and had a blast. So in my opinion your time at CTI is what you make it. Don't feel that crazy groups like us will force you go hang out or be so loud that you can't have a great time The staff is as "life long" as you want as well. The will not force you to befriend them But trust me they are there if you need them. Go back home even if it isn't CSA you may find you have a second home away from home at CTI

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    Don't worry about it. You can stay as private as you want at CTI, no one will bother you if you want to be alone. That's the beauty af the Couples Resorts, no one will try to force you onto joining in. We love CTI. We will also be going to CSA at Thanksgiving completing a stay at all four Couples. I'm sure you will find what you ae looking for at CTI.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,036

    Default

    We have been to both and at CTI there are very laid back areas and areas where people mix and party together. The beach is pretty mellow and the main, large pool by the Patio restaurant is quiet too. The pool with the swim up bar is quite lively in the afternoon. We didn't find the resort crowded or loud and we are like you as far as socializing goes.

    It is a totally different vibe and layout. Hotel resort vs. CSA's small tropical village.

    Same Couples service. Enjoy.

  6. #6

    Default

    Gonegril -are you totally sold on CTI? Have you considered CSS? From what you describe CSS might be a better fit and there's typically not much difference in pricing between the CTI and CSS. We've been to CSA, CSS and CTI. If you are wanting the more spreadout feel like CSA then you might want to think about CSS. It is older and doesn't have the contemporary flare like CTI but all three locations are equally great when it comes to the food, service, staff and overall quality of your stay.

    Some things to consider which impact vibe.... The beaches at both OR locations are much smaller than in Negril, but the resorts are also much smaller with less people. If the weather is bad and the island at CTI is closed then all the people are on the same beach, this happened when we were there in December. At CSS, this is not an issue because both beaches are always open. At CSS, you can walk to your room, to dinner etc and never pass another person. The grounds are very spread out, lush and great to wonder around. At CTI, the feel is more like a hotel. Everything is connected together. You can go to your room, the lobby, the piano bar and all the restaurants except Bayside and never even venture outside so you will definitely have contact with many more people, this is great setup if it rains. We also made conversation at dinner every night with others because people were at the very next table. Again, the above comparison is not a knock on either resort, because different people like different things.

    As far as vibe, we are much like you and when at CSA we have not really made lengthy conversation with other guests and staff. We tend to do our own thing. We've found that guests and staff at both OR locations are much more friendly than CSA but not forceful to make contact. I don't think you will have any problems or be made to feel guilty at any location. Enjoy your vacation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    290

    Default

    We have stayed at CSA and CSS and visited CN and CTI for a day with trading places. If what you want it privacy and alone time, then I agree with those who say checkout CSS. It is stunning and has so much room to wander. We liked the vibe at CTI, but the grounds are small and I can't imagine that you could find a spot just for the two of you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    612

    Default

    Thank you all for your great feedback! We'll definitely check out CSS! I think we're just going crazy right now (at least I am)....living outside of Boston and anticipating another 20 inches of snow - even with a snowblower the drifts are so high I'm afraid there'll be nowhere to put it all!!

    To those of you on target for a "soon come" vacation to paradise, I'm totally envious....and to those of US who are looking forward to more of that white stuff, well Spring is just a few short months away....no, really!

    Thanks again for the great info!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,338

    Default

    At CTI if you want to be alone you can be. Yes it is a smaller resort, but the beach is private, no vendors or others on it, just CTI people. CTI also does not have the jet skies, speed boats, or people flying over. It is a private area where nothing from the outside bothers you, You will see people, but is spread out to the point that you are not on top of any other couple.

    CTI is like the other resorts, if you hang out at the swim up bar, you will be talking to others, but if you sit over to the side, no one will bother you. Been to CSS and CTI and if you want to be in the party spot you can, if you do not you also can do that with no problem.

    If you are looking for a place to hide at CTI and not see anyone, CTI does not have that. Not sure that CSA has that either.

    The big differences between the resorts is CSA is on a long public beach and all the room have mini bars. CTI is on a private beach and only the suites have mini bars. CSA also is known for large groups with singles, CTI is not.

    Hope this helps.
    Irie Mon

  10. #10

    Default The Answer is CSS

    I haven't been to CTI. I have been to CSS a few times, including my vow renewal several years ago. Based on what you say about what you want out of a vacation....you absolutely would not regret staying at CSS. It seems like you have the resort almost to yourself even when it is fully occupied. It just seems like a throwback to another era. It's quiet, tropical, beautiful. You sound like just the kind of people this resort was made for.

    Full disclosure: CSA is my favorite (unsurpassed beach), but for your interests, definitely CSS. Wherever you end up, I'd love to hear what you thought of it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,032

    Default

    What about waiting to book and then going with a Secret Rendezvous as soon as they become available for that time period? It seems like you are likely to get CSS or CTI but you could get any of the four and the price might be lower that way.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,032

    Default

    It looks like they are booking March SR right now at a really low rate. $350/night which is way lower than the cheapest rates at CTI for that time period. You might think about calling them if that is something you are interested in but you need to book some of the trip in April. I don't know if they would be able to book that over the phone or maybe they would know when the April SR is going to be released. It seems like that should be happening any day now since it is Feb and they tend to have two months going at once.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    772

    Default

    I am not the most social person -- not antisocial, I just prefer to lay on the beach with my book and leave me along. DH is a social butterfly.

    CSA is our favorite of the 4 resorts. Last year in October, we went to CTI, because I loved the South Beach look and we wanted to try something else (that was less expensive.)

    Guess what? I absolutely LOVED CTI. I grabbed a lounger, found a spot on the beach near the water, and read. No one bothered me. I was left pretty much totally alone. DH could relax with me or play volleyball, as he desired. The end of the pier was another great solitary spot. There was never anyone out there.

    All in all, it was fantastic, and if there was somewhere (anywhere) to run on property -- or even off property -- other than a treadmill, we'd be going back more frequently. We really missed our runs, though.
    Ragnar Relay 2014 - MIAMI to KEY WEST!
    Marine Corp Marathon: 10/12 4:09
    NYC Marathon 11/6/11 - 4:21
    Chicago Marathon 10/10/10 - 4:19
    Marine Corp Marathon '09 - 4:26 / '08 - 4:28[/FONT]

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