We had two previous trips to Jamaica before we found Couples. Syl was teaching tennis at the old Bosco Belle Beach Resort, in exchange for room and board.
Once we discovered the venerable COR in 1995, we honestly felt as though we had crossed over into some sort of sublime tropical oasis that you only find in the movies. We had already fallen in love with the lush, green, warm exotic surroundings twice before. But as we drove up the circular driveway and parked in front of the open air lobby, with that view to the island, I was convinced that we "weren't in Kansas anymore, Toto".
In those early years, in spite of any and all annoyances, large or small, real or imagined, each time we returned, the magical spell we experienced the first time, just seemed to grow in intensity, enjoyment, excitement and unbridled childlike anticipation.
We went from the usual seven day time period, then upped it to ten days. Then we started going twice a year for twelve days each time. We had to completely restructure our lives in order to make this happen and keep on happening.
The comfort, familiarity, warmth and affection shown to us by staff over the last 17 years, has enriched our lives beyond imagination. The joy and laughter we have shared with so many couples, just adds to the already incredible experience we all call Couples.
We did stay at CSS during the time CTI was being refurbished, and we had no problem enjoying ourselves while we were there. But by this time, our hearts and minds, spirits and souls belonged to CTI. And of course, they still do.
We've been to CSA and CSS. First trip was Swept Away and the next year tried CSS. Ever since have been to CSA.
Love the beach at CSA and although enjoyed our trip to CSS we just like Negril better. Next Mar we are going to do a split CSA and CN. At CSA love that all restraunts are open air except for Feathers but do enjoy a night or two there. Love the martini bar and spending an evening or two with Ultimate. Amazing pianist. Mostly love the beach and being able to walk and walk. Staff at both resorts were second to none.
If we had to pick which Couples to go to based on staff alone - it's not possible, we love them all!
positive -first Couples we visited, the island is the hot spot and the place to be
- Bayside was Italian at the time and the ambiance was and is amazing
- new swim up pool bar and dive pool are a perfect addition
negative - Bayside is now Asian fusion (if we had never had the original Italian menu we'd think it was great, but now....we miss the Italian)
- if the weather is bad, the island is inaccessible
- since the renovations we don't find the resort has the same charm
- the grill used to be where the veggie bar is now, presently located up the steps and behind the pool (not as easily accessible if you're all sandy and/or wet from the beach, still no way to rinse off until you're already up the steps on the jacuzzi side
positive - SSB is complete with all you could want, pool, jacuzzi, waterfall, beach, swim up bar, grill - you never have to leave for anything during the day
- to me, the rooms at CSS are the most beautiful and there are so many categories to chose from
negative - all the stairs around property
- SSB is open to the rest of the resort some days after 5pm
- SSB is rocky in the ocean and colder, murkier because of the freshwater stream that flows out next to it
- only 3 restaurants and you need reservations for 2 of them
positive - weather is more predictable, tends to always be calm (when we travel)
- size of resort and location of all amenities within close proximity and centrally located
- tree house for dinner or spa treatments (go just before dusk, first the birds serenade you then the tree frogs - love it!)
- 4 amazing restaurants, we love Heliconia's open air-beachfront location and the food never disappoints us, Lychee's appetizer platter, Otaheite's service and attention to detail, Cassava's menu variety and casual atmosphere
- the diving is so laid back and relaxed because of the calm seas and of course the dive team is awesome and they make us feel taken care of and confident in our own skills (we only dive on vacation)
- AN beach's quiet, relaxed atmosphere, the huge hot tub that we use late at night to look at the stars
- floating AN in the ocean is so enticing
negatives - AN area is not private but flanked by other resorts where people from all around bloody bay can walk by and gawk, we have to cross this public space to go cool off in the ocean (I just use a floaty around me)
The sports facility is largest at CSA, particularly the tennis courts, although all resorts have at least 2 courts. CSA has 12 I think, a mix of hard courts and green clay courts. The instructors were great, worked with them every day. That, and as I am a beach walker, must say CSA suits our lifestyle. Seemed to be a lot of sporty people there when I visited. Hoping to be back very soon!
We have been to CSA twice, and are going back in March 2013 (can't wait!). On our second trip there we did the trading places thing and spent a day at CN. We love CSA so much, we will likely always return to it over the others. There have been a lot of other comments about the beach, the beauty of the place, the great food and great staff, but I think what truly makes the place is the rooms. Not hotel like at all but split up between many small buildings that are spread throughout the resort. Some right on the beach, some just a little bit back from the beach, and some in the garden areas. So nice! You can just walk down a few steps and you are on the beach or in the gardens. No long hallways or stair cases. You feel like you are in your own private little bunglalow and it is so peaceful. Oh, and the beach bars at CSA are wonderful!!