We arrived yesterday at CSA. We have stayed many, many times at CN, and have visited CSA a few times for dinner or for anniversary parties, art exhibits and the like. Here are my impressions after the first 24 hrs of our stay:
Food is quite a bit better, more selection and, I think, better quality.
Beach is shallow - the distance from water to footpath/buildings is quite short. We have been coming to Negril for over 10 years, and the beach on Long Bay has never quite been the same since Hurricane Ivan. It grows and is then eroded away with the seasons and the weather, but the beach at CN is far, far superior with much more room and sand and shade trees. No contest.
At CSA the reserving of beach chairs and cabanas early in the morning by people who then never occupy them is both infantile and annoying. Not sure what to do as such people would pay no attention to any sort of 'two hours and you're out' policy. But it really turns me off and is absolutely not an issue at CN, although there are a few characters there that do this as well. Maybe staff could print out some cards that say something along the lines of 'You have had this area reserved since ________ o'clock. As of ______ o'clock the area has been continuously unoccupied. As such your possessions have been removed and relocated to watersports so that our guests who wish may use the area.'
CSA is overall a more shallow (all buildings closer to the road) resort, and as such there is much more road noise throughout the resort than at CN, although there is certainly road noise there.
CSA is a larger resort with 312 suites as opposed to 230 or so.
csa is on Long Bay and that is an advantage - it is fun to walk the beach and see all the little hotels, restaurants and businesses and talk with people - CSA affords the opportunity to be closer to Jamaica, albeit a very touristy taste.
Having been to CN before and arriving at CSA for the 1st time in 12 days I'm really happy to hear the food is actually better, not that I doubted it but I didn't think any resorts food would live up to CN.
I'm a little bummed about the beach though, I thought hands down CSA was going to have a better beach...but hey I can't complain I'll be enjoying paradise in no time.
Thanks for the update, hope you enjoy your vacation!!!
Stretch, excellent comparison. Curious to hear more about how you like it...we love, love, love CN and are going back again in November, but I keep thinking I might like to try CSA next year, so it's great to see the comparisons on here from people who have visited both...especially those that LOVE CN. Gives me an idea of perspective. enjoy and keep up the posts!
I am a long time, diehard CSA fan (since the resort opened in 1990) and last year a day at CN convinced us to plan our last Couples trip there so we went for 4 nights in May of 2010. I agree with your comparison so far.
The beach at CN is fabulous as is the main pool. For me, these were the only two areas where CN was a winner, except for Otaheite.
The sports complex, grounds, food, spa, large terraces on all room categories and nightly entertainment at CSA give it the edge for me and we are headed back there next month.
We went to CN in Feb. 2010 and CSA in Feb. 2011. I did post a full review; however, my parting words were this:
Now that we’ve been lucky enough to spend time at both CSA and CN, I’ve conjured up MY perfect trip to Jamaica. I would take the wider, more serene beach of Couples Negril along with my favorite restaurant, Otaheite, and combine it with the Atrium room from CSA and add BOTH activities team members from both resorts to our stay. The Activities Team at both resorts is exceptional and is a valuable asset to Couples. After our second trip, I can only repeat the now famous saying of “once you go, you know”. Happy Travels to All!
The beach at CSA is decieving. If you stay on the north side of the property by the old rooms the beach is shallow. If you travel south to the new section by the swim up bar, you will notice that it broadens out. The beach is very long because the resort is laid out that way. Other resorts aren't near as spread out along the beach like CSA. So while the beach may be narrower in areas, there is more beach overall compared to other resorts. Having been to several resorts in Negril I can honestly say that CSA has my favorite beach of them all. Storms may change them from time to time but they bounce back. If you parasail in Negril you get a great view of the beaches. During our last trip we went to CN by boat and ended back at CSA by parasail. The beach there was by far the clearest and longest stretch of any resort there.
Hubby and I are also diehard CSA fans. We visited CN last year and really enjoyed our stay. We found a lot of things were similar to CSA, like the dinner options, the daily activities offered by entertainment staff, or nightly entertainment.
We did feel the beach and beach atmosphere at CSA are superior. We are people who stay on the beach all day everyday, save/reserve the huts, but we do use them all day. We noticed at CN more people stay at the pool, and there were few people who actually stayed on the beach.
We love the sunset at CSA, and found it to be very different at CN. We found ourselves missing CSA, but are glad we have had the CN experience. We return home in July, and are counting down the days.
We have visited all of the Couples Resorts and have found each to be unique in its own special way. We have also visited other AI and find Couples to be superior. We feel you can't go wrong at any of the Couples Resorts.
The beach was much better prior to Nicole last Oct. We were there in April 2010 and it was HUGE and then the week after Nicole in Oct 2010 and it was tiny. It just takes a while for it to come back. The beach at CN was hit hard after Nicole too.