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  1. #1

    Default CSA Questions before booking trip

    My husband & I are planning on coming to CSA between Early September-Mid November. I have a few questions that could determine the exact month and length of the stay.

    -How many days do you really need to experience CSA. Do you need a whole week?
    -During the time frame I'm interested in coming, for those who have been, which month would you choose and for what reason?
    -Are you able to be on the beach at night? I know at other resorts i've looked at they have discouraged being on the beach after night fall for security reasons.
    How safe is it to walk up & down the beach out side of your resort?
    - Which room to choose at CSA between the GH Veranda Suite, Atrium, or the Garden View Veranda Suite?
    Thank you in advance for your help!!!

  2. #2

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    how many days? As many as you can afford.
    Warmer the beter, so I guess September, even though that's hurricane season.
    CN-July 2006
    CSA-July 2009
    CSA-July 2011

    Eat, Drink, and be Merry for tomorrow you may die.

  3. #3

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    We were at CSA for 10 nights and still could have stayed for 10 more There are many activities to take advantage of and it's not relaxing if you try to crowd them all together. I would recommend staying for at least 5 nights, as the days you arrive and depart don't fully count anyway.

    I would suggest November, as September can be a pretty active time during hurricane season.

    You can be on the beach at night, but I didn't see to many people do this. It gets pretty dark and they stack the beach loungers before nightfall. Plus some people say the sand fleas are worse at dusk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    449

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    Do you need a whole week? WOW....I worry that 2 weeks is not enough for a Caribbean vacation.

    We usually travel end of March to beginning of May. Avoid EASTER at all costs. We look for when the rates fall in the spring to book.

    Beach is perfectly safe in the Day and evening. Though I would not walk the beach at night off the resort.

    Atrium is the most popular it seems.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    601

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    Hi Andie -

    We have been to CSA 7 times - 8 is this coming Thanksgiving (or maybe 9). For the last 4-5 times we've chosen to visit over Thanksgiving, and I think mid-November would be very similar. We like this time of year for practical reasons (scheduling vacay around T'giving gives us some extra days off). For weather, it is pretty much perfect for us. The humidity is down, but the days are still in the 80's and nights in the mid-high 70's or so. The water is typically still quite warm and comfy. There isn't too much rain, and generally we miss hurricane season (if you go earlier, please be sure to get trip insurance).

    We have walked the beach at night (in front of the resort). You may not really want to do much of that though, as there are sand fleas that love to bite - wear bug repellant if you want to experience the beach at night. We haven't wandered the beach "off campus" after dark, as we're cautious and honestly we have plenty to do at CSA and typically go to bed early-ish while we're there. The CSA section of beach is monitored by security (physically there) 24/7, so you can feel safe while you're on resort property.

    You can walk all 7 miles of the beach during the day without worry. There are vendors selling everything under the sun. If you're approached and don't want to buy, a polite but firm "no thank you" will work wonders. Don't say "I'll think about it" or "not right now," as you'll be remembered and will be pursued (maybe that's too harsh a word, but I hope you get my meaning - these guys make their living by selling stuff, and they don't want to miss a potential customer).

    Again, we wouldn't wander the beach at night (especially after a few drinks), but Margaritaville is a 5 minute walk away, and there are lots of beach bars, so I'm assuming if you use the same precautions you'd use in a large city at night you're pretty safe.

    We've never stayed in the GH Verandah Suite. We were put in one of the Great House rooms as an "upgrade" the last time we were there. We hated it as the room was overlooking the side of another non-CSA building, and it wasn't pretty, and there was only a sliver of ocean view. Luckily we got our Atrium room. I believe the Great House Jacuzzi Suites have a guaranteed view of the ocean. What we didn't like about the GHVS we loved about the Atrium and even Garden Verandah Suite....the Great House is right on top of the swim up bar and Feathers, Patois Patio and the Cabana Grill (open til 5:00AM). This room category has a hotel-like feel, and is in the center of activity. The swim up bar can get a bit rowdy in the afternoons, and frankly, we like to have peace and quiet.

    We've stayed in the Garden Verandah Suites several times and really enjoy that room category. Since some rooms are close to the road, there is some road noise, but we've never found it to be a distraction. We've just turned on the AC and had no problem sleeping. Some of the Garden Verandah Suites have views of the ocean, and some have views of koi ponds and the gardens. We also enjoy the TV, as we really like watching the local Jamaican shows as we're getting ready for dinner (we fell in love with an elementary school quiz show - the kids are so cute, but that's a topic for another time).....

    Over the years we've found that we really enjoy the "old" section of the resort more and more. This is the section with the Atriums and the Beach Front Suites....none of the rooms have TVs, and they're all closest to the Palms restaurant. We enjoy the quiet, as it's away from a lot of the activity areas. We just tried the Atrium this year, and had a lovely first floor room located in the garden area where some of the weddings are held. The first floor rooms have sail cloth balcony blinds that can give your balcony area privacy if you'd like (I'm not sure of the 2nd floor, but assume that's the case as well). I believe the 2nd floor Atrium rooms have vaulted ceilings. If that's the case (and I think it is), be aware that the bathroom walls and door don't go all the way to the ceiling (again that's on the 2nd floor). The bathroom doors are all slatted doors, so they're not soundproof. I remember a long thread on TripAdvisor about this a while ago, and it really seemed to freak some people out, so I mention it "just in case."

    In terms of location, some of the Atriums are pretty much on the beach, while others are nestled more toward the middle of the resort. We really enjoyed this room category because of the quiet, and didn't miss the TV at all. One note with the Atrium rooms, though, and that is that you'll hear your neighbors quite clearly....not EVERYthing, but if they're talking a bit above normal tone or if someone has a bad cold and coughs throughout the night, chances are good that you'll hear it. A solution is to turn on the AC and maybe the ceiling fan, and this will mask the noise.

    We've reserved the Beachfront Suites for this Thanksgiving, as we really like that category, but we'd have no problem moving to an Atrium next trip.

    Really regardless of which room category you choose, you'll be very close to the beach.

    Every time I miss CSA I come online and ramble. I hope this info has been helpful.

    Now back to the Stanley Cup....Go you Bruins!! 1 to nothing Bruins!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,949

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    All I'll address is the wisdom of walking the beach off-property at night... I wouldn't.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  7. #7

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    Hi... We always go in October. I think that no matter when you go, it will be great. We are there Oct 8-16th.
    I am going for a week because it's my one vacation a year, but I would go none the less if I only had 4-5 days. If you want to do a ton while you are here, you need a week. Otherwise if you are just coming to relax, then shorten it if you are needing to do so. Our childcare is available in October, that's why we go then.

    My husband and I walked the beach during the day last year and it was fine. Just know how to say 'no' to someone trying to sell to you. As for going out at night, I'm not sure. We didn't do it last year, it's very dark. I think if you want though, you can. You may get bit by mosquitos though. Just ask security.

    We have always stayed in the Beachfront Veranda Suites but I'm sure all rooms are nice. I'd really like to try a regular beachfront suite next time, this year it's the veranda though. I think the rooms are all very similar except for location. Nothing fancy at all. Simple and quaint.

    I hope this helps. You may need the entire week, because if you are anything like most people who've been there, you won't want to leave. That's also why I've booked 8 nights, so that I can actually have a full week!

  8. #8

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    Thank you so much for all the great info! You all have been very helpful. My husband and I just like to sit on the beach at night under the moon & hear the ocean waves with a glass of wine. I was not interested in walking the beach at night, that is a little too much out of my comfort zone, but I thank you for your quick advise to not do so! We are leaning more toward late October or early November now. I am very excited to book this trip today Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    398

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    We always go the end of October. We like to be there for Halloween and dress up. We started going for 7 nights... the last few times we went for 10... and after this years trip we are probably going to start going for 2 weeks. But my suggestion is 10 nights is the perfect amount of time. 7 seemed a little too short. I dont know how people can go for 4-5 nights. I know it probably has to do with their budgets but it takes a couples days to really wind down and by time you really start to relax its time to go home. So my opinion is 10 nights is perfect.
    The end of October/beginning of November seems to work for us. We went one year in June/July and we will never go that time of year again. The humidity doesnt seem to be as bad later in the year. Summer is also wedding season, nothing against wedding, but there are just less "groups" at the resort that time of year.
    It is safe to walk up the beach off the resort. We do it every morning after our work out. We get up really early when we are there cause I think the morning are the best time of the day. I wouldnt suggest going anywhere alone, but the security guards keep track of who is coming and going.
    As far as the rooms.. out of the one syou listed no doubt the Atrium!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,949

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    movemetojamaica raises an excellent point that should be addressed. WHENEVER you leave the property by beach, let the security at the property line know who you are and which room you're staying in... and then check back in as you return. They appreciate you're being pro-active, and I think this is part of their security procedure, although they (security) sometimes just don't bother.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


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