My husband and I are planning our first trip to Jamaica!! Met with a travel agent yesterday and we are trying to decide between Tower Isle or Negril.
We are interested in a resort that has a lot of indoor (in case of bad weather) and outdoor activities. We are also wanting a lot of options for activities off the resort as well. We are in our early 30's and also want a pretty active night life. Good bars and good food!!
Everyone has their favorites so we will all be bias towards those..lol. But I THINK (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that CTI may have more off site activites. When we went to CTI (it was still COR when we went.. twice) Dunns Falls was included which was a lot of fun. We also did the canopy tour, and horse back riding. I am not sure if the horse back riding is still available though. I thought I rad somewhere that it wasnt. Anyways... it seemed like there was more off site at CTI. We now go to CSA and we really dont leave the resort much. 21 DAYS till we are home at CSA!
We are adventurous, mid-30's, like to party and LOVE Negril. I'm totally biased though, because we haven't been to the OR side, and really have no desire to go there. We have been to a couple places off-resort and I've definitely heard Negril has a better off-resort nightlife. I will warn you though, we are big-time night owls and love the active nightlife, but between ourselves and all of the other late 20-, early 30-somethings we have made friends with at CN, you may think you want to stay up and get down, just like at home (or in New York or Vegas) but by 11:30p, you will be pretty wiped. Between all of the activities and drinking in the hot sun, it's hard to keep your eyes open after midnight.
You wll have more out of resort options at CN or CSA than CTI.
At CSA you can walk to places like Margarataville for night life.
We are older, so the Piano Bar is our speed but might be a little quiet for you depending on what you like.
I went to ZCTI over 15 years ago when it was still COR, so I can't address night life there.
Our experience at CN, CTI, and CSS is that the resort nightlife is what you (and a few friends) make of it. Most nights end around midnight, but we've experienced closing down the piano bar at 3:30 a.m. also. I would expect you'd need to go off resort for major partying (on a regular basis) and Negril would probably offer more in that regard. Like others have said, after a hard day of relaxing and drinking in the sun, the activity level at night inside the resort seems about right to us.