DH and I are thinking of trying a new Couples resort for our 25th anniversary. We've been exclusively CSA guests in the past and DH wants to branch out. I think he would like Sans Souci, but we have been so spoiled by the beach in Negril. How is Sans Souci's beach? Is it calm or rough? Rocky ? Long? Are there beach vendors as there are in Negril? Thanks for the feedback, CSS veterans.
toodycat (love that name!!) - We have been to CSA twice, and CSS 3 times, and booked in for our 4th trip to CSS for New Years. We can give you lots of comparisons between CSA and CSS, much too long to put on the MB. Send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll send the information to you, along with some pictures if you like!
We've been to all four Couples Resorts. We prefer the Negril resorts. While there are many who consider Couples Sans Souci to be the more picturesque and romantic, the big drawback for me was the beach. We spend all day, every day, on the beach, so the beach is important to us. The main beach is much smaller, and there isn't a lot of shade. One day while we were at CSS, a couple pulled their chairs up right next to us (chairs actually touching) to get out of the sun. We couldn't blame them b/c we all wanted shade, but it was uncomfortable to keep bumping elbows and to be lying so close to complete strangers.
The ocean floor on the main beach is mucky, which I didn't care for. Off of Sunset Beach, it is rocky. I've heard that the rocks end and that the floor is sandy thereafter, but we didn't get past the rocks.
It is a very pretty resort, but again, the Negril resorts are better suited to what my husband and I look for in a beach vacation.
I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).
On the plus side, which is why we initially chose CSS instead of the other locations, is that it does have a private beach, which means no passing by vendors or guests from other resorts. CSS does have a small area of the beach by the sidewalk where 1-3 vendors set up during the day, but they do not try to pull you in and are very respectful of the serene beach environment. Yes, the beach floor isn't perfect, but it goes with the whole rainforest aspect of CSS.
I am looking forward to Couples Negril to start our next vacation with some excitement, but am very glad we will wind down our trip with relaxation at its finest at CSS.
After being at CSA (and other destinations with great beaches), I was also concerned about the beach quality of CSS (and CTI) before we went.
The beach sand quality is certainly not as nice as in Negril, or even another resort we've stayed at in MoBay. It's not white and it's quite hard-packed, but I realized that while sitting in a chair it really didn't matter so much to me after all. It's very clean though, as it's raked it every morning.
We didn't hit any rocks in the water, although there are a few clusters of them in the swimming area, along with urchins. Someone did step on an urchin, so it could be helpful to have water shoes. We didn't wear them and were fine. The rocks, and/or coral further out, make for nice places to see a few small fish while snorkeling, whereas with the sandy bottom at CSA we didn't see any fish. Although CSS isn't as sandy, I didn't find it mucky. It's very shallow, but it's also very calm being in a bay. It was great for relaxing floating. I was so relaxed a stingray even came up under me! It's also fun to kayak around the point to the spa area and beyond.
I did miss the tall coconut palm trees, but there's a whole row of shorter palms which helped provide shade along with the palapas. We opted for sun, as it wasn't overly hot, but surpisingly there was lots of spots in the shade when we were there. It was early Jan. and not crowded whatsoever - much, much less so than the same time of year when we were at CSA.
Although the vendors and people always passing by CSA add some liveliness and ability for people-watching, I found that I really enjoyed the total privacy, space and quiet of the CSS beach. I didn't miss the crying children ocasionaly passing by like at CSA. What with the family resort next door it's unavoidable. (We had one litle girl stop and bawl at the top of her lungs and a beach security guard actually went and spoke to the parents and moved them along)
So personally I think there are pros and cons to each beach. They're very different. We loved CSS as a resort with those beautiful lush grounds. Next time we'll likely go back to Negril and try CN, but we'd return to CSS (or CTI) for sure.
Thanks for all the useful feedback. I think we may back off of CSS and consider CSA again. A lack of shade on the beach would be a big deal for DH because he's fair and doesn't tan. Also, he is not the beach person; I am. The Negril beaches caused him to make an exception and he stayed in the water all day.
Had only stayed in Negril at CN (4 X), CSA (1 X), & a couple of other AI resorts (3 X) when we went to CSS by doing the Couples SR. We thought the resort was GORGEOUS & were really glad we had went BUT that being said .... We missed the beach at Negril so much & realized how much a part of our vacation it truly was. CSS's beach is pretty but very small .... no walks on the beach ..... & the sand is brown & rough not white & soft. There are no vendors & that is a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it. Anyway - the next year, we were back at CN & heading back again in 6 weeks ... WOO HOO !!!!!
Toodycat, we totally understand your concern. We've been to CN 3 times and CSA once. We are total beach people. We are headed to CSS in March. We are fully aware of the differences in the beaches. And yet we are still excited and looking forward to it. We're bringing our water shoes and thinking getting into the water will be similar to that of the Florida Keys (which we go to alot.) The views look so beautiful as the grounds. If you choose to head back to CSA, my bet is after a few more trips to the Negril resorts you'll be ready to try out Ochos Rios properties. CN will always be our home...just looking forward to running with scissors and trying something new.
While we had a truly lovely vacation at CSS, loved the grounds, our room and the best staff, I didn't like the beach. I stepped on something, probably an urchin and I really didn't like the feel of the sea bottom on my feet. If I could go back, I would definately bring water shoes. We're really not fond of the beaches in the Ochi area, like Negril much better.