Hello Expert Couples Travelers - been trying to book our honeymoon and I think we've definitely decided to go w/ the Couples resorts. We're thinking 4 nights in Negril and 4 nights in Ocho Rios...but we're having trouble deciding which resort in each area to stay at. Done some research online but would love some feedback from folks who have visited both CN and CSA in Negril as well as CTI and CSS in Ocho Rios. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
Just got back from fifth Couples trip. We split between CN and CSA. Each resort has different personality. Different beach, etc. yet quick transfer between resorts. CTI or CSS would take longer ride than we want. I recommend staying on same side of island. If you like beach Negril side is awesome.
Don't do it. We did a split and we went 10 days at CTI and 4 days at CSA and we wasted a whole day getting packed, checking out, driving over three hours to the other resort, checking back in (our room was not ready at CSA until 4pm, unpacking, finding out that snorkling, catamaran, and fine dinning was booked up ( I talked with the general operations manager and she took great care of us though and we did what we came to do) and then figuring out the layout of the resort. Looking back we would have stayed at CTI and then stayed at CSS, or CSA and CN just because you don't have that thrre +hour ride to the other side of the island. We also did the trading places at CSS and found that CSS is located in a bay that is just calm and serene.
We have booked a CN/CSS split, 4 nights at each. I can't actually comment on the comparisons, but I can tell you why we picked the resorts we did.
It is our first time on the Negril side of the island, but we chose CN because we wanted to experience the beach and a more compact resort setup. CSA looks fantastic, and I love the look of the decor there, but having talked with other returning guests at CSS (our couples home), they suggested CN might be more our style, since the party atmosphere is lower on our to-do list. Everyone we have run into going to or coming from CSA always has had a blast though, so it really is a personal choice.
CSS to me is a tropical rainforest slice of heaven, and it is built into the side of a mountain with a private cove beach and very laidback R&R feel to it; that is what I love about it. There are wonderful places to steal away time all by yourself, or you can find activities and people to laugh the day away with. The old-Hollywood glam feel of CTI didn't appeal to me, and we are not brave enough to venture out onto the island for A/N activities, which is why we went to CSS. We do enjoy visiting Sunset Beach at CSS during the clothing permitted evening hour.
We are currently debating the shuttle transfer (3 hours) versus a flight (~1hr + $$$) for the CN to CSS. We are looking at the transfer as part of the Jamaica countryside tour experience. I just couldn't go back to Jamaica without being at CSS, but we really wanted to try Negril. On your first time to Jamaica and Couples, 4 days really isn't a lot of time to get to know the place, and there are the trading places options if you just want a sneak peak at the resort (same side of the island only CN/CSA or CTI/CSS) - so you might consider that as well. Best Wishes!
We've been to all 4 Couples resorts and IMHO 8 nights is too few to do a split, especially if its your honeymoon! After all the excitement of the wedding - dont you just want to chill and enjoy each other? I would say - decide whether you want a wonderful beach or want to visit Dunns River Falls. If its a beach, you cant go wrong with either CN or CSA, if its Dunns River, my choice would be CSS because it's so much more romantic and beautiful than CTI - again , just MHO!
We did a CSS/CN split last summer, and I don't think I would do it again. We spent 4 nights at CSS and 7 at CN. The problem was that in the short time we were at CSS we made some great friends and when it was time to leave and go to CN we were very dissapointed the first few days. We missed CSS and wished we did not have to leave. WE did end up loving CN, but it took a while. CSS is the one that I think about now and plan to return to in March. The good part was that we left on a Sunday and the travel time from Ocho to Negril was only 2 1/2 hours and we left San Souci at 10:30. We were at CN by 1:00.
I agree with Dawn that 8 nights is too few to split. We've been to CTI, CN, & CSS. We loved CN because of the beach and the layout of the resort. CSS is a lovely place but is very disjointed because it is in the side of a hill. You must walk steps to go anyplace. In some situations you could walk over a hundred steps ( that is the distance from the lobby to the beach. CTI is our favorite even though there are some steps (5 or 6 at the most). In January we will be at CTI for our 76th trip and to participate and play in the 11th Annual Couples resorts Ocho Rios Charity Golf Tournament.
I love split trips! Have done 3 so far. 2xCSS/CSA 1x CTI/CSA and we're planning a second CTI/CSA trip for next December. The shortest split trip we've done is 9 nights but if you can't swing another night or 2 I think 8 nights is doable,especially if you set up an early morning transfer. We always start at the Ocho Rios Resort for 3 nights and then do an early morning transfer to CSA. We travel in our suits and cover up and are on the beautiful beach in Negril by 10:30 am! I guess it all depends on what type of vacationer you are. We just drop our luggage in the lobby and don't worry about checking into the room or unpacking until later in the day.
Anyway... back to which resorts.. If your a beach lover I"d say go to one of the Ocho Rios resorts first, then to either CSA or CN. Otherwise you'll probably be disappointed in the Ocho Rios beach. I"ve been to all 4 of the resorts(only did day passes at CN). If you want 2 totally different experiences on the same trip I"d do either CSS/CN or CTI/CSA. I vote for CTI/CSA, but then I'm a little biased since I just got back from trip 7 to CSA and CTI was the first Couples Resort we went to.
Look at all the pictures you can and book the 2 that you find you keep going back to. And no worries.. you can't make a bad choice.
I agree that 8 days is not enough to do a split...although if you leave at 6:00 AM, the transfer only take about 2 hours and 15 minutes, but your room will probably not be ready that early.
I would pick either CN or CSS and spend the entire 8 days there. We love both of those resorts, with CN having a slight lead over CSS.
If you want a huge and beautiful soft white sand beach on a serene bay with a touch of local flare, go to CN. You can walk the beach for about a mile, past other resorts and many local vendors and the Offices of Nature (bar and lobster shack).
CSA is also nice on the Negril side, but the beach is so narrow you feel cramped and when nature takes some, it is a large loss of property. It is not on a serene bay and it is so long, it takes forever to get from one side to the other.
CTI is just like a hotel, not a tropical resort, so you can count that one out right away.
CSS has a small private each that you canít take long walks on and the sand is not soft and white, but it is on a serene bay and full of beautiful lush foliage, built on the side of the cliffs.
CN also has a lot of lush tropical foliage and seems to be the best combination of everything Jamaica for us.
Last edited by Wally; December 19th, 2011 at 12:29 AM.
We LOVED CTI even better then CN...except for the beach of course. It just goes to show you that not every resort is for everybody.
I really do not think 8 days is long enough to do a split. Your first day you are tired from traveling and you will have a minimum of 90 minutes to get to your first resort to start with. Once you get settled in and acclimated your first day is pretty much gone. Your last day most people really only have time for breakfast then have to get on the bus to head back to the airport. So your 9 days are in essence 7 full days on the resort.
If you further reduce that with an additional 3 hours of transport time, checking out/in getting re-acclimated you are down to 6.5 days of "relaxing" time at a Couples resort.
We really try to go on vacation for at least 10 nights now as we find all of the travel time really eats into our relaxing time. Of course ANY time in Jamaica is not to be missed!!!!!
Have a wonderful honeymoon.......maybe save the other side of the Island for your 1st anniversary
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your thoughts and suggestions! We decided to take most of your advice and not split the trip and just stay on the Negril side. We had a really tough choice b/w CN and CSA - we picked CSA b/c the rooms seemed more rustic, beachy rather than the vibrant more modern looking rooms at CN. I'm sure both resorts are awesome though!
Now my question is this. We booked the Garden Verandah Suite b/c it was a bit cheaper but now I'm thinking that we might need to upgrade - seen too many complaints about some folks in those rooms being closer to the street where it can get a little noisy. I'm a super light sleeper so I'd prefer not to have that issue. Of course, now they only have a handful of rooms left - no beachfront but they do have one Ocean Verandah Suite left. We've been told by others to just wait and upgrade once we get there and that oftentimes there is no charge...but the rep I talked to said they are pretty full so I'm afraid we might not have much luck once we are there - unless they are just trying to upsell us. Not sure. Anyway, for those of you who have stayed at CSA - would you definitely recommend an Ocean Verandah Suite over a Garden Verandah Suite?
Getting excited! And thank you so much again for your feedback.
I think the road noise issue is a non issue but everyone Is different I guess. Book the ocean vsuite if you think it will be a problem. Don't count on an upgrade as they are booked most of the time, although it does happen from time to time. You will love CSA!
I am one of the ones that stayed at CSA in a garden Vrandah suite and we got the one closet to the road. The traffic noise is incredibly loud with all the cars honking. Jamaicans are very friendly and they honk at the crossing guard as they drive by. I am sure the garden verandah's on the new side are quieter,but its your vacation and if you get a lousy room and can't sleep, its just not the same. Go for the upgrade now. Have fun and I am excited for you.
Thanks so much...y'all are the best. Grayturtless...appreciate the honesty very much. We're not a high maintenance couple at all...but it would really stink to go and for me, to not sleep much on our vacay so I appreciate the suggestion. Will call to upgrade for sure. Thank you!
Make sure that you join Romance Rewards so you can take advantage of the Trading Places and visit the Couples you don't stay at in your location. For example: CTI--CSS and vice versa, same for CSA--CN. I agree with the others, 8 days is just enough for one resort let alone 2. You have a day of travel to get there, unpack and do a walk around, then a day to pack up and venture back to the resort. You don't want to lose another day to pack, travel accorss the island and then unpack and get to know another resort. There is always your next visit!