My husband and I travel to Couples at least once a year, typically Swept Away each December. But, we've also visited Couples Tower Isle and Couples Negril. We also got married at Couples, so we have a personal connection to the country of Jamaica and the Couples brand.
This December we decided to break with tradition and travel to St. Lucia. I loved visiting the country of St.Lucia as it is so unique, green and beautiful (especially the pitons). The only downside is there is no Couples on the island. We stayed at S. It was a good experience, but Couples is so much better.
I would say that the only advantage that S has over Couples is that there are more properities throughout the Caribbean and if you stay at 1, you get to play at all 3. From 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, I would rate Sandals at 6.5-7. The experience is very corporate, spend less and make more, and it is evident in the overall product.
For example, the bars were never well stocked and they served rail liquor. We also felt extremely nickled and dimed at S. It's not really a luxury all-inclusive. For certain services and extracurriculars that are automatically included in the Couples rate, there was an extra charge. I also thought the service was good, but not great. Although like any resort, there were a few people who stood out like Ms. Philipa, Lawrence, Mirandre, Adrinia, Sachalee and Latoya. I appreciated all of their efforts.
Would I recommend S? Yes, it's a good option, but make sure to get a good deal on the trip. We booked S during one of their big sales, so we didn't pay as much as others for our stay. Plus, my husband and I can have a good time as long as there is the sun, beach, and a swim-up bar.
With that said, nothing beats the Couples experience. The staff, service, food, and overall experience is phenomenal. The Couples experience lures you into complete relaxation and peace. The staff goes out of its way to make sure every need is met, the food is great and there are a number of options, and the bars are well-stocked with a range of spirits (not rail). Couples also has good nightly entertainment, which is key when hanging out on a resort. Plus, everything is trully included. I miss Couples, and althought I've put down my deposit for next December, I'm considering taking a trip in April as well.
Of course, there are some people who probably love S, but for me the experience was good, but fell short. I travel extensively and stay at a number of resorts, from all -inclusives to high-end hotels, and the Couples experience meets the mark. I just thought I would take the time to let the Couples team know how much we appreciate you....
We stayed at S before we found Couples and it was because we got a good deal. But what we didn't like the most was the "entitlement" of those who spent more. Anyway, we have trip #6 booked for CTI for July and I can't wait.
We've had good experiences with the P and I like the fact that they are all over the Caribbean as well. Funny, I was just thinking the other day it would be nice if the Couples brand were spread out to other areas. Life is too short to limit vacations to Jamaica alone, as wonderful as it is.
I agree completely. We travelled to St.Lucia a few years back and stayed at one of the Sandals, We had stayed the previous 3 years at Couples. While I loved the island I felt much more at home at Couples plus I don't like the idea of certain perks depending on your room level. As we mostly stay at CSA the beach is one of our favourite spots to park our chair and St. Lucia beaches do not compare. We love our time at Couples and the way we are treated by all the staff. It is a little piece of paradise that we are so glad we have found and hope we will continue to be able to enjoy our yearly visits.
We've loved Couples since 1980 and have visited all 4 resorts over the years. Throughout our many years of travel to many other places we feel there is no other place that can compete with the Staff, Management, Ambience, Romance, Food, Accommodations, Price and we can go on and on. If you've been there you know.
Book Couples - Soon!!! Also a place to make friends for life! We have been fortunate to make many!
Paul and Debbie
January 11-20, 2012 at CTI
September 6-18, 2012 at CTI