We have visited a number of resorts in the Caribbean, some adults only and some not. While we have never been to one that we totally disliked once we found Couples we have not ventured elsewhere. Is everything perfect no
however it's all in what the place does for you and there is no place I would rather spend time with my husband when on vacation than at Couples. As the saying goes once you go, you know.
I have been to resorts, all-inclusive and not, hotels, condos, liveaboard boats, a cruise, and a private house, all throughout the Caribbean and South Florida. With that said, once we went to CN, we are having a really difficult time going anywhere else. In fact, it's the only resort we've ever been back to 3 times, which were our last 3 tropical vacations. Don't get me wrong, staying in a private house or yacht is freakin awesome, but only if you're not paying for it, which was the case for us. The phrase "once you go, you know" is used to describe Jamaica to people that haven't been, but it is even more applicable to Couples. Give it a shot! You WILL be back!
We have been vacationing in Jamaica for the past 16 years and have stayed at several resorts other than Couples in both Ocho Rios and Negril, however, once we found Couples, we haven't ventured away. It's like home to us and the service and food cannot be beat. Plus, it's such a bargain when you add it all up.
We travel 1 week a year to either an all-inclusive resort or cruise. Never repeated same locations because we like to try new things...see new places...until...
Last May we took our hmoon at CSA, and now we are scheduled to return this May as well, first time we have ever repeated. The service, people, food, and beach are better than we have seen at any resort or cruise. If you can do 2 weeks, do 2 different Couples resorts - that would be my advice.
We are prolly not as well traveled as others here and our first trip to Couples CTI was Jan. 11-17 this year. Never been to a place like Couples - where adults can be adults, or children if they like; a place where most everyone is there to enjoy the company of their partner, and everyone is there with a partner; and a place where the hospitality of your hosts extends far beyond the front desk or a lavish lobby. After having been to Playa del Carmen twice at a large chain resort I have to say that Couples and the fine folk of Jamaica have the Mexican Riviera beat hands down in our book! Service all around was excellent, the food was second to none. We were pleasantly surprised that we were able to actually meet and carry on conversations with many of the other guests, something that I remember happening only once in Mexico and that was some drunk guy at the bar one night. One other thing we liked was that Jamaica was also warmer at the time of year we were there, not only the ocean, but the swimming pools too which we were actually able to get in and enjoy without freezing the first minute or two. So, I would say, Couples is not a place you would be dissappointed with if you were to choose it and we would highly recommend it!
We love Jamaica! We have stayed at other resorts (including all inclusives) at Ocho Rios and Negril. We really enjoyed the all inclusive resorts, however once staying at Couples (three times now & a fourth in April 2012), we find it hard to think of another resort property. One has to experience Couples to fully understand what we all are saying. The resorts have a feeling of well being & total relaxation!
CTI is the most perfect place to spend part of your honeymoon, you will love it. When we were there at Christmas we met 2 couples who were at CTI for a week and then went on a cruise for a week, returning to CTI for one night before flying back to the UK. They said the cruise was good but they wished they'd done the cruise first as it did not live up to CTI, they wished they'd stayed the 2 weeks at CTI and not bothered with a cruise!
I must say, that while I enjoyed traveling to other Caribbean islands and resorts, as well as to lots of other countries, I am somewhat saddened by the fact I could have been enjoying Couples all those years had we known about them. Now, we still travel to other countries if needed, but our winter escape, and this year our fall escape will be to Couples, CN for the 4th time in the last 4 years in 15 days and a bag drag, and Couples Swept Away in 265 days and a bag drag. Can't imagine going anywhere else unless someone else is going to foot the bill.
I am assuming your cruise is already booked and paid for (shame), maybe you will have a better experience than I did on our first (and Last cruise). It felt like we were on a floating day care center.
The only good thing to come out of it was that we knew two things for certain, All Inclusive was worth a try and Adults Only was mandatory. I have been to A/I's in Punta Cana, Plya Mujeres and Jamaica.
For the food, Couples CSA Jamaica wins, for the beach CSA wins, for the service CSA wins, for the ambiance of the rooms CSA wins, for the top shelf inclusions CSA wins, OK, my point CSA wins
Only 70 days 17 hours 6 min 05 sec until we return to CSA
Mick, Hanover, PA
We have been to several all inclusives to include S and Couples. We keep returning to Couples because of the price and the number of all inclusives "included." S facilities seem newer and fancier, however, you pay a premium for fresher paint, more marble, etc. Other all inclusives arent really all inclusives. No diving, top shelf drinks, booze cruise, etc (athough S does include diving). I also find the service consistently better then other resorts....and the guests, the most fun and loyal guests ever. We have made a number of friends who we are still in contact with. That makes the resort truly unique.
We've been to many all inclusives in Dominican, Cancun, St Lucia and Jamaica. Our favorite so far has been Couples. But we haven't been to another resort since our first trip to Couples 3 years ago. I don't do cruises, can't afford the bar tab.
We've been to other resorts as well, but seem to keep coming back to Couples. (CN or CSA). This year we were thinking about going back old school like we used to and do a dinky resort in the cliffs. We feel like we get too wrapped up in the resort when we stay at an AI, and as much as we love Couples, it's nice to experience real Jamaica and have to fend for yourself at the local dining places in Negril.
Needless to say, Couples won out again this year...we just keep getting drawn back. And, every year we say that we are not going to feel stuffed the whole trip like usual. We love to support the local shops and eateries but when everything is supplied for you we tend to skip the flavor of the other places, which we don't want to do.
The first time we visited Couples we were in sort of a daze and didn't realize we had not left the resort in 5 days. So, every year we tell ourselves to make sure we leave the resort like on day 2 so we're not getting so sucked in. Because it's very easy to do and that's when I think you miss out.
Thank you all for help. I am set on CSA however my fiancee is still not convinced and hooked on the idea that S would be the better option. But as the saying goes a happy wife is a happy life :-) This is my first time in the Caribbeans and I am trying to get the best resort possible at the best price and Couples seems to give more than expected for the money.
I have been to "s" resorts, The Gem resort, The Windy Resort, The Dreamy Resorts, The Secretive Resorts, The Excellent Resort, The Rendezvous Resort, The I O Star Resorts, The Fiesty Resorts to name a few. We have been all over parts of Mexico, Jamaica, Punta Cana, La ROmana, Puerto Plata, Sousa, Carbareta, Hawaii, Saint Lucia, Antigua, Roatan Honduras, San Andres Island Colombia and St. Croix off the top of my head.
While each of these places and resorts were all nice with their own pros and cons I must say that while on Jamaica Couples is the place to be for the BEST of the Best.
The S resort you are simply paying for their marketing department.
Couples Resorts were the ONLY beach resorts on Jamaica that were in the top 10, let along the top 100 in Travel and Leisure Magazines Worlds Best in the Caribbean for 2011. The only other resort on Jamaica to make the top 100 was The Caves on the Cliffs. NO S made the list.
Recently Couples Tower Isle was voted #7 in the WORLD by Yahoo Travel.
There is no way in Hades I would ever get suckered into a stay at any "footwear" resort ever again.
There is a review for their Whitehouse property that states they made all the guests leave an area of one of the "villages" so they could film a commercial. They brought in all new loungers, towels and props for 3 days. No compensation was given for displacing these guests.
When you visit a Couples resort what you see in the advertisements are what you see at the resort right down to the same flowering plants in the rooms. Couples does not spend millions and millions on commercials or ad campaigns. They reinvest their money into the properties and the customer experience.
This is of course just my opinion and my experience from 25+ years of traveling experience and marketing background.
Get your wife to check the S resort against Couples and read the small print! She will find that unless you pay for the highest category at the S resort you will be excluded from some of the restaurant/facilities, whereas at all Couples resorts it makes no difference which category you book, all restaurants and facilities, sports and tuition are included for every guest - no class divisions at Couples, all guests are treated exactly the same, as members of the Couples family.
You are absolutely correct in your statement that the best resort possible at the best price is indeed Couples and the Couples welcome and staff are unique and very special, but then we Couples addicts are biased!!
We have been to AIs in Mexico, Cuba and Jamaica. Our first trip to Jamaica we chose a chain resort that we had stayed at in Mexico. Had we not left the resort we would have never known we were in Jamaica. The staff were Spanish and the resort was a cookie cutter of Mexico. We are returning on our 4th trip to CN on Tuesday. We love the eclectic Jamaican vibe of the resort..the staff..the beach...hell we love everything about it. On our last visit we met at couple from south Dakota who were diehard S people. They could not believe the difference at Couples. Apparently the S resort is a tier system....the more you pay, the better the service. At Couples, everyone is treated equally well. Cannot wait....2 more sleeps.
We have stayed at other S resorts. I'd be hard pressed to say they weren't nice. But I will tell you that Couples is far superior, not just better, and we have not been to anywhere else since. There's no reason. I think the reason we tried so many other places was because we never found a place that felt like "home" until we went to CSA years ago. Couples really is our second, third, fourth and fifth home. We love them all. Each one is unique.
I can honestly say that I have stayed at most resorts in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean. I have never stayed at one that equals Couples in terms of standards of service and organisation. The food is excellent and this is consistent with all 4 Resorts. Other resorts charge a fortune for day trips to Dunns the Catamaran trips and Margaritaville, Couples charge nothing!! Other resorts for "people in love" charge for everything - even the minibar, unless you are concierge/ butler service which can be almost double the cost of Couples. The other monstrous twin resort in Montego Bay was very disappointing, despite it's size, they had too few sunbeds and very big groups of same sex parties... yuk!
My only advice would be to avoid the Atrium rooms at the water sports end of the property at Couples Swept Away, very very noisy in the early hours (2-6am) with the staff crashing around with trollies, cutlery and crockery, setting up for breakfast!! No glass in the windows so every sound can be heard!! ;-(( I only spent two days here in December and wanted to be near the water sports end, but this would have ruined my holiday if I was here for longer...
I have been to one other resort in Jamaica....Negril as well. It is right beside CN and was then called the Grand Lido. It is 5 star as well. I loved our trip there but had no driving force to book there again. So we tried CSA next(didnt know anything about traveling or Couples resorts at that time). We tried CSA as we knew people who had been and loved it. SInce we went, we have no desire to try anywhere else as it is just PERFECT. We will one day try other resorts but ALWAYS have our 2 week trip to CSA as it is our home away from home. When are kids are older and we can travel twice or more per year, then we will try they other Couples resorts as well as other Jamaican resorts and other countries. I hope you have a GREAT honeymoon where ever it may be. CHEERS