CSA Review, lengthy, honest & with a debating point...
We returned to CSA for our 3rd visit on 24 January.
We had a great time with a couple of negs, I will review in the traditional style...
We were an hour late into Mobay but once we got to the welcome sight of the lounge we had a very quick Red Stripe & we were on our way.
Was quick (about 80 mins) no stops, so then came the welcome sight of CSA cool towels & bubbly, not to mention the sound of CSA.
Straight forward, we had pre checked in & all our goodies were waiting! Within 5 mins we were on our way to our Atrium room. We tend to arrive late so we usually eat at the grill and have a couple of drinks, we did not break with tradition!
Atrium 2116 was excellent, the mini-bar was stocked as requested and was very comfortable no TV so what! The bathroom was great although the shower took a while to warm up. We have never seen so many towels! The room was always kept clean usually in the morning.
We had heard the beach was smaller than before, we were last at CSA in 2010, the beach was a different shape but was in tip top condition. Then we hit negative #1 Sunbeds! We had to be up by 7 to be sure to secure sunbeds with floaties. After 8 it was difficult and one day when we went snorkelling we simply could not get a bed. This is not good enough! A relaxing holiday should not need to include sun bed bagging early in the morning. I did raise this with Senior Management and was assured more were on order, but frankly the numbers of guests should not be a shock. To be fair it was slightly better in our second week. I am sure it is partly a people thing & I am not sure what the solution is but it was an irritant to many guests.
We had read that service had declined, this simply is not true. Service in terms of friendliness & speed has improved on our last visit in all areas. A big thumbs up there.... The only poor service we received was at....the repeaters dinner (more of that later).
We eat everywhere:-
Feathers excellent, tenderloin was our favourite
Palms Never our favourite in the past, but in 2012 it was very good & again the service which we never used to rate has improved.
Patois Very good, the Eggs Benedict & Banana stuffed French toast remain favourites. A welcome change was leaving coffee jugs on the table at breakfast.
Cabana Grill good for fast food! We never realised how tasty the burgers were! Loved the Jerk too. Again service seemed to have speeded up.
Lemongrass Very good, service was friendly, they did a great job with lobster!
Mini Bar Stocked as requested we drank more water than anything else! I wish they would give Red Stripe rather than Carib!
Martini Bar superb a great place to meet and have a glass or two. Excellent Mojitos!
Sunset Bar quick service good drinks dont know why but I prefer it to the bamboo bar.
Bamboo Bar As above but slightly prefer the sunset bar.
Palms Bar rarely used it.
Swim Up Bar Friendly but very often a gathering place for CSA drunks!
Patois Bar rarely used but good drinks.
Sports complex relaxing place to go only played squash one (badly!)
Snorkelling great way to spend an hour!
Palms show time only stayed for the show once but we ended up dancing! Very good
Superbowl Even pouring rain could not prevent it being fun, the way everything was moved inside so quickly was a credit to the entertainment team (even senior management were seen moving tables!).
Aura Lounge The Piano bar was our entertainment of choice! Ultimate Chocolate remains a great entertainer who can manage a crowd & involve everyone. He is a gentleman and now a friend & boy can he play the piano CSA let him go at your peril!!!
Repeaters Dinner was a major disappointment, the food was good but the service was so slow. We went on our first Monday and our table were the last to be served - we were still seated at 10:30. This is where Couples are a victim of their own success; there were just too many repeaters to make the dinner an event. Service was over two sittings and it seemed that they couldnt cope. Notably the following Monday Feathers was closed (presumably to help with repeaters) which left non-repeaters which a choice of Lemongrass or a buffet a limited choice. Maybe something else can be organised a proper Champagne reception? Repeaters dinners on more than one night?...let the debate begin!
To sum up a great stay, improved service & food...please sort out Sun Beds & Repeaters.
Thanks for the great review. The whole annoyance about the sun loungers just seems silly to me. Saving seats just doesn't make sense because you never know where you will end up and it makes saving very rude. Also, I know there are loungers in other areas of the resort like all the pools, so just go hang there for a bit and then check the beach again. You're on vacation, so little things shouldn't cause such a rise. And lastly, it's the beach with soft beautiful sand. Throw your towel down and sink right in. Then, when you see someone leave (or come pick their stuff up), go and lay down.
We have never had a problem finding a lounger, but we go in the fall when it's not as busy. I'm glad almost everything else, except the lounger situation, was good for you. We love CSA and can't wait to get back.
We have been to Couples many times and have never been to the repeater's dinner. That does not appeal to us because when we are on vacation our time is our time...so we don't want to be at the mercy of another schedule i.e. dinner start time..I do like the idea of a great cocktail hour or so to mingle with other repeaters that way you get to talk to more than the people at your table ( comparing to the S resorts since I have not been to Couples repeater). I love Couples and will continue to vacation there no matter what!!!!!!!!!! 4 more weeks...the frenzy has begun