Airport – The airport is significantly nicer than Cabo, Cancun, or Punta Cana. You actually get off the plane in a terminal instead of the tarmac. The facilities are nice, everything was clean, and customs was a breeze to get through. The couples lounge is a great addition for a clean restroom and a quick beer. It was nice to not have to pay for transfer service! Our bus on the way out could have been a little nicer & cleaner but the bus on the way back was great!
Check-in – Check in was easy and took about 15 minutes. A $300 deposit is required to cover incidentals. Not a big deal except if your credit card company charges you a % of each transaction then this ends up costing you about $20.
Room – The room was actually nicer and larger than we expected. The pictures led us to believe we wouldn’t have much space, but we found it quite comfortable. We were a little disappointed that we paid for an ocean deluxe room and we couldn’t see the ocean without standing on our tip toes but worse things have happened. We were assigned room 7110 which is close to the road and pretty far off the beach. In the grand scheme of things, it’s wasn’t worth complaining about, but I don’t recommend spending the money for the ocean deluxe over the garden view room. Also building 7 is right on the road so you do get a lot of road noise in your room and on the patio.
Maid Service – Maid service usually came by at breakfast. If we had the DND sign out they would come by around 6pm at night. Always did a great job cleaning the room. We didn’t use our mini-bar much, but what we did use they did a great job of restocking.
Beach – The beach is great. I think overall Punta Cana had a better beach, but Negril is definitely better than Cabo or Cancun. Being able to float out in the ocean on a raft is awesome and we spent a ton of time in the ocean. By the end of our trip we decided that even though the beach in PC was slightly better, when you factor in the ocean being calm enough to float in we definitely liked Negril better. If you are big into body surfing or riding the waves this probably isn’t the best spot for you, but if you like to float and relax this beach is amazing! The vendors were entertaining and not at all aggressive. If you walk down off the property they are a bit of a nuisance but couples does a great job of making sure they leave the guests on their beach alone. Enjoy the music, laugh at the absurdity, and enjoy yourself!
Lychee – Great food at Lychee! We had the sampler platter as an appetizer and it may have been my favorite part of the meal. Everything on the platter was delicious and I could have eaten it as a meal. I skipped the soups because of an allergy to shellfish, but my wife loved hers. For our main course we had the Curry Duck and the Pork Medallions and both were excellent! Deserts were ok, not our favorite, but we’ve yet to find good deserts in the Caribbean/Mexico.
Helconia (Beach bar & Grill) – we loved this place! Unlike most of the other AI resorts we have visited this food is made to order for lunch. Dinner here was great too. We had the rigatoni with salmon and the steak and shrimps. Both were excellent!
Otaheite – This is the only restaurant that requires reservations. Definitely worth it! My wife loved the lobster tail and I really enjoyed the lamb. Get the Caesar salad, they make it at your table with a little presentation and provide some good laughs!
Cassava Terrace – Best AI buffet we have been to hands down. All of the food was always hot and delicious. It does get a little repetitive but it all tastes good enough to make up for it. We loved the flavored syrups for breakfast! The only thing I would improve here was sometimes it was half the meal before we had any water. Coffee was always poured right away but the water server was a bit hard to track down each morning! The dinner buffet on the patio was great, tons of options and great presentation! Really enjoyed all the different flavored cupcakes!
Piano Bar – Great atmosphere! Tennyson provided a lot of laughs behind the bar and gave us excellent service! He made the beginning of our trip very enjoyable and was our first real sample of the Jamaican culture. While we didn’t meet a single couples employee that we didn’t like, Tennyson was far and beyond the most personable and pleasant! The bar itself is a lot of fun, we are usually in bed early on vacation, but made an exception for the piano bar!
Pools & Hot Tub – We didn’t really use the pool a whole lot. It is a bit small compared to a lot of the other AI pools that we have visited. It really wasn’t an issue though because the ocean is so enjoyable. My wife prefers the pool usually but after seeing how great the ocean was in Negril there was no need for a pool! The hot tubs are always packed but we enjoyed getting to meet people at them! The same goes for the swim-up bar! Great service at the bar, and lots of interesting people to be met here, including the entire state of Iowa apparently (HA)…..
Overall – This is the best resort we have visited so far. Are there small improvements to be made? Sure. But for the price and the overall experience we haven’t visited anywhere better. The employees of couples Negril were truly wonderful. The food is so far superior to everywhere else we have been. The included activities ensure that there is plenty to do. The hammocks on the beach are amazing! We have not visited the same resort twice since we started traveling but we are already trying to rope friends in to returning to couples!
Tips – If you are going to upgrade your room upgrade to beachfront. If not there isn’t a ton of difference between ocean deluxe and garden deluxe. Also don’t have too many Bob Marley’s the night before your snorkeling trip.