We stayed at Couples Negril from 4/15 – 4/22. This was our fifth stay. Bus trip from the airport was non-eventful. Driver was quiet the whole trip. We met a group of first-timers from Iowa. We filled them in on a few sights on the way and some things to try to do during their stay.
We got to the hotel about 2:15 and went through the usual check-in. Our room wasn’t ready so we went to grab a bite at the Beach Grill. Things here are about the same. Confusion was evident in the grill area with orders either being misplaced or lost. We ordered the jerk chicken and a snapper sandwich. It took about 20 minutes to get our order.
Went back to the front desk after lunch and our room still wasn’t ready. So, we walked around the grounds for a while, stopped at the swim-up bar and the beach bar and had a couple of drinks. Ran into the Iowa folks. We asked if they had gotten their rooms. They told us yes. We went back to the front desk and were told our room wasn’t ready. This is now about 4:45. I asked what the problem was and magically our room was ready. We thought that repeaters would have been treated with a bit more care. I requested a call from the GM but never got one.
When we got to our room our bags had not been delivered. The bell-person had gone to the wrong building. He eventually found us and we got our luggage. We get a knock on the door and it’s the in-room bar stocker. I asked if we could get our Carib beer replaced with Red Stripe. I was told that I had to talk to the manager about it. This has never been a problem in the past. It seems logical to me to have a Jamaican product at a Jamaican hotel in Jamaica. The choice of Carib has never been explained to me.
We ran into many staff that remembered us from past visits. The staff and service is the main reason that we have kept coming back. You can have the best location and food on the planet but if your staff is lacking your business will not do well.
Went to the repeaters dinner and the menu was outstanding as usual. We went to Lychee for dinner on Tuesday. My wife asked for a Lychee martini and I asked for a vodka martini with an olive. I was told that I couldn’t have a regular martini. I was never told why. The food was very good. We ate at Cassava several times for both ala-carte and buffet dining . Service was always prompt and friendly and food was tasty for the most part. Entertainment for us there was hit or miss. The house band is quite talented. You can tell that they don’t really enjoy playing dinner music. A couple of acts were brought in to work with the band. Some of the music is very Americanized. A group called Jah Messenger was excellent. A male vocalist was also there. He sometimes used the band and sometimes used “canned” music. Although he had a great voice, for us this was no more than glorified karaoke. We never ate at Heliconia except for lunch. We checked the menu daily and nothing really ever stood out. We did find it odd that one night for an entrée at Heliconia a hamburger was listed and on another there was some type of macaroni and cheese.
Overall our stay was as expected but for a few unwanted experiences. Because of these negatives, we are not sure we will be returning to Couples Negril.
We got to the hotel about 2:15 ... now about 4:45. I asked what the problem was and magically our room was ready. We thought that repeaters would have been treated with a bit more care. ...
We've arrived at various times of day and occasionally the room was ready right away and other times we had to wait longer than you did.
Our guess is it is a combination of which room you've been assigned, prior guest vacating the room, housekeeping getting to the room, etc.
I wouldn't expect to be treated any differently as a repeater (other than the repeat dinner, repeater gifts, etc.) ; many have posted on this MB that one reason they love CN is the equal treatment of all guests, unlike other resorts where "premium" service can be purchased.
Sorry you had to wait and we can understand starting a visit off in a bad way makes a bad impression. We now have our swimming stuff handy and expect to wait until late in the day for the room - if we get our room earlier it is a pleasant surprise.
Originally Posted by Sherm
... I asked if we could get our Carib beer replaced with Red Stripe. ... The choice of Carib has never been explained to me. ...
Randymon posted awhile back that it is a can vs bottle issue. I don't know the details of that, but have noted that in the past some people reported getting Red Strip upon request, others do not. Inconsistent for some reason.
Originally Posted by Sherm
... We ran into many staff that remembered us from past visits. The staff and service is the main reason that we have kept coming back. ...
Agreed. Love the staff at CN.
Originally Posted by Sherm
... Lychee...I was told that I couldn’t have a regular martini. I was never told why. ...
That is really odd. I wonder if there was some mis-communication because we've certainly had martinis there (a regular with Vodka and a regular with Gin). (side story - once at the beachgrill bar a guest walked up and asked for a gin martini. The bartender looked confused and then replied "can't make that, maybe you'd like a virgin daquiri." We could see several types of gin on the bar so we asked the other bartender why the guest couldn't have one. Turns out the newer bartender heard the request as a 'virgin martini' - which would indeed be hard to make. Not saying a misunderstanding was the case with you at Lychee, but can't think of a valid reason for them not to have regular martinis there.)
Originally Posted by Sherm
... We did find it odd that one night for an entrée at Heliconia a hamburger was listed and on another there was some type of macaroni and cheese. ...
The mac 'n cheese is not what one typically thinks of (in the U.S. anyway). We had it once and it was amazingly good - it is more like pasta with an incredibly rich cheese sauce. Also took a chance once on rather bland sounding 'mushroom risotto' at Heliconia - one of our best meals ever!
We were there the same days.....I hope you tried the Macaroni and Cheese as it was amazing... It was rigatoni pasta with alfredo type sauce with grilled shrimp..my mouth is watering right now thinking about it.
Actually as a p.s. this was our 6th trip to CN. On this visit we ate 1 night at Otaheite, 1 dinner at Lychee and the repeater dinner at Lychee all the rest were at Heliconia..every dinner we had at Heliconia made us want to go back..evey meal was outstanding...Lasagna bolognese..Blackened Chicken... Macaroni and Cheese
As a repeater, I would think that having your room ready in a reasonable amount of time would be a priority. I understand that Jamaica is in a time zone all of its own. By returning several times we have shown our loyalty to the Couples brand. I would expect no less from Couples by showing their loyalty to us. As I stated, I requested a call from the GM and never got one. There is NO excuse for that.
There was no misunderstanding at Lychee as I repeated myself several times.
BTW, we are also one of the folks that lost a level of Rewards as we missed a return visit by a few weeks. My wife is taking classes and were not able to return before some points expired. Not too happy about that either.
Just an added note - Red Stripe is available in cans.
Yes, it is canned in Canada.
But you may misunderstand my post above. I am agreeing with you that guests get inconsistent service when requesting Red Stripe for the mini-bar.
Apologies if the post came off offensively, I was addressing (or attempting to) your note that the "choice of Carib has never been explained to me". A few years ago on this board someone (pretty sure it was Randymon) explained that it was related to cost. Whether that is cost of importing cans of Red Stripe, cost of bottled Red Stripe, just plain cost of Red Stripe vs. Carib, etc., I don't know but that was an explanation posted.