Finally...this is our review from our stay at Couples San Souci in March 2012. This was our first trip to CSS, we've stayed at Couples Negril three times and Couples Swept Away once. We were a bit nervous trying out the other side of the island. CN is very special to us, so this was a big step of faith. Bottom line up front...CSS was AMAZING and we will alternate trips between CN and CSS from here on out. I am not comparing CN to CSS. I don't think that is fair. The two are very different...although the same Couples hospitality is there. They both have special places in our heart.
We are in our earlier forties and like many have very busy lives with careers, kids, and all the things that come with that lifestyle. This was our fifth trip to a Couples resort. We've traveled all over the Caribbean in the past and have found Couples to be just our speed. We went in March for 7 nights.
Travel to CSS
We took the red eye from Denver to Miami. Had a 4 hour layover and then arrived in Montego Bay around 1130. We splurged for first class which made the flights enjoyable and relaxing...much easier to sleep on the red eye too. If you have a long layover, I recommend purchasing a one day pass to your airline's lounge. (Or get the AMEX Platinum card, which gives access to most of the lounges, except United.) We were able to nap, take a shower and freshen up during the layover which was really nice. Immigration in MoBay was about 30 minutes. Luggage was waiting for us on the other side, no wait at customs and what a site to see the Couples Lounge!!!! As usual, we only had time for a quick potty break, grab a Red Strip Light and then we were scooted to our bus to take us to our new home. Shuttle ride was longer than to Negril, but seemed easier. A quick stop for a break. We bought our driver the beverage of his choice (Mountain Dew I think). This is a nice gesture, btw. Arrived at CSS, tipped our driver $20 and wandered in to check things out.
We booked a Penthouse. The first one they gave us was HUGE. However, it didn't have the view we really wanted. We politely went back to the front desk, explained our position. Nicole said to come back in the morning (we checked in on a Friday) and there would be lots of Penthouses to choose from...that's when many were checking out. Sure enough, the next day she gave us keys to the Angela Basset Suite, D-21 and we were in heaven!!! I gave her a big hug and she said she knew we'd be happy. This suite was so perfect!!! It was the balcony that made it so fabulous! We spent almost all of our time, when in our suite, plunked out there. There is a lattice separating the next balcony over. Privacy never was an issue. When our neighbors were outside, we barely noticed. One evening they invited some friends over for a get together and came over to us to invite us too. Housekeeping was consistent and awesome. How they keep everything so clean I'll never know. Bathroom had two sinks and a nice shower. No tub, no big deal for us. Two televisions, one in the sitting room, one in the bedroom. We never turned either on. Air conditioning worked perfectly (hubby said I made it too cold usually). We could hear the ocean and tree frogs at night, because we usually slept with the door open. I'd ask for this suite again in a heartbeat!!!
Restaurants, Dining, Adult Beverages
We ate at all the restaurants and they all were wonderful! We had continental breakfast every morning, which is totally our speed at that time of day. Lunch was yummy at Palazzina and the beach grill. Love fish sandwiches at the grill!!! We also liked how they brought lunch over to Sunset Beach...a very nice touch!!! Dinner was great at all the restaurants too. Neither of us are big pasta eaters, however the made to order pasta station at Palazzina was so yummy!!! We had dinner on the balcony of our suite one night too. The selection is limited, however it was scrumptious and made for a very relaxing and romantic evening. Cocktails are plentiful and top notch! Veronique at the SSB whipped up something I loved. We named it the Pink Thingie and I had it daily! Vodka and Ting is so refreshing on hot days too. I also enjoyed making my own mimosas in the morning...Sour Sop juice and champagne...delightful!! The veggie and smoothie bar by the mineral pool was great and the staff there was always super nice!
So here's where we had most of our concern moving from Negril to Ochos. And...the beach is very different. It is smaller, but still nice and great access to the water to float. THEN...we had a Bob Marley shot and wandered over the Sunset Beach (it took my hubby two shots I believe. ). The beach there is awesome!!! Expansive with plenty of room to be by yourself or hang with friends. Lots of opportunities for shade, if you want it. And the SSB experience is amazing!!!! We made terrific friends, became totally comfortable with the experience, and spent every sunshiney moment on that beach. Naked bocce ball will forever be one of the peak experiences of my life and I still have the most hysterical visuals of all 12+ of us walking around that beach playing bocce. You all know who you are and I can't wait to see you all and play again!!! Veronique played with us whenever she could. SSB pool was lovely and so refreshing. It was so romantic having my hubby chase me around the pool, in and out of the cave area. Fun times at the SSB swim up bar, games Kaydian from entertainment, and just sitting around until dark laughing and getting to know new friends. The main pool seemed very nice (never went in it). Seemed to have plenty of chairs available at all times of day. The mineral pool was also great, chairs there were a bit tougher to get, it seemed. I liked walking down the stairs behind it into the ocean. I recommend taking the time to explore the property. There are so many neat and interesting things to see, it is one of the great advantages to San Souci. See if you can find the hidden hot tub...a definite find for a late night dip with your loved one.
We don't partake in excursions, so can't comment on those. We do scuba dive. We were disappointed to only get in two dives during our stay...red flag up most of the time due to high winds. But the two dives were great! Kathryn shipwreck was neat. Dive team was great, Nicholas was good fun. We had two massages, both in the huts over the ocean. What a wonderful experience and highly recommend!!! Hubby worked out almost every day and liked the gym alot. Casino night was a trip...we ended up being the big winners and took home two big bottles of rum and some herbal tea. Another highlight for me was the day it rained. It just POURED. We sat on our balcony, enjoying the quiet time, reading books. My hubby finally got up, took my hand and said, "No rain, no rainbows" and took me to the Jewel Box (the jewlery store on the property) and bought me a gorgeous blue diamond ring. (Yes, I'm spoiled rotten and he's the greatest blessing in my life.) Harry and his staff at the JB are wonderful people. Many evenings we enjoyed the entertainment by the Balloon Bar from our balcony.
Time to Go Home
We squeezed as much time on the last day as we could on SSB. Got on that darned bus to start the journey home. Easy drive, no stops. We both napped on the shuttle. Check in and immigration were pretty quick on the way out (not enough time to try out the new lounge at the airport.) Bought some last minute souvenirs and then we took off for Dallas Ft Worth. Immigration there as a zoo, probably the biggest hassle of the trip. Got back to Denver safe and sound that night.
So...if you're wondering if you should try CSS I say DO IT!!! We'll be back! CN in 2013 and CSS 2014.