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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default Go w/ the right attitude. It's paradise. Lengthy review. Just got home

    It's been about ten years since I've stayed in an AI resort, so I was a bit skeptical when I booked this trip. I typically rely heavily upon the reviews I read on TA, Frommers, Expedia, etc, however, this time I decided to trust the friends on the message board. Here's my review - and a bit of background info, tips, etc.

    I've stayed at many five star properties (Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, etc). all over the country. We eat out at fine restaurants on a regular basis. I live in the city and I enjoy getting dressed up and going out. With that being said... I wasn't sure what to expect at CSA, but I chose to leave my "snobby" attitude at home and go w/ the flow of a beach vacation. I've read complaints about the size of the bathroom, updates being needed, food portions being small, not enough night life, weak drinks, not enough cabanas... you name it, I read it. I studied the threads on the board for almost two months before our trip. All of the aforementioned complaints are ridiculous. Leave the snobbish attitude at home. Here's why:

    1) Jamaica is paradise. The beach area is incredible. It wasn't crowded at all and there were plenty of chairs and plenty of shade. One day I got lucky and scored a cabana around 9am. The next day, they were all taken so I spent the day under palm trees and reading in a hammock. On the third day, I woke up early (6:30am), walked along the beach and saved a cabana. It's not a big deal. There's plenty to go around.

    2) Food- Ok...I AM a food snob and it's impossible for me to leave "that" at home. If you ever walk away from a table hungry, it's your own fault. The food is plentiful and amazing...I think, as Americans, we have to adjust our view of the portions. Seriously though...I ordered from every category on the menu and I was so grateful that we were served "tasting" size portions because not only did I not want to be miserably full, I wanted to enjoy dessert!! LOL... The Dessert Tower for Two at Feathers was a Kodak moment!

    3) Room - We had a GVS. It was the only room available when we booked. Yes, I tried to upgrade the room a couple of times via email and phone- Yes, I was happy to pay for the upgrade. No, there were never any other rooms open. My two cents::: I read about the road noise, poor location, etc. of the GVS. Yes, you do hear a bit of traffic, but really --this is how I pictured it:: the sounds of nature..the frogs, bugs, birds, etc. are too busy composing their symphony that it drowns out the mumbling of the grumpy old man (traffic) and you really don't notice it. I have a history of chronic insomnia and I really thought I might have trouble sleeping b/c of the noise. Not so-- I was exhausted from being in the sun, having cocktails, singing, dancing, etc... I welcomed my pillow every night.

    4) People - Staff is happy and courteous. They go above and beyond to serve you and make you happy. We had a little snafu w/ our dinner reservation. I wouldn't have thought twice about it. It was a simple misunderstanding. However, we were given a very nice bottle of wine as an apology. I entered the gift shop last minute w/ a large carving that I needed wrapped or secured. The adorable pregnant girl unloaded boxes so that we had something to wrap my carving in.... This was not her job!! It was her...serving me...going above the call of duty to help a guest. The service is outstanding from corner to corner and front to back of this resort.

    5) Resort - No, it's NOT the Ritz Carlton. Get over it!! You're at the beach! No, it's NOT Vegas, baby. Get over it!! Leave your sequins & stilettos at home. Stock up on maxi dresses, sundresses, wedges, flip flops. Let me make this perfectly clear... You. Are. At. The. Beach!! and...it's incredible.

    I am so grateful to all of the sweet people we meant You were fantastic and I can't wait to see you soon!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    4

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    We just got back from CSA and I totally agree with you. I don't understand the negative comments.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    582

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    Great review! You totally hit the nail on the head as to why we've been to CSA 9 times!!!!

  4. #4

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    Great review! Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    16

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    I love your reviews! I too have been researching a lot and reading a lot of rediculous reviews. How people can complain about such small things while you are literally in paradise is beyond me. I will take bugs, noise, small bathrooms, so on if I am in paradise. Some people will find anything to complain about though. How can people get mad that they end up in the sun and not a cabana? You went to Jamaica, what do you think your getting? I'm so very excited for our first trip to CSS in October!
    Thank you for being a sane person giving real reviews!

  6. #6

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    LOVE IT

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    317

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    Great review and valid points!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    17

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    I am so thankful for your honest post and you ahve helped to look forward more to my upcoming trip and nuptials....We are going to CSS but I am sure it is just great based on the message boards. Thanks for sharing your honest opinion of the resorts. Super excited July 27 is so soon!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    344

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    npinkne you're going to love CSS. That is our travel agents favorite resort in the Couples family and she's been to all of them. She tried to talk us into going there this year but we are in love with CSA and don't want to mess with success. Enjoy!
    Steve

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    10

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    I forgot to mention how CLEAN the room was. The cleaning staff did a fantastic job every day of removing any trace of sand that I brought in each day. Phenomenal in every way!

  11. #11

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    And this review is coming from a "Ritz Carlton" traveler! love it! Kudos to you....Great review enough said!

    P.S. great point about the food portions, it was plenty for us, and it allowed me to sample more food than I could have ever consumed elsewhere...my hubby called it "Pretty Food" but plenty enough!

  12. #12

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    We will be returning to CSA in 50 days and can't wait. Anybody that can't enjoy their trip to paradise and continue to find things to complain about is NEVER going to be happy .....
    Proud palapa hoarder since 2007 !!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    218

    Default

    2) Food- Ok...I AM a food snob and it's impossible for me to leave "that" at home. If you ever walk away from a table hungry, it's your own fault. The food is plentiful and amazing...I think, as Americans, we have to adjust our view of the portions. Seriously though...I ordered from every category on the menu and I was so grateful that we were served "tasting" size portions because not only did I not want to be miserably full, I wanted to enjoy dessert!! LOL... The Dessert Tower for Two at Feathers was a Kodak moment!

    Agree 100%!!!!

  14. #14

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    Fabulous and true review~ Arriving by lunch time tomorrow.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    225

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    Great review!!!! Quick question, can you tell what toiletries are in the bathrooms? I think I've read they've changed since we were last there. Thanks!!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,251

    Default

    Thank you for taking the time to write such a fun review. You are spot on about the portion size - they get it exactly right, and you can always order more!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    344

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    DNAbry you are so right on with your review. We are returning to CSA for the third time this December. We also read weird comments about how the staff in the restaurants aren't trained well and how the resort needs a makeover before our first visit. Boy were they wrong! We loved the quaintness of the rooms giving you a warm, relaxed feel. We enjoyed chatting with the staff, especially in the restaurants, because they are awesome people and they love to smile. There's nothing we like more than seeing people who are taking care of your needs smiling back at you. We have the money to stay in the best room category at CSA but always book a garden veranda suite. We hardly spend any time in our room except for our early morning pre-breakfast tray on the veranda. The beach is just a short walk away and the money we save is spent on trips to the spa or excursions. Just another 151 grueling days till our next awesome trip to Paradise, aka CSA!
    Steve

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    219

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    This is a very very good review. It reflects the place well.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    432

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    I always enjoy reading reviews as it is interesting to get another person's perspective on a favorite resort, especially IMO someone who is well traveled and has a lot to compare it to.

    However, I personally do not find it useful to disparage the views of other with comments like "get over it" and statements that call others who do not agree with the reviewer's perspective "snobby".

    No one person's opinion is more valid than another.

    I would have enjoyed the review more without the disparaging comments. JMO.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    893

    Default

    awesome review!

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