My husband and I just returned from an incredible trip to CSA. We were there from Sept 16-23rd. All I have to say is....WOW. We will definitely be returning. We're already researching a week at CSA combined with 5 nights at CTI for next September. I'll try to be brief (no promises though!)
My favorite things.....and random thoughts:
-Caribbean Air from JFK to MoBay. We were in Jamaica by 8:35am and at the resort by 10:30am!!
-Floating. It doesn't get much more relaxing than that.
-The beach / ocean. It's insanely gorgeous.
-The AMAZING vegetarian food at Seagrapes. I could eat there every single day....oh wait, I DID! I've been a vegetarian for 16 years so I really appreciated their abundance of delicious food that I could eat, instead of just pasta, like most places. The food is so fresh. I never felt gross or sluggish (except for the day we went to CN, but more on that later).
-Our Atrium Suite. We had 1219. Although not the best location (even though we requested a room closer to the center of the resort), we ended up very close to the Palms. You could hear the music at night, but it was nice. I felt like I was definitely in the caribbean! The room is so rad. We had a top floor with the awesome ceilings. The temp in the room with the air conditioner and fan was perfect.
-The relaxed vibe of the resort.
-Always hearing "no problem mon", whenever we needed anything
-The food. Again. It was delicious EVERYWHERE. I loved Patois AND the Palms for breakfast. The service at both was fantastic, although Patois may take a bit longer. It depends on if you feel like getting your own food or being waited on. We liked both. Patois was ALSO fantastic for dinner. Feathers food is incredible and the service was so pleasant! Lemongrass has the best atmosphere, but the food is just ok. We weren't nuts over the Palms for dinner, but it's probably because we're not in love with buffets. I just feel like it's hard to keep a conversation going when you're constantly getting up to get stuff, but that's just us. Other people may love the freedom to get a lot of food whenever they wish.
-The drinks. They are amazing. I really like Ting.
-The Entertainment. Perfect amount of it. I love that I never felt like I was missing out on something because they didn't have TOO many activities going on.
-The water sports! We only went snorkeling and on the catamaran, but we'll be using the Hobie Cats next time for sure.
-The Sports area. We didn't use much of it, but it's nice to know it's there if sand gravity ever loses its charm.
-The Martini Bar!!! I wish they had extended hours!!! They make THE BEST dirty goose martini's. I love the atmosphere there, and really wish they would just open earlier and close later.
-The friendly employees
-The awesome beach bars!
-The fact that we felt like we had the entire resort to ourselves sometimes.
-The bonfire....even though they only managed to keep it lit for 4 minutes! It was a neat idea and the singer / guitarist was beautiful to listen to.
-The trading spaces / places to visit CN for a day. I'm glad we did, because we got to experience the Au Natural area for the first time, but I'm also glad we did because we realized that we prefer CSA. The food at Heliconia at CN left me feeling sluggish and gross because it was all fried. They did have a small salad bar, but they were out of lettuce. I really missed Seagrapes that day.
-The ketchup! It's really good. Tastes great without all that added corn syrup that we have in the states.
-The old section of the resort. I really love how it's got such a worn in feeling. I definitely prefer it over the great house.
-The Piano bar. Awesome.
My Not-So-Favorite Things
-Within the first hour of arriving at the resort, we were told by an employee at one of the beach bars that management hasn't been treating them well lately and things are going really badly, so even though we aren't supposed to tip, if we pass them money in a rolled up napkin, they can take it. Excuse me?! It was completely out of left field, and he randomly said this while he was making our first drink of the trip. We love to tip, but it was our understanding that this wasn't allowed, so it was very awkward and left a really bad first impression with us. Had we NOT known that tipping isn't allowed, we would have probably felt bullied into tipping this guy. He probably shouldn't be telling first timers that management isn't treating them well. I won't say his name because he's a long-time employee and I wouldn't want anyone to lose their job. Needless to say, we avoided this person all week because we felt awkward after this initial exchange.
-The bars were constantly running out of premium liquor. Not just sometimes....all the time. Every single bar. And when I say premium, let me clarify. I think the highest they have at the beach bars for vodka is Stoli, then Smirnoff, then Voli. Well we'd start off maybe one drink in the morning with Stoli, then within an hour the only thing left was Voli. Why even bother advertising premium liquor if all you have is junk? Even the martini bar was constantly running out of Grey Goose or Crown. Either have it all the time (or at least MOST of the time) or don't have it / advertise it at all. There is a quite a difference between a Goose martini and a Stoli martini.
Other than those two things, everything else was fantastic!! We are addicted for sure. The resort is surely one of a kind and we will be returning next year. Hopefully they re-stock their bars in time for us, teehee!