We recently returned from a split stay of 4 nights at CSS then 4 more at CTI. We've been to all the resorts - CSS (2x), CTI (4x), CN (3 or 4x - I forget!), and CSA (1x). This was our first split stay and we would definitely do it again - seemed like we had 2 vacations :-) Here's some comments and a bunch of random thoughts!!
CSS was as gorgeous as ever!!! Only a few trees seemed to have any hurricane damage and we were specifically looking for it. The weather was excellent and the water was very calm while we were there. The beach is a bit bigger and flatter than CTI. Mr. Battaglia (GM) is very visible and involved in everything that goes on. I really think that CSS is what it is in a very large part to him. We did not attend the repeaters dinner here.
We were assigned a room in D, which was very nice and had a lovely bathroom, but no balcony or view. As with many people, we preferred a room in G. Even though they are in the same category, the rooms aren't comparable. We stopped by the front desk to see if there was a chance we could move and were told that the room list for the next day wasn't out yet, and to stop back first thing in the morning. Having been up since 1:30 am, we didn't see much of the D room that night anyway!! Zzzzzzzzzz. The next morning, there were 2 people ahead of us at the front desk, also requesting G rooms. One couple was very understanding when told there were none available. But the other woman threw a total fit!!! Escalated the lack of "her" room up the chain and was very unpleasant to the staff. We were about to walk away when the desk clerk indicated we should wait a minute. Once the rude woman left, he said he actually had a room for us in G!!! Turns out there was one room available for the just 3 nights we were still there, but none for longer stays. We had perfect timing!! The bellman moved us right away and even brought our mini bar bottles too! Beautiful view, huge room.
Our suggestion for CSS is to make the D rooms a different category. Pay for a D, get a D - no surprises and happier guests!!
The move to CTI was exceptionally smooth - they told us what time to be ready and Lenworth drove us over in one of the vans. Since it was 11:30 am, our room wasn't ready, but we had expected that and were already in our bathing suits. Got a beverage, lunch and some sun, then the wonderful Byron took us to our room right above the lawn near the swim up bar. Just as we remembered it, very nice.
The weather was absolutely fabulous the first day - completely flat water!! But the wind picked up as the week went on, although it was still sunny most of the time. One day we got swamped by a wave!!! Thank god for my waterproof Kindle bag. I laughed so hard I had everyone on the beach looking and laughing too :-) We find the pianist in the piano bar to not be of the caliber of those at the other resorts. He doesn't know the words to the songs and can't keep a steady rhythm. And of course, no one has the personality of Paul or Ulti!!! People we met found out that my husband is a pianist and persuaded him to play after the guy left.
Our suggestion for CTI is to please return to the towel check in and out system. Having the ability to take as many towels as you want and not return them is just not working. I saw one guy take the last FIVE towels and the people behind him didn't get any!! People leave them everywhere, and you don't know if chairs are taken or not. Plus the poor watersports crew has to pick up all those towels at the end of the day. That's not fair to them.
We were disappointed in the repeaters dinner - it was the worst one we've ever been to. First, no staff member sat with us. Unusual, but I'm sure it does happen if someone gets sick or called off to solve an issue. We mentioned it to Mr. Henry (GM) at the end and he seemed surprised. The legendary never ending glass of wine (I'm a past victim!!) was instead an always empty glass of wine - our table received one refill and was not offered any drinks from the bar. There were 2 choices of both entree and dessert on the menu, but we were just handed our food and not asked which we wanted. I ordered tea when the rest of the table ordered coffee. The coffee was filled and I received an empty cup. We finally managed to grab a waiter after dessert was over to actually get water in the cup. And we weren't off in a corner - we were right in front of the kitchen door! At least we had a lot of fun with the people we sat with, especially making fun of the dinner's events.
- Absolutely best place out of all 4 resorts to get a massage is the huts at CSS. So secluded and great view!!
- We preferred the food choices at CTI. Can't beat the pizza at lunch!
- Wonderful guests at both resorts - met people from all over the world which is always so very interesting!!
- All the young people on the board say they are looking for night life, but it's always us slightly older folk who are still up and having fun in the wee hours! The youngsters are all long asleep :-)