We stayed in an Atrium suite in 2011 and will be staying in one again in Oct. We loved it and especially loved the hammocks. We had 1st floor and liked that we have two entrances, but I have heard that many like the 2nd floor for more privacy and vaulted ceilings.
We stayed in the Atrium last year and just booked an Atrium for our return trip in December. We like the privacy and vaulted ceilings that come with the 2nd floor rooms. We also love the thick lush tropical vegetation that surrounds the Atrium Suites.
Dorothy - Which room did you stay in before? That might help in comparing rooms.
Our first time to CSA was December 2012 and we stayed in an Atrium room, 2nd floor. We loved the privacy and the lush, tropical landscape around us. Didn't even need the A/C - just the ceiling fan at night. The balcony and hammock were great, but the hammock is a little crowded for two people in my opinion. Our building didn't have an ocean view, but it appeared that some had partial ocean views. For the price, I had no problem walking the few hundred feet to the beach and parking myself there all day!
Best place to stay at CSA. You're in the garden, however, most Atrium Suites have some view of the sea. It's quiet other than tree frogs, there's no television, and if you get a second-floor, you'll feel like you're camping out (in luxury, of course) in a jungle.
First floor atrium suites allow room service to deliver a breakfast tray to your porch w/o disturbing you in the morning at your requested time. Be sure to advise servers not to knock or call out on the order form one leaves on their door the night before, if you chose not to be disturbed. Top floors do allow more privacy and different views.
We've always enjoyed the atriums and just discovered the ground level with two entrances. One must request the second (porch) key on check-in. (a refundable deposit is required for it)
Whatever you chose, you won't be disappointed.
We stayed in an atrium suite for the first time in December. We usually stayed in the Ocean Verandah rooms in the past. We loved all the storage space for our clothes and belongings. The rooms are noisier than other rooms, but the noise always goes away when the entertainment at Palms is finished for the evening around 11:00. We could hear the tree frogs while falling to sleep and the birds gently woke us up in the mornings. The air conditioning does cool the rooms so no worries there. We also enjoyed the large shower instead of the bath tub in the Ocean Verandah rooms. We loved the large outside space and didn't miss the TV at all. Have fun and enjoy!
We stayed in a first floor Atrium room looking out on the wedding gazebo and garden. We loved it for many reasons (and disliked it for one):
1) Privacy - you wouldn't think so with a first floor room, but they have sailcloth shades that you can pull down all around your porch which will help to keep out some hot sun and provide as much or as little privacy as you'd like.
Also, this location (although located on the little garden area / wedding gazebo), wasn't used too much (seems like most weddings are on the beach), so there really wasn't too much traffic and any weddings were short and wedding parties were pretty short as well.
2) We loved the hammock! Even though we have one at home, there's something really easy about swinging in a hammock in Jamaica!
3) We loved the no TV
4) We loved the screens and wooden slat shutters (and with the shutters closed, there really WAS great air conditioning)! We loved hearing the tree frogs at night and birds in the morning.
5) We loved the large walk-in shower (no tub).
6) We LOVE the old section! We find it much quieter than the new (although we loved the new section years ago when it was brand new because none of the amenities were in that area). I guess we just like quiet on vacay.
7) We have stayed in a 2nd floor Beach Front Suite (which is essentially an Atrium on the beach). We really loved the vaulted ceilings and the airiness that we felt - and I'm assuming this is pretty much what the Atrium 2nd floor rooms are like - one note here, though, is on the 2nd floor the bathroom walls don't go all the way up to the vaulted ceiling....
What we DIDN'T like about the Atrium:
1) The walls seem to be thinner than other rooms (we've stayed in every room category but the Oceanfront Verandah Suites). We could hear our upstairs neighbor coughing at night - and could hear snoring. I'm assuming they could hear us as well. But honestly, this probably wouldn't prevent us from choosing an Atrium over a Garden Verandah Suite.
I hope this info is helpful - and just FYI, there are actually Atrium rooms that are technically "beachfront" rooms, only they're a few more feet removed from the beach than the actual BFS or BFVS rooms. If you land one of those, you've actually got a BFS for the price of an Atrium!!
My wife and myself are down at CSA for our first time , previously we were at CN and really enjoyed ourselves and our accommodations. We are booked in an Atrium suite. Two questions, photo's do not show much draw or closet space , is that an issue? We will enjoy the music from the palms , but in terms of view , and locations , do any of you have an opinion on which building and or location would make for a more enjoyable holiday?
We've been to CSA 17 times, and have booked our 18th trip for next December - we've always stayed in Atrium suites. They are awful, you should book the new section and get TV and drawers and not have to deal with hammocks or tree frogs. Have a great time, DB
My wife and I stayed in an atrium suite for our Honeymoon. It was fantastic and we loved every minute of it. we were first floor so we got the key to porch door and used that as the main access to the room. The hammock was fantastic and we were right next to the wedding gazebo but it was still quiet and not much foot traffic. We both loved that there was no TV in the room which gave us more time to spend paying attention to each other instead of having a distraction of the TV. You will love the Atrium if you get it.