Someone recently asked me why I keep coming back to the same resort ( for us it's CSS or nothing), and I actually didn't have an answer. I guess when you find perfection, it's nerve racking to think of spending my hard earned dollars to try something new and sitting there kicking myself and wishing I was back at my second "home". Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I have no sense of adventure. Maybe I'm biased. Who knows.
So I thought I would take a look at what else is out there, and what others are saying about them. There's lots of places to go, things to do and see, but when I go on vacation, I want to relax with my wife, be pampered, be treated special, and do as little as possible. I want to let the daily grind just melt away with every lap of the ocean washing up on a beach.
Being a self professed couples "junkie", I just had to see what else is out there.
I looked for similar resorts, only in Jamaica to be fair, only all inclusive, to be fair, and some of the more popular resorts. I created a formula, taking the cost of each, based on a daily rate from a local travel agent, I checked the rating on tripadvisor, and formulated a factor, which considers what would be called bang for the buck. I figure that the cost of a vacation in comparison to what you get and how satisfied people have been, is very important to most. The rated number relates to value of what you get in comparison to what you pay. The higher the number, the more bang for the buck.
I used the cost of the trip, including airfare from Toronto Canada, based on a 7 night stay, including taxes, in February, and divided it into a daily rate. Compared that rate to approval rate of that resort on Tripadvisor from prior guests, and divided it out.
Yes I know that you have to take the ratings on TA with a grain of salt, but I only took into consideration the ratings of "excellent" and "very good".
So here is a list of the Couples resorts and how they rate.
Couples San Souci 15.5
Couples Negril 14.7
Couples Tower Island 14.9
Couples Swept Away 11.2
Now in comparison, here's how some of the competition stood up.
"S" resort in Negril 5.2
"S" resort in Ochos Rios 7.8
"S" resort in Whitehouse 9.9
"H" resort 13.7
"S" resort called Wild Orchid 10.2
"R" resort as in Carlton in Mobay 7.5
Not only are all the Couples resorts rated the highest compared to their competitors, They also give way more value for your hard earned money.
Decision made... CSS, see you in October!!!!!
Interesting. Now my geek side comes out as I look over the numbers you posted.
I find it interesting that the "H" resort rated as well as it did, but then I got thinking as to why this might be. Couples and "H" both cater to a very specific clientele, people who know exactly what they're going for. Plus, Couples does as well as they do because of the "one service for all" compared to what I've read for the "S" and other AIs where "the more you pay, the better your stay." As for "H," well, that resort also caters to a fairly specific category of vacationer...
We agree. Our first trip to Jamaica was to an "S" in January 2009. After that, because of cost we started looking at others. Cost is how we initially found Couples. However, after our first trip, which incidentally was Sans Souci in November 2009, we found our home in Couples. Since then, we have been on 5 more trips (1 to CSA and 4 to CN) with 2 more booked (to CN). Without a doubt, with the inclusions that Couples provides, there is nothing else that we have found that even comes close to the value for the money. Throw in the fact that the staff is so attentive, the food is phenomenal and the resorts actually feel like being in Jamaica, we stopped looking at other chains completely.
Hi novastar! Thanks for showing us the numbers! Hubby and I love CSS too! When people ask us why we keep going back, I simply say.....because we want to and because we CAN....once you go you know! Enough said!:-)
This was a fun posting to read, and I would like to add to it. Being a CSA fan though, I must come to her defense. Checking TripAdvisor today, I see that all 4 Couples resorts have a 4.5 star rating. This rating, along with the price of the trip sound like the only factors in your equation (if I read your post correctly).
If that is the case, then the fact that CSA is the highest priced resort in the Couples family would by default result in the lowest 'factor' score. If an additional variable was added that represented the reasons why one Couples resort is priced higher than another (east coast vs. west coast, included amenities, supply & demand of rooms, etc.), you may see an exact reversal of the rankings of the Couples resorts?
One thing I didn't get about the Couples ratings was that Tower Isle is typically the lowest priced resort (based on rates on Couples.com) - how did it not end up with the highest score? If there were other variables in your equation, we'd love to hear about them.
All of this is in fun - I couldn't agree with you more that Couples provides the best bang for the buck. We are looking forward to our sixth trip to CSA in November 2013.
I rechecked the numbers also to see why CSA is ranked a little lower and it's because it's slightly higher priced and the percentage of people on TA who rate CSA as either excellent or very good is just slightly lower than the other Couples resorts, but CSA's approval is next to the other Couples resorts. I have never been, but anyone who I have spoken to who has been there loved it. Go with confidence that it'll be an amazing vacation.
The only reason the "H" resort ranks up there is the low cost. "H" is about $200.00 a night cheaper than CSA, but ratings on TA is way lower, not even close to any of the Couples resorts. Probably because it's a run down resort and it's up for sale. They have dropped their prices just to keep in business, IMHO.
In actual cost per night of the resorts I listed, the "S" resort in Negril was the most expensive at over $1,500.00 a night per couple. The Ritz in Mobay is over $1,000.00 per night per couples.
In real numbers, the percentage of people who gave either "excellent" or "very good" ratings on the resorts, they are as follows:
The other resorts:
"S" Negril 82%
"S" Whitehouse 87%
"S" Plantation 92%
"H" resort 77%
"R" resort as in Carlton 76%
Just from what people have said about these resorts on TA, you can see that Couples not only competes, but beats the competition.
The big plus... none of the competition are actually "couples only". Not even Sandals is couples only.
The TA reviews of CSA are kind of like the Olympic scoring. You have to throw out the high and low as some people just like to complain and don't get the fact that Couples are beach resorts not trying to copy the Cancun and Bahamas marble and crystal glitz. Here you relax and enjoy. They dazzle you with location, great food, and amazing service.
We were married at CSS and came back 3 times. We then tried CSA and fell in love with the Seven Mile Beach, flat spread out never crowded feel of the resort, many dining options, and the same quality customer service we had a CSS. The sunset booze cruise is an added perk. Heading back to CSA for the fourth time this April.
I recant the last statement about Sandals resorts. They are couples only. I misread their website. They state that they do welcome singles and families... at their Beaches Resorts. Sorry about that. My bad.