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  1. #1

    Default There seems to be the CN/CSA devotees and the CSS/CTI devotees..how come?

    I have recently been "sold" on Couples Resorts and in my research for a trip in 2014 I find there are the devotees to CN/CSA and then the devotees to CTI/CSS. I happen to be leaning on the CN/CSA side for our first trip to Couples. What do people like about CSS/CTI? Although beautiful the beaches don't really seem as nice as they do in Negril. I would not be totally opposed to CSS/CTI in the future but for right now I am leaning towards Negril. I am not bashing any of the locations I am just curious.

    I am curious. I suppose everyone has their favs. and what has stood out to me is all the repeaters at all four of the resorts. I hope to have as a great a time as everyone else seems to have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    45

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    Honestly, I believe it all comes down to the "atmosphere". CSA and CN are both more "beach focused" as 7 Mile Beach in Negril is one of the most beautiful beach in the Caribbean (and the world for that matter). Also, Negril has its own vibe combated to MoBay.

    I have yet to stay at Couples, but I have been to MoBay, Negril and Ocho Rios. Personally, my favorite area is Negril. The beautiful 7 mile beach, contrasted with the stunning cliff area make Negril an awesome place!

  3. #3

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    For one, a lot of the devotion you will find comes from the first place a person has stayed. For many, their first resort is their favorite. Because no matter what, they can't help but compare all subsequent resorts to that first one.

    However, we may be a little different. Out of all four properties, our 2 favorites are CSA and CTI. In fact, this April, we are headed back for trip #11 and doing a split between the two. We like them for similar and completely different reasons.

    Out of the four, we think CTI and CSA have the most food options and best food variety. We like CTI because the beach is small and completely private and the resort is very compact and intimate. We like CSA because the beach is large and we can take long walks. We also think that hands-down, it has the calmest and most shallow water and deepest beach - mainly because it's the only resort that does not sit in a bay. At CTI (and CN and CSS) the odds of having choppy water are higher because of the bay, whereas at CSA it's pretty rare. It's also a personal choice - we like the vibe at CTI and CSA the best. However, we've only been to CSS and CN each once. All of the rest of our trips have been to CSA and CTI.

    Others may choose one side over the other for the amenities or for the local flavor. For instance, Negril seems to be a more energetic city than Ocho Rios - although I would imagine that most guests never leave the property.

    Here are some differences between the four:
    CTI (Ocho Rios)- Completely private beach, yet small; Completely separate island (Tower Island) for AN sunbathing. Island open from 9a-5p pending good weather. Access via small boat that runs all day. AN sunbathers cannot be seen from the main beach. Textiled guests cannot access the island. No beach on island, just rocks. 6 restaurants (Bayside, 8 Rivers, Verandah, Patio, Pool Grill, Veggie Bar) including one that sits on the water; the most inclusions (Dunn's River, catamaran cruise). Only 3 buildings with rooms so the resort is very compact and intimate. Everything revolves around a central location. Recently underwent a $30 million renovation - new rooms, new decor, new pools, etc. Swim-up pool bar. Also includes room service from 7:30am - 9:30pm. All rooms have mini bars.

    CSS (Ocho Rios) - the newest to the Couples resort, but not the newest built. It used to be a Grand Lido then Couples bought it. Also has a completely private beach. Completely separate beach for AN sunbathing - Sunset Beach, which opens up to textiled guests for the sunset.. Resort is very spread out vertically and built on cliffs. It's split into 3 different levels, lots of steps throughout. Lots of foliage and hidden spots. Does not offer a catamaran cruise. Only 3 restaurants (Palazzina, Casanova, beach grill) but room service 6:00am - 11:00pm. All rooms are suites with mini bars. Rooms are more hotel like as far as the decor.

    CN (Negril)- Sits in Bloody Bay which it shares with 3 other resorts and public beach access. Separate section of main beach used for nude sunbathing, separated by a hedgeline. Individual buildings throughout the resort for the rooms. All on beach level. Somewhat spread out. Huge main pool with swim-up bar. 3 restaurants (Beach grill/Heliconia, Otaheite, Lychee). Rooms decorated in bright colors. 24 hour room service only in select room categories and it must be ordered a day in advance. All rooms have mini bars.

    CSA (Negril)- Sits on 7 mile beach - shallowest water and deepest beach of all 4 because it's the only one not in a Bay. Separate buildings for rooms that are cabana like, dark wood and white linens. Resort is spread out along the beach but all on beach level. Many rooms have first floor access to the beach. Night Club. Some room categories do not have televisions. 6 restaurants (Palm, Patois, Lemon Grass, Feathers, Beach Grill, Sea Grape cafe). No nude sunbathing option. Huge sports and fitness complex across the street.

    I am happy to share any of our pics or trip tips - amy.welch@hotmail.com

    Hope this helps!
    Amy
    Amy Welch...Woooohoooo!!
    CTI - 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013
    CN - 2003/2004 CSS - 2008
    CSA - 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    151

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    I think you answered your own question....

    Simply put, CN/CSA people love the beach and water. CTI/CSS love the privacy and seclusion.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishkim814 View Post
    I have recently been "sold" on Couples Resorts and in my research for a trip in 2014 I find there are the devotees to CN/CSA and then the devotees to CTI/CSS. I happen to be leaning on the CN/CSA side for our first trip to Couples. What do people like about CSS/CTI? Although beautiful the beaches don't really seem as nice as they do in Negril. I would not be totally opposed to CSS/CTI in the future but for right now I am leaning towards Negril. I am not bashing any of the locations I am just curious.

    I am curious. I suppose everyone has their favs. and what has stood out to me is all the repeaters at all four of the resorts. I hope to have as a great a time as everyone else seems to have.
    We have been to CN and CTI and are returning to CSS for the second time on Sunday. We have never tried CSA, for some reason it doesn't "call" me as everyone suggests. From my perspective:

    Beach - CN, no question - CSS and CTI don't compare
    Atmosphere - CSS, CTI, CN
    Friendly Staff - CSS, then CTI and CN last (not that the service at CN was bad by any means)
    Food - CN/CSS tied, CTI ( restaurants at CTI were excellent, however the buffet was hit and miss)

    We travel as a couple, not a group, we found the guests at CSS and CTI a little friendlier. People were more inclined to chat with others at those two. When we were at CN, it seemed there were more groups travelling together and so attempts weren't made to meet others. To be clear, we go to spend time as a couple, so we aren't looking to meet lifelong friends.

    The staff at CSS and CTI made more of an effort to chat and remember you from the day before than at CN. In 2 weeks at CN, we had one conversation with a bartender that was longer that what we wanted to drink (and the next day it was like we had never met). By day 2 at CSS and CTI, they remembered what you wanted to drink and were pouring it before you had a chance to speak.

    Again, strictly my opinion, and I don't mean to dis CN at all.

    I am not complaining about any of them, this is just our experience. To sum up, if you could put CSS on CN's beach, it would be perfect.

  6. #6

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    I can only speak of CSA. My wife & I have been going there since it was just Swept Away, before it bacame Couples , before they built the new side & changed the logo. Throughout all the changes over the years, we still have the memories & visuals of the way it used to be. No matter how many changes were made, one thing still remains, it's home to us, we feel comfortable there & know & love every inch of the property. We love the staff, new & old, we love the beach, the rooms & well, everything! I have nothing negative to say of any of the other resorts as we haven't been to the others, nor will we in the future. To us CSA is a perfect fit & nothing else would ever compare. We have been to other non Couples resorts in Jamaica, & to other countries as well, so it's not like we've never been anywhere else. For us, CSA is paradise.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    736

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    We have been to all 4 and we are West coast fans first and East coast second mainly for the beachs and sunsets. We rate CSA and CN tied for first and really have a hard time deciding which one to go to. We rate CSS a close third, we love SSB. CTI is a close 4th but the small beach just does not work for us, but we do like the Island. All in all, if someone said I could never go anywhere else but CTI, I would still be happy. As a matter of fact, if I was told I could only go to only one of them but I had no voice in the matter... I would go and have a blast............ Does that make any sense?

  8. #8

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    The All-Natural crowd prefers CTI/CSS. The Beach crowd goes to Negril.
    The Ocho Rios side of the island has a deep-water pier, so the area is heavy with tourists.
    No deep-water dockage in Negril, much quieter side of the island.

    I've been to CTI three times and CSS three times. I've been to CSA over 20 times, returning on 4/12 and again in October for the anniversary party. I'll be booking CSA for April and December 2014 as soon as the rates are posted. No interest in going back to either CTI or CSS.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    228

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    Everyone looks for different things in a vacation. I have been to CSA, CTI and CSS.
    My hands down favorite is CSA mostly because of the beach, the resturants, the rooms and everyone that works there.
    However, I love CSS! I think it is the most beautiful resort in the couples family. I love strolling through the ground and finding all sorts of secret little places.
    My husband and I love Sunset Beach at CSS, which is the one thing we can not get at CSA. We spend all our beach time there.
    We were married at CTI and the resort is lovely. Have not been back since the renovations. I can't find anything bad to say about the resort but I prefer having a beach to walk aimlessly along and see the sights and sounds of Jamaica.
    Since everyone is different, Couples offers 4 resorts that while all terrific, are all different.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    277

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    Yes, you do have to try them all to know which one is your favorite! It's amazing how it is different for every couple. It depends on what you like, and each resort has its own distinct personality.

    After going to the Negril side 3x (CN 2x, CSA 1x) and loving both resorts, we decided to take a chance and try CSS. We loved CSS for different reasons. We enjoy the long gorgeous beaches of Negril, but also loved the quiet beach of CSS- it was super relaxing not having vendors constantly walking by and yelling. This is why we are going back to CSS in March and CSA in July

  11. #11

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    It is really interesting that there are the two branches of the Couples Family, one leaning towards Negril and the other to Ocho Rios. We have only been to CSS and CN, heading to CTI this year, but I can understand why most people have a favorite or a preferred order of favorites. Each resort offers fantastic food & drink, inclusions, service, rooms and Jamaican Awesomeness, but there are also highlights for each that usually are what calls it's devoted followers. I think a lot of "which resort you choose" depends on your highest priority for your vacation/honeymoon. There is also probably some truth to your first location may end up your favorite, since it is where you first formed a bond with Jamaica, Couples and hopefully had an amazingly romantic adventure that you will remember for a lifetime. I do believe there is not a single "Best Resort" to choose from. Each one has character and will let you experience Jamaica with a little different perspective, so it really is a personal preference.

    Our favorite is CSS. Our first trip, I had a spreadsheet of all the resorts and the pros of each and making the first selection was certainly the hardest decision. We preferred the privacy of the smaller beach of CSS to the beautiful expansiveness and slightly louder beach at Negril (we haven't been to CSA, so that might be a good fit for us, we just don't know yet). The main reason why we decided to try CTI this year was because of the private beach and because the Catamaran and paddleboarding were so much fun in Negril, we wanted to do that again, but they are not options at CSS. However, we're splitting the trip so we can have a few short days at CSS too. We love the rooms on the cliffs and enjoy walking the steps at CSS and I have never found a spa location so amazing, but that's what calls me home to Sans Souci. If A/N is your priority, I can see CTI or CSS as having a little more to offer than CN, but again, it's still your call.
    Whenever someone posts the question to "help me decide on a resort", I always hope to see more love and respect in the responses to suggest the highlights of each rather than what you don't like about A, B, or C. I guess it is a discussion board, and it's good to let everyone voice their opinions. Sometimes I hope fewer people will fall in love with CSS so I won't have to worry about booking my favorite room category during the time of year we can manage a trip. But then I reconsider and hope everyone who want to go to Couples gets the opportunity to find their favorite location. We're trying to become all-report repeaters, but I am leaning towards Barbados for the next trip, so CSA may have to wait!

    I like your curiosity and respectful post and I hope mine has some of that as well. Congratulations on being "sold", you won't regret it!

  12. #12

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    I'm sure it's the beach for CN/CSA and for CSS/CTI, it's probably just the uniqueness (especially CSS) and there is more to do in Oho Rios should you decide to go outside the resort.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    333

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    We first went to CSA and were hooked in 2007, we return each year. We got caught up in a "Wednesday Special" for CSS and went there between visits to CSA. We now have the problem of deciding between two different , but both fantastic, resorts. Our only solution was to to a split, one week at each. We had not better try CN or CTI or we will have to spend four weeks every year!!!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,051

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    I am a real BEACH PERSON so CN/CSA is for me!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishkim814 View Post
    I have recently been "sold" on Couples Resorts and in my research for a trip in 2014 I find there are the devotees to CN/CSA and then the devotees to CTI/CSS. I happen to be leaning on the CN/CSA side for our first trip to Couples. What do people like about CSS/CTI? Although beautiful the beaches don't really seem as nice as they do in Negril. I would not be totally opposed to CSS/CTI in the future but for right now I am leaning towards Negril. I am not bashing any of the locations I am just curious.

    I am curious. I suppose everyone has their favs. and what has stood out to me is all the repeaters at all four of the resorts. I hope to have as a great a time as everyone else seems to have.

    Generally speaking, when a resort calls to you, it calls to you for a reason, and that becomes your favorite and the resort you wish to return too. My wife and I love the beach and the sand and the sun, so CN called to us. When we found out how close and non-spread out it was, it confirmed our choice. We grew to love the treatment received by the staff, the amenities that Couples offers, the friends we have made and see on our return trips, and everything about CN. The only other resort we wish to visit is the new Barbados. We know the resort, we know what to expect, and we love what is offered and available. I think others will say the same. You will not go wrong picking any Couples Resort but one will call to you for a reason. Go with it and enjoy!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    14

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    We have only been to CSS, but we chose CSS after a lot of research and after being there I feel it is the best location for our needs. As far as the beach, a major factor for me is that CSS is situated on cliffs. Due to the landscape, there is no possibility of through-traffic. If someone wants to visit the resort who is not associated with the resort, their only option would be to come in by boat. The other locations seem to have their beach situated where the public has access to them. CSS looks and feels so secluded, tucked away and intimate. This is what my wife and I look for in a resort, and CSS seems to cater to this best.

    Again - I haven't been to other Couples resorts yet, but this is what makes CSS so compelling to us.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    1,287

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    No problem. You will have a great time, no matter which resort you choose.
    I think one of the reasons that the resorts are split CN/CSA, CTI/CSS is where they are located. Two resorts in Negril and two in Ocho Rios. CSS is ten minutes from CTI, an the other two are close as well.
    As to our favorites. That's just it. We went, we saw, we fell in love. And it's very hard to give up something you love so much. You may know that the other three places are great too, but it isn't "home".
    Now there have been some who fell in love with one of them, but then tried one of the others. The were smitten all over again. Some of them finally giving up their first love for their new love.
    There is no question that the Negril side has that fantastic long beach. It grabs a lot of people. On the other hand, CTI/CSS are absolutely private. No gawkers,hawkers or squakers. The nude facilities at both are quite unique, and free of vendors. Some of us like that.
    If truth be told, you can't go wrong, no matter what your choice. And at each place, you can do a trading places day, so you get to see what it's like at the neighboring resort.
    Personally, we fell in love with the old COR, now CTI almost 18 years ago. This April will be our 35 visit. That tells you where we stand. We did stay at CSS once, and we liked it. Especially SSB, where you can actually walk into the water. It's a small area, but much larger than TI.
    Good luck with your decision. You won't regret it.

    Richie


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    19

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    Its almost like asking which child is your favorite! And like your children, each resort has it's own personality. We love CSS because it has penthouse suites on the cliffs that have lounge chairs and an amazing ocean view. Private beaches, walking path around the pond, amazing grounds and the Balloon Bar every evening for great entertainment. CTI has what we feel is a better main beach than CSS, true ocean view rooms that face the island. When you walk into the lobby for the first time and you see the view, your jaw drops. Beautiful. We have yet to try CSA, but friends of ours have, and they loved it. CN is our favorite right now. It has everything that we want and is compact. The beach is incredible And like all Couples resorts it has great staff and guests. What ever you choose, the first choice to go with Couples is the best one. Once you go, it`s like an addiction. It stays with you every day. Enjoy!!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    34

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    great question irishkim814,

    We've only been to the Negril side (CN and CSA)... so I know why everybody loves that side of the island. This coming Spring (2013), however, we are going to the Ocho Rios side (CSS with a visit to CTI for the trading places day). It was so hard not to go back to what we know and love... but the curiosity of the "dark" side got the best of us. The CSS/CTI repeaters brag and rave about those resorts... so we just felt we had to go check it out for ourselves.

    From what we gather from reading reviews and this MB, the Negril side is for the beach, but the Ocho Rios side is more about the service and (I think) the nudity option (the private AN beach at CSS and the AN island at CTI). I could be wrong... so that is why we're checking it out for ourselves. We are a little bit old (early 50's) and out of shape to try the AN option... so we're hoping the regular beach, food, and entertainment experience is just as wonderful as the Negril side. We shall see... can't wait to write up a review comparing the Ocho Rios side versus the Negril side.

    My suggestion is to go to the Negril side first (can't go wrong)... and then (once you get brave enough) try the Ocho Rios side.

    That is our opinion... having only been to the Negril side.

    Peace everyone. Just saying.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,424

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    . . . .CN (Negril)- Sits in Bloody Bay . . . . 24 hour room service only in select room categories and it must be ordered a day in advance.
    Both CN and CSA are on Seven Mile Beach. Seven Mile Beach is comprised of Long Bay, which is approximately five miles in length, and Bloody Bay, which is approximately two miles in length. CSA is on Long Bay; CN is on Bloody Bay.

    CN does NOT have 24-hour room service. A continental breakfast is available via room service for breakfast in all room categories. If you have a suite, you can have dinner in your suite, and arrangements must be made a day in advance.
    Pamela
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

  21. #21

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    We're among the few that have faves on both sides. We've been to all but CTI. We prefer CSA because of the beach and room choices primarily, as well as the impressive sports complex. We've stayed there a half dozen times. For variety's sake, every 3 or 4 years we'll switch over to CSS. There we like the rooms, and the layout of the resort just gives it sort of a tropical forest feel. We always miss the beach and head back to CSA the following year. We visited CN twice when it was brand new. We liked it a lot, just not quite as much as CSA. Really looking forward to checking out the Barbados property next year.

  22. #22

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    We are BeachBums, so with that said CN all the way

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    26

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    Wow! The more I read the more confused I become! I love reading everyone's opinions on all of the 4 but they get me so confused! I wish I could try all!

    Someone mentioned the trading places, but isn't trading places only for repeat visitors?

    BF and I have done several AI but this will be both our first Jamaican and Couples experience. We started travelling young so as we grew, our priorities changed with us.

    Right now we are considering CTI/CSS and are completely stuck. Seems as though every time I change my undies, I change my mind as to which one I want to go to LOL!

    They both look absolutely amazing. I think the quiet, secludedness of CSS screams out to me, yet the modern look and many restaurant choices of CTI are also screaming at me.

    We are inching closer and closer to our dates and we really gotta figure this out.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences with us!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    387

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    For one, a lot of the devotion you will find comes from the first place a person has stayed. For many, their first resort is their favorite. Because no matter what, they can't help but compare all subsequent resorts to that first one.

    However, we may be a little different. Out of all four properties, our 2 favorites are CSA and CTI. In fact, this April, we are headed back for trip #11 and doing a split between the two. We like them for similar and completely different reasons.

    Out of the four, we think CTI and CSA have the most food options and best food variety. We like CTI because the beach is small and completely private and the resort is very compact and intimate. We like CSA because the beach is large and we can take long walks. We also think that hands-down, it has the calmest and most shallow water and deepest beach - mainly because it's the only resort that does not sit in a bay. At CTI (and CN and CSS) the odds of having choppy water are higher because of the bay, whereas at CSA it's pretty rare. It's also a personal choice - we like the vibe at CTI and CSA the best. However, we've only been to CSS and CN each once. All of the rest of our trips have been to CSA and CTI.

    Others may choose one side over the other for the amenities or for the local flavor. For instance, Negril seems to be a more energetic city than Ocho Rios - although I would imagine that most guests never leave the property.

    Here are some differences between the four:
    CTI (Ocho Rios)- Completely private beach, yet small; Completely separate island (Tower Island) for AN sunbathing. Island open from 9a-5p pending good weather. Access via small boat that runs all day. AN sunbathers cannot be seen from the main beach. Textiled guests cannot access the island. No beach on island, just rocks. 6 restaurants (Bayside, 8 Rivers, Verandah, Patio, Pool Grill, Veggie Bar) including one that sits on the water; the most inclusions (Dunn's River, catamaran cruise). Only 3 buildings with rooms so the resort is very compact and intimate. Everything revolves around a central location. Recently underwent a $30 million renovation - new rooms, new decor, new pools, etc. Swim-up pool bar. Also includes room service from 7:30am - 9:30pm. All rooms have mini bars.

    CSS (Ocho Rios) - the newest to the Couples resort, but not the newest built. It used to be a Grand Lido then Couples bought it. Also has a completely private beach. Completely separate beach for AN sunbathing - Sunset Beach, which opens up to textiled guests for the sunset.. Resort is very spread out vertically and built on cliffs. It's split into 3 different levels, lots of steps throughout. Lots of foliage and hidden spots. Does not offer a catamaran cruise. Only 3 restaurants (Palazzina, Casanova, beach grill) but room service 6:00am - 11:00pm. All rooms are suites with mini bars. Rooms are more hotel like as far as the decor.

    CN (Negril)- Sits in Bloody Bay which it shares with 3 other resorts and public beach access. Separate section of main beach used for nude sunbathing, separated by a hedgeline. Individual buildings throughout the resort for the rooms. All on beach level. Somewhat spread out. Huge main pool with swim-up bar. 3 restaurants (Beach grill/Heliconia, Otaheite, Lychee). Rooms decorated in bright colors. 24 hour room service only in select room categories and it must be ordered a day in advance. All rooms have mini bars.

    CSA (Negril)- Sits on 7 mile beach - shallowest water and deepest beach of all 4 because it's the only one not in a Bay. Separate buildings for rooms that are cabana like, dark wood and white linens. Resort is spread out along the beach but all on beach level. Many rooms have first floor access to the beach. Night Club. Some room categories do not have televisions. 6 restaurants (Palm, Patois, Lemon Grass, Feathers, Beach Grill, Sea Grape cafe). No nude sunbathing option. Huge sports and fitness complex across the street.

    I am happy to share any of our pics or trip tips - amy.welch@hotmail.com

    Hope this helps!
    Amy
    Amy - This was a great writeup and I'm betting we see it again in these type of threads in the future.

    One correction though. CSA sits in Long Bay which in conjunction with Bloody Bay make up the 7 mile beach.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    1,287

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    Stop worrying. Just go to either CSS or CTI, they are only about fifteen minutes apart. Then do a trading places day. No you don't have to be a repeat visitor.

    We all have our favorites, some of us more than one favorite. But whichever one your choose, you can't go wrong and you will have a great time. I promise you.

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