We are booking a trip to Couples in middle of December with two other couples and we have been to CSS and loved it but we want a bigger beach so was leaning towards CN but we were wondering how many hot tubs around the resort and if there are still hidden hammocks and such??? Feedback please!!
CN does have a nicer beach and better ocean swimming. The vibe at CN was definitely more of a partying atmosphere when we were there. There were more groups of guests that seemed to socialize together and the atmosphere was not especially romantic. The catamaran cruise was a very nice inclusion that you don't get at CSS. The grounds are nice but can't compete with CSS.
CSS was very peaceful and full of romantic ambiance. It lacked the group party vibe of CN, at least when we were there. It is by far the most beautiful Couples resort. We have been to all four and CSS is our favorite. we travel alone as a couple and the atmosphere at CSS is perfect for getting closer to the one you love.
I would say that the food and rooms were very comparable between the two. So really, I think it comes down to the vibe you are looking for. Just don't go to CN expecting it to be the same as CSS.
Regarding hammocks, there may have been some at CN, but definitely not as many and not as tucked away. The hot tubs at CN tended to get monopolized by groups the week we were there, at least the two at the main pool. I think there was another one near the dive pool and also one in the a/n area. Hope this helps!
CN is about the beach. It's spectacular with soft sand free of vegetation or rocks. CSS the beach is not why you are there.
CSS is about the grounds. They are lush and beautiful with lots to see and explore. CN is pretty and well kept but doesn't compare.
CSS has room service and most of the food is good. Be prepared for the buffets, even for the repeater's dinner. CN has excellent food and limited room service. Dinner is a la carte including the repeater's dinner which is spectacular.
Night time entertainment
CN has a fun piano bar which is air conditioned and usually something going on early and late. CSS has a patio which is not air conditioned and things seem to start later.
CSS has many different categories of rooms. Some very nice and some more modest. We stay in the beach front suite which is quite nice. CN's rooms are essentially all the same. They do have some suites which are just double sized rooms. For us the rooms are quite adequate as we seem to be out of the room more at CN.
CSS has a very nice AN area with a pool and grill. The hot tub is in real need of an update and the beach is only for those who feel a real need to be in the ocean as it's very rocky and has a coolish current from the river. Some don't like the local fishermen and sometimes kids who hang around a bit. I would estimate that a large portion of CSS's repeaters are because of the AN area.
CN has an AN section of the beach with no pool or grill. It has a very nice in ground hot tub which is huge. It becomes a social hub for the area. The beach is excellent, but there may be a gawker or two along the shore. To get food you have to throw on your suit and walk over to the grill which is at the regular beach close by.
Staff at both are great and both will have an occasional strong and weak staffer. About even there.
CSS has a lot of attractions in the area, but most cost extra.
CN has golf and a couple excursions around, but less than CSS. They DO have the cat cruise which is very nice. Golf is much better at CSS.
For us we go for two weeks in the spring and that's too long for one place so we split between CSS and CN. We do enjoy CSS with the exception of the food. We're not much into the buffets and the food at CN just seems a notch above. We love to walk around the grounds at CSS. CN feels more like "home" to us and the beach just can't be beat. We spend lots of time in the piano bar and the repeater's dinner is a highlight. (We don't go to the repeater's at CSS due to bad experiences with their buffets)
One other little thing is that CSS seems to get a bit more cloud. The hills are fairly close and cloud is often generated off them which leaves the hide and seek sun many afternoons. At CN the hills are further away so it seems the sun hangs around more.
If we were only going for one week it would be CN hands down unless we got a much better deal somewhere else.
We have been to both resorts, CN being where we started and were we returned. It's all about the beach! In my opinion, nothing compares to Bloody Bay. Calm clear water with smooth sand bottom. When we went to CSS, we were well aware of the differences in the beaches but I will admit, we were still disappointed. The beach at CSA is equally as inviting, but we prefer the bay, for some reason it seems more intimate.
I would agree that CN is a more social resort but does not need to be if that is what you are looking for. The vibe at CN is much more laid back and relaxed. We travel with another couple and have 4 or 5 other couples we see every year and we do have plenty of our own time, but enjoy the company at the pool bar and the Cat Cruise, but private dinners and quiet times walking the beach and the grounds are easily accomplished.
There are a couple "hidden" hammocks and a few on the beach. Their are 2 hot tubs that are much larger than the ones at the main pool. The AN hot tub is rarely full and one near the water sports is hit or miss for people. It usually fills when the Cat Cruise comes in!
We stayed in the 1 bedroom Beach front in building 1 at CSS and found the room to be superior to CN, but we get a basic garden room at CN, we are never in our room so it really can't compare. We actually spend more time on the balcony at CN looking into the trees and garden than we did at CSS looking at the ocean, not sure why.
We found the restaurants to be comparable, but we enjoy the much more centrally located amenities at CN.
In my opinion, the grounds at both are beautiful but but in a different ways. I think CN's seem more natural where CSS seems more landscaped. Not sure if that is the best way to describe it.
If you are looking for the AN beach, CSS's beach is better, if you are not going into the water. CN's is small but comfortable with no pool but a hot tub. If you choose to swim, you will be at the same beach as everyone else.
Good luck with your choice, not sure you could go wrong.
We have been to CN 2x and took our first trip to CSS last year. They are both amazing and you can't go wrong. You obviously know the great things about CSS. If you go to CN, try not to compare and just experience it for what it is.
The beach is better at CN, wider, deeper, and more room to spread out. There is vendor traffic and a little more local traffic--we didn't mind it, security won't let them approach you unless you request it. Having said that, I also enjoyed the beach at CSS. CN does not have the sea grass on the ocean floor like at CSS, but when in the water at both I was on the floatie so I didn't care about that at CSS like some people do. But, if you are all about the beach, CN wins, hands down.
I think food is about equal at both, but the room service option at CSS is nice. My husband would say the food at CSS was better. Staff are fantastic at both, although we felt staff at CSS were just a notch above and more attentive.
CN is much more compact than CSS, less walking. Because of this, you won't find all the "hidden things" you do at CSS. There are several hammocks on the beach, but I don't remember any other places. I would agree that CSS is an overall more romantic atmosphere, although both are very romantic.
One place I think CSS is far superior is the balcony views. I love sitting on the balcony looking at the water, and there are only a few, more expensive options to have that at CN.
We love them both and would return to either, but will probably lean towards CSS.