Hello, me and my fiance are planning our trip to a Couples resort for this December to get married, and we want to book soon just to start getting everything out of the way. Our only problem right now is deciding which place to stay at. CTI, CSS, CN, and CSA all look great and that makes it very hard to choose between them. We've never been to an all inclusive resort before in general, so I'm sure no matter which one we choose will be a great experience for us. We would just like some input from people who know the resorts and if any might be better for what we're going for.
We're going alone and we're getting the free wedding package for just the 2 of us, but we would still like the wedding to be as nice as possible. We like to eat and drink quite a bit, so if any of the resorts have better options than others this would be a big factor for us. We aren't extremely social, we're not really looking to go down and meet people to hang out, we want to spend a week together for our wedding and be relaxed with preferably a mostly private time together more than anything. Also we won't be participating in a lot of the excursions, maybe snorkeling one day and we're hoping to get on one of the Cat. Cruises or boat tours that people seem to enjoy. Besides that we'll be spending most of the week relaxing on the beach and enjoying our first resort together.
With our interests in mind, is there any of the resorts that would stand out as a better option than others? Thanks for any help!
If you want good restaurant choices you will have to chose betwwn CTI and Swept Away. That narrows it down to two. Then you will have to decide if you want a small private beach or a large beach which the public can walk along the waters edge. If you don't mind either way you will have to look at the pictures, prices etc to make your mind up.
Negril has the long beaches that you can walk on (CSA, CN). CSA has no a/n options
CSS has the best a/n, very romantic feel with the cliffs, no cat trip
CTI is newer, a/n island, great restaurants
CN seemed to me to have the best entertainment, social element, good restaurants, really like the bloody bay area with the long beaches and not many people bugging you on the beach
I highly recommend CTI. The food there is the best resort food I've ever had. There are plenty of places and times for privacy and you also might surprise yourself by striking up a conversation or two if you want. You sound very much like my husband and me and we did the private wedding on the beach location at CTI and found it perfect, beautiful, and everything I've ever dreamed of.
Congratulation on your choice to get married at a Couples Resort. We did and it was a great experience! We've been to all 4 resorts and each one has a special place where we'd choose to get married if we had it all to do over again.
You're going to get all kinds of opinions on which resort is best but what really matters is which resort is best for you. So we'll address your likes/dislikes in trying to help you choose the resort thats right for you.
- We like to eat and drink quite a bit - All of them have great restaurants but CTI, CSA and CN give the most choices (restaurants) for dinner thought CSS also offers a great buffet for their Starlight Gala as well as room service.
- ...we want to spend a week together... - CSS is a great resort for a wedding, to relax and have "private time together". In our opinion...it's the most romantic. There are lots of places to roam and explore with nice beaches to relax on. The others are a little more social and have more activities.
- ...we won't be participating in a lot of the excursions - CSS is the only resort that doesn't offer a catamaran cruise though all have great snorkeling or glass bottom boat tours. Remember, excursions are optional so you don't have to do anything you don't want.
- ...we'll be spending most of the week relaxing on the beach and enjoying our first resort together... - CN, CSA and CSS all have nice beaches to relax on (CTI's beach is a little small) and the most awesome sunsets to enjoy. CN's & CSA's are softer, whiter sand as compared to the courser brownish sand of CSS & CTI.
Hopefully this has given you some things that will help identify the Couples Resort that will make your wedding and stay an awesome experience.
As far as food goes there really is an abundance of food and drink at any Couples resort, but I think CSA has the other resorts trumped in terms of selection. CSA has 4 restaurants (2 reservation and 2 non-reservation) and 2 grill type restaurants (Seagrapes and Cabana Grill). Both grills are open during the day and the Cabana Grill is open from 10:00PM - 5:00AM for those late night munchies.
As far as weddings go, we've seen many at CSA and they've all been quite nice. There are 2 venues - beach and garden, so you can take your choice.
Negril's 7 Mile Beach is one of the wonders of the world, and at CSA you'll be right smack dab in the most beautiful section of that beach. I've been to Ocho Rios as well, and those resort beaches have NOTHING on CSA.
As far as privacy goes, I've not been to CSS, but my bet is that you'll find more privacy there, but we've found the vibe at CSA to be very laid back and mellow. The activities staff isn't pushy, but is available to get stuff going, and you can socialize or not with the folks around you.
Just look at the photos, read this message board as well as TripAdvisor, check out YouTube and whichever resort grabs you first is the one you should go with....
CSS is going to be your best choice, based on your comments. It is, in my opinion, the most romantic of the four in Jamaica. The food is essentially the same high quality at all Couples properties, the service equally as excellent, so those are not a concern. You can drink and eat as much as you want at all of them, as well.
CSA has the best beach, but may be a bit more social than you are expecting. However, you can be as private as you want at any Couples or spend your days meeting other couples. CN, the only Couples I've never spent more than a few hours at, seems to be the party-goers destination. CTI is for the au naturel crowd and has never had a romantic feel to it. CSS does have a really nice no clothing allowed section, with a pool and grill, if the mood strikes you. The beach there is poor and rarely used. The regular beach at CSS is nice but nothing in comparison to CSA.
I've been to Couples somewhere around 30 times, most of those at CSA. The one thing you should do before you do anything else is check the availability in December for your wedding date. Suzi and I are getting married at CSA on 4/20 (yes, we specifically picked THAT date) and we were lucky enough to get the last open spot on 4/20. Once you know which dates are available and in which resorts, you'll have solved half the equation. Good luck and congratulations!
Here are some quick differences between the four Jamaica resorts:
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. 226 Rooms.
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 at 5pm 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/Bella Vista) but room service 6:00am - 11:00pm. All rooms are suites with mini bars. Rooms are more hotel like as far as the decor. 150 rooms.
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. 4 restaurants (Beach grill/Heliconia, Otaheite, Lychee, Cassava Terrace). 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. 234 rooms.
CSA (Negril)- Sits on 7 mile beach - shallowest water and deepest beach of all 4 because it's the only one not in a small 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. Only resort with rooms right on the beach where you can walk off your first floor patio into sand. Night Club. Some room categories do not have televisions. 6 restaurants (Palms, Patois, Lemon Grass, Feathers, Beach Grill, Sea Grape cafe). No nude sunbathing option. Huge sports and fitness complex across the street. 312 rooms.