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  1. #1
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    May 2013
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    9

    Default couples swept away, sans souci or tower isle?

    m looking to go on my first trip to jamaica and like the look of all three resorts. what if any are the main differences between these 3 couples resorts?

    thanks

    stephen

  2. #2
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    Jul 2009
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    Hi Stephen,

    You'll get tons of opinions on which is best so it's good that you asked the differences (and yes there are some).

    CSA is a larger resort on the west coast (the Negril side). It's more spread out, has a longer beach and the best sunsets (with comparison to CSS or CTI). They do not offer AN sunbathing. There are 5 restaurants for dinner and two pools with activities being located at both ends of the resort and living areas in-between. Loving areas are in buildings that are 2 story (beachfront, garden & atrium suites), 3 story (garden or beachfront verandah suites) or in the Great House. They have a spa/athletic complex across the road from the resort with a fabulous lap pool and workout area.

    CSS is a mid-size resort on the Ocho Rios (north) coast. It is also more spread out (as compared to CTI) but built on cliffs (so has stairs to climb), has 2 beaches (one AN) with awesome sunsets from Sunset Beach. They have the fewest restaurant options (compared to CTI/CSA) with 3 dinner choices. Living areas are located in 7 buildings (A & B are on the beach and the rest progress up to F & G that are highest up on the cliffs (beautiful views)). They have an awesome "Starlight Gala" each Friday night that is usually the highlight of our visit.

    CTI is a smaller resort (size comparison) and is more "hotel like" comprised of 5 multi-floor buildings. Things are close by so it's easier to get around and "bump into" people. They have 1 beach and the island for getting that "all-over tan." They also have 5 restaurants for your dinner selection (all of which are great).

    I'm sure others will give their comparisons and contrasts also. So, have fun choosing the one that's right for you!

    Bart & Bug

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    76

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    Hi there! I'm completely biased but I have never visited anywhere but CSS. We love it there. It's absolutely gorgeous and it is spread out in cliffs but there is only 150 rooms on 20+ acres. It's very quiet and beautiful. We are visiting again in July. Part of our hearts are in CSS! Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    9

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    that's great thank you, its given me food for thought definitely. i suppose what i am looking for is a very romantic resort but also somewhere that offers a really nice beach and accommodation. from what i can tell CSS is the most romantic but doesn't have a great beach and the accommodation isnt as good as CSA or CTI


    Quote Originally Posted by Bart and Bug View Post
    Hi Stephen,

    You'll get tons of opinions on which is best so it's good that you asked the differences (and yes there are some).

    CSA is a larger resort on the west coast (the Negril side). It's more spread out, has a longer beach and the best sunsets (with comparison to CSS or CTI). They do not offer AN sunbathing. There are 5 restaurants for dinner and two pools with activities being located at both ends of the resort and living areas in-between. Loving areas are in buildings that are 2 story (beachfront, garden & atrium suites), 3 story (garden or beachfront verandah suites) or in the Great House. They have a spa/athletic complex across the road from the resort with a fabulous lap pool and workout area.

    CSS is a mid-size resort on the Ocho Rios (north) coast. It is also more spread out (as compared to CTI) but built on cliffs (so has stairs to climb), has 2 beaches (one AN) with awesome sunsets from Sunset Beach. They have the fewest restaurant options (compared to CTI/CSA) with 3 dinner choices. Living areas are located in 7 buildings (A & B are on the beach and the rest progress up to F & G that are highest up on the cliffs (beautiful views)). They have an awesome "Starlight Gala" each Friday night that is usually the highlight of our visit.

    CTI is a smaller resort (size comparison) and is more "hotel like" comprised of 5 multi-floor buildings. Things are close by so it's easier to get around and "bump into" people. They have 1 beach and the island for getting that "all-over tan." They also have 5 restaurants for your dinner selection (all of which are great).

    I'm sure others will give their comparisons and contrasts also. So, have fun choosing the one that's right for you!

    Bart & Bug

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    522

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    CTI and CSS are in Ocho Rios

    CN and CSA are in Negril

    The beaches at CSS and CTI are nice but you cannot walk great distances on their beaches like you can at CN or CSA. But, there are no outsiders walking on the beaches at CSS or CTI and you do have that at CSA and CN

    None of the (4) resorts have the glitzy rooms that you find in some other resorts but all are very nice and just what we like.

    CTI, CSS and CN have a/n areas

    Watersports are included at all (4)

    CTI, CN and CSA have an included Cat Cruise

    CSA is usually the most expensive

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    83

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    [QUOTE=sabraham;213672]that's great thank you, its given me food for thought definitely. i suppose what i am looking for is a very romantic resort but also somewhere that offers a really nice beach and accommodation....

    If the beach is that important to you, then stay away from CTI. The beach is very small, BUT if you have an ocean view room, you probably can't get any closer to the water than the rooms at CTI. The beach is just so small. San Souci is probably the most romantic (but there are a lot of stairs) and Swept Away is probably best for the beach. Wondering what caused you not to consider Negril?

    Nancy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    61

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    I just returned from my second trip to CTI, so I'm a little biased. I've never been to CSA, but we did do a trading places day at CSS this last trip. CSS was beautiful. Seriously. It is such a different feel from CTI. So spread out, tons of vegetation and gardens. Sunset beach was great too. Definitely a bigger pool and a great beach (the island on CTI has none), although the water was cold thanks to the river adjacent to it. It also isn't quite as private thanks to a public beach next door. I wonder about the security there as well. As we were leaving sunset beach, a local, not an employee, was standing on the path as we left asking us if we wanted to by a joint. Not impressed. We had a great day though. Calmer water over there, which made the water sports a little easier to enjoy. My biggest complaint is that is was almost too quiet for me. I like it when there are plenty of people around to mingle with. If you're looking for quiet though, that's the place to be!

    I love LOVE CTI. It is more people in a smaller area, but I like that. It doesn't feel remotely crowded, never had trouble finding a place to sit, but it didn't feel empty either. It's also a really beautiful resort. Love the grounds and the building (gorgeous lobby!) and the rooms. Everything is right on the beach, so not much walking needed. And the island is so fun. No beach and a small pool, but there is something wonderful about sitting perched on a rock naked in the middle of the Caribbean with the sun shining and the waves crashing around you. It's amazing. As is the food and the service. Outstanding in every way. Lots of food choices. Water glass was never left empty. Always had a drink in hand. I'm sure that's not specific to CTI, but it's a big part of what brought us back there.

    As for CSA, I'd love to get there one day. What has made me hesitate both times though is the beach. I know it's supposed to be ridiculously beautiful, but I don't like that it's public. I know the vendors are shooed away if they come too far up the beach, but I still prefer the private beach at CTI. I don't have to worry about vendors or random people from other resorts walking by. Feels more secure to me. That being said, I still want to check it out one of these times. We're already planning our 3rd trip back to CTI though, so it might have to wait.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2009
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    You're welcome, Stephen. In our opinion CSS is the most romantic with lush vegetation and lots of room to roam. It may not have the greatest beaches (though they are larger than CTI's) or best sunsets, when compared to CSA (though we could share some beautiful pictures taken at Sunset Beach) but we'll have to agree with CM318 that it is quiet and beautiful. The one thing that sets CSS and CTI apart from CSA is that the beaches are private. They're exclusive to those on those resorts while CSA is on a "pubic beach" such that people can walk the shoreline along that resort (not come onto the resort).

    The good thing about Couples Resorts is that no matter which one you choose there's not a bad resort...only one you like better.

    Enjoy!

    Bart & Bug

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    151

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    In my opinion, the main difference between the three is beach, beach and beach. CSA has the longest and nicest stretch of sand of the three. Also, it's much easier and convenient to wander off the resort and mix with the locals south of CSA. It's nice to get out and enjoy the local flavor once in a while. If you are nervous of vendors, don't be. CSA security does a good job of keeping them away if you don't want to be bothered. As for me, I love to converse and haggle with the vendors....it's just one of the things I love about Negril.

  10. #10
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    May 2013
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    9

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    im guessing i never looked at CN because when i was looking at the main tour operators in the UK CN was never listed it was always CTI, CSS and CSA.

    is there any major difference between CN and CSA?

    thanks for everyones replies been a great help
    stephen


    Quote Originally Posted by Bart and Bug View Post
    You're welcome, Stephen. In our opinion CSS is the most romantic with lush vegetation and lots of room to roam. It may not have the greatest beaches (though they are larger than CTI's) or best sunsets, when compared to CSA (though we could share some beautiful pictures taken at Sunset Beach) but we'll have to agree with CM318 that it is quiet and beautiful. The one thing that sets CSS and CTI apart from CSA is that the beaches are private. They're exclusive to those on those resorts while CSA is on a "pubic beach" such that people can walk the shoreline along that resort (not come onto the resort).

    The good thing about Couples Resorts is that no matter which one you choose there's not a bad resort...only one you like better.

    Enjoy!

    Bart & Bug

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,376

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    We judt got back from trip #5 to csa mid April. Csa is more spread out, many smaller buildings. Cn is much more compact. Csa reminds me of a Caribbean village. If you'd like a few pics, email me at saraclemons19@yahoo.com

  12. #12
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    Jun 2009
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    708

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    If you're looking for an AWESOME white sand beach experience than CN or CSA is for you ..... Don't be afraid of if not being a private beach because it's not a problem - Really it's not - If a vendor does approach you while for a walk or whatever, once you've said "No Thank You", they don't ask again the rest of your vacation. We have been to both CN (6X) & CSA (1X) - as well as CSS (1X) - (Never been to CTI) & by far prefer CN but it sounds like you want more going on so I'd say CSA might be more for you. My husband & I have been married for going on 33 years & have traveled a lot & the beach at CN or CSA is really THE BEST .... It's absolutely PERFECT .... Trip #7 booked for CN!!!!!! At CN, we LOVE the beach, the more compact layout with everything being centered around a GREAT pool/pool bar, & the staff ..... CSA is more spread out & the beach is longer with more room to walk to off site bars, etc. ..... Either way, you can't go wrong.
    Julie

  13. #13

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    We've been to all 3 you mention and love them all for different (and similar) ways.
    CSA will always be special since this is where we were married. We loved the grounds and the way the rooms are in smaller, lower buildings, and of course we loved the beach, and the calm water. we think the diving was better on this side. We do want to return.
    At CTI we loved our ocean view (more affordable than at CSA), and enjoyed the contrasting modern buildings, with the crisp white walls and funky common area decor. While the beach is smaller, it was nice that it's private. Being a smaller resort, we found it more social. The thing we liked least was the red flag weather, but that's no fault of the resort. However it is on the north and more exposed, so we'd likely return in spring or early summer in hopes of calmer waters.
    The grounds at CSS was our favourite. It was fun to explore all around the resort. The hidden hammocks and hot tub were fun to discover. Our view from the top was also incredible. The beach wasn't as nice, and the water a bit too shallow to really swim easily, but much calmer than CTI for floating. While all the Couples resorts are romantic, this seems to be more so.
    The food, the service and the friendly staff were amazing at all. Can't rate one above the other.
    We'd return to all, but first we were set to complete the set by trying CN. Then along came Barbados. So with the promo special, CB is next. CN... and the return to the others will have to wait....
    So which ever you pick, you can't go wrong. First choose the one that calls to you, but then the next time, try another.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2009
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    1,160

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    Hi Stephen,

    Some differences between CSA and CN include:
    - Size of beach (CSA is longer but not as deep)
    - Layout (CSA has main buildings and pools at either end of the resort with living areas in-between while CN has its main pool and buildings centrally located with living buildings peripherally)
    - CSA has a better fitness area (gym, lap pool, etc.)
    - CN has the treehouse (an awesome place to get a couples massage/ have a private dinner)
    - Activities (CN seemed to do better at getting guests involved (i.e. volleyball) in things around the resort).
    Whichever you choose to visit it pays to sign up for Romance Rewards and do the Trading Places visit to the other resort...just to check it out in preparation for the next visit.

    Have a great stay!

    Bart & Bug

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    10

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    We did 2 weeks in Jamaica - one at CSA and one at CSS. At CSS there was a lot of discussion re: the differences between CSS and CTI as well. Based on all of that, my conclusion is that each resort will appeal to different personalities:
    - CSA tends to be more "active" (though it can easily be equally romantic and lazy, if you want it to be.)
    - CSS tends to be a bit more laid back/lazy/romantic
    - CTI, from what I hear, is a touch more towards the "party" side of things.
    Again, I can't state enough that your holiday will be what you make it, and both resorts we visited are stellar all-around.

    That being said, my husband and I preferred CSA. It just fits our vacationing-style so well. The rooms have very tropical plantation feel with terra cotta tile floor, crisp white linens and wooden louvres on the windows. CSS felt more like a typical North American room, but with tile instead of carpet floors. We loved that CSA always has a restaurant open, where CSS had all restaurants closed from 5-6:30pm. (If you needed a late afternoon snack or early dinner, you could still order through room service, but we rarely wanted to be cooped up in our room during "sunset hour".) We also felt a little more tied to a clock at CSS... fewer restaurants meant we had to book more reservations for dining variety, we walked all the way out to the tennis courts to find the attendant wasn't there so we couldn't access the rackets, fewer snorkeling times to pick from, etc.

    Oh, and while we didn't use the spa services as CSA, I can tell you that getting a massage in one of the private, cliff-side "huts" at CSS is an experience that must be had! It's so amazing to get a massage while listening to the waves against the cliffs, birds singing, and feeling cool ocean breezes!

    I could also go on and on about how much we loved using the sports complex at CSA, but I think a few others have already covered that aspect well enough in this thread.

    Happy vacationing!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    185

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    Hi there

    We've visited all 4 Jamaican Couples this year, and know 3 of them very well from previous trips. From what you say about your hopes, I think CN may be the one for you.

    Ruth

    ps but they're all lovely

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    53

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    Second the cliff side massage huts and the lovely, "hidden jungle" feel of CSS. I will never forget those as long as I live.

    However, when we return to Couples this summer, it will not be to CSS but rather we will be heading to CSA. I am a huge beach person and the beach at CSS did NOT do it for me. The water was NOT clear and the bottom was murky- I didn't even really want to go in it, and for a carribbean resort, that's saying something! Sure, SSB was marginally better but very rocky. All in all, not the picturesque beach I was hoping for and nothing comparable to CSA or CN. Also, we found ourselves bored quite a few nights at CSS. sure, the gala was great but the other evenings we were bored after dinner with nothing to do. ans i second the lack of dining options.

    Overall, I loved the ambiance at CSS but probably won't go back for the above-stated reasons. Here's hoping CSA is a better fit!

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