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Thread: How to choose?

  1. #1

    Default How to choose?

    My fiance and I have heard wonderful things about the couples resorts in Jamaica and we know we want to go with this company'resorts for our wedding. The problem is how did you choose, they all look so amazing!!

    Thanks
    Beth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    916

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    I'm going to qualify this by saying CN is the only one we've been to, but we've been there for a total of 24 nights (going on 31 this year) for a reason. Not because it's CN, but because it's Couples. From the folks we've met over the last six years and the ones we've sent down there, it sounds like CN or CSA are best for weddings, because the powdery soft beaches, calmer water, and western-facing resorts make for an awesome backdrop. You will hear a ton of different ideas on which resort is "best", but the fact of the matter is that there are only a few differences between each resort.

    This is not a negative take on any of the resorts, but more of an inventory of features or lack thereof. All of the Couples Resorts are still Couples, so a lot of the best parts are the same: INCLUDED Airport Lounge, airport transfers, welcome drink and easy check-in upon arrival, luggage shuttled to room, no tipping, amazing food, top-shelf drinks, watersports (including scuba, snorkel, glass bottom boat), nice pools and pool bars, entertainment, sports/workout facilities, unlimited green fees for golf (there are other costs associated, though), internet cafes, some off-resort excursions, in-room mini-bars, etc, etc, etc.

    Some of the pros and cons for specific resorts that I've been heard over the years:

    CTI - Usually not the most calm sea for watersports, which is just one of the risks on the northeast side of Jamaica and most other Caribbean islands for that matter. The resort is a little more hotel-like, there is a Cat Cruise, and the island is only available for AN or weddings. Off-resort tours included are to Dunn's River Falls, Downtown Ocho Rios and Margaritaville. There is no beach to walk up off-resort at CTI.

    CSS - Supposed to be the nicest resort from a scenery perspective, very lush, very cool. One drawback I've heard is that you are always walking up and down steps. My buddy counted a 102-step climb to get to one of the restaurants. Also, similar reviews about the sea as CTI, because of the location on the island, but this can be hit or miss. Both CSS and CTI have more red flag days on the water than the other 2 resorts, which means cancellation of scuba and snorkel. CSS also has a very nice, private AN beach. There is no beach to walk up off-resort at CSS. There is also a mineral pool, natural mineral springs, and in-suite dining, and the Dunn's Tour is offered, but no Cat Cruise.

    CN - CN is more compact and not as lush as CSS, but is super easy to get around and the most centralized for restaurants, bars, and activities. It sits on the most protected water of the 4 resorts, in Bloody Bay. The Negril beaches are the best in Jamaica and are powdery soft. CN does not have a Dunn's tour or anything close, but they do offer the Cat Cruise and the Sunset Bar Shuttle. The water is the most reliable for watersports at CN. CN does have an AN beach, but it is the least private AN of all the resorts. I have also heard that CN, of the 4, has the most consistently friendly and reliable staff, which seems to have been an issue at a few of the other resorts recently. While not as extensive as the CSA beach, there is almost 2 miles of beach to walk off-resort at CN. The famed Office of Nature is right up the beach from CN. Some people don't like the fact that locals and people from other resorts occasionally pass by on the beach, but the majority of guests are not bothered by this, and it is by no means "traffic. CN is the only when where room category, for all intents and purposes, doesn't matter.

    CSA - The largest, especially when you throw in the huge sports complex. Very spread out, which some feel is a drawback and some like. There aren't centralized activities, like at CN, because of the layout of the resort. For the most part, CSA shares the same beach and sea quality as CN. But at CSA, there is approx 4 1/2 miles of beach off resort and you can walk to actual bars and restaurants, which you can't do at any of the other 3. If you are really going to use all of the sports facilities and spa at CSA, that's also a huge plus, but I have personally found that it takes a special kind of person to play tennis across the street from a beach when it's 90 degrees outside with 100% humidity. Another point to make, which I often hear mixed emotions about is the lack of TVs in some of the rooms. Some people don't care, some really don't like it, but that is a personal preference. CSA has no AN section, which is a deal-killer for some people. CSA does have Seagrape Cafe, which gets rave reviews. CSA also has some locals and people from other resorts that can walk up and down the beach, but this, again, is not an issue for the majority of guests. It would be more defined as "traffic" than at CN.

    Some people may chime in and say I "missed this" or am "wrong about that", but this is just what I've heard over the years. We've had friends get married/honeymoon at both CSA and CN, and have never heard a complaint. All of them said they would have rather done it nowhere else. Couples is VERY accommodating for weddings, renewals, etc.

    One thing to note: even if money wasn't an object to me, I'm a financial advisor, so it's always an object. We have been to several places throughout the Caribbean, and when I calculate the actual value of what you get versus what you spend, Couples always comes out on top and, for my wife and I, we look at CN as the best value of the 4. You get the best of all worlds, awesome food selection, the best beach, awesome staff, cat cruise, calm waters (value of watersports), easy to get around (value of time!), and a little bit cheaper than CSA. We always bring around $250 cash and have never even come close to running out of money.
    "Brutalize me with music..."

    CN: 11/2007, 11/2010, 11/2011, 11/2013

  3. #3

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    Roll the dice?

    You can't really make a bad decision but I'll make a case for CSS. I've seen several weddings take place there. The gazebo is very nice and the backdrop of the resort makes for some stunning photos. A bride just seems to be even prettier strolling along the resort in her wedding dress!
    Cigar Dude
    Smoke 'em if you got 'em!

    My cigar blog: http://tinytimblog.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    19

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    We are first timers traveling to CSA for Christmas this year. All of the resorts look spectacular, so it was really hard to choose. We chose CSA because we loved the look of the rooms, the beach, the number of restaurants, and most of all, the sports complex. Ash is very into exercise, so he really liked the idea of having a nice place to workout if he chose to do so. I, on the other hand, will be on the beach from the moment I wake up until it's time for bed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    162

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    My wife and I chose Couples Negril for our 10yr anniversary last year for a few reasons. We wanted more beach so that narrowed it down to CN or CSA, we wanted the more close nit everything kinda in the middle instead of spread out layout, so that pointed to CN. Another reason we chose CN was the more laid back attitude, and less rules, where as like TI is more formal dress up for dinner everynight type place and thats just not me. These are just some reasons we picked CN and we are so glad we did. I am sure which ever resort you choose you will have the time of your life if you let yourself. Go there with the attitude to have fun and a great time and the Couples staff will do the rest.

    P.S. Tenesha [sp] at CN is the wedding planner and she is the greatest thing next to sliced bread, she will make care of everything for your wedding.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,797

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    You need to try them all. Then you will know.
    [
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,432

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    I had a very smart travel agent! Didn't have a computer back then and had know idea really what we were in for. Best decision we ever made getting married at csa 9 years ago. Just returne in April from trip #5 . Been to css once and trading places to cn. Swept Away is our favorite. If you'd be interested in some pics, email me at saraclemons19@yahoo.com
    Good luck deciding, they are all good

  8. #8

    Default

    We have been to the north side of the Island (Ocho Rios) where Couples Tower Island and Sans Souci are located once and the west side of the island (Negril) where Couples Negril and Swept Away are located.

    Prefer Couples Negril for the following reasons.
    - Calm clear water. The resort is located on a bay where you can lie on floaties without being knocked around by the waves. Very sandy bottom and you can see your feet when you are waist high in the water.
    - Better sunsets. Since you are on the west side of the island direct view of the sunset.
    - Small and compact. Can quickly get to everything. One pool tends to allow you to meet others.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FutureMrsRaiderMan View Post
    My fiance and I have heard wonderful things about the couples resorts in Jamaica and we know we want to go with this company'resorts for our wedding. The problem is how did you choose, they all look so amazing!!

    Thanks
    Beth

    How we decided was by the activities... and what we thought we would like to do the best.. I am sure you can not go wrong on any of the resorts!!! We picked CTI and fell in love... we are going back in 9 days!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    199

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    Pick one that starts with a "C", that way you can't go wrong.

    Seriously, its such a personnel choice someone who knows nothing about you would be hard pressed to make a meaningful recommendation. To some the food is more important, to others the beach, or nightlife, romantic vibe, pools, rooms, ocean view, being on a private beach, being on a public beach, proximately to off-site activities, ability to walk off-site to bars and restaurants, A/N facilities, etc...etc...etc... Each property does what it does very well. You have to first decide what is important to you. Spend some time here looking at all the treads that cover this subject. There are many, many of them. You'll get the best answers around here if you ask specific questions.

    Another tack is to take the concept that travel is an adventure, at least it used to be before we had so much information available to us. Pick the one with the nicest pictures and go for it.

    S/F
    Scott and June

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    736

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    Look at what you want to spend. CTI is usually the least expensive, CSA is usually the most expensive. Next, do you want the nude experience? That rules out CSA, but all the others has some type of AN. Sunsets? CN and CSA are best. Beach? CSA and CN again. Beautiful grounds? CSS and CSA are tops. They all have great food. CSA has the late night Disco for dancing all might long. Last, look at the pictures and go with the one that call to you. We have been to them all and would go back to anyone of them again and again which I am sure we will over time.

  12. #12

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    Depends on what type of beach you are looking for and what type of resort layout. We have been to Swept Away (CSA) in Negril twice and Tower Isle (CTI) in Ocho Rios once. We are booked for Couples Barbados in November. We prefer CSA over CTI because we liked the beach in Negril better. The Negril beach is calm blue water and white powder sand as far as you can see. There is very little current so you can float in the ocean for hours on end and the beach is very deep. In Ocho Rios the ocean is very choppy and is in a cove and the coast is rocky. The beach is much smaller and the resorts are more built on a hill. The resort itself is much more condensed while in Negril both resorts are more spread out and set up as several smaller buildings that the rooms are in. There were a lot more stairs and up and down at CTI while CSA was flat with walking paths through the resort and gardens. We drove past both San Souci in Ocho Rios and Couples Negril and both seem to be similar layout to the sister property in the same city. Either way, you can't go wrong with the Couples brand. It is truly all inclusive, no tips are accepted, food is fantastic and a lot of activities are included. Also the drinks are very good and not watered down and the service is fantastic. Also being a couples only chain, you don't get the college spring break type crowd that you see at many other all inclusive resorts. Have a great time whichever you chose and congratulations on your wedding!

  13. #13

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    Hello Beth! And congrats on your upcoming wedding--even if you don't yet have the final destination chosen. With that said, my (now) husband and I just got married on May 11th at Couples Swept Away. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the resort, the entire staff, and our big day! So with a somewhat bias opinion, I would have to say choose CSA! To add, we know some other folks who have visited CN and or CSS--all those who had also been to CSA found it more to their liking. This may be partially the beach atmosphere...7 mile beach is amazing. Ochos Rios is also VERY different from Negril, which changes the feel of the resort and your experience.

    Good luck in your decision process. And rest assured, as long as you choose Couples....you really can't go wrong

    Gina & Jason

  14. #14

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    If you can choose what part of Jamaica you want to see then making a decision is a wee bit easier! We just got back from Negril and CSA! It was awesome!! CSA seems to be the most popular and we know why now! I am sure all of their reorts are great! We can't wait to go back and try them all! But I think SA will remain our fav! Congrats on your up coming wedding!

  15. #15

    Default Since it`s your Honeymoon

    You don`t have to choose. Since it`s your Honeymoon, you should go for 10 to 14 days. Book 5 to 7 days at Sans Souci(very romantic) and sign up for the Romance Rewards program(link located at the bottom of page). Take advantage of the Trading Places option and visit Tower Island for a day. For your second 5 to 7 days, go to Couples Negril(our favorite) using free Couples transfer. While at CN use the Trading Places to visit Couples Swept Away for a day. Either spend the day enjoying CSA or walk the beautiful and very interesting beach. In 10 to 14 days you will visit all the Couples Resorts and have the option of Au Naturel(Oh My!) every day except the one day at Swept Away. That is what we have planned for 2014 trip. 142 days til 2013 trip home to CN.
    Ere De Fun Don Done
    Grand Lido Sans Souci Feb. 2002, Couples Negril Feb. 2010,
    Couples Negril,Feb. 2011, Couples Negril Jan. 2012,
    Cool Runnings eh!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    131

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    Beth,

    Choosing is a very hard thing. Read over this message board, look at the different resorts in detail, look at the food, rooms and nightlife. Then go with your gut. We stayed at Swept Away in May of 2012 for our vow renewal and it was wonderful, great experience. Plus since it is for your wedding you need to decide if you want beach, garden or what you what for your wedding. Which ever you choose you won't go wrong with Couples! Good luck on choosing and your marriage!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    203

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    Get 4 post-its.
    Write CSS on one
    Write CSA on one.
    Write CTI on one
    Write CN on one.
    Fold each one 4 times.Get paper bag. Deposit 4 folded post-its into bag. Close bag and shake. Open bag , insert hand and grab first post-it.
    That's how you choose!

    You'll have an incredible time at any of them. Congrats.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    988

    Default

    Read the boards, look at each resorts site and pictures, look at the pictures from the photo competition and after a while, there will be one resort you keep going back to, one that draws you first, and that is the one you want. We have made 6 trips (7-8-9 already booked) and they have all been to Negril and Swept Away, but others love the other side as well and I am not going to say you wouldn't either, so it really is a choice from the heart, One will draw you to it via the Couples Web site. The pictures you see is what you will get, there is no doctoring other then the actors that Couples used.

  19. #19

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    Have been to them all but prefer CTI(78 times). Why? It was for our Honeymoon in 1971 when it was Tower Isle. Tried CN(11 times) when it first opened because it was a Couples. Went to CSS when CTI was being renovated. Had lunch at CSA twice. Obviously prefer CTI because it was our first experience in Jamaica and at a Couples. No matter how you choose you won't go wrong. Good Luck!

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