-Expect the resort to be everything you imagined....and more!
-Expect lots of stairs.
-Expect the staff to be AWESOME!
-Spend most of your time at Sunset Beach...people tend to be more friendly and talkative there. Plus, Veronique is an awesome bartender!
-Get a couples massage (ask for the $99 special/per person, you get a body scrub AND massage)
-Take the massage class
-join in the pool side trivia games
-take bread from the breakfast bar to the pond and feed the turtles and ducks
-try Jerk chicken/pork/burger
-eat dinner in Cassanova at least once
-take LOTS of pictures
I'm sure I'm missing some other stuff...but you'll probably get plenty of input!
Half the resort is built into the hillside so there are lots of steps in that area. If you stay in a Beachfront Suite then you are on the same level as the water and the Palazzina Restaurant where you have breakfast each day and lunch most of the time. The beach is smaller but located on a cove where it is protected from the winds and the nearby coral on the reef keep the waves to a minimum. Great to float out there on you chaise lounge floatie pad. Don't miss the beach party and International Night Gala. Lots of food and fun.
Bring a pair of water shoes to use at Dunn's River Falls which is an included trip and not to be missed. We have also done the swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove and went to rent jet skis one time. Don't plan too much off resort though as once there the beach and your floatie will keep calling you. A couple of nice pools also with a swim up bar at the main pool.
This is not Cancun or Bermuda where those areas try to dazzle you with glitz, marble, polished brass. crystal, etc. Couples does it with a laid back vibe, great food and drinks, and top notch service. Book your first dinner at the Casanova when you first arrive. Drop your bags in your room, put on that sunblock, and kick back down at the beach or at one of the pools. Get a Dirty Banana or Hummingbird at the Beach Bar. They do have flag service at your chaise for this as well. This is the smallest of the Couples but also the most intimate and romantic. We were married there. Been back three times. Eight times total to Couples! Ya mon...irie.
First I think you made a great choice in SS. We just got back a few weeks ago and booked a return trip asap. So some thoughts: First, make your dinner reservations as soon as you arrive. Tuesday and Friday are special events that are not to be missed. If you are even thinking about sunset beach go the first day. The beach is large and lots of room to be alone, or hang out at the pool (no pun intended) which also has some places to be a bit separated. I cannot say enough about the bar staff at SSB. (I highly suggest the Dirty Banana and a rum cream on ice). The rooms are great, not super fancy but clean and comfortable. We were in A block, ground floor and were very pleased. The food is good to great, depending on your tastes. We would order coffee, fruit and pastries for AM and save some for later. IF you are a diver, the dives are good, some areas better than others, but I really enjoyed them. The staff is top notch, and usually the other guests are very friendly (especially at SSB). We made some great new friends. I will say, in closing, that when you read these boards you get a lot of great advice (like bring insulated cups for your drinks and lots of rub on sun screen) but know that it is a magical place so just go, have fun and go with it.
Expect a beautiful experience! The grounds are amazing. There are a lot of stairs to negotiate if you go from the lobby to the beach area, or vice versa. With the hilly terrain the views are amazing from any elevation. Here is a video I made during our last stay. It should give you a good idea of what it looks like.
If you haven't already, sign up for Romance Rewards. You'll want the points, because you'll probably want to go back after your first visit. We certainly did!
Also, don't be afraid to call the romance concierge and make your dinner reservations ahead of your arrival, especially if you want to plan a private dinner ($170). We had a wonderful dinner at Cassanova the first Saturday night there and on Thursday we had a spectacular private dinner in the wedding gazebo. We prearranged both dinners to be sure to get the nights we wanted. Saturday was booked for Cassanova when we arrived, so it was good we prearranged. The beach party is on Tuesday, and the gala is on Friday, so you might want to avoid those days in making your reservations.
PS. If you sign up for Romance Rewards, you can pre-check-in online and select items for your mini fridge so it is stocked with what you want when you arrive.
Good choice, we have been to all the Jamaican Couples and have done only CSS for the last 5 years. Take the tour your first day - they show you where everything (including an elevator to the cliff) is so you don't miss hidden areas. They have a couple hammocks, a freshwater pool (I think it's called a grotto but I could be wrong), and a hot tub that are easy to miss. If you step on a sea urchin (and aren't wearing water shoes) see the nurse - it's only happened twice to us in 15 years, but the spines don't just fall out. If you aren't averse to spicy foods, try the patties and fries with jerk sauce. If you try Sunset Beach remember to reapply sunscreen regularly - spray on types avoid awkward moments if you're self conscious - because bits that never see the sun burn quickly and put a damper on romance. If the stairs are too much, or you're too drunk for a hike, the bartenders can call a van to get you up the hill.
I would like to offer an alternative to VACouple's suggestion that you bring white bread to feed the ducks and turtles. White bread is extremely unhealthyfor ducks and turtles. Actually, so is popcorn and crackers and any bread-type of snack.
A healthy alternative to feeding bread is to feed leafy green veggies (i.e. spinach or romaine lettuce, but not iceberg lettuce) or grapes to the ducks. Healthy food for the turtles includes bananas, strawberries, peaches (with the pit removed, of course), berries, and also leafy greens such as spinach or romaine lettuce. White bread can make the wildlife sick which I'm sure none of us want.
Expect to have as much fin and activity as you want or as much total chill out relaxing as you want. We chose the latter on our trip last year and it's the first time I returned from a vacation totally calmed, de-stressed and almost, I stress ALMOST, ready to get back to work when I got home. It's the only time I haven't had the "I need a vacation from my vacation" feeling on touching down at home. Staff is more than fantastic, comfortable and friendly people, guests and staff alike. Food was WAY above our expectations and we are pretty picky about it. You will love it so much you will most likely book a return trip as soon as you get home, just like we did! 128 days and we are home again!
A lot has been said that is so true, we started out at CN in 2005 and returned every year for 4 times, then decided to try CSS, (this was a bucket list for me from when it owned by a different group) so I was thrilled just to go. Boy what a difference, we have been every year since 2008 except for 2011 and this year. We went back to CN with a group of friends. While CN does have the great beach and ocean and a centrally located pool and swim up bar, a lot of other things seemed to be not as good as we remembered and my husband told me up front not to compare it to CSS. I tried.
First the vibe is very different between CN and CSS, CN is a bit more of a party place (in my opinion) than CSS, large groups people return every year and take over areas of the pool area and there are only two pools, CSS has four. Both of the beaches have great shade trees and CSS has palaplas. CSS's SSB is really like a seperate resort, great pool, swim up bar and a grill where they set up lunch every day, that being said if you enjoy AN, it doesn't compare to CN. CN's beach is really a public beach therefore you have vendors going by and people from other resorts strolling by, to me this is an issue in front of the AN area. Although we both really enjoyed the new restrauant Lychee, their food really was delicious.
CSS is much more than just a beach resort, you have cliffs over the ocean and everything possible has been done to keep this area beatifully natural, stoll along if for nothing else just to get to the spa and you realize you really are in paradise. Best thing for me having my spa treatments in the hideway hut, with the waves crashing upon the cliffs below. And although it has been mentioned in passing, CSS does have room service, we tend to play a lot during the day, my favorites is music and Jamaican trivia at the main swim up bar, just being out and about meeting new and old friends in the Jamaica sun along with all of the wonderful drinks and Red Stripe can wear you out. It's really nice to be able to go back to the room order something to eat and then veg out until the next day.
Both are great, CSS is our choice. Plus the general manage Mr Pierre is always out and about, most people meet him quite by accident rather than only at the repeaters dinner. Hope this helps, yes we always stay in the Beachfront Suites but someday I would love to stay up on the cliff, most of the rooms up there have huge verandas some with double chaise lounges. One year there were about 8 different couples of our friends there at the same time and 6 of them stayed on the cliff, every room was different. That said I don't think you can get a "bad" room.