Okay so we are back from our 3rd trip to CSA, and 5th to the island.
Very positive experience once again. CSA did not disappoint.
For the "rainy season" we saw very infrequent storms, but when they came around they were boomers. Remember when you were a kid and you would see the flash of lightning and then start to count to determine how far away the lightning was? One of the storms in mid afternoon was like ... when you see the fla...BOOM! Everything turned green/blue for that split second. No kidding probably one of the if not the biggest thunderstorm I've even been witness to.
Beyond the few storms it was hot and mostly sunny all day everyday. The beach is in awesome shape and there is plenty of it to stroll around on. Last time (several years ago) the beach had much less depth...The dead tree on the south edge of the property was in the sea all the time. Not so now. The vendors are out in force and since things are slow they may be a tad more persistent. Some have got some great routines and were just plain funny..."let us have a transaction from your purse to my wallet, thankyou very much"...
We are hooked on the Beachfront verandahs. Last trip we were 1st floor and loved it bunches. This trip we were on the 3rd and it was super spectacular. Our room was spic and span kinda clean. Mattress is not firm, it's hard. I dug it. I am forced to sleep on a queen sized marshmallow at home. Bathroom - updates - sure it could be. Lighting - yep it's a little dim. We had a nice flatscreen, and I can only assume that it works. 9 days no TV! Awesome. mini fridge was stocked virtually everyday ( I think it was missed once)...Ting is better than I remember it being. Wife got a bottle of wine, so she was happy happy.
We utilized the sports complex virtually everyday. Hit the gym really hard most mornings after our nice verandah breakfast w/ coffee. The area is way underutilized and that suited us just fine. Generally we were quite active this trip. Not nearly as much "beach lock" as we'd had in the past. So instead of sitting on the beach we were walking it. or swimming in the pools or in the sea. Wife got stung 2x's by jellyfish. She was a trooper. Very surprised to see that I lost 4lbs in in 9days.
Food - Generally it was very good. Lunch at the patios grill was my best bet. Had the jerk chicken bbq a few times, jerk pork wrap, of course a few beef patties, etc. Lunch at the palms was fair, and I could always find something pretty tasty.
Lemongrass and Feathers were pretty close to top notch. I would say for breakfast, Patios is where it's at. The banana French toast really is just that good. So are the griddle cakes.
Drinks were all tasty. Red Stripe was good.
The grounds in general are in great shape, w/ all kinds of really interesting plants / flowers all over the property.
Again though it's the staff that makes it so pleasant. We did hear a few folks grumblin' a bit about service that can be a little slow at times...It's all a matter of expectations. Expect nothing and you have everything. What's the rush? Chill out and relax. enjoy the scenery while the bartender is making you your drink w/ 4 or 5 different ingredients. It's like Aretha said, "RESPECT"! LOL.
Departure from the lobby was a little disorganized, or it appeared that way. Bus was full. Had a suitcases stacked up to the hilt.
That was the only time in 9 glorious days that we were a little bit like, "hmmm" It felt a little rushed and like the tenor changed to: "pay your balance and get on the bus" Much nicer reception on the way in, maybe that's the best way to put it. (and we had not been to sleep that day w/ our 5:30am flight from Chicago)...so we were potentially very good candidates to be crabby and the reception was very welcoming.
We did do the club mobay thing, and to us it was all worthwhile. We had almost no wait beyond the ticket counter to depart. Coming in was very similar albeit was much slower on a Thursday morning than the departure on Saturday.
Is there renovations going on? Yes. looked like mostly entire blocks were happening at the same time to minimize any impact to guests.
The staff at Club Mobay have the service concept down pat as well as the folks at CSA.
Lack of sleep and Americans can be ugly when confronted with inconvenience so the check in usually is handled better. The bottom line is these people are under pressure from time to time, especially on Saturdays to get you out of there.
My advice is to always leave early and enjoy the shopping at the airport. Buy lots of coffee beans and rum!!!