We have been to the other three Couples Resorts (Jamaica) and so this was our completion of the home run to stay at all four... well this is our new favorite Couples Resort. Just a quick rundown of our observations during our stay:
We were pleasantly surprised numerous times during our stay, first was when we got off the shuttle into the lobby, we were greeted with the champagne and cold cloths which is always welcome, but we then were given our repeaters reward gift right then! We'd asked for the water bottles and we were given two with a nice white ribbon and bow wrapped around them. Also we were immediately given our packet with our $150 repeaters rewards credit, and the $300 booking credit. In the past, I've had to chase down our gifts and resort credits so this was stress free! Also they had our repeaters dinner invite in the packet as well.
My hubby walked over to meet Destin at the reservation desk to confirm our attendance to the repeaters dinner... Destin became like a family member to us in a very short time. We've always been impressed with almost all staff at the various Couples resorts, but Destin really made a lasting impression on us for some reason, we just clicked with him.
Also something we'd not gotten at the other Couples resorts, after the two other couples arriving with us had been checked in, one of the staff members took us over to the railing of the balcony and quickly explained a few pertinent things for our stay (locations of bars, etc..) and gave us the wifi password.
Then we were escorted to our deluxe garden room. We LOVED our room, the location, the ground floor patio (we never request anything, we just book a room category and see what we get) and the colorful decor. We had a really beautiful pond and walking bridge in front of our patio, and the spa was directly across the bridge, and just a few steps down the sidewalk and we could turn left for the restaurants, or straight for the beach. We were immediately acclimated to where everything was in just a few minutes. Our last visit to Couples was to Sans Souci and it took us a few days to figure out which steps to go up to get places so this was welcome. And our patio, even though on the ground floor was very private, we never had anyone walk in front of it because there is no sidewalk there, just lush grass and then the pond. I supposed the neighbor could have peeked around the wall to our patio, but we never felt like that was ever gonna happen, we just felt so comfortable out there.
We ventured to the beach and even though my husband's favorit beach is CSA's beach, he said WOW this will do... we went to the watersports hut and made our snorkeling reservations, and also walked back over to Destin and made our cat cruise reservation...you can walk to everything within a minute, we just loved that.
We realized there is no longer the rule of keeping track of your beach towels... no longer do you have to turn in your towels at the end of your stay for a receipt to give at check out. You just use what towels you need, throw them in the bin at the hut in front of the pool and grab a couple more. We liked that, not having the worry of leaving a towel or being so accountable for each one.
Housekeeping was fantastic, they were in/out each day sometime before noon, and each evening when we were at dinner. Each time the housekeeper made beautiful towel art, so we got a double dose and I took a picture of each one! I personally LOVED the wall length ledge above the sink and vanity in the bathroom (we did not have a renovated bathroom) and had all my toiletries up there. I hope they keep that shelf in the renovations.
Water pressure was fantastic, no issues there as had been reported in the past.
The mini bar issue was actually a non issue as well. We'd call when we came in from the beach each day, anywhere from 3-5:30pm and they'd be there within 5 minutes at the most, no problem.
Breakfast also was delivered as requested, we did that I believe four times, the other days we ate breakfast at Cassava Terrace. The gentleman who runs the show at breakfast is on top of things. He watches everybody, and never lets a server leave anybody's glass unfilled and always seats people promptly. He seemed to have the server's respect as well.
I was never able to get on the wifi on my smart phone unless I was in the internet room... I thought I had it once in the lobby but then it kicked off. I wasn't too concerned and never thought much of it. I enjoyed going to the internet cafe room because it's so cool in there and there was always an open computer, also there is a printer there to print your boarding passes on your last nite. So I just used the computers there and didn't bother trying to get on my wifi on my phone.
We did the trading places on Wednesday and enjoyed a day at CSA and reconnected with Elvis, who remembered us (how does he do that??). We love CSA's beach and hardly moved all day from it. CN's beach is a very close 2nd in our opinion... very close.
Just a quick observation, the atmosphere the day we were at CSA was so much rowdier and noisier than our days at CN, CSA seemed to have (that day we were there) more big groups of people hooping it up. We prefer less boisterous guests, and less drunk guests but that's just us. And it also depends on who is there during your stay as to the atmosphere. Maybe we just lucked out with a more "mature" demographic while we were at CN... but we prefered it over CSA's at this time. Most of the action seemed to be at the swim up bar, so at the beach it was relatively quiet and relaxing. We enjoyed the horses on the beach at CSA, there are a few that come by asking if you want to ride. They seemed happy, content and in good physical care.
Back at CN, we visited all restaurants, just making our Otahite reservation a few hours before we ate that evening, so no problems getting a reservation.
Destin made sure we sat at his table during the repeater's dinner and also had the staff sing me happy birthday (that day was my birthday), which was so sweet. He also delivered a bottle of champagne to our room with a birthday card!
We loved the snorkeling excursion and got terrific instruction from the captain of the boat the his mate. They took pictures of us in the water for us and helped me with my mask etc..
We did the cat cruise, which we missed when we stayed at CSS. It was pretty quiet going out and swimming at the cliff (you don't swim at the cliff's at Rick's Cafe anymore, you stop at a spot BEFORE Rick's and then just cruise past Rick's... not sure what happened there, but probably something to do with not wanting guests jumping anymore... probably a good decision!). On the way back though, the rum started kicking in and everyone was having fun and dancing, we loved Vera the "cruise director" and also the professional photographer was on the boat and got some great shots of all of us with the sunset in the background. Only a couple of people had too much to drink and probably regretted some of the antics they did which were caught on camera by all their friends, but mainly it was just people having fun. We enjoyed watching an elderly couple get a bit of rum in them which prompted them to dance all the way back to the resort, they were really enjoying themselves and it was neat to see them so in love.
At the beach grill for lunch, they give you a black vibrating disc like you get at Red Lobster etc.. that was something new for us and we liked it... easy to take it, go get your seat and drinks and then when it lit up, we just went up and got our food. They have a special every day in addition to their regular fare and we got that each day, one day it was grilled chicken breast with pineapple wrap.. yummy!
There is a salad bar to the right of the order station at the beach grill and it was always tasty.
We drank a lot of water, we don't drink much during the day so had alcohol free fruit smoothies mostly, and they were super good.
We witnessed one of the beach servers being forcefully tipped (customer just wouldn't take no for an answer)... I'm positive this server went straight to management with it as he is supposed to. Why do some people feel the need to show off like that? Just accept the no tipping rule and go on, we personally love that about Couples, it may be our favorite thing other than no kids!
I used the resort credits to get massages and thoroughly enjoyed each one, a swedish, a hot stone and a deep tissue... wonderful! These personnel are allowed to accept tips and I gave $10 to $20 each time. Easy to make appointments and everyone at the spa was super nice.
I enjoyed the gift shops (one is a Couples Logo and the other is more like souveniers). I also enjoyed shopping the beach vendors, I got two beautiful turquoise cuff bracelets, a sarong, and some sandals. I enjoy the bargaining, and none were pushy at all.
We were pleasantly surprised with how many open and available loungers there were at ANY time... we could sit anywhere, anytime without ever having to even hardly look for any. Maybe since there aren't any palapa huts, that eliminates the chair saving that we hated at CSA and CSS?? Whatever, we were loving it.
We attended the movie on the beach and very much enjoyed that, they brought around towels to put on the loungers and also took drink orders during the movies.
We also attended the sunset champagne toast one evening on the beach. The professional photographer took our picture that nite and that is the one we purchased. We weren't thrilled with how expensive the pictures were, and we'd gotten several ourselves with our own camera so we just purchased one. I think the prices were quite a bit on the high side.
We loved the beach party, which was moved inside Cassava Terrace, but still was fun.
The keys are regular keys with a stretchy wrist band, and we liked that, we just looped them on our beach bag handle.
We left our bag on the loungers when we were in the water or going to lunch, no problems there, which we didn't expect, security has never been an issue at any Couples resorts in our experience.
We also liked how security was always there, but kind of out of the way when we shopped at a few strolling vendors along the beach. I got a bracelet from one nice lady and my husband got a hat. Both very nice and reasonably priced. Security would come down and stand quietly during any transaction which I think protects everybody.
We did not go AN this visit, but had to force ourselves to even find the beach, so if it's not your thing, don't worry, you won't ever even notice the nekid people! haha I sunbathed topless on the main beach a few days, and never felt uncomfortable, although I only saw a couple of other ladies also sunbathing topless, so it wasn't as popular as it seems to be at CSA, but I never felt uncomfortable at either place.
The nite before we were scheduled to depart, a member of staff brought our snack pack cooler with water and granola bars... we were pleasantly surprised as I'd had to beg for the cooler on other visits to other Couples resorts upon check out. So this was nice to get it the evening before, and the lady wished us safe travels and to return soon. Very nice!
Check out was also no problem, we got our "eviction notice" a day before and they promptly picked up our bags when they said they would and the bus promptly was there at the lobby to pick us up when scheduled.
So all in all, we will return to Couples and it will be to Couples Negril for us again!
Great review, I could have written it myself. We've only visited CN and CSA and will be returning to CN in April, it is our favorite! Really looking forward to a trading places day at CSA though and seeing Elvis too. Glad to hear about the new way to get towels. Funny though, I'm also not into AN but do topless sunbath. I felt totally comfortable at CN but not CSA (didn't see anyone there topless) opposite from your experience.
Thank you very much for your detailed review! My husband and I are booked Jan 18-25. This is our first visit to Couples (CN)...not that I thought it was possible, but I am even more excited and happier with our decision!
We just missed you, we were at CN 10/29 - 11/5, we were also at Swept Away, 10/23 - 10/29. You did a great review of CN, while the names were different the experiences were the same. I will say that the wifi in the room is spotty at best. We had it the first couple of days and then it mysteriously vanished, but no problem mon, other then I need to download another kindle book.
We had not problems at either locations with lounge chairs.
I will say, as we usually go in February, that it seems that October is a younger crowd, and can sometimes get a little bit loud. I certainly saw no bad behavior at either place though and the noise was only irritating if I allowed it to be. Love Swept Away (2 times) for the rooms right on the beach, but we love CN (5 times) for the size of the resort, the entertainment staff and Paul Tucker in the Piano bar.
As far as countdowns, next year we have 103 days left until Couples Negril and 345 days left until Couples Swept Away.
Nice review. Echoes some of our thoughts on both properties. We stayed 8 nights at CSA and visited CN for the day. We really kicked around which to book for our May trip. We thought the service was better at CN, but the beach and fitness center, along w the rooms and plantation style design of CSA has our hearts. You cannot go wrong with either.
Since you've experienced all 4 resorts maybe you can help me decide on which one to book this yr. we stayed at CSA last winter and not sure which resort to choose this yr.. We've narrowed it down to CN and CSS. Which one would you recommend?
danno1022: That is hard... that would be the two we'd have trouble choosing between as well. I think since you've been on the Negril side, I'd recommend going to CSS to try the Ocho Rios side for a different vibe and feel.
Awesome review and thanks for affirming our decision to return to CN. We've done CN, CN, and CSS and are headed back to CN in 3 days for our anniversary. Looking to using the trading places passes to check out CSA and maybe next on our list.