Some background: My husband and I honeymooned at CTI in 2010, and returned 2011, 2013. We LOVE CTI and its staff, but I want a better beach and my husband wants better diving areas. We usually stay away from the entertainment (We are 30, but are more chill people than party people.), but we also like there to be signs of life and fun around the resort if we feel like joining. My husband dives every morning while I read on the beach, then we spend the afternoon doing water sports and lounging around the pool/beach.
I have read almost every review and comparison of CSA and CN that I could possibly find on these message boards and I am still very very torn. Can someone please help on the following questions/concerns? Even if you just have advice on one of these, I would appreciate it!
1. Do all of the rooms at CSA not have actual windows and only have the wooden blinds? I'm concerned about not having a nice cool room after a day at the beach.
2. Are the pools at CSA very small and hard to get seats at? I love the beach, but I also like the large pool at CTI. I know CN has a huge pool.
3. I know that I won't get the panoramic view of the Caribbean at CSA or CN like I do with my Premier Ocean room at CTI, but any advice on rooms at CSA and CN? One of my favorite things at CTI is sitting on my balcony and looking out into the ocean enjoying breakfast or an evening cocktail.
4. What about the beaches? I have heard split reviews on the vendors at CSA. Some say the vendors really don't bother people, some say it's better at CN because they don't have to deal with vendors much. Is chair saving bad at both places? It was never a problem at the pool or beach at CTI for us. Does CSA get a lot of water traffic (jet skis, etc.) from other resorts?
Right now, I am leaning toward CSA and hubby likes CN. Thanks for ANY help!
1. The rooms in the old section of CSA have wooden blinds. The newer section has windows.
2. The pool at CN tends to be the focal point for the resort. The pools at CSA are adequate for the number of people who use them.
3. The BF rooms at CSA are basically on the beach. The older section has huge wrap around porches with hammocks and gorgeous views of the water. The new section has smaller porches.
4. CN's beach is deeper. CSA is longer (more beach front). We didn't see any problems with vendors at CSA. They have to stay at the water line unless invited up by a guest to look at what they are selling. There's plenty of shade at CSA with the palapas and the trees.
CSA is definitely bigger with more restaurants and the best athletic facilities on the island of Jamaica. CN is smaller and people tend to get to know most everyone there. As a result you have a lot of groups going back year after year together.
I've not been to CN, but have to CSA. Love CSA. Am going back there in less than five weeks.
1. It is just the original beachfront suites and atriums that do not have glass. They still get plenty cool with the shutters closed, although the room is pretty dark when closed down.
2. The pools at CSA are on the smaller side compared to the others, but they never seem overcrowded or hard to get a seat at as most people go there for the lovely beach so the pools are readily accessible.
3. All of the beachfront rooms are set right off the beach. Some atriums have partial views.
4. I don't find the vendors to be much of a bother at CSA. They don't harrass you, but they do offer. A polite "no thanks" will keep them moving along if you're not interested. Security does a pretty good job of keeping them moving as well. There is a lot of chair saving at the palapas at CSA. I don't care to have one, but I do think it's a bit ridiculous that people constantly "save" them throughout the day when they are not even using it. It's not really fair to those who would like to use them, as people will go out at like 5am to put their stuff down then go eat, workout and whatever else. Half the time they are empty, but someone has their stuff holding their spot. Otherwise, there are plenty of chairs and good shady spots at CSA
We have been to CN & CSA. I noticed activities are located around the pool @ CN, whereas @ CSA everything is @ the beach. I personally find the beach to better @ CSA w/ incredible sunsets. The vendors are comparable @ both. One thing that's nice about the CN beach is there are no huts/cabanas to sit under. People @ CSA will leave things in the huts to reserve the huts/cabanas, & they are rarely used. The dive area, cat cruise, glass bottom boat, & snorkel areas are the same. If you want a view of the ocean from your room, then go to CSA. My favorite room category is BFVS. The OVS still has a view & is a littler cheaper. In order to have a view of the ocean from your room @ CN, you have to go out to the balcony. Hubby thinks the vibe @ CN is more comparable to CTI. I think CSA has more of a romantic feel than CN. My two personal favorite Couples resorts are CSA & CTI. Whichever resort you choose, I am sure you will have a wonderful time.
Hi Annmarie! I can only speak from experience at CSA. I'll pretty much 2nd what everyone else has said, but will add a few things
In regards to windows and the views, a Beachfront Suite or Premier Beachfront is what you want. They are literally steps from the beach and only have 4 units per bungalow. And the views....AMAZING!!!!! The 1st floor rooms, which I think are all the premier, have huge veranda's, which is saying a lot because the beachfront suites also have huge veranda's...just not quit as huge. Again, as someone mentioned, these room do not have actual windows--just screens w wooden shutters. It creates a wonderful tropical ambiance. We were there in May, and found it quit comfortable--we were never too hot--we just would leave the air on and turn on the ceiling fan once we got back to the room. It was perfect! We spent a lot of time on our balcony enjoying the view of the sea. We had a Beachfront Suite, room 2230. I have pic's of our room, balcony, and the views if you'd like to see them. You can email me at email@example.com. I tried to upload a few, but the file was too big...even for just one lol.
As for the pools--there are two (three if you count the lap pool at the spa & sports facility across the street), but no one really uses them, so there shouldn't be a problem in getting a chair. The larger pool, by Patios & the Great House, has a swim-up bar...that's kind of fun. We only got in the pool once, and it was just so we could "swim-up" and get a drink and say we've done it lol! The beach is where it's at at CSA
And speaking of beaches, there is a reason 7-mile beach is world renowned....it is breath taking, to put it simply and lightly! They have flag service, which is awesome...although more often than not we got chairs very near the beach bar and would get our own. It was a nice chance to stretch the legs, sit in the shade a moment, and chat w the bartenders. As for the vendors, they aren't as bad as some people make it seem. For the most part, a simple and polite "no thank you" will suffice, but in all honesty, there is always a 'pushy' vendor in the bunch. With that said security is fantastic and will come to your aid to make sure you are ok with things...they can usually tell if your being hassled. We chatted with quit a few--for kicks sometimes--other times to legitimately buy something. They are simply trying to make a living and are always willing to share info about the area. The muscians that frequent the beach are outstanding--Ice Block was our favorite performer--I'm sure he'll be out so be sure to let him sing and play guitar for ya...you'll be glad you did! Saving a chair is simple, just leave a book or towel on it, or a bag. We never had a prob with it, but then we didn't really save them other than to run over to the Cabana Grill or Seagrapes to grab food. Oh, and CSA and CN are both on 7-mile beach and literally only about 4 or 5 resorts apart, so I can't imagine the beach or vendors being all that different. It's the expanse of CSA that sets it apart!
My husband and I are also very chill people for our age. There are a lot of nightlife options at CSA, but you don't have to partake. We didn't...other than the Bon Fire the night we arrived (Wed.'s) and the Beach Party (Fri's), which were both really fun and had great entertainment--especially the beach party. At night we laid low and chilled on the balcony and people watched, or strolled the grounds, etc. We also got married while we were there, so one evening we did the private beach dinner. That was really neat--we both enjoyed that a lot--very romantic!
I hope I covered all your points. Regardless where you end up, it'll be amazing!!!! But you know that....you're a Couples addict too
We'll be back in May 2015...it can't arrive soon enough lol. Cheers from Kansas (that's where we're from)!
The last 2 years we have done a split between CSA (5 nights) & my beloved CTI (7 nights) only because the men like diving in a different location. The beach at CSA is wonderful, vendors are not allowed on the beach only at water's edge and there is security on the beach at all times. There is more actively on the beach because its's not private. Ultimate Chocolate is wonderful but for me I would still take CTI over any of the other Couples resorts (been to all of them). The staff and the warmth you get from all the employees is unbelieveable! In June/July 2014 again we will do a split but we are staying 9 nights at CTI, 5 nights at CSA because I was feeling cheated being that we had always stayed for 2 weeks before we started doing the split.
We love CSA! I am sure it will remain our fav! We plan to do a future split stay between CSA and CN! CN is on Bloody Bay not 7 mile just to clarify! Really not sure we have a desire to try the other 2 Couples resorts? They just don't appeal to us! CSA is so relaxing, romantic and beautiful! Has that true Caribbean resort feel! The food and service were awesome!