We just returned from our 7th visit to CSA and, in my opinion, the resort keeps getting better!
We traveled with another couple who we introduced to CSA a couple of year ago. This was their 3rd trip back. Our arrival was uneventful…pretty much the same routine as in previous years. We arrived around noon on a Friday and the Immigration line wasn’t long; we waited maybe five minutes. Our luggage was already unloaded and waiting for us. We went to the Couples Lounge for Red Stripes and waited about 40 minutes before the shuttle was ready. We did rent a Jamaica phone from one of the guys in the Lounge for a very reasonable price. I think it was perhaps $35 for 500 minutes. I really glad we did because in previous years I’ve had no cell reception and with the rented phone I was able to call home once a day to check in and not worry about how much it was costing. The ride to the resort seemed extremely long this trip, and, we didn’t make any stops.
Upon arriving at the resort, we were given the customary cold towels and champagne. Check in was quick. We love the Greathouse and I asked for our favorite room. It was available. The room that our friends requested was not available and they were given one with a horrible view of the building next door. They called the front desk and were able to change to a room with a more desirable view. Before going to our rooms, we went over to the concierge’s desk and made reservations for the catamaran, Lemongrass, and the repeater’s dinner with no problem.
After unpacking, we walked down to the Beach Grill and ordered burgers and jerk chicken. The chicken was wonderful. The burger is different from what I remembered in previous years; the patty itself was huge with a very weird texture. I asked one of the gentlemen behind the counter if the meat was 100% beef and he assured me that it was. I didn’t care for it. Later on during the week, I had a veggie burger from Seagrapes that was exactly the way I remembered it to be. The texture was very close to what you would expect from a beef burger and the flavor was good. I actually preferred it over the “real” beef burger from the Beach Grill.
We ate breakfast at both Patios and the Palms most days and the meals were what I remembered. I personally love the omelet stations and the pancakes. We had dinner at the Palms, Patios, and Lemongrass. All of the meals were very good. I had an exceptionally good pork chop dish one night at the Palms, a wonderful sirloin with mashed potatoes at Patios, and the Pad Thai and the tasting platter were wonderful at Lemongrass I particularity loved the lamb kabobs! One thing to keep in mind about Lemongrass…the temperature of the restaurant is extremely hot since its outdoors. There is a nice cold room off to the left as you come into the restaurant that has a pool table. We took refuge there when we felt the need to cool off.
Our room was always cleaned pretty early and done exceptionally well. Our mini-bar wasn’t stocked when we arrived but someone came promptly to do it after called the front desk. Every day it was stocked with what we requested. We didn’t like that they now place 16oz sodas and juices in the miniature jugs. It was too much was wasteful. My only complaint is that we often drunk all the water that was in the frig. It wasn’t a problem to request more but since they don’t keep it refrigerated its hot when it’s delivered…sucks if you’re dying of thirst.
We spent a few mornings across the street at the fitness center. I didn’t do much working out but did use the lap pool and the hot tub. Ricardo was working the bar and he is as wonderful and engaging as ever!
The green flag service was non-existent the entire time we were there; never saw one! However, we were always close to the bar and didn’t mind getting our own drinks, plus, it always a pleasure talking to Colleen.
We spent a day off-resort doing the Black River tour and had planned to go to YS Falls. However, it was a Monday and we didn’t realize that the Falls were closed. Instead, we took a boat to the Pelican Bar. It was a lot of fun. We ate a lobster dish there and had a couple of Red Stripes. We book the rip with Elvis and his son drove us in Elvis’ car. The price was very fair. It was nice to do something that we’d not done in all the years we’d been going to CSA.
I’ve read a number of reviews commenting on the renovations and the service at CSA. Here’s what I experienced; the service was top-notch. Not once did I encounter anyone who wasn’t friendly and accommodating. A number of the staff know us since we’re been returning a number of years but there are quite a few new faces and those people were extremely nice. As for the construction, we saw it going on in the building next to the Greathouse but never heard a sound. Had we not saw the workers we would not have known that construction was occurring.
We love CSA and would recommend the resort to anyone looking for a nice, relaxing, clean, place to vacation with great food and wonderful staff. We hope to returning soon!
Weird about the flag service. We were there from 10/23 - 1/29 and stayed in one of the Beach Front Veranda's I think they are called, in the new 3 story buildings, anyway I would sit on our first floor after breakfast, just chilling and deciding on the plan of lack of action for the day, and we would see the staff from the beach bars taking flags to individuals sitting in chairs on the beach. Heck they jokingly asked if I wanted a flag while sitting on the patio, and since we were very close to the tiki bar, on occasion someone would just bring me a drink. Now I will say, I never saw a pile of flags somewhere that you could grab and take to your seat, but then I wasn't really looking. Maybe they thought you would drink them dry! Is good mon!
CSA was our first Couples Resort experience. We went with friends who had been there once. We got off to a bad start. We didn't get the class room that we paid for. We were downgraded. However, Couples management made it right and we were very happy with our stay. So happy that we went back.
Our last stay was at CTI. We liked this stay so much that we are booked again for February 2014. Only 83 more days until we return home.
I feel that all of the Couples resorts are the same but a little different. I would expect the service and people to be the same at any Couples resort. But each resort is also a little different. We are leaning towards CN sometime in the future, but not firm.
Great review. Glad to hear you had a wonderful time. Wondering about the green flags though?
#8 soon come.
Life is good
Our experience in Sept. is that the flag service is hit and miss. We arrived on a Sat, it was raining so we didn't really hit the beach. We did on Sunday though and there was no flag service. They actually passed out flags, but no one was working the service. This was the case through Wed. Beginning sometime Wed. they had two trainees working flag service and they worked the rest of the time we were there and did a wonderful job. We found the closer you are to the beach bar, the better the service. We were really bummed in the beginning, but it did a complete turn around. Lots of people were complaining though before it turned around.
We were at CSA in May 2013 and it was our first stay there, but I do remember the flag service being top notch during our stay. Because we are returning for our 2nd time in May 2014 I have been reading a lot of recent reviews where there has been complaints about employees and the flag service, could this be because it's not peak season and the resort could be under staffed? Just curious! I'm sure the many returnees will confirm this for sure!!
We see this often. Sometimes the flag service is great. And other times it's ignored. We are always polite to the staff and they seem to return more oftem when our flag is up. Otherwise we just walk to the bar. No problem either way for us.
The flag service is nice but it can be pretty slow sometimes. We go Feb/Mar so peak times. We maybe do it once two times tops. When lounging around it's good to give the legs a workout and walk to the bar. Also nice to engage the bar tenders in a bit of conversation. Have seen some guests get irate that their drinks aren't being delivered in a timely fashion. Just don't get that type of attitude.
We are the same, sometimes we used the flag service, but most times we walked to the bar to get our drink, it's nice to socialize with the bartenders and you get to meet lots of new people sitting around the bar!!