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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Yes, another "which one is best for us" question!

    Hello! I've been perusing the boards and tripadvisor, along with watching you tube videos, trying to decide which Couples resort is the right one for us. We'll be going on our honeymoon at the beginning of October this year, and have never been to the Caribbean, but are from Florida and vacation in the Keys every year. I've read several threads where you wonderful people have helped others choose the right resort for them, and was wondering if you could do the same for us! Right now I think we're between CSS and CTI, CSS due to it being romantic, and CTI due to the "fun" factor.

    We love the clear blue water, and will be bringing our own snorkel equipment - would love to be able to snorkel right off the beach.
    The beach vendors in Negril have completely turned us away from CSA and CN. We don't need a big beach, just some nice water. Privacy over white sand.
    It is our honeymoon, so winding paths and random hammocks sounds really nice. I love to be immersed in the local culture to really feel like you are somewhere else, so the clean white hotel-like feel of CTI does not appeal to me. CSS sounds and looks more tropical, and romantic.
    My fiance really really wants a jacuzzi in the room, and the ones at CTI look nicer (overlooking the windows) than the CSS triangle tub
    We like to play games, and sing at piano bars. Hopefully we can stay up late enough to enjoy a fun night life (after drinking/snorkeling/sunning all day). The activities at CTI sound like so much fun.
    We have taken sunset cruises in Key West and had a blast, so leaning CTI but I also read on these forums they stopped doing them? Not sure as they are still listed as activities on their site.

    SO - given all that you know about us, which resort would you recommend? I know, I know, you can't go wrong with either. But you only have one honeymoon and I just want it to be perfect! Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Options are going to vary from person to person. We have been to CSS 3 times in the past 2 years and only 30 days away from going again. We traded spaces in Dec 2013 to CTI spent 2 hours there and then caught a taxi back to CSS and didn't wait for the bus to take us back. Some people love CTI, Some love CSS. Some love CN & CSA. It varies from couple to couple. CTI does have a much nicer beach but SSB is great also if you like the AN thing. We live there. Everyone should try it once and then you will never go back to the other side.

  3. #3

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    We got married and had our Honeymoon at CSS and would not have changed it. Been back once with another trip this year. We did do trading places last time to CTI and it just felt to us to much like a Hotel room. CSS is very romantic and the Grounds are tropic. There is usually games going on during the day at various bars or you can just find a private place to relax. You wont go wrong at either place but we love CSS.
    CSS OCT 2009
    CSS OCT 2011
    CSS OCT 2014

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,329

    Default

    You will get privacy at css but no white sand. Too bad you discounted Negril, the beach vendors as re not a bother imo, the sand and water are unreal and the most beautiful I've seen.

  5. #5

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    Each couple has their own taste as to which is "Perfect" for them. Although we've never been to any other resort than CN, the beach is nice, water clear, and the beach vendors are not "In Your Face" but actually pleasant to talk to. I did buy 2 paintings already. While I have seen any bar games, there is enough going on during the day that you can do as much as you want or as little as you want. We always stay in the deluxe garden room. There are paths through the gardens, hammocks around, and yet you're close to everything. The staff is wonderful, very friendly and helpful. I think which ever you choose will be perfect for you. With that being said, Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, good luck and have fun.

    Duane & Mary

  6. #6

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    We've been to CN (for our honeymoon) and CSS. LOVED them both... But we picked CSS over CTI for our second trip because we didn't want the hotel feel.

    While at CSS, we saw people snorkeling off the beach. The sunset catamaran cruise is not at CSS due to the close proximity of the reef, which may appeal to you for snorkeling. And in regard to the catamaran at CTI, it returned recently, which is why you may have heard it wasn't there. I wouldn't let a sunset catamaran make the decision for you though. It's a fun excursion (we did it at CN), but you can get out on the water with other included excursions (glass bottom boat and snorkeling).

    You will find some beach vendors at CSS too, just a much smaller scale. We liked shopping from them. We know we're supporting local artists, and we appreciate not having to leave the resort.

    The beach at CSS is in a private cove, with beautiful, clear, mostly still water. I didn't see a single jet-ski while we were there. The resort has an almost jungle feel, very tropical, but well manicured landscapes that are just breathtaking. Very romantic, like you said. Plus the winding paths and many stairs will help you burn the calories of all the rich food and drinks you'll be consuming.

    The jacuzzi, I've never used the one in the room. We were in a One Bedroom Beachfront, with the triangle tub. You're right, not appealing to me either, but I never felt the want to use it. I enjoyed the jacuzzis around the resort. Much better views than through a window..

    The night life at CSS was there to be enjoyed, we just couldn't stay up much past 9 PM. The days in the sun took their toll, and though we'd go up to the balloon bar most nights for a night cap, we just couldn't stay up to watch the entertainment. But we found CSS to be very fun otherwise.

    Hope our experiences help you with your decision!! Good luck, and you've already made the right choice either way.. you chose Couples!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Great responses, thank you! It isn't the vendors that set up camp and sell their local goods, those are more than welcome and we will probably buy things from them at our leisure. It's the ones walking by yelling "cigars, cigarettes" and standing in front of you playing an instrument or singing until you tip them that we want to avoid (or so I have heard). I don't want to have to "politely say no thank you" every few minutes. Maybe that just happens at CSA and not so much at CN?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    39

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    We stayed at CSA last February and had no problems with the beach vendors. They were not allowed to approach you and if you were interested in purchasing an item you had to go down to them by the water/edge of property. Not harassed/bothered what so ever. We enjoyed CSA but are currently trying to decide on CTI or CSS for our next trip... leaning towards CTI (as we like to meet people, socialize, and be at a more active resort which I think CTI may be??) Also LOVED the catamaran excursion too.. Decisions.. decisions... Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    30

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    Quote Originally Posted by incubakat View Post
    Great responses, thank you! It isn't the vendors that set up camp and sell their local goods, those are more than welcome and we will probably buy things from them at our leisure. It's the ones walking by yelling "cigars, cigarettes" and standing in front of you playing an instrument or singing until you tip them that we want to avoid (or so I have heard). I don't want to have to "politely say no thank you" every few minutes. Maybe that just happens at CSA and not so much at CN?
    Everyone has their own opinions, as you can already see from this thread, but I wanted to chime in with mine. I've been to CSA and CSS, and I have done Trading Spaces to CN. Yes, there are vendors at CSA and CN (probably more at CSA), but they have never bothered me. They stay down near the water line, and will only engage with you if you engage with them. If you want "privacy" and keep your lounger farther back on the sand, they should not be a problem.

    I say this only because I so love the Negril beaches (and especially the beach at CSA), that I cannot imagine choosing CSS or CTI just to stay away from vendors. We did love CSS; it is breathtakingly beautiful. But the sand was, well, just sand. I'm from California, and I have access to plenty of beaches, and many of them have sand much like the sand at CSS (and CTI, from what I have heard). I have never been to a beach with sand like Negril's, and when we did our split stay CSS/CSA last year, I was so happy to be moving over to CSA after the first few days.

    This does not mean I would not choose CSS. It has its own virtues, and we LOVED climbing Dunn's River Falls. I'm just suggesting that you should choose based on all aspects of the various resorts, and not eliminate half of them just to avoid vendors. But again, to each his/her own. The good news is that whichever resort you choose will be fabulous, because it is "Couples" that makes them so great, not the particular location.

  10. #10

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    TRM - aside from the "Trading Places" thing for a day, we haven't spent much time at CSS...so I can't speak from personal experience of what it's like to stay at CSS. It is definitely a big, beautiful, lush property. Having been to CTI numerous times, however, I can say that CTI can, indeed, be quite social...if you choose to make it so. And there is no better place to socialize than the Tower Island pool in the afternoons, when the sun is hammering down. It is a total blast, and being a rather small, "confined" area, it pretty much encourages socializing. Seems that one ends up knowing everybody before the week is out.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    242

    Default

    Wow, i would beg you to reconsider the Negril side. The vendors are not bad...i actually enjoy most of them. They are not pushy. In my 3 trips, i don't think i have had to say "no thank you" more than once or twice in a single day. And to be honest, for that beach, i would tolerate a lot more...its worth it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    47

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    You can not go wrong with any of the resorts, everyone has there favorite.We love CTI for us it is very small and romantic. Since it is small you will see the same people everyday.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    561

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by incubakat View Post
    The beach vendors in Negril have completely turned us away from CSA and CN.
    I completely understand. Before our first trip to CN, I had the same concerns. To be honest - during our first trip to CN I really didn't appreciate the beach vendors. We arrived late due to an airline snafu...and the lost bags put us on edge for a few days, so I was easily annoyed. I was just annoyed for a week. Actually, we sometimes question why we came back. But we realized that any bad feelings we had were not Couples related, but projections from other things. We knew that CN deserved another shot, and we are so glad that we went for trip 2.

    We are heading back for trip 6 in 3 weeks (and CSS in December...and CN April of 2015 - we are hooked!). Anyway...

    I really LOVE the beach vendors. They are part of the scene...part of the "local culture". Recently someone on the board said they were put off by the "cigarettes, cigar, cigar, it's gonna be a hot hot night" vendor...I look forward to him! He makes me smile! (we were having a Couples massage once and I heard him in the distance...I smiled then!)

    The beach musicians are great (talk about "local culture"!). I look forward to my daily Donovan Dallrymple (appologies for the spelling) musical set. His energy, passion and love of the music is priceless.

    One day my wife and I grabbed a cocktail (or 2...or 3) and went for a float. We were beyond relaxed. Eventually we washed up on the beach (we were being silly and litterally let the waves wash us up on the beach). As we were laying in the surf giggling, one of the beach vendors stopped, smiled and shared a laugh with us. I will never forget that moment - just happy people enjoying a moment together.

    We are blessed to be able to do a December trip this year - our first to CSS. I am certain that the tirp will be everything that I love about Couples but my only apprehension is that I will miss the the things I love about CN - the FABULOUS beach...and the beach vendors (cigarette man -even though I don't smoke...tobacco, and the musicians).

    Take your trip and enjoy your trip. (make sure to give us an update )

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Our favorite is CTI. We'll be returning in 30 days for trip #3. On our trip last year we did a trading spaces to CSS.

    My first thought was how beautiful and lush it it. My second thought was how on earth do people find their way back to their room late at night after a few drinks!? Third thought was where is everyone? The place was at capacity but didn't even remotely look like it. For me, that's what I love about CTI. I'm a social person and I love the smallness of that place. You can't help but be around other people (but not in a claustrophobic way). We also enjoy staying up late (really late!) and meeting new people. CTI was great for that. Maybe CSS is too, but given how desolate it looked during the day, I figured it'd look downright abandoned at midnight.

    Also, I really love the restaurants at CTI and, I know people fault the place for this, but I love the compact modern hotel-like thing it has going on. Makes it easy to get around and it's so damn pretty! I especially love the open air lobby. Argh! I can't wait to be back!

    All that said, I'd still love to stay at CSS sometime and I'm looking forward to spending a day there again this trip.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    257

    Default

    Having stayed at all 4 Couples Resorts I can truly say that I love all of them for very different reasons. You will find, the more time you spend on the message board, that some are very loyal to one resort while others mix and match! Resort preferences are very unique to each individual. For example, although I love the beach and the beautiful water of Jamaica beaches, I do not enjoy swimming in the ocean and therefor having a nice pool is important to me. Because of this, CSA is my least favourite of the 4 Couples resorts simply because I do not enjoy the pool environment there. Now some would say "why do you go to Negril to swim in a pool". To which I say, I enjoy sitting on the beach, enjoy the beautiful views and talking long walks on the beach, but come the afternoon, I like to hit up the pool to cool off and enjoy some social time by the swim up bar! Because of this, CSA is my least favourite but if you are a beach baby and love swimming in the ocean it would likely be top of the list! On the flip side, I LOVE CN because it offers the best of both worlds for me. Faboulous beach and amazing pool. Perfect! CSS is our favourite, yet CTI also holds a special place our hearts. So as you can see, they are all very special and the ideal place to vacation with your special someone.

    Now, back to your original question about the toss up between CSS/CTI. Will you be doing AN? The reason I ask is because if you are looking for the social factor but are NOT interested in AN than CTI might be the better option. If you are doing AN than I would have to disagree with the others and feel that CSS is more condusive to social interaction with guests than CTI. I have stayed at CSS and CTI about 5 times and consistently find this to be the case. I do love Tower Isle and it's beauty but find the scene at SSB at CSS to be more lively. Very outgoing people and always a fun time (with plenty of quiet spots too if you want to relax and take in the beauty with your loved one!)

    To summarize, here are my "favourite" things about each resort. Of course this is just my opinion but I remember being in your situation years ago and spending hours on the message board and trip advisor trying to educate myself so perhaps this will help you in some way. These are in our order of preference...

    #1 CSS - Hands down fave. Love the romantic feel, the lushness, the winding pathways, the hidden hot tubs, SSB and the fabulous people we meet there every year who quickly become friends, the staff who I keep in touch with all year, the stunning views from the rooms, the beautiful pond where I see turtles and birds everyday, open air dining for all meals, and the overall sense of calm that over comes me from the moment I get there. And let's not forget the amazing massages in the hideaway.

    #2 CN - Beautiful sandy beach, calm blue water, the horseshoe shape of Bloody Bay, the AMAZING pool, the social atmosphere around the pool, cozy feel

    #3 CTI - Beautiful ocean view rooms, fresh "south beach feel", dinner at Bayside (my favourite restaurant in the Couples family), the breeze on the island,

    #4 CSA - Beautiful beach which is great for long walks, beautiful rooms, Martini Bar, fun night life

    Have a great time...you will love it!
    Kris

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312

    Default

    My DH hates the beach vendors too - we perfer the ocean waves as our soundtrack. Luckily the jet skis are currently banned because those are quite annoying too. CTI tends to be more social because the resort is smaller and more compact so you tend to run into the same people over and over again. CSS is more spread out and can seem empty even when it is full - something we love. You can be social there but there are so many different places to hang out we tend not to run into people with the same frequency we did at CTI. I believe the only jacuzzi rooms at CTI are the suites and junior suites. In the suite the jacuzzi in in the room next to the bed not in the bathroom - and there is a huge picture window over the tub. All of the beachfront suites at CSS have jacuzzis although renovations are currently planned that would remove these tubs.

    Amy

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    27

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    Quote Originally Posted by lotsastuff4u View Post
    Options are going to vary from person to person. We have been to CSS 3 times in the past 2 years and only 30 days away from going again. We traded spaces in Dec 2013 to CTI spent 2 hours there and then caught a taxi back to CSS and didn't wait for the bus to take us back. Some people love CTI, Some love CSS. Some love CN & CSA. It varies from couple to couple. CTI does have a much nicer beach but SSB is great also if you like the AN thing. We live there. Everyone should try it once and then you will never go back to the other side.
    we will also be at CSS in 30 days!!! honeymooners and first time in Jamaica for both of us

  18. #18

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    We've been to CTI, CSS twice (2nd time Secret Rendezvous), and CSA. We'll hit CN this May.

    I'll do my best to address each of your hit list items:
    - Romantic and Tropical. That's all the resorts. These places are built "for two"! And Jamaica can't help but be tropical (esp. compared to FL and some of the other islands we've been to).
    - Clear blue water for snorkeling. If prioritizing water over beach, Negril still wins, but the snorkeling trips from CTI/CSS are still fun.
    - Privacy. NOTHING beats CSS here. We often felt like we were the only ones there, especially in the early morning. A massage in the huts on the cliffs. Watching the waves in the gazebo. The grotto. The duck pond. Giant chess.
    - Windy paths. CSS is all windy paths. Like, need to carry a map windy.
    - Play card games and sing at the bar. If you do AN, CTI and CSS are pretty tied for daytime shenanigans. We even keep in touch with our Sunset Beach cohorts. Nighttime, CTI has the Piano Bar, CSS has the Balloon Bar. Nightlife is similar at all the resorts - I say that knowing most of us crash shortly after dinner due to all day in the sun!
    - Sunset Cat Cruise. LOVE it. We desperately missed this on our CSS trips, but if you need to get out of the water (and are brave), take out a Hobie Cat!
    - In room Jacuzzi. We didn't use ours when we had it even. Hot tubs littered throughout the sites though.

    It sounds like your mind is made up though, and you just want us to tell you CSS. Do it! Couples is awesome. And you can always try the others for your anniversaries!!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    604

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    If you have it in your head that you're annoyed by the beach vendors, then just don't put yourself through the hassle. You're spending enough of your hard-earned $$$$$, that you don't want to set yourself up for potentially being p-o'ed by some vendor who starts singing "No Woman No Cry" in front of you at CSA!

    Just go with one of the Ochi resorts. From what I understand, the CSS resort has the chill vibe of CSA without the 7 Mile Beach environment. Unless you're looking for the South Beach vibe, I'd probably go with CSS (although this is just 2nd hand info from a good friend who spent time at CTI - didn't like too much, CSS - loved and CSA - loved loved loved).

    Enjoy!!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    9

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    We stay at CTI and CSS as we are not fans of the vendors. I want a private beach and do not want to be bothered with the vendors and hearing the same song played countless times during the entire 8 day stay while the vendors go from person to person singing. Don't get me wrong 7 mile beach is beautiful but not a private beach. Even if I have to tell then "no thank you" only once I prefer not to have to do this as I get enough phone calls and door to door sales at home and do not want to be bothered while on vacation.
    We just prefer not to have to deal with the hassle and if we want something we will purchase ourselves without the inconvenience.
    Beautiful but one trip to CSA and CN was enough. We went to CSS in March 2014 and will be going back to CTI in July 2014 for our 14th trip to couples, WE LOVE COUPLES!!!!

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