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  1. #1

    Default Sans Souci vs. Tower Isle

    Question for everyone........Do all of you have a preference for the Au Naturel beach of SS or does everyone like TI better? Can you give me a couple of likes and dislikes of each??

    THANKS!!!

  2. #2

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    jtpetersen: That's a subjective question, so you'll get a variety of answers. It's all about personal preference. Both Sunset Beach and Tower Isle have their own, unique features and appeal. We've stayed at CTI 10 times or so, and have visited CSS a couple of times in the "trading places" deal.

    In my opinion, the island at CTI lends itself to a bit more social interaction, since it is a somewhat smaller, more "compact" environment. On the other hand, there's a bit more variety at Sunset Beach....since it is larger, and one does have the option of either hanging at the pool, going down to the beach, or whatever.

    There's also the weather factor: at CTI, you're at the mercy of the weather. If it's nice, no problem. If it gets rough, the island closes. That's not an issue at Sunset Beach.

    To sum it all up, our personal preference is Tower Isle. There might not be a more fun place on Earth in the middle of the afternoon on a nice, sunny day. But both places are great.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    426

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    Sunset Beach is more spread out, with both a beach and a pool. The bathrooms are nice, and cleaned just about hourly throughout the day. They have a nice grill at Sunset beach where you can order fries, patties, etc. and they also bring over a buffet lunch. The pool at SSB was just remodeled and an in-ground hot tub added. Very nice.

    Tower Isle's good points: separate from the rest of the resort, so has a more "private" feel. It is smaller and just by the nature of being in more close quarters, seems to be more "social" to me. The small swim up bar is the social hub of the island and generally if you are on that part of the island you'll be socializing. The bathroom is a single bathroom shared by male & female guests and seems to me that it is only cleaned a few times a day, if that. There is no beach to speak of at the island.

    I actually prefer SSB, but have a special fondness for the island, as we have spent many a good time there with friends over the years. Try them both and see for yourself which you like! :-)

  4. #4

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    I have never been to CTI, but have been to CSS and SSB 7 times and love it! The set-up at SSB is awesome for AN sunbathing. If you're a pool person, you can grab a spot by the pool. If you're a beach person, you can grab a palapa or a lounger on the beach. If you're thirsty, enjoy a fruity libation at the bar. If you're hungry, lunch is served around 12:30 and once the grill is open you can order burgers, fries, or jerk chicken or pork. You can spend all day AN without having to put your clothes on until you are ready to leave. To me the best part of all about SSB, is that we don't have to take a boat to get there so there are no red flag days. Have a great trip!:-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    259

    Default

    Both are great. The advantage of SSB is the ease of getting there and it not being "closed" due to weather. It's also much larger than TI so it accommodates more couples and if you're new and a little uncertain that makes it easier to find privacy. Finally, if you want to swim, that's much easier from SSB due to the size of the beach. Love TI, but the rocks around there don't make it an easy area to swim or just lie on the float.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    61

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    Taking the two resorts on an overall basis, we have a mild preference for CTI over CSS...but they are both very enjoyable and for us it really comes down to where the better deal is.

    If you were just rating them on the basis of the AN facilities...then I think most people would pick SSB over TI. SSB is probably the best AN facility in Jamaica.

    SSB has a beach which TI really does not have, no restrictions on hours (although CSS becomes clothing-optional for sunset), a hot tub and a grill on the beach.

    I enjoy the seclusion of the Island and think the Island and the views are very nice and the Island is cool in it's own way, but SSB just has better amenities.
    Last edited by JW1; May 13th, 2014 at 01:42 PM.
    CSS - March, 2012
    CTI - March, 2013, 2014, 2015

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    804

    Default

    We prefer SSB at CSS over the island at TI. The beach is just that, a beach, the island is quite small, the pool there is quite a bit smaller. As far as the people go, they are pretty much the same. Most AN'ers are friendly and it is that way at both SSB and TI. Most of the socializing is at the pool at both places. We just prefer SSB, (and CSS over all as a resort), but that is our preference.
    Linda

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    86

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    I recommend CSS. Never been to CTI, but for some first timers, I would suspect getting on that boat might be an overwhelming commitment. SSB is a leasurely walk from the main area and it offers a large spread for privacy if you want to start off by yourselves - specifically on the far right side of the beach. You can go there and be left alone. It might help the first-time jitters until the sounds of the socializing draw you to the pool. And they will.

    Other advice: go as soon as you can - don't wait. You'll regret the time wasted on the textile side.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    108

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    We were at CTI for a week and it was Red Flag (island closed) for 3 1/2 days. Luckily we were able to go over to SSB for two of those. I will never stay at CTI again. I might stay at CSS and go over to CTI for the day using Trading Places, if I knew the island was open. I do like the island, but aside from the island I didn't really like CTI that much.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    85

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    There is a bunch of information and opinions on this topic. Just search the history of the message boards. When I was trying to decide where to go for our 25th anniversary, this is what I did... and am still doing ;-) Lots of postings and information from hundreds of people.

    But here's the bad news... You will read all the postings, and still not know where to go. So do what we did... Book a SPLIT STAY between CTI and CSS! We will start at CTI for 4 nights, then move to CSS for 7 nights.

    But at the very least, do a trading places day. Select a resort, then spend one day at the other with the "trading places" option. This way you get to experience both. Good luck! Only 6 more weeks for us!
    CTI & CSS 2014

  11. #11

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    We prefer the atmosphere at CTI, both on the island and on the mainland, over any of the other Couples resorts. If you are social and like making new friends, then TI/CTI is definitely the place to be. Yes, TI may close due to weather, and yes, SSB has very nice facilities and grill, but for us, it doesn't outweigh the island experience. In our 24 days at CTI, the island was closed for only one day. And we don't mind the going back to the mainland for lunch. It's a nice short break to get out of the sun.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    127

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    We prefer CSS over CTI. We have spent 37 days at CSS over the past 2 years with 2 more 10 day trips over the next 12 months. We tried CTI on a trading spaces. The island was very small but worst of all was the fact it had a strong sewer smell on the island the day we were there. Needless to say we were there less than a hour before taking a cab back to CSS and SSB. We no plans on returning to CTI again. CSS is our HOME.

  13. #13

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    We stay at CSS and have traded places to CTI to use the island. It is a great place to go AN and seems to be a bit more quiet and secluded. The island is only opened till 5 pm and will close if there is a wedding planned for that day. The pontoon boat that usually takes us out to the island is out of service and a small boat had to take us...about 4 people at a time out and back. At one point there was a line on the main pier waiting to get to the island. We decided to use SSB for the first time this trip. We went there on day 2 of our vacation and spent the rest of the week there. The new pool is wonderful with lots of space for a lot of people and the new hot tub is huge. The grill served excellent lunches every day. We met a great bunch of people there and saw everyone back again day after day. There was some serious pool volleyball going on almost daily. Most of us stayed in the pool area during and after the sunset hour when the "clothed people" would come down to watch the sunset. On one evening we joined a group of folks having wine and snacks in the hot tub after midnight. We now refer to main pool area as the "kiddie pool" which seemed like very few people used it the entire week.

  14. #14

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    I keep reading about things happening in the Tower on the Island??? Is this true?? I thought that "things" were really frowned upon and not tolerated?

  15. #15

    Default

    We like both, they each have there good things. We do a week at each because we can't choice just one.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    108

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jtpetersen View Post
    I keep reading about things happening in the Tower on the Island??? Is this true?? I thought that "things" were really frowned upon and not tolerated?
    It used to be that there was a sign on a chain at the bottom of the stairs and one could close off the upper part of the tower for "Tower Time". That has not been allowed for years. Similarly, you will read about banners or flags people would hang/fly from the tower, particularly for groups. That too is no longer allowed.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    352

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtpetersen View Post
    I keep reading about things happening in the Tower on the Island??? Is this true?? I thought that "things" were really frowned upon and not tolerated?
    Public Display of Affection (PDA) is not allowed and never has been allowed anywhere on the property. However, I have read about couples having "Tower Time" now and then.... Naked bodies coming in contact with very hot cement and rock might be a little uncomfortable. (I choose to leave out other possibilities) I know management doesn't police the tower looking for that sort of behavior though. But... can you imagine getting caught, asked to leave and never come back?

    You will be happy no matter which one you choose. Go early and have a great time!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    287

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    Now that we've done a Trading Days at TI I can tell you that we will never go back again. In our opinion the island is just way too small, the pool isn't really a pool (it's not much larger than the new spa at SSB) and it's way too windy on the island. It was "neat" to go see (once) but that one time was enough for us. It didn't help that the boat broke down on the way over (apparently not the first time last week), the blender broke, the beer tap was broke, lunch blew off of people's plates and one, very rude woman insisted on laying on a float in the pool taking up much needed room and the only sunny spot in it! I know some love it and you'll be glad to know that I won't be taking any of your space when we go back to CSS/SSB!!!

  19. #19

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    We were part of the group (about 12-14) that michaelg went with and the island was just to crowded. The island is very pretty, but is just way to small and there really isn't a lot of space if you want to hang out in the pool and visit or just be by yourself out on the island. The bar situation was bad, no towels anywhere on the island, and the concept of going to the bathroom, while others are climbing above you isn't really cool with us. The hotel seemed ok, but just didn't have the resort feel that CSS had. Also, I love that at SSB, the grill is readily available for food, even if you aren't having what was brought over. I'm glad that we did a trading spaces day, but I can also say, that we will never go back

  20. #20

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    I have been to both several times and I prefer cti...I love the smaller closer community that develops on the island. I love the breeze the view etc.
    I have friends who prefer sunset beach..it is all opinion
    CSS does have a larger pool and a nice but very rocky beach area. We usually take a day trip over to cti, but we are always glad to get back to the island.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,953

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    Been to both and our preference is TI. Everyone has their reasons why they prefer one over the other. Which ever you chose, do schedule a Trading Places visit to the other.
    Vicky

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    85

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    We just returned from a split stay. Started at TI and finished at CSS. There are dozens of reasons to love TI and dozens of reasons to love CSS. Honestly, what it really came down to for us was the people we met... which admittedly, is not something you nor Couples can control.

    In both cases, we met a bunch of wonderful couples, but at CTI we seemed to connect better with the folks on the island. I'm not sure why, but I think it is because there were more "nubies" on TI (like we were). It was a new, fun, exhilarating, anxious and awkward experience for many of us! We connected very quickly to others who were also new to AN thing. At CSS-SSB, it seemed there were more veterans who have been visiting for several years, they all knew each other from years past, and there weren't a lot of first-timers (this is only my observation based on the week we were there... I'm sure this is not an absolute).

    Regarding the trading places day... My opinion on this may sound funny because I genuinely love both resorts... but I WOULD NOT do a trading places day. It is impossible to experience the vibe of the resort and connect with other guests during a short 8 hour visit. I would STRONGLY recommend a split stay, so you can spend a few days at each resort and really get to know the resort, the staff and the other guests. For us, the first day at both resorts was not great until we figured things out and met some cool people... and dined and/or partied with them!

    The amenities at CSS-SSB are better in many ways and much larger. But the smaller size of the island and the isolation from everything is also pretty cool. The island is small, but I really believe it helps to foster socialization among the guests. Also, the entertainment and the nightlife was significantly better at CTI which gave us the opportunity to continue the party (which started on the island) into the evening. While at CTI we would meet up with our friends at the after-dinner entertainment, piano bar, and disco. At CSS, it seemed to me that people would leave SSB, shower, have dinner and turn in for the night... Which is also fine.

    My recommendation? Split stay!!
    CTI & CSS 2014

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