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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Higher rates 2015-2016 - is CSA "overpriced?"

    Hello! First, I would like to say how much we enjoy reading everything this board has to offer! We love seeing everyone’s tips, opinions, and overall LOVE for the Couples resorts.

    After endless research, we finally took the plunge and booked our 1st Couples trip waaaaay in advance for a CSA atrium suite (it was a toss up between CSA and CSS - both of them ‘spoke’ to us, but being able to walk for miles on the beach won us over this time).
    There was a bit of sticker shock ($3955 for 7-nights) and we wondered how so many others were able to make annual trips. It’s very impressive that some of you have visited all four resorts 5-6 times each!!

    During all of my message board creeping, I did see a bit of a ruckus concerning the 2015 rates and how this would affect your vacations, and some even stating this will be the end of their Couples business. So at least my worries of being surrounded by a bunch of wealthy snobs have been put to rest
    However, this did make me question the trip as we already thought it seemed a bit overpriced, but everyone’s gleaming reviews talked us into it. If the veterans are quick to abandon the brand, IS it overpriced at the new rates?

    We are no-frills, we do not need big marble bathrooms and gaudy 4-poster beds. But seeing as we want to experience Negril and plan to do some eat/drink/play-ing OFF the resort… are we paying too much for CSA? We were originally interested in resorts a few doors down from CSA and our rate would be $1050.00 for the same 7 nights… I highly doubt we’d be able to spend the difference of $2900.00 for food/drinks/tips…?


    Your opinions and persuasions are appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    5

    Default

    What month are you booking for? I just booked our honeymoon for July-August, 2015. I got the ocean veranda suite for 7 days 6 nights for $2,610.00. $3,955 seems a bit steep!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    48

    Default

    I don't know about other resorts but couples is top notch. If they have a lower price before you go couples will give you the lower price.Couples will not take you over not sure about any other resort.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    162

    Default

    We have been Couples folks for years. One of the things that brought us to Couples wad a good balance of service and good value. We have decided the new pricing now leaves good service but with prices that compare to other options which are equal. This opens many more options. We're now looking at a Dominican vacation with a bunch of family.

    We have enjoyed many of our Couples visits but the change in value has swayed us away.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    228

    Default

    I'm not sure when you are travelling but we booked an Atrium for August 2015 for approx $2550 for 7 nights. We booked in March 2014 and took advantage of the $300 resort credit as well. The best pricing is early.
    We too were concerned when the initial 2015 rates came out. They were priced out of our comfort zone then. But the revised pricing is actually cheaper than when we went last year. However those initial rates seem to have risen.
    As much as I love Couples, I can only afford so much for a vacation. If they are in my budget, they will always be my first choice, however, there is a price point where I will need to look else where. $4000 for a week is way to much for me. The pricing was so good we added a week at CSS and combined I think we are paying $4500.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    472

    Default

    You don't say what your dates are

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

    Default

    It really is subjective. We are married 34 years this summer, for many years $ were a major concern for family vacations. Our situation has changed and we now can be a bit more free in how much and where we spend our vacation. CSA was our first "grown up" vacation a few years ago, we fell in love with the place and have been back numerous times since, including this year. We have booked our trip for 2015 already and while the price was considerably more than years past, for the same room/7 nights/ time of year, we still found it to be money we could afford for the vacation we want. Everyone's story will be different, everyone's budget and view on spending will be different. Couples is first a business and will price their product as they determine will be marketable to the clientele that they seek to serve. If pricing puts a squeeze on their bottom line then we may see changes or incentives to make booking with them more attractive to a larger demographic. As far as an answer to your question, we are not yet priced out of the Couples market. But that is not to say it couldn't happen at some point in the future. We have looked at alternatives, but so far any comparable vacation plans, at least to the expectations we have for accommodations, cost as much or more than our trips to CSA.
    Have a great trip, I know we will.
    See you at the beach!
    dirtleg & sandyfoot

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    82

    Default

    I am afraid that Couples is over our comfort level for a vacation. We are paying just under $5,000 for an eight night stay this year in December and I doubt that my husband and I can justify spending that much on another trip. $5,000 is a much larger chunk of our earnings in the Midwest as compared to the east or west coast. By the way, we are not booked for a beachfront room either. I need to add that the $5,000 price includes airfare.
    Last edited by ShanDean76; June 5th, 2014 at 11:46 AM. Reason: Change info

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312

    Default

    I think it's a matter of " to each his own" regarding prices on resorts. You tend to get what you pay for! At Couples resorts you get alot for buck, not just the room and the beach! You're part of a "family" that remembers you by name when you arrive on site, and treated as such while you are there, and thats not just for those who return every year. We had missed a couple years and returned when a bartender stopped us and called us by name (honestly at the moment WE had forgotten HIS Name!) what a surprise! Since, we have not missed a year and hope not to! EVERYTHING is included and you can do what want or or do nothing at all. In our case, the way we drink and eat if we went elsewhere, it would end up costing us alot more than Couples does and they make it so affordable with their Love Away plan, who can resist (I can't since I have trouble saving anything!)
    We're counting the days till 12/19/14 for our next vacation with 2015 already booked! We're not wealthy, but we make CSA affordable because we love it so much!
    Helen & Paul
    FL

  10. #10

    Default

    My best advice for you is to keep shopping the price. We find that different travel sites do different promotions throughout the year. Not to mention how much airline ticket pricing fluctuates on a daily basis. I saved $500 on our CN trip this year by often checking vacation package costs. The same package (with travel ins) went from $3800 to $3500 to $3300 in a 24hr period. Thankfully, I'm obsessive.

    Also, Atrium rooms are amazing and totally worth it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    318

    Default

    we have traveled to several resorts on several different islands (DR, St Maarten, Sint Martin, St John, Puerto Rico)
    We always compare them to CSS and CTI which we know well
    We have not found anything that is in the same category
    for one thing, the other resorts always end up being a lot larger
    We went to a rock n roll (HR) resort in the DR last year
    It is very nice but there must have been 5000 rooms
    there were a lot of people at the end of September (not really high season)
    and there were kids everywhere
    the food was good and the rooms were quite nice

    So we pay the premium for:
    No kids
    Couples only
    the small intimate feel of the resorts
    the great service
    and the people

    the food, drinks, beach, sand, and rooms are similar
    that is why we keep coming back even though it is expensive
    It is an investment in our relationship that I am happy to make

    John

  12. #12

    Default

    We are staying 7 nights in September for $2,454.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    76

    Default

    Sbgab

    You must be booked for the high season if you are paying 3955 for 7 nights in the Atrium Suite but once you are there and you walk down the beach you will be very glad you are at CSA and not at one of the resorts a few doors down. If you plan on going off resort you should try the One Love Bus Tour. We did it las September and had a ball. You get to visit 7 or more small places that you would never go to on your own. I doubt we would have even been able to find some of the places if we went on our own. We are headed back this November and will absolutely be taking that tour again.

    Oh and the "Snobby Rich People" they must go somewhere else because everyone we have ever met on our multiple trips to various Couples resorts have been down to earth and great to talk to. We have friends from all over the US thanks to Couples.

    Hope this helps...Julie

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks to everyone for your help. No kids, choices beyond a lukewarm repetitive buffet, and not sharing a pool bar with 3000 spring breakers is why we chose to go with Couples in the first place. I need to get back to focusing on that and not fret about the price.

    We are booked 2/25 to 3/3.. of 2016. Like I said, waaaaay in advance! We were married on Leap Day 2012, this will be our 'first' anniversary and we like to plan ahead, so. It seems like such a popular resort, we didn’t want to take the chance of it being sold out, and the 65% off promo rates “ending in 4 days” sent me into a tizzy so I booked early. (how’s that for obsessive, AJandCaitlin? LOL) I see that promo has been extended at least twice since then.

    Maybe we're booking TOO early and better rates will come along at some point? We should receive a $300 resort credit, so that is nice too. I do see the same dates for 2015 in the Atrium is currently at $4220.00! I fully understand this is peak season... I guess I was just questioning the value at this point.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    258

    Default

    Hi sbgab,
    As a number of folks have noted price point varies based on a number of factors, so the more flexibility you have in your scheduling, usually the better pricing you will find. Don't know if you booked directly with Couples or through a travel agent? But if you shop around, you will find a number of travel agents offer a discounted rate off of the published price and the booking is treated the same as if you had booked direct with Couples.

    Certainly pricing is a major consideration, but you also have to consider the concept of value. Agree from our booking preferences, we did experience a significant increase in 2015 (same time period, resort, room category, etc.), and while close to the tipping point we still made the choice because of the value at the end of the day (and we have had so many memorable experiences that we don't want to be disappointed). BTW, either of the Couples resort is an excellent choice -- just different.

    So, as others have said, stay alert and shop around -- depending on when you are going, bet you will find a more attractive pricing.

  16. #16

    Default

    With all this talk about price increases I took a look at the 2015 prices. Turns out that the same week in August that we will be going this year is the same or slightly lower then we paid for this year's trip!! We will be booking TI again very soon!

  17. #17

    Default

    My wife and I are still thinking about if we will be able to go to CSA in 2015 because of the price. We are booking at the for the same time(April) and same room(garden) that we went to in '13 and '14 and it seems the price has increased a decent amount(around $800). The timing of the booking is around the same time too(june), so I don't know what we missed. Hopefully a new promotion will come up and we will get to go again. If not, we agree that couples is definitely incredible and worth a trip back, we just might have to save up till 2016 :-(

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    204

    Default

    Does that include Airfare?

    I booked trips in nov of 2013 and again for nov 2014 and the price was the same.

    I got an oceanfront veranda which bumped up my price but thats my choosing.

    Maybe the Airfare was high booking that far in advance? Last year I priced it thru Cheapcaribean.com and Couples matched it. This year I just did it thru American Express and got great pricing.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    612

    Default

    We were thinking of returning to CSA for our 10th visit in August (we've not been in 3 years, as we've been living outside of the US….). Talk about STICKER SHOCK! We generally try to stay in the BFS or what is now PBFS. The BFS room was exorbitant, and the GVS (lowest priced room, I think), was still more in LOW season than the price for that room category when we generally go over Thanksgiving. We certainly have the disposable income to use as we like (kids are independent, no huge debt), but we just can't seem to justify the huge price increase. In addition, reading some of the negative comments here and on TA regarding large groups has also been a bit of a turn off. So while CSA was always a given for us, we're now probably going to spend our $$ on other vacation venues. Unfortunate, as we really loved the resort….Oh well….

  20. #20

    Default

    Our August trip does not include airfare. We always book that separately. Our 2015 price increase is 64.00! for 8 days. Not bad at all.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    117

    Default

    I don't really understand why but 2014 rates presently are higher that 2015 rates. In June of 2013 I booked our May 2014 vacation before a set of price increases hit so I was OK. But I have looked at some more 2014 dates just as a possibility and they are considerably higher. I just hope Couples will put out a notification if they decide to change the 2015 rates because I really do plan to return in 2015 but not if the rates go up to match what 2014 is priced at presently.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    112

    Default

    This is what i have been pointing out for several months- August and Sept for 2014, at CSA, are considerably higher than anything else for 2015- and im sure there is a reason. mike

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default

    I posted this a few weeks ago on the "Price Increase" thread. Couples has a very complex rate structure and after reading a few more threads for 2015 rates, it appears that the more popular resorts, proximity to the beach, and peak times have higher rates in 2015.

    We have been going to couples CSA since 2010, we always leave on December 26th before the rates go up. We have always stayed in the Beachfront or Beachfront Verandah. 2010, 2011 2012 were all around $400 per night. I started reading the message boards it seemed like the best prices were to book as soon as the prices are posted (20 months in advance) and then look for air deals. I remember the prices going up for 2013 and 2014, there was a flurry of message board activity and Couples then giving the 7th night free. With the 7th night, the price per night was a bit higher (430 AND 425).

    For example on booking early:
    12/19-12/25 2014 booked in March 2013 BVS 425
    12/19-12/25 2014 on the web site today BVS 727 OVS 655
    12/19-12/25 2015 on the web site today BVS 529 OVS 435

    Before 2015, Couples increased prices based on the time of the year (peak vs. non peak) Proximity to the beach was also a factor, there was a difference of $100 per night difference from the road to the beach.

    For 2015, Couples has not offered the 7th night free and it seems that Couples has increased the price based on proximity to the beach. A Beachfront Verandah is now $529 per night and the Ocean Verandah is $435 per night. 2014, when I booked I remembered the Ocean Verandah around $40 less per night. We thought a $100 per night increase a bit much so we decided to book the Ocean Verandah for 2015 while we look around.

    The couples pricing structure is very complex and not well publicized so we see posts where some people pay about the same and others have huge increases. We continue to check other places for our holiday tennis vacation but for $400-$450 per night inclusive, even though CSA is a bit dated, CSA is a deal. As the prices increase and plane fares go up, we may change in 2015 or 2016.

  24. #24

    Default

    Seems to be another thread related to this topic as well. We love Couples and CSA specifically and do all we can to make our trips a reality CSA soon come again.

    http://couples.com/mb/showthread.php...Price-Increase

  25. #25

    Default

    We booked our trip through Costco's travel website and it was a few hundred dollars cheaper than all the other websites we looked at. We checked all over the place before finally booking it.

    $4500 for 7 nights, Ocean Verandah, including airfare from Kentucky and Club Mobay on the way home. We are first timers, but it seemed like it was worth it to me! Especially comparing the price to other All-Inclusives like Sandals.

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