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  1. #1

    Default How did you choose your resort(s) the first time?

    I always love reading what led folks to choosing one (or more) Couples resorts for their first trip. Of course it's a credit to management and staff from all four resorts that no single one seems to overly dominate.

    But something in particular made you choose one or perhaps two resorts for your first time, the latter being the case for us. So what was it. Why did that particular resort "call out" to you?

    For me and Rosa, it was an interesting evolution of choices, as we ended up choosing CTI and CN for our Jamaica debut. We went with two because, while we fully anticipate a memorable vacation, even if it turns out to be better than anything we could imagine, there still may not be a return trip in the cards for years to come, if at all. As much as we love all our vacations and destinations we visit, we rarely repeat ourselves, mainly because there's so much of this doggone world we have yet to visit. So keeping this in mind and wanting to experience Ocho Rios and Negril, we decided to go for both.

    I said it was an interesting evolution in our choices, as intially we were considering CSS for Ocho and CSA for Negril, altho that point we were still thinking it was going to be one or the other and not splitting our time. Early on Ocho won out because we felt there was more to do there. Negril's huge draw, it's infamous beaches, were a positive, but not as dominant as the activities scene out of Ocho. And so we leaned toward CSS.

    But something kept tapping us on the shoulder, and it was CTI doing the tapping. The $30m refurbishment, the art deco/post moderne architectual homage to the Hollywood of a bygone era, the biggest list of no-cost activities of the four resorts....all kept sticking out for us. I realized what by then I had been reading on the message boards. CTI was calling out to us. And so it became our choice.

    However, Negril remained an itch that Rosa in particular continued to scratch. She kept reminding me that we may only get one shot at Jamaica (hopefully not, but one never knows), so why not go for it and book Negril as well was her line of thinking. We couldn't go for a two full weeks and CTI was already going to be the recipient of one week, so that we could qualify for the $500 credit. Like CTI, CN also kept tapping us on the shoulder. I think what sold us on that vs CSA (because in here it's always been about 50/50), was the fact that several travel sites, starting with TA, all ranked CN ahead of CSA. Right or wrong, that was probably the issue that tipped the scales for us. And so CN became resort #2 for a 4 night stay.

    Now it's your turn, what drew you to that first resort?
    Ron

    Reading is fundamental. It's just that for some, it's more mental than fun.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    777

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    Peggy had always wanted to go to Jamaica because of the "S" commericals..I was looking at that resort when my daughter,who was a TA,said that we needed to go to CSA..I went to the Couples webight and saw CSA,CTI(COR then) and CN.

    I quickly narrowed it down to CSA and CN because of the beach...Then I noticed that CN had a clothing optional beach(it was posted as such back then)...I joined the message board and started asking questions..Several answered back but one member,Cnsmitten(Anita)kept on answering me with personal emails and pictures on CN...So it the clothing optional beach and Cnsmitten's advice that sold us on CN and we are so thankful.Cnsmitten is now using a different ID name name now it I have forgotten how to spell it.Sorry Dear Anita.

  3. #3

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    Excellent question. I was researching destination weddings, both in and out of the states. I had this perfect little church all lined up close to home....and then stumbled across the message board. I kept asking the soon to be hubby what type of wedding did he want...formal, casual, tacky, funny, ????? just WHAT???...and when he said relaxing....pfft bye bye church wedding. I got in contact with a great photographer (can't mention it on the board) and through our chats, I was just assured that CN was the perfect place. We sent invites out...for Thanksgiving week, knowing our families and friends could not attend (but hey, we invited them!!), and had a WONDERFUL wedding and vacation at Couples Negril. We've been back once since, on their anniversary, and twice to CSS. Looks like next year will be CN again. It just gets in your blood, I swear! Of course, there ARE many other places in the world to visit, and we will get there eventually. I guess we just need to do three vacations a year...kids' spring break, grown up vacay at Couples, and some other place.
    Jamie & David
    CN 11/2005 & 10/2008 & 11/2011
    CSS 9/2007, 9/2009, 9/2010, 11/2011, 9/2012, 9/2013
    CTI 9/2013

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    808

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    We had already been to Negril, so it was either CN or CSA for us.

    We chose CSA because of the pictures of the beach and this message board. We are going back to CSA for the 3rd time next month.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    689

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    Excellent post! Our first trip to Couples will be 27 November, we've wanted to try a Couples resort for a few years now but had another favourite spot in Jamaica that we kept returning to. We've been to the Ocho Rios side of the island 6 times and had wanted to try the Negril side for the beautiful beaches we've been reading about.

    Like so many others we were torn between CN and CSA, we like the AN beach idea at CN and had pretty much decided to go there. Since they have the trading places program we took another look at CSA and really preferred the layout with the small villas as opposed to the long block of rooms at CN, so that is where we have booked an BFVS! So we will be able to check out CN while we're there and be able to enjoy the best of both worlds!

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    We had decided early on that we were going to do a destination wedding. I had said that if we were to do a destination wedding, I wanted it to be a tropical local. So we started looking towards the Caribbean, mostly due to short and cheap airline costs.

    I went to a travel agent to see which of the islands might be cheapest and nicest for a beach wedding. I then narrowed my trip down to Jamaica. After that I wasn't sure if I wanted to do the S shoe place or if I wanted to go to Couples. After reading as much as I could about both places, it seemed to me that Couples had been around longer in Jamaica, and I knew that it would be Couples.

    My husband and I started to look at all of the resorts, and he said we should go with CSA. I wasn't completely hooked though. I was trying to keep our entire wedding, as well as paying for our parents trips under $10,000, and I wasn't sure if I could do that at CSA, as nice as it seemed to be.

    We ended up choosing CTI, which was an absolutely wonderful choice because of the fact that they had just finished all of their upgrades, and the staff was phenomenal. We had a fabulous time, and now I can't wait to go and try CSA, our other resort that had been calling to us. =)

  7. #7
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    Jun 2009
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    Ron,

    For us we knew Negril was the destination, it was a place on my bucket list for the beaches, the cliffs, that part was easy for us, BUT deciding between CSA and CN was really difficult. Originally we were set on the S resort in Negril, again I just always wanted to check that resort chain out, but then somehow in my research of Negril Couples came up, and the more I researched the more I liked the idea of Couples versus S. The major thing that clinched Couples was the fact that it did not matter what room category you pick, you had the same perks and amenities, which was not the case at S. There the more you spent the more you got, and I did not like that people would be treated differently based on room category, that they seem to put people in classes according to room category.

    We were going to JA for our 25th anniversary and had two other couples joining us. We all looked at the website, did the 360's went to TA and looked at the reviews and travellers pic's. I was still totally flipping back and forth, one day it was CSA and one day it was CN. Back then CSA did not have a swim up bar, I think that was a major factor for us in picking CN.

    A message board member Rrrrrrr was the one that originated the advice to let the resort pick you. It is the one that you keep going back to even after you think you have made the decision. For us it was CN that kept calling to us, the eclectic rooms, the big pool with the swimup bar, it just seemed more "us" more of what we were looking for. We could not have been more right! We returned the following year. We did a tour of CSA becuase I was dying of curiosity, while I loved CSA, my husband did not. So the choice we made was right for us. I do however want to do a split trip in the future to CSA/CN. Like I said I loved CSA, and my husband can be convinced.

    After 2 trips and now being self proclaimed Couples addict, spending every single day on this message board, CSS started to call to me. My niece had been there before Couples owned it, and had also been to CSA & CN so I trusted her judgment. I got the CSS bug bad, started to work on persuading some of our friends to join us. Tommywommy was the hardest to convince, it took several of us and alot of wine to get him to give his word. He was not sorry! He is joining us again when we return to CSS in 2010. When we were at CSS in 08 CTI was closed so we were unable to tour it. I cannot wait to do a trading places day there, so I can at least say I have been to all 4 and stayed at 2.

    Even as a repeater deciding which resort can be very difficult. This year we could honestly have flipped a coin between CN & CSS we love them both but for completely different reasons.

  8. #8

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    We've only been to CSA; this December will be trip #4. We chose Couples and CSA kinda by accident as my husband wanted to run in the Reggae Marathon and CSA is the host resort. We could have easily chosen another place to stay as there are plenty of options. We continue to go back there each year for the race and a vacation. The first year, we only stayed 4 nights, then 5 nights and now we go for 7 nights. We are doing a vow renewal this year for our 25th anniversary.

    If we ever decide (and can afford) to take two long vacations a year (our other vacations during year are generally long weekends and close to home), I'd like to venture to the Ocho Rios side and check out the other resorts.

    Tammy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,204

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    For us we wanted:

    1. All Adult.
    2. Calm waters with few resorts.
    3. Great sunsets.
    4. Nude beach.

    Good food, great staff and a comfy bed can be found at virtually all the resorts but when you are looking for the best of the best you go to......[
    ATTACH]2470[/ATTACH]
    Last edited by RDYJMJM; November 1st, 2009 at 07:02 AM.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2009
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    What drew us to Jamaica years ago was that cell phones did not work so I could go phone less for a week. This made it a no work vacation. We went to other resorts before we ran across Couples. We were told by others that Couples resorts did not have a class system like the others, had a great staff, and great food. We looked at the Negril resorts and Couples Ocho Rios. This was before CSS was part of Couples. We picked Couples Ocho Rios, now Tower Isle, because it was the most private resort without all the outside vendors on the beach, no jet skies, it had the most tours included, and a private off shore island.

    We have visited CSS, but it is not the same to us, Tower Isle is our home away from home. We have gone to other resort brands after our first trip to Couples and always come back asking ourselves why we did not go back to Couples. The other resort just was not up to par with Couples.
    Irie Mon

  11. #11
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    Jun 2009
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    We are going to CN for our first trip. We chose Negril first of all because of a friend who had been to Jamaica and said the beaches of Negril were beautiful. After looking at CN and CSA and fell in love with the pictures of the rooms and the view from the rooms that were posted on here for CN. I don't think we could have gone wrong either way, but I think the pool and the layout of CN will suit us better. I know we can do a trading places to see CSA while we are there, but I think we will concentrate on just enjoying our vacation exactly where we are. We don't second guess the choice. The more I read on both resorts, I love both and maybe next time we will try CSA, but I love all the pictures of CN and the way the layout allows such a beautiful view of the grounds and the ocean. Couples has done a great job with the photos and I think it is a great tribute that the pictures posted by people who have been there are so similar and it seems like Couples keeps their pictures up to day, something not all resorts or hotels do...some show pictures when the resort was pristine and you get there and know they need to update.

    We are 36 days away from finding what we anticipate to be a PERFECT vacation and can't way to see CN for the first time.

  12. #12
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    Jul 2009
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    We looked at a brochure-that's it.

    Our criteria:

    Jamaican A/I
    + Great beach with access to town
    + No kids
    = Swept Away

    We did no other research back then, and it worked out for the best. We love Couples and return every year, but I've seen a lot of people really overthink and overplan their vacation-down to the most minute details.... which seems to contradict the whole idea of what a VACATION is.

    There was a recent review here from a woman who built her expectations based on this board- and she was very disappointed. I bet if she had just GONE and let herself enjoy what Couples and Jamaica have to offer- she would have loved it there.

  13. #13

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    great thread Ron and Rosa 25...

    CN called us as we wanted a beach experience. So that meant Negril. CN called us over CSA for the quieter beach and the AN (although one of us wouldnt go near it... no matter how many Ziggy's were in front of that person ...lol) oh well maybe next year and as its my turn to choose its already CN for August 2010...

    happy travels all.
    PV

  14. #14

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    Our first trip will be to CSA... we picked CSA after reading reviews and help from the people here. We hope we enjoy it more than S so we can visit all of them!!
    -Otter,


  15. #15
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    Jul 2009
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    wow, I haven't thought about how we chose CSS the first time in a long time! I guess to sum it up, we knew we wanted a couples resort but had to begin to narrow the four to one. The reasons we chose CSS were: how intimate and small it is, how great the rooms are, SSB, and the overall romantic nature of CSS. This doesn't mean we aren't going to try the others but CSS was the one that called to us first.

  16. #16

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    We were led to CSA by our travel agent. We were actually planning a trip to Cancun but the TA said that on her recent trip the beaches had really eroded and the beach was a VERY big deal for us. So, she sent us a quote for CSA. We checked out the resort and as a group we decided to go for it. At that point we hadn't found this board or checked out any of the other properties. But, I think we got it right for us. I like the decor, loved the beach, the restaurants, etc. I'm not traveling to Jamaica to sit at a pool so the beach was the biggest deal. 20 days till we go home again.

  17. #17

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    in 2005 Sue came to me in the middle of her income tax season when taking a quick break and handed me a printout from one of the travel sites. it was a trip to Jamaica. she asked me to make it happen.

    we have been to Swept Away six times now and are booked for our seventh trip next April.

    Randy

  18. #18

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    we wanted to get married on the beach.. was not sure even where to go...we looked into mexico because we have been there lots..then we thought hey lets go some where we havent been before. We looked at all kinds of places for about a month..then we looked into Jamaica and found this couples resort CSA.It sounds so great from all the reviews we read on trip adviser and this message board. so we booked it and have our wedding on dec 04-09...we were going to go to S ...but thought this would be more personal and romantic...

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    240

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    My husband gave me the choice of where to go on vacation. We have previously gone to Hawaii, St. Martin and Antigua (the last two were long airplane flights). I was trying to see if there was a shorter flight (from California) to a place that had what we wanted. Mexico had the swine flu epidemic going on, so that was out (coincidentally, our 16 year old is just recovering from H1N1 - no fun!). Anyway, on a map Jamaica doesn't look so far away (hah!), so I started my search there. I wanted an adult only AI, and really liked the Couples resorts because they offered so much, and it was all about romance and reconnecting. After searching between the four, I decided on CSS. I loved the lush foliage and the look of the resort, and the price was right. And I knew my hubby would love the AN facilities! The reviews on TripAdvisor were mostly positive (the negatives I usually take less seriously). When I told my husband of my choice, he was incredibly happy, as CSS was one of two resorts he was hoping for! For us, it was a very good choice and as everyone says, we can't wait to get back. Now we have decided to try the Negril side and will be doing a few days at CN as well as a week at CSS next July. It's worth the three plane, 13 hour trek! Only 8 months, 23 days, 6 hours, 48 minutes til we leave!

  20. #20

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    We chose Negril because of the beaches, and CN over CSA because the beach was more private and the resort had fewer rooms (less guests to share with!). I also loved the photo in many ads with the view from the pool looking up at the lobby area. So pretty I just fell in love. Our first trip we realized we made the right choice and went back again the next year. The next time we go we'll also probably stay at CN again. Our hearts home!

  21. #21
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    Jul 2009
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    We were looking at "S" & couldn't decide which one, so I did a google search " Best S resort" & one of the results came up couples is better.From there liked the menus at CSA so we went there for our honeymoon. We had such a great time that we HAVE to return so we are going back 49 weeks after we left.

  22. #22
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    Jun 2009
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    Before I met my bf I had been to the Ocho side w/a girlfriend two times. We went for more of the party atmosphere. I had tried to convince my bf to go to Jamaica for a vacay, but he was adamantly against it - he doesn't like the beach, burns easily and doesn't like to swim in the ocean. Well, one day 6 years ago he told me that he had a surprise - he had booked us a trip to Couples Swept Away! He had researched it online and loved the asian feel and the "no kids" orientation. We just fell in love with the Zen like vibe of the place, and surprise, 6 trips later he sits out in the sun on the beach and loves the floaties in the ocean (and he's even gone snorkling with me!!) We do our best to get there once a year - it's our time to rejuvenate and relax.

  23. #23

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    It was a long time ago, back on 88 I won a company trip to Ja and we wanted to extend our stay. I had read a travel article (pre internet) about Tower Isle and just had to try it. We have travelled extensively in the Caribbean, about 30 times and in a little over a month will make our 8th time in Ja. Negril for the 1st time. Just have to see this beach!

  24. #24
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    Jun 2009
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    Great post Ron!!

    Here is our story....We had traveled to MX and Bryan absolutely hated it, he told me that we could go anywhere else, but he had to be able to understand the language LOL.

    Our TA is a wonderful woman and she actually steered us toward Couples, which we had never heard of. Even she hadn't been there, so we were basically her guinea pigs. NOW she sends lots of folks there, based on our reviews.

    Our criteria was no kids, all adult (but not in the freaky sense like the H resorts) all inclusive, lots of excursions, good food, and no class system, like different color wrist bands for different levels of pay. I DID NOT want a huge sprawling resort that I needed a map to find my room, or where I had to walk for 3 miles to find the restaurants.

    Couples fit every thing I wanted and we haven't looked back.

    So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!!
    Kristen

  25. #25
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    Jun 2009
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    Back in 1993, we used a lot of the same criteria that others used... all-inclusive, location, beach, and no kids... and then we promptly got it wrong. We chose the GL joint up the beach, just before Couples broke ground on their Couples Negril facility.

    We met a young couple there who were doing a split between GL and a gleaming new SweptAway, recently built about 2 miles closer to Negril. When we met them at the airport on departure day, they had an absolute glow to them as they gushed about SweptAway. Two years later we returned to Jamaica, and the obvious choice to us was SweptAway.

    We'll be returning for our seventh visit to SweptAway in May.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


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