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  1. #1

    Default Please HELP!! CSS vs CN

    Hello all. We are coming to Jamaica for the first time in May 2018 for our honeymoon. I have read about 1000 reviews and still need help. I have narrowed it down to staying at a couples resort to start with. I then narrowed it down between CSS and CN. I know the beach is nicer at CN and it seems that most people prefer the resort at CSS better. We have never done a AN beach, but we both want to give it a try(maybe). We visit the Florida Panhandle quite a bit and are accustom to that style beach. I am reserved to go to CSS due to the beach and type of sand. We enjoy laying on the beach and by the pool most of the day. We also like to play pool games and such. We enjoy good entertainment at night, but aren't big partiers. I want to go off the resort and just look around also. Her not so much. She fears its dangerous and such. Is one city better for that than the other? I also would like to go play golf a time or 2. Any suggestions on which city has the better of the 2 courses?

    I am just having a hard time deciding between total privacy/nice resort/ ok beach vs nice beach/ricks/beach walking.

    Any input would be of great help. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    If you are wanting to try A/N they CSS is the best for first timers, IMHO. It has the best A/N facilities of all the Couples resorts.

  3. #3

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    We have not been to CN. We have been to CSA twice and CSS three times. The beaches and water on the Negril side are incredible. You really can't swim at CSS. I have heard that CN is the most lively of the four. CSS is very quiet day and night, unless you go AN and hit sunset beach. Neither of us golf, so can't help there. As far as going off resort, you can book excursions or book a driver on either side of the island. On the Negril side, you should do the One Love Tour. Ricks is just a tourist trap in my opinion. At CN you can take the Cat trip and see it. Ocho side, go to Blue Hole and Scotchies. The free trip is to Dunns River Falls (touristy, but should be done once). On either side, be cautious on your own.

    You really can't go wrong either way. To me, the deciding factor would be how important the beach and ocean are to you. We do prefer CSS, because of the vibe and seclusion.

  4. #4

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    For an stuff I think css would be better but for beach,activities and beach walking I think cn is the better choice. Although we are csa fans, if it's between cn and css, I choose Negril 10 out of 10 times and twice on Sunday.
    Btw in our experience it's not dangerous, nightlife would be better in Negril but you'd have to take a taxi. Can't answer your golf question.

  5. #5

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    if AN is of any interest to you nothing beats CSS. it is simply the best AN couples experience you will find. as for the rest of the resort we originally picked CSS because it was smaller. we like that it had less rooms so it would be more intimate. the resort itself is rather spread out so that matched with the fewer guests really allows you space to relax. the pool is the most social place the be with the beaches being really quiet. however the CSS beaches just cannot compete with the CN beach. if you prefer the ocean to the pool and AN is no really a concern for you then maybe CN would be the better option. personally we are pool people so the rocks in the water means nothing at all to us. also CSS has beautiful scenery. everywhere you walk on the resort you will see something to make you stop and stare

  6. #6

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    First of all concratulations, Couples is the best choise!
    We've been several times to both resorts (CSS and CN). From what you wrote I would recommend CSS.
    CSS has its own private AN beach with a private pool. CN has only a small AN section on the main beach close to the family-resort next door. The evening entertainment is almost the same at CSS and CN. Neither Ocho Rios nor Negril are 'Cities' they are small villages. Ocho Rios is a little more developed and touristic and has some shops (especially for the cruise ships). We always felt safe in both villages.
    I played both golfcourse 'Negril Hills' from CN and 'Sandels golf course' from CSS. Both courses are nothing fancy, but the Sandels course in a better shape.
    I hope that helped.
    We love both resorts and will split our stay next March between CN and CSS.

  7. #7

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    The beach is nice at CSS, not nearly the size of CN and you cannot walk very far BUT how much beach do you need? It was never crowded. Walking the grounds at CSS is very beautiful and you can spread out more at CSS.

    CSS seemed more romantic to us, the beachfront suites were fantastic. CN has more of a party vibe with the 1 large pool at the center of the resort.

    I think the food is better at CN but just by a little. We really enjoyed the privacy of the beach at CSS and CTI, it used to be obnoxious sometimes at CN/CSA with the jet ski guys constantly "psst, hey buddy"...

  8. #8

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    I think the golf course for CSS and CTI is the Sandals golf course AKA Upton Golf & CC. This course is much better than Negril Hills.

  9. #9

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    Ask 10 people, you'll get 10 different answers. We've done CSS twice, #14 at CN next week. Both great, but you know our preference.

    There haven't been jet ski guys in Negril for a few years now (banned after a tragic accident). There are vendors on the CN beach, but they don't strike me as being aggressive at all. I do find the weather on the west coast to be a bit more reliable than Ocho Rios. I like the CN beach the most. Oh, and the CN beach has Donnavon Dalrymple (the one and only)...both times at CSS (and once at CSA) I told my wife "I miss Donnavon" (ok, so I guess that's not the most romantic thing I could have said to her ).

  10. #10

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    You've already gotten a lot of good responses, and Bert's "Ask 10 people, you'll get 10 different answers" really is the truth. Still, I'll give you my perspective. We've been to CSA 6 times and CSS once. For me, the key difference was the beach. I'm from California, not Florida, but we nonetheless already have some really nice beaches near where we live. But that Negril beach is an entirely different experience. While we typically go with all kinds of ambitious plans, our all time favorite thing to do is to grab one of the chair floats and head out into the water, especially in the hour or so before sunset. The powder soft sand and crystal clear, warm water seals the deal for us.

    We also enjoyed CSS a lot, and if AN is a primary focus, I agree that CSS is probably your best bet. But aside from that, we just did not enjoy the "rough" (relatively speaking) sand at CSS. We may also have gotten unlucky on our one trip there, but the water was nowhere near as clear, and there was a lot of "beach grass" to contend with. Having nice beaches near our house, we just aren't drawn to travel back to Jamaica for the CSS beach -- but we'd go back to CSA twice a year, if we could manage it.

    (As between CSA and CN, we prefer CSA, but from a beach, sand, and water experience both CSA and CN will be amazing; we just prefer the vibe and layout of CSA better, though we admittedly have only spent a couple of days at CN, so it's likely not a fair comparison.)

    Finally, you did not mention this as a possibility, but have you considered a split stay? Couples will provide you with free transportation between the resorts if you want to experience both. For a first timer, I would probably not consider a split unless you'll be there at least 8 nights (I wouldn't want less than 4 at any resort, and wouldn't want to spend a large chunk of a day transferring if I had a week or less). But if you have the time, you might consider it. That's what got us to CSS the one time, and we're really glad we did it. The drive from Ocho Rios to Negril takes around 3 1/2 hours, but it felt much shorter to us, because (1) we got to see a lot of the island along the way, and (2) we had a great driver who told us all about his life on the Island and some of his favorite places to spend time. We had breakfast at CSS, left around 11:00am, and were at CSA in time to have a late lunch at Sea Grapes Cafe.

    The last thing I will say after spending years on this message board, is that it seems that most people are loyal to whichever Couples resort they visited first. They are all fabulous, but it seems most people find "home" to be the place they went first. So rest assured, you cannot go wrong in this decision, and will likely come back to the boards after the trip defending whichever resort you chose as the best in the world.

  11. #11

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    CN is the shortest ride from airport. CN typically has a younger, more active crowd, but this is based on who we meet in the lounge at the airport. Those in their 20's are usually are going to CN or CSA. However, that turned out not to be the case when we were there as it was a very very subdued crowd. We split with CTI that trip and CTI was completely out of control. You get a catamaran cruise at CN. I think there is one more restaurant to choose from, but would say the food between the two resorts is comparable. CN is easy to get around as its all one level. You mentioned the beach - big additional comment is that the beach is open, including the AN beach, to vendors and the resort next door. But the water and beach are amazing. The spa was so so. The grounds are nice, tropical, but don't compare to CSS. The rooms are the worst of the three resorts we've been to, unless you get a suite.

    CSS is about a half hour longer ride from the airport. Its been chill every time we've gone, also an older crowd. The grounds are stunning - surprises everywhere, beauty everywhere. Its more difficult to get around, but you'll need the exercise after all you eat. The water is beautiful to look at, but swimming was a challenge for us as the main beach is shallow water with sea grass. The beach sand itself was fine. They will truck some in from time to time. The AN area is waaaayyyy better than CN as its much more private, but again the water is more shallow, and the AN water has rocks you have to cross over before you get to sandy bottom. But neither the main or AN beach has outsiders or vendors constantly harassing you. So its more peaceful. The standard rooms at CSS are much nicer than the standard rooms at CN and the suites are comparable. You will have an ocean view in most of the rooms at CSS (especially the beachfront A&B blocks), whereas, neither of the rooms we stayed in (block 6 and 8) at CN could you see the ocean.
    CSS is overall more intimate than CN, has more to explore and better rooms, at the expense of a longer ride and worse swimming area.

  12. #12

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    Hi bradleyoung84,

    Glad to hear that you're planning to become part of the "Couples family".

    CSS and CN are our personal favorites (which you'll find that everyone has their own). This is because these 2 resorts have some similarities. There is a central area (main beach and pool) with everything accessible to that area (dining, beaches, pools, bars, beach grill etc.) and living areas going out from that central area. Both also offer the AN option that is secluded and can be easily walked to. By the way, while we're on the subject, if you want to give it (the AN beach) a try...do it on the first day. Many a person has waited to the last day only to regret not having done it earlier. Yes, the beach is nicer (softer, white sand and awesome sunsets) at CN but the sunsets at CSS are nice also.

    If you're thinking of walking off the resort there's not a lot near CSS. You can go for a walk down the beach from CN and find some local folks making craft items (wood, beads, etc.). Jamaica is not dangerous. The people are very friendly and show the same respect they're shown. In fact, the people are the real treasure you'll find during your visit. They will offer you things off the resort and a simple "no" is all it takes to turn down the offer.

    Can't help you on the golf (haven't taken up that hobby/sport) but think you'll find the entertainment at both CSS and CN comparable. The one thing you'll find at CSS that you won't find at CN is a lot of stairs (not a problem if you're in fair shape). The resort is build into a cliff so there is some walking and stair climbing to get from the beach to the lobby level (they do have an elevator by the mineral pool also).

    Choosing the Couples Resort to visit can be a challenge. This is because each one has something special that makes it attractive. The one plus is that there is no such thing as a bad Couples Resort. They're all awesome in their own way. The fun part is finding the one that's just right for you.

    Have fun and enjoy your stay at whichever one you choose!

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