This was our 3rd trip to CSA in 2 years, and overall we had another great time. It was very relaxing, and mostly everything we expected.
Checkin/Getting there - waited about 20 min in the lounge, had a red stripe and then headed out to the bus. Grabbed a beer, vitamin water, and a sandwich at the bar right outside the doors to the parking lot. Next time I will bring something, it was $16 for three cheap items. Bus ride was uneventful, took about 1.5 hrs, but we met old friends on the bus, so time just flew by. Checkin to the resort was quick and painless and we were off to our room in 20 min.
Room - We stayed in a GHVS for the third time, I would love to try a new room, but we use Skype to talk to the kids at home, so internet access is a must. The room we stayed in had an ethernet jack for us to use, that was REALLY great (note to couples, if you advertise internet in other rooms, I will pay more for it.) The room was fine, it was clean and nice, there were ants in the bathroom if you spilled anything sweet, so we just tried to keep it nice and clean, and really did not have any issues. The minibar guy was great, we told him we wanted lots of water and diet pepsi, he filled the fridge. Very nice touch.
Beach - What else could we ask for, it was perfect. There was a ton more sand there than last year at this time. Grounds and watersports crew do a great job keeping everything looking tip top.
Bars - Again, what else could I ask for, the beach bars are great. Service with a smile and lots of jokes. We mostly used the two beach bars for all our drinks, everything was great.
Food - Ok, so we are spoiled from our last two trips because this was a big disappointment this time. The menu at Patois and Seagrapes never changed. Last year it would change daily, but this year we had 4 straight days with the same menu. We went to Palms once, but it was really not very good either. I ordered jerk pork chops, there was very little meat and tons of fat, so I left half of it on my plate. Cabana was great as usual, but they could change the menu just a bit also, cycle a new sandwich in at least every other day. The menu stayed the same all 7 days. Breakfast at patois was perfect every morning. I love their breakfast, we ate there every day.
Lemongrass - Great food, but if you happen to get there for the 8:45 seating, you better not want to chat with your significant other, once the music starts, you cannot hear anything.
UC/Aura - Only went there for 20 min, it was not our thing, but looked like people were having lots of fun.
Spa - Couples massage was great, my better half loved the gift cert, it really made her trip.
Sports Bar - I need to use a whole section for this. We went in on Sat 12/5 about 8pm to watch the Big12 championship. I was expecting to watch the first quarter and then be kicked out because the bar closes at 9. The bar closed at 9, but the manager said we were welcome to stay and watch the rest of the game. An hour later she came back to check on us, and brought a cooler full of beer with her for everyone. VERY nice touch, I was really impressed. I wanted to mail Randymon directly to let him know how impressed we really were, but I could not find his email address.
We did not participate in many activities, for us, vacation is all about relaxing and doing nothing, so I cannot comment on the watersports crew or entertainment staff.
Overall we were happy with our 3rd trip to CSA, but I think we may branch out next year and try one of the Ocho resorts. CN did not really appeal to us when we went there on trading places, so maybe we will try CTI or CSS.
Nice review IA. I would recommend trying CTI. We have done CSA 3x and tried CTI this October. We LOVED it and will definitely be back. It's totally different than CSA, but WOW! What a fantastic resort. (Note: We also spent a week at CSS 2 years ago, and thought it was really nice, but CTI called out to us almost like CSA did.)
I guess I should clarify a little. The food was not bad, in fact it was very good. It was just repetitiously repetitious. Not sure how anyone could handle 14 days. It was not like this on our past 2 trips.