Well, we are heading back to Jamaica for our third trip. We went to CSA last year and two years before that. Before that we had traveled to St. Martin, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Antiqua (the nicest of them). We decided to try something different, this time. We have enjoyed out time at CSA and LOVE the beach and realize that we just might be dissapointed with that. But we are figuring that the secluded cove that the resort sits on will be a nice change of pace. Although I know we will miss our daily walks to the left and to the right. We have always thought that we would never visit the same place twice, but we loved CSA and felt it to be the kind of get away from winter that we were looking for. And the price was so easy compared to all the other all inclusive resorts on other islands, we went twice. And we did the trading places at Negril and learned that it was not exactly what we wanted for something different. For us it was the great beach without the openess (and in reality it was pretty busy, to us) and in our walking we did not like the big resorts to either side and did NOT like the litter on the undeveloped shoreline. So knowing that the beaches were different on the Ocho side we went with Sans Souci and we are looking forward to it and have a loooooong way to go, Jan 30. We made reservations for the penthouse suites. Are there any suggestions for a first time visitor who wants to explore all that is available at the resort? We will be doing the trading places with CTI so that we can see the other Ocho resort. I guess we just would like some info to make our looking forward to our far away trip even more to look forward to. We were able to take advantage of the $500 resort credit and combined with our third time repeaters perks we will be able to have a vacation utilizing spa services and the gift shop to the max. (thank you, Couples!) Seemed like a great chance to be able to check out a different part of the island and the sites to see. Any recommendations would be welcomed. Also, as a newbie to the resort, any recommendation to where we should dine would be welcomed. We loved the dining options at CSA. But look forward to checking out what looks to be a place that offers quite a bit of recent history by staying in a resort from the heyday of Jamaica as it was. And we are so pleased that Jamaica remains such a welcoming place. Well, I guess I was just writing to say we are so pleased to be able to have the definative knowledge that we will indeed be back at Couples this winter! We have done the other standard all inclusives and Couples is just above and beyond those. For the money we find it to be just what a winter get away should be. So since Negril seems to be the overwhelming postings on this site we would really appreciate any and all input about our "home" January 2010. Thanks!
jcjcnj - we too are CSA fans but this year we tried CSS. Despite poor weather (we were there the first 2 weeks of February - normally a great time to go, but not this year!) we had a wonderful time. We couldnt walk the beach as we usually do each morning at CSA but we could walk round the pond, watching all the wildlife (look out for the turtles!)and then continue up the cliff, along the little walkways and flights of steps past the grotto and mineral pool. It was so beautiful! The Gala on Friday is not to be missed: very good food, entertainment and company. We liked to eat at Palazzina - the waiters are so friendly. If you eat at Casanova ask for an outside table, the inside lacks ambiance IMHO. We liked the small size of CSS, very soon we felt we knew everyone and the staff were very quick to recognise us and remember our likes.
We would happily go back, but CSA is still our favourite, we love the atriums, the beach and Lemongrass. Have fun!
Thank you, Dawn. Those are the kind of tips we are looking for. It seems that the Gala is something not to miss. Although we are not really getting away to sit at a big table with others, I think we will give it a go. We are looking forward to spending time at a new resort with different spaces and different rooms and happy to know that we can expect to have an equally as good experience for dining and beverages. We are looking forward to half the amount of people, although it was never crowded at CSA. While we really like the island feel to the rooms we are looking forward to what looks like a classic resort. I will miss the grand Palms with its towering roof but it looks like the restaurants at CSS will offer nice surroundings. We walked and walked at CSA and will miss that and happy to hear about the paths by the ponds. We are in a penthouse suite so I assume we will get our walking in one way or another. We will miss 7 Mile beach and looking at CSA's beach in the distance as we headed back to our spot. But I never really met a beach I didn't like. Grab me a chair on the sand, by the water, with a bit of shade and I am ready for a day of relaxing. And I have not spent time at a pool in forever so that won't be so bad either. We have a week at the Jersey shore in August to look forward to first, with kids and extended family and we spend our Sunday mornings at Sandy Hook and we can spend those mornings looking forward to our time away. We will be going for our 31st anniversary, which is not until May, but who needs to escape then. Jan. seems to work best for us. We go the week between playoffs and the super bowl and it is enough time to catch our breath following the holiday season and time enough to have had enough of winter. People seem to roll their eyes when we say we booked another trip to Jamaica. But they have never been. We have found it to be a great place, with great people that is reasonable enough for us to go away each year. And everything is good! Guess it will be a long six months!
jcjcnj - 6 months will fly by! In Feb 2010 we will be in Grenada. It will be Feb 2011 when we next go to CSA. We go to Jamaica in alternate years and try different islands/countries in other years. None so far can beat Jamaica - we just have to keep going back. We too take our main homiday in the winter - we live in England, about 30 miles south of London, and Janaury and February are cold and grey so its wonderful to get away then to the warm Caribbean sun. Enjoy your 31st anniversary - we're a little ahead of you, its our 41st next week! I can hardly believe how the years have flown! I know you will love CSS, its not CSA, but it has its own charm.
I think you'll enjoy CSS. It's true that the beach isn't as expansive, but it is very private, and the grounds, in my opinion, make up for that. Also remember that if you take the plunge and shed your clothes, there's another private beach that's a bit bigger and very lovely (and though it can tend sometimes to get a little busy by the pool area, you can very easily meander down the beach, and you would have almost complete privacy in which to disrobe and sunbathe, etc.). If you have any inkling to go A/N, I'd do it early in your vacation. If it's not for you, then no harm, no foul.
You mentioned that you booked the penthouse suite. I particularly like the penthouse suites at the end of D block. The view is amazing, and the balcony is very private, although if you walk to the sides you can basically see the entire resort. It's also a location that's central to basically anything in the resort.
Be sure not to miss Charlie (the sea turtle) and Crackers (the misogynistic parrot) and all the other hidden nooks and crannies of the resort. I'd also suggest the Dunn's River tour at least once (go on a day when there is no cruise ship in town and when you're finished, scoot out the entrance to avoid the craft "village").
Congrats on taking the plunge to try something different. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. (We haven't yet taken the plunge on a different Couples resort. We were planning to do a split this year, but we just couldn't pass up the credits, and we can't take more than about 7 days off.)
Been to CSS a couple times and will be heading back April 2010 for our anniversary. You'll get plenty of walking in...and stair climbing too! The Casanova restaurant (Italian) requires reservations but is well worth going to. You can catch dinner at the Beach Grill also and sit right by the ocean. Tuesday night is the Beach Party. There's a buffet right on the beach with some awesome entertainment by local groups/staff. The Gala, on Friday, is not to be missed (both food and entertainment)! We've found there's nothing like a relaxing swing in a hammock later in the evening (hint: there's 2 right below the Balloon Bar) while listening to tree frogs and music. I'm sure you'll enjoy exploring all that CSS has to offer.
We had stayed at CSA 3 times before deciding to try CSS this past January. We loved CSS very much. It is the same fantastic service, but with wonderful differences. We loved CSS so much, in fact, that we had a heck of a time deciding where we would go next year.
We loved the Starlight Gala at CSS - it is even more impressive than the Friday beach party at CSA. The all day room service at CSS is a nice extra. We stayed in a beachfront jacuzzi suite, and thought the CSS rooms are a bit of an upgrade from CSA (we have stayed in the BFVS). I'm sure the Penthouse will be even nicer. Bob loved the jogging trail at CSS around the pond. I didn't mind the beach being in a private cove - it was nice not having to deal with the vendors. And dinner at Casanova on the terrace knocks the socks off of dinner at Feathers on sheer ambience alone. And the couples massage in the hut overlooking the ocean is simply a one-of-a-kind experience at CSS.
But, we are going back to CSA next year. I just could not resist the pull of the beachfront rooms which, truly, are right on the beach. And watching the sunset from our verandah. Bob also missed the CSA sports complex. Although I'm sure we will be back to CSS. And I really won't miss the steps at CSS.
The pull of the beach. I do not mind the thought of thinking that we would love to go back to CSA after visiting CSS. I am hoping to enjoy the resort for all the differences that we will be able to enjoy. Sounds like you did. We will see what we will do when we get to head back to Jamaica following this trip. We'll do the Trading Places to check out CTI and then we will see what we want to do. We realized that we liked CSA, after a second trip and the chance to visit CN this way. So who knows. Couples makes it very hard NOT to go back. There are so many places to escape the winter, but so many are so prohibitive cost wise and value wise that with Couples it seems that it is what it is with a great value for the money you spend to get to the beach when the weather is cold, the days are long and it seems like it will never end. I love the change of seasons. But it is so nice when you walk into the island air. And to be able to settle into such a well run, comfortable place where there is a general calm, and yet an undercurrent of good times. We found our two trips to be worry free. Enjoyable, relaxing and delicious. Never had a bite from an insect, unlike the last few disgruntled reviews of ta. Nothing bad to report on two great trips. It is all good once you get off the bus. Thanks for the replies. I have appreciated you thoughts. I wish you happy travels. Jeanne