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  1. #1

    Default couples is no longer couples !

    unfortunately couples has now degenerated into a haven for groups-- who want to eat together-- party together-- and play their sport togther
    gone is the idylic romantic couples hideaway notion
    swept away is not set up to cater for groups so the problems arsise in the restaurants now being expected to cope with groups so the romantic couples vibe has all but dissapeared
    Its the price of progress-- but stop trying to market it as some romantic getaway for couples because its certainly is not
    The dress codes are non existent-- how does a baseball cap with sun glasses perched on top constitute smart casual-- how do bathing shorts in lemon grass constitute smart casual
    but unortunately after 50 plus weeks its time to find somewhere that truely is for romantic couples and not a marketeers fanasty as swept away is portrayed

  2. #2

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    That's a shame, supersaint.

    Thus far, we have been fortunate enough to not let what anyone else does impact our enjoyment too much. Sure, we will give a sideways glance at times, maybe even discuss between us some behavior we would not consider...but never enough to spoil the moment/day/entire stay. We are eagerly awaiting our April arrival...I just LOVE coming up the driveway to CN and getting my first look from the lobby out over the pool. I'm usually rushing to the railing to get my first look as my wife is saying "hey, come back here...we need to check in first."

  3. #3

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    Had an issue with a large group called N-Vaders (appropriate name for sure) descended on SSB (2016) and completely over-ran the place...but I'm treating that as a one off as it remains the one and only time in our 6 visits.

    If it did become the norm I would be very concerned that our love affair with Couples may be over, but once does not make it a problem in my mind.

  4. #4

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    I have to say, we agree 100%. Sadly, it is mainly groups. We stayed 7 nights at CSS and 5 nights at CN this past February. We enjoyed ourselves but the romance is gone for sure.

  5. #5

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    If a group is loud and annoying ok, but people that meet at the pool bar for the first time can be as much if not more annoying than groups we've seen. I don't understand how a group dining together takes away from the chemistry between you and your SO, but to each their own. Shorts and a baseball cap are odd but again I'm not going to base my happiness on how someone else chooses to dress. I would honestly look at someone in a suit in about the same way you're the person with the cap. I'm surprised that person wasn't asked to remove the cap, I forgot to take mine off one day at lunch at CN and was asked to remove it before I even had a chance to take my seat, which I appreciated. I've only been coming to Couples for the last 5 years so I obviously don't have the history that you do so I almost didn't comment but I think at times repeaters feel like they've been coming for so long that they should have a say in how the place is ran and that's simply not how it works in the end. I think Couples is in a tough spot, I mean what would you have them do, tell people that they can't come with friends? We've traveled with groups before and most people at the resort would be very hard pressed to know we were traveling together. Just look at July though, there is what appears to be a very large group of repeaters that come back at the same time every year at CN. Should Couples tell them no? They appear to have met at Couples and are just keep the tradition alive. I haven't been when they come and I'm not saying they are loud or annoying but it is a large group. How would you suggest Couples handles these situations? I'm not trying to be confrontational although I assume it's coming off that way I'm just curious how you would change things.

  6. #6

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    I'm not really sure what Couples can do to prevent this, or if they even should try. We don't go with a large group, but off our recommendation, there are two other couples that we travel with to CSA. We don't get loud and "take over" the resort, however.

  7. #7

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    We found Couples back in 2102 (CSA) for our 30th aniversary. We have been back twice since then (same time of year) and each time the wedding groups have become more pronounced. This year we are coming back for our 35th anniversary but trying CN instead as it sounds they have been able to maintain the "Couples" feel better than CSA. We will report back after this November's trip.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatekeeper View Post
    Had an issue with a large group called N-Vaders (appropriate name for sure) descended on SSB (2016) and completely over-ran the place...but I'm treating that as a one off as it remains the one and only time in our 6 visits.

    If it did become the norm I would be very concerned that our love affair with Couples may be over, but once does not make it a problem in my mind.
    Unfortunately it's not a one off, we had a similar experience at SSB with a large group the used to frequent another hotel. Every day they were loudly claiming that they were there to show us how to party! Fortunately their old hotel is reopening, we certainly hope that they go back.

  9. #9

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    From what I've read, as well as personally witnessed, this isn't entirely unusual at CSA. And why CSA is our least favorite.

  10. #10

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    Luckily for us in 6 trips to csa, we've never had big groups interfere with our vacation. I really don't know what couples is supposed to do, turn away weddings and business? Don't count on it. Sorry it impacted your trip and I will agree with you on the dress codes, they should clamp down but I bet its tough to turn someone away.

  11. #11

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    Hmmmmm, I sense one of those people who goes out of their way to focus on what other people are doing instead of enjoying their own vacation. Unless somebody is loud or smells like a garbage dump I could quite frankly care less what they are wearing. We met up at CN last month with 2 other couples that we had met at CN over the years. Yes we hung out on the beach together, dined together and went to the pool bar together in the afternoons. None of us are loud, rowdy or boisterous. If seeing the 6 of us dining together somehow ruins your romantic vibe then your relationship already has issues.

  12. #12

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    It's not the number.. It's the volume! Just keep it down and all will be O.K.

  13. #13

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    " I think at times repeaters feel like they've been coming for so long that they should have a say in how the place is ran"


    I've seen this reference numerous times over the years & never responded..but just from our point of view..We have 23 trips at CSA since '95, & we do not feel we have a say in anything..we would just like to see the level of romance & class continue that made us fall in love with Swept Away even before Couples had anything to do with it. Do I care if someone wears a hat..or people gather in groups..no..but I do think some level of class & common sense should be maintained. If Couples wants to go "anything goes" then I'll join the crowd as well. Point is..we are definatly not 'entitled" as heavey repeaters or think we have a say in how they operate. although we have spent a whole lotta money there over the years...we just miss the old days & hate to see things change..just my humble opinion.IRIE

  14. #14

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    The group that took over when we were there was from some place called N Resort...very loud, very selfish, group.

  15. #15

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    We have been choosing Couples in recent years because groups have ruined other resorts for us. We loved that every guest was treated the same at Couples. If that changes and group bookings start being the norm at Couples we will need to move on again. I really hope Couples holds that line on this.

  16. #16

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    Sonofthebeach so are you saying that Couples is "anything goes"??? Because if not you're dealing in a false premise and then what's really the point? The point I was making with the quote you used was that feeling that way is justifiable but in the end foolish IMO. Businesses are going to do what they feel they must and we as consumers have only a few ways to voice our opinions. With Couples you have face to face at the repeaters dinner which is wonderful or do your talking with your wallet or complain on here I guess. I deal in customer service every single day of my life and the one thing I've learned is that I can do everything right for a customer and still fail in their eyes. The reasons for that failure can be vast and unpredictable. So again I say what is Couples to do? Should they break up loud groups at the pool bar? Maybe. Should they tell people not to come with their friends? How do you manage that?!? Honestly we've been more annoyed with wedding parties and random groups at times than we have large groups traveling together. Our solution when this happens is to get up and move and not let things bother us, which is the exact opposite way that I would react at home but that's what CN does for me personally. I also agree with Eric that if someones happiness in anyway comes from what others are wearing in a restaurant there are most likely issues. I really do think I understand where you're coming from and I tend to agree on a lot of what you're saying but the tone of the original post lends itself towards someone feeling entitled which is the reason for my sentence that you quoted. IRIE

  17. #17

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    I'm not sure some really understand the situation. Couples is supposed to be for "couples" and in the past has had a very quiet, romantic vibe. Some people complained that it's boring because it wasn't a big party place but that wasn't the way it was designed. That was the way we liked it and what we fell in love with. It's not just a matter of being able to ignore what other people are doing. I'll give you some examples from my personal experience. My typical day at Couples has started with waking up early and looking for a shady spot on the beach to lounge, relax and doze during the day. These large groups take over huge clusters of the beach including multiple palapas (that are often never used) and chairs lined up and blocking any view of the ocean you might have if you're set back in the shade. Then they proceed to drink too much and scream at each other from the ocean to the shore. Some bring radios! There goes my quiet, relaxing day. Okay... so go back to the room for an afternoon nap? Nope. People shouting in the walkways and partying on their balconies. Next, let's try dinner at Patois. Oh, but wait, there's a party of 22 ahead of us waiting for a table so it takes 30 minutes for us even to get seated. Then they are so loud and rowdy that we cannot even hear each other speak. Then another hour for our food to get to us because they had to feed a table of 22 first. See what's happening here? Oh, but there's more. Let's go to the piano bar for some tunes and singing. What? There's a bride and groom here!? Wow! Tell us how you met, tell us how your proposed, sing a song to each other... the entire evening is about them. And I'm not a total b!tch. I'm not saying that a bride and groom don't deserve attention but I don't know them and I'm not here for their wedding reception. I'm here to celebrate something with MY spouse. But we don't matter. Instead, we're crashers at somebody else's wedding. It's awkward and uncomfortable. There are 20 - 30 people in the room and they all know each other and they take over the place! We don't feel welcome or important at all. If you have not experienced this, you are lucky. I really think it's a terrible shame that Couples has chosen to rake in the destination wedding revenue at the expense of their repeater couples. I doubt that many of those guests will be returning to Couples after the wedding so they are one and done. Repeaters build the foundation of your business!

    What can Couples do? Maybe limit the number of guests at a wedding to something more manageable like 10 or 15? Or perhaps designate certain months as wedding months and keep the remainder exclusively for couples? I don't know but if they continue in this direction, we'll need to find a new place to stay.
    Last edited by lvmcgill; March 8th, 2017 at 02:00 PM.

  18. #18

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    Fortunately CSA is large enough that you can escape the group of the week very easily during the day. Kinda sucks when you already have a good spot staked out but at least you have a choice to move.

    To solve the loud dinner issue just limit tables to six people. There is really no need to dine in groups larger than this because the chance of conversation with someone at the other end of the table is pretty much non-existent. Why bother.

  19. #19

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    " I think at times repeaters feel like they've been coming for so long that they should have a say in how the place is ran"

    As a Repeater (26 trips to CSA), I will admit and I believe it to be true, that we should have a say in how the place is run (note the grammatical correction.) Not only us, but everyone who returns to CSA should have a say and they do. It's called the Comments card that you must fill out on departure day. That is where we can all have our say. If you think posting something here is going to do anything more than inspire others to join in an internet foray, you are sadly mistaken. Management reads those comments and takes them seriously. We have spoken with the various GMs over the years and they've all told us that those cards are the heart and soul of their information about how guests view and react to their stay at the four resorts. If you make your feelings known there, instead of here, it will do much more than simply griping about it on the internet.

    On the subject of the large groups...

    We have been annoyed by this a couple of times over the years and learned there isn't much that can be done. Couples must book every room they can in order to stay in business. That's the nature of the resort industry. It would be wonderful if nothing but individual couples booked nights at the resorts, but that's just not going to happen. Couples is a wedding destination and those weddings bring in the large groups and the cash. To exclude them would probably put Couples out of business. The best you can do is ignore the large groups, and, when they get annoyingly loud or offensive, tell someone at the front desk. They will deal with the problem as best they can, but they're not going to throw them out. Everyone comes to Couples for their own reasons. Some come to get drunk, others just to mellow out on the beach. It's a very large beach and quite easy to find a quiet place, away from the drunks. If you can't tolerate others, perhaps Couples is not the place for your vacation.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    On the web, always open

    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by lvmcgill View Post

    What can Couples do? Maybe limit the number of guests at a wedding to something more manageable like 10 or 15? Or perhaps designate certain months as wedding months and keep the remainder exclusively for couples? I don't know but if they continue in this direction, we'll need to find a new place to stay.
    Since people don't register as groups, I'm not sure there is anything Couples can do about this. There is no way from stopping a bunch of couples that know each other from individually booking rooms.

    Maybe try booking your next vacation during a time of year when weddings aren't so prevalent? We always book for December, and in our three trips, we have never run into the scenarios you detailed.

  21. #21

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    Iowahawkeyes..I think you read way to much into my post. No, I am not saying Couples is anything goes, if it was, we'd be going somewhere else. My point was simple..Speaking for ourselves, we love CSA and consider it & treat it like our 2nd home. We miss the days of dress code enforcement as well as the quiet intimacy that we all loved about it. I was being sarcastic when I said I'd join in the anything goes. Sometimes people mistake our love & respect for the property & it's employees as acting like we own the place, not us specifically, but heavey repeaters in general..I've read it numerous times.& that irks me.It's all about respect, nothing more, nothing less .Here's an idea, make one of the hotels who have less business the Couples wedding destination.

  22. #22

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    My point isn't that I want huge groups at Couples or that I want it to turn into a party destination! My point is that the behaviors that have been described here, for the most part, happen even if groups aren't involved. I've seen couples bring speakers and play them way too loud imo, I've seen couples that have never met before take over a portion of the beach or the pool bar and get too drunk and loud and annoying. It really boils down to what is acceptable and allowed by Couples. On our last trip there was one night that Heliconia was closed the whole night for a wedding. I wasn't exactly happy but we had a wonderful meal elsewhere. I've been a part of a group of 10 before, we ate together exactly once and I can tell you nobody waited for a table behind us. They kept seating people and got to us when they could, we understood and enjoyed the wait having drinks and chatting. To lump all the behavioral problems of other guests to groups seems odd when you see the same stuff from non-groups of people. And yes lvmcgill I understand the situation, we go to CN because it's smaller and generally quieter than other resorts we've visited but there will always be bad apples no matter the destination. Just because I don't agree with the way some people voice their dissatisfaction doesn't mean that I'm naive. I could see Couples limiting table sizes and I would agree for the most part but there are always going to be circumstances that we as guests don't know about or need to know about that might dictate a larger seating.

  23. #23

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    When couples book and have friends there I, even in larger numbers.... that's just friends getting together and there is no way Couples could, or really should be doing anything about that. I would hope that any large group of friends would be polite to the other couples there on vacation and act accordingly. My concern is if actually groups begin to book together AS a group. This has led to a much worse vacation experience at some paying guests at other resorts (for people not in those groups). At some other resorts these things began to happen : When the group has a name for their group that identifies them, but also sets them apart from the other guests.... When the group members all wear something to identify them as part of the group so they are not confused with some 'other person' on vacation... when groups begin to bring ugly flags and banners to hang up advertising them and their travel agency... when groups gather together dozens of chairs that are 'saved' for group members (many of which go unused all day)... I have seen groups actually use police tape to 'rope off' "THEIR AREA" on the beach, ... I have seen groups misbehave and break rules with no staff member daring to challenge them for fear of THE GROUP.... I have seen parts of the resort we all paid to use put off limits for the group to have their own private parties and other functions... I have seen groups have what they call a "Take Over" of the pools or other feature at the resort. When resorts begin to rely on group bookings financially, they then have to keep those groups happy or lose them. Once this happens groups become the 500 lb gorillas at resorts that cater to them. Friends getting together and having fun? No problem.. in fact that's what should happen at Couples at times! But when groups become 'special' it becomes a problem. This is my opinion formed from my experiences and your mileage may vary! I will add that I have known many groups who were friendly and easy to share a resort with... but some of them are a nightmare just due to their sheer size! They don't mean to ruin anyone else's vacation and often are unaware of the effect they are having on the vacation experience of the other paying guests.

  24. #24

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    Wow, I've never seen anything like this in 4 trips to CSA! Now I'm gonna be sensitive to it on our trip next month I have seen small groups (6-8 folks, mostly) gather around the bar, usually the swim-up one at CSA, but I've never felt that they were disruptive. If anything I kinda wish I was in on the conversation I've gone with 2 other couples before and we did all sit together for dinner a few times, but those were just the larger tables at the Palms which can easily accommodate 3-4 couples. I'm not sure it is realistic to expect the entire resort to tiptoe around just so some folks can have absolute quiet and stillness. Expectation management is essential! Of course partying can get out of hand and I'd expect the management to discrete handle it. That's why we can't get a full sized Bob Marley anymore :P

  25. #25

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    fawnridge Thanks for the correction I guess? Again tone goes a long way towards how a person is viewed.

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