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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    434

    Default My review of our stay at CN, May 28-June 1 with some comparisons to CSA

    We are recently back from a 4 night stay at CN. I am a huge fan of CSA since it opened as Swept Away but a brief visit to CN in March convinced us to move our May booking to CN and give it a try.

    This resort is intimate yet has all the amenities needed for a perfect vacation. It is clean and lovingly maintained and the staff is warm and gracious, as at the other Couples resorts I have had the pleasure to experience.

    We opted to take TimAir to Negril and upon arrival (less than an hour after we touched down at MBJ) walked across the street to CN. It was raining lightly and that would last for a couple of hours. This visit we had mostly cloudy weather with only random sunshine and most of that on our last day.
    Check in was pleasant and efficient and I went to the Guest Relations desk to book Otaheite which was not available until Sunday night at 8:45. Since that was the only option to dine there over the course of our visit, I booked it.

    Beach is perfectly beautiful and the pool is lovely as well. There was neither lack of chairs nor any chair saving games at either beach or pool which we appreciated. You do have to keep track of your towels and turn in a ticket at check out or present two towels so you are not charged. We never used the pools at CSA but did stop in at the main pool every day at CN, late in the afternoon as we were leaving the beach.

    Rooms are simple but more than adequate and have a Jamaican feel. Wife in each room and flat screen TVs are standard. A/C worked great which we really appreciated since it was very hot. Our terrace was small as expected (as compared to CSA) but we did not use it much as the mosquitoes were really bad this visit. We were in building 4 and really liked the location as it was both quiet and convenient. For the ladies, I would suggest bringing your own conditioner as the Couples provided shampoo/conditioner combo did not work very well – IMO.

    Internet service was very sporadic and down as much as it was up. I have to check in on my business several times a day so this was a hassle for me as I had to take my net book to the business center whenever the connection was down in the room. A big thank you to Omar who came in on the weekend to reboot the server so those of use needing internet access could get it – the whole building was down. The internet was also down when we checked out on Tuesday and one of the front desk staff actually came out to the airport transport van and stopped me as I was getting on to make me go back to the desk and settle “other charges” that were not shown when we checked out – a total of 90 cents! I found that a bit silly.

    Gym is air conditioned and well equipped. There were very few classes and since they were held outside in a sheltered area adjacent to the gym, I am not sure if they were well attended. There was not much of anything offered on the weekend.
    If you a reader, come with plenty of books as the selection in the lending library was sparse. I did donate a few to the cause upon check out.

    Food was good in all of the restaurants we tried. We opted for Lychee the first night and were lucky to wait only 30 minutes as those coming in after us (we arrived about 7:45) had a much longer wait. Food was good and service was excellent. We shared a sushi appetizer and I had the chicken and eggplant in green curry and my husband the lamb which he said was a bit overcooked and tough. He had the crème Brule for dessert and pronounced it very good.

    We visited the martini bar a few times before dinner and it was always very quiet. The first night they were out of olive juice so we were unable to enjoy our traditional before dinner dirty martinis. I found it odd that they did not offer to go to another bar and get some and even asked about it, to be told they were out everywhere. It did seem odd at the time.

    On Saturday we had booked deep tissue massages at the spa for the afternoon. We were a little surprised to be taken to an area outside of the main spa entrance (where you go to make appointments) and did not care for the massage rooms. They were warm and muggy as well as too bright and there was a good deal of noise as well. The service itself was ok but nothing special. We do get regular massages so perhaps are more particular than others but my husband commented that his deep tissue was more of a Swedish massage even though he asked for more pressure throughout the treatment. He said the therapist seemed hesitant to do so.

    After our massage we changed and headed to Rockhouse to see if we could catch a sunset through the clouds. We had drinks and appetizers and enjoyed the ambiance of the resort and the cliffs, a regular stop for us when in Negril. When we returned, there was a buffet in the main restaurant but we are not fans of buffets so we opted again for Lychee and it was good. This time there was no wait.

    On Sunday we enjoyed dinner at Otaheite Restaurant. We were a bit disappointed in that the menu on display was completely different from what was offered that evening and the same menu as on our previous visit. We had really been looking to trying some of the other items. We decided to try a bottle of the new Couples wine, the cabernet, instead of the only red being offered that evening (a Vendage Merlot) and found it to be just ok. We would not order it again. All in all, Otaheite was a good experience but not as fabulous as on our last visit.

    Our last day was our spent on the beach and then we opted to skip the repeaters dinner and head to the cliffs for dinner and sunset. We chose Annie’s at the new Moon Dance Cliffs resorts and had a delightful evening.

    All in all, we found CN to be a very nice resort, elegantly casual and a great spot to enjoy the pleasures of Negril. A special shout out to Sean of Guest Relations, who was both gracious and helpful on several occasions.

    Since I had stayed a half dozen times at CSA over the years (my husband) once, we could not help but make comparisons between the two.
    We both agreed that the pool at CN was delightful and that both resorts have great beaches. I prefer CSA’s beach while he is a fan of Bloody Bay. We both missed the ala carte breakfast option at CSA as well as Seagrapes for lunch; we also felt the buffet options were more extensive at CSA.

    We preferred the ambiance of the martini bar at CSA and also Lemongrass with its lovely outdoor dining area, beautifully lit and very romantic.

    Our terrace at CSA was spacious and we used it all the time, not so on this visit to CN.

    We both preferred the spa at CSA and I really missed the sports complex as well as my afternoon steam. As for nightlife, we stopped in a few times to check things out at CN but never really stayed as it did not appeal. We both commented on the flight home that we missed dancing in the evenings to Exodus at CSA.

    We are very glad we chose to stay at CN this trip but “our” Couples resort is CSA and we’ll be back there next year.

  2. #2

    Default

    Thanks for the well presented and thoughtful review.

    By the way, did you have to pay extra for the "WIFE in each room" or was that included too? Hee Hee
    Happy & Safe Travels!

    =

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    223

    Default

    Rooms are simple but more than adequate and have a Jamaican feel. Wife in each room and flat screen TVs are standard
    If they are providing a wife in each room, we are not going to give CN a try!!! My husband will not be given wife options. LOL Hope you know I am just kidding with you.
    I really enjoyed your review. We always stay at CSA when in Negril and have often wondered about CN. But I have to agree with you-Lemongrass, Ultimate at the piano, dancing in the disco after, snacks at Seagrapes, big verandah for hanging out during the afternoon rain, ala carte breakfast option, beautiful spa with the relaxing pool, are things we really look forward too and I would so miss them knowing they are so close.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    230

    Default Great comparison!

    Caviargal,

    What a great review, and a wonderful evaluation. As someone who has stayed at both resorts, I enjoyed your item by item comparison. Everything you said was right on key. Although, even with the differences, we still prefer CN, and that's where we make our home. It's a very close call, though, the calm waters of Bloody Bay and the small resort making the final decision for us.

    Thank you for the informative review.

    Beergirl

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    785

    Default

    Thanks for posting a balanced review.

    Do you know the department in which Omar normally works?
    Quote Originally Posted by caviargal View Post
    A big thank you to Omar who came in on the weekend to reboot the server ...
    There is a bartender named Omar (tall, thin, young) and a waiter, normally in Otaheite (not as tall, nor as thin, but young), but it would seem odd that either would manage their server.

    By "martini bar" I assume you are referring to what CN labels the "Piano Bar". In picturing Marlon/Lindon/Ashena making dirty martinis there, I believe they normally have a regular sized jar of olives there and that bar is usually staffed by more experienced bartenders (who would know what is stocked at each bar and where); however on occasion mistakes are made.
    Once we ordered martinis at the BeachGrill bar and the young bartender apologized that he was out of olives. We pointed to the huge (larger than one gallon) jar of olives directly behind him. He sheepishly laughed and got a few olives for us. (In his defense he had just been called over to that bar to help with a large influx.)

    Side note and a tease to use the edit function....
    Quote Originally Posted by caviargal View Post
    Wife in each room and ....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    434

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedBlueWater View Post

    By the way, did you have to pay extra for the "WIFE in each room" or was that included too? Hee Hee
    Oops - guess I was not paying close enough attention to my spell checker!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    434

    Default

    rudi, the Omar in my review is the IT guy not the bartender. He was very gracious to come in and rescue those of who really needed to stay connected.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    776

    Default

    Hi Caviargal,

    Thank you for your review, it was very fair and balanced. I have always wondered if someone would really spend a lot of time on the terrace, we do not spend a lot of time in our room at CN, but the terraces at CSA look wonderful.

    I really, really, really have to get my husband to try CSA, maybe next year for his birthday.

    Thanks again,

    Blondie

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,036

    Default

    Great review. Thanks for the comparison and all that info.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Nightlife at CN?

    My husband and I are about to set off on our 1st trip to Jamaica and we'll be staying at CN... the only thing we couldn't get a good sense of is the nightlife scene? Is it commonly lights out early or are the bars, musical areas etc. active later in the evenings?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Wonderful review! We will be trying CN in October.

    We stayed at CTI in April and enjoyed ourselves, and tried not to make too hard a comparison to CSA due to the fact it's in Ocho. I think we would definitely return to CTI.

    But, our first "Couples Love" is CSA, so we are anxious to see how we think CN stacks up in our eyes.

    tamajamma

  12. #12

    Default

    An outstanding review -- thank you!! My husband and I have been trying to decide between CN and CSA and your review helped tip the balance in favor of CSA.

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