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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    34

    Default booking soon, but still torn between CTI and CSS

    everyone's been so helpful, but DH and I are still torn between CTI and CSS. I love that both have a smaller beach and picturesque clifs. I love the option of going to Dunn's River (i've been in the past, DH has not).

    from what i understand, CSS property is larger--which would be great, i love to walk (not necessarily walk on beach, just walk, period). I'm also drawn to the room service option for CSS--having coffee delivered in the morning or some wine in the evening would be awesome.

    but I heard CTI has spin classes at the gym--which i also love. plus it has been remodeled, which is a plus for DH.

    we love good food, aren't usually too concerned with nightly entertainment (we are the opposite of our parents, our usual travel buddies but not for this trip). we look forward to some activities, but also to sitting and reading/relaxing.

    i'd love any thoughts on these two. eventually we'll try the Negril side, but for now, in the interest of staying within budget, we are limited to Ocho Rios.

    thank you in advance! i can't believe i will be at Couples in about 6 weeks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312

    Default

    Hi pinkcloud-
    If $$$ is a concern (and isn't it always!), how 'bout doing the Secret Rendevous. The rate is fantastic and more than likely you'd end up at CTI or CSS anyway. You might even be able to swing an extra night with the savings
    CTI - Nov 06, Mar 11, Feb 12
    CSS - Sep 07, Sep 11, Sep 13
    CNG - Sep 08, Feb 09, Sep 09, Nov 10, Sep 12
    CSA - Jun 13

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,950

    Default

    At CTI, Spin classes can be hit or miss depending on if they have someone at the resort during the time you visit. They did have someone there while we were there the first week of July. However they have the Power Walk. Alford does a Power Walk up the mountain, off the resort on M.W.F. It is not always promoted, but he meets you in the lobby at 8:00 am. It takes about an hour give or take and is totally worth the time. I actually "skipped" a spin class to do this walk.

    For food, I think CTI has more options. You can get coffee delivered to your room in the morning and as for a glass of wine in the evening, well there are two options. One is just to take a few glasses with you from the bar in the evening OR purchase bottle of wine at the duty free on your way to Couples, pick a couple of glasses from the bar and there you go--your wine on the balcony in the evening.


    Here are some photos from the walk and the spin room.
    Attached Images Attached Images        
    Vicky

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    257

    Default

    I don't think you can go wrong no matter which you choose, but I guess my first thought is: Do you really want to base your vacation on an exercise class? I know that's not fair, and I do applaud you for thinking about your fitness regime (and I'll applaud you even more if you follow through with it while there).

    More seriously, though, you will find (and likely have found) strong opinions both ways, but in the end it's about you and your taste. We've haven't really been tempted by CTI, but we have friends who vastly prefer it to CSS. We love the size and layout of CSS. If you want to be social, you can find people (but never crowds) in a few central areas, but you can also find places where you'll feel as if you're in your own private paradise.

    The fitness facilities look good (I know this not from experience but from peering somewhat guiltily down from the balcony at people who were working out and/or taking classes), and there's a great view of the sea from the gym. The spa is absolutely amazing, and the food is fantastic (particularly Casanova, which is hands down our favorite).

    If you do opt for CTI, you might want to verify about breakfast service. I was under the impression that limited breakfast service is available via room service. But if you go to CSS, please don't feel limited to beverages. One thing we really loved was going back to the room to clean up for the evening and ordering a "snack" to enjoy on the balcony (cheese and fruit, chips and guac, steak, lamb chops).

    I think the main reason we keep going back to CSS instead of trying CTI is because CSS really doesn't feel like a hotel. The pictures really don't do justice to the size of the place. With a little exploring, you find nooks and crannies that take your breath away. With CTI, while I'm sure it retains the same amazing Couples service and provides a great vacation , I just can't get over the fact that you could pick up the building and plunk it in South Beach without it seeming out of place.

  5. #5

    Default

    How long are you going for? Have you considered a split? That's what we're doing so that we can check both out and experience what each has to offer. We're going for 2 weeks, so we're doing a week at each. The two resorts are so close to each other that the transfer will be quick and easy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    34

    Default thanks!

    thank you, guys, helpful as usual!

    I'd love to do the Secret special thing, but haven't seen them for Sept yet! Plus, when i did the math on Aug ones, for longer than 3 days, with additional airfare, it was about the same as booking it normally.

    I'm not so crazy that i'd use a fitness class to chose a resort! it was just one of the benefits i saw. but now that i know about the power walks--i'm almost sold on CSS!

    thank you again! i really am just so excited to visit these amazing places to see for myself!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    CTI all the way, and we have been to CSS twice. CTI has just been voted the best Spa in the carribean - enough said.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    19

    Default css vs cti

    ok. here is the nitty gritty.

    choose css.
    it has a fine fitness center that overlooks the ocean. the grounds are top notch. the hillside walkways are very well kept-up and down staircases with lush vegetation, perfect for the exercise guru.....and, you can become creative and make a 'loop' out of it if you like.
    room service is on time. you can choose to have peace and quiet, or mix it up with others, whatever you like. the point is, you have space.
    we were there two weeks ago. my friends did cti last year. they are at css this time and love it........

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    772

    Default

    We have been to both and really much preferred CTI. The staff, the look, the rooms, THE VIEW, the food, everything. I also totally agree with Vicky -- the power walk is NOT to be missed. While we were there, there were no spin classes, but they DID have a fabulous yoga instructor.

    DH's only issue was there was absolutely NOWHERE to run on the CTI property. And I mean NOWHERE. CSS has a really nice path and you can get about a mile loop if you're willing to run/walk stairs. (Great workout.)

    Also, (and I know I'm in the minority here) but I vastly preferred CSS's Sunset beach to CTI's Tower Island. I really really hated standing out at the edge of the pier waiting for the boat to come and pick me up. (Yeah, it's my head-trash.)

    We can and do base our vacations on fitness classes (which is why CSA is our absolute favorite -- spinning, lap pool, racquetball courts, running on the beach, etc.) but with all that being said: you really can't go wrong with EITHER resort.

    I know this advice has been offered before, but look at the pictures and see which one really calls out to you. One of them will. Go there. And don't look back.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    34

    Default thank you!

    again, thank you so much for the inputs! the place to run is a deal breaker--DH is training for a marathon, so CSS it is for us!

  11. #11

    Default

    When we were at CTI I went for a run every morning up in the hills across the street from CTI. I was never bothered by anyone except for a few barking dogs and there was very little traffic. We will be staying at CSS for the first time in feb 11 and I plan to run off the resort at that time.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    51

    Default

    We stayed at CTI before it was remodeled and didn't really care for it as much as the other resorts. But in all fairness, we stayed 3 nights at CTI and 4 nights at CSS in July this year. We wanted to give CTI another chance since the remodel. Needless to say, we probably won't be going back to CTI again. We absolutely love CSS (2nd time there) and will spend our next trips between CSS and CN.

    CSS is so peaceful and romantic compared to CTI (and we even had a dinner on the beach at CTI). I just love the nooks and crannies at CSS - we still found things we hadn't seen the time before. I have hip problems (having a hip replacement in October) and the stairs didn't bother me that much at CSS. And I rode one of the complimentary bicycles around the track while my hubby played tennis. It was wonderful.

    We'd order a bottle of champagne and snacks every evening and sit on our balcony and watch the ocean - so peaceful! I loved the room service - the only full meal you can't get room service is breakfast, but you can have a great continental breakfast, work out and then go eat a full breakfast.

    I can go on and on - I absolutely love it there. I'm ready to book again!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    772

    Default

    @pinkcloud -
    Don't know how far his long run will be that week (which marathon BTW? I'm doing Chicago this year. woot woot!) but he may very well get dizzy trying to do a LONG run at CSS. We had a loop -- around the tennis courts, in front of the beachfront suites, up the stairs, past the spa, up more stairs, past the Hibiscus cottage, down the hills to the tennis courts and around again. That got us about a mile. We would do 3 - 5 miles every morning, and let me tell you, by the 5th loop, the staff serving breakfast (we would run right past them on the sidewalk) was really laughing at us. LOL. Tell him to get in his long run before you leave, and then he can get in a few maintenance laps while you are there.

    Enjoy CSS! It's lovely.
    V

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Vee,

    he's training for the Marine Corp. I'm not a fan of running, but, if he wants to try--i told him to knock himself out! he can run in a circle.
    We are going for a week, so he'll need to do at least one long run while there. I think it'll be hillarious to watch him make 9-10 loops. Oh, wait, I won't be watching--i'll be doing something fun!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    496

    Default

    We booked CTI for 2 weeks this past January and it was ok. On our 8th day, we did the trading places day to CSS and it was unbelievable. We walked through the lobby, looked down at the beautiful ocean, pool and cliffs and I literally felt my shoulders drop about 2 inches. We had been on vacation for 8 days and it was at this point that I finally felt relaxed. We were with another couple and she fell in love with it too. Within 10 minutes of arrival, after a quick walk around part of the property, we were in the lobby begging to be moved! Couples is fantastic about things like this and we were in our new suites at CSS the next morning.
    We are currently booking our next vacation and it will likely include CSS!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    772

    Default

    @pink - I have done MCM twice!! It's absolutely the BEST race I have ever run. Have him feel free to PM me if he needs any tips/advice. He can get me at veronica at leadershipsimplified dot com. Honestly, it changed my life for the better!!! and now, I'm totally hooked. One per year for me. I decided to do Chicago this year, since it's on 10/10/10 (also my birthday!!) Next year, tho, I may be back in DC.

    Oh, and tell him not to get dizzy.

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