Travel Date: 02/25/12 thru 03/03/12, First time to Couples
Let me first start off by saying, I almost cancelled and scheduled another resort. I had such a feeling that I was going to regret our decision to come to CSA, for several reasons. First, I had been following the message boards on the Couples website and ran into some issues with Randymon censoring a lot of peoples posts, including one of my own. He did send me a private email explaining that he didn’t want mention of the private facebook fan pages because he thought they were damaging (these pages were not controlled by Couples, but by the fans who created them). I didn’t think these fan pages were at all damaging, they were created by, maintained by, and contributed to by fans. Sure you always get that one person who can never be pleased and will complain, but I think most people know that and take it with a grain of salt. There were, however recent complaints by repeaters and when this was brought to his attention, he had all the fan pages removed from facebook. This just left a really bad taste in my mouth. I got a strong feeling he was trying to hide something. My 2nd hesitation was the vast amount of repeaters at Couples. It seemed almost like a cult to me. I was worried that since we were first timers, that we would be treated as inferior, both by the guests and the staff (I couldn’t have been MORE wrong about that one). I can say I am so so thankful we decided to stay with our original plans.
Front Desk & Check-In: One of the few complaints you’ll hear from me. These people have absolutely no personality, almost standoffish actually. Not a great 1st impression Couples! I heard many complaints about this during the week from others as well. We had several issues with our keys and had to go back. There’s maybe 2 people working at a time at the most and there always seems to be tons of people there waiting, either to be checked in, or dealing with key issues. One tip: If you have a ground floor room, ask for a patio key. There is a $20 deposit, but at least then you won’t have to go back every day to have your plastic thing rekeyed. Unless of course housekeeping latches the other lock on the patio door after cleaning, this happened several times.
Orientation: Especially if it’s your first time, you should really take the orientation tour. Jodi is wonderful. She’s bubbly and fun and full of information and we met another really great couple we got to see and chat with throughout the week. We found out there’s so much more to do there than you would think. You will be sure to miss out on some fun things if you don’t go simply because you weren’t aware of them.
Rooms: We usually go for Beachfront when we travel, but I am so glad we didn’t this time. The vacation as a whole was a bit of a splurge for us, so we didn’t want to spend the extra money. We met some friends who had a Beachfront and they invited us up to their room/patio to look and have drinks. Their room was smaller and there was a constant stream of people walking in front of their room all day and night. No privacy at all, and they were even on the upper level. We booked Atrium. Our room was in building 26, which was the center of the resort. It was wonderful. The patio was almost as big as our room. I was nervous about the privacy with the lack of glass on the windows. But any “falling in love all over again” noises were drowned out by the sound of the tree frogs. They were SO LOUD! I’m one who has to have a TV on to fall asleep, so given that there’s no TV’s in these rooms, the tree frogs became my “TV” and I LOVED it! My husband even recorded them on his i-phone so I would have them to listen to when we got back home. These rooms are more bungalow/rustic style than a normal hotel, which I thought to be very comfortable and more personal. The mini bar was fully stocked every day. The bathrooms are white tile with white grout and in need of bleaching, but other than that, the room was perfect.
Food: We are not picky eaters. Almost everything we ate was amazing. We were not impressed with Feathers or Lemongrass. Feathers is the upscale restaurant, but the atmosphere is stark white uncomfortable pleather benches, no music and the service was worse than the dress down restaurants. Lemongrass is Thai, which is my all-time favorite food. I did not find it to be at all authentic and we just walked out after 2-1/2 hours and still not given the dessert menu. Patois was the best. The food was amazing, as was the atmosphere and service. The portions are small (normal size), which is not something we’re used to in WI. Here an appetizer is the size of most peoples meals, so the 1st day we made the mistake of only ordering an entrée, nothing else. These meals are designed to be at least 4 courses. So we left hungry, but no worries, we just went right over to Palms and ate again. Seagrapes was our favorite. Fresh and healthy. The best sweet potato chips, and sushi of all things. Not something you’d expect to find in Jamaica, but was fantastic. They also had wonderful cappuccinos.
Beach: Beyond amazing. Clean clear sand and water. We did not want to stoop to the chair reserving game that we’ve heard so much about so we were left without one on the first day. I’m ok with laying in the sand, but I really missed the floaty part, so every day after we went out and reserved our chairs. One day we didn’t get out until 9 and really had to search and pull from the pool area. I think this would only be an issue during busy season. The resort was at full capacity, although never seemed overly crowded.
Rating: I can’t give it a 5 star because of the price. It was too high I thought, although we went at peak season. And, they need to set up some package pricing on their photographs. $20 each is unreasonable and I think if they had package deals, they would sell a lot more. Also, I do not like having to make reservations while on vacation and everything here is by reservation. I could understand reservations needing to be made during slow season when they are unsure if something will fill up, but everything fills up during peak season, so I don’t think it’s necessary.
Conclusion: : I am not one to repeat a vacation. I think there are just too many places to try. Exceptions will be made in this case. I wish the Couples brand had a “family” division as well. We can’t return next year because next year will be a vacation with kids. I can say with certainty that when we return to Jamaica, I will be staying at Couples. It is truly as close to perfection as I have found yet on a vacation!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Immediately upon entering Couples Swept Away, you realize that you have arrived in paradise. Exotic flowers bloom amidst acres of green—on seven miles of the purest white sand beach in Negril, Jamaica. Dotted among the tropical gardens—open-air cafes, small pool enclaves and fresh fruit oases are yours to discover. Never crowded or hurried, the resort offers an intimate tranquility and when desired, total seclusion. All rooms embrace a quiet elegance with island cedar furnishings and pure white linens. Plantation shutters open onto private verandahs with views of gardens and azure sea. Breezy open-air restaurants engage candle-lit lanterns and billowing white curtains to strike a romantic note. While the pristine 10-acre sports complex encompasses every imaginable activity, the superb spa serves as a haven of relaxation. Couples Swept Away simply captures your heart and soothes your soul. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Couples Swept Away Negril
- Couples Swept Away Hotel Negril
- Jamaica Couples Swept Away
- Swept Away Resort
- Negril Couples Swept Away
- Swept Away Negril
- Couples Swept Away Jamaica
- Couples Negril