Amazing vacation but not without some service issues.
(St. Augustine, Florida)
Nov 22, 2021
This was our first time to Couples Swept Away, although we have been to Jamaica several times before. My wife and I were there for a week (Nov. 14-21) to celebrate our 30th anniversary (which fell on the Tuesday that we were there).
Couples Resorts have their own station in the airport to greet arrivals with a cold red stripe and a ride to your resort. The drive took about an hour and a half and the driver made lively comments along the way which made the drive more tolerable.
On the bus ride back, there was a tv screen playing a reggae concert, which again, made the drive much more tolerable.
Check in was simple and easy and the staff members were all extremely courteous. We had booked a Garden Verandah Suite and were assigned to a 2nd floor room. I asked about a 1st floor and was told that we could switch the following day (which we did).
We stayed in 4108, which is in the last building next to the Patois Restaurant/Piano Bar/Disco/Feathers. It was a perfect location and we will request this room on our next trip. The rooms itself wasn't by any means 5 star and showed some aging in the bathroom. My wife was sad to see that the room did not have a bathtub. But overall, it had everything we needed. Mini-bar was stocked when asked and we received coffee each morning with pastries.
Breakfast: The breakfast buffet at the Palms was OK and the only eggs available were cooked to order at the omelet station. We only ate there on our first and last day. We went to Patois for breakfast one day but we did not care for the service we received (more on that later). A note to the early risers (like us). Be sure to get coffee delivered to your room early as you cannot find it in the restaurants until after 7am.
We ate lunch every day at the Cabana Grill. Their menu was plentiful enough to have a variety of food throughout the week. The Jerk Chicken was amazing!!
The Palms restaurant has a nice menu with Lobster being served on Saturdays. The Pasta and salad bars are amazing.
Lemongrass had amazing Thai food and the service was excellent.
Feathers had a nice menu and again the service was amazing. The seafood bisque was "lick the bowl" good.
Patois Patio restaurant for dinner was our worst experience. We went there on the night of the Silent Disco and arrived around 7:00pm. There was a wait but figured we would hang at the bar while we waited. After an hour, I finally went back up to find out where we were at in line as was told that we could be seated then. Apparently, they skipped us. When we were seated, we were greeted immediately with ice water and our server said she would be right back to take our order. After 20 minutes and noticing that the couple next to us, who were just seated, were placing their order with our server, I figured we were next in line. Nope! She walked over and started bussing a table. We finally ordered and by the time we completed our meal it was after 10pm. No silent disco for us. I understand that servers get slammed, but this was ridiculous. My advice is to make your reservations to Feathers or Lemongrass on nights where there are activities that you do not want to miss and avoid Patios Patio all together.
We spent most of our days at the beach and in the most amazing clear waters we have experienced in Jamaica. The vendors are a bit more aggressive than we would have expected, but they did not bother us all too much.
We spent time at the swim up bar, when we could find seats. My only critique is that it is small.
The bar service was fantastic. Shoutouts to Jodian and Jeffett at the Pool Bar, George and Dwight at the Piano/Disco Bar. They were so friendly and were always smiling (even though I didn't actually see their smiles under their covid mask, you could tell). One bartender at the pool bar was not so friendly one day. I asked if he was smiling and he replied "No, I am not going to smile if there is nothing to smile about. I hate my job". Wow! I will not leave his name because over the next few days, he redeemed himself. Maybe just a bad day.
We absolutely loved the Piano Bar. Princess Tamara was amazing and has such a beautiful voice. It was nice that they offer up some karaoke there too so I was able to belt out a few tunes. We loved it!!!!
The Palms had nightly entertainment but we missed most of it, although the sax player on our first night was incredible.
The snorkeling trip was awesome and the crew were extremely friendly.
The catamaran cruise was a blast. Definitely be sure to swim the cave and go down the slide. Also, drink the rum punch but be careful of the shots. Yikes!!
We had an amazing time here. The service at the Patois Restaurant both time we ate there was our worst experience. We would have liked to see the Palms offer a full dinner buffet to prevent the long waits for dinner. We would also liked to see breakfast start a bit earlier (and coffee available earlier as well).
As I mentioned before, my wife and I celebrated our 30th there. I would have liked the resort to try and make it special for her in some way, but it was never acknowledged even though I made it a point to tell them. For our 25th we stayed at another resort in Jamaica and they had a special event for all honeymooners and those on their anniversary. They also surprised us with a small cake in our room one night. It would have been nice to be recognized. Perhaps things are scaled back due to covid restrictions.
All said, I loved our trip and will be going back next year with our friends who recommended it to us in the first place. Note to Couples: get the service issues worked out at Patios Patio.
Nov 22, 2021
We got home last night from an amazing week! The resort and beach were absolutely amazing. A few things for those with questions going into their trips.
Covid Protocols: You are required to wear masks entering and exiting all indoor restaurants. You also are required to sanitize your hands entering. Once seated you can remove your mask. All buffet lines require sanitizing hands and mask wearing, then they have you place a glove on to grab your food. Each morning at breakfast the restaurant hostess will take your temperature. You also have to wear a mask to board the catamaran cruise. The staff were all wearing masks at all times. The departure Covid test is scheduled for you when you check in and is done the day before you leave. It’s done over by the sports complex. The results were emailed to us within a few hours.
Staffing: Yes here and there they were short staffed, we maybe had to wait a bit for some meals, and occasionally someone didn’t seem thrilled about their job (don’t we all have those days). Overall, the staff was amazing. They were upbeat, in good spirits and did everything to make our stay a good one. I wouldn’t let anything you have heard on staffing deter you from going! We looked at it as oh well if we have to wait a little, why rush through vacation.
The beach, food, staff were amazing. The included activities were awesome. We did the catamaran cruise, glass bottom boat and snorkeling. I would recommend all 3 to anyone who goes. The steel drum band on Wednesday and the Silent Disco on Friday were my two favorite evening activities.
Huge shout out to some of our favorites. Damari (I think his official title was entertainment coordinator) was absolutely amazing. By day 2 he already had all our names down. He made sure to stop by, say hi and make sure our stay was perfect whenever he saw us. David (bartender) was also awesome. Anna was our server for our private beach dinner, she was absolutely amazing. She chatted with us about her daughter who is finally getting to do school in person, I couldn’t help but tear up while talking with her. Joshshia was our sever at Feathers, her personality shined. We were so happy with her service! Jeffet was a bartender at the swim up bar, another person with amazing service who recognized us after meeting just one time.
I will recommend this resort to every single person who is looking into a Jamaica vacation! We will definitely come back.
Nov 22, 2021
First off if you are booking a Great House Veranda suit be prepared for steep stars, these are up 3 flight of stairs. The buffets are good plenty of food but speciality night are a little lacking, lobster night you thought you would get a whole lobster, no only a small half. The bars are very good. Beach has lots of chairs and room. There are many vendors walking up and down the beach and they do sell everything. There is a small police presents on the beach. The bars do not use top shelf liquor unless asked, I do not know if they charge extra they do for the mini bar in the room. Be sure to have the mini bar card out the first night ours was not stocked when we got there. They do have pillow toppers for they bed if you have back issues do ask at check in to have one put on the bed.
Wonderful intro to Negril
(Leamington Spa, United Kingdom)
Nov 21, 2021
Just arrived back home ???? after a wonderful week at CSA.
For context, we travel often and have visited all inclusives in Antigua, Cuba and the Dominican Republic previously.
- the beach is out of this world, definitely the best we’ve experienced in the Caribbean.
- food quality was excellent, certainly a step above other Caribbean AI resorts
- a fantastic array of water sports, excursions, craft classes and fitness all included in the price, we made the most of these!
- for the most part 95% of staff were so friendly, chatty and genuinely interested in whether we were having a good time. The other 5% were a little disinterested and moody, but in the UK I’d expect the ratio to be more like 50/50 ??
Things that could be better:
- the palms and the main reception building are showing their age, nothing that a fresh coat of paint wouldn’t fix though
- slow service for us consistently at Patois Patio which was a real shame as it’s a lovely setting and we appreciated the waiter service there.
- road noise was unrelenting and it did disturb our sleep. We were based in a garden verandah room, so I expect this is only an issue for rooms adjacent to the road.
The beach vendors were a nuisance, but much more polite than the vendors you will encounter in Europe and the Middle East!
Overall we had a fantastic holiday and the resort was excellent value for money. No issues with the recent reports of theft for us, just thought I’d post about our experience to help anyone planning their first trip.
Watch for tip offs
Nov 20, 2021
Great place to holiday. Sometimes service breakfast a bit poor Went out last night to ivan, great place but beware cost $80 for 4 for taxi. Organised by hotel. Should be free one way and $15 the other .
Having a good time. Bar staff on beach very good