Couples Negril Jamaica Resort Review
(Saskatoon, Sk Canada)
Resort Review of Couples Negril, Westmorland, Jamaica
Time at the resort: 22 January 2011 to 29 January 2011
On arrival in the Montigo Bay airport we were greeted at the Couples’ lounge by friendly staff. We were offered a cold beer and they very capably took us into their care. We were checked off their booking list and settled into wait for the shuttle bus to the resort.
We only had to wait about 45 minutes (two beer) and then were escorted out to the waiting shuttle. The airport red caps took care of our luggage and loaded it into the minibus. Please remember that a small gratuity is expected for all non- Couples staff in Jamaica.
Couples Negril is situated on Bloody Bay and it is a 90 minute ride from the airport
. The other option is to fly directly from Montigo Bay to Negril. The cost for the Island hopper is $75 USD per person and next time is the way we will go. The Negril airport is right across the street from the Resort but the noise at the resort was minimal during our stay and would not be a factor in future bookings.
When we arrived at Couples’ Negril (CN), we were greeted by smiling staff and what we would soon recognize as the official greeting of “Welcome Home,” a cool facecloth for our faces and hands as well as a chilled glass of sparkling wine. On we found out very quickly that at Couples’ the staff comes to you and not the other way around. We were seated while the staff checked us in and gave us our keys and quickly and efficiently we were escorted to our room.
On the resort there are two types of view. Beach and Garden. Predominantly the Garden view rooms and suites are located on the north part of the resort and are close to the water sports facility and the beach views are located on the Southern portion close to the Au Natural (AN) beach.
Both the suites and rooms are beautifully appointed with a King sized bed as well as a mini fridge. The big difference between the two are that the suites have a palatial bathroom with two sinks, a rain head shower as well as a Jacuzzi tub. The rooms are pretty standard hotel fair with full tub/ shower. All rooms are easy walking distance to all facilities.
Honestly, we spent so little time in our room except to sleep that I would recommend getting a room and using the extra savings on staying an extra day at this resort!
There are Five areas to eat at the resort, the food is plentiful, tasty and available 23.5 hrs a day.
The Cassava Terrace- is the main restaurant that alternates between buffet style service and A La Carte at night. Lunch and Breakfast are offered as a buffet style only.
The beach grill (Heliconia) - This is for those who want that beach front experience. The grill is open until 5:30 AM so there is little chance that you can go hungry at Couples. For supper, the Heliconia opens for table service right at beach side.
Lychee Restaurant is open for supper only and offers a great menu of Asian fusion type ala carte service. This was by far our preferred dining experience.
Otahite Restaurant- This is the only restaurant that has a more strict dress code and requires you to make a reservation at least two days in advance. All in all this was the only disappointment as far as dining experiences go. We felt rushed and the food was not up to par with the way it was billed. We certainly would not re-book this one.
The primary bar is connected to the Beach grill it stays open for most of the day.
Couples Negril swim up bar: This facility is where you go to see and be scene by the other vacationers. There is a wet and dry side to this bar and is a very social experience not to be missed.
The Circular bar: This bar is located at the Cassava open air Restaurant and is open for Mimosa’s with breakfast and then late into the evening.
AN Bar: As stated this is in the AN area and does not provide “Red Flag” service or at least I never saw anyone using it. It opens at 10 AM and closes at 5 PM.
The all inclusive nature of CN goes on into the area of water sports and recreation, most activities are free with some small exceptions.
Free and fantastic (highly recommended)
Glass Bottom boat cruise:
Those that I spoke to had a great time and saw lots of sea life.
If you already have your “C” ticket (PADI, ACUC, CMAS are all accepted) then you can go for two all inclusive dives a day plus a fee for a night dive.
If you have not dived in 18 months, you must do a 2 hour refresher in the pool for $50 USD charged to your room.
All standard gear including Regulator, Air, BC, Fins, Mask are included free of charge but there is a charge of $10 a day for a wet suit or $30 for the week. If you are going below 10 Meters it is recommended that you get one.
Intro Dive package including a first dive is free for those who are not qualified.
If you do the Intro package then all successive dives must be guided and will cost $50 a dive (limit to one dive a day).
You can sign out all the gear you wish for snorkeling around the resort and/ or do a night dive for a small fee.
You can also sign out Sunfish Sail boats, small Hobicats, waterskiing. I think there is a fee attached to the last one but am unsure as we did not do this activity.
The Couples Negril beach is fantastic! There are plenty of lounge chairs along the property and they provide “flag service” for beverages. All you have to do is put your flag up and one of the staff will come to you and refresh your drink of choice.
The Couples Negril Au Natural beach is just that. If you are going to enjoy the sun in this area you are nude. There are no bottoms or tops permitted by the resort in this area and this rule is strictly enforced by the staff. There is a bar that is open from 10 AM to 5 PM. The bartender takes a half hour for lunch between 1 and 1:30 PM but all the beverages and mix are left out for patrons to self serve.
There is plenty of shade as well as two hammocks built for two on the AN area for those who wish to remain on the beach but are feeling the direct Jamaican sun. Every one we met on this beach was friendly with discreetness and privacy if you wanted it or as social as you wanted as well. By the end of our week on the AN beach we knew most people by name and had a gang of about 4 couples that would put our chairs in a group and spend the day chatting, drinking and basking in the beautiful sunshine.
The area up to the high tide mark is public access. There are few gawkers that walk along the beach and look up into the AN area but they are harmless. They will avert their eyes if you just wave at them.
For the most part, people simply stand up and walk into the water with out putting anything on. For some it is as simple as putting the cushion from your beach chair over your shoulder for the short stroll into the water. And for a scant few they do put on their bottoms to go swimming although the reason for this simply eludes me.
Pools and Hot tubs:
There are three regular hot tubs. Two attached to the main pool and one by the Water Sports area. As well there is an AN hot tub. All three are open 24 hrs a day.
Please, please, Please only bring plastic close to the hot tubs as they will be closed for days if there is any glass breakage. We brought plastic wine glasses with us to ensure the continued safety and enjoyment of the facility.
There are two pools at CN. The main pool right in front of the main building with an infinity ledge that spills down to the swim up bar. The Couples swim up bar is open from 10 AM to 7 PM and believe me that is plenty of time if that is where you are planning to spend your day. The second pool is by the Water Sports buildings and is used for Dive classes during the day but is open at night for the general population.
Off Resort excursions:
There are plenty of off site stuff to do like going for shopping in Down Town Negril as well as trips to Margaritaville and Ricks Café. Most of these trips cost between $15 - $20 USD. There are also half day trips to go zip lining in the Jungle canopy and rafting.
The beauty of the Couples Negril All Inclusive is that you can do as much or as little as you wish. Our choice was to do one activity a day and leave the rest of the day for relaxation.
In closing I highly recommend the Couples line of Resorts for an all exclusive vacation in a very romantic setting. Please remember that children under the age of 18 are not permitted on the property at any time.
The only down side was that I would have liked to see a formal occasion so that if you wanted to get all dolled up in formal attire (black Tie) for a night of cocktails and dancing with your partner there was a venue for it.
Wonderful, detailed all inclusive resort review Grant - I'm sure our readers will find it very useful!