15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
more than wonderful
"We stayed at Couples Negril June 19th-25th. The resort was absolutely wonderful. It more than met my expectations. The resort itself is quite nice and the rooms while standard, offered more than enough space.
Everyone is correct when then say don't pay for the upgrade, the trees block your view from pretty much any point on the resort. The best thing about the beach is the "red flag" service. Just stand your flag up and someone will be along to take your order. We found that different from some of the other all inclusives. You can take the floats in the water also. We didn't spend much time up at the pool. We did play pool volleyball everyday and it seemed to be well kept. We were there when the resort was full and the pool didn't have many empty seats. The food was good. Nothing over the top. We ate at the fine dining restaurant once. Don't go hungry because it takes about two hours to complete the meal. Nadalyn works the beach grill and despite the long lines and hot temperatures she always greets you with a smile.
I suggest eating lunch there. Save your appetite for dinner and dessert. The nightly entertainment was decent, but nothing to write home about. I will say that the beach party was fantastic. The entertainment staff of six work very hard at keeping all involved. They go above and beyond. I would suggest getting to know them and having a meal with them. They are a ton of fun and will go out of their way for you! Tanya, Rohan, Felicia, Sheldon, Bradley and Paul are the people to get to know! For all those that have been to an all inclusive...they take their "no tipping" policy to the extreme. If they are caught accepting a tip, they will be fired. If you are going to tip do it very discretely. All in all we had a great experience and would definitely go back and do it all over again. Sign up for all water activities early and if you can't get on the list, sign up for stand by...ususally works. Take the catamaran cruise and jump off the cliff at the Pickled Parrot. If you plan on playing golf, count on it costing about 40-50 dollars without renting the cart. If you've never been to Rick's Cafe, go! Enjoy and relax. You won't go wrong."
- Travel date: Sat 28th of June 2003
Trying to breathe in paradise....
"Just back from Couples Negril and have some interesting observations among some very good memories. This was our first visit to an all-inclusive, and our first visit to Jamaica. I'll try to address some issues raised on this board and some not yet mentioned. First, the road from Mo'Bay is fine. Drivers are crazy, but road is smooth & paved. A nice way to see some of the country that a 15 min. flight may miss.
When we arrived at 9am (after all-night red eye flight) we saw the sign that said "Check In - 4pm". We were lucky to get a room that happened to be ready when we arrived, but other folks were not - especially when they were fully booked. Something to keep in mind. Rooms were nice, simple & comfy, but nothing to write home about. The only water pressure issue is trying to shower at 5pm when everybody else is - it can get a bit low, but not a problem any other time. Have to mention this for any non-smokers planning to visit C.N. - get set !! Sadly, our trip was really hampered by the fact that at any given time, it appeared that 75%+ of all guests were chain smoking. This meant having smoke blown in your face at all of the bars, the pools, the beaches, etc. At one point, it looked as if EVERY person at the swim-up bar was smoking away. It kept us from visiting the bars (x3) numerous times.
The only time "non-smoking" was offerred was at the terrace dining room. When we asked for the "non-smoking" section however, we were pushed to the back of the room to watch the smokers enjoy their cigarettes in the nice, open breeze of the best seats in the place. It really wore on us by the end of our trip. In addition, the resort (at one point) was innondated by 20-something, NASCAR fan-types (yes, all smoking away) with the classic quote at one of the bars was, "You 'aint got no Budweiser?" Nope, I'm not kidding. Perfect. Pay several thousand dollars to vacation in a beautiful foreign country only to long for a can of Budweiser while choking down a Marlboro and blowing it in everyone elses faces. And believe it or not, he wasn't the one wearing the Budweiser swim trunks (no, I'm not kidding either). Sigh.... Safe to say we won't be back until the smoking / non-smoking issues are ironed out. They simply need to have smoking & non smoking bars & pool area, etc. On a good note, the grounds were top-notch, food was excellent at every meal, beach was incredible and the service was excellent (spotty at times, but nothing worth mentioning). Don't miss out on snorkelling and don't waste your time with the "Marga-ripoff-ville" excursion. Maybe Jimmy Buffet can write a song about going to his place to pay $5.80 (US) for ONE Corona beer and $7 (US) for ONE slurpee-type "margarita". $40 later - we were ready to head back to the hotel. Don't miss the sunset catamaran cruise !! A real highlight not to be missed."
- Travel date: Fri 27th of June 2003
"Just got back from Couples Negril 2 days ago and I am ready to go back again. The ride from Montego Bay was not as bad as some people said.
The new road is nice, but they drive pretty crazy. Check in went smoothly, we were greeted with cold towels and champagne as promised.
We arrived before check in (3:00 by the way) but they took us to the beach grill so we could eat and have a drink. We went to the front desk and our rooms were ready at 3:00. The rooms looked just like the pictures in the brochure. If you have long or thick hair I suggest you take your own hair dryer, the ones provided took forever. The water pressure was not very good so showering took a little longer. Book your excursions as soon as possible, we had a little trouble getting in on some of the trips but we waited at the watersports desk and there were some no-shows for snorkeling so we took their spots. We rented jetskis twice and that was a blast, but you have to bargain on the price since they dont belong to the resort. I really enjoyed the red flag service on the beach, you got your drinks delivered pretty quick. (the purple rain and caribbean sky were my favorites) The food was above average (better than sandals resorts) and plentiful. The Otahite restaurant was pretty good but it took 2 hours for the meal. They bring a miniscule appetizer, 30 minutes later you get a microscopic salad, 30 minutes later you get your entree. The entree is an average portion and you will not leave hungry. The staff at the resort were all very friendly especially the Entertainment Directors. The nightly entertainment is OK, but everyone pretty much dies by 10:00. The beach party on Monday nights was a lot of fun, they had crazy beach games and a fire dancer.
The resort property was really nice and well kept with lots of shade trees. Our room was really shaded and it took a day or two for swimsuits and t shirts to dry on our balcony so take planty with you.
The resort does not have alarm clocks in the rooms so you may want to pack one. I have been to Sandals Montego Bay before and I would definitely choose Couples Negril over them. Couples is a nicer resort and Negril is much nicer than Montego Bay. Excellent vacation !!!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 26th of June 2003
"We were at Couples Neril from June 16-20. Overall the vacation was wonderful, but I will fill you in on the details. I had been to Couples Ocho Rios previously so I knew what to expect of the airport in Jamaica and the bus rides. The bus ride took 1 1/2 hours and was not bad. They do drive really close to each other (and to people) beeping their horns constantly. It was raining when we arrived to the airport, but it had stopped by the time we arrived at the resort. Once we arrived at the resort, we had our only really bad experience. We had read about the champagne and cool towel greeting (which is what I received at Ocho Rios), but this is not really what we received. We arrived with a bus of other people and we all waited for quite some time for them to get our rooms ready. We arrived at lunch time and we were hot, hungry, and a little tired. They were getting our paperwork ready for the rooms and should have shown us where to get something to eat and drink instead of having us wait forever, but they didn't. I finally went up and asked where we could get a drink and so they went and got us a glass of champagne-never a cool towel. Now to defend them, I talked to numerous other people who received a wonderful welcome like you read about-we must have just come at a bad time. Also, pack your swimming suits in your carry-on. We didn't receive our luggage to our rooms until almost 3 hours after check-in and this was with us calling them. Once again, several people said they walked them to their rooms with their luggage.
Other than that, everything was wonderful. The rooms were fine with neat sliding doors. They look just like the pictures. The only problem we had was that the water pressure would get so low that the water would not come out of the shower head. This was a tad aggravating, but we lived. Also, pack your own hairdryer. The one in the room has very little power and very little heat. The A/C was great and the bed was comfy!! We did the beginners dive which was great!! Roderick makes you feel so comfortable and not scared at all!! The catamaran sunset cruise to the Pickled Parrot was neat-my husband and I both did the jump. Be sure and try the Hobi cats-they were really fun. The food was wonderful and plentiful. The drinks were great and had plenty of alcohol. You rarely wait for drinks and if you do it is only a very short time. We don't know about the red flag service on the beach because we never really layed around on the beach. The beach was definitely beautiful-much nicer than Ocho Rios. We were just doing too much to lay out. We went to the beach numerous times at different times of the day to swim, etc. and there were always floats available. We also took the bus to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritiville one night. You stay for 2 hours and that is really fun. Be sure and take plenty of money if you want to eat or drink. The cheapest drinks were 5.95 each. They were delicious though! Also, the fancy resteraunt is a must. We reserved a table that would hold 3 couples so we knew we would be sitting with strangers. We were hesitant about that at first, but we were so glad we did. We met two really nice couples and had the best time at dinner. We all agreed that we would have been bored to death sitting by ourselves. Overall, we had a really nice time and would go back. Feel free to email me if you have any questions, I had plenty before I went and emailed someone else."
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of June 2003
Had a Great Time at Couples Negril
"We were at Couples Negril from May 23-May29, 2003 and we had a great time. Couples Negril is between the Riu Resort and Superclubs Grand Lido Negril in Bloody Bay. This was our first trip to an all-inclusive resort and our first trip to the Caribbean. We love the beaches in NC, but the water and the people in Jamaica were wondeful! We typically take vacations that are north of NC and colder. There were many honeymooners there and some people who were just on vacation (as we were.) We used TripAdvisor reviews to plan several things such as shuttle vs. flights, room type, activities, etc. Even with the paved road, we found the trip from Montego Bay to Negril really bad. We were bumped from Raleigh to Miami so we got to Jamaica too late for a small plane flight (AirLink, Tim Air, and others go to Negril) to Negril. We were in a small van and the driver sped through the night, in the rain, with much oncoming traffic with their highbeams on and it still took just under 2 hours. The check-in process was just as some people had described on this site - pleasant with cool towels and champaigne. After 15 hours of travel, we needed this relaxation. We were escorted to our room, which we found fine. We were in Block #7, 2nd floor, with an ocean view but the grounds are so beautiful that any room would have been fine. There are no rooms facing the parking lot or the road behind the resort - they all face "in" if you look at the map on their site. The gardens are lush and the ponds are a nice view. We witnessed several weddings at the gazebo from our balcony. Our room was always made-up nicely with fresh towels and the A/C and fan worked fine. We did not dash to the beach early but never had any trouble getting a beach chair or a new float to relax on. The water is beautiful! There were not beach towels in our room and we had to go "sign-up" for some on the beach. You can exchange them anytime for fresh towels but sometimes, before lunch, the booth was not staffed (it's on the beach - not i we wouldn't have to go back to our room. We were not bothered by beach vendors at all during our stay. The "red flag" service is nice, but we didn't need a flag as every day, we got drink service multiple times, right in our beach chairs, before we went to the grill for lunch. My husband said the drinks were very good with plenty of alcohol in them. The nice restaurant, Othaeite, was a good meal, but a little stuffy for us on a beach/relax vacation. We had packed nice clothes for that evening dinner, but dress was everything from pants and sleevless tops for women to nice dinner dresses and a wide variety for the men. I did WAY overpack since I wore my bathing suit (take two in case you swim later and one is wet) with a coverup most of the day. We thought the pool was fun and never too crowded. The water activities staff were extremely nice and helpful. We took a kayak out on the bay and took a Hobie cat in the middle of one afternoon when it was not crowded when everyone seemed to be sleeping off their morning drinking. We did not participate in the Catamaran cruise but it was very popular. You can buy a ride on a jetski or para-sail, but we didn't. We simply watched people who were doing this. We wanted to walk off some of the food we had been eating, but the beach is not as long as 7-mile beach in the bay next door. Still, we took several walks around the grounds to build up an appetite for a late dinner. There was very little rain which added to our ability to spend as much time out in the water and beach as possible. We found the tennis courts always available for use and not crowded. There is a newstand with snacks and sunglasses and suntan lotion if you forget anything like that. There are two shops up near the check-in for some small souveniers so we picked-up a few things there. We paid with Jamaican dollars but they accept US Dollars at the resort and at the airport. The evening entertainment was good, but mostly we watched some beach activities, or sat in a hammock together or listened to thsome couples being bumped on Saturday night to the Riu Resort next door when our resort was overbooked. We did not hear any complaints on this...but it would have been frustrating for us. We were asked if we planned to come back to Couples Negril and we said, while we enjoyed it very much, we have other places to explore as well."
- Travel date: Mon 16th of June 2003
5 days and counting!!!
"With 5 days to go before we return to Couples Negril my husband and I cannot wait! We were there June 2002 for our honeymoon and immediately booked our next trip for this year. We cannot wait. Both of us have been to several all inclusives around the Carribean but Couples Negril takes the cake and then some. The staff is amazing! The weather could not have been better! The accomodations are first class as is the food at each of the 3 restaurants. I remember last year sitting in the swings on the 2nd level balconies telling my husband if there is ever anything in this world I would want it would be to go to Couples Negril every year. So here we go again....5 days and counting!"
- Travel date: Mon 16th of June 2003
Nightmare before honeymoon
"I was planning on going to Couples Negril for my honeymoon. I scheduled everything, payed for everything and was waiting for my tickets. 2 weeks before I was scheduled to leave for my honeymoon. I received a call that the resort overbooked and needed to move me to another resort (Ocho Rios)as well as 100 other couples. My Fiance and I were excited about Couple Negril and heard some questionable things about Ocho Rios. We had to cancel our honeymoon and still trying to find a place to go after the wedding. This is just a word of warning. If you pay ahead....make sure they send you the tickets ASAP or you might be in my shoes."
- Travel date: Fri 13th of June 2003
"We spent the first 6 nights of our honeymoon at Swept Away and the second 6 at Couples Negril. We were very disappointed with CN, especially when compared with Swept Away. The staff was not nearly as friendly as the staff at Swept Away. The service was also lacking - we had to dig out our own silverware at the grill because no staff was available (during lunch). We also had to dig out condiments, napkins, and wipe down our table. At the main dining hall, it was almost always faster to get up and go to the bar to get your drinks or get your own coffee rather than wait for the wait staff to do it for you. Most times at dinner, once your water or wine glass went dry, it remained so. Also, we arrived at dinner a couple of times around 8 (dinner starts being served at 7:30) and were told we would have to wait 15 - 30 minutes to be seated both in the main dining hall and the grill. The main dining hall had tables open, but they had not been bussed. There were also many flies around the food and bar areas (whereas neither of us recall seeing any at Swept Away). One case in which service was good was in the fine dining restaurant, Ole Taheite. That was our one good experience while dining at Couples Negril. The food was very good (barring my pineapple and peppercorn dessert) and service was excellent. The rooms were smaller than at SA and in poorer condition (although the staff told us that Negril is 5 years old while SA was 15). Our bathroom had a lot of mildew and mold on the floors and tiles in the shower. The water pressure in the evenings was also so low that the shower wouldn't stay on. The window in the shower has no screen on it, so if you leave it open to vent out steam, bugs come in. The same is true of the glass doors to the balcony. The balcony is quite small as well (much much smaller than that at Swept Away). The bed was very uncomfortable and we awoke with back and neck pain every morning. On at least one day, after leaving our room at 7:30 and returning at noon, our room still had not been mad uncaring when notified of a problem. In one instance, a toilet near the beach (right next to the watersports/scuba aread) had been backed up. A water sports staff member, went in and flushed the toilet, then walked away immediately. The toilet began to overflow. When we told a different water sports staff member of the problem, he shrugged and went back to what he was doing. A second instance occurred in our room. On the 2nd night there, the room air conditioner suddenly started dumping a large amount of water onto the floor. We called the front desk, but to our knowledge no one was ever sent out to look at it. The nude beach bar also was a problem. Ignoring the large number of non-nude people who used the bar and the guests from Grand Lido who would come over and use it as well, the "staffing" was a problem. The bar was supposed to open at 10 and close at 4 and be self-serve during that time. No problem there, except the staff member opening the bar often wouldn't arrive until at least 10 (often 10:15) and then would spend 30 minutes getting it open and ready. It would also start to close at 3:30. Also, the bar was poorly stocked and on at least 1 day it ran out of rum, vodka, and strawberry daiquiri mix. The facilities also seemed much more rundown than at Swept Away. The floatation mats/chair pads at Couples Negril were in poor condition, often covered with black mildew or torn. There were also very few tables to set your drinks on and no ashtrays on the beach. While neither of us are smokers, those who smoked would put their cigarettes and cigars out in the sand and leave the butts there. In the early mornings it was also obvious that a lot of cleanup had not been done on the beach as there would be large numbers of cups and glasses littering the beach area as well as towels. Overall, I'm sure if we hadn't been to Swept Away first, we would have enjoyed Couples Negril a lot more. But since Swept Away is right down the same beach, costs less for comparable rooms, and provides much better staff, facililes Negril."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of June 2003
Couples Negril: what a trip!
"We are back at work after four days at Couples Negril (May 28-June 1), and I must say it's not easy concentrating. We had a marvelous time and Couples exceeded our expectations, which were already high given the many fine reviews we read. This was our first time at an all-inclusive and we were delighted. There are no hidden costs- what we payed for the trip was all the money we needed to spend. It certainly adds to the relaxation of a trip when you don't have to bother deciding if that extra drink, dessert, or activity is worth the money. Of course, you need to feel you are getting your money's worth, and we certainly felt that. The room was very pleasant (we don't recommend spending the extra money for an oceanview, though we would like to try a suite), the food was outstanding (if you like fine dining make a reservation at the really nice restaurant), the drinks and service were very good (premium brand liquors) and we loved the beach activities (sailing, skiing, snorkeling, etc. The grounds were beautiful as was the beach. Though the resort was full there was never a crowded feeling. The staff was genuinely warm and helpful, and we loved the overall ambiance.If you are looking for a really active nightlife I would suggest you look elsewhere. There is evening entertainment but that is not the orientation of the resort. They do offer trips to other clubs in the area that are "party" places. Also, if you don't really like being with each other you might want to go somewhere where there's more mixing. There were people in groups but it is definitely a place for twosomes. We found it wonderfully romantic, relaxing, and a great deal of fun. We had a few minor problems with maid service while we were, and the food service could be a little on the slow side (island time and all that) but these were easily swallowed up by the overall excellence and charm of the place and the warmth of the staff. We tend to try and go different places on the occasions when we have the time and the money to take to return to Couples!"
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of June 2003
"We traveled to Negril May 3-9. The beach couldn't be better. It has clear blue water, no waves and shade trees for the perfect nap in the hammock. The resort has excellent staff and service. THe room was perfectly clean and they turn your bed down at night and close the curtains. We had fresh flowers in our room. The food was outraegous. I have never eaten more in my life. We would eat dinner early and go back to the room to change into our swimsuits. We would then go get a sampling of dessert and a few glasses of champagne for the hot tub. We could sit in the hot tub and listen to the live music. The resort was completely booked when we were there but it was never crowded and we ate at the nicest resturant 3 times. We always got a float. We never waited for drinks. Rick's cafe was a must see if you have never been to Negril. The resort is relaxing but if I wanted to party a little I would visit Rick's and check out the live music. I loved Scuba diving. I can't wait to try it again when we go back next year. They give you basic training and take you on a 30 ft. dive which is included in the price of the resort. You can pay your instructor to get certified for $350 US this includes several other dives. You can go more than once per trip you just have to see if there is a spot open. The instructor told us that about 3 people drop out before each dive. If you check a the right time you can go on the dive. My husband lived in the swim up pool bar. It did rain everyday we were there. I was told this is normal most all year. It usually rains and then clears up within an hour but on our trip it rained most every day from 1 to 4. If you get out in the sun early then you are ready for shade at lunchtime anyway. We still had a great time in the veranda swings watching the rain. Most people just took their drinks and got in the hot tub. I would consider myself a well traveled person and this was the best vacation I have ever taken. We want to go back next year with some friends. It is just too depressing to ho have been to the other resorts in Jamaica and Negril, specifically. and they all said Couples has the best food, atmosphere and service."
- Travel date: Wed 21st of May 2003
"I love this place. When you arrive all the staff say welcome home and you get a cold towel to freshen up and champage. All the staff are lovely and everywhere you walk they all speak to you. No room is more than 3 stories high.The beach is so clean and plenty of sun beds to go around. This place really is all inclusive. Fresh towels everyday in your and on the beach and not worn towels. Food is just so good and served all day. The sea is as blue as you can imagine and safe to be in.Sometimes the waves get a little too strong for me but lots of people like it like that.There is a spa and gym. there is peace and quiet or as much fun as you want. Go there, go back home, I will. "
- Travel date: Tue 10th of April 2012
You are greeted by a member of staff car...
"You are greeted by a member of staff carrying freezing cold face towels and a couple of soft cocktails!
The rooms are all incredible but if you splash out and get an apartment you will not want to leave it!The bathrooms are huge with double spa baths and are Amazing!
It's a superclubs resort so All inclusive is exactly that,food is perfect as was the food choices and drink is everything you can see in abundance.
The pools are great with bar to swim up to that does an incredible miami vice cocktail.A lot of noisy Americans at the weekends,but nice and quiet during the week.Everyone was on their honeymoon exept us.
Fun and sports like tennis,watersports,beachsports and table games with other couples during the day.Then at night to stargaze on the beach with a long cold pina colada or just stay tucked up infront of a sattelite channel with your loved one.This was a great hotel/resort.
- Travel date: Fri 26th of September 2008