Couples Swept Away
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Just got back and loved it !!!
"Just got back form a 5 day, 4 night terrific stay at Couples Swept Away. I am writing this review, because I based my decision to go here on the many good reviews on this site. We were thrilled with the choice. Let me preface by saying we are a couple with 3 kids ( 11,8 and 3), so getting away like this was much anticipated, a little scary but amazing. The Air Jamaica flights were perfect. The ride to the hotel was fine- our van had only 3 couples on it and was air conditioned. The driver was a maniac, and got us there pretty quickly. Our Atrium room was very nice- quaint and rustic. We loved the porch with the hammock- nice feel. The grounds were well kept and clean- this place has been around for quite awhile, and you can tell, but it was still wonderful.We had no problems at all with the staff. As long as you say please and thank you and be courteous to them, they were VERY attentive and nice. Night time entertainment was also good- the shows and the band were very entertaining. The food was VERY good- we love fish- and all the fish dishes were great. We had an excellent lobster meal at Feathers. ( Another couple had the meat and were not as impressed ). My only complaint about the food was that the fruit was bad- they told me they were not in season. The sports complex was amazing, though no one other than my husband and myself seemed to utilize it. Lots of tennis courts, lap pool, exercise equipment room and another exercise room for classes. No air conditioning, so be prepared to sweat. I toke a wonderful step class with Rosa- I was the only one there- but it was quite a workout. Bring bug spray for yourself- you will need it. We also brought ant spray for the room-- used it a few times. The ants are tiny- so I did not care too much. Yes, the tree frogs do make noise all night- but it was relaxing to me. We met a lot of honeymooners, but all age groups were there. We did snorkling 3 times, the boat cruise to the cliffs, and just relaxed and floated in the beautiful ocean. Devine. We had a slight problem with the shades in the room- but they offered to switch rooms right away. One note of caution, they are building some new construction to add to Swept Away, so be careful where they place you. I would not have liked to spend the extra money for the ocean front, and be right next door to the banging. I hope this was as helpful as it was for me before I went. Just go, relax and be happy, mon. Have a Jamaician Delight on me !"
- Travel date: Wed 29th of October 2003
don't waste your $$$$
"The food was awful and more importantly not safe (both of us were sick and fighting for the toilet).word of advice: don't eat the beef. mad cow disease. The room was not clean- sheets were not changed 1 time in 7 days. When walking bare-foot in the room I had black feet. very filfthy.I came back from vacation with bug bites from head to toe. I complained to the front desk that we had a RED ANT problem and we were told to expect that during heavy rain.we spent our savings on this trip and very much regret it."
- Travel date: Mon 27th of October 2003
"We spent our honey at Couples Swept Away, and stayed there for 8 days and 7 nights.
TRANSFER: Landing in Montego Bay (which incidentally is a horrible airport; I'd be surprised if the entire place contained 1 computer), we were immediately greeted by a Couples rep. A bus ride would be 1.5 hours or so, while a quick plane ride would be 13 minutes. Obviously we took the Cessna plane, and were happy in spending the 120 bucks.
FIRST IMPRESSION: Very nice looking resort. Seemed clean. Was greeted by a cold face towel with lemon and menthol. Nice touch.
ROOM: It was better than most rooms we've seen, and was exactly as pictured. Our Atriumview room was right beside the more expensive Beachfront rooms, and we were happy we didn't spend the extra amount on the Beachfront. We had a large deck, a hammock, seating for 4 on couches on the deck, a king sized bed, ice cold air conditioning, and a large bathroom. Cleanliness was around 8/10. It wasn't spotless, but it was definitely acceptable. I mention the A/C because humidity in Jamaica is 110%, and temperature was around 95 F or so. This means if you don't put your A/C on in your room, within 2 hours you will come back to literally large puddles on your floors, tables, and other surfaces. As an aside, your room contains a phone, a radio, and no TV, which was fine by us.
WEATHER: Even when it rains there, it is still smoking hot. I would be surprised if it dropped below 95 F while we were there. It rained twice while we were there, and both times the rain lasted less than 2 hours.
It is hot at all times, and you will require sunscreen for sure.
SERVICE: Service, whether in restaurants, in the bars, or when signing out watersports equipment, was fair at best and terrible at worst.
Generally speaking, many of the Jamaicans possess noticeable contempt towards tourists. You have to realize though, that these are people that make 200 USD a week, yet serve at a resort where people order 2 dinners and 5 drinks at a time. Nevertheless, many of us noticed the attitude, and after a few days, it became tiresome, and inappropriate as well, given the high caliber of this resort. Once again, this attitude was not seen in all the staff, but many I must admit.
STAND-OUT STAFF: Nickki was great. I believe that is how she spells her name. She is your hostess / guest relations manager, and ensures you have a great time. Terrence, a young server in the main dining room, is also exceptional. On the last day we were there, he arranged for us to have the best table in the restaurant, covered the top with flower petals, and had candlelight and champagne waiting for us. Wade from the watersports shack is a great kid as well. He gives good lessons on skiing, sailing, and across the beach, Shaw over in the scuba shack is great too. I suggest you write these names down, because you will indeed want to find these people. On a negative note however, several staff with severe attitude problems work in the watersports hut.. most notably Kevin and Wayne. Avoid like the plague.
BEACH: Tons of room on the beach, and the sand is quite nice. Lots of chairs, lots of loungers, lots of bars close by, adequate room to swim out, and a ton of things to do that are included in your package, such as water skiing, scuba, snorkeling, glass bottom sailing, hobie cat, windsurfing, catamaran cruises, paddle boats, beach and pool volleyball, etc. I should mention though that the beach is filled with vendors who constantly hassle you about renting their "jet-skis" (when in fact they are sea-doos, not jet-skis) and going parasailing. If you consider either of these things thrilling, then go for it. We own a couple sea-doos and have parasailed before, and neither are any big thrill. To each their own, however.
BUGS: At night, there is loud chirping, so you will require earplugs if you are a light sleeper. To wit, those are tree frogs, not crickets.
There are a ton of mosquitos at night, and sand flies along the beach.
During the day, you will encounter mosquitos to a lesser degree, and black ants. Thus, bring a can of RAID for your room. We used ours several times. Also, bring some Skintastic OFF, which we used every night.
FOOD: Copious, varying, ranging from good to exceptional, and domestic and exotic. Whatever your fancy, you will find it here. You can eat as little or as much as you want. There is fine dining in Feathers, but to be honest, after a few nights there and the skimpy portions, we were back to the main dining room again. In the 8 days we were there, we had lots of normal foods like rices, chickens, assorted meats, along with more exotic foods like lobster tail, crab salads, mutton stew, cow head, tripe, etc. Once again, you can eat as tame or as wild as you want. Of course, all is included, and of course, all drinks are included as well. After a couple days, we began ordering 4 drinks at a time, since the servers as I mentioned previously, were not always that pleasant to deal with.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: The resort offers day trips to interesting places.
You can go to Rick's Cafe, which is a restaurant where locals jump feet first (not head first) off cliffs and trees. I was rather underwhelmed by this. Dunn's River is a rock water fall that can be climbed up, and is a full day trip. Couples also offers horseback riding trips, and ventures to other clubs such as Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.
Alternatively, you can just laze on the beach and float on your foam pad in the warm ocean, sipping your fifth pina colada before noon. It's all up to you.
OTHER AMENITIES: Across the road is a rather impressive fitness complex. Full gym, aerobics studio, lap pool, whirlpool, 5 clay tennis courts, 5 hard courts, racquetball, squash, massage -- it's all here.
We used the gym everyday, and did a few classes including Couples Massage, and Boot Camp Work-Out. It was all pretty good, and interesting for sure. There is also a pool table and a small bar over there where you can get munchies.
SUMMARY: We liked Couples Swept Away a great deal. There is much to enjoy, and very little to dislike. In fact, the only two things I would say that could use some work would be staff attitude, and cleanliness of the rooms. On the plus side, there is a long list of things that would make us go back. Good job, Couples."
- Travel date: Sun 12th of October 2003
Cheesy resort name, FABULOUS vacation
"My husband and I just returned last night from 8 glorious days at Swept Away. We were so sad to leave, especially since yesterday was their 14th anniversary celebration and had a great party planned. The staff, who was marvelous our entire stay, kept coming up to us to say "you're not leaving today, are you?!" Here are my thoughts:
First of all, the name Couples Swept Away is so corny, I can't believe it. It would have deterred me from choosing the resort, had I not read all of the wonderful reviews on this site first.
AIR JAMAICA FLIGHT: It sucked. We would have upgraded to first class if we'd known how inexpensive it is to do on that airline.
RIDE FROM AIRPORT: Not as terrible as everyone keeps saying. It's a little less than 90 minutes. The people in Jamaica are crazy drivers.
Right out of the airport, the drive was pretty depressing. The impression we got of the poverty made us wonder if the resort would live up the the hype.
CHECK IN: Very easy. Our room wasn't ready yet - they wanted to make it "perfect", so we went to the main dining room to wait, and have a drink. The woman at check-in explained everything clearly, and was very nice....I wish I could remember her name. Keep in mind, the room safe is complimentary, but requires a $50 deposit in case you lose the key.
The rooms require either a $250 credit card deposit or a $50 cash deposit to cover any incidentals (came in handy since we charged gift shop stuff to our room all week). They have orientation at 10am and 5pm every day.
THE ROOM: Gorgeous, and exactly like the photos. We had an Atrium room...it was closer to the road than most, so we heard some traffic from the road during the day, but at night the crickets are so loud you can't hear anything else. The rooms were kept up very well, but they are a little skimpy with towels, and our bathroom floor needed mopping (because we were always walking around barefoot and wet). We had a ground floor room with a large verandah containing a (waterproof) couch, a coffee table, and hammock. Every morning continental breakfast (choice of 4 types, cereals, coffee, muffins, croissants, fruit, etc.) was delivered right to our verandah. The beds are SO comfortable, and we slept great every night. As soon as the sun goes down the crickets start up and as annoying as it sounds at first, it actually becomes a comfort that lulls you to sleep. The rooms are surprisingly quiet, and we never once heard our neighbors.
THE FOOD: The food was okay....not fabulous, but not terrible. Some days were better than others. We didn't eat at Feathers
ENTERTAINMENT: They do a great job entertaining guests. The had a different theme every night, and always brought in wonderful performers. Beach night on Fridays is SO much fun.
ACTIVITIES: We used the paddle boats and kayaks (included in resort) and went jet skiing and parasailing (not included in resort). The jet ski and parasailing guys do not work for the resort, and are pretty competitive with eachother, so don't be surprised if they start arguing in front of you about which one talked to you first. I would say, don't pay more than $80 U.S. for a 1/2 hour on 2 jet skis. Also, if you're into "extra curricular" activities (wink-wink) see Elvis on the beach.
I don't agree with the person who said the planned activities never start on time - I found they were VERY punctual with everything on the activity board. Maybe that guy needed to adjust his watch for the time difference.
We spent most of our time laying out by the pool, upstairs playing checkers, jet skiing, eating, and just relaxing overall. We never felt pressured to tip, although we saw some people tipping discreetly.
Every evening we would go upstairs for cocktails at the piano bar where Ultimate Chocolate would get everyone laughing and singing.
THE GROUNDS: Walking through the grounds of Swept Away is totally surreal. Every day we saw grounds keepers grooming the gorgeous trees and bushes. The biggest tip I have for anyone reading this is USE BUG REPELLANT AS SOON AS THE SUN STARTS SETTING OR AS SOON AS YOU START HEARING CRICKETS! My legs got covered in bug bits after 5 minutes at the beach bar (start of sunset), and it looked pretty gross the rest of our vacation. "OFF" brand didn't work as well as the "No Mosquito" spray they sell in the gift shop. As soon as you arrive, buy that spray!!
OUR FAVORITE PEOPLE: The majority of the staff were fabulous. Nobody every says "NO" here, just "no problem, mon"....Our very favorite staff members (many of them live on the property) were Nikki, who seems to know how to do EVERYthing; Dwayne, from the upstairs bar; Niron on the wait staff; Jermaine from the main bar; and Ultimate Chocolate for his entertainment at the piano cocktail hour.
Like I said at the beginning, we were really sad to leave. We are already planning to return next year at the same time so we dont' miss the 15th anniversary celebration. Now we can understand why we met so many people on their 8th, 15th, and 27th visit. One guy said he goes to Swept Away every 10 weeks!
I will have photos on my web site soon, if anyone wants to see them.
or you can email me with questions."
- Travel date: Fri 10th of October 2003
Don't agree with review of Sept.27/03
"I just read the review of Sept. 27/03 and have to say that I do not agree with any of it. We were at Swept Away in Feb. 2003 and we had a fantastic time and loved everything about the the resort. There were 4 couples and we have already booked for Feb. 2004 at Swept Away. Don't base your decision to go to Swept Away on this review. This was one of the mostly relaxing, beautiful vacations we have ever had !"
- Travel date: Mon 29th of September 2003
Don't waist your vacation! Pictures are not what you get!
"There is free transportation to the hotel in a cramped van that someone over 6 foot may not fit into at all and it smelled horrible. The employees are extremely rude. The room was very musty and dirty. The grounds do not look like they have been kept in the last 5 years. There was a swimming pool that I would never get into for the fear of what the smell was or what you could catch. The staff had planned activities that were never on time, about 45 minutes to 1 hour late. The food is absolutely horrible! I got a shrimp appetizer or that's what they called it. It was green and looked like mold, *&^* would have tasted better. The food was supposed to be readily available at all times, WRONG. If you think this is your dream wedding think again. There were tourist watching the whole time and trying to pose in the distant pictures with their bathing suits up their butts. There was also another wedding I saw someone driving a tractor around it and another person cleaning the motor of their boat. I feel as though I was ripped off. This was the worst place I have ever been to and the worst food I have ever tasted. Please do not waist your money on this location. The pictures look great, but they are not true. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE, SAVE YOUR VACATION!"
- Travel date: Fri 26th of September 2003
"As a former international flight attendant, I've had the privilege of traveling all over the world. This is one of the most romantic, perfectly arranged escapes my husband and I've taken. Start your day with a workout at the well-appointed gym, followed by your very own perfect breakfast. Head to the pristine beach for sunbathing (topless, if you prefer) or watersports. Usually an afternoon rainshower sends you to your room for a "nap". Then back out to the beach for some freshly prepared sushi and a cocktail for sunset. We still travel all over, but will return to Swept Away every year for that little interlude that only can be found in a few places...enjoy!"
- Travel date: Sun 21st of September 2003
Jamaica me wanna come back!
"We took our first vacation in Jamaica at the Couples Swept Away resort in Negril, and had a FANTASTIC time -- the all-inclusive is the way to go if you get a first-rate resort as we did. We did a lot of research on the internet and chose Couples Swept Away based on the relaxed dress code for restaurants, the included activities/entertainment, and the larger beach. The room we chose, an Atrium suite, was open and airy, with shuttered windows on all 4 walls and a nice patio that has furniture and lighting, and a hammock! I was pleasantly surprised when we walked in because I had seen a photo of a room on the website, and it was actually representative of our room (I guess I was expecting it to not be as nice.) The guests below us (room 1118, you know who you are!) were disruptive into the morning, and after the 3rd night, we spoke to the manager, who was very nice and moved us to a different location (actually an upgrade which ended up being a beach view.)We noticed in our research that many people have had problems with ants in places in Jamaica. We were probably lucky; we had one large red ant, and a few of the really tiny sugar ant variety, but werent plagued (actually it was a break from the outbreak wed been fighting back home in O.C., CA.)You might expect that with all the food and drinks included and a no-tip policy, that the food and service would not be that special; the opposite was true to our delight: the menu, even in the main hall dining room, was constantly changed and always consisted of dishes that were at home in a fine restaurant. The waiters were attentive, but not the constant, in-your-face is everything OK? interruptions that are typical in many restaurants where a tip is being sought.Besides the catamaran cruise with optional cliff-diving and cave swimming, the kayak, the massage class, scuba, volleyball, the bicycle tour, the piano bar, tennis, and other fun activities that we were aware of, there was nightly entertainment in the main dining hall, which included a fun limbo competition on our first night, hosted by our lovely coordinator Nikki, who definitely enhanced our stay by her friendly personality and attention, and by persuading us to get out there and participate. There were also pool tables and ping-pong tables that we took advantage of, and an area near the piano bar for more physically relaxing but mentally stimulating board games. Speaking of the piano bar, theres a very fun sing-along with the personable Ultimate Chocolate, who surprised us with some moving tributes to the good old USA amidst tourists from other nations as we participated on the 2nd anniversary of 9/11. And of course the beach, which was a tropical-vacation image brought to life, and (perhaps because we went in early September) not crowded at all."
- Travel date: Thu 18th of September 2003
For a honeymoon, look no further
"Honeymoon Sept. 1 - Sept. 8
Here's the short of it - This is the BEST place in Negril to relax, unwind, enjoy a variety of good food, soak up sun, float lazily in the ocean and come back home with the most incredible pictures of you in paradise.
Here's the long of it - CSA is exactly as it's described. There's better and more beach than any of the other resorts around there. The tropical plants on the grounds continually remind you your on an island far away from the craziness of your daily life. Everyone who works there has a permanent smile and is always willing to go out of their way. From day one on arriving they let you know your on vacation by giving you champagne and a cold towel. They have orientation every day, which we recommend, to know everything they have to offer. My wife and I loved utilizing the available watersports. Windsurfing is definitely challenging. Make sure you bring a waterproof camera. Snorkling in the crystal clear water is a joy, except if you happen to be at the same reef as the Hedonism resort (old naked men are not what we wanted to look at). After brief instruction we went out on a Hobie Cat (sailboat) and had a wonderful time as long as the wind blew. The food is wonderful. Fresh fruit with every meal and perfectly cooked seafood were highlights. My personal favorite was going to Sea Grapes for dinner on the beach. We loved being able to have breakfast at our room. They offer so many different drinks it seemed like we tried a new one each time. Because of the sun we typically got nonalcoholic ones(my fav is Bizarre Banana, my wife's is Oh,Wow!). One of our concerns during the honeymoon was finding a church to go to Mass at. Luckily, we found one not much more than a mile down the beach across the street(Mary Gate of Heaven). Say hi to Father Felix and Brother Vince. Too bad we found out too late that they have daily Mass in the mornings. We absolutely loved all the people there including the security guards. We found they were more willing to strike up a conversation(guess working 12hr days can get boring if you don't talk with anyone). They are expanding the resort so you know they are doing well and are keeping up the place.
There are always things that can be improved on. Expect to see bugs remember you're on a tropical island. They sprayed for bugs the first day we were there and we didn't see too many of them in the room. Pot is all over the place so expect random people to ask you if you want to buy it(no one associated with the resort will ever do that). Jet skiing and parasailing are both extra, but they are extra whereever you go. Make sure if you go your wife brings lots of sundresses to wear at night and bring at least a couple of pants and collar shirts to wear to dine in too. Last but not least not only bring but wear lots of sunblock!"
- Travel date: Wed 17th of September 2003
Nice vacation, but service was OK
"The beach is absolutely beautiful, the rooms are nice (but not that clean). We broke a glass and my husband wiped the floor with a towel- it turned black! Ants all over our room.Service was slow (Jamaican style). Ordered room service for breakfast and we had to call and see where it was or we were going to miss our tennis appt.Tennis pro Hopeton is awesome. Don't bother with Steve. Fitness facilities are really nice.Food is good. Jerk chicken on the beach is awesome. I ended up with a parasite from the food or water, not sure which. My dr. told me that 1 in 4 travelers to Jamaica gets one. So you might want to take a prescription just in case!Overall, it was a relaxing vacation. But I have definitely stayed at nicer places-Jalousie, St. Lucia, Hilton Waikola, Hawaii, Discovery Point, Cayman."
- Travel date: Tue 16th of September 2003