11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Best hot country holiday yet
"Before booking this all inclusive holiday, we checked the TripAdvisor reviews which were extremely favourable. We are so glad that we went ahead and booked the hotel as it provided the best "hot country" holiday we have had including holidays in other Caribbean countries, India and the Canary Islands. We booked through Thomson A La Carte and upgraded our flight to Premium Class. Good move. No waiting in queues at Manchester or Montego Bay airport and much more comfortable seating on the aircraft. We also paid for a room upgrade but more about that later. We travelled on 12th March, 2012 and were met at Montego Bay and transported by car to Sans Souci which is a journey of around 1 1/2 hours. We received a warm welcome at the hotel and were conducted to our room which was in D block. This was the only slight disappointment of the whole holiday. Although the room was fairly large and clean it was a little bit dated. We had hoped by upgrading that we might have a seating area where I could escape to as my husband is a very restless sleeper and has been know to snore on occasions! However, the bed was the most comfortable I have slept in apart from my own at home. It would have been nice if we had one each but that is not a complaint. There was a fridge out on the balcony and we were provided with a good choice of spirits and soft drinks which were replenished on a daily basis. We took advantage of room service and had our breakfast delivered to our room at 6.15am. We found this suited us better than going to the restaurant as the huge choice and quality of food being served meant that we were tempted into eating more than we needed. The food at all three Sans Souci restaurants is excellent. If you wish to eat on the patio at Casanova then you do need to book well in advance. We ate there twice during our stay and it was lovely. However, our favourites were the Palazzina Restaurant (overlooking the croquet lawn to the beach) and the Bella Vista Restaurant which is actually on the beach. When dining at the Palazzina you select your starter from a wonderful buffet which includes smoked salmon, green lipped mussels, smoked marlin, prawns etc., as well as a huge selection of cold meats and salads. There is also a pasta station where fresh pasta is produced to order. The main course and dessert are served at the table and again there is a really good choice of excellent food. It was lovely to see that most of the ladies dressed up in pretty dresses and shoes and even the men folks made an effort and wore tailored trousers and collared shirts. There were one or two exceptions but that is to be expected anywhere. The Bella Vista on the beach is more informal but still the guests made an effort to be reasonably smart. Located at the Bella Vista are ice cream and pop corn making machines so you can help yourself whenever you want. There was also an excellent selection of premium drinks and wines. If you would like a Glenlivet, Drambuie, Cointreau or any other alcohol or soft drink all you have to do is ask. They also have Harvey's Bristol Cream a big plus in my book at sherry time! One thing that could be improved. Very few people seem to drink tea in Jamaica so all my cuppies tasted of coffee as the water for my tea came out of coffee jugs. (Tea is brought to you in a little wooden box for you to select what you want.) The amenities are excellent too and no need to wait in queue. We used hobie cats at least twice a day also had fun in the canoes, pedalos and even went water skiing - all inclusive! There is a lovely loch in the grounds of the hotel and loads of bicycles available at one end. It is approximately 3/4 mile round the loch so it is an ideal exercise circuit. The loch has a lot of turtles in it and a wealth of birdlife. The trees and shrubs are lovely too and there are large areas of free space which, hopefully, some day, they will convert into a pitch and putt area for us golfers! (Talking about golf, club hire is US$ 60 not 45 as shown on the web site and Hotel information pack) There are a lot of delightful paths to explore which bring you out at hidden grottos, a secluded swimming pool and tranquil huts where the massages take place. It is so nice we never felt the urge to go walking outwith the hotel grounds. The main beach is only about 250 yards long but it never seemed too busy. There are plenty of sunloungers and beach towels may be exchanged for fresh ones whenever you like. (Same with bed linen and room towels) We had a look at the au natural beach one evening but didn't feel the need to visit it during the day! SAVING THE BEST TO LAST. The staff were wonderful. I know that looking after us is their livelihood and sometimes they must get tired and fed up but this was never reflected in their attitude. They were always pleasant and go out of their way to be helpful. The hotel is exceptionally well run and could give a lesson to industry on how to do things in an efficient and unobtrusive manner. DID WE ENJOY OUR HOLIDAY - YES IT WAS WONDERFUL WILL WE RETURN - DEFINATELY "
- Travel date: 26th June 2012
"Vacationed here Jan 15-22nd. Was without a doubt the best resort we've ever been to. Location was beautiful. Staff was incredable. Food was world class. We will definately be back next year."
- Travel date: 24th January 2006
Great Destination Wedding - Beautiful Resort
"We started planing our destination wedding at Sans Souci right before they sold the resort to couples. I was having trouble with the wedding coordinator (wouldn't return emails or phone messages) and was beginning to regret my decision to have the wedding here. Luckily once the resort was bought out the new wedding coordinator was a DREAM! She took care of everything easily and smoothly. We had 22 people come to our wedding and everyone had a fabulous time! Now onto the resort itself: ROOMS: We were in B block (the newer rooms). The rooms are nice (not fabulous or beautiful, but definitely nice and left no room for complaints) and have a sitting area with TV and a love seat. There was a nice marble bathroom with two sinks and a big jacuzzi tub (which, like everyone else, we never got around to using)as well as a seperate shower. The patio was small but perfect to have dinner on or watch the ocean. GROUNDS: Yes people, there are stairs. People on this message board make it sound like they had to climb Mt. Fuji! When we got there we were expecting to be climbing stairs on the edge of cliffs that went on for miles. Let's just say we were quite relieved when we got there (though we're not afraid of a little excercise). Yes, I suppose if you're not as mobile as most it will be tough - but really, a little excercise is what most of us NEED! The grounds were immaculate - you rarely see a leaf on the lawn without someone scurrying to pick it up. They rake the beaches daily and even remove seaweed. It's a well manicured property in a gorgeous tropical setting. FOOD: BUFFET: The buffet was unremarkable at best. It was small and there were only a few hot dishes to choose from (though at lunch there is a panini sandwich maker and at breakfast a pancake and omlette chef). There were mostly fruits and salads as well as a good selection of breads and pastries. Sadly I don't really care for salads, so most of the time we ended up going to the beach grill. BEACH GRILL: If you try only one new thing on this vacation be SURE to try the Jamaican Pattie (you can get them at the beach grill). It is sort of like a chicken (or ground beef) pot pie wrapped up in a flakey pastry pocket. All I can say is that I am completely addicted!!! The burgers are great and lots of other people seemed to be enjoying the jerk pork, chicken and ceasar salad with chicken. CASANOVA: Reservations only, but it's easy to make reservations here. It is a formal white glove service dinner. If you eat outside, men don't need to wear a jacket, if you eat inside it is required (though they will provide one for you). If it rains and you have outside reservations they will re-seat you inside without a jacket. The food is good (though I'm a foodie and have been spoiled by lots of fabulous restaurants - most people will probably LOVE the food here). Try something from every course since the portions are on the smallish side. PALAZINO: More casual but you'll still need reservations. The escargot are wonderful and so was the chicken cordon bleu. In my opinion the food here is good (way better than the buffet!) and most people will probably find it wonderful. Again, order something from every course. STAFF: We found that the staff was not at all surly like many people had mentioned on this site. They were instead very friendly and hard working. I suppose it also helped that we slipped everyone dollar tips here and there. If you take care of them, they take care of you. Some friends of ours were talking to the staff and found out that not only do some of them work 12 to 18 hour days, but they only earn $1 an hour!!! So your dollar tip will mean a lot. Yes, I know it's a non-tipping resort (and staff will get fired if caught accepting a tip - so please be sly about it) but a few extra dollars can make such a big difference in someone's life and in the quality of your vacation experience!!! Yes, sometimes it takes a minute to get a water or a cup of coffee - but relax mon, you are on Jamaica time now! Everytime we ordered room service it came FAST. Sometimes they got the order wrong or were out of something - but mostly it was terrific. MINI BAR: The bar starts out stocked with Red Stripe, Seven up, Coke, water, and sometimes Ting (try it, it's a jamaican soda that tastes like Squirt or Fresca). We left $5 for the bar stock person and wrote a note requesting a bottle of champagne and that he fill our fridge with only water and diet coke. For the rest of our vacation there we found our bar stocked with exactly what we asked for. BRING: MISQUITO SPRAY (you may not need it at all or may just need it at night, but better to have it than to itch!) LARGE INSULATED CUPS (your drinks will stay icy cold while on the beach and you will need to make fewer trips back to the bar)- everyone was VERY jealous of our cups and kept asking where we got them and wishing they had thought to bring some. DOLLAR BILLS (as I mentioned earlier it will make a huge difference in the quality of service you get... Without tips you get good service, but with them you get fantastic service). All in all it was a great and very relaxing vacation. The resort is quiet so dont go expecting much of a nightlife. The place was near max capacity but the only time we really saw that many people was at the Tuesday Beach Party and the Friday night Gala (both of which I was very dissapointed by the buffets they had out). Also if you want to do watersports and the green flag is up - go do them that day and don't put it off. Most of the time the red flag was up (meaning the water was too rough to go out in)."
- Travel date: 24th January 2006
Doesn't get any better than THIS!!!
"This place was as close to Heaven as I think I'll ever get on earth! I am a customer relations manager and the employees at this resort were AMAZING! The hotel is beautiful, the beach, the food (and I'm very picky about food and presentation being good). As if everything wasn't already wonderful - the employees MADE this place! They were so incredibly beautiful that we missed them after we left. Everything was elegant and tasteful. I'll sum this up so that I don't go on and on.... If someone asked us what Sans Souci could have done to make our vacation more perfect, the answer would be nothing. We've already booked our vacation for November 2006 with them! How's that for loving a place that much?! You will absolutely NOT be sorry if you vacation here! -Sandra"
- Travel date: 24th January 2006
Fantastic Time at Sans Soufi
"My wife & I just returned from Couples Sans Souci and all we can say is the we had an amazing time. Our flight down from Newark to Montego Bay was a huge hassle due to the fact that Air Jamaica had a problem with their emergency breaking system which made our trip 19 hours by the time we checked into the resort. I recommend that if you are flying from Newark book with Continental. The lack of answers and down right rudeness of the Air Jamaica staff in Newark was enough for us to never book through them again. With all of the mess that it was making it to Jamaica, Sans Souci made up 10 fold for any inconvienance that we endured. The room we had was in the D block was spacious, bed as comfy, shower/hot tub great, mineral pool is a must - i felt 10 years younger after we went in for a dip, check in on Charlie, the beach bar & bartenders were always entertaining, the food was great at all of the resturants, and the entertainment directors kept everything as lively as possible & and the piano sing along was the best in the Balloon Bar. "Do I have another slice of cherry cheese cake and a Red Stripe for lunch?" "of course you do mon, yer in Jamaica mon!" Great time and we will return very soon!"
- Travel date: 23rd January 2006
"We stayed at Couples San Souci from 1/3/06 to 1/10/06. The resort was great. It is older, but that adds to the charm of the resort. We stayed in the E block which did require taking the stairs to go down to the beach and pool, but our view was fabulous. The room was huge. While not brand new, it was clean and well kept. Our minifridge was constantly stocked with beer and water (all we wanted) and the maid service did a great job every day. We had plenty of water pressure and hot water. One day we did run out of cold water, but as soon as we informed someone it was fixed immediately. The resort itself is beautiful--very lush and tropical. We stayed at the regular beach the whole time; the au naturel beach was okay, but not as secluded as the regular beach. The service was fantastic; everyone was helpful and nice and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone. The food was okay--there is more than enough to eat and the best food is anything Jamaican, especially anything jerk. As for any of the negative reviews--the resort is older, but charming and peaceful. No employees were disgruntled, in fact most were more than pleasant. And people who complain about the bus ride from the airport to the resort need to find a new place to stay closer to MoBay. The ride was not that bad and it is a great opportunity to see the rest of Jamaica and maybe gain a little awareness into the Jamaican people. Finally, while the resort has a no tipping policy, I think you should tip the waitstaff and bartenders that you do get to know. Believe me your $5 dollars means a lot more to them than it will to you. However, no one expects to be tipped. Overall we had a great time at San Souci and I would be happy to stay there again."
- Travel date: 21st January 2006
Short stay, but totally loved
"We really enjoyed our short stay here! The only downfall that causes my review to go from Excellent to Above Average is this: We originally were supposed to stay 7 nights, but upon arriving in Jamaica we were told they were overbooked and we were being "bumped" to another hotel. We were placed at Couples Ocho Rios for 3 nights and Royal Plantation for 2 nights, then to Sans Souci for the last 2. One benefit was we got to compare 3 resorts, but it was not very relaxing and we never really unpacked at any of the resorts - we would not wish to go thru that again. This is the only thing that makes us hesitate on booking again. Of the 3 resorts we stayed at, Sans Souci was our favorite. The resort was beautiful, the grounds were well maintained, and the food was great. We were lucky to get a beachfront suite where the pool and beach was just steps outside our door. The bedroom and separate sitting room were separated by glass doors. There was a jacuzzi in the bathroom, but we never used it as it took too long to fill and the water was cold before it was full. If you don't like to walk alot, I would request rooms down by the beach as there were alot of other rooms way up on the hillside that we would not have enjoyed as much. The spa treatments were wonderful also. We would love to go there again but the only thing holding us back is that we're afraid of getting "bumped" again."
- Travel date: 18th January 2006
What a Beautiful Place
"Review CSS â 1/6 â 1/13/06 Arrival â 2.5 hrs â terrible roads. We would fly or go back after 4/07 when the road is supposed to be finished for the Cricket World Cup. Hotel front staff laid back, but friendly. Our rooms in F block were not up to par. My tub was in need of caulk and bleach. No closet doors, ceiling fan broken, that kind of picky stuff that you overlook after you get settled and the sun is out. Big living/dining room, big porch overlooking a lot of the entertainment. Beautiful views off the porch. Bedroom in the back by the road. A million or so steps (exaggeration, but a lot) to the beach blocks and Pallazina restaurant. Close to the lobby, game room and Casanova restaurant. After wading thru wet stairs (VERY SLIPPERY) for a whole day we asked for a room change to the A/B blocks as my husband had recent back surgery and we were concerned with the amount of stairs and slick conditions. We loved the A block â nice rooms (smaller, but more modern) and you could hear the ocean while you slept. Ahh â weâve come homeâ¦ Day one, two and three â rain â no water sports â no sun all day, a cold front had moved in. Very sad, but we ate a lot. The restaurants are FABulous. Some people complained about a lack of variety. We all loved them â all of the meals were great â lots of buffet variety every day. Soups were wonderful. The Italian and French in the eve were excellent. Lobster melted in your mouth on Wednesdayâ¦ The deserts were to die for - unlike some Jamaican resorts where everything looks good but tastes the same â the deserts here tasted as good as they looked! Room service was great for afternoon tea and snacks â service wonderful â food yummy. Champagne dry but tasty â Jamaican Delight was delectable. Massage services were great â location was breathtaking. This resort is a paradise for nature lovers: Charlie the giant turtle, parrot, macaw, kitties that eat out of your hand (although youâre not really supposed to feed them), lizards, little tree frogs, birds of every kind and the most beautiful foliage. The cliff views were amazing â pictures canât show the feeling of beauty and peace that surrounds you overlooking those cliffs. The food/bar staff was mostly very good â some excellent (thanks to Devon Campbell, Keston â happy birthday, Pamela, Jason, Anaby). Your service was superb and your smiles brought us joyâ¦ The GM, Peter, was a lovely man and made us feel welcomed. Smiles come from the top of management down, and he exhibited a congenial, warm feeling that worked itâs way thru the staff. Water sports were closed most of the week, but my hubby enjoyed the snorkel trip, all the divers seemed to be happy, and when they did open everyone was having a great time. Ricardo and Trudy you are truly perfect Guest Relations personnelâ thank you for everything. The entertainment staff, Hioxa and Kadine, were fun and lovely. You ladies do a great job. BUT â hereâs my pet peeve with this resort and our biggest complaint about CN also. The entertainment is disappointing if you are a reggae lover. We love Bob Marley â Gala Night â only 1 Marley song, Beach bar â âdance hall reggaeâ and âgangsta reggaeâ only 1 beach grill employee played the Marley âExodusâ album â it was wonderful to hear â continue on with the weekâs entertainment and we heard a lot of Lounge music, which we accepted and even enjoyed until Wednesday Night. Reggae Explosion Night â everyone wear red/green/gold/black. We bought accessories for the occasion. Hereâs our music â we can feel it in our bones â Bob Marley is coming. We heard 2 reggae numbers (not by Marley) â 3 Motown numbers and the lead singer announces here is a song by the King of â¦ we are on the edge of our seats â which song will it be â Redemption Song, Buffalo Soldier, One Love ---- itâs Lionel Ritichie. (Donât get me wrong, we all liked Lionel back in the day, but he is Not Reggae and Not Marley). We left after that in utter disappointment. Our only complaint about this resortâ if we wanted to hear Motown we could go to Detroit. Bob Marley is a national treasure of Jamaica and most people I speak to agree that itâs the music we want to hear when we are in Jamaica â especially on reggae night. Overall, once the sun came out it was one of the most beautiful places Iâve ever seen â spectacular cliff views and great people. Hi to Joanne and Dennis from Wisconsin, Jack and Leslie from Winnepeg (they are CSA lovers) and all the other wonderful people we met there. Thanks to all the CSS previous guests for their reviews â it was very helpful. WE WOULD DEFINITELY HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS RESORT!!!"
- Travel date: 17th January 2006
Absolutely perfect! Quiet and peaceful!
"My wife and I stayed at San Souci the 2nd week of January. This was our second trip to San Souci, having stayed for a week in January '05. At that time, Couples did not operate the resort as they now do. We did notice a couple of changes since Couples has taken control: -The complimentary spa package is no longer included (although repeat San Souci or Couples guests do receive a 25 minute couples massage) -No lobster on the beach party night -Slightly less food choices on buffets -Room service now ends at 11 PM, not 24 hours. We viewed these changes as fairly minor, and it seems that for the most part Couples management has wisely chosen to leave things as they were. Let me stress, that San Souci is the perfect place to go to if you desire to spend a quiet week (or more) with your loved one. There is no music blasting while you are relaxing by the pool or on the beach. No "activity directors" bothering you while you are trying to count the clouds go by. Actually, there is very little noise or commotion and you can concentrate on watching the waves come in. If you desire an upbeat, loud, action packed week where you can meet and interact with lots of other couples then I would suggest that you look elsewhere. Of the few people that we heard complain about the resort, it seemed that this was the main issue. They wanted more action, and felt that it was too quiet. The other big chains will provide all of this, so if you think you would prefer that then definitely don't go to San Souci. For us, San Souci is perfect and thats why we had returned this year. It is a charming resort, with very good-excellant food, a fabulous spa, 2 nice beaches(one is nude), a refreshing mineral pool, all set on 25+ acres. You will never feel crowded here, and there are never lines or waiting for anything. There are many hidden areas with jacuzzis and hammocks where you can relax. This is a place for romantics, and those seeking to relax and kick back. Dinner menus are the same as the pre-Couples days. Casanova is the "fancy" restaurant and jackets are required for men for inside dining. We chose to sit outside on most nights and enjoy the beautiful Jamaican night weather. 6 course meals are varied with choices such as Rack of Lamb, a variety of seafood meals, chicken, etc. and a wonderful selection of desserts. Palazina is where the breakfast and lunch buffets are held. Standard buffet food, but very good and varied. You will not leave hungry here. At night its converted into an ala carte restaurant and the 5 course meals are very well prepared, with many choices. Jackets are not required to dine here. There is also a beach restaurant Bella Vista that we chose not to dine at this time, but where the food is also very good-traditional jamaican cuisine. You can also always eat at the beach grill where you can get burgers, hot dogs, and jerk chicken or pork(depending on the day). We stayed in the A block both times. These are called one bedroom oceanfront jacuzzi suites. "Oceanfront" seems a bit of a stretch since it is a long way from the ocean but they do offer great views. Very nice rooms, spacious with nice balconies or patios. Not Ritz Carlton rooms but very, very nice. I cannot stress how nice this resort is if you are looking for quiet R+R. Take advantage of all it offers. There are many areas that are beautiful, such as the walk out area where you can go swimming next to the Sauna. No one goes here, but you can walk right out into the ocean from here. Enjoy a massage with your significant other. At night, you can walk long stretches of the resort without even seeing anyone. We would never return to Ocho Rios without staying at San Souci! (One note to Couples management: There is an excellent staff at San Souci. They provide very friendly and efficient service. Continue to treat them well and fairly, as a resort cannot be top notch without its staff.)"
- Travel date: 17th January 2006
"We spent Christmas week enjoying the beauty of Couples Sans Souci. The ride from Mobay to the club went smoothly with a brief pit stop. The entire staff, from dining room to front office, were very accomodating. We were offered an upgrade, but declined. Happily our recommended, commodious suite in G block proved a good choice. It was well furnished in comfortable, but not your typical hotel room style. The large walk-in closet was in addition to lots of storage space. The views out the sliding door (to the large balcony)to the distant mountains and water were spectacular. The mini-fridge was restocked each morning. The well equipted gym looks out on the water. There are TV's above the treadmills, etc. We lucked out on the tennis program as a great visiting pro was in attendance and not many people took advantage of the two fine courts. The breakfast and lunch buffets were beautifully presented as were the special evening events. Plan to gain some pounds as the desert buffet at lunch is always tempting as are the breakfast crossants! We are active seniors and had no difficulties navigating the property. There is an elevator from the gym level to the upper level & a van is always available for a lift when needed. Entertainment each evening was varied & pleasant at the Balloon Bar patio. We look forward to a return visit next December."
- Travel date: 1st January 2006
Vacation / Wedding of a Lifetime!
"My vacation and wedding at Sans Souci were absolutely perfect! I couldn't imagine a more wonderful time (there were eight of us from my family there). We loved the spa treatments, scuba diving, snorkeling, food, drinks, beach, etc., etc. We had a blast at the nightly entertainment and activities - very talented performers. Wonderful staff! The wedding photographer was outstanding!!! Even my picky picture husband was impressed!!! It was the trip of a lifetime! :)"
- Travel date: 29th December 2005
Couples Sans Souci is also called
- Sans Souci Hotel
- couples sans souci hotel
- couples sans souci