We stayed for two weeks between 13th & 27th March. We've been to Tower Isle a couple of times before but this was our first visit to Sans Souci. It was recommended to us by people we met last year at Tower Isle who had been on one of the exchange days. We are so glad we took their advice! We had a great holiday, met some fantastic people and will certainly book to go again next year.
The hotel is getting a little frayed around the edges but the rooms are spacious, kept spotlessly clean and everything functions properly. We stayed in one of the most basic rooms (Block C) and had a large sitting area (that we hardly used), an extremely comfortable bed, superb air con and a bathroom that did all we needed it to. We don't spend a lot of time in the room when not asleep so it was fine. Couples have changed the way they manage the minibar restocking which is a bit of a pain. You can still have pretty much what you want but have to order restocks and be in the room to accept delivery. We don't use the minibar other than for water as we prefer to drink in the bars but it seems a bit daft to have to reorder water supplies.
All three of the restaurants are waiter service (we don't much like buffet restaurants) and the food and service was superb. It's really convenient to have a restaurant (Bella Vista) that you don't have to book, is yards from the ocean, offers waiter service and serves more than simply fast food. Casanova's is a real treat and Palazinna's a good halfway house.
We used the Au Naturel facilities and beach every day and they're perfect for us. If you haven't tried it before, give it a go. It is truly liberating and you meet the friendliest people ever. The ocean is a bit shallow and rocky so not perfect for swimming but you can find plenty of space for a refreshing dip. It's also fun to float about on the sunbed cushions and we even tried a bit of "white water rafting" on these where the river joins the sea. Around 5/6pm lots of people come over from the other beach to watch the sunset. Nobody seemed particularly bothered about whether people were wearing clothes or not! We didn't use the main beach at all but it looked a bit congested to us(much more space on the Au Naturel beach) and Couples really needs to do something about people saving beds at unearthly hours of the morning.
The grounds of the hotel are kept very well and it's nice to have sufficient space to go for a nice walk around the lake in the mornings. The wildlife is fascinating and we loved feeding the turtles/terrapins(?) and watching the pelicans crash landing in the water.
The bars and entertainment are excellent. The main beach bar is right on the ocean and is circular with lots of bar stools. A great place to meet people over a drink (Tower Isle please note!). The main bar (Balloon Bar) is also a pleasant place to enjoy a drink while watching the wonderful singers and bands. As a european, it's great to go to an all inclusive resort where you can enjoy whatever drinks you want without paying any kind of premium. The house wine is also fairly drinkable which is a good thing because the premium wines are horrifically expensive ($77 for a bottle of Pouilly Fume!).
They run gala nights twice a week, one on the beach and one on the main lawn. These are expertly organised and they make the place look great. These provide the best opportunity for meeting people as you simply join tables of 6 or 8. No other dining facilities are available on these nights other than room service. The entertainment provided on these evenings is first class. Don't miss the Silverbirds Steel Band. My only slight criticisms are that the lighting level is too low to see what you're eating and you have to wander about a bit to see what lovely food is on offer. They hold after parties after these nights at the Sunset Beach bar which are a bit hit and miss. Sometimes they're great fun and very lively, other times nobody goes. It's not really a late night resort with most people preferring to get to bed early enough to enjoy the next day's sunshine.
However, Sans Souci's greatest asset is undoubtedly it's people. Without exception, every one of the staff that we came into contact with, were brilliant - friendly, happy, eager to serve without being over the top and really nice people. It's always difficult to single people out as it pretty much depends on where you spend most of your time. For us, Taneisha, SaskieAnn, Caprice, Kadian and Camoy from the Au Naturel beach bar made our holiday. The entertainment staff are also fantastic. I doubt if there is a man who has visited Sans Souci who won't remember Linguini and Spaghetti with a special fondness!
The weather wasn't good for our first three days (overcast, raining and not even that warm). This meant we spent a lot of time in the bar meeting folk that we probably wouldn't have met until later had the sun been shining. British people are often reluctant to go to resorts that are predominantly American/Canadian as their reputation precedes them. Let me tell you, the people that go to Sans Souci are not stereotypical (unlike some of the people we've come across at Tower Isle). We made some great friends from all over the States and can't wait to see them all again next year. After the first three days the weather was wonderful.
We experienced an irritating 4 hour flight delay on the way home but Couples did what they could to let us have our room a bit later. Montego Bay airport's over the top security did it's best to put a dampener on the holiday. After having gone through all the usual security checks, We were searched again after going through the departure gate en route to the plane! They even made us open up all the neatly packaged boxes we had just purchased in their own duty free shops! I think next year, we'll simply buy our duty free on the plane. Oh, and don't forget, they charge you $22 dollars each to leave the country.
In summary, a brilliant holiday in a great hotel. Whatever Couples are doing with their staff, keep doing it, they're all lovely people and we look forward to seeing them all again next year (as we do our new American & Canadian friends!)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled on the cliffs of Jamaica’s emerald coast above a dazzling stretch of Caribbean, Couples Sans Souci beckons you to surrender mind, body and soul. The resort's 'no worries' mantra comes to life as every day unfolds. Lose yourself exploring secluded stone pathways. Melt away stress in the healing natural mineral springs. Feel a rush of exhilaration scaling Dunn's River waterfalls. Or simply drift asleep in a hammock by the sea. Located in vibrant Ocho Rios, the resort's design pays tribute to an understated colonial elegance—intricate latticework, white woven furnishings and feathered palms set a refined stage for your island escape. Dining options abound—from authentic Jamaican fare to five-star international cuisine. Private cabanas at cliff's edge provide the ideal setting for our signature spa treatments, while the choice of resort activities knows no limits. Learn the art of living well while living in the moment at Couples Sans Souci. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Couples Sans Souci Hotel Ocho Rios
- Couples San Souci
- Couples Sans Souci Ocho Rios
- Couples Sans Souci Jamaica/Ocho Rios