This was our second trip to Couples Sans Souci and I think they have done nothing but improve! As a bit of background, we have been traveling to Jamaica since the mid-90's and have stayed at many different locations - including all of the Couples' properties. Back in those days, Sans Souci was part of the now basically defunct Grand Lido brand. We are so pleased that Couples has taken over this property and wish they would consider the same for the former Grand Lido Braco.
CSS is situated on a large piece of land; so even full, the resort never seems crowded. The grounds are fantastic with extraordinary landscaping. The diversity of plant life really is amazing and you can see that much of it has been growing on the property for decades. Our room was on the 3rd floor of building A and had a wonderful beach view. I must say the rooms are getting a bit dated and really in need of makeovers. However, our bed was firm and very comfortable and all our plumbing worked with both hot and cold water in abundance. Don't laugh. You can't really take either for granted in Jamaica.
The food showed improvement over last year with fish dishes being the real stand outs - some of the best pan seared snapper I've ever eaten and very tasty grilled lobsters for the special occasion dinners. I still recommend skipping the beef dishes - for some reason Jamaica just can't get good quality beef. Steaks will usually be tough and bland. But with great fish, chicken, and pork, you won't go hungry. The veggies were also especially good this year - I love callaloo and pak choi - both were common sides and beautifully cooked. Finally, I think the pastry chef is to be especially complemented. We have generally not had good desserts in Jamaica - which seems odd, since they have such great fruits and dairy. Not this time. The sweets at CSS are exceptional and really very tough to resist.
Drinks this year were much as we have come to expect - plentiful and generally good. I like the option of buying premium wines to go with dinners. The house wines are drinkable, but far from great and on occasion it's nice to have the option of something better. I'm certain many of the distilled spirits are watered down a bit - I suppose to cut cost - but since you can have as much as you want, I don't feel the same way about it as I would if I had just paid $9 for that cocktail. Your beer choice is only Red Stripe and many do complain, they would like at least one other option. I'm OK with one beer and like RS fine, but I agree the criticism is a valid one.
We were very pleased with the staff this year and generally found the service very good. We all like the bartenders and servers, but I think it's is very important to also remember the maids, janitors and gardeners. They do and incredible job keeping a huge property clean and looking great for us to enjoy. These details are crucial to a great resort and are often neglected.
One personal comment (criticism actually) - the new smoking policy. I'm a cigar smoker and try to be considerate of those who don't enjoy the smell - even of a fine cigar. Jamaica has always been very smoke friendly - allowing guests to smoke most anywhere outside. Now, apparently their are limits. But I could never get a clear understanding of the rules. Apparently limits are dependent on which bartender or entertainment staff is working. Some nights the Balloon Bar Patio was OK, some not. Same with the Beach Bar. There are no signs to guide you at any outdoor location. I'm happy to follow the rules, but I need to know exactly what they are and I expect them to be enforced consistently.
Finally, we will definitely be back and the group we travel with thinks CSS is a great place to ring in the New Year. I highly recommend CSS to all looking for a great Jamaican all-inclusive holiday!
- 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
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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