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“A great disappointment after the last 3 times!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Couples Tower Isle

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Couples Tower Isle
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   St. Mary, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Formerly Couples Ocho Rio)   |  
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Ranked #5 of 40 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“A great disappointment after the last 3 times!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

First, the hotel as ever was beautiful. However, The beach has been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, I feel that they should let you know and ask if you would like to be moved to a different resort. The beach was already small, which we like, however, with it being swept away so much, it is a great deal smaller!! If you are looking out over the water, all of the lounge chairs have been shoved over into the right side of the beach so you are much closer to other couples than in previous years, even with the low census. Also, if you are situated to far left, keep your "stuff" up on a table as it will be swept away by the ocean.

This time around, there were NO water sports due to the wind. One of the locals said that since the hurricane, and the way that the ocean currents have been around this area of the island, it has been this way for months. Red flag every day. So it was sit on the beach or by the pool and that was it. I also enjoy going into the ocean here, but due to the high winds and the tide, only lasted 10 minutes in the water due to feeling like I was fighting the currents! People who enjoy the Island (Nudie Island) also did not have the opportunity to go.

The beach buffett was also cramped as you had to keep everyone smushed together on the right side, which made it unenjoyable to sit there and watch the show... which was held on the very tiny patio next to the stairs.
Catamaran cruise was cancelled most days.
The bon fire was cancelled.
The DJ at the bayside was cancelled.
And honestly, the shows at the main stage were exactly as they were last year... the same show. So for people like us who LOVE this place, after a day of doing nothing, we would start to watch a show, realize that it was the same and leave.

Please don't get me wrong, We LOVE this resort!!! Thats why we go every year! However, this year due to the Hurricane, it really didn't do it for us.

It is nice to sit around the water and the pool, however, going out on the Hobi Cats is fun and so is the Catamaran Cruise.

I went to the spa two times.
The first time was wonderful!! Regular massage.
Second time I got the "bamboo" massage, not so great.... I still have bruises on my body!! Most unenjoyable... but the lady kind of made me feel bad and said that she really wasn't applying a lot of pressure... so i endured to be polite.

Food as usual was also wonderful.

Staff, fantastic!! The staff really kept us sane while there was nothing to do... especially the bartenders! Thanks guys!!

Not sure I will be back next year.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We spent a week at Couples Tower Isle from Jan 8-15, 2013. I see there's another review from this same time period, and I am not going to read it until I'm done typing my own review.
We have been to Jamaica four times now, three of which have been at a Couples' resort (first two times were at Swept Away).
We were disappointed overall. The resort is quite small and in need of updating in most areas. The pictures on the website don't look the same as the actual resort, that's for certain. The main pool area is a prime example. Service left a lot to be desired in certain areas, and it just wasn't up to snuff for a Couples' resort and price.
One woman at the guest services desk was just short of rude and clearly did not like being disturbed by guests asking questions. We ended up avoiding the desk when she was there. I didn't see her smile once, and her answers were clipped and short.
We were also not happy to discover our Romance Rewards points were wiped clean. The program has changed from four years to just 12 months. We went expecting the perks we believed we'd earned by staying 21 nights, but we got nothing since it's been 24 months since our last stay. We found through several conversations that other RR members had no clue about the change, either. Poor marketing, Couples! In addition, they were out of the Repeaters' t-shirts, so people didn't even get those. In and of itself, this wouldn't make or break a stay, but it's the little things that add up....and it didn't seem as if Couples cared too much about keeping their repeat clientele too happy.
Shy of a couple outstanding employees, we didn't get the feeling like anyone really liked working there. Deon at the omelette station and a couple of the bellmen were great, but other than that, it didn't seem as if employees were too thrilled to be there and serving the guests.
If the beach is important to you, this is not the place for you. Head to Negril. We felt very confined at CTI. The entire beach took less than two minutes to walk, and then there's nowhere to go. If you are at CTI, that's it -- there's nowhere else to go. This will appeal to some, but we love to walk the beach (my fault for not knowing this before we went).
I think what bothered me the most was the poor service in the patio buffet. Over 50% of the time, one of us had to leave the restaurant and go fetch drinks at the bar outside. Breakfast and lunch were the worst. Now, we are not lazy people, and it did not kill us to do this, but when we are paying thousands of dollars to enjoy a vacation at a high-end spot, we shouldn't HAVE to do this. The servers were busy talking to each other and sometimes bickering. Sometimes we wouldn't even have water until at least half way through the meal. Beach drink service was also terrible. To be fair, only one server was responsible for the entire beach, and the beach was packed since the island was never open because of the winds. Still, Couples should have responded to the situation and made it right.
Our room was clean but needed updating. The bathroom smelled like pee, but it was clean. I think it was just in the tiles, and with the humidity, the smell came out. We loved our housekeeper, Jean. She was a gem!
Eight Rivers was excellent (both service and food). Repeaters' Dinner was also outstanding.
The Patio buffet, which is were you'll eat most meals, was a bit boring. The cocktail party on Monday night was very nice, as was the International Night on Saturday.
Someone on the bus on the way to the airport summed it up perfectly. She said, "CTI felt like a hotel, not a RESORT."
We definitely saw some bright spots, but overall, we didn't feel the service, the staff, and the facility lived up to the Couples' brand/reputation/promise. We won't return here.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubuque, Iowa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

My Family and I just finished spending seven days at Couples Tower Isle from 1/8/13 to 1/15/13. This was our first time at a Couples Resort. We had a total of 4 couples that ranged in age from 20 to 35. This was our family’s first time in Jamaica and it took us quite some time to get used to the cultural differences from the States to Jamaica. I am writing this review as we fly back to the States. I am going to be as thorough as possible to ensure that couples who take the time to read it hopefully have the best experience possible on their vacation.


Pros

Food: We made reservations for the entire week the first night we were at Tower Isle. As everyone has said on here the food is to die for. Every restaurant that we ate at had great food including the buffet in the main dinning room. In the seven days that we were there we ate at the eight rivers twice. Both nights the food was excellent. However, you can fully expect and plan to spend 2+ hours on dinner. Considering we were on vacation this was no issue but plan accordingly. We also ate at Bayside one night. The food was excellent again but they did not have sushi which was a little disappointing. On Friday night we ate at the Veranda and we had lobster. I have had better lobster on a cruise ship but it was still very good. The omelet station is also very good for breakfast in the morning. We tried every restaurant on the property and we were not disappointed in any of them. I have seen a larger selection but the quality was excellent.

Dunns River Falls: We took advantage of the complimentary Dunns River Falls excursion our second day at Tower Isle. It was by far one of the best parts of the trip. We did not need to book this excursion we just needed to show up. We went early in the morning on a day when there was no cruise ship in port. If there is a cruise ship in port plan to get there as early as possible to avoid having to wait in long lines. If you are adventurous ask the guide to show you the challenging parts of the falls. At the first falls I was going to break the chain and just touch the far wall. However, our guide Michael Jordan #23 told me if I wanted an adventure I could climb up under the water. I thought he was kidding as the falls had to be 10 ft straight up. However, there were foot holds that I couldn’t see. It was very difficult and if you are not in shape or young the rushing water would knock you backwards. After successfully getting to the top of the first set of falls I would ask the guide to show me the challenging parts for the remainder of the trip. The elderly couples with us thought I was crazy. However, the rest of my group followed right along and we had far more fun the staying connected to the chain. My advice would be to take the challenging routes if you are adventurous. However, be careful because it certainly is more dangerous. The shops at the end of the River Falls are very, very uncomfortable and do not stop or look at anything unless you want to for sure buy it. We left the resort around 9 and we were back around 12 pm.

Catamaran Cruise: We booked the Catamaran cruise the first day we got to Tower Isle. Our original Catamaran cruise was cancelled due to weather. I will talk more about the weather later. The cruise was awesome. Being in my early 20’s I sat up front by the netting on the boat. This was an awesome decision. As we would hit waves the water would come crashing over the front of the boat. The first few times I was not prepared for the power of the water and my sunglasses were knocked off and my rum punch became seawater punch. I would definitely suggest that if you are going to have more than one rum punch at the beginning of the cruise do not sit up by the netting. It could once again be dangerous. If you sit up front you will get wet. Walking around is difficult while moving but the staff made sure we were safe the whole time. We stopped to swim about halfway through the cruise. One person from Canada was jumping off the boat before we had come to a complete stop. This upset the captain but ended up not being a big deal. A member of the crew asked for a volunteer to do a belly flop off the boat. I instantly agreed and without thinking launched myself in the water. I was a little red afterwards but it was still fun. Although the salt water makes you more buoyant I still needed to tread water to stay afloat. I climbed back on board and threw in an orange floating vest. I did a backflip off the boat and used the vest to just float in the water. This made it much less tiring. After the swimming we did a short cruise and a dance party and then headed back to port. We left the Hotel at about 2:30 and got back just as it was getting dark around 6 pm

Chukka Zip Line:
The only excursion that we did that we paid for was the Chukka Zip Line. We talked to the person at the front desk and said that we had 8 people going. She quoted us a price of $105 per person. We talked to our Apple Vacations rep Nicole and she said that she could get us the same excursion for $90 per person. When she showed up to book with us she then gave us one person free. This made the final price around $78 per person. By book through apple we saved $216. The lady in the lobby was very upset that we did not talk to her again because she said she could have done better with the price. Moral of the story, don’t pay sticker price for the excursions. They can and will do better on price if you ask them. The actual zip line was awesome. However, I have never done one before so I have nothing to compare it too. Chukka had 9 lines anywhere from 660 feet to a short drop off a platform. I would not have wanted to do much more. I thought 9 was a good number. The people at the front desk told us not to bring cameras. However, we did anyways and the guide was not upset. We were able to capture some great images and video that we would not have been able to get had we not brought cameras. The guides were also taking pictures which they then tried to sell to you. 10 photos would have cost $30. Overall, I was very pleased. The walk to and from the Zips was long and muddy so wear water shoes or tennis shoes that can get dirty. I was a little nervous to Zip but I am glad that we did and I felt that it was worth the price. We tipped the guides a few dollars and the cab drive $1 per person. We left the hotel at 8 in the morning and we were back by lunch.

Shopping Excursion: We took advantage of the shopping excursion that the Tower Isle has. It left the resorts at 9 am. We started off by going to an Indian Market. I felt that this was very nice and clean and comfortable. We did not find anything that we liked. Next, we went to a very local shop. If you do not like to feel pressured into buying do not go here. This is very, very local and very in your face shopping. When we arrived we broken off two by two and taken to small shops that were 4x4. When inside the hut we were pressured to touch and buy everything. It is similar to the shops at the end of Dunns River where they refuse to take no for an answer. I ended up purchasing a Jamaican T-Shirt for $15 that she originally wanted $28 for. We then had to stop next door at her neighbors shop. She was upset that I would not buy anything. If you have a hard time saying no it may make more sense for you to stay on the bus at this stop. We concluded the tour by stopping at Margaritaville. I felt like we went from third world shopping to the Mall. This was a very nice place and very clean. Overall I thought the excursion was worthwhile and we were back at the Hotel by 1 pm.

Paino Bar: I spent three evenings in the Piano Bar. The sing along is a ton of fun if you have been enjoying the beverages. The older piano man is pretty good. However, he will not stay later than he is supposed to. We had a couple celebrating their honeymoon (Sam & Emily, they are awesome by the way) that were very musically gifted. Emily was kind enough to play the piano and allow us to sing. She knew most songs in the book that they have and she was willing to play until 2 am several nights which made it very, very fun for the 8-10 people sitting around the bar singing. However, I definitely do not think the piano man was very happy about it. If you are a younger couple and looking for more of a party atmosphere this is probably your best bet during the evenings. Emily played and we sang the national anthem several times which I think upset some older Candian couples but then they started to sing Oh Canada. It made for a fun time. We had two different piano players an elderly gentlemen and a younger gentlemen. The elderly gentlemen knew more songs but was definitely stoned or drunk one night he was playing. It made it difficult and less fun to attempt to sing along. The first night he was very good. The younger gentlemen was losing his voice. I told him to just play the piano and let us sing the words. In the beginning he would not take our song requests and didn’t even acknowledge what requests we had made. However, as the night wore on he warmed up to the crowed and it got much better. This was one spot that I did have the most fun but it was primarily due to Sam & Emily and not the actual piano man. Singing the Piano Man song is a definite must though!

Swim Up Bar: We spent two afternoons at the swimup bar. The water felt awesome when the sun was out. Each day we met new people. There were definitely several intoxicated individuals there each day that were loud. If you wanted a quite environment this is not the place to be most afternoons. However, I had a ton of fun here and did several chilled Zambooka shots.

Water Volleyball: We played water volleyball 4 days while at Tower Isle. It was a ton of fun. We played both 4 on 4 and 6 on 6. It was frustrating that two of the 4 days we had to request to have the net put up. We played with a couple from Canada and a few other guests. It was both a good workout and a ton of fun each day that we played.

Safety: Safety was never a problem with us. I felt that the entire time we were at Tower Isle all of my belongings were very safe. Our room safe was big enough for my mac book air and for our passports and money. However, it stopped working three days into the trip. We moved them to my cousins room and stored them there for the rest of the trip. When I tipped the maid she saw exactly where I put the rest of the money I kept in the room. When I came back 5 hours later it had not been touched. I felt very safe and I left everything else out in plain site. I did lose my sunglasses but I am pretty confident that was one too many drinks at the swim up bar and not the result of theft.

Beach Party:
The beach party was awesome. It was very laid back during our trip. I think it was due to the fact that it followed the first sunny day in 3 days and everyone appeared to be very worn out. The food was good but they ran out of almost everything and you needed to wait in line for the vast majority of the higher quality food. The entertainment crew was very good. I had never seen a contortionist nor a fire breather and I felt that both were excellent. We were planning on taking the arranged bus to Margaritaville which was leaving at 10:30. However, if we went on that tour we would have had to stay until 1 am to get a free return ride or get a private taxi back to the hotel. Having to be up to fly out at 6 am we decided to forgo that portion, people at the resort said that on Monday night the whole town goes to Margaritaville and parties with the locals and tourists.


Cons

Service: Our entire group had a very difficult time adjusting to the Jamaican lifestyle and culture. We are from Wisconsin and I can’t imagine what people from New York City would experience. I had read on here that the service was over the top good. However, I found the service to be very, very slow. One day while eating lunch we ordered drinks from the bar. After ten minutes one of the managers asked if everything was ok. We explained that we ordered drinks and had not received them yet. He said no problems man and went to the bar to make sure they were coming. Ten minutes later we still had not received our drinks. He was rather upset and in a few minutes we had our drinks. The server then gave us attitude by saying she is only one person. In the States if you take 25 minutes to get a drink where we are from there would be some upset people. I felt like when we asked for something we were always inconveinicing the staff. I definitely think a portion of it is a cultural thing because the longer we stayed the better I felt the service got. I also felt like there was a lot of employees just standing around. Having family members who have been to an all inclusive in Mexico they said the service was not even on the same level. In Mexico the culture is different and they said the level of service was far superior. Overall I would say I was frustrated. My last example with the service was in regards to the Packers playoff game on 1/12. Two days earlier I had requested that the game room be reserved and that more chairs be brought in. The room was reserved as I had requested but the chairs were not brought in and the room was not ready to accommodate the 30+ people that wanted to watch the game together. I had to physically wipe off and move chairs into the room. I was not upset but it was something that could have been done prior. I had also requested that we have a waiter in the games room for the people wanting drinks. After a complaint from a different guest they assigned a drink person to the room. On the Catamaran cruise we had one of the workers say that he liked my cousins watch and then proceed to ask for it and try and take it off of his arm. He said no but the worker would not take no for an answer. It was a very uncomfortable situation and it left a bad taste in our mouth. Although I did not think the service was overly bad I was definitely disappointed. I was however a fan of Karron, Martin, Reneal and Chayvon. They all did a wonderful job.

Weather: During the 7 days we were at Tower Isle 1/8/13 to 1/15/13 we had all red flag days. The wind was very intense. We had reserved to Scuba Dive and Snorkel on Sunday. However, due to the weather no water activities were allowed the whole week. I think that is rather common for this time of the year and I understand that Couples can’t control the weather. Going forward though I would be aware of that risk during this time of the year. We had two very sunny days where we got plenty of sun and five days where the weather was overcast. I do not think a single couple was allowed to utilize the nude beach the entire time we were there due to the waves.

Scuba Diving: We were one of the last couples that were able to sign up while at the resort for Scuba Diving. We signed up the very first day that we got to the resort. However, a couple after us was told that all the spots were full and they should have reserved them weeks in advance. I feel that this is something that Tower Isle needs to inform guests about before they arrive for vacation.

Tipping: For a hotel that has a not tipping policy I found myself tipping far more than I had expected. We did not tip at dinner except when we ate at eight rivers we left the waiter a dollar or two. However, the catamaran cruise workers asked for tips as did the drivers, and bag men. The drivers to and from the excursions are not Tower Isle employees and we would tip at times and not at others. I would say over the course of the seven days I tipped $50-$100. I tipped more in the beginning of the trip thinking that would improve the service. However, I found that not to be the case. I did tip the maid in our room and she was very appreciative which was nice.

Rooms:
We were in building 1 on the second floor overlooking the ocean. The room was very basic. However, the location of the room was perfect for the main dinning room and for the main pool. It was also very close to the beach and the hot tubs. I would not have wanted to be on the side. The only walk we had was to the swim up bar. As several other people have said the hotel is nice it is just old. Our room was nice and clean as was the hotel. However, it is not super new or super nice. We were not in the room very often so it did not bother me at all. The bathroom is small and my guest would have enjoyed a larger one. However, all we really needed it for was the balcony and the bed and both were fine. We had an annoying frog outside our window that seemed to enjoy making noise throughout the night.


Misc:

Atmosphere: The resort is not huge, it is definitely not a Sandals property. We knew going down that it was going to be a more elegant classy resort. We were definitely one of the younger groups there. It is not a party themed resort and it is definitely centered a round couples that are nearing retirement. However, I did have a lot of fun and several nights we made it past 3 am drinking and talking with other guests. I would say that it is the perfect atmosphere for a honey moon or for younger couples who want to have classy and still have a few lates nights but not have constant party actions.


Conclusion: Having gone on several cruises I would choose that over a week at Couples Tower Isle. I am not a fan of the Jamaican culture at all. The laid back almost laziness of it all was just a bit too much for me to handle. I felt like everywhere we went and even at the resort there goal was to get as much money out of us as possible to the point where I almost felt like we were being taken advantage of, this made me very uncomfortable. I wont say that I wont be back again but if I do it wont be for several years when I am at a different stage in my life. Overall, it was a fun week but I cannot honestly say that I was sad to leave Tower Isle behind.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

Just got back from CTI and already miss it. I can understand why Couples is rated the best all inclusive resorts. I have been wanting to go to a Couples resort ever since I read that it was a top 500 hotel according to Travel & Leisure. I was skeptical since it had bad experiences at other all inclusive resorts, but CTI was totally different. I was fortunate to book 5 nights 2 weeks in advance and was able to book the Secret Rendezvous package which saved me a lot of money. I didn't know which resort I was going to stay at until a week before departure, which is fine since all I need to know was that I need to book my flight into Montego Bay and Couples would take of the rest. Though I was hoping to that Couples would book me at Swept Away (the most expensive resort), they ended up booking me at Tower Isle, which happens to be the least expensive...oh well, but still ended up saving money.

So we ended up at the Montego Bay airport and easily found the Couples Resort airport lounge. I grab a complementary drink and grabbed a few bottles of water for our 1.5 hour van ride. The van ride ended up being a bit longer since we ended up stopping a rest "jerk" stop. Don't bother buying anything, unless you really want a drink...since it is expensive, plus you can get free food at the resort, including the beef patties.

So check in was pleasant and fast. The property was smaller than expected and a bit dated...but that added character and made it more homely. The rooms were nice and so was the oceanview. We were upgraded to a oceanview room, which was a nice...but I had to make that request in advance when I pleaded that they book me at Negril.

The first thing we did after settling in was get something to eat. I must admit that the food was really good for AI. My wife and I definitely gained a few pounds. There are only 4 restaurants in the resort and 2 of them require reservations. I would recommend that you make immediate reservations for Eight Rivers and Bayside. Also, before going to CTI, make sure to pack a pair of slacks, a collared shirt and nice shoes, since it there is a dress code for Eight Rivers. Also, don't make reservations on Monday, since you should have dinner at the beach party (only on Mondays).

The drinks were also good that included some top shelf brands, but you have to ask for it specifically. The funny thing is that the resort does not offer bottle water, but instead you have to carry your own water container and fill it with water at their fountains. However, the room has soft drinks and beer, and there is always room service...which was just as good food.

The beach was nice and private, but small. The lounge chairs were plentiful and comfortable but didn't have arm rests. The pools were not heated and the outside jacuzzi wasn't always working. However, my wife ended up using the jacuzzi at the spa which was nice. The surprising thing was that no one was ever at the spa, so it was private. Even though the spa is separated male/female, in the evenings my wife and I ended up sharing our own private spa...since no one was there.

The resort has its own private nude island which I really wanted to check out...but the wife was not up for it. I am not sure when I will have another chance to go to a private nude island...oh well.

The activities were great. CTI offered free trips to Dunn's River Falls and shopping...which I highly recommend. I would also recommend that you make reservations for the catamaran once you arrive...which was so much fun. The activities at the resort were great when available. Since it was windy (red flag), some of the water activities were not available. But if you get a chance, make sure to check out the Hobie sailboat.

In addition to the activities, the entertainment was great. They had several shows in the evening that are worth paying for...but were free. Even the piano bar was a lot of fun...the pianist was so talented.

On top of this all, the staff was so friendly. I am surprised that they remember our names...maybe it is because we were one of the only Asian there. The staff really made you feel at home.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend CTI. I can't wait to check out the Couples Negril or Swept Away. Couples San Soucie is next to CTI, but I heard that it is too spread out with many stairs. I hope I can get as good of a deal. I can't believe that I didn't have to spend any money on this trip other than buying few souvenirs during the shopping excursion...make sure to bargin...no more than $13 for 8oz of Blue Mountain Coffee or flavored rum.

Room Tip: Make your restaurant and catamaran reservations immediately upon arrival.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

October 26th, 2012.. The Hubs and I got married at Tower Isle. It couldn't have been more PERFECT! The beginning of the trip (10/23/12) started off kind of bumpy and windy, literally. Hurricane Sandy was approaching Ocho Rios.

10/24/12.. Sandy touched down. The wind and rain. Mother Nature was PISSED! But luckily the staff was AMAZING. They kept all of us well informed and full of food and booze. The manager, Mr. Henry called an emergency meeting with all of the guests in the main dining hall. He gave us information about the storm and what the hotel was prepared to do. They boarded up the windows and told us to keep calm and enjoy the amenities and that is what we did. We had the music playing (courtesy of my friend Pat's iPod dock), cards shuffling and the booze flowing! All of us were so drunk that we forgot there was a hurricane outside. The staff could not have been more accomodating. Love, love,love them.

I tried to keep in constant contact with friends and family in NYC who were still trying to make it down to Jamaica. Unfortunately, all airports were shut down. Jamie and Alicia at the front desk were as helpful as can be with letting me know the status of the Montego Bay airport.

10/25/12.. I woke up to a miracle. The sun was shining and Sandy was nothing but a memory. All airports were open and our people were on the way to Jamaica! Yea mon! There was some damage to CTI. The hotel staff and guests pitched in together to clean up the resort.We survived and we were glad to lend a hand in cleaning up our "home away from home". Latoya the wedding coordinator kept me abreast of the goings on with our upcoming wedding. The most significant damage was that the dock washed away to their private island. The Hubs and I were supposed to have the ceremony and reception on the island but unfortunately could not. No worries mon. The manager, Mr. Henry was working on an alternative plan. By late afternoon, everyone arrived!! Life was amazing. I had my hair trial at the on site salon. Tracia was awesome and we had fantastic conversation.

10/26/12.. Here comes the Bride! The weather was awesome. Mr. Henry and Latoya decided that we would have the ceremony in the garden and have the reception on the roof. Even though we weren't on the private island, the Hubs and I were grateful to have all of friends and family with us. Roof, island, garden, the moon, whatever. As long as we were together and safe, everything was alright.

Once again, the staff was amazing. The dj was fantastic. I gave him a playlist and he might have played 5 songs from the list. However, everyone was dancing all night long. The bartenders and waiters were even dancing. They told us the next day that our wedding was the best they ever worked. Even random guests wandered upstairs to the party wondering what was going on. I invited some guests to stay for the party. We decided to have appetizers passed around for 2 hours instead of doing a sit down dinner, which wastes time. The food was delicious. The drinks were strong. NYC was in the house!

We left for our honeymoon to Couples - Negril on the 28th. We hated to leave but it was time to have some alone time. I'll write about my HORRIBLE experience at Couples - Negril next.

All in all, Couples Tower Isle gets an A+. Oh! Did I mention that the air conditioning wasn't working in our original room so they changed us to a bigger and more beautiful SUITE! Loooooooooooooooooooooooooove them!!!

P.S. Most of our friends and family had to stay at CTI for almost an extra week because they couldn't get back to NYC. Hurricane Sandy had traveled up the east coast and the airports were closed. The hotel was accomodating and made arrangements for my guests to stay at a reduced price. Even though it was an unexpected expense for our guests, everyone agreed that there were worse places they could be stuck.

Latoya, the wedding coordinator was AMAZING!
Mr. Henry, the general manager was accomodating.
Ava, the entertainment manager was so much fun and open to ideas from the guests.
Oshane, Shaun and the rest of the bartender/waiters were absolutely the BEST! They kept the champs (champagne) flowing and our buzz continuous! Love love love you guys.
Tracia and the girls at the salon and spa were soothing and knew exactly what they were doing.

The Hubs and I are going back in April for our 3 night stay. (I'll explain in the review for Couples Negril).. We will be back to CTI again, again and again. We LOVE that place!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south jersey
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We spent the New Years holiday at CTI...Dec.29-Jan 3. We had a good vacaton but we more than likely will not go back. The resort was clean and the employees were friendly, not the "you are family mon" that others say. We were disappointed we were only able to get 1 dinner reservation. It was for the Bayside and it was very good! The reservation system is not very fair. We tried to book as soon as we arrived, but were only able to get the one reservation. The week was already booked. We didn't enjoy the lunch or dinner buffets, the grill was ok. Breakfast was good, though. The pools are small and not much beach. And because we had red flag days, the people who would go to the Island couldn't, so getting chairs was hard. Plus the sun seemed to disappear really early in the afternoon. We did go to the Island, (our first au naturel experience)but the lack of a dock made getting on and off the boat treacherous.Plus, when it's yellow or red flags, it limits the "free" amenities, like glass bottom boat, catamaran, water sports, etc. Everything just seemed to move slowly, especially service, even by Island time. We have been to Jamaica several times so we know it's different than here in the US. The New Years Eve gala was wonderful, our one highlight of the trip as far as the resort is concerned. We had quality time together and enjoyed the company of our friends. The icing on our cake in our opinion was when we were told they were charging to our room 5.00 for a donation to Issa Trust foundation. I think that is a wonderful charity but to assume we would be ok with this, come on. If you asked us if we would like to donate, it would have been YES, and probably more than 5.00. We have been to Couples Negril 2 times, San Souci, and now CTI, but we will more than likely not be going back. To any Couples resort.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bedfordshire
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

we have just arrived back from Jamaica and we had an amazing time, people friendly nice food drinks and service, hotel in areas a bit dated especially the carpet but as this is so close to the ocean you would expect this, rooms nice and tidy but also could do with a bit of updating, the mini bar was great as was filled each day and room service spot on, the nude island was a bit weird not that we went but my camera has a good zoom ha ha.
all in all lovely hotel and service great we maybe wont go back to the same hotel but will go definitely go back to the couples resorts somewhere else. my boyfriend always has a moan about something or other but as the service/staff was excellent he actually enjoyed himself for once.

Room Tip: ask for ocean view to the front of the building as that was lovely
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Couples Tower Isle

Address: St. Mary, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Formerly Couples Ocho Rio)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Business Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Couples Tower Isle 4*
Number of rooms: 226
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playground to Hollywood celebrities in the 1950s, glamorous Couples Tower Isle exudes a chic sophistication perfectly balanced by a relaxed Caribbean sensuality. Perched on the lush terrain of Ocho Rios, Jamaica—the resort seduces with breathtaking sea views, a wide sandy beach and century-old palm trees. Discover the joys of snorkeling among the reefs, windsurfing on the waves, or sailing into the sunset on a catamaran, rum punch in hand. Intricate blue tile work and jade chaise lounges offset the striking white retro architecture. Luxurious rooms boast private ocean-breeze balconies. Whether being pampered in the Zen-inspired spa—recognized as "Best in the Caribbean" by Travel+Leisure—sipping cocktails at the piano bar or indulging in an exquisite meal alfresco, Couples Tower Isle creates countless intimate moments that inspire you to return again and again. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Couples Tower Isle Hotel Ocho Rios
Couples Hotel Ocho Rios
Couples Ocho Rios
Couples Hotel Isle
Couples Ochos Rios
Ochos Rios
Couples Tower Isle Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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