We stayed at CSA 30.10.12-15.11.12.
This was our second visit to CSA. My husband and I were married there in 2008 and did not have a single bad word about it, hence our repeat visit. This time however, we were disappointed on quite a few accounts, which was such a shame, and seriously wish we had not returned.
There were still some fabulous parts to the vacation:
The weather was wonderful considering we arrived straight after hurricane Sandy.
The sports complex was still incredible. We played tennis each morning, the coaches are awesome, the gym well equipped and the lap pool great, although heavenly chlorinated. The only fault was instructors not showing for their classes.
Feathers restaurant is still wonderful and well worth the visit.
The beach is still lovely although far more vendors this time,
The catermaran cruise is still great.
We also did the horse riding excursion from the hotel with Chukka, this involved riding in the mountains and then a splash around in the sea. It was not value for money. The last time we were there we went horse back riding and managed to swim on the backs of the horses, it was not the case this time although we did have a great guide.
We also did the deep sea fishing trip, again arranged through the hotel. This was wonderful, we brought back a tuna that we caught and the chef cooked it for lunch.
The swim up bar was good fun, although not opened for our first four days due to changing its roof. Edwardo, the bar tender was awesome and should be on the stage, highly entertaining!!
There were still plenty of sun loungers and floaters, so you could always select where you wish to bathe.
We went to the managers cocktail dinner party for return guests on the Monday, this was superb with amazing food. We met a lovely couple from Maryland called Paul and Felicia and had dinner with them and their parents. Following this we went to the piano bar and aura nightclub and had a ball ~ real nice folk.
The negatives. Despite booking a garden suite we were put in the Great House, room 5214. It was awful, and would have been given 2* in a budget hotel!! It overlooked next doors air con on the roof of their run down cafe and was incredibly noisy. It had the service road below, catering staff played loud music at 6 am and to cap it off, there was a constant loud vibrating noise in the room 24/7. We did not sleep. It was the chimney from the kitchens that extracted air, literally attached to the side of our balcony. Not good. Because of the location of the room (furthest away possible) and facing the wrong way, we felt completely out of the hol. We did ask to be moved and were done so after a week of enduring the awful place. We were moved to the other side of the Great House. It was better and we overlooked the pool and sea, but it was being able to see other holiday makers that we needed as we had felt so excluded..
This room was adequate. We had problems with the mini bar being stocked and it was only water we required. We had to keep going to the front desk at all ours of the day to pick bottles up. The room was cleanish although there were ants and a couple of roaches,
The food was not as good as 2008. It appears corners have been cut and cost savings made. One understands the recession has a lot to blame but when you are still paying £5000.00 for a 5* hotel you expect 5*. The drinks were ok,but you had to specifically ask for premium drinks this time rather than just be given them, and some of the staff ignored your request.
We had two disasters with restaurants. One was patois. We had no silverware following appetiser and the waitress told us to use our dessert fork, without knife, to eat our steak!! I think not. She marched off but I called her back. Our silverware was thrown down at the table. This waitress belong to a few of the staff that made you feel unwelcome and should be grateful to be there!!!
The next service issue was in Lemongrass. It was the third time we ate in Lemongrass as we had a 15 night hol. It was beyond belief! We were told not to bother ordering appetiser and just order entree. The waiter said he had it sorted, we gave him the benefit of the doubt...the appetiser he sorted was the usual share platter, but had obviously been sitting for ages as it was cold and soggy. We wonder whether wthe chef was trying to get rid it of it because the server had made a mistake. We didn't eat it. My husband then asked if we could order soup since we did not have a option. The server was incredibly rude and you thought it was asking for gold dust, before I even got the change to request shrimp, off he marched (you are supposed to get choice of shrimp, beef or chicken. The soup was slung on the table, so much so, it splashed over the sides of the dish and on to the table cloth. That wasn't eaten either. Entree arrived, and the dishes were soooooo salty they were I edible. We complained, and I spoke to the server to question about his rudeness. He was arrogant and did not care. It is saddening to stay it is supposed to be premium service.
Palms restaurant was ok, lot of buffet food which was fine. The beach parties were indoor both weeks, considering there was nothing wrong with the weather the second Friday which makes you think they could not be bothered.
Some service at the bars were poor, we were served a plastic beach glass at diinner.
A large proportion of the staff seemed p'd of to be working there, and couples need to be reminded that the staff shoukd be their most valuable assessts!
The grills on the beach were good for snacks.
The cocktails were good, especially those served in Palms.
Room service was hit and miss. The room was never made to mid afternoon and yet the turn service was at 6pm when we're just whet showered and because of this we missed the service and the lovely little cards they left.
Water volley and beach volley etc etc did not happen, no recruitment, and no show by the entertainment staff. Activities revolved around bead making jewellery, hat make and weaving basket.....
Nighttime entertainment ok. A few short shows but all closes down at 10.30. Then there's the piano bar. We thought this was great the first vacation but now there's a chap that sings with piano man. He used to be one of the entertainment staff and now sings. all night, sing, sings, at the expense of the guests having ago and having a giggle, is an an annoying want to be Bruno Mars!!
Casino night was a wash out, much as all the other activities.
I did speak with Krystal, ent coordinator that I thought lovely and she did frustrate her thoughts re activities, explaining that this has been mentioned to the management but the management want quiet activities/ no noise.... That's fine for a short relaxing break, but when you are there for 2 weeks sometimes it would have been nice to have something going on.
The grounds were still lovey but need some TLC. washrooms not always clean, no tbathroom paper....basic stuff really, that should be attended to.
We found the drug problems in Negril an issue, you was asked, even when sun bathing on the beach. As soon as went a walk on the beach, you got offered everything. When you explained you did not want drugs you was the offered souvenirs instead....couldn't believe you was offered drugs over souvenirs. Many peep in the hotel smoking.
I could continue but won't... Just check your room before taking it as they do room swaps each day. Take no rubbish from the servers, be careful with the frozen cocktails and the amount of salt in the food as so many people got gastroenteritis and were quite ill
This vacation did take the shine of our previous memory there, we were not swept away this timedeans will not be returning. We will stick to sandals with higher standards, better food and good entertainment
Mandy and Ray