We have made a trip to Couples Negril every year at Christmas since 2006. I am really sad to write this review but in our honest opinion the place has gone down hill in a very big way. It used to be ranked the 6th best hotel in Jamaica, it is now the 16th, surely that should tell the management something ?
We felt like the poor relations when we went this year, they advertise that they have top shelf alcohol, well they do but only in the piano bar after 6pm at night, they have totally stopped serving Tia Maria and you can only get Baileys at the piano bar. I kicked up a stink as I paid almost £8000 for my holiday and I felt I should be able to drink Baileys at the main bar. I was allowed to have the baileys but they had to hide it under the bar and I had to ask for it specifically and get permission to have it, not right in my opinion. Also Bacardi and Smirnoff vodka were not available.When the manager was asked why these drinks were not available he said that it cost too much to import these drinks and they would be replaced by local substitutes (just like everything else).Yet at the same time in Tower Isle (another of their resorts on the island) people were given a small bottle of Tia Maria each when Santa arrived on Christmas day !
Everything here seems to be geared towards the Americans, both drink,food and entertainment, yet they have a travel agent based in the UK and in Europe, why bother if you are not going to cater for us.
Evening entertainment is very disjointed and under par to be honest, they repeat the same things over and over, they put the main act on when everyone has finished eating and left the dining room so the poor person has to sing to an empty room, there used to be background music at the main bar before the entertainment, that was no longer playing so deadly silent which does not make for a good atmosphere, then the house band would do background instrumental music for a little while, then stop and again deadly silence, then they would come back play for a bit and go again before the main act. Does not work at all.
While we were there, there was a very large group of American guests who were attending a wedding, to say they were loud and obnoxious would be an understatement, at least one of them would get so drunk every day that they could barely stand, they had absolutely no consideration for anyone else at all at any point of the day or night. One night, myself and my husband had booked a table for two in the fine dining restaurant which is supposed to be the most romantic restaurant on the resort, only to find that the group, spread over three tables were having dinner in there at the same time, they were shouting at each other across the tables, at one point one of the females was so drunk she actually fell on the floor, it was a nightmare for everyone in the restaurant. At no point did any of the staff ask them to quiet down or anything, they were allowed to do exactly as they pleased. Again, not right in my opinion.
New Years Eve means a big party with a big buffet throughout the main restaurant, every year they usually have lobster and prawns, as the years have gone on the amount of each has decreased, this year there were no prawns at all. The entertainment this year was marginally better than last year but not by much to be honest.
We have several staff members who we have got to know very well over the years and you can tell they are not happy. An awful lot of trainees are used now,for instance on New Years Eve the main bar staff (and the best), Tennyson and Omar were given the night off, this sadly affected our enjoyment of the night.
There are numerous other things that are not the same as they were, too many to mention to be honest, I know that there will be people who think my review is wrong, but I have visited Couples Negril seven times and I have seen a gradual decline, the prices for us get higher and higher every year yet we receive less and less for our money every year. The management need to start listening to the repeaters who are not happy and actually take action on it, instead of fobbing them off with excuses.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Valued Guest,
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As you correctly stated, there has been changes over the years. The market has become much more competitive, with smaller resorts coming on board which are not necessarily all inclusive and this has contributed to the change in our ranking. One also has to bear in mind that the number of responses plays a significant part in determining where the resort is ranked.
We have in fact adjusted our alcohol offering by replacing some items with more popular options but top shelf liquor is still available. I do apologize that this is not to your liking; however, as you can imagine, meeting the preference of all our guests is a continuous challenge that we are faced with.
I am sorry that you felt that our offerings were geared toward American guests but we cater to an international clientele and our goal is to promote our Jamaican culture and custom. This is heard in our background music and evening shows; therefore, striking the appropriate balance is one of our main targets. We are constantly revamping our entertainment program and hope that the changes will better appeal to your taste when you return. We also welcome your comments to assist us in our continuous improvement.
I regret the unfortunate experience you relayed concerning the wedding group; however, when it is observed that the behavior of any guest is disturbing to others, management takes control of the situation reminding the individual to be mindful of the other people around and if the situation proves to be getting out of control, more stringent action is taken.
Thank you for mentioning Tennyson and Omar who are indeed two of our stalwart bartenders; however, we have several other capable employees on the team to fill in whenever these persons are off. As a means of keeping our employees motivated, we also rotate their shifts so that the same bartenders do not work only on the night shift or only during the day time. This gives them the opportunity to also enjoy the festive season with their own families and friends.
Numerous other repeat guests have commented that our food has improved over the years and we will continue on that trend and our menus are going to be continuously revised.
Unfortunately, price increases cannot always be prevented and this is not only the case for Couples Negril but does happen all across the world, as it is the result of the global economy. Sadly, with the increasing cost of doing business today, expenses are on the rise. We try our best to control cost within the operations without passing this on to our guests. With an effort to maintain the standards and offerings that our guests enjoy, we are sometimes left with no other alternative but are forced to pass on the increase to our valued guests; however, our management team is keeping abreast of this and will continue to make the most suitable decisions in the best interest of all our stakeholders, including you, our valued guest.
We trust that you will return to Couples Negril so that we can remind you of the pleasant memories you previously experienced here.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.