My husband Michael and I had the pleasure of vacationing at Couples Negril July 5-12, 2013. Unlike many of the guests we met, we were not on our honeymoon (we've been married for four years), but just needed a nice, serene, tropical place to get away for a while. This was our first time in Jamaica AND our first experience at an all-inclusive resort, so we weren't sure how it would go. Turns out, this was by far the best vacation we've ever taken together -- and we're already talking about possibly going back!
Let me start off with the resort's best feature: the friendliness of the staff. My God. Michael and I were blown away. As soon as we got there, we were greeted with a cold washcloth and a glass of champagne. Check-in could have been chaotic with four couples arriving in the same shuttle (including us), but instead it was smooth as silk. Once it was over we got a brief overview of the resort, and then a staff member escorted us personally to our room. From there, everyone -- from the maids, to the waiters/waitresses, to the bartenders, to the entertainment coordinators -- always greeted us with a smile and a friendly "Hey mon! You ok? You need anything?" And it wasn't just their friendly demeanor that struck us -- it was also their eagerness to talk to us, get to know us and even share a few laughs with us. We actually made friends with some of them! Our favorites included Kiev, Bellard, Shaneen and Shawna (entertainment coordinators), as well as Jovaine (watersports) and Elkie (bartender). I must admit, I am a Disney fanatic and have vacationed in Walt Disney World at least 20 times, and the friendliness of the Couples Negril staff blew even DISNEY away. That's saying something.
Michael and I were also impressed by the beauty/cleanliness of the property. What everyone has said here is true -- the Couples Negril beach is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Soft sand, crystal clear blue sea with the temperature of bath water (literally), and plenty of trees that provide a good amount of shade as well as anchors for a few really comfy hammocks. And as a bonus (and Michael and I strolled up and down the beach and didn't see this on any other resort), the foam pads on the beach chairs double as floatees for the water, providing yet another way to relax on the beach. (As a side, the local vendors do set up tables on the resort and/or walk up and down the beach with their items for sale, but they never approach you, and if they do try to get your attention and you’re not interested, you just tell them “No thank you” and they leave you alone.) As for the rooms themselves, I will admit they are not really upgraded. But they ARE clean and well maintained. And the maids do a great job of making each room cozy -- they come every afternoon to clean it, and then again in the evenings to turn down your bed for you. One suggestion I would offer is to maybe put a screen on the bathroom windows -- currently they are only covered with large blinds, which do a good job of covering the space so no one can look inside, but any bugs you might encounter (there aren't many of them) could potentially enter the room through those windows.
Another highlight of our trip was the number and range of activities they offered. When you arrive, you get a packet of information about the resort including a map and an activity sheet, detailing the schedule of activities for each day of the week, for both daytime and nighttime. We found this extremely helpful because there's no way you can keep track of them all on your own! During the day, they offer beach and pool volleyball (these were our favorites), plus things like nature walks, salsa dancing classes, jewelry making classes, bocce ball tournaments, ping pong tournaments, tennis lessons (with an actual tennis pro), and shuttles into the marketplace. Additionally, they offer watersports such as kayaking, snorkeling, glass bottom boat tours, catamaran excursions (which we HIGHLY recommend), hobie cat rides, paddleboating, etc. At night, there is a different show every evening around 9:30 (they call it "Showtime") featuring everything from steel drum bands to traditional bands to magicians and contortionists. They also offer things like bonfires, casino nights, movies on the beach and dance parties. ALL of the activities that I have mentioned are F-R-E-E, included in the all-inclusive cost. They do offer some activities that would cost extra (like night snorkeling, massages, and a private dinner sail for two), but we stuck with what was included. One thing I really loved about all these activities was that they made it very easy to meet and get to know the other vacationing couples (who ran the gamut in terms of age -- we met people age 21 to well into their 60s, and everywhere in between). Michael and I made friends with a few honeymooners, and it wasn’t long before we all started eating and going on excursions together, which was a lot of fun.
And speaking of eating, the last thing I will mention is the food. While it’s not the greatest, most mouth-watering food I have ever tasted, it is pretty good – and those I talked to who HAVE been to other all-inclusives said this food blew theirs out of the water. I will say, though, that Lychee is the exception in our eyes – this food wasn’t pretty good, it was outstanding. Michael and I ate there twice. Both times we ordered the sampler appetizer (the meat and fish one, not the sushi one), and both times I ordered the chicken teriyaki which was some of the best I’ve ever eaten. If Lychee were a restaurant in the States somewhere, you better believe I’d seek it out. As for the drinks, they were pretty good, too. I’m a big fan of fruity drinks, so my faves were the standard pina colada and the Governor’s House, which is pretty much an alcoholic smoothie (you have to ask them to add the rum though – I’m pretty sure the drink is usually served sans alcohol). And there are bars all over the resort (including in the pool), so there’s never a problem getting a drink. But the cool thing about the food and drinks is that there is absolutely no tipping. Unless you are buying something from a vendor or you leave the property, you literally leave your wallet in the safe and forget about it.
Overall, I would give this vacation a 9 out of 10. Absolutely fantastic time. Kudos to Ricardo for running such an amazing resort!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Couples Negril. A brilliant balance of elegant and eclectic. At Couples Negril, style surrounds and infuses everything in sight. From the laid-back charm of the swim-up bar to the intoxicating allure on an in-suite Jacuzzi, there’s just something about Couples Negril that says chic. Defined by imaginative, artistic features and possessing a beautiful balance of elegant and eclectic, Couples Negril is 18 acres of all-inclusive luxury, personality and pleasure. All expertly carved into the captivating landscape of Negril, Jamaica. And while our unique appointments set us apart from any other resort, our unwavering attention to your every desire has earned us recognition as the premier all-inclusive resort not only in Jamaica, but the entire Caribbean ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Couples Negril Hotel Negril
- Couples Hotel Negril
- Negril Couples Hotel
- Couples Negril Jamaica