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“Rest & Relaxation in Ocho Rios”
Review of Couples Sans Souci

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Couples Sans Souci
Ranked #4 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 18, 2010

Here it is a couple of weeks after having returned from Jamaica and I’m still looking at our photos remembering the wonderful week we had at Couples Sans Souci. While it’s true that the stairs around the resort could be a no-go for someone with mobility issues, that’s also what makes it so private and serene. You never feel like you’re at a big resort; rather, you feel like you might be at a private villa in the jungle. One of our favorite things was to watch the sky dip behind the hill on the other side of the resort while the egrets came home to roost in the tree outside of our room (G-12b).

I was skeptical about the quality of the food before arriving because (1) we live in a notorious foodie town and (2) I’d gotten ill at our one and only other all-inclusive vacation, but I was very pleased with the quality and choice of foods at CSS. I especially enjoyed our meals at Bella Vista and the beach bar for lunch (get the jerk chicken!). Veronique is a great bartender and definitely took care of me at the beach bash our last night there.

The husband and I are - for the most part - not repeat vacationers, but I’m already trying to figure out a way to get back to Jamaica to stay at the other Couples property in Negril.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Becky-in-Oakland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,128 - 3,134 of 3,901 reviews

Reviewed April 18, 2010

My husband and I travelled to Couples Sans Souci in early April for a weeks' vacation. We enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon at Couples Negril in 2005, so we were excited to try another location in the Couples family. CSS did not disappoint us in any way.

From the moment we arrived, we felt genuinely welcomed and looked after. We were initially put in a ground floor room in the G Block. I had hoped for a room higher up, so we made plans to see a choice of available rooms the next morning. We ended up in a more compact corner room in the D Block; but the views from both our bedroom window and balcony were dynamite. Whenever we weren't out enjoying the various amenities of the resort, we were often to be found lounging on our balcony. Even our mini-bar was out there, so it made perfect sense! We weren't much into the Showtime acts, so we would retreat to our room with a glass of champagne, enjoying the nighttime ocean/starry skies view.

We always found a great shady spot on the beach and didn't have to get up early to do so. Honestly, if you aren't adverse to physically moving chairs around to suit you, you can always find a good spot, whether you prefer direct sun or shade. If I could make one suggestion it would be that the floats/mattresses on the lounge chairs could be refreshed. Some of them are looking worn and not all of the available chairs have one. (I always managed to find one when I went looking, though-again, it comes down to your willingness to move about a bit!)

I agree that the food isn't always a stellar gourmet experience; but it suited us just fine all around. Comments about the breakfast buffet at Pallazina not offering enough choice are simply unhelpful and frankly unfair to the hotel, in my estimation. CSS is mindful about keeping their resort as Green as possible: more choice at the buffet when there are only a maximum of 300 guests that could go to breakfast would simply lead to more waste. My husband and I found there to be ample choice for all of our meals, regardless of whether they were a la carte or buffet.

Coming off a stressful 2009 (really, who wasn't stressed last year?!), my husband and I wanted to unwind and rediscover each other. If you want your CSS experience to be all about making new friends, make it so; if you want to exchange pleasantries with people but then ultimately keep to yourself, that's an option too. You can make your vacation as social or private as you want.

My husband and I used the gym a few times and found it to be fine. My husband tried windsurfing, and we went snorkeling (OK, I'm not a fan--being out in the open water like that just freaks me out too much--but the reef is beautiful and the tour to Reggae Beach and past Ian Fleming's cottage was a nice bonus). We also had a wonderful couples massage in the coveted Swept Away hut--honestly, to feel the breeze moving through the hut, hearing the ocean hitting the rocks just below you, and the birds all around while your stress knot-riddled shoulders are gently pummeled into submission? BLISS. It was worth every penny.

Other reviewers have commented on the beauty and tranquility of the lush grounds, but you really have to see it to appreciate it. The effort that goes into keeping such a sprawling, multi-leveled oasis tidy and gorgeous must be herculean. I can't imagine that they would build a resort like this today--it would simply be too expensive. There's a history to CSS that you can feel. If you're looking for pristine marble and boutique stylings, then CSS is not the place for you. If you want plantation-style charm and pedigree and are prepared to accept some of the cracked tiles here and there that go along with it, then you'll love CSS. My husband and I both agree that we would return in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank TOSnaggle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2010

We loved our vacation at Couples. It is a beautiful place, set into the side of some cliffs along the ocean. The staff is pleasant, friendly, attentive – and plentiful, the food much better than that at other all inclusive places where we have stayed, the rooms large and comfortable, and the beds and pillows were just what we wanted.

To begin, it took us almost 2 hours from when we got off the plane to get to the property, but that ended up not being as much of a pain as we had thought it would be. Our driver was talkative, explaining things as we passed them and answering our questions. Our greeting at the property went just as we expected – they were expecting us and had the room we had requested. We were in one of the higher buildings on the third floor (building D), with a spectacular view of the beach during the day and the sunset over the mountains in the evening – yet the trees and vegetation gave us a sense of privacy.

The restaurants are really good, much better than we expected. If you have experience with all inclusive dining in which there are a massive number of mediocre dishes, this is not that. You actually have a menu, just like in a real restaurant, from which you select your meal. The menus change every night, so you are not forced to eat the same thing over and over. Even the breakfast buffet is good, with an omelet station for cooked-to-order eggs.

The room was perhaps the largest resort room we have ever had. There were two areas, a sleeping area and a den, with a large bathroom and a balcony. The bed and pillows were comfortable, and the sheets soft. As an added bonus, the remote control air conditioner actually worked at keeping the room at a comfortable temperature.

This is a small report, only 150 rooms, and it only has couples, so there are at most 300 people spread over the place at any one time. This gives what we would describe as a peaceful, serene atmosphere to the entire place – just perfect for us. The age range was wide, but I’d say the average was a bit older than at other places we’ve stayed. One reason for this may be that we met a lot of people who have been coming here over and over again – it has a lot of repeat customers. There is something about his place that attracts repeat visits by a lot of couples.

The staff and management are wonderful. We had a minor problem that was taken care of immediately. We couldn’t have asked for better treatment.

We had the couple’s massage in a hut on the cliffs jutting out into the ocean. It was wonderful. We highly recommend it.

The only minor negatives were the beaches, which are small, shallow, and wave-less. We spent most of our time at the au natural beach (and at its swim-up pool bar). For those of you concerned about what that may be like, there is no hanky panky going on. If you care to chat with others, the people hanging out there were friendly. If you prefer to stay to yourself, no one bothers you.

To reiterate, we loved our vacation there. We liked it so much that we have already talked about going back there again next spring – and we have never before been to the same place twice. We highly recommend Couples San Souci.

Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
2  Thank ChrisInMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2010

This was my 40th birthday gift from my husband. I must say it was a fantastic gift. We were very nervous about this trip because we had read some bad reviews. All of our fears were put at rest when we were greeted at the main lobby; the staff greeted us like royalty. The views were breath-taking. There could be some upgrades done in our room, A29 3rd floor. For example, the patio doors were a little difficult to open and the bathroom cabinets were a little worn. But in my opinion, with every thing else that you receive, these are very minor. The view from our room was the best with a full view of the sea and of the main pool. We especially liked the swim up bar. I would recommend getting a dirty banana from the swim up bar and a blackberry smoothie from the healthy bar. Definitely go snorkeling; breath-taking! There are a lot of stairs to climb. But all of the stair ways were laid out beautifully. My husband and I actually enjoyed them. There are some things left to be desired about the menus though. If you are a big meat eater, you may be a little disappointed. The food is pretty good, but the portions are very small. I found the beach grill to have the most "American style" food and larger portions. Just keep in mind that you can order as often as you want and you will have no problem getting full. We would order double portions at the restaurants. The staff had "no problem" with that. Be sure to look up Adrian; he works at the water sports. He was most helpful. He is very polite, and fun to talk with. He helped us to have a wonderful experience while we were there. I say go to Sans Souci and you will have a blast.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank J_29Indiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chitownshandi, Director of Sales and Marketing at Couples Sans Souci, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2010

Hello and thank you for your review of Couples Sans Souci. We are thrilled you enjoyed your vacation with us. I think I will have to start re-negotiating my bday gifts - as your sounded terrific. Thanks again, we look forward to welcoming you home again soon.
Andi Conway
Director of Sales and Marketing, Couples Resorts

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Reviewed April 17, 2010

My wife and I chose couples San Souci because of it's couples only nature and for the reviews we read about on-line. We were not disappointed - average age seemed to be Mid-thirties with some newlywed 20-somethings and few couples married for 40 years. It is a long drive from Montego Bay (~1.5 hours) and immigration can take quite awhile too we waited for about an hour in line. San Souci is terraced into a cliff face which makes for some beautiful views, almost all rooms have a view of the ocean and a balcony. If you are in the A or B block of rooms then you are not on the cliffs but down at the bottom with a short walk to the beach. All rooms are suites and are fairly spacious. Walking around did involve a lot of stairs, but we liked the stairs and the feel it leant the resort. We enjoyed all the restaurants on the property - portion sizes were not large and only the Palazino is buffet style for all meals. Rooms service took a long time and it had a limited menu but it was good. We enjoyed the Tuesday night Jamaican beach party (be prepared to sit with other couples) and the Friday night Gala under the stars (long lines for food that night). The Dunn's River Falls trip is fun - just watch out for the market place as you exit - high pressure sales for trinkets. The spa on site is great. We highly recommend the couples message in the outdoor pavilion on a small cliff right on the water with the surf all around you. Our favorite thing to do was to soak in a jacuzzi - grab a smoothie at the smoothie bar and then go into the 1/2 mineral 1/2 tap pool and watch the sunset. We also took an offsite trip with Know Jamaica Tours. Marva Shaw the owner took us around all day, gave us history and cultural insights and showed us some beautiful vistas. One week went by too fast.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank K8-Ball
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chitownshandi, Director of Sales and Marketing at Couples Sans Souci, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2010

Hello and thank you for your review of Couples Sans Souci. We are thrilled you enjoyed your stay and sorry it went so fast. CSS is so romantic and secluded. Of the 4 Couples Resorts, it has the most acres and the least amount of rooms. Thanks again, we look forward to welcoming you home again soon.
Andi Conway
Director of Sales and Marketing, Couples Resorts

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2010

This hotel is absolutely awesome. The staff are ridiculously friendly; nothing is too much trouble. The food is excellent (we were really nervous about booking all inclusive as we'd never done it before but the whole deal was amazing). I am now in a mortal depression having had to come home and leave such a wonderful place. I was a bit worried having read certain reviews on here that the decor would be desperately in need of an overhaul, but I can honestly say that I don't know what those people were talking about: it's gorgeous there! Go: you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank katharine4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2010

I think the staff made all the difference in our experience at Sans Souci. We made our way to one of the three bars where we met Veronique, Derval, and Adrian T. who took care of us along with many others who worked there. The sports gang Cohen, Barrington, Christopher, etc. played volleyball with all of us whenever they could. We appreciated that they made an effort to make our trip even more enjoyable. We can't forget about Kadian, Ophelia, Fluffy?, Miguel, and the rest of the entertainment crew who always kept an eye out to make sure everyone was having a good time. My husband and I also want to thank Claudett who worked at the restaurant and went out of her way to make it especially romantic for us....My husband and I hope to make it back to Sans Souci to see everyone again. Thanks for taking such good care of us.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bmoxley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Couples Sans Souci

Address: Route A3, St-Mary | PO Box 103, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
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 ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $343 - $597 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Couples Sans Souci 4.5*
Number of rooms: 150
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

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