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“Not what was expected, and not in a good way”
Review of Couples Sans Souci

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Couples Sans Souci
Ranked #4 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
CA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Not what was expected, and not in a good way”
Reviewed September 9, 2007

We went in June for 11 days, having stayed at Couples before, we thought we could expect the same level of service, not at this resort. My fiancee wanted to go back to Swept Away but I convinced him we should try Sans Souci.
We spent months pouring over message boards and reading reviews. After our decision we were nervous about things we were starting to read, while some were unwarranted most were true.
We booked an oceanview suite(all rooms at this place are suites is a plus) We did get upgraded which I was thrilled about!! We got a beachfront with jacuzzi instead. The room was fine. Its not brand new, but not too bad. The bed was terribly uncomfortable and the couch had mildew all over it and required placing a towel down to be able to sit on it. There was an ac unit in each room and one leaked. I did not know this, and slipped on water that I could not see and hurt my knee very badly it still hurts 4 months later. After finding this out, they did send someone to fix it, but they didnt and I fell again. The jacuzzi tub was nice. The balcony was small. We were near the service road to the beach, and I thought for a romantic resort they had too many cars/trucks traversing the beach area.
Food, not at all what we expected. We kept hearing about how great the food was. We found it mostly to be subpar. The food at Casanova was okay, however, I would stay away from the spinach pasta as it gave me food poisoning and I was on the toilet the rest of my trip and medication for 2 weeks after my trip home.The breakfast buffet was nothing spectacular, the same food everyday, except they changed the porridge each day. We were eating at the awful lunch buffet every day until we found the beach grill and we ate there for lunch instead. Palazzina was good for creme brulee and crab quiche. I would also not recommend the gala or beach party. The food was nothing what we expected. They called it a grand jamaican buffet, we thought the other restaurants were better, but they are all closed the nights of these things. DO NOT EAT SEAFOOD PASTA at beach party or gala. My fiancee ate this and was throwing up for 2 days afterwards shrimp and whatever else was in there. After the beach party I would order room service since their food was better although most times it came lukewarm at best. The repeaters dinner... well lets say they tried to hard. They tried to make it overly complicated and it was just not that great either.
Beach- I could have dealt with everything else had it not been for the beach. This is absolutely the worst beach ever. It is gritty rocky, and is not white sand at all. At first I thought there was nothing they could do about this. However, we were told they truck the sand in, I suggest they start getting some without rocks. Also, they cant do anything about this, but the water is really shallow and full of seaweed which is pretty yucky. The nude beach is far far worse. I had heard this was the better beach and let me tell you now, it is NOT! Same story with the sand. Also the nude beach is not private, you share the beach with other resorts. Also, there was some huge lagoon full of stagnant water so you couldnt really even get to the ocean. It was just bad.
Beach chairs-unlike other things we had read, there was no problem with beach chairs or floaties. There were plenty for everyone.
Staff- Some members were friendly, others acted like you were a thorn in their side. The pool bar had one guy who just hated his job and would give you your drink last if you did not tip him. (more on this in tipping section) They would give you a ride from your room to places around the resort so that was nice, and the housekeeper was great.
minibar- This was never full the entire time we were there. It wasnt even full at checkin. All I wanted was some ting and red stripe. We called room service since this is where we were told to get it. They never brought it. The guy who refilled us always ran out of stuff since we were on the top floor and he never bothered to come back. 3 days and 6 phone calls later we still had nothing. Finally at the managers party, we met with the manager and he sent up 6 red stripes right away. But you can believe after they were gone, they were never refilled again.
Spa-Spa was nice, however watch them on time. They try to cut you short. They had to give my fiancee an extra treatment bc they only did 2.5 hrs of work and we paid for 3.
housekeeper was very nice and helpful. she was very attentive and pleasant.
tipping- I saved this section for last becuase it ticks me off the most. Couples says no tipping, but let me tell you, they will take your tip and even expect it. People on the couples message board always blast people who say this but it is 150% true. The guy who brought the bags to our room lingered around as if expecting something, we of course just sent him on his way. However, we had never been sure if we were supposed to tip the spa people, but let me say that when handed $40 they snatched it right up. Later we found out they are not supposed to take tips either. Finally the pool bar guy. We were sitting there one day, and five or six people got drinks before us. And when we asked the bartender who shall remain nameless, he pointed to the guy next to us and told him to explain the 'system' to us. Apparently the system was that if you gave him a tip you got your drink first and if you didnt tip he would get to you whenever he felt like. I know this to be true as I saw people handing fives left and right. As for people who say they will be fired on the spot for taking a tip, that is not true either, as we saw tips being exchanged with management present and nothing was done about it. We didnt tip anyone except the spa people and would not have done so if we had known better.
If you dont like this review fine. But dont base all your info on the couples website. They do not post anything negative about the resort, and if they do its just so the other people on the board can rip the reviewer a new one. If you ask those people couples is the best place in the world. They never find any fault with it and if someone else does they say oh it must be becuase your picky hard to please, etc. I am sure this review wont be accepted well there, but I felt like I needed to be honest. I waited to write this review to see if my feelings had subsided and they hadnt. In fact, we will not visit couples again after going repeatedly because we feel the quality is just slipping. We are planning to go to st. maarten instead.


  • Liked — room upgrade, room service, some staff members, architecture and grounds
  • Disliked — THE BEACH, staff members expecting tips, food, unstocked minibar
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank Frequentflier08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2007

Arriving at Couples San Souci was an even in itself. Originally my wife and I were supposed to arrive at Couples San Souci on Monday August 20th for our honeymoon but a hurricane (Dean) had other plans for us. To make a long story short, we cancelled the trip, booked elsewhere, got bumped out of those reservations (found out once we arrive in the Bahamas) and finally rebooked at Couples San Souci for the next day. Once we got to the resort all the stress and problems of the previous two days just melted away. Now let me pass on my experiences at San Souci

Food-----
The food was plentiful. We mainly ate lunch at the Beach Grill (hamburger and jerk meats) and dinners at the Italian and French restaurant. The dinners were designed as single person meals so make sure that each of you orders an appetizer as well as an entree...oh and don’t forget the desserts. The tiramisu at the Italian place was great and the crème Brule at the French restaurant was soooo rich and wonderful. Breakfast at the French restaurant is a must. It is buffet style but you will not be disappointed plus the view from the patio as you eat is fantastic. Oh room service is very good as well. Don’t pass up an opportunity to have a morning room service breakfast on your balcony or a sunset dinner.

Spa-----
I am not a spa person so take this review with a grain of salt. We upgraded the honeymoon massage to an 80 minute message (they give honeymooners a free 25 minute massage). My wife loved it....myself, it was ok. The room they do the massages is awesome. It is right over the water, a breeze drifts in to cool you down and you hear the waves crashing on the rocks below...it is definitely a romantic thing guys…. so take your women to it or at least schedule your woman a massage there.

Water sports----
We went snorkeling at the resort only once. The coral heads and rocks are cool but there are not a lot fish in the area. Did not do the diving so I am not sure how that compares. If you want to do snorkeling on your own then I recommended that you go over by where the massages are done. There are more coral heads and fish in that general area...the beach area is not the place to snorkel. There are sailboats to use, you can water ski as well, or just float on the water with the beach chair cushions. Water volleyball is definitely a great activity to participate in. We met a lot of cool people that way.

Excursions----
Dolphin Cove- is a beautiful place but it is expensive. We did the dolphin encounter....swimming with the dolphins, they pull and push you through the water. I recommend booking this excursion before you go. Before I cancelled my original trip I booked this for my wife and I and it was not too expensive...about 175 a person. When I rebooked after arriving at San Souci it was 260 a person. It is a once in a lifetime thing to me...so I do not see myself doing it again.
Tubing on the White River- It is about 75 a head and worth every penny. It was relaxing, a great way to cool down on a hot day, and you see a part of Jamaica that you would not see if you spent all your time at the resort. It is beautiful country side, crystal clear water, and the guides are extremely cool and fun to be around. The 40 minute drive to the starting location is very nerve racking (single lane roads, non-paved roads, etc...) but all that stress melts away as you get wet in the tropical river.
Dunn’s River Falls- (free to San Souci guests) I though this would be the most boring place we visited. I was so wrong. It is a tourist spot big time but it is a great way to spend an hour or so (schedule it when the cruise ships are not in). The water is refreshing and the climb is fun. Not a hard a climb at all but it can be slippery....I was the only one who fell down (during the first 10 minutes of the climb). Just follow the guides, they know where to step. There is a photo op every 20 feet or so…bring an underwater camera.

Tipping-----
I read a few reviews here that tipping will help the service. We tipped when someone when out of their way to make us feel welcome but the service was great regardless. Do not expect the quick service that you get in the States though. This is Jamaica and it runs on island time. Just sit back, drink you Red Stripe and relax; you taken care of.

Property----
Bring comfortable walking shoes. The area is gorgeous and there is a lot to see. There are many steps so if you are out of shape or like me….a previous smoker…you will feel a bit winded. All the steps are trivial though when you look at the property as a whole. It is beautifully build into a rock cliff face and has the best romantic feel of any place I have been to in a long while. Take a night time walk with a bottle of champagne and find an unoccupied Jacuzzi for you and your significant other to relax in…you will not be disappointed.

Shopping----
Buy everything you need at the airport. It is duty free and sometimes cheaper then in Ocho Rios or at the resort.

Things to bring.
At least 1 underwater camera, water shoes…a cheap pair, about 200 or 300 in single bills, you will be tipping of the resort or paying for cab rides, etc…the local shops generally don’t have change for 20s or higher so bring small bills. Other than that, bring a smile and an good attitude and you will be very happy at San Souci.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
14 Thank surfrider91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jamaica
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2007

My fiancé & I are Jamaicans but he's not living here now. He came to Jamaica on vacation and we decided to go hotel-hopping. It was during Hurricane Dean and we couldn't get anywhere to stay, after the hurricane we ventured out Couples Ocho Rios had rooms thank God...
On the way we saw Couples San Souci & decided to stop not knowing it wasnt the same plce...We decided to stay...Our 1st impression was that the security guard was very friendly, they there was the bellhop, who was also very pleasant....On checking in we were offered something to drink and took champange...I was very surprised, as we had stayed at 3 hotels before.
When we were escorted to the room...I instantly fell in love with it...It was like an apartment, very comfy, it had a homely feel....the balcony was large and the view beyond the trees were lovely. The first thing we did was ordered room service, which was another pleasant surprise, as theother hotels didnt offer that service....We then went to the 24 hr grill by the beach & had some grilled chicken and burger & had a good chat with the chef.
I am in love with Couples San Souci and will definately go back there...I am sorry I went to the other hotels, I should have stated there the entire period.

Stayed August 2007
Helpful?
4 Thank DiMichy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2007

We will bre returning again in September, 2007 for our twelfth
consecutive stay at this magnificent resort. The reason I am
taking the time today to write this letter is because from time to
time when I review the results of traveler's comments regarding
their stay at Sans Souci, they almost always go on and on about
the magnificent staff, how friendly, how kind and how wonderful
they are, which certainly I do not dispute. They are truly the best.
However, most recently I noted someone who wrote in and
stated that the Manager should be well pleased about this fact.
Let me tell you something - it is BECAUSE of the General Manager, Pierre Battaglia, that the staff is so outstanding. The
employees, without exception, worship and adore Mr. Battaglia.
I can't tell you how many times and it just happened again during
our brief stay in August, when employees rave about his kindness and how well he treats his employees. So I just
wanted you to be aware, that it is by no means and accident
that this resort has the best staff in Jamaica, and probably in
the entire Caribbean. In other words, "what goes around,
comes around."

One more thing. Although everyone raves continuously about
the gourmet food, the excellent service, the beauty of the property,
etc., every now and then someone comments about the need to
up-date the rooms, which I certainly do agree upon. Just
want you to know though, this is now being done and when I
visited just a few weeks ago, it was nearly completed, and
the suites now are ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! So don't
hesitate to hurry back to the greatest place on Earth to
spend your vacation - Couples Sans Souci.

Roz and Sam - Hallandale Beach, Florida

  • Liked — Magnificent views, spacious and great housekeeping staff
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank calicogirls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Decatur, Ga
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2007

We arrived at Couples Sans Souci on August 8, 2007 and stayed 8 days & 7 wonderful nights. We were married on August 10th at the Gazbo, It was absolutely beautiful. this resort is very laid back. My husband and I both are somewhat solitary people, we never ever felt over crowding from the moment the shuttle pick us up until we left.

This is a beautiful, tranquil and exoctic place. With all of it's green foliage it's just breathe taking. But one thing definitely sticks out, and that's the tremendous STAFF!.

No matter how beautiful a place is, If you're not treated well, then that can be a downer on your vacation. Couples Sans Souci is a wonderful and elegant resort. That gives you that one on one feeling.

The food is wonderful. This is a five star ***** establishment. Both the CASANOVA and PALAZZINA. the attention to details on all levels is why my husband and I have chose to return to Couples Sans Souci next year. Not just Jamaica but to this particular resort. Home away from Home.

Thanks Couples! We love you. And thanks a million for making our wedding special. The Harris'

  • Liked — The Staff
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank Regenia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2007

It's been a few years since I've been to Sans Souci but I will tell you of my experiences. I have been to the resort 3 different times and loved it. I recommend getting signed up for your complimentary spa treatments as soon as you check in. They do a great job. The have evening entertainment but not a disco. There was plenty of fun for us though. There is a beautiful clothing optional beach that is fairly quiet and you can keep yourself separate if you are shy. We loved this resort and all the staff was great. We did not tip until the end of the trip and then we slipped a few key employees that really went out of their way to make our time special... some cash. The negative would be the distance from the airport but it's worth it. The falls are beautiful. We had an employee recommend a private driver we could use to take us off resort to shop and do a little site seeing. It was worth not being in a big bus/crowd.

  • Liked — spa treatments included, all inclusive
  • Stayed December 2003, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Heather_TN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shepherdstown, WV
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2007

My husband and I loved this place. The rooms were beautiful, the staff was excellent! The beach was also very nice. I was not disappointed with the food either. I am not one for buffet style food but this place was quite good. We also ordered room service one night. The Balloon bar was nice in the evening after dinner.

My husband enjoyed his massage at the spa and I had a manicure and pedicure-which were done very nicely. If you are getting married in Jamaica-this is the place to go! A couple was married there one afternoon and the set-up was beautiful.

If you don't mind the 2 hour ride from the airport-this resort is the place to go.

  • Liked — Room, beach, staff
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank cpgins
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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