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.
- 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