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“Great for all ages, something for everyone”
Review of Couples Tower Isle

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Couples Tower Isle
Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
“Great for all ages, something for everyone”
Reviewed August 4, 2004

My boyfriend and I (27 and 25 years old, respectively) just got back from Couples Ocho Rios a few days ago, and had an absolutely wonderful time. We both agreed that after having experienced an all-inclusive resort, it will be very hard to switch to a "normal" vacation next time around. COR definitely spoiled us for the five days that we were there.

The trip from the airport to the resort (a 2-hour drive) is very sobering. You really begin to understand that Jamaica is a third-world country, despite the beauty that you will find at COR.

As for the resort, well, this place is amazing. The cool towels/champagne upon arrival is delightful. It's definitely that "Old Hollywood" style, especially the piano bar, which usually doesn't get too crowded until 11pm or so. The staff are friendly and courteous, and the housekeeping is second to none... they even turn down your bed at night and left us a beautiful orchid on our pillow one day. Every time we came back to our room, it was spotless.

The beach is smaller than many expect, but it is raked hourly and we never had trouble finding a spot either on the beach or at the pool. We didn't check out the nude island Tower Isle, but wish that they opened it up to the "clothed" crowd at night... would make an excellent party spot or just a nice place to get away to for awhile.

You really don't need to bring that much money with you to COR - enough to tip the driver to/from the resort, plus the guides of any non-COR activities (horseback riding, Dunn's River Falls, etc) - and of course, money to pick up souvenirs. There's a "bank" on premises that allows you to take out $50USD per day, if necessary. Pack CAREFULLY because necessities at the gift shop are outrageously expensive - $5 for chapstick, $20 for contact lens solution, etc. So make a list in advance before you pack and try not to forget anything!

There's a duty-free jewelry store attached to the gift shop, but we priced the Movado watches there and it wasn't a very good deal. Nice stuff, though... must say that I was intrigued with the "Couples Ring" - ladies, you'll see what I mean when you get there. Very interesting design.

The food is great - yes, sometimes you'll see some bugs flying around the buffet area, but it's not like COR can put Mother Nature on hold, and we didn't feel that the hygiene was compromised - everything is covered up with Saran wrap, anyway. We loved the French restaurant Le Gourmet, definitely stop by there if you can - the pate wrapped in pastry dough was delicious, and the atmosphere is sooo romantic.

Beach party was very festive (the head chef stood at the top of the stairs and appeared genuinely concerned that the guests were having a good time) and the beach grill is great when you're hungry, but you don't want to put on anything more than your bathing suit! We skipped the Jamaican restaurant and the pasta one. There was plenty of variety at the buffet, and breakfast there is yummy.

If you play tennis, this is the place for you. Five immaculate courts, two of which are open 24 HOURS A DAY. Decent rackets and located about twenty feet from the entrance of the resort. There is a mini-craft market outside of the tennis courts where you can get a pretty good deal on stuff - I got a scrapbook for $20 which the gift shop was selling for $25. Probably better deals to be found if you haggle, but I really wasn't in the mood to do so based on my paragraph regarding the van ride to the resort. $20 to these people means a lot more than it does to me, I'm sure.

The basketball courts (yes, we tried a little one-on-one, despite the heat that day) are kind of rundown, but who goes to Jamaica to play basketball? They're functional...

There's a ton of random stuff to do, if you get bored sitting on a loungechair by the beach/pool. Shuffleboard, chess, backgammon, pingpong, billiards, casino area, gym, spa, etc... water sports, too. We skipped the catamaran cruise (looked like a glorified booze cruise, and since the drinks are free anyway, we skipped it) and we also missed the glass bottom boat ride. If we ever head back, we'll definitely take advantage of the scuba diving certification.

Dunn's River was nice (great way to meet other people at the resort, as you are forced to hold hands with people as you climb up the waterfalls), but the craft market is a very pushy place... be careful. Some guy carved my name into a wooden doll and seemed a bit irate when I wouldn't give him more than $10 for it. Also, flipflops won't work on this trip, so make sure you pack either a pair of sneakers (that you don't mind getting wet) OR some sort of Teva-like shoe that you can climb in. Take the advice of past reviews and go on SUNDAY when the cruise ships aren't docked.

Horseback riding is great, we lucked out because it wasn't too hot that day. Some of the horses look elderly and tired, I had a bit of a problem with that... but I'm also an animal lover and might be too sympathetic. I was concerned the Jamaican sun (in July) might be too much for the animals, but I suppose they've lived on the island their whole lives. Anyway, if you go - skip the video (those things are so cheesy, anyway) and purchase the 8x10 photos if they come out good. We did and I LOVE them.

We couldn't really figure out the aviary. Looked like there were walking paths built in, but the doors appeared to be locked each time we tried. Either way, they seemed to have quite the array of lovebirds and god knows what else.

The bartenders are friendly and fast, although be forewarned that the drinks are served in pretty small cups. Lots of trips to the bar and back, however, aren't necessarily all bad... good opportunity to burn some calories and figure out how tipsy you really are. My boyfriend liked the Big Bamboo (for those of you who can handle some serious booze) while I preferred the Hummingbird (tastes like a strawberry milkshake, but supposedly has some alcohol in it.)

I think the average guest age here is 35. Most people are married... we were referred to as "husband and wife" a few times and I noticed that most of the women at the resort were wearing rings! However, we are in our twenties and had a fabulous time despite the older crowd, and met quite a few other couples in our age range - especially on their honeymoons. If you're looking for wild and crazy partying with lots of 21 year olds, head to Hedonism. Otherwise, if you're looking for a place to relax, grab a drink, take a nap in a hammock or cuddle in a private (albeit slightly overchlorinated) jacuzzi, COR is the place to go.

If you've read some bad reviews of this place, heed them no mind. In order to have a bad time at this resort, you definitely need to arrive with a major chip on your shoulder. Otherwise, be assured you're going to have a FABULOUS time - there is a reason that this place has the reputation which it does.

  • Stayed July 2004
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24 Thank Melanie3979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 2, 2004

I just returned from my honeymoon (8/2) fron Couples Ocho Rios and I must say that it is the best place to have a honeymoon.
Aside from the consistent good weather that graces the place, there are so many options that are available to you on the premises and lively excursions off premises. One off premise trip that I strongly advise for couples is the trip to Shaw Gardens. It's the most inexpensive and yet the most interesting with the rich gardens and breathtaking view of the city of Ocho Rios.
On days that we chose to stay close and flop on the beach and in the water, you will not be disappointed. The sand naturally is hot but the water is lukearm, NEVER gets cold, even in the evenings, and sometimes you are blessed with a full moon in the evenings which has a somewhat aphrodisical effect on couples.
The best restaurant on the premises,Le Gourmet, is upscale and has a dress code but it is worth paying it a visit.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you just feel like bumming around in your swimwear all day( and night), you can eat at the Beach Grill, which in my opinon, serves better burgers and fries than any burger joint in the states, but the hands down favorite was the fried fish.
The free frinks did not taste as if they were free. They used premium brand liquors and mixed drinks like master barkeeps. I had a personal favorite bartender that mixed so well, I frequently tipped him although it was forbidden to do so.
The rooms were in great condition, the linens and towels were changed frequently and the room service was timely and very courteous. You must try the continental breakfast one morning in bed, the banana bread is the best.
The staff will go out of your way to please you. I mentioned to a staff member that I never had fresh coconut juice and one of the members climbed one of the local trees, cut one one down and served it open with an umbrella and brown sugar. Most refreshing drink we ever had.
In closing, the resort provided the best Honeymoon that I thought possible and I have already starting planning a trip to the resort next year.
P.S. If you go, go with an open mind. You are guaranteed to meet new and interesting people there that you will wish to keep in contact with. I have made new friends from 20 different states and numerous countries, and I plan to lock them all inmy Rolodex.

Happy Vacationing!!

4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 1, 2004

Just got back from Couples Ochos Rios, this place is wonderful. You can eat and drink whenever and whatever you want. If you don't like the buffet food at lunch go eat burgers and fries at the Beach Grill. My one complaint about this place is that we were located on the 5th floor about 2 football fields away from the pool. I'm sure they would have moved us but what was the point I didn't go to my room all that often. Make sure you take your own cup if you drink water or any other beverage that often. Dunns river was so much fun, also make sure you go on the horseback riding. Beware at Dunns River don't take to much extra money there. The pictures are $7 and they do have shopping but the less you have the better deals you can get. Don't get away from the rest of the group either while trying to get out the vendors won't help you find the exit because they will do everything they can to sell you something. Stay away from the video at horseback riding. It took several days for the guy to drop the video off after we had paid and then when we got it home the video doesn't work anyway. The pictures at horseback run 1 for $15 or 2 for $20. There is one giftshop at the horseback riding tour. Not pushy and there is also refreshments there. Couples Ochos rios is a beautiful place, rooms are nice with great views, food is excellent and plentiful, watersports are plentiful, you can go kayaking, waterskiing, snorkeling, scuba diving. If you like to snorkel and want to do it without going on there snorkel trip take your own goggles and snorkel. I did this and still saw star fish and other fish. Just relax and have fun. Couples Ochos Rios is the best.

3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
st louis
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2004

I have to say, I too, started to have doubts after booking Couples Ocho Rios for our honeymoon after reading negative reviews.

Having just returned yesterday (August 1, 2004), I had nothing to worry about!!

It was wonderful!!! The food, the staff, the activities, everthing!!!!

Take advantage of everything they offer. We did the horseback riding, catamaran cruise, glass bottom boat, shopping, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, dunns river falls...

I cannot wait to go back next year for our 1 year anniversary.

There were couples of all ages, 60, 50, 40 , 30 and many 20 somethings..... EVERYONE was having a blast!!!

We did not take advantage of the island, but I know the couples that did had a great time all week!!!

The beach party and pool party were sooooo wonderful!!!

I cannot say one bad thing about anything for the whole week!!

I am jealous of all of you that are planning a trip to Couples Ocho Rios in the near future!!!

Have a great time!!!

7 Thank karenpStLouis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 28, 2004

I apologize in advance for my LONG trip report. Please keep in mind it is just this stoner chick’s opinions & perceptions and therefore may include some information you find irrelevant (my shoe selections, etc). We didn’t do really any activities so there won’t be any descriptions of those. Please skip any parts you find boring.

Our trip began from Minneapolis-St Paul, early morning after being up all night for our wedding. We decided to just drive ourselves and park at the airport rather than wake someone up at 4 am to drive & drop us off. Even that early there was a good crowd at the airport, but we were able to check our bags, etc and were ready for 6:25 am departure. I forgot to take my cigarettes out of my pocket for security and the foil inside set off the beeper so I had to be wanded. While our flight was “direct” from MSP to Montego Bay, it was a “one-stop” (Charlotte, NC) flight which was disappointing because we chose this early flight thinking it would be non-stop….here we could have slept in (or actually slept at all!) and caught one of the later flights which all had stops anyway. Our stop was uneventful and we got to MoBay on schedule around 2 pm.

When we arrived we directed to the Couples airport lounge which was wonderful. Cold Red Stripes were passed around as they checked everyone in and figured out where everyone was going. We had planned an Air Jamaica flight to Ocho Rios, so the people working in the lounge arranged for us & our bags to be shuttled over to the domestic flight area of the airport. For that plane we actually had to walk out on the tarmac and use the old-fashioned staircase attached to the plane door to board. We took off relatively soon and were on our way! My dear husband let me sit by the window and the view was fabulous! We flew right past the resort which we could identify by the island. The flight only took about 15-20 minutes and we were shuttled to the resort with another couple who had taken the Air Link flight (which I think we’ll do next time….smaller plane, fewer other passengers, maybe the pilot could do tricks or something?). The drive from the airport only took about 5 minutes. We thought about all the poor people who were taking the 2.5 hour bus trip and felt like we were so smart for taking the plane! We figured we’d have an extra Red Stripe for them when we checked in hours before them!

We pulled in the drive for Couples and we were both immediately impressed. I could see one of what I call the Geranium trees in the park. The “Couples” spelled out in flowers reminded me of Disneyland….it all looked just like the pictures, so beautiful! As we got off the shuttle we were greeted with the cool towels, which felt wonderful. Being the freak that I am, we always wear long pants & boots or other sturdy shoes when we fly (I saw a TV special once that said your chances of surviving a crash or other on-board emergency are better if you’re wearing long pants and sturdy shoes, not wearing shorts or a little skirt & sandals (better protection from burns, scratches, cuts, easier to run, etc) so we were hot and the towels were much appreciated. The breeze coming through the open air lobby felt marvelous. The men were pulled aside to sort and deal with the luggage, and us girls got to go sit down and review the activities information. We were offered champagne and rum punch as we attended to these tasks….I couldn’t decide so I just had both! We were still so tired we were unable to focus on the activities/restaurant sign-up so we asked if we could turn it in the next day. No problem mon!

Captain Kirk escorted us to our room with our luggage. 3rd floor, west wing, ocean view, room 348. Kirk was able to hook us up with everything we needed to get started, including making a run to the gift shop because we had no papers. Our room was perfect and looked just like the pictures: king bed, desk & chair, loveseat, balcony with a little wrought iron table & chairs set (that we soon found out squeaked super loud when moving). We couldn’t ask for a better room. Our view of the island was a little obscured by the palm trees, but we thought that might be a good idea! We quickly changed into our beach wear and headed down to the beach & grill for more rum punch, Red Stripes, and some jerk chicken. We got more drunk than we realized because we ended up going back to the room and passing out for the night. But after being up for almost 48 hours we had lack of sleep as an excuse too, but it was probably mostly all the rum!

Having gone to bed at like 7 pm the night before, we were up pretty early for our first full day. Made some coffee in the room before we headed down to the breakfast on the Patio….wonderful….so much yummy stuff, but I have to admit I stuck with the eggs & bacon most days. I had just worn a swimsuit and little matching wrap, and felt a little underdressed at breakfast. It seemed that most ladies wore at least a tank top or a more covering wrap into the Patio. After breakfast we took a walk around the grounds: around the west wing, through the jungle, checked out the bird cage area, though the park, and into the lobby. I had on a pair of super cute little heeled shoes that matched my swimsuit; they looked fabulous but weren’t too practical for our little hike so it was slow going. After turning in our Activities Sign-Up Sheet, we finally made it to the beach for some lounging.

After getting us all safely lubed up with our 60+ SPF, we still decided to stay mostly in the shade as we hadn’t been tanning before our trip and were still deathly pale. It was Margaritaville Day on the beach and they had a bartender & DJ there. Wristbands for free admission and transportation on the Boogie Bus were passed out and we accepted, even though we knew we probably couldn’t stay up till 11 when the bus left the resort. We met the DJ (forget his name) and he had spent time in Bemidji, MN (small town northern MN where husband grew up) as a kid! Chatted with him for a bit and tried some margarita samples. We met Nick & Martina who were on their 22nd Wedding Anniversary on the beach that afternoon also. Beach Olympics were going on that afternoon, but we were able to just spectate which is probably all we could handle. After a few more beers we were ready for naps and just being cool in our air conditioned room.

When we woke up around 6:30 it was almost dark, which was weird for us from MN as it stays light till almost 10 pm this time of year. We got dressed for dinner and headed down figuring we’d just go to one of the non-reservation restaurants. When we got down to the beach we saw they had set up and were having a big buffet dinner, right on the beach! It was huge! They had so much food and it was all displayed so elegantly. We found a table and set down our drinks then headed back for food. Walking in the sand in my 3 inch heels was a little hard but I persevered. I should have just gone barefoot but the shoes were so cute I hated to take them off….girls, you understand. When we got back to the table there was another couple there, also on their honeymoon, from Portland, OR, but the guy was originally from Wisconsin so we had to tease him about the Packers & being a cheese-head. After dinner there was a show, also right on the beach, with a guy balancing crazy stuff like a chair on his head, a flame eater (he pulled me out of me seat to try it and he got me to tip back my head & open my mouth but I don’t think he stuck it in-sorry if sounds sexual!), bamboo dancer, & limbo expert. All very talented and entertaining. After a few more drinks we took a walk out on the pier & had a rasta stop, which became a nightly ritual for us. We stopped in the Piano Bar and participated in one sing along, but it kind of reminded me of drama/choir geeks from high school and we were tired from our first full day, so we headed back to the room for bed

Our second day in paradise started with coffee in our room. After hitting the breakfast buffet on the Patio again we headed down to the beach for more lounging. Davis (who seemed to be like the Senior Chef or something fairly high ranking on the kitchen staff…said he had been working there for 19 years!) said it would be hot today. This time we decided to wait a while to have drinks, at least until lunchtime. We swam out to one of the little floatie rafts and lounged in the sun for a while. Did a little topless sunbathing on the beach, but after lunch we needed to get out of the sun so we took a walk through the jungle and a dip in one of the hot tubs (although they weren’t too hot…more just lukewarm) which was nice. I had gotten some cuts on both my feet from my shoes at our rehearsal dinner and they were looking all gross & nasty, infected looking, with sand all in the cuts, so the chlorine water helped clean them out…..sorry probably not the most sanitary, but we figured these poor tubs had seen a lot worse in their days!
Again we took a nap before dinner (habit forming) then got dressed for dinner. Had a great dinner (buffet on the Patio) again and made our nightly stop to the pier. We didn’t stay up too late, and this time we remembered to fill out our door-hanger card for breakfast in our room the next day.

Breakfast arrived and we must have had the munchies when we filled out the card, because there was coffee, pineapple, cranberry, & orange juices, chocolate croissants, toast, cereal, and banana bread! We tried to eat as much as we could, but decided we’d have to order less in the future. We hit the gift shop to purchase some items we forgot at home. $200 later for a bag of personal items that would have cost us $20 at Target, we were back in room to have some Red Stripes before heading down to the beach. We never made it to the beach….after 4 beers I took a nap and Eric went to check his e-mail. We woke up in time to get ready for our first visit to one of the “reservation” restaurants, Le Gourmet. Since we figured this was the chic-er of the restaurants, we got pretty dressed up. I wore a nice white with blue & aqua “bubbles” halter dress with my previously mentioned super cute heels, and Eric wore tailored khakis with a linen shirt. I was a little disappointed that we appeared to be one of the dressiest couples there, just because I like seeing people all dressed up. Most people barely met the dress code. The restaurant and all the linens matched my dress perfectly, and we thought they should change the name to La Serene (“mermaid” in French) because it looked like an underwater grotto where a mermaid would live. The food was fabulous! We started with Caesar salads, fresh homemade sorbet, Eric had the rack of lamb & I had the rib eye steak both of which were awesome, some little mashed potato ball rolled in cornmeal (yummy!), rolls & butter, with coffee & biscuits (raisin though, yuk!) for dessert. Again we hit the pier for our nightly stop, and then headed to the jungle to see if we could find an open hot tub.

Our breakfast in the room was a little lighter this morning, just coffee, juice, & toast. I went back to bed afterwards, and Eric went shopping at the gift shop again. Finally I got up and we headed down to the beach by lunchtime. Today we finally found out where/how to get beach towels, so that was nice. I guess that’s what we get for skipping orientation though! Had jerk chicken & fries again at the Beach Grill, then headed for the garden to hang in one of the big double chairs. After hanging there for a while we went back to the bar and Eric was finally able to get some Dragon Stout (his favorite Jamaican beer which they don’t carry at the resort) from Larry who had gone out on his break to get it. We took the 12 pack back to the room to get them on ice and started chilling. Of course I took a nap again. Around 7 we got up for dinner, this time the buffet on the Patio again. We shared some excellent chocolate pie which was wonderful after our freaky raisin biscuits the previous night. We made it down to the pier for the nightly stop, but we were forced to sit under the pagoda at the start of the pier due to the sprinkling rain. Then we just went back to the room to watch the lightning storm over the ocean from our balcony.

Again we had coffee and juice in the room, this time a little earlier. Those Room Service Delivery Guys are RIGHT ON SCHEDULE!!!! We headed to the buffet for some more substantial breakfast fare; this time Eric had Davis make him an omlette and I tried the French Toast…..delicious! The French Toast was crusted in sugar and was the best I ever had! As you can probably tell by now, we’re not too big on the activities, and again we just headed to the beach to lounge. By this day we were down to SPF 30 for shoulders & arms and 15 for the rest. I tried a margarita on the rocks today, which is normally one of my favorite drinks. However it tasted like it was made with gin, just didn’t taste right, so I switched to scotch on the rocks.
Every morning I had been seeing the guy on the kayak who comes in every day to sell sea shells by the sea shore so today we swam out to buy some. Eric bought me a huge sand dollar and a conch shell. Kayak boy wanted to trade for our cheap waterproof Timex sports watches, but our watches match & have sentimental value for us (yes, we know we’re dorks) so we said no trade.
After a few scotches, I was ready for a nap (surprise!). We headed back to the room and slept like logs till almost 7. We woke up a little late for dinner and had to rush to get ready for Bayside. Again we dressed up a bit: me in a lavender strapless A line knee-length dress with a matching beaded chiffon wrap and cute little black & lavender shoes and Eric in his trousers and another linen shirt. And again we seemed more dressed than everyone else, but we felt very fashionable so I didn’t mind. We made it through our salads, and suddenly I wasn’t feeling well. I think it might have been all the scotch that afternoon? Anyway, we had to leave, but our sweet waitress (bless her heart!) arranged to have our dinners sent back to the room! It smelled so good I wanted to eat it even though I was literally getting sick. Eric said his was wonderful. This was one of the only nights we missed our stop on the pier, but we made up for it on our balcony after I was done being sick.

Coffee & juice in the room again before heading out. We were a little slow moving today and didn’t get downstairs till almost lunch time. We decided to hit the Gift Shop once again, this time for the watershoes as we were planning on doing the Falls the following day. We got the shoes, and more beers for our room, as well as more of some other goodies and headed back to the room. If you can believe it, we needed a nap from our morning of “errands”. Dinner tonight was the Poolside Gala, although since we were so late we ended up downstairs by the Beach Grill. The display was beautiful….ice sculpture, fruit & veggies carved into flowers, and so much yummy food! The boys working that night were such gentlemen and would carry my plate and escort me down the stairs to our table. This night I just wore a strappy black number with some strappy high heels so the hand down the stairs was appreciated. There was a piano player during most of the dinner. I’m not sure on the etiquette, but no one was clapping for him (is there a rule that you don’t clap after each number if it is during a meal?) so we would cheer & clap from the lower patio for him after each number. Finally others started clapping too. A reggae drum band came out next, and they had some AWESOME dancers! We finished off the night with our stop on the pier, but wanted to get a good night’s rest for our trip to the falls tomorrow.

DAY 7 7/11, SUNDAY
We woke up, and weren’t sure we wanted to do the falls excursion….seemed so regimented for us. We went ahead as planned and decided we HAD to do this excursion….the quintessential Jamaica experience…..Dunn’s River Falls. I had heard from my research that Sundays are the best day to do the falls because it is less crowded—no cruise ships in port that day. Also I had heard, and Nick & Martina reiterated, to sign up for the video because you’ll get a better place in the chain of people, so we did that too. The resort sent 2 busses full of people but we were the only group there when we arrived. We were ushered in and down the stairs and got started pretty quickly. I was amazed at how well we did for a couple of out-of-shape lounge lizards like us. I think though that when we go back, this may be something we try to explore by ourselves. I would have liked more time to explore little areas, or sit in a pool, and not be rushed along by the guides. By the end my quads were feeling it, and I knew I’d be hurting tomorrow, even though we had scheduled our massages for later this afternoon. We hit the market afterwards, and Larry Kidd even extended us “credit” since we didn’t bring much cash, and he would come up to the hotel later to collect!
We got back, had lunch, arranged to pay Larry, and had a few beers before our massages. Since we had skipped the orientation and property tour, we walked into the hair salon thinking that was where we went for the massages. Of course we were wrong but they gently pointed us in the direction of the spa. Of course we had walked by the sign like 10 times a day for the past week but never paid attention! This was a first “official” real massage for both of us…and let me tell you….I’ve found a new addiction! It was wonderful and so relaxing! Only an upper body massage and I probably needed lower too after our falls excursion, but I’ll save that for next time.
Since it was too late for a nap by then, we headed to the bar for some drinks before dinner. I started on Pina Coladas which didn’t agree with my stomach (all the coconut milk? I did have like 10 of them!) and so again we had to leave our dinner right in the middle, although this time we had been at the buffet on the Patio. My tummy was very upset all night and I didn’t sleep good, but I attributed it to too many Pina Coladas and vowed to drink something different tomorrow. Again we missed the nightly pier stop, but made up for it on the balcony.

DAY 8 7/12, MONDAY
Today I was up early from going to bed so early. Eric however had stayed up all night checking his e-mail (deleted 1400 messages! Mostly spam!) so he slept in while I read my trashy romance novel on the balcony. It had stormed during the night and was still sprinkling a bit in the morning. After a while I went back to bed to snuggle, then we both woke up again around 10. We had coffee in the room before heading down for a light breakfast. Again it was Margaritaville Day on the beach so we watched the festivities and had some margaritas. Again we took the wristbands even though we knew we probably wouldn’t go….we were content right at Couples. Today was our day to partake in some of Jamaica’s finest natural resources and we had planned to hang in our room mostly. By the end of the afternoon we were out of room beers so had to venture out to the bar. We got drinks, took a walk around the grounds, and came back to the room. Dinner tonight was the Beach Party but we decided to skip since we had seen it all last week. We did go down to grab a to-go plate of food which was awesome. We also made additional reservations for Le Gourmet & Bayside for our remaining nights. We stopped in the Piano Bar to see Larry and get some Red Stripe Lights and of course we stopped on the pier!

We had thought about doing the horseback riding today, but decided it sounded like too much energy was required. They said we might be able to squeeze in on the catamaran cruise, but it was waiting list only. We said F-it to the excursions and declared we were finally going out to Tower Island. We took the little boat out, found spots near the tower, got drinks, loaded up on SPF (back up to 60+ for some parts!), and climbed the tower. We found the little staircase leading to the sandy spot on the south side of the island facing the resort so we did a little swimming and floating before returning to our chairs. We felt we were getting a lot of sun, so called it a day on the island and headed back to reality around 3 to take a nap before dinner.
We were able to make a second reservation for Le Gourmet and again it was wonderful, so perfect. We had an earlier seating than we were used to but it was all so good we didn’t care that it was only 6:30 pm. We had the salmon appetizer (not salmon cakes as we were expecting), the awesome Caesar salads again, this time I had the rack of lamb (I know, I know….”Mary had a little lamb….”) and Eric tried the duck. Coconut and passion fruit cheesecake with flaming coffee for dessert….yum! After the pier we took a walk though the jungle and took a dip in “our” jungle hot tub. After that we sat in the gazebo and listened to what we thought were cats mating, but it turns out they were fighting!

The last full day. We saw Davis for breakfast on the Patio, went shopping at the Gift Shop for actual gifts for people, and brought our goodies back to the room before heading out to the island again. Why did we wait so long to get out there? Today the spots we wanted on the very eastern edge of the island were already taken, so we took the next spots over and said we’d jump on the other more desirable spot when they left, which of course they never did! We met a few more people on the island that day, and had a blast. We brought plenty of, uh, natural resources, with us so we’d have enough for all day and so that we could share with anyone interested. We were planning on Bayside for dinner, but we just wanted to stay on the island all day and not worry about getting dressed up for dinner, making it there at the reservation time, etc so we decided to skip Bayside and just stick with our tried & true buffet. It was so hot on the island and we were finally down to SPF’s 8 and 4 (except for the 60+ on some parts!) so we were able to actually get some sun instead of staying in the shade. I think we got more sun in this one day than all of the other days combined. Earlier I had noticed from the island that a lot of balcony doors were open (presumably to catch the breeze) but didn’t give it much thought. The air conditioner broke today, hence all the open doors, so our room was all hot when we got back from the island as we had kept it closed up all day. After dinner we started getting kind of sad and introspective about having to leave tomorrow, but we were both getting ready and anxious to get home and start our married life together, get back to the dog who we knew was missing us while she stayed with my brother & his family. As usual, we stopped on the pier, although we lingered longer than usual. It was storming again way out over the ocean so we just sat and watched lightning and held hands and thought about our trip.

Leaving today. Up early to start packing after breakfast. Said goodbye to Davis and told him we hoped to be back soon. We had to buy another bag at the Gift Shop to carry home all our trinkets and gifts and coffee and rum. Had to run the towels back down to the beach to turn them in. Said bye to Delroy in Watersports and headed upstairs to finish packing. For the return trip to the airport, we had to take the bus with the rest of the suckers. Next time, I’m taking the plane BOTH ways! The 65 mile drive took 2.5 hours and was a nightmare of speeding up, slowing down, weaving this way or that, stopping, going again…yuk! All the things I hate about traffic and construction! It’s worth it to me to spend the $100 or so and save myself that torture! We did get to the airport no problem, although our bags got taken to a different airline as we stood in line for ours, so then we had to track down the porter and make him track down our bags. By then we had lost our place in line but he just pushed everyone back from where we had been and he put us back in line. We gave him a $4 tip, that’s $2 per bag (we only had 2) AND that was after he temporarily lost them! It must not have been enough because he looked at it and stood there waiting until we have him $2 more! Whatever. The attitude was a total change than at Couples where of course no tipping is allowed.
Our flights home were non-eventful. Customs and a plane change in Charlotte, then finally back to good ole MSP where we waited on the runway for another hour almost for a gate to open up.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. I can’t imagine a better place for a honeymoon for us! The food was all so good, the service outstanding (A+!!), everything was magical. It was like living in a dream world. I asked if I could move in if I did dishes for them! In retrospect I sometimes wish we would have done some more activities: the scuba diving, the hat weaving, the catamaran cruise, and the horseback riding. Although it was nice to have the choice…..the Activities Staff didn’t pressure or hound you until you agreed to participate; if you said no they just said OK and went on to ask the next person, unlike some AI’s I’ve been to. It was so great to be able to do literally nothing all day and just relax, while having all our desires attended to, which was exactly what we needed.

The Gift Shop carries pretty much anything you’ll need, but you’ll be better off bringing stuff from home. Some of the items we forgot which contributed to our $200 personal shopping excursion:
Shaving cream & razors
Hair conditioner
Nail clippers
Hair comb/brush
Hair ponytail holder/scrunchie thing
Cotton swabs

Again, would have cost us $20 at Target, but what are you going to do. I tried to just let my hair go and not comb it, but after 3 days was starting to get dreads which I knew would have to be cut out if I didn’t do something soon.

The watershoes at the Gift Shop were perfect for the falls, better than our Tevas which we actually did remember …only $10, you can’t go wrong.

The staff at COR was wonderful! Helpful, great service, always friendly, and hard working. They seem to appreciate the guests in a way that other AI’s I’ve been to haven’t. They want your experience to be A+….they kept telling us we’re VIP’s! The employees and staff are what make Couples so wonderful and much fun!

Don’t pack the night before you go.

There probably is a lot of valuable information to be learned by going to the orientation.

You can never have too much sunscreen, even though we gave away several bottles on the last morning.

Do not leave your breakfast or lunch plate unattended & uncovered at your table unless you are done.

Bring your big mug, but don’t be surprised if they say they won’t fill it. We ended up buying them there (another item we forgot at home) and towards the end of our trip they started saying they wouldn’t fill it at the main bar. Tower Island bar was another story.

Pack your suitcase inside ANOTHER suitcase, so that you have a whole empty one in which to bring home coffee & rum.

If you need a lot of shade, get to the beach early to at least reserve your chair(s) in good spots.

Get out to the island ASAP!

Most importantly: Always roll more than one.

Thank you to everyone at Couples Ocho Rios for making our honeymoon so wonderful and unforgettable! We had such a blast and can’t wait to come back! God bless you all!

16 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 28, 2004

My wife and I went to COR on our Honeymoon 20 years ago and returned this year for our second honeymoon. We have been in dozens of hotels and resorts in between, so we are no rookies at giving reviews.
True, there are a few rough egdes. The elevator to our room needed a total redecorating. There was chipped paint in our room and a few places around the resort. The AC was not freezing, but was adequate, considering July in Jamaica. The dessert 'sweets' were not very sweet, but still tasty. The decor is not modern, but Couples does not promote it as such. The included shopping tour was to a very commercialized mall, a bit disappointing.
The staff was phenominal. The friendliest we have experienced - by far. If you get into an elevator and don't say a word, the staff will always acknowledge you and usually say a few words. If you say, 'Hi', start to chat, you will make an instant friend. They will chat as long as you like and typically remember you next time. The day we left, we had countless staff ask us when we will be back 'home' to Jamaica. They were sincere.
The food was great. Not the absolute best, but close. You never had to wait for food. Sometimes drinks were slow to arrive by the servers, but the bar was quick. Land and water activities were great. Go on all of them - they are included. The (very) private hot tubs in the 'jungle' were a perfect way to end the night.
Repeat customers get some nice perks, like a single engine plane shuttle instead of the 2 hour bus ride. Also many little daily surprises like free T-Shirts that appear in your room.
The plane shuttle lost a piece of our luggage. The couples staff stayed on top of it until we got it back a few hours later. The complaints or concerns we had were quickly resolved. Truly - 'No Problem, Mon'
We renewed our vows and it was beautiful. The staff was very helpful.
SUMMARY: If you ignore a few (minor) rough edges and let the atmosphere draw you in, you will have a superb vacation. I highly recommend it. Couples is the best!

7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 25, 2004

Just returned from COR (7/15 - 7/24) and I am writing this review, in hopes of putting your minds at ease. As we planned our wedding at COR for 7 months I read reviews from this website and at one point thought about canceling.

Let me tell you - this resort was excellent. The front desk was wonderful (Hi Dennise & Debbie) there are no clocks in the rooms not a mistake but bring a watch. Our room was wonderful - if you are overly concerned about a "smell" which my room did not have - bring scented candles. The water pressure was wonderful to, besides most people do not spend ample time in there room. The staff was beyond friendly, everyone knows your names and what drinks you like (Hi Nadine and Sharon).

Seriously, the food was wonderful. Thursday nights is lobster night in LeGourmet and Friday nights is Salmon all the restaurants. All of the restaurants was wonderful so try them all. Horse Back riding, Dunn's River and Catamaran Cruise was all awesome. Glass bottom boat, don't waste your time.

We never had any problems with the watersports and the weather was great. They are very laid back and everything is No Problem Mon (and they mean it!!!) I was so afraid that things would not go right for our wedding - but it was better than I imagined. We had a live band playing, my guest was greeted with Jamaican Punch and cool rags. The wedding bouquet was beautiful and the Photographs (ask for Nathalee) was so beautiful I could not believe it. The wedding video was beautiful to - defintely worth the money and you would never get photos like this in the states. A photographer walks around taking pictures in the evenings, and the photos will cost you $10 each (Hi Sherise and Cymone).

Oh yeah, the drinks and entertainment was great. The key here - is to get involved (Hint: if you do you get a bottle of Jamaican Rum or Logo T-Shirts). Friday nights they have a beach party and Saturday they have the Pool Side Gala - beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
The ride to the hotel is not as bad as everyone described it I slept going and returning - besides for a $154 you can fly from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios (15 Minutes).

I totally agree with one of the previous reviews, if you go there looking to find something wrong you will. I truly do not mean to sound rude - but when a person gives a review like this about Couples, they will not be happy anywhere. To say the hotel is older is redundant, that is how it is advertised. We met well over 15 Couples and no one had any complaints. If I had to think of one thing - it would be they treated us to damn good, those bastirds!!! Truthfully, they are just nice by nature. Even when we went to the market - the people was just NICE.

All and all - we have already rebooked to return in February and I can not wait to return.

Questions - feel free to email me.

6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Couples Tower Isle

Property: Couples Tower Isle
Address: St. Mary, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Formerly Couples Ocho Rio)
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Couples Tower Isle 4*
Number of rooms: 226
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playground to Hollywood celebrities in the 1950s, glamorous Couples Tower Isle exudes a chic sophistication perfectly balanced by a relaxed Caribbean sensuality. Perched on the lush terrain of Ocho Rios, Jamaica—the resort seduces with breathtaking sea views, a wide sandy beach and century-old palm trees. Discover the joys of snorkeling among the reefs, windsurfing on the waves, or sailing into the sunset on a catamaran, rum punch in hand. Intricate blue tile work and jade chaise lounges offset the striking white retro architecture. Luxurious rooms boast private ocean-breeze balconies. Whether being pampered in the Zen-inspired spa—recognized as "Best in the Caribbean" by Travel+Leisure—sipping cocktails at the piano bar or indulging in an exquisite meal alfresco, Couples Tower Isle creates countless intimate moments that inspire you to return again and again. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Couples Tower Isle Hotel Ocho Rios
Couples Hotel Ocho Rios
Couples Ocho Rios
Couples Hotel Isle
Couples Ochos Rios
Ochos Rios
Couples Tower Isle Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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