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“A real find!!”
Review of Couples Tower Isle

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Couples Tower Isle
Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Northampton, England, UK
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A real find!!”
Reviewed April 22, 2005

Stayed at COR from the 19th March to 29th March, apart from a death defying "taxi" journey from Monetgo Bay airport (we should of had the luxury coach transfer but as we were the only couple arriving from the UK, Couples rang a local taxi cab firm and the driver nearly had two crashes on the way and didn't know where he was going, which kind of did ruin our arrival a little!!!), we had the most excellent time. I can't stress enough of how special this place is!! Everything is so well done, the food, the entertainment, the beach party and pool party, Bayside and Le Gourment resturants. The trips out to Dunn River Falls, and caterman cruise on "Cool Jazz" were fantastic.
The staff are so friendly, "nothing is no trouble man". The Beach is so well kept, and relaxing. Apart from the trips we never really had a need to leave the resort and just enjoyed chilling out everyday and making the most of the constant all-inclusive drinks from the beach bar!

All in all Couples Ocho Rios is a true find and well worth the money!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank Andrewdarlington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 11, 2005

My boyfriend and I stayed at Couples Ocho Rios in January
2005.

************************ PROS******************************

STAFF: The staff were very friendly and attentive. Very nice folks who were helpful whenever we needed something. Nothing that blew me away, though, for the money we paid. That is the level of service we expected at such a highly-rated resort.

TRANSPORTATION: The Couples lounge was very easy to find at the airport. They put us on a bus with a friendly driver who stopped several times so we could all get Red Stripe. The roads are pretty bad, so the 2 hour ride was slightly harrowing, but when you first get there, you'll be so excited, you probably won't care :)

PEOPLE: For the most part, the guests at Couples were all very nice and friendly. It was an interesting mix of people, though not what anyone would call 'diverse'.

ENTERTAINMENT: Each night, there was a band from about 8-10:30. The steel drum band one night was great, but others were merely average. Nothing like the shows you see on a cruise.

ACTIVITIES (WATER SPORTS/EXCURSIONS): Water sports seemed to be great -- they had scuba, windsurfing, sailing almost every day. Unfortunately, due to the weather, we couldn't take advantage of most of these. We did go on a catamaran cruise that was really fun. There were shopping trips to the market, which essentially consists of your being followed around and begged for money. It's hard, b/c it's such a poor country and you want to help these people, but it truly is very aggressive and hard to say no to people. You're not going to find lots of bargains or great shopping in Ocho Rios, but if you're choosing to go there, you probably know that already :) We went on a horseback riding trip. The drive up the mountain was beautiful. The horses were kind of sad, but it was nice to get out and see the mountains and the vegetation.

*********************CONS********************************

DECOR/COMFORT: People said this was an older resort, but they neglected to mention that it was in mild disrepair across the board. The carpeting in the hallways was stained and pulling up. The linens in the rooms were old, musty, and needed to be replaced. Their signature restaurant, Le Gourmet, was decorated in a 1960s mint green.

ROOMS: Our room was full of mosquitoes, despite our religiously keeping the doors shut. We left with over 20 bites each, even though we used bug spray. It was awful. I slept with the covers over my head, frustrated by buzzing in and around my ears, which, frankly, isn't how we intended to spend a romantic getaway!

GENERAL DISREPAIR: While we were there, all of the private hot tubs were broken. The public hot tubs weren't much better; one was too hot to get in; the other was lukewarm, but the jets were broken. The sauna didn't say it was closed, but it was apparently being used as a storage closet. Useless.

BEACH: This is a man-made beach, as most are in Ocho Rios. If you have visions of strolling up and down the beach, this is not the place for you. The beach is not very long -- just the length of about a third of the property. It's filled with beach chairs, kayaks, and debris that washes up (and doesn't get cleaned off much). It's fine if you want to just lie out all day, but if you want to do something more active, forget it. (Note: beach chairs were solid plastic and very uncomfortable. Some had comfy foam padding, but only about half of them did, so get there early if you want one!)

RESTAURANTS: Breakfast was an omelette station and a buffet. It was fine, nothing remarkable. Lunch was a completely forgettable buffet -- some cold cuts, a few hot entrees, some fruit, a taco bar. None of it was very good. Dinner was fine, depending on which restaurant you went to, but nothing impressive. The way some folks spoke of the restaurants, as if they were fine dining, I expected much more. It was very average, though the service was mostly above-average. There is also a grill which serves jerk chicken & burgers during most of the afternoon and into the night.

BARS: There was an outdoor bar which was a great place to grab a drink in the afternoon. There was a lovely piano bar indoors, and we spent most of our time there in the evenings, but we had several complaints about it. They didn't play any music at all, unless the piano player was there. This meant if you were waiting for your reservation at one of the restaurants, you essentially sat in a room with a drink. Not even a little muzak in the background, which would be an easy and pleasant addition. The piano bar started up around 9, I think, and he usually played till about 1. Both piano players were pretty good, and that's where everyone ends up, since there is nothing else to do at night. On a good note, the drinks there were great.

ACTIVITIES (AT THE RESORT): There was *nothing* to do when it rained. NOTHING. They had a couple 'arts and crafts' classes during the week and one workout class a day.

GYM: The equipment in the gym is old and rusty. There were two stairmasters, two treadmills, and some nautilis equipment. The cardio machines were not in good shape; they were several generations old and dangerous. The free weights left rust and grime on my hands when I used them.

==============================================
NOTE ABOUT THE COMPANY: The message boards on couples seem to be actively censored. When there were nothing but glowing reports, we assumed that meant the resort was phenomenal! But when I responded to a question about the Couples Ocho Rios gym that was very polite, but accurately described the age/state of the equipment, it mysteriously never made it to the message board... go figure.
==============================================

BOTTOM LINE: Not at all worth the money. In fact, I think they owe us another vacation! We left severely disappointed and misled by the message boards on couples, as well as the TripAdvisor reviews.

Very, very disappointing. We will not be staying at another Couples property.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
65 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gladstone, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2005

My wife and I just returned from Couples and found it to be an extremely relaxing and beautiful resort. The staff are really class act, very friendly and helpful, always willing to lend a helping hand with a smile !!!! The restuarants and entertainment are excellent as well. We spent 4 nights here and 3 nights at Sunset Spa in Montego Bay and there was no comparison. If you want to be treated with class, Couples is the place !!!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Waverider_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 3, 2005

My husband and I stayed at Couples Ocho Rios from March 18th to the 25th. We loved it. The staff was AMAZING. This is not the place to go for nightlife though. It seemed to die down between 10-11 p.m. each night. If you are with a group of people it might be a little more entertaining during the evening. The food was fantastic--better than expected. We ate at the Patio buffet each morning and a few times for dinner during the week. The beach grill was also good with great burgers, jerk pork/chicken, patties etc. The drinks were top notch with premium quality brands being served. One thing we really loved were all of the excursions that were included during our stay. We did the Dunns River Falls and Margarittaville as well. Both were awesome. Drink prices at Margarittaville are pretty steep but we had a blast there. Couples provided transportation to and from the bar which was nice. No need to worry about catching a cab. We didn't like the craft market across the street from the resort. The vendors were extremely aggressive and that goes for the vendors at Dunns River Falls. One day we rented ATV's through Chukka Cove and drove up one of the mountains. All in all it was nice but there were two major incidents on this trip. There were about 8 of us in the group and one of the ATV's tires blew out and a teenage boy was thrown 15 feet into a culvert and really hurt his arm and elbow. After this happened we all started looking at our ATV's and all of the tires were basically bald. They were just like inner tubes. We proceeded up the mountain and wouldn't you know it, my tire blew as well. Lucikly no injuries here. Afterward they take you to a cliff where you can jump into the ocean and it looked beautiful. We decided not to do it because of all the bad luck we experienced with the ATV's. Thought it was a sign. I wouldn't recommend this Chukka Cove excursion because of the poor treatment to the boy that was injured (they were more concerned with the equipment than him) and also the poor state of their equipment. On a postive note, this was a fantastic trip. We would go back for sure and are looking into booking for the winter. I would highly recommend this resort for the AMAZING food and drinks, all inclusive activities and the friendly people.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
26 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, oh
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2005

My wife and I returned Friday from 5 days at COR. (3/28-4/1/05) After days of nothing but cold and rain in Cincinnati we couldn't wait to feel the 85 degree sunshine of Jamaica. After customs, and baggage claims it took us about three hours to get to the hotel as we were delayed by about an hour not because of the bumpy roads (No surprise), but because of traffic congestion resulting from a wonderful Easter kite festival. (No fault of the driver's. Caution: Our driver, and every other one we encountered felt it necessary to tell some off-color jokes. We finally learned to ignore them!) After a much needed stop half way for a respite and some local jerk chicken we finally arrived at the hotel an hour later. The greeting by a small band, cold towels and smiles all around made us forget how tired we were. The sight of the blue ocean before us, the warmth of the tropical breeze around, the sounds of raggae, and the smell of the sea air transported us into the Jamaican zone. Irey Mon! Check in was a breeze, and our deluxe ocean view room afforded us a magnificent view, and the sunrise the next morning was beautiful.

Not to be too long so some brief remarks:

1. We would have rated COR five dots, but after trying every resort
option we had difficulty finding food that was delicious. It was just
okay. We finally went to a local restaurant The Spring Garden where
we enjoyed a most delicious, and reasonably priced Lobster dinner for
two.
2. As for romance, the candlelight dinners, the ocean, and stars made this
a wonderful place.
3. The staff was outstanding, extrememely accomodating, and friendly.
Thanks Debbie and Latoya
4. The pedicures and couples massages were wonderful.
Thanks Clover and Wynsome
5. Clive, Donavan, and Meleisha made the horseback riding unforgettable.
6. Maubee and the guides made Dunn's River Falls exciting.
7. Giffie my caddie at the golf course was patient, but the shot gun start
caused a lot of waiting problems. The course was nice though, and
Anna our hostess was a doll baby.

Advice:
1. Buy water shoes before you go. Only $5.00 at Walmart. $10 to rent!
2. Make all your dining reservations ASAP. Spots fill up fast.
3. Let yourself smile, you will receive a lot more in return. Shake a hand,
and say please and thank you. Always seems to get wonderful results.
4. Ask for what you want. The staff will find a way to satisfy you.
5. Once you are Off the resort tipping is expected!
6. Have fun.
7. Look for the positive.
8. Enjoy your mate.
9. Enjoy the sunrise!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank BogeyJohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tulsa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2005

From our arrival, we knew we would be repeat visitors to Couples. After a harrowing dash through the airport to catch our flight to MoBay, even going through Jamaican customs and immigration was a breeze. We barely sat down at the airport lounge before we had our luggage loaded and were on the bus to the resort. Yes, we were asked to tip the baggage carrier and the bus driver, but we had been told to expect this. The ride was interesting, to say the least. We made one short stop, but no one minded, as we wanted to get to the resort as quickly as possible. Just remember that you are in a foreign country and their rules of the road are quite different than ours.

Arrival was fantastic. The ladies were taken to seats in the lobby to complete the check-in, with rum punch or champagne in hand. No standing at the desk for ages. The men made sure that all luggage was off the bus and sorted according to who it belonged to. After the check in, our room number was put on our baggage tags and off we went to our room. Our luggage followed within 5-10 minutes. We were thrilled to have an ocean view room, as we didn't know what we had till we opened the door. Our beach towels were folded into swans on our bed, with a red flower tucked into them. The room was spotless.

We arrived on a Monday, which is Beach Party buffet night. First there were drinks on the pier, then the largest buffet I had ever seen. There was so much wonderful food to choose from we didn't know where to start. The entertainment afterward was wonderful.

The rest of the week continued in the same order. Breakfast could be delivered to your room, or you could go to the buffet. Both options were equally enjoyed. All of the food at each meal was delicious, and we tried every dish, especially those we could not get at home. Alcoholic drinks could be found at the bars, and the quality was high. My husband likes his drinks strong, and before the second day was over every bartender recognized him and had his fixed to his liking. Soft drinks are also available self-serve in the beach grill.

Entertainment was available every night. We enjoyed casino night on Tuesday, and another night was a talent show. All were on the patio and you were welcome to participate or not. IF you didn't want to enjoy what was planned, you could always walk or sit on the beach or gardens, or enjoy some private time in the jungle hot tubs.

Outside trips were fun, just remember that your driver will likely expect a tip. The hotel will arrange some of these trips for you. We went parasailing in Ocho, arranged by the hotel. We also had previuosly arranged to do the dolphin swim. Our only bad time was at the dolphin swim, which was totally unrelated to the hotel. Suffice to say it was mating season, so their schedule was off and we had to wait 2 hours to get our turn in the water. We also went to Dunn's River Falls, which is included with your stay. Definitely a "must do" trip! However, when you get done, run quickly through the craft market without looking to either side. If not you will get caught by sellers!

We thoroughly enjoyed the nude island, and definitely will spend more time there on our next trip. Totally pressure free and no tan lines! The swim up bar was always very clean, and so was the pool. Enjoyed mooning the catamaran and feeding the fish at the end of the day.

Dinner at the Bayside is a must, also. We were lucky to book our dinner on lobster night. Food was spectacular, to match the view. There was also a strolling guitar player who played for each table. Dessert was served buffet style, with many delicious selections.

Check out was easy, and the bus ride back to the airport was quite comfortable. Everyone was sad to be leaving.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
38 Thank parrotmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 29, 2005

We have just returned from our first visit to Couples Resort in Ocho Rios. The experience was literally beyond words. The service and employees were so wonderful! Anything that you wanted or needed, they did their best to provide. And they provided them with warm smiles and sincere words. The excersions were a lot of fun! They offered many different activities on and off the resort. The accomodations are a bit plain, but very clean. The food was excellent!
The beach was ALWAYS clean and the ocean was beautiful!
I hope that if anyone gets the chance to visit Couples, they will jump at the chance. We plan on returning again next year. It really was a wonderful experience!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 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
Amenities:
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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Spa 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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