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“We loved CSA!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Couples Swept Away

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Couples Swept Away
Ranked #15 of 84 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“We loved CSA!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2013

My husband & I stayed at CSA July 6-12, 2013 for our first anniversary. Our honeymoon was amazing, so I had very high hopes for this resort… Boy were we pleased!!

I’ll start our review from before we even got off the plane because I feel like this first part is important. When the flight attendants give you custom forms on the plane, they will tell you that only ONE form per FAMILY is required. WRONG!!!! Take one per person, no matter what. Even take some extras! Our flight attendant, Annette from American Airlines, SUCKED!!! She completely screwed over our entire plane. Customs at MoBay was RIDICULOUS! Just be patient. There is beer waiting for you right around the corner! The Couples Lounge was wonderful! They immediately took our luggage from us & basically handed us a beer! Clean bathrooms & a nice place to relax were great after a long, stressful day of traveling. We only waited maybe 10 or 15 minutes before it was time for our bus to leave.

The ride from the airport to Negril was not that bad. Of course it is a little long (about an hour & a half), but we met several couples on the bus that kept us entertained & the scenery was nice.

When we arrived at CSA, it was pouring! The guys stayed back at the bus to get the luggage & the ladies went to get checked in. The check-in process was quick & easy! We did make reservations for Feathers, Lemon Grass, & the catamaran cruise prior to arriving, so that helped! Once we checked in, we realized our Great House room was on basically the opposite side of the resort & it was raining… BUT! We had a wonderful employee, Marcos, help us get to our room. He was super nice & very funny! I think he could tell we were not thrilled about trekking across the resort, in the rain, with luggage, but Marcos got us to our room quickly! Once in our room, he made sure we were okay with it & even offered to help fix whatever was wrong! Luckily, all was great!

Our Room:
We stayed in a Great House Verandah Suite – room 5110. I was a little nervous about what kind of view we would have, but I was thoroughly surprised. Our view was great! We were right on the edge of the resort facing the neighbors (shops, bar, apartments, etc), but it was never a problem! Our view to the left was of the rest of the Great House rooms & the back of the bar/apartment/shop place. To the right, we could see the beautiful ocean, beach, Cabana Grill, swim up bar, etc. Great, great view! Our room was plenty big enough. We could have used a few more drawers & storage in the bathroom, but we made do. Also, the shampoo, shower gel, & lotion are in pumps attached to the wall. We always take our own stuff anyways, but I know some do not. The shower gel & lotion were okay, but we did not use the shampoo/conditioner combo.

Food/Restaurants:
Cabana Grill – Great place for lunch! Everything we had was great & they were pretty quick. You could walk up soaking wet in your bathing suit & they would serve you! Also, you can order & take food to your spot on the beach or pool.

Patois Patio – Very yum!! We ate here 3 times & had basically the same meals 2 of those times. Service was always good here.

Feathers – Made reservations here before we arrived at CSA. Loved this restaurant! Definitely go. Yes, you have to dress up a little nicer, but it is worth it!

Lemon Grass – Also a must! Make reservations here a few days before. I am not a huge thai food fan, but was very surprised! My food was delicious! Our table was outside & not under the fans. Wear something comfortable & not hot to this place.

The Palms – Every meal we had here was good! Breakfast buffet was amazing! Everything you could possibly want for breakfast was available. Dinner buffet was also very good! We did not eat here when there was a set menu available, but assume it was just as good as the buffets!

Sea Grapes Café – Great sweet potato chips & dip! You MUST try these! My husband also tried the fish sandwich & sushi & loved both of these choices.

Activities:
Catamaran Cruise = Booze Cruise! Such a fun fun time!! You MUST do the catamaran. Mama Virgin was hilarious! We followed the coast all the way to the Negril Lighthouse. We stopped at Joseph’s Cave to swim & jump off the catamaran, which was totally awesome! We stopped briefly at Rick’s Café, Bob Marley’s hotel, & the Negril Lighthouse. You do NOT go into Rick’s or have an opportunity to jump off a cliff (unless you jump at Joseph’s Cave.). On the way back to the resort, they play the typical dance songs (Cupid Shuffle, Wobble, etc.), so be ready to dance! Definitely bring some small bills to tip the crew at the end.

Snorkeling – Another must! It is included & is such a great time. My husband & I went once & then I went solo. There are three snorkel spots to choose from. Our first time, we went to Mexico & it was beautiful! My second time, I can’t remember if we went to Cuba or Bahamas. Either way, it was simply amazing! We saw all kinds of fish, rays, jellyfish, sea urchins, etc. On my trip alone, we saw a nurse shark! The guides were very prepared & got the spear gun off of the boat as a precaution. The shark stayed mostly hidden under some reef. We all got a good look & then off we went.

One Love Pub Crawl – This is not a CSA activity, but it is a MUST!! This bus takes you to several local bars/restaurants. We LOVED it! All the bars were great. This trip has no fee, you just give the driver (Lenbert) a tip of however much you feel he deserves. You will have several opportunities to cliff jump on this tour! About 5 hours total. Wonderful, wonderful time!!!

Bars:
Most of the bars were the same… they sure don’t hesitate to give you a strong drink! Whew! Our favorite was the swim-up bar. All of the drinks we had here were not-too-strong & tasty! We did notice a lot of times that the bars would run out of things, usually liquor that goes in the drink-of-the-day! Not a problem though. There were a million other choices!

Other stuff:
Cleaning service was always great. We did put all valuables in the safe before we left our room, so no worries with anything being stolen.

The staff was always friendly & spoke to us! Although they did not necessarily go out of their way to check on you, they were nice.

The iron in our room was broken (corner was cracked & all the water leaked out). We requested a new iron on maybe the second day & never received it. Requested it again the next day, but still no iron. Not a huge problem, but an annoyance.

The iPod clock/radio clock part worked, but our iPod wouldn’t work thru the dock. We actually brought our own, so this was not a big problem.

BRING A BIG TURVIS TUMBLER!! A big cup is a must-bring item! The cups on the resort are tiny! It was nice to have a big cup for fewer refills! The big cups also came in handy when at the lounge at the airport. We filled our big tumblers up with beer for the ride to the resort! Good call on our part.

Bug spray is recommended! Sand fleas are bad & bugs at night are out in full force, especially after rain! I am still itching from some of these bites.

Stock up on a few extra beach towels in your room because most mornings, the towels were not put out until at least 11 or so.

Definitely take a waterproof camera! I have a Fujifilm xp55 & it works amazingly, in the water & out!

We took entirely too much sunscreen, but that was okay! The sunscreen in the gift shop was way marked up!

Even though there is no tipping on the resort, take a lot of small bills for the airport, bus ride, shops nearby, people selling things on the beach, etc.

Enjoy all the annoying people selling their stuff on the beach – “ring ring Jamaican ring”, “check out my hand work, check out my handywork”, “CIGARETTTTTE!”, “shelllllls”… They are terribly annoying, but pretty funny!

All in all, we had an amazing trip & highly recommend Couples Swept Away!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Great House Verandah Suite room 5110 - Great room!!! The only noises we heard we of...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Melissa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2013

My wife and I made our first trip in 2004 and loved it. Since then we have had three kids and haven't been able to take many vacations. This year we decided to return for our Ten Year Anniversary. We had really high expectations for Couples Swept Away due to our experience in 2004. After reading all of the mixed reviews on here I was starting to get nervous. Had CSA really gone downhill? Maybe we had such a wonderful trip last time because it was our first real vacation together (besides our honeymoon cruise during which my wife stayed seasick the ENTIRE trip). I had just returned from Iraq so maybe that's why our memories are so great. I was REALLY starting to stress because we saved a long time for this trip. Let me say that I stressed for no reason. Our trip this time was just as amazing and memorable as nine years ago.
Nine years ago they were just starting to build the new part. CSA has gotten much bigger in nine years, however you would never know it. The beach was wonderful and I had no problem finding us a spot. Four of the seven days we were even able to get under a Palapa in mid-morning. The other days we just found spots in the shade of the palm trees and had just as great a time. I think we actually preferred the palm tree shade this time. We would use the Palapa for a few hours in the morning and then give it to another couple when we left for lunch.
The food was great. Our first night I had a specialty wood fired pizza (Jalapeno and something) at Patios and my wife had a traditional pizza. Both of them were wonderful and cooked perfectly. For lunch we routinely ate the Jerk Chicken at the Cabana or Fish Tacos at Seagrapes. I don't remember having Fish Tacos last time, but this time we could have eaten them by the bucket (and I don't normally eat fish).
Breakfast delivered to your porch was a welcome addition. It was so nice to have breakfast on our porch watching the waves. We also had two identical twin cats that would come around for a little bit of milk. They were the most polite cats ever and after their breakfast would hang out a little bit and then disappear.
We tried all of the restaurants for dinner and did not have a bad experience at any. We took the MargaritaVille bus on Wed. It was something to do once just to say you have been, but not something I will probably do again. We walked back via the beach, about a 10 minute walk.
After a day on the beach I had a hard time staying up for the night-life, but we did sneak down to the Grill around 11 one night and had a Jerk Chicken Sandwich. It was amazing! Our only problem that night was a wedding party that decided to show up wearing only bath robes and NOTHING else. They weren't rude, loud, or anything else, but it was kind of weird eating around an entire group of essentially naked people. I got the feeling they probably woke up the next morning thinking "Did we really do that last night?" Oh, well, everyone seemed to be having a good time and like I said, they left us alone.
It stormed the afternoon we went snorkeling but our guides still took us out. The storms cut our trip down a bit, but we had a great time anyway. The rain on the way back was so strong that our boat driver had to stop and wait it out. It made for a great and memorable experience.
It also stormed the evening we did the Catamaran cruise. We went anyway and again had a wonderful time. The rain stopped by the time we got to the caves and everyone got to swim. One newlywed lost his wedding ring in the water. It was about 30' feet down. The water was so clear but you still couldn't see the ring from the top. Several of the group members put on snorkels and tried to go down and find it. None of them could make it to the bottom. Suddenly the bar tender jumped over board and down he went. About a minute later he appeared with a ring on his finger! Talk about service!
We had a ground floor beachfront room and really enjoyed the view. It was nice to have a porch that looked out over the beach and water. The AC worked great and the fan on the porch kept us comfortable out there. Both of our trips were in June so I can't say I heard the waves at night due to the AC running, but I would like to try a trip in the late fall or winter so that I can enjoy the wave sound at night.
Overall I can say that say that my wife and I had an amazing vacation! I am already planning our next trip, even though it may be a few years down the road. The negative reviews on here remind me that some people are always going to find something to gripe about, even on vacation. Was everything on our trip absolutely perfect? No way, but we didn't let that ruin a good time. It is your vacation, go out and enjoy yourself and enjoy some quality time with your spouse. If you can't find something to like about Couples Swept Away you might as well stay home because you are the kind of person that won't be happy anywhere.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank JRG083
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2013

My son recently got married at Couples Swept Away in Negril, and it could NOT have been more perfect!!! This resort had a very "authentic" feel to it! There ere 22 of us who went down for the wedding. From the moment we arrived, the staff at he resort could not have been nicer. The on-site wedding planner was awesome. Everything went beautifully and could could not have been more lovely. Very LOW STRESS!!! Just able to enjoy the whole experience!!

We hosted a private "welcome cocktail hour" the night before the wedding in the gardens. The food was delicious and setting was perfect. The wedding on the beach was beautiful. Very sweet and intimate. I would recommend a late afternoon wedding 5 or 6, so not too hot. The reception on the beach at sunset was also amazing!

We stayed in an Atrium Suite. LOVED IT!!! Saw almost every type of room while there and all were very nice. Food at the resort was delicious and a nice variety. Love all inclusive resorts and this did not disappoint. Will definitely go back!!!

Room Tip: We were in Atrium room 2222 and it had a small view of the ocean, was on second story, and felt like...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Teresa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2013

Ok so this review is a little overdue... My husband & I spent 3 whole incredible weeks here for our honeymoon last June (2012). What a place!!!! We loved every second, incredible food ( particularly the grilled snapper sandwiches & fruit smoothies! Yummy) . Feathers restaurant was lovely too, we had some wonderful meals there. And the cocktails were delicious... Dirty banana , coconut cooler & hummingbird were our favourites. The martini bar was a nice touch too. The beach was AMAZING!!! With some great local singers , blasting out some bob Marley tunes. My husband even learnt to scuba dive & got his qualifications & could dive as often as he wanted after that, which he loved. There was also some great evening entertainment, especially the steel drum band, just brilliant!! The spa is lovely & deinately worth a visit , we had a wonderful couples massage. Unfortunately the weather wasn't so great... Lots of rain & cloud & storms that lasted hours sometimes days!! I know we took the risk of going during the hurricane/wet season but we don't expect that much rain & cloud. Luckily we were there for 3 weeks so we did have some fantastic sunny days too. We have been to the Caribbean in the wet season before but didnt have weather like that! The Jamaicans are wonderful people, so friendly & laid back! We would love to visit couples swept away again for a special occasion. However we wouldn't go in June again because of the weather. Overall a fabulous honeymoon!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Matt_Lu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2013

Just returned from CSA, our dates were July 4th-9th. First let me say that the Couples Arrival Lounge is a very nice touch. We made it thru customs and found the lounge in the arrivals hall and were met with a nice cold red stripe and clean restrooms. Our bags were tagged and we were given a ticket while waiting on other CSA vacationers to make their way over. Once all parties who would be traveling on our bus had their luggage tagged we were on our way. Nice bus, there may have been about 16-18 people riding with us of which 8 were in our party. Plenty of room to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way to Negril. The glasses from the arrivals lounge must be left there and the beer is on draft so if you want to take one for the road you would to have your own personal cup/container. Our driver was "Bud", a great personality who was quite informative and stopped about half-way to Negril, I believe right past Lucea (Lucy). At this stop we were able to get a drink, food and use the restroom. Twenty minutes later we're back on our way and arrived as stated to a cold face cloth and a glass of champagne/sparkling wine. While we were going thru check-in, another van pulled up and when the door opened up I thought I had seen a ghost! Out pops another couple we know from the ATL who had been plotting behind the scenes to surprise us there for months now. They "claimed" to be going to Grand Cayman but the whole time they were booked for CSA! Great Surprise and now our party was up to 10. There were several reasons we were there in addition to just rest and relaxation: (1) To celebrate the birthdays of my cousin, his wife and one of my best friends, (2) To celebrate my best friend's anniversary, (3) For me to sneak in a proposal to my Girlfriend of 4+ years. I just want to say that CSA surpassed my expectations and allowed for all of these events to be celebrated with flair. The rooms are quite adequate as we were in Building 8, room 3301 Garden Verandah Suite. This room gave us a great view of the ocean from the Verandah although we were not in the room much. All the rest of my party were in the older section of the resort past the lobby and their rooms were larger than ours. They also had a walk-in shower where we had a tub/shower combo. Their Verandahs were also larger and I believe next time I would prefer to be in the older section if I were not able to be beachfront. (Beachfront is the ticket, trust me.) Either way, we were in a great location to go east or west on the property to enjoy the swim-up bar/pool, Club Aura, Patois and the Palms/Lemongrass. We never ate at Feathers because the following individuals made it so hard for us to resist coming back to Lemongrass for 3 out of the 5 nights we were there: Lesa, Rochelle, Natasha, Sandia(Babushka), Garnett, and last but not least the greatest bartenders over at the Martini Bar, Ruell and Mos Def(I can't remember his real name but we called him Mos Def the whole time because he looks just like "Mos Def"). Please forgive me if I am leaving anyone out. We also enjoyed the live entertainment provided in the Palms below each night and especially enjoyed the "Fire Show" in which my infamous sister "Natasha" participated. Big Thanks to Sous Chef's Charmaine and Simone for all the love in the Palms as well. Let me drift a bit by saying I was in Mo Bay in December at Iberostar Grand and I absolutely loved it, but CSA is something different. It's a real true property where you can roam around, cross the street and use the great gym facilities, get a power punch at the juice bar afterwards and relax in the Oasis spa. You can also go hang out at seagrapes and try the awesome Tuna wrap and chips. Chat it up with Clayton and Louis over at the water activities area and go out on the hobie cats, scuba dive, water ski, catamaran etc. In other words there is plenty of real estate to explore and shops, restaurants, jet skiing etc at your leisure up and down the beach. My party also wanted to make sure I conveyed their thanks to Raldean for all he did to make our first trip to CSA a most enjoyable time. As I hear it, anything they wanted, needed or didn't even know they needed, Raldean was there to provide. When planning the trip to CSA I never once factored in how many nice people we would meet into the equation, but we met good people from all over the US, Canada and Europe who are CSA Lifers. Now in summary I want to thank one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever met in my life, Shelly Ann Simpson. Shelly Ann is the Guest Relations Manager and was the catalyst for me being able to pull off a great proposal right under the nose of my now Fiance. She was so accommodating, personable and pleasant and would bring this same demeanor to work each and everyday. She is truly one the reasons we can't wait to get back down there. So Finally, take it from me or not, if you don't give CSA a good hard look, you might just miss out on "One for the Books!"

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Scotch_Bonnet_72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Statesville
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013

First let me explain, I have waited nearly a month before posting a review or sending a letter. I felt it would only be fair to the Couples Resort for me to reflect on the trip and provide a fair and less emotional review of the overall experience at Couples Swept Away. My wife and I have vacationed at other all-inclusive resorts, cruises, and foreign country vacation. However, this was the first visit to a Couples Resorts property.

The Apathy Demotivator poster explains the mentality of 98% of Couples Swept Away's employees.
"Apathy, If we don't take care of the customer, maybe they'll stop bugging us."*
*Source: http://www.despair.com/apathy.html

Snapshot review of this letter will be similar to the review I will post on Trip Advisor for Couples Swept Away:

I would like to mention the positives, (people, things, & events):

Location: Our room was the Beachfront Verandah Suite, building to the right of the Jacuzzi, first floor, 3 steps to the sand off of the small back patio, in front of the small wedding gazebo.**
- Sand & beach was beautiful. White Sand was dirty due to lack of maintenance and litter, but still pretty.
- Plenty of beach chairs and floats 100% of the time. One exception, shaded spots & pool areas were limited unless you marked you chair at midnight. That being said, if we saw an unattended chair with a towel, we just used the chair for the time my wife and I were on the beach or pool area. Occasionally moved a couple chairs under shady spot. No big deal, typical of all resorts.

Food: Food was Good.
- Room was OK, maybe even good. Typical of a 3 Star hotel. Not quite as nice as a typical Hampton Inn.
- Watersports & included excursions were awesome.
- Steel Drums Band was phenomenal.
- Staff & People worth mentioning, the watersports crew, "General/Jason," "Cookie/Orlando," "Marsha," "Tommy" Tennis Pro, "Andre" with Entertainment, & "Ultimate Chocolate."

I have outlined the positives, now I would like to address the rest of the experience.

We landed in Montego Bay, went to the Couples Lounge. This is where the disappointments began. When we booked the vacation, we were described this wonderful relaxing lounge area with drinks and snacks and we would have to wait a maximum of 30-45 minutes. In actuality, you could get draft "Red Stripe," cheap Merlot, or cheap & warm Chardonnay. 3 Choices. We were told to leave our bags outside the lounge in a pile with others, where non-Couples people are walking around, just seemed odd. The wait was like 20 minutes, I was very happy Couples meeting & beating the set expectations for the wait time. We carried our own bags as we were escorted to the old rusty passenger van that needed serious repair, inside & out. The van driver was nice and courteous and made it clear that he working for tips. Which contradicted what was explained during booking, all tips are included in the room charges. The trip from the airport to the resort was about 1 hour and 20 minutes, scary driving similar to other countries, which beat our expectations by 10 minutes.

We arrived at the resort, the driver unloads our bags on the front step. We were immediately greeted by a lady from Apple Tours (or something) trying to sell us tours & excursions. Couples Swept Away personnel told us to just leave our bags in the pile with others, no tags, no identification. We received no direction or guidance as to where we should go or what we should do. No one greeted us with a cold towel, a drink, a water or anything.

Main Lobby is NOT AIR-CONDITIONED, and it is very HOT & HUMID!

The front desk staff was not friendly or courteous, more curt and rude. While we waited, my wife, politely, asked for some water. The front desk staff pointed and said she would have to walk to the beach bar or restaurant. No one offered to show us where, or possibly provide arriving guests drinks and snacks in the front lobby upon arriving, like other resorts do. We were told upon arriving at 12:30 pm that our room was not ready and would probably not be ready until after 2:00 pm.

Then the power went out. She said we could go to the pool, beach, or restaurants until the room was ready, we would have to keep checking back. The power was out for the entire property. With a crude map and a point of her finger, we left the lobby in search for water and air-conditioning to cool off. The misery has begun.

We walk to the Palms restaurant to eat lunch and get a drink. The walk on the walkway by the beach included our first of hundreds of offers by locals to buy weed, pot, mushrooms, or marijuana by local peddler selling painted items or something near the watersports hut. Arrive at the Palms restaurant, again, HOT & HUMID & NOT AIR-CONDITIONED. The bartender acted like I bothered him when I asked for a beer and a Miami Vice, no other customers and it took 15 minutes. He checked his cell phone a few times to send and receive text messages, he cleaned a few cups, talked to coworkers, then finally made the two drinks and said he made the Miami Vice on the rocks because the power was out. After lunch, which was average for a resort/cruise buffet, I went back to the lobby to check on the room, still not ready, try back at 3:00pm. We decided to sit there in the heat and wait. We were hot and sweaty and needed to cool off. Front Desk, Sports Complex Front Desk, & Concierge staff had to be the some of the rudest, uninformed, unhelpful personnel at CSA.


Room:

Finally checked into our room, which quite a hike. Golf cart ride would be nice after a long day of travelling. Room is average in size, decor, and amenities for a beach resort, but the view from the back patio was excellence. Room was hot and not air-conditioned upon arrival, but with the fan on still a little cooler than outside. We wanted to chill in the room for a little while and cool down. I went to make a drink to realize the mini bar wasn't stocked. No ice, no liquor, no wine. Only juice, soda, & 4 beers. I called the front desk and was told I would not be able to get it stocked until the following afternoon. Fill out a card, leave it on the door. The all-inclusive is limited to select items that we never drink. Teacher's Scotch is the only type of whiskey available in the room. Bottom shelf choice in our area. I pleaded to get a bottle Crown Royal, Bourbon, or any another brand of Scotch. That was not an option.

We drank the 4 Red Stripes in the room and found out that 4 was our daily ration or maximum for Red Stripe. All-Inclusive, but limited. Red Stripe is the only beer available anywhere on the resort either in draft or bottle, unless you buy a 6 pack at the store. I am tired of drinking Red Stripe after about one sip of the first bottle. As far as ice, I was told I had to get my own ice. The ice room door was locked or bin was missing, so I had to walk to the beach bar. The following morning, breakfast in the room, never arrived. We requested 7:30 am, didn't arrive so we left the room at 8:15 am.

Sleep Quality:

The bed was comfortable, the air-conditioning and ceiling fan were a relief, the room was quiet with two exceptions, the slight buzz from the wall mount AC unit and the knocking noise in the ceiling fan. The noise from those two items was not bad enough to warrant turning either off. The killer of the lack of sleep, is the room becomes illuminated at 5:00-5:15 AM and by 5:30 AM, you think the lights are on. All other hotels & resorts have figured out that $100 for quality light blocking curtains are worth the investment for the quality of sleep. Unless you can sleep in broad daylight, you will not be able to relax & sleep in the room past 5:15 AM to 5:30 AM. Keep in mind, we are kid-free and on vacation. We would like to sleep in until 8:00 AM or 9:00 AM. Not possible in this beachfront room.

Cleanliness:

The overall impression of the resort was old and dingy upon arrival. The buildings and structures are in desperate need of paint, stain, & pressure washing. Grout is dirty & stained everywhere. The bar areas just look unclean, even in the morning before the bars open. By USA standards, the sanitation grade for the bar areas you can see as a patron would receive a "C" at the highest. Our room was generally cleaned. I made the mistake of walking with socks on from the bed to the bathroom. The dark red tile floors are great for camouflaging dirty floors. The mop water must be used for multiple rooms before changing. Our room, as well as others, had ants, which were sprayed the next day. The bed felt & looked clean, the bathroom appeared clean. Towels are limited in the room.

Service:

We realized quickly that the staff & employees are not there to help, assist, answer questions, or work for that matter. The staff & employees are capable of asking you (the customer) to walk to the restaurant and get them an omelets, patty, cheeseburger, etc. Over a dozen different employees & staff in our 8 days requested us to steal food for them that we paid for. If you are eating at Patois and want a Bloody Mary or Mimosa for breakfast, the server will inform you that you need to walk to the other side of the resort. Even though the bar with the required ingredients is within eye sight, you need to walk 1/4 mile down and 1/4 mile back to eat breakfast were you would like and have a Bloody Mary.

The most consistent thing about Couples Swept Away is unaccommodating staff.

All of the Beach Bars & Pool Bar open no earlier than 10 AM and close at or before 6 PM. Customers can't get the desired liquor in your rooms, forcing you to get out of your beachwear and walk to one of the restaurants.

Room Entry Cards would consistently stop working. Not one CSA staff member would bring new cards to your room, they required you to come to the front desk to pick up new cards, probably 1/4 mile round trip. This happened several times. Since we were on the first floor, we finally left the back door open, left it unlocked, and used the back door (facing the ocean) for exiting and entry to our room. One night, we were hanging out with new friends and new neighbors until 1 in the morning at the nightclub, when we returned to our room, we were locked out. Housekeeping had provided turndown service and locked our back door. We used our neighbors phone to call the front desk, I provided my name and room number, and requested someone come let us in. He said that I had to come to the front desk. I did, he couldn't find a key to the room, so then he sent maintenance to my room. Which is exactly what I requested to begin with, to save myself the 1/4 mile hike in the middle of the night.

Spa: The Sports Complex

It is such a wonderful feature for the resort, but unfortunately the entire Jamaican staff lacks the positive energy and enthusiasm one would expect from a Sports and Fitness facility. Racquetball court's air conditioning system was not working properly or at all. We went for a few different workout classes, NO AIR CONDITIONING, HOT & HUMID, and the fitness instructor was 30 minutes late, he didn't bring any music for class and was very impersonal (also a bit scary), more interested in showing off his physique (showing nearly nude photos to my wife, NOT COOL!) because he competes in body building competitions. I could tell he was not interested in teaching and when we started I knew he had no idea on how to even teach the class. Hot and sweaty from working out, you have to go to the front desk and get your own towel and water. Again, no one is willing provide any type of service . If this business was in the USA, it would fail quickly, due to the lack of attentiveness and overall lack of customer service.

Our experience with the desk girl at the sports complex was very much like our experience with the desk staff at check in & concierge; dry, rude, and no enthusiasm. They act as if we are bothering them and we are a hassle, that they have to do their job. It would seem that these three areas would be the most pleasant as they are the front line for guests. I found both of these service teams are very off putting and they really bummed our experience. The staff in these areas are definitely in the wrong profession.

The sports complex hired a Tennis Pro from the US, Tommy. He was great, friendly, & provided excellent customer service. He brought us towels and water, greeted us with a smile, etc. The yoga instructor & racquetball pro were also nice and friendly. The Jamaican staff was not helpful, even to the point of unfriendly.... which is completely different from the Water Sports Team that was so fun, accommodating and exceeded our expectations for quality service. The watersports crew, "General/Jason," "Cookie/Orlando," & "Marsha" were great, friendly, helpful, & personable.

Watersports & Included Excursions:

We tried nearly every included excursion and watersports activity.
- Glass bottom boat ride was awesome and loved it. Love boat captain was great. Comparable to previous glass bottom boat ride provided by other resorts.
- Snorkeling excursion was great and was equal to what was expected. Comparable to previous snorkeling excursions provided by other resorts.
- Catamaran cruise was enjoyable and entertaining. Comparable to previous cruise offered by other resorts.
- Wakeboarding, paddleboarding, skiing, & Hobie Cat sailing were all great.

Scuba was a disappointment, because we couldn't pass the 8 lap swim test. Which is not required in the US to become PADI certified. We called Couples prior to our trip to find out if we should get certified in the US or just at the resort. The strenuous swim test cancelled us out of the opportunity to scuba dive. We wish we would have gotten certified prior to arrival.

Food:


Schedule. Schedule. Schedule. Overall the food was good and to be expected for large group buffets and a la carte restaurants at resorts. Nothing was over the top impressive. Feathers is over rated & not worth putting pants and shoes on for, but it is the only air-conditioned restaurant. Food service was only good at Feathers, but nothing compared to any restaurant in the US that requires reservations.

All 6 restaurants had average buffets and good a la carte options. On most days the buffets & a la carte restaurants were delicious for me and mediocre or unacceptable for my wife. The meats were typically over cooked & tough. The seafood was typically overcooked in the buffets, to be expected in a warmer. No lobster, oysters, crab legs, nor fresh shrimp. Only imitation crab meat, small popcorn shrimp, and limited scallops (a la carte only, Feathers or Patois).

Location:

The two resort side pools (not counting the lap pool in the Sports Complex) are small. The main pool and the only one with a bar is the same size as our pool in our backyard. Small to say the least. Photos from the website are dated and/or digitally edited for improved appearance.

**The Wedding Gazebo:

The Wedding Gazebo, for those getting married, is in the middle of the resort, not private, people all around you, and rude people, dogs, & locals would continue to walk on the beach during the ceremony ruining the wedding video or pictures with people in swimwear in the middle of the beach/ocean background. Security guards were present for 8-10 weddings we watched, just failed to do anything to prevent people from intruding. Brides beware, this is not an intimate beach wedding setting, try Aventura Spa Palace instead.

Security:

I would say the security is a joke and a false since of security to the say the least. The local peddlers are allowed on the resort property all day long by the masses. If you were on the beach you were constantly being asked to buy weed, drugs, or stuff the local peddlers were selling. It was pressuring and relentless. NOT RELAXING! If we wanted those items, we should be required to leave the resort and seek those items out. I am at an all-inclusive resort to relax & have a good time. I shouldn't be stressed to say "not interested" & "no, we don't smoke." One security guard approached us while we were being hassled by the "Mountain Man," the guy selling mass produced wood carvings as originals and weed, and the security guard begin pressuring us to buy stuff, saying he sells the best stuff, you won't find anything like it, etc. It makes you think the security guards are getting a kick back or money if the peddler sells something. One local peddler grabbed my wife's arm to put a bracelet on, that she didn't want, and he said to her, "this is how I make my living, you need to respect me." This was with two other Jamaicans with him. I had to tell him, "TAKE IT OFF NOW." My wife & I went back to the room. The security at the resort is pathetic. I would feel just as safe on the beach as I would if they were not even there. It is an adults only resort, but several times a day you would see kids were walking by.

Value:

1-10.... Overall Couples Swept Away is 3 out of 10. However, for Value it would be a 1. For the average nightly cost of $430 per night, we expected more than being treated like second-class citizen and a burden to the resort staff. For value, if there was a selection below terrible, I would select it. Yes, we would enjoy a little more luxury in the rooms, definitely better fitness classes and of course a more consistent happy and helpful service team, more availability in the Lemongrass & Feathers restaurants or comparable food in all of the restaurants, but the new friends (other customers), entertainment, beach, the air of romance from all the honeymooners and activities were good to great. The fellow customers, we met during our stay, made it enjoyable.

Room Tip: Request first floor beach front. The resort does not have elevators. Large place, expect to walk a l...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
28 Thank CJThomas_28625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013

We stayed here in early December, 2012 before the busy season started. Perhaps my expectations were set too high based on the raves on Trip Advisor and other sites but I was not blown away. The rooms are dated and definitely in need of a serious makeover. Our first room was very dumpy. No gasket on the bottom of the door meant that bugs could easily get in, and I found plenty of small mosquito-like bugs (mayflies?) on the wall. The first room was also at the north end of the resort and smelled like it may have been very close to the garbage dumpster of the resort next door. Luckily, when we asked to be moved they did accommodate our request. The second room was a huge improvement but was still dated and tired. Bathrooms are fairly plain. Functional but far from fancy. Tub/shower combo was definitely 25-30 years old and showing its age. Sink area was unimpressive. The rest of the room was much the same. Nice enough but nowhere near fancy. I will say that the cleaning crew was outstanding - I tip my hat to them. They do a fantastic job cleaning rooms that must be difficult to get clean.

My overall impression of the place was definitely impacted by the poor check-in process. There were maybe four staff members checking in many people. We arrived at maybe 3:30 PM and were told that our room was not ready because check-in was at 4PM. Seriously? I thought it was a joke at first but it was not. We were told to grab lunch and relax - which we did. Unfortunately changing into shorts was quite difficult in the small lobby bathroom. After lunch, we came back (after 4) to find a sizable line of unhappy-looking campers. All waiting for one of four people to check them in - while the manager sat in his office. After about 25 minutes we finally completed the check-in process and were shown to our room - which stunk - literally (see above). The next hour was extremely stressful as I ran from room back to the lobby, waited in line again and finally was able to plead with the nice young lady behind the desk to find us a better room (which, to her credit she did). I then ran to room #2 to make sure it would suffice, ran back to the desk to let her know, ran back to room #1 to grab our belongings myself (no help to be found) and moved everything myself to room #2. I was exhausted, sweaty and seriously considering checking out and finding a different place to stay.

Luckily, the remainder of the stay made up for the poor start. The restaurants were very good. We particularly enjoyed the more casual (no reservation needed) restaurants. The food was excellent. Room service in the morning was delivered at the requested time and the coffee, pastries and fruit were a nice way to start the day. Drink service on the beach was "fair" at best - in most cases it was more effective to simply walk up to the bar to get drinks.

Overall - I wouldn't recommend this establishment. Their pictures make it look much nicer than it actually is.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank bassdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Couples Swept A... M, Operations Manager at Couples Swept Away, responded to this review, July 14, 2013
Thank you for your feedback and review of CSA. Let me start by saying that we are slated for room renovations in August which will address the bathrooms. As far as the check in process, we are implementing (within the next couple weeks) an additional 'portable' terminal which will help with making the process quicker. Again thanks for your review and for choosing Couples Swept Away.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Couples Swept Away

Property: Couples Swept Away
Address: Norman Manley Blvd, Negril, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#14 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Couples Swept Away 4*
Number of rooms: 312
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Immediately upon entering Couples Swept Away, you realize that you have arrived in paradise. Exotic flowers bloom amidst acres of green—on seven miles of the purest white sand beach in Negril, Jamaica. Dotted among the tropical gardens—open-air cafes, small pool enclaves and fresh fruit oases are yours to discover. Never crowded or hurried, the resort offers an intimate tranquility and when desired, total seclusion. All rooms embrace a quiet elegance with island cedar furnishings and pure white linens. Plantation shutters open onto private verandahs with views of gardens and azure sea. Breezy open-air restaurants engage candle-lit lanterns and billowing white curtains to strike a romantic note. While the pristine 10-acre sports complex encompasses every imaginable activity, the superb spa serves as a haven of relaxation. Couples Swept Away simply captures your heart and soothes your soul. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Couples Swept Away Negril
Couples Swept Away Hotel Negril
Jamaica Couples Swept Away
Swept Away Resort
Negril Couples Swept Away
Swept Away Negril
Couples Swept Away Jamaica
Couples Negril

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