It’s a long flight from the UK to Montego Bay – so the Red Stripe in the Couples Lounge was very welcome, as was the 8 minute turnaround time before we were in the minibus for the 90 minute trip to Negril (HINT: If you’re in one of the small 12 seaters .. avoid the rear bench seat … it’s right on top of the woofer and makes an uncomfortable ride!
Check in was completed in less than 10 minutes and we and our luggage were escorted to our room (3304 – top floor of Bld 8 on the map). The room isn’t huge, but is perfectly adequate for the two of us. Our balcony had a nice view over the gardens and we could just about see the sea … but were welcomed by a lovely sunset. The aircon unit and fan did a super job on keeping the room cold. The bed was large and we found it, and the range of pillows, comfortable. It faced the flat screen tv and minibar (stocked every day but you do have to “order” some items … the spirits were delivered in 1 litre bottles with a pourer … nice!). There was a shortage of drawer space – but we were able to find enough space for our two weeks’ worth of clothes (50% of which never got worn!). The units were old and didn’t always close properly – but they did the job. There is a digital safe in the wardrobe. The bathroom had been refurbished and was nice – we didn’t experience the “flooding” that other reviewers have reported … but we did find that running the drench shower on “full” did cause some splashing. The room was kept clean, but I would have preferred the cleaning to have been done in the mornings rather than late afternoon or early evening … incidentally – your bedding will be changed every day unless you leave a note on your pillow. There is free Wi-fi in your room … but it is painfully slow by European standards
We ate our main meals all the restaurants during our stay… Lemongrass was certainly the best, but we found both Feathers and Patois more than satisfactory. Confusingly – the “buffet” restaurant “Palms” only seemed to be a buffet one night a week … the rest of the evenings it was a la carte. You do sometimes have to wait for a minute or so to be shown to your table at the restaurants, and the service wasn’t as speedy as we have experienced in other Caribbean resorts … but you’re in Jamaica so chill Mon!
Breakfast we alternated between the buffet and Patois …
The jerk chicken at the snack bar was superb … but the biggest surprise to me was Sea Grapes – the veggie bar. I’m a confirmed carnivore but couldn‘t get enough of their sweet potato chips with humus and jalapeno dips or their blackened snapper on coco bread … delicious!
The beach is lovely … not as soft as, say, Punta Cana in the DR, but it is cleaned and raked every morning … and you can walk for miles in both directions. There are plenty of sunbeds but not a huge amount of shade. Unfortunately the hotel does not enforce its’ “no reserving sunbeds” rule … we used to hear our neighbour open her door at 5am … returning 15 minutes after having secured her shade for the day.
The shore line is smooth and virtually rock free … you can walk out about 30 metres and still touch the bottom … and the sun bed mattresses make excellent floats! We did find a 5’ wide Ray swimming along the bottom near the buoys … quite a shock but it steered well away from us!
We spent a lot of our time near the swim up bar … quiet and peaceful until about 3pm when one or two US guests took up “residence” and increased their volume and liquor intake until their “whooping and hollering” became obnoxious. So … we’d nip down to the beach for a quick game of boules or horseshoes or go for a swim or a walk …
My wife loves her tennis so she was blown away with the courts and pro coaching (included in the AI plan) … and she’d like to say “thanks” to Rolston who escorted her across the road and back every day. In addition to the tennis courts, there are also racket and squash courts, a massive and well equipped (and underused) gym, a six lane lap pool, an aerobics studio, and a pool table and table tennis table …. And one of the many outdoor 104’f jacuzzis!
Evening entertainment was well above the standard we have experienced with other Caribbean (mainly Riu and Iberostar) resorts as most of the shows were put on by external groups and not by the entertainment team (who we never saw during the day!).
Our only bad experience was at the “Blazing Piano” show … a sort of “live” karaoke. It was there when we saw just how rude the aged “repeater” guests could be to the “newbies”. One young lady, invited to sing by the pianist, had the microphone taken away from her by an elderly woman who said something along the lines of “You’re new here. When you’ve been here 13 times like me, that’s when you get to sing!” She then proceeded to caterwaul a terrible rendition of “Hey Big Spender” which was greeted with massive applause from her fellow repeaters. I was stunned that the pianist allowed this to happen. We never returned to the Piano Bar.
We’re definitely going to try to get back to CSA (but as it would only be our second visit we wouldn’t venture into the Piano Bar again!) as the resort and staff were excellent.
Don’t expect US or UK levels of 5* luxury … you’re in Jamaica … the sun is shining … and have a “Bob Marley” shot on me!
- 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