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“Very quiet and relaxing”
Review of Couples Swept Away

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Couples Swept Away
Ranked #14 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Very quiet and relaxing”
Reviewed February 19, 2005

Introduction: This is our eight trip to Jamaica but the first to a Couples resort. All the previous trips were to a Sandals property. We decided to try Couples just for a change. We had a lot of difficulty deciding between Couples Swept Away and Grand Lido Negril. We finally settled on CSA.

Arrival: We flew Northwest Airlines out of Detroit and it was a very pleasant flight. We arrived at MBJ a few minutes early, but we would find out that didn’t matter at all.


Arrival at CSA:
We were promptly given a cold wash cloth and a glass of champagne as they checked us in. We had booked a beach front verandah suite and we were hoping for a first floor room. When Nicola checked us in we had a second floor room in the last beach front building. I politely asked her if a first floor was available and within minutes, and with a smile, she switched us to a first floor room in the first block of beach front buildings.

Room: Beach front verandah suite 3118: Our room was located in the first set of beach front buildings directly on the beach. We were the second room on the first floor. There are four of these beach front verandah buildings. All four are three stories high with four rooms on each floor. The first and last rooms on each floor have a wall of louvers covered with plexiglass and their verandahs are open on two sides. The interior rooms have a more private verandah and they do not have any louvers. I really liked the location of this block of rooms because it was very centrally located. It also was located in the middle of both of the beach bars which was very convenient. The stretch of beach in front of this block of rooms is not as large due to Hurricane Ivan. It drops off a few feet and then you are at the water. I really liked this because all the people walking the beach were just a few feet below you so you were never in anyone’s direct path. This made it very private and quiet. (See my pictures for a visual.)

The room consists of a king size bed with four sleeping pillows and several decorative pillows, a chair, two night stands that are built into the walls, a t.v. cabinet with a mini refrigerator underneath, and a set of shelves with several drawers. It is not elegant by any means but very comfortable. The floor is tile with a small rug at either side of the bed.

The bathroom was larger than I expected. It had a tub/shower combination with quite a large tiled area which was great for putting y our shower items. The sink counter area could be larger but it was adequate. The mirror has three sections, the end sections can be moved so you can see the side and back of your head. I liked that! The hair dryer was the only problem for me in the bathroom. Tip of the day: Bring your own! I stopped bringing my hair dryer since all the resorts we stay at usually have a dryer that sufficiently works. This one works all right, but, you literally have to hold down a red button for power. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal but it was a pain in the rear! After a couple of days of doing that I really regretted not having my hair dryer.

Verandah: The best part of the room for me! It is a decent size (not as large as the verandahs in the older section) with a rocking chair, large table and an extremely comfortable couch with several throw pillows! Since all these suites face the west the verandah is flooded with glorious sunshine in the afternoon. Some may not like that but for me it was fantastic to lay on the couch and read and feel the warm sun all over me. Because we had a first floor room the ability to walk directly from our verandah to the beach was the best part of this room. We were literally 10 steps from the beach. This location is what would bring me back to Swept Away.

Other rooms: CSA is not a large property and that’s part of its charm. We walked through all of the beautiful pathways that would wind through the old section and wandered through the new sections as well. All the beach front verandah suites are built and occupied. They still have several ocean front and garden front suites that are shells right now. They are fenced off and we did not see any work on these suites the entire week. We were told that the new swim up pool and bar will be located at the end of the resort where the new suites are being built. I personally loved the location of both the beach front verandah (new section with t.v.) and the beach front suites (old section/no t.v.) The ocean front verandah suites however, are also pretty close to the beach and in a very good location. They surround the jacuzzi and have their very own “courtyard.” Most of these suites have some view of the ocean and two blocks had wonderful views of the ocean. I don’t know what the price difference is between ocean front verandah and beach front verandah, but if it’s a lot they would be worth considering. The garden verandah suites are also very beautiful. They sit further back and have a wonderful babbling brook and waterfall in front of one block. (See pictures) If you are sitting on your verandah you hear the waterfall and it’s quite relaxing. However, they are way too close to the road for me to ever consider one. The road to Negril is very busy and there are cars at all hours of the day and night. I didn’t meet up with any one who was staying in a garden verandah suite so I don’t know how much of the road noise is a problem, but I know for us ANY noise is a problem! LOL Brian sleeps with ear plugs to block out the tree frogs! I can sleep through anything! :)

Everything everyone said about the older section is true. It is much more secluded and private. I still wouldn’t stay in a garden view room due to the road being so close, but the atrium rooms do look lovely. From what I could tell most of these rooms have a shaded verandah. I prefer the sun shining on mine but for those who desire shade these suites would fit the bill! I noticed that many of the atrium suites had a reading lamp that is attached to the wall, the kind you can adjust to shine right on your book. That was neat. I don’t know about the older suites but our verandah also had a plug, which was great for when I was using my laptop!

Resort bars: The resort has three beach bars, a piano bar, a bar in the Palms restaurant, plus a bar across the street at the sports complex. The beach bars are located at the beginning of the beach front suites (older section) and at the end of the beach front verandah suites (new section.) However, the beach bar at the end of the new section is only temporary until the new swim up pool bar is completed. There is also a veggie bar which serves lunch fare on the beach as well which is located closer to the main pool. I never waited more than one minute for a drink at any of the beach bars. I had heard that the waits were long, but, I never experienced any delays. Since Brian and I drink soft drinks during the day an improvement to this resort would be a self serve soda machine. A few of the Sandals resorts have one and in my opinion it is a great connivence for those who only want a refill on a pop, thus cutting down on the lines around the beach bar.

Pools: There are two pools at CSA. One is a nice size pool you may find in a neighborhood back yard and the other is an enormous olympic size lap pool. I never saw anyone in either of these pools. If you want a nice pool all to yourself then this is the place for you. If you are into swimming laps in a “lane” then this is the place for you. There are pool chairs and umbrella tables located around both pools.

Food: Adequate. We’ve been to Sandals resorts over 8x and found their food to be average to good. We heard the CSA was a notch above Sandals. Not true. It’s actually equal to or less than the food we’ve had at many Sandals resorts. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t go hungry, but we just expected more. Feathers (their finest restaurant) is highly overrated.

Beach: Spectacular in a word. Without a doubt the most beautiful beach we’ve seen in Jamaica. The main beach had plenty of chairs though we never used it since we had a beach directly in front of our room. I really like the fact that each chair has its own cushion that can be used as a float. Nice. No more trying to get one at the Sandal’s pools! I hated that! These chairs were also a step up from the chairs we are used to at Sandals. They are the hard plastic with a thick floatie on top or a green upholstered cushion, your choice. On the most part the beach was clean, but in front of the new section I noticed that on three occasions it was not cleaned up from the day before. We are the kind of people who NEVER leave our empty cups and other garbage on the tables or sand for someone else to pick up, but there are many people who do. So, there were times that the beach looked a bit messy.

On the main beach they would come by with cold towels and fruit kabobs. Nice idea! They also have the flag service here. They come around and give everyone a flag and you put it in the sand if you’d like service. We didn’t utilize that often but for people who did it worked great. However, the flag service on the main beach was much better because they were closer to the beach bar.

Insects: We didn’t have any trouble with the insects here. Yes, there are ants and other little insects but nothing out of the ordinary for a Caribbean property. We didn’t experience any sand flea bites or ever have a problem in any of the open air restaurants with insects.

Closing: All in all it wa a wonderful vacation. The food was a major disappointment but the service, location of our room, and the overall ambiance of this resort would bring me back.

This is a mini version of the much lengthier trip report I wrote for another discussion board. If you’d like the “long” version drop me an e-mail!!

Feel free to ask any questions or e-mail me. cp8mucs@ucs.misd.net

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Mt.Vernon,Va.
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2005

To alleviate the dry beach before the bars open at Swept Away(10am), I always fill my insulated container at breakfast w/ice & water. We're looking forward to our annual week of sun and fun next week!

  • Stayed February 2005
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6 Thank Janeyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ann arbor
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2005

This resort is just gorgeous. The beach is clean and the water is turquoise and clear. It is a bit crowded though, and you must get your towels on your chair by 7am if you want a good spot. The sunsets and beautiful and many guests get a drink from the sunset bar and watch before getting ready for dinner. One major problem is that the drink service doesn't open until 10:00am on the beach, so you will have no access to water if you are out there early. I tried to go to the breakfast buffet a couple of times to get a glass of water while in my beachwear, and they really seemed to frown upon that. They made me stand there and drink my glass of water as they don't have plastic cups available. They really need to fix that problem, as if you don't have a minibar in your room, you will be thirsty on the beach in the morning.

The food is good overall, but there were more buffets than I expected. Breakfast and lunch are buffet. There are snacks at the veggie bar during the day. At dinner there are 4 restaurants. 2 of them are buffet. The Italian restaurant on the beach is a nice atmosphere-but it is a buffet. The Thai restaurant and Feathers both provide menus, and the food was great, although the service was somewhat spotty. You must make reservations for Feathers and it seemed like our only time choices were 6:30 or 9:00, which worked out to be either too early or too late, but it was worth it and we ate there 3 times.

I am not impressed with the entertainment-where is the reagee? On Friday, they have Jamaican entertainment on the beach with a steel drum band and other things-that was the only good entertainment. Every other night it is the same band in the dining room playing stuff like "Mustang Sally" and Y.M.C.A! Not what we go on vacation to here!

The room were great visually, but not so practical. We stayed in an Atrium Suite, which is basically a screened in porch with shutters all around. It is simply decorated and very nice. However, you can hear everything going on around you at all hours of the night and day. THey put us right by the dining room and we did not sleep for 3 days-until we got moved. They would be banging plates around until 3:00 am cleaning up after the buffet, etc. Then, at 4:00am the morning crew would start up. It was an absolute nightmare. They moved us nicely, but we were by the road and still could hear traffic going by. If I returned, I would definitely get a beachfront because it is fatherest from the road, in the new section as it is farthest from the dining room.

I would reccommend the catamaran cruise. The other activities were all other bars, restaurants. I don't see why you would want to go buy food and drink somewhere else when you already paid for it at couples.

Very reccomended-just pay close attention to your room location. We visited Jan 30th to Feb 6th 2005

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Phil.,Pa/
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2005

Just got back after a week-Jan.30 to Feb.5,2005. Age runs from newlyweds to 70 year olds ( point is no age limitation). Every top shelf booze you could think of, even in your room. Staff people, whether bar person , front desk, gardeners or housekeeping were extremely courteous and helpful. A must is the piano bar to have fun and meet people from all over the world. Enjoyed the new section because it made you walk to restaurants ( burn some calories!!). Beach buffet was excellent. Beef a little tough whether buffet or off the menu. Fethers a little overrated!!

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10 Thank cpb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 10, 2005

We just returned from 5 nights (Feb 4-9) at Swept Away.

Room: We had a beachfront veranda in the new section and it was perfect. I think we got lucky because we were towards the end so there wasn't a lot of foot traffic around us. If we ever went back, I'd try to get the same or similar room. We stepped down from the veranda onto the sand and when it was too hot, we just retreated to the veranda and watched the waves. I heard many complaints from people we met about noise in their rooms but we did not have a problem.

Food: I'm not a picky eater but I have had the fortune at eating at 5 star restaurants for work. We enjoyed Feathers and Lemongrass very much. I think this is where the good cooks and waiters get promoted to. We loved the Veggie bar (also called Sea grass) but this is for light afternoon fare and the food is not high end but enjoyable. The Palms was good in theory but execution was often poor. What I mean by this is that there were things that were bad that should be easy to correct. For example, I saw many examples of cleanliness problems (lipstick on a glass, eggs not cooked properly, bees buzzing around food that was left out) and it seemed this is where the wait staff begins their careers at Swept Away. The cleanliness issues were upsetting but we were just careful about what we ate.

Staff: Overall the staff was very friendly. There were some that weren't but I think the ones that were more than made up for it.

Entertainment: The nightly entertainment was great and I only regret we did not take advantage of it every night. Too much sun and alcohol knocked us out early!

Tips:
1. Make your reservations for Feathers early in the morning the day before you want to eat. Otherwise, you'll be eating at 9:00pm.

2. If you want a beach chair, get out early and throw your towels on them. They go quick.

3. Lock your belongings in the safe. I had a watch go missing. It's possible that I misplaced it but it's also possible I did not.

4. We were offered drugs on the beach but it wasn't a big deal. Just a 'no thank you' and there was no hassle.

Overall we had a good time. If we were to go back to Jamaica, I think we might try another location just to have something to compare it to. We'd certainly consider the Ochos Rios Couples as the resort itself was good.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 5, 2005

1. The older part and newer part are not identical. The older section has the charming, louvered rooms with big verandas. The rooms in the newer section are more like standard hotel rooms. They are, however, more private on the higher floors (Yes, you can see what people are doing in the older rooms if they don't close the shutters.) and have TVs if that's what you want.
2. Go to orientation. Yeah, it's the last thing you want to do on vacation, but we missed some things because we played hooky.
3. The beach was very crowded when we were there, and people with the primo seats got up at the crack of dawn to stake their claims. The pool, however, isn't as crowded and has shade if that's what you need.
4. We've been to Jamaica often, and in our experience, the people at Swept Away were by far the most interested in helping us. If you ask, they'll do their best to get it for you. The morning room service is prompt, the rooms are cleaned quickly and the fridges are consistently stocked. We didn't like our first room, and the desk was happy to move us -- not immediately, but within reason, and pleasantly.
5. The quality of the food was very unreliable. I had a dinner at Palms (the main restaurant) that was just inedible. We ate twice at Feathers and one entree was spectacular and the other was horrible. The Italian restaurant on the beach was just bad. The seafood seems to be the most consistently good. Again, however, if I'd said something -- particularly at Feathers -- I think they'd have fallen over themselves to bring me something different.
6. We're not sports people, but those we met who are think the sports complex -- especially the tennis -- is great.
7. The beach is public, but patrolled, and contrary to other reports, no one offered us drugs.
8. The resort has grown and is still expanding. If you're looking for the intimate, semi-secluded place this must once have been, it's gone.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 29, 2005

We just got back from Couples Swept Away.
Let me tell you, this place is beyond amazing.
We didn't have any problems at all.
The beach is fantastic, we had so much fun.
The rooms and accomodations were outstanding.
Loved the food!
If you want a relaxing, stress free and *romantic* vacation in paradise, Couples Swept Away is the place for you.
We would return in a heartbeat!!

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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:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#11 Luxury 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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