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. firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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