from Mansfield, Texas
Submitted on 30-04-2016
We went to Jamaica this year on our vacation out of desperation. We love everything about Mexico (especially the travel time, value for the dollar and service), but have become very tired of the excessive seaweed on the beaches. We are beach people through and through. With Mitch Toren's help at TripGuy.com, we decided to try Couples Negril for 11 days from April 14 to 24. In a big way, we solved the beach problem. This was the cleanest, calmest ocean water we have ever seen. However, as e...
We went to Jamaica this year on our vacation out of desperation. We love everything about Mexico (especially the travel time, value for the dollar and service), but have become very tired of the excessive seaweed on the beaches. We are beach people through and through. With Mitch Toren's help at TripGuy.com, we decided to try Couples Negril for 11 days from April 14 to 24. In a big way, we solved the beach problem. This was the cleanest, calmest ocean water we have ever seen. However, as expected, we also found some negatives...or at least some areas in which Jamaica suffers in comparison. While we will return to Jamaica and the Couples resorts, we will also be heading back to Mexico for some of the things no one seems to do better than the Mexicans.
The Beach: Extremely clear, clean water. Perfect white sand and the bottom had zero rocks. Amazing. However, it was almost too calm. Unless the wind is "up" due to weather, the water is as calm as your swimming pool. It almost doesn't feel like the ocean. You don't "hear" the ocean in the same way when there is surf. My wife loved being able to lay on a raft in the ocean and not worry about drifting, undertow, etc. However, I saw that as a bit of a negative. The water is only chest deep at the deepest point of the roped-off swimming area. If you want to body surf, you will be disappointed. If you want clear, clean and CALM, you've definitely come to the right place.
Food: We found the food to be really good. There are 4 restaurants, including one that is reservation-only. The others were easy to get into and a buffet was available most of the time. We found out that there is no real room service, though, and we do love utilizing room service one or two nights during our stays. We always stick pretty close to the available seafood on trips like this. Our experience is that beef is sketchy at best in seaside resorts, but they are very good with seafood. All seafood choices were quite good, in our opinion. They seemed to have top-shelf liquor, but we are tequila people and they don't offer any of the sipping tequilas we like. Oh well, nothing to do but try out the rum drinks and Red Stripe.
Rooms: These were again better than advertised in the reviews we had looked at. We saw lots of comments about old, tired, needs coat of paint, etc. We just didn't see that. The colors used at this resort are muted. You won't see the grandiose surroundings, hugeness, or gaudy colors you would see in a Mexican resort. However, we thought our room, though a bit small, was one of the nicest we have ever stayed in on vacation. The design and layout of the rooms is well thought out. There is lots of room for clothes in drawers and closets. While the room might be a little small, the furnishings are not oversized. We were able to easily find places for all toiletries, wet swimsuits, etc. We were very comfortable and the rooms are better than some of the reviews we read prior to going.
Nightlife: Not a strength. In Mexico, we are able to sit outdoors on a great patio, listen to live music, dance a little and smoke a good cigar. In Jamaica, there is one smoking section and it is a good distance from any of the entertainment. We did not expect that. As a.result, we ended up hooking our bluetooth up on the balcony most nights and listening to our own music. Ironically, we noticed numerous times hotel guests lighting up their doobies all around the resort. We don't have any complaints about that; it just seems ironic that you can't light up a cigarette or cigar anywhere except for 4 tables on the far side of the pool.
Last thing: something to be aware of is that they are in the process of building a brand-new resort next door. In general, there were no issues except when it came time to use their jackhammers to break up rock, concrete, etc. That got really loud but, to be fair, it was only a distraction one of our days.
We would highly recommend Couples Jamaica to anyone who wants a break from the seaweed in other parts of the Caribbean...just be aware of other tradeoffs you will be making.