Submitted on 01-16-2017
12/24 to 1/1 were the dates of our most recent trip to CSA (4th all together, 3rd Christmas, 1st NYE). As it was on previous trips, MoBay airport was a zoo and we were so glad to have booked Club MoBay. Upon checking in at the Couples desk, we were approached by Airlink to fly to Negril rather than take the complimentary shuttle. We‚??ve always wanted to do this and since it took us 2 hours last year to get to the resort, we talked him down to an acceptable price. Since we had down the ride...
12/24 to 1/1 were the dates of our most recent trip to CSA (4th all together, 3rd Christmas, 1st NYE). As it was on previous trips, MoBay airport was a zoo and we were so glad to have booked Club MoBay. Upon checking in at the Couples desk, we were approached by Airlink to fly to Negril rather than take the complimentary shuttle. We‚??ve always wanted to do this and since it took us 2 hours last year to get to the resort, we talked him down to an acceptable price. Since we had down the ride before, it made the flight so much better since we could recognize certain landmarks.
Upon arrival at CSA, we were immediately greeted at reception. It was the most efficient check-in of any of our visits. Our room was ready and we were happy to once again have an atrium room in a premier building. Although it was not one of the 7 rooms I had requested in pre-check in, we were still very satisfied.
ROOM: We absolutely LOVE the shutters and the feel of these rooms. Ours was not one with a huge porch or hammock, but we are fine with that. What we had instead was the sound of the waves to help us fall asleep. Our room was one of the updated ones (we were told we were the first to stay in it). I loved the new floors and two new extremely comfortable chairs on our deck, but other than that, we didn‚??t think any of the improvements were that significant or even an improvement. The closet now has two drawers on one side, and shelves on the other as well as the coffee maker. There was a cabinet to hold the mini-fridge, but it didn‚??t fit so our mini-fridge was actually on a cart next to our bed. Only one door on the closet meant you were always looking at your stuff. The bed was still an old mattress and lighting was still awful. Every day it seemed like we had an issue; they were minor but still inconveniences. Including, one of our lights turned on our neighbors‚?? porch, our make-up mirror did not work, our shower dial came off in our hands (and on my DH‚??s foot) and you could not see well at night in the room nor the porch. Every morning I went to the front desk with my ‚??list‚??. To their credit, everyone was very nice (they have the nicest maintenance man named Orlando) and most of the issues were fixed. They gave us a mattress topper for our bed (which really helped) and brought in another light so we could read in bed. What CSA needs to realize that if rooms don‚??t have televisions, there is a good chance these guests like to read in bed instead and good lighting is a necessity for this.
RESTAURANTS: We got room service every morning for coffee. They were always on time although our order did not always have the correct items (we really only cared about the coffee so no big deal here).
Patios: We eat here for breakfast every other day with eggs and the banana French toast our two go-twos (plus more coffee and mimosas-hey, we‚??re on vacation, right? )Dinner here was also very good. We had excellent snapper, pizzas (yummy shrimp one), and soups! You cannot go wrong with the soups at CSA, trust me! I get soups of foods I don‚??t normally eat and they are so good.
Lemongrass: We only ate here once. We love the ambiance but are not fans of the food. I think it‚??s time to broaden this menu a little (though I love to sit there and watch the entertainment).
Feathers: Not as good as previous visits but still a good meal. They really need to renovate this restaurant-it is way past time. They were training new staff so our favorite Orrin was working but seemed to be floating around the whole restaurant. We had two good meals here: lamb, shrimp, tenderloin, snapper (don‚??t be afraid to ask for tenderloin with shrimp-they‚??ll do it).Once again, fabulous soup (I ate cauliflower). One complaint was the female bartender working that week. She was rude and could not make a good drink (she ruined a cosmo and when I sat at the bar and told her how to make it better, she ignored me and still proceeded to pour a ton of sour mix in the drink)
Lunch was split between the Cabana Grill for snapper sandwich, jerk chicken, and what they call a Greek salad while Seagrapes was those famous fish tacos (ask for extra guacamole), gazpacho, and their chips! We liked them both equally but Seagrapes could take forever and sometimes, they forgot some of our order. The only day we had an issue at CG was NYE when the resort was the busiest ‚??we had to wait quite a while for our lunch.
ENTERTAINMENT: We enjoy going to the martini bar and listening to whatever music they have. There house band Exodus has extremely talented musicians. Our favorite is Wednesdays with the amazing SilverBirds (don‚??t miss them) followed by the bonfire with acoustic music. We were able to go back to our room and could still hear him singing! The piano bar is fun although it feels the same after four visits. We actually made it to the disco/dancing one night which was busy with a fun crowd.
One of CSA‚??s best assets is their WORKOUT area. At the beginning of the week, we used it every morning, but as sand gravity hit, we visited it less. Nursing an injury I did not partake in the free tennis lessons but this is such a bonus to have. Two suggestions for the future: get new Arc Trainers (and turn them around so you are not staring at yourself in a mirror), two were in bad shape, and offer the beginner tennis clinics in the morning. These are offered at 4pm when the sand gravity is at its worst. They offer clinics for advanced and intermediate in the morning. I did do the morning beach Yoga again which is still only on Tuesdays and Fridays (please add more).
What is CSA‚??s best asset? THE BEACH‚?¶as beautiful as ever. We are beach people and it is one of the main reasons we will keep coming back to CSA. The clear azure water was great for paddleboarding or just floating on the raft that comes on your chair. We swim in the ocean more on this vacation than on any other we take. I love using their Sunfish, which I guess is not that popular compared to the Hobie Cats. These are easier to sail (I have had one since I was 9) so I think it would behoove the resort to invest in a new one (the one they have is in really bad shape) and encourage inexperienced sailors to use it. We never had an issue finding a seat, and yes, we tend to sit in the sun but I would just drag my chair over to the trees when I needed some shade.
We walk the beach every day, preferring going south to see all the other resorts and small shops and bars. If you go North, you see a few resorts (and realize how great the beach is at CSA!) We actually thought vendors were less aggressive this year off property . Yes, CSA has vendors but most move on with quick no thank you (and yes, you will be hearing ‚??Ring, ring, ring‚?¶Jamaica ring‚?? in your sleep)
CHRISTMAS: We absolutely love Christmas at CSA. They put on a fantastic ‚??cocktail‚?? party on Christmas Eve with multiple bars (and specialty drinks) and lots of tasty food stations (my DH obsesses over the lamb). Christmas Day was even better this year with a full band playing on the beach before and during Santa‚??s arrival. There is something to be said about a huge line of adults waiting to sit on Santa‚??s lap!!!! Later that day, they had an hour of live jazz on the beach which we thought was great. Live music on the beach should be more frequent.
NYE: This was our first time staying for NYE and all I can say is WOW!!! The food they had itself was absolutely mind-blowing and I don‚??t like buffets (but would change my mind if they were all like this). They had lamb, duck, sirloin, seafood, and fresh lobster tails to name a few. They had a few different singers (their talented house band played the whole time) with the worst act the last one (think bad wedding songs). After champagne and the balloon drop, everyone made their way over to the beach to light Chinese lanterns. This was so cool and a great way to end the night.
Every review I mention things I would like to see improved and some have actually happened, but I am still repeating myself:
*1. smoking on beach (way better this trip although we saw a lot of cigarette butts in the sand), sports complex issues (didn‚??t have any this trip), early morning tractor noise (also better this trip, most days they seemed to do one area at a time rather than the back and forth on the whole beach for an hour)
2. More fresh fruit at bars and maybe water in room upon arrival (still no fresh fruit besides bananas although you have a fruit plate delivered to your room every day- use this fruit in drinks) water is limited to the refillable bottles they put in your room (empty upon arrival)
*3. Follow through with Romance Rewards (they did this year but I am still waiting on my t-shirts from last year!)
4. Some refurbishment of older rooms (did although not all great), pool bar, and Feathers (looks like it is from the 80‚??s)
*5. Get a new croquet set ( seems like they did b/c we played again!)
6. One thing they definitely need is a daily newsletter like they do at other resorts (and give you at turn down). The only way to find out about happenings at the sports area was to go over there and read the white board (with no to little help from that desk). ONE nightly newsletter with all the information on it (entertainment, sports activities, restaurant closures) etc would be a great idea. We‚??ve been to many resorts that do this and feel that having this at CSA would be very beneficial (although we appreciated the newsletter we received with activities, non-sports, for the holiday week).
7. Get a nice duvet and new mattresses (although we did appreciate the mattress topper)
8. More music on the beach-late afternoon would be awesome
9. More fish options (I love snapper but would like to see some other local fish)
10. Less vendors on property (seemed like every day people were selling things) or at least spread them out and put some down at the other end of the resort
Shout out to some of our favorite staff: Ruel and Ohane (pool bar), Marvin (aura), Natasha, Kiendra, and trainee Richard (sunset bar) Terrello (who seemed to travel) Vanessa (Patios breakfast) our wonderful maids (we never saw them so don‚??t know their names but our room was always spotless) Shanice (entertainment), the lovely young lady working Seagrapes who would make our 5 o‚??clock cappuccinos (sorry I don‚??t recall the name) and our all-time favorite, Johnny (martini bar)!
Beside our daily walks, we left the property to go on the One Love Pub Crawl and to Ivan‚??s for dinner (fantastic)
If you are prone to bug bites, bring spray! The bugs were worse than ever and despite spray, I still got bitten (and they still ignore my husband)
We love CSA and are already booked to return next Christmas and NYE. Please do not hesitate to pm me if you have any questions.