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“Beauty Conquers All--Well Almost All”
Review of Couples Sans Souci

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Couples Sans Souci
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 May 2012

The best way to start this review is to tell you that this is--in no others words--a beautiful place! In all the resorts my wife and I have traveled to, this was by far the most beautiful with the rain forest more or less growing into and around the buildings. So, is that a good enough reason to visit this Couples resort? For may..."yes" and I understand that...but for my wife and I, perhaps not so much. Here are a few negatives with pluses thrown in. Fly to Montego Bay...but you lose 3 hrs getting to Ochos Rios...and then 3 hours when you return to the airport--ground transportation was professional...clean A/C vehicles--friendly drivers. Arrival--no issues...rooms ready, staff at hand. Rooms--some with beautiful ocean views---and the San Souci beachfront is very pretty--actually quite gorgeous at times based on sun position and weather. The Beach is big enough not to be crowed---but the water is shallow and there is no wave action---if you like surf--this is not the place for you. That said, the water is clean--the beach is clean and the beach bar is convenient to the entire beach---a good thing since drink service on the beach was non-existent--even with their ridiculous "blue flag" system--which doesn't work if no one is paying attention--and take my word...once the sun rose into the sky and it got hot, no one was working the beach--thank goodness the beach bar always seemed to be well manned (womaned?) Food was overall good--but not as great as some reviews seem to suggest--and I'll admit to being, perhaps, more discerning than others--especially younger couples who'd find back home buffets to be good food--the food was passable, no more--no less--with hats off to the omelet maker in the morning....the kid could prepare a mean omelet--to order!!! The beach bar is a great place to eat lunch, but service is spotty at best--too often the servers were seemingly involved in their own personal conversations and it often took more than one motioning gesture to get their attention--attitudes were too often indifferent. At one point, we sat at one of the lower tables at the beach bar and not one server would make eye contact. Our traveling companions finally approached one of the servers who said he hadn't noticed us and that he'd be right there---now with two other couples sitting at adjoining tables, another 5 minutes passed and we arose one more to get the server's attention--who finally came down with a nonchalant "what do you want to eat?" and no menus--all three couples got up to get their own menus.This was pitiful--we deserved better. No apology, no nothing, and the food service manager of the day was at the bar (taking up a seat) and chatting with other employees--not engaged whatsoever. Once served, getting followup was also problematic. In the restaurants, getting coffee was a breeze (they brew and serve excellent Blue Mountain coffee), but getting a refill was always a matter of us getting their attention, never them asking us. Drinks---someone at Sans Souci needs to understand that champagne needs to be served cold--chilled at the very least...getting cold champagne was no easy task...Red Stripe beer was in abundance (very good)--but inconsistent with temperature depending on which tap it was coming from--beach bar generally okay...booze choices were okay--not reflective of top drawer--but not rail quality either...no issues--but the only single malt scotch available was in the Balloon lounge, which opens after 6:00. We enjoyed our stay--which was merely to relax, eat and drink..and we accomplished that. However, the friendly, ready, willing and eager staff we were told about never really materialized--and that tipping is frowned upon may be at the heart of the matter. My experiences over many years has taught me that tipping enhances service and attitude--it's just the way life works. I still managed to tip my room maid--who kept our room in clean and perfect condition for the full four days of our stay. Go back?? Doubtful.

Room Tip: Step abound in this report...if you have issues climbing steps, let management know at the point of...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SantaClaus60_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 May 2012

Just returned from nine days at this hotel. What a beautiful place, fabulous vistas around every corner.

The staff for the most part were excellent (I hate the fact that tipping for good service is frowned upon). Thank you Orlando, Kaneesha, Adrian, Andrew and lots of others. Too many to mention.

Positives: Beautiful lush tropical plants, interesting walkways, just great to walk around. Nice lake with lots of wildlife. Always easy to find a spot on the beach. Great choice of water sports. Free trip to Dunns River Falls and shopping trip. If you wish to go fishing talk to anyone at the water sports, they will introduce you to Raymond, he's such a nice man, you can book to go for an hour or more very reasonably. We went early morning and only caught a small tuna, but it was so relaxing and calm. Glass bottom boat is a nice free addition (there is usually a charge) although we didn't see much more than sea urchins. We did take an escorted catamaran ride, it got a little rough so we didn't last too long. The rooms are nicely decorated, we were in B7 on the bottom floor overlooking the ocean. (The veranda was closed in so there wasn't much air.)

Minuses: The property needs a lot of repairs, mainly the tiled and cobbled walkways. They are a little unsafe, sinking in areas and cracked in others, just watch your step.The couch in the room was pretty dirty looking. We rarely saw the entertainment staff. Once in nine days we were asked if we'd like to play Bingo, I asked if it was "Crazy Bingo" and was told maybe. I don't want to do shots every 2 minutes because I either have or don't have the number called! (I must say that we didn't spend too much time around the main pool.) The mineral pool is really very nice, only problem is there are very few lounges. (There were also rude people who decided to to move there lounges to the edge of the pool so they could sunbathe, why not go to the beach? There was barely room to walk by. I realize that's not the hotels fault but obviously it needs to be addressed.) There is not a single entertainment area, it's either the beach or up near the reception by the Balloon Bar or on the lawn. It was quite a trek up to the Balloon Bar from B block and the lighting at night is not great. If you don't make dinner reservations one or two days before you may be disappointed, you either can't get a reservation or not the time you would like. I don't like to plan ahead on vacation. There are people who do not adhere to the dress code and nothing is said to them. (No beach cover ups or dress pants where required.)

Restaurants: Cassanova was top notch, very nicely done. Pallazino was good for breakfast depending on how you hit it. Like most buffets the food is either very fresh or has sat there a while. There were different dishes each day. Ask Edgar to make you a special omelette, excellent. Lunch is outstanding, great soups and a fabulous salad bar. Dinner was nothing special, just OK. Beach Grill was only fair, I didn't try the hamburgers or hot dogs I wanted to try Jamaican food although I did try the onion rings and fries, not great. The beef patties were terrible, try Juicy Beef downtown Ocho Rios.The wraps were pretty good. Bella Vista was very good, in fact it was excellent.

The reason I gave it three stars is because it seems to me it's a party place. We are an older couple and can party with anybody, we even went ziplining last year. I just think they need to have more control over the noise at night. I called reception at 3:30 a.m. because they were playing loud music and screaming. I was told it would be taken care of. Not so. My husband called 15 minutes later to be told that it was a guest! (What are we, chopped liver?) My husbands reply (he rarely says anything) "I don't care who it is, it's 3:45 in the morning, we have to be up by 5 a.m. Needless to say when a mans speaks they take heed! All went quiet. This was a "Guest" who had brought a Bose sound system, how inconsiderate.

The entertainment was good although we didn't get to see all of it, we just didn't feel like going all the way up to the Balloon Bar. Steel drums were fabulous.

All in all I would not return, we have stayed at much more cosiderate hotels, the Jewel Dunn's River is our favorite. When people are getting loud and obnoxious they are asked politely to respect others, they also adhere to the dress code.

Room Tip: B block is on the beach, it's quite a trek to where most of the entertainment is. Depends whethe...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank carolelg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2012

We spent April 28 - May 6 at Couples Sans Souci. We chose the resort because we had stayed at Couples Negril a few years ago and loved it. We vacation every year and tried other destinations for the past few years and thought a return to Jamaica and Couples would be good. We chose Sans Souci mostly because it was different from Negril. We did a lot of web searching before chosing Sans Souci. Once booked, we religiously viewed trip advisor postings, picture postings and the message board on Couples' own website. We knew exactly what to expect before arriving. It can amaze me how some travelers can arrive on vacation, which for us is considered an investment, without doing complete research. With that said a few notes about Sans Souci:

Grounds: very beautiful, very lush and jungle like, full of critters and creatures. We are from the Mid-Atlantic so we find small creatures like lizards very exciting. We went to the pond several days, one day we "smuggled" bread from breakfast only to find other guests had brought what looked like half a loaf of bread and half a dozen bagels - LOL, guess you don't need to be so secretive about your intentions. It was a fun time feeding the turtles and the fish which enticed the brown heron to eat the fish that we attracted. We cheered for the heron each time he was successful. Even saw (what we discovered after a google search) was a Jamaican Mongoose. The bus driver had told us about them on the ride from the airport. Now, it rained everyday, sometimes most of the day and sometimes REALLY HARD!! so we didn't get much dry time outside which was a bummer but...what can you do? I am sure the guests arriving after us and after some sunnier days found the grounds to be even more lush and junglelike. Didn't get much beach lounging time due to the weather, did more lounging on our balcony. The Beach Party and Gala were both rained out. We ordered room service for the Beach Party, went to the Gala which had been moved into Palazzina and didn't like it. First it was overcrowded, couples were sat at 8-top tables, it was noisy and difficult to serve yourself from the buffet. Not relaxing at all, we ate quickly and left.

Room: We booked a one bedroom Ocean view suite, we were blocked to G block which was also a bummer. Not because it was the farthest away from everything but the spa, but we had issues with our room that were never resolved. We were in G6, easy to get to from the lobby, nice view. Upon entering we discovered there was not a deadbolt in the door lock - just a hole in the brass plate where a deadbolt should have been. Had we been in the States, this would have been a deal breaker for me, however; we did have the slide chain so we made sure we had that on all times we were in the room. We always use the safe for our valuables but getting to our safe required heavy lifting and heave-ho to get the closet doors open, they were off-track or something, we were unable to get them open without literally wedging your body between the wall and the door and pushing with arms and feet. The doors are very heavy and it took way too much effort. We discovered the first morning that our shower was not draining properly. We called Customer Service before we left the room and informed them of the problem. When we returned in the afternoon from the beach to shower before dressing for dinner, we noticed immediately the problem had not been fixed. Well, two more calls to Customer Service, one where a very nice man said he would check on the service order for me and would call me right back- we waited over an hour for that call which never came so we adopted the Jamaican mantra: No worries and went to have dinner and drink. There was an encounter with a Housekeeping supervisor outside our door the next day where we told her there was problem. Results of our inquiries? - none, the problem was never fixed, we just devised a work-around where you would shampoo your hair then turn the shower off while you soaped up and waited for the drain to catch up. Turn the shower back on, rinse and repeat the process when conditioning and shaving. Disappointing. Also, as an avid lurker on trip advisor had read a review where a guest was suspicious of housekeeping coming to their room with only a wash cloth. Weirdly enough this happened to us at a time we were supposed to be out of the room. We had booked a couples massage - two of them actually - highly recommend them- We ran into Ruth on the beach and she asked if we could move our time to later in the afternoon which wasn't a problem. We could wait, so we went back to our room and were just hanging around our room waiting when housekeeping knocked, I opened the door to two housekeepers one held out a wash cloth to me. Huh? Really? Suspect activity to be sure as we were not supposed to be there, we were booked at the spa. Something to keep under consideration: we locked up everything after that encounter, just to be secure.

Food and Service: We found the food to be pretty good. The buffet at Pallazina was perfect for us so we ate breakfast there daily. Well actually second breakfast as we had room service breakfast of coffee and breads delivered daily- great service, always arrived on time. We ate lunch and dinner at Pallazina most often, ate at Casanova once which was really elegant, just most time the menu wasn't to my liking. We ate at Bella Vista for dinner and lunch once or twice. All dinner meals, the service was great but sometimes very, very slow. Most nights we had a hard time staying awake waiting for our entree to arrive, sometimes it was over 30 minutes waiting for that course alone. All servers and hosts were great. Saw one instance of blatant tipping (at Casanova) which, quite frankly I found irritating, now what were we supposed to do?! We bought into the concept of no tipping allowed- were we being cheap? We never encountered an employee who even hinted that they expected a tip.

Activities: we did a few. We snorkeled which was really good, we are easy to please. We glass bottom boated - mistake because it had been storming so the water was rough and the waves made me so nervous I could barely look down I was so fixated on the high waves. We kayaked around the beach area, went over to the left of the beach and saw some really neat sealife, then got hollered at by the watersports guy, apparently you are supposed to stay away from the exposed coral. oops. We did one off-site excursion to shop in Ocho Rios. My advice- OMG don't do it. Especially, do not go right into the "craft" area. Walk across the street and stay there. All we were looking for was doo-dads and trinkets to bring home for family and employees. We were attacked by vendors immediately getting off the bus. We unknowingly got diverted to the "craft" area. I know that this is a customary method for sales in Jamaica, but seriously it was scary. And the aggressiveness to braid our hair (my husband has hair longer than mine) and to sell us weed was very unnerving as the vendors kept separating us into different booths. The trip was two hours but after 15 minutes we ran across the street and sat down on a bench outside a jewelry store for santuary and waited out the rest of trip and watched for the bus to arrive. Turns out we could have bought all we needed from the store on the resort property.

Summary: this resort is beautiful, different, great leg workout just getting around and has a charm that you may not find at other resorts. We will definitely stay with Couples on another vacation to Jamaica, but problably head back to Negril or try Swept Away.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank esp0515
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

Our stay at Couples Sans Souci was amazing! The food was excellent, entertainment was great and room was clean and wonderful! My husband had to promise to bring me back so I would leave :-) Yes there was a little maintenance being done but when are repairs suppose to take place? I loved it and can't wait to go back!!!

Room Tip: I loved our penthouse, the basic rooms looked a little small but nice and clean.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cbeni11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

Married May 5th, Honeymooned at San Souci May 6th to May 13th. We'd like to share with you our overall impressions. Generally speaking, she and I are not "minglers" and are not in a hurry to jump into quick conversations with everyone we meet. We can and do, but usually with a tinge of reluctance. Thus, it was a goal of ours, on this trip, to turn it down a notch or two disconnect from real life. San Souci turned out to be the perfect place for this!
You can move at your own pace and enjoy the beauty and serenity without any sense of social pressures or expectations. Everyone there is free to indulge or not indulge in whatever activities they choose and at whatever speed they desire. The weather was beautiful, the staff was very attentive and the service was (for the most part) timely. The food was outstanding- we especially liked the casual restaurant as you could be seated next to the wind and waves on the beach. There is a fair amount of walking and steps compared to a lot of resorts but we loved following the twisty, turny paths through the grounds and around the cliffs- there was
always something to discover, a hammock tucked here , a secret bench there - ample opportunity abounds for- ehem - private rendesvous'. San Souci was the perfect get away for us. Turned off the phones, and never looked at a computer screen. I've seen other reviews
where people had problems with staff or room arrangements. We had no issues whatsoever so maybe we were lucky but I would suggest that a respectful appreciation for their efforts does help as well. We had a bag missing from our flight which arrived on the next flight and they took care of getting it to us. As for tips, they are not expected but are accepted/appreciated and a little gesture of acknowledgement is in our opinion justified.
Was everything perfect? Of course not, nothing ever is. Was it the best vacation we've ever been on? Absolutely.

We spent most of our days naked at the Au Natural beach with the surf and the breeze, drinks in hand. Sauntered over to the swim up pool bar, got another drink, chatted a bit with the staff and guests, cooled off and did it again. Not a bad way to spend a day. Took the sailboat out, did the snorkeling adventure, she got a massage, we danced at the after Gala Party disco. Overall, had a great time.
For those wanting to know of potential concerns for their visit, I could list the following: The logistics of maintenance at the resort are pretty staggering, thus there is always some sort of tractor running, painting or hammering taking place most of the time. It's not that intrusive but it's there. The maid staff is talkative and seem to be active 24/7, so that could also affect your zen (Use your "DO NOT DISTURB SIGNS" LIBERALLY!). Lastly, and most importantly to my bride, there is a significant reluctance on the part of the wait staff to distribute
SPLENDA in any appreciable amount, but that can be overcome with perseverance and persistence. The only other consideration may be the slow pace and atmosphere
- if you want to party hardy then this may not be the place, They have some after hours activities, but they aren't hardcore. If however, your goal is to separate from the real world for a few days, we enthusiastically recommend it.

Room Tip: A and B Block are behind the main pool and beach so a little more activity but nice view of the beac...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Jen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

We stayed at CSS from 4-28 thru 5-5. This was our second time to CSS. Unfortunately for us, it rained almost everyday. We still had a good time. We just spent more time indoors. We requested our same room in building A and got the room next door (which we were thrilled with).

Tips for first timers: 1) Feed the duck at the pond. He lost his mate last year due to a car running over her. The duck is also blind. He is trained to come to people’s voices. He will not intentionally bite you. Hold the bread at a 90-degree angle to the duck’s beak. We found out about this during the Nature walk. This is a must-do. We did not do it last time because it starts at 8am. Albert was very informative and patient with all of our questions. You can also feed the turtles, fish, parrot (Crackers is the green parrot’s name), etc… We always got extra bread at breakfast and fed the animals before we were too soaked from the rain. 2) Still hungry after 11pm, go to Bella Vista. 3) Do not wait on employees at CSS to ask you what you want. Be pro-active and you will get better service (or you can break the rules and tip everyone). 4) If you like buffets, this is the place for you. Breakfast and lunch at the Palazzina. 5) If you order anything, expect it to take 30 to 45 minutes. Remember, you are on Jamaican time. 6) Get a couples massage over-looking the ocean. Ruth does an excellent job. 7) If you do not want to participate in the forced socialization (Gala, Beach party, and repeat guest dinner), order room service in the AM so you will be sure to get your supper. This worked really well for us on the Beach party night. It rained all day and the beach party was cancelled. Everyone was ordering room service and they were backed up. We ordered room service for 6pm (ordered at 10am) and the food was delivered at 6:30pm. 8) Make sure to spend at least 1-2 hours a day exploring the property. There are so many places that are very private. We spent one afternoon at the gazebo by the building with the exercise equipment while it was raining. Believe it or not it was beautiful even when raining. Make sure to bring your camera on all your outings. 9) Food at CSS is comparable to Chili’s. Casanova presents food well, but the taste of the food was not 5 star. Appetizers at Casanova better than the entrees. 10) Bring bug spray! We had a minor ant problem in our bathroom for a few days (probably due to the rain). Never called the front desk about it, just took care of it myself. 11) Go to the au natural beach. We did not go the first trip, but we did this time. 12) Stay in the one bedroom oceanfront suite. It is not worth the money to upgrade. 13) Tip the guy who replenishes the mini bar if you want something other than what is on the card you have to fill out everyday. 14) If you like to drink, ask any bartender for a Bob Marley. Tastes wonderful and is pretty strong. 15) Do not use spray on sunscreen in your room!! We found out last year that the sunscreen mixed with the tile floor will make you laugh if someone else is walking on it. You will not laugh if you bust your bottom. Sunscreen + tile = accident waiting to happen. Put on your sunscreen on the porch.

We would probably return to CSS, but will have to wait for the bad weather blues to go away.

I wanted to give a special thanks to Cheryl with Custom Travel for getting us the best price for our vacation and for answering all our questions. Also, thank you for the passes to the united club and the mobay club. We loved the mobay club. The best part was being escorted through customs instead of having to wait in those long lines.

Room Tip: request a room in A block on second or third floor. Good view and not a lot of walking.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank sailfish85houston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

My boyfriend and I traveled here the last week of April/First week of May 2012. I booked due to so many amazing reviews on this site. It was our first vacation at a Couples resort. The resort overall is beautiful. It is an older property which adds to its charm. The way it is built on the cliffs makes for many amazing views and picture opportunities and the groundkeepers work hard every day to maintain the lush landscaping.

Upon arriving, even though we requested a room in D block via phone prior to arrival, we were assigned a room in G block. G block is the farthest from the beach and a very long walk up/down many steps. Therefore, I asked if we could move to D block. The lady at reception was helpful in walking us down and showing us the room we could have. The only room left in D block had no ocean view due to the balcony facing many trees that blocked the view (you could see a piece of the ocean, but it certainly wasn't breathtaking). I must admit I was quite disappointed that we did our part in calling in advance and requesting a room in D block, and now we were left with probably one of the worst rooms in the D block (also it was a bottom floor room).

Because I didn't want us to be isolated in G block, we took the room, which still had to be cleaned. We were told to check back in an hour or so with reception. Needless to say, we had already been traveling for 7 hours and would have liked a room, but we went ahead and explored the property a bit and had lunch and then went back. Again, we were told the room was not ready. No one could really give us a good idea of when we would get into our room. We sat in the waiting area at reception and waited, and waited......finally a little after 4pm they gave us our keys. Needless to say, I understand we asked for a change, but we had requested a D block room prior to arrival and the fact that we had to wait so long for our room plus the lack of communication from the staff was frustrating.

The room was ok in terms of layout, everything was dated which we expected...but the deadbolt on the door did not work, we were on the first floor, and there were cracks in all the doors which made it very easy for insects to visit us. Overall with the room issues, the lack of a view and the long wait for our room, I was not coming into this resort feeling that it was the wonderful place described in all the reviews. Also, while there was good air conditioning in the main living area, if you had the bathroom door closed when taking a shower, the bathroom would get uncomfortably hot and the air seemed to not reach this room. Because the room did not have a separate area with a mirror for doing hair/makeup, you were forced to do those things in a hot/steamy room which was not very pleasant. A simple mirror and dressing table in the room to alleviate the need to use the bathroom for these things would have been helpful.

After our first day, I called reception and asked if anyone might be checking out on a higher floor on the D block so that we could change rooms and hopefully get a better view and not be on the first floor. I was told that no one was checking out that day, but to check back the next day. My boyfriend urged me to just forget about trying as we felt that the staff was not overly interested in our needs. Plus after unpacking it would have been a hassle to move. Therefore I just dropped my request and never visited reception.

A day later, we returned to our room around 4pm after being out all day to find it was not cleaned and the cleaning staff asking us when we were going to move our things. Move our things? I had no idea what they were talking about. Well, it turns out that even though I never followed up with reception on my request, they had informed everyone else (except us) that we were moving to....the G BLOCK! …exactly where I did not want to be. I had to talk to reception and they were not very friendly...basically blaming me for not being around to get their call about the move (um, this is a resort where you are out at the pool or in the ocean all day - I wouldn't be in my room waiting for a call from them - not to mention the resort is certainly small enough that they probably could have found us if they had a message to deliver). I tried to keep my calm and informed him that we did not want to move to G block, as a matter of fact, we were given a room in G block on our first day and asked to be moved to D block (the block we requested weeks before our arrival!). I informed him I had requested to move to a higher floor of D block but the lady I spoke with said there were no rooms, and to check another day, which I never did because I decided it wasn't worth the bother. The result is that we stayed in our same room (D9) the entire week, with a poor view (even though we paid for ocean view) and a noisy room on the first floor of a busy hallway. The moral of this story is that overall we found the reception/operations staff to lack some basic customer service and communication skills. Rather than feeling welcomed and accommodated as paying guests, we felt as if we were being a bother to them which is not the way you wish to feel when you are on vacation.

Outside of the room, the resort is certainly beautiful. It is full of trees and flowers (bring your bug spray for the evenings!). Do not come here if you want to be very active and have something to do every second. This is a place where you should plan to get a chair at one of the pools or on the beach every morning and plant yourself there with a good book. The watersport activities are ok. The glass bottom boat tour was not that great as there isn't much to see. Snorkeling was just ok, it's only 30 minutes and you don't see many fish. Taking out the kayak was a nice way to get a little exercise. The staff working at watersports is always very friendly and willing to help you out with getting the equipment you want to use in the water. The best thing to do is get on a floating raft in the pools or in the ocean and just float and relax (maybe even with a drink!). Because of the resort’s size, even when it was full you could still find times where you might be the only couple in the pool or in the ocean. I definitely appreciated the small size and lack of crowded pools, etc…you could always find a chair. All of the amenities were clean and well taken care of with the exception of the Jacuzzis which seemed to be ignored and usually had a lot of leaves and debris floating in them. The resort publishes a list of activities and it sounds like you will be very busy, but in my experience, most of these activities never actually happen due to lack of participation by guests or confusion by staff as to where the activity would actually be held. For example, one day they advertised a mixology class at the Palazinna restaurant. After a few of us arrived on time, the staff seemed genuinely confused as to why we were there, after calling around they directed us to another location. By the way, this “class” was just a bartender making us shots and very quickly telling us what he put in them – not really a mixology class!

The gym and spa were nice. We did take advantage of a couples massage in one of the ocean-front huts. Overall the massage was not the best I ever had, but it was another experience you will want to have while you are there (an outdoor massage, listening to the ocean, etc…). The gym has a decent amount of cardio and weight equipment.

The only time we left the resort was to go to Dunns River Falls. I feel it's important to do this if you haven't, it's something you can check off the bucket list - but overall it is a tourist trap in terms of them taking your picture and video every 5 minutes and hoping you will buy it at the end. Not to mention our guide who felt that a tip less than $20 was unfair and would let everyone around him know how cheap you were if you gave him less. Then the "exit through the gift shop" experience is interesting. There are many vendors in this “shopping village” and they are all trying to get you to stop and buy their things. I often think the people in Jamaica would sell more if they weren't so pushy - most of the people on the trip with us just ran through the vendors to the bus to avoid dealing with the pushy salespeople. Perhaps if they were less pushy people would stop and at least browse the items.

Drinks: I felt the drinks weren't very strong most of the time. Perhaps you had to ask for extra shots to get a normal US type drink. Some of the bartenders were fairly standoffish and not interested in helping. A few, like Easton at the pool bar, were great - very friendly and happy to get you whatever you asked for.

The food was not as amazing as I thought it would be - but I am also a picky eater. Palazzina is really the place to go for every meal. For breakfast and lunch they have buffets. The breakfast was basically the same every day, but lunch changed daily and some of the food was actually really great. We also enjoyed seeing the kittens that would visit the outdoor seating area at every meal and quietly beg for some scraps. The beach grill's lunch food was not very good in my opinion.

Dinner was a challenge for a picky eater, but Palazinna has a pasta bar/station every night so if I couldn't find anything else, that was a good fallback option. We ate dinner one night at Cassanova which I think was ok. The service was slower there and overall the food was just ok. While I like spicy food, be aware that pepper is used a lot and sometimes not in ways you may want. One day my boyfriend and I ordered a smoothie at the mineral pool and after drinking a few sips, realized there was pepper in it! It was a banana/pineapple smoothie- I have no idea why the extra spice was added, but needless to say we did not finish it and never went back to try any other smoothies.

Entertainment was also ok. Unfortunately during our trip we had a lot of rain, so both outdoor parties were moved indoors, so perhaps we missed some of the benefit of seeing entertainment outside under the stars. The best entertainment was on the beach party night, they had a steel drum group that was amazing. I wished they would have played longer. Other nights were various singers/bands and one night was a magician who left a lot to be desired. Overall, don't come here for the entertainment. Understand that it's a nice little addition to the all-inclusive and gives you something to do in the evening after dinner - but not top notch entertainment.

Another great part of this resort is the lake area, it's in a quite area behind the beachfront rooms and there are a lot of interesting birds and turtles to watch and overall it's just a nice quite place to sit and reflect on the beautiful surroundings. There are bikes over there as well that you can use and ride around the path around the lake- not a challenging ride, but a fun thing to do.

Overall I am still torn if I would go back. The resort is beautiful and relaxing, but the rooms lacked something to be desired and the customer service was also lacking. I will admit I am a frequent business traveler and usually stay in 4 or 5 star hotels, so perhaps my expectations are higher. I feel the concept of the all-inclusive is a great deal and perhaps will visit another Couples property in the future, but I am not sure I would go back to Sans Souci as a first choice.

Room Tip: After going there, I would say A or B block is better, closer to everything. Some people said the ro...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank worldtravelerfromnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Couples Sans Souci

Address: Route A3, St-Mary | PO Box 103, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £223 - £465 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Couples Sans Souci 4.5*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the cliffs of Jamaica’s emerald coast above a dazzling stretch of Caribbean, Couples Sans Souci beckons you to surrender mind, body and soul. The resort's 'no worries' mantra comes to life as every day unfolds. Lose yourself exploring secluded stone pathways. Melt away stress in the healing natural mineral springs. Feel a rush of exhilaration scaling Dunn's River waterfalls. Or simply drift asleep in a hammock by the sea. Located in vibrant Ocho Rios, the resort's design pays tribute to an understated colonial elegance—intricate latticework, white woven furnishings and feathered palms set a refined stage for your island escape. Dining options abound—from authentic Jamaican fare to five-star international cuisine. Private cabanas at cliff's edge provide the ideal setting for our signature spa treatments, while the choice of resort activities knows no limits. Learn the art of living well while living in the moment at Couples Sans Souci. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Couples Sans Souci Hotel Ocho Rios
Couples San Souci
Couples Sans Souci Ocho Rios
Couples Sans Souci Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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