Just returned from a week at Couples Sans Souci (Jan 28-Feb 4). Cutting right to the chase, they rate a solid 9 out of 10. This is our 9th adults-only all-inclusive, and the reigning champ for us is the Excellence Riviera Cancun. We use that as our benchmark for comparison to other resorts, as the Excellence scored a perfect 10 for us (even from the Russian judge ;-). And since the two had almost exactly the same price tag, that makes for a perfect comparo.
Food: Jamaica has a reputation for serving excellent food and this resort does not disappoint in that regard. Quality was top-notch across the board. It's a smaller resort with 3 restaurants, 2 of which are closed every Tues and Fri (usually replaced by an outdoor buffet dinner). Selection could be considered somewhat limited, but not enough that you'd need to repeat a meal in the course of a week's stay. 2 of the 3 require reservations, and it's best to book as soon as you arrive. The Casanova, situated at the top of the resort, is the primo place to eat. Only minor drawback I found was that the lighting for the outdoor seating there can be so poor (let's call it ambience ;-) that I actually couldn't see the food on my plate. Ended up biting into a couple of decorative items ;-) The Bella Vista is down at beach level and not as intimate but still very nice. The beach grill is the 3rd possibility, and actually very nice - practically eating on the beach if you get a table on their patio section. Slight edge in this category to the Excellence, simply due to superior variety.
Room: We had the deluxe oceanview suite, I believe. I asked the front desk where this room would rank on their scale from best to worst, and they figured 3rd or 4th from the top. Personally, I'm not sure how it could get much better. For starters, it was huge (see pics). A real suite with separate bedroom. Bedroom was big, with ensuite bath. A 2nd full bath in the hallway. A gigantic living room (kind of wasted space actually). Storage everywhere. Huge balcony - room for table and 4 chairs for eating, plus two full length loungers and another table, plus extra room in between. Positives: kept very clean, housekeeping service 100% reliable, size (if that matters to you ;-), A/C very effective and whisper quiet. Negatives: little bit dated, some slightly slap-dash paint jobs on the windows (see pics), rusty shower rod, no blackout curtains (to get reasonable darkness, we had to go outside and close the external shutters, which was only possible because I'm 6'4" and even then I could barely reach them). The ocean view....well, see the pic. Can't quite fathom why they wouldn't trim the tops of those trees. Ugly (and useless) vent in the bathroom wall. Minibar: only comes with Red Stripe, Coke and water and even those items aren't automatically restocked. You have to hang a slip on your door before 2AM to request a restock for the next day. Kind of clunky. No other alcohol provided in room unless you request it. We asked for a bottle of rum which was promptly delivered as requested. Then the next day we asked for vodka and it was delivered with a bar-type pour spout already installed (the rum was sealed like from a store). Clearly, they're trying to make sure you don't just take off with their bottles. Guess they were ready for us, 'cause we did take the rum home ;-) Kind of chintzy, though. Edge in this category goes to the Excellence hands down. The rooms are in much better repair, and they put 5 bottles of premium booze in your room, no spouts. Plus the minibars are better stocked (including snacks) and automatically restocked daily, without asking.
General: keep in mind that this resort is built into a hillside. If you end up in one of the upper blocks as we did, be prepared to get some exercise. It's a long haul up to your room. Forgetting something turns into a real "Oh crap!" moment when you finally get to the beach. There are 2 full wings of rooms down at beach level. Recommend requesting those if the walking/climbing is an issue. The beach is small-ish but we like that. It's bordered by lush greenery on both ends and therefore private - no walkers from other resorts intruding on the peace and quiet, as happens at other resorts. And I mean it was really peaceful. Turns out (somehow I never twigged to this in advance) that one of the main reasons people go to the Sans Souci is the nude beach, which is separate from the rest of the resort (has it's own bar, pool and restaurant as well). Seems a substantial percentage of the guests are there at any given time, which was great for us. Never had a problem getting a beach chair - tons to choose from. The main pool could use a few more chairs, but we also were able to get one there anytime we wanted. Service was outstanding and the people were the friendliest I've yet come across. Only minor complaint is that there's no water available beach/poolside until the bars open at 10:00. We had to take to carting some down from our room for the mornings. We went snorkelling every day (which along with glass-bottom boat tours, water-skiing, intro scuba course, and all the non-motorized watersports, is complimentary). The walkways around the resort we found kind of depressing. Dark, dingy. They should perhaps trim some foliage a bit and please, pressure-wash the stones once a year. Would go a long way to brightening them up. Edge here goes to Couples - nicer staff, private and quiet beach, better activities.
Overall, I had 2 complaints worth mentioning: one of the outdoor buffet dinners got rained out, and they seemed ill-prepared to deal with it. Their solution was to cram everyone into the Bella Vista, and literally compel you to double up at tables with strangers. This may be OK to some, but unacceptable to us. You only get so many dinners while you're away, and being forced into this situation is akin to being on a blind date; it might work out, but more likely it's gonna be horrible. That can't be the first time it's rained there - they should be better prepared. And despite 2 requests, they failed to come up with a piece of birthday cake for my wife. Somewhat disappointing.
The Excellence keeps its' crown as far as we're concerned, but Couples is still a solid 9. We would absolutely return, no question. If only it was a bit closer to the airport (be prepared for a 90 minute drive).
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Holiday Gems, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Ebookers, HotelsClick, 5viajes2012 S.L., Cancelon, Evoline ltd, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Couples Sans Souci reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Couples Sans Souci Hotel Ocho Rios
- Couples San Souci
- Couples Sans Souci Ocho Rios
- Couples Sans Souci Jamaica/Ocho Rios