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“A bit dated, but still worth it”
Review of Couples Sans Souci

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Couples Sans Souci
Ranked #4 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 February 2014

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).

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Elwood2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,735 - 1,741 of 3,927 reviews

Reviewed 11 February 2014

We stayed at couples for our engagement... What a lovely place!... The resort itself was very quaint and cozy... The staff friendly and always smiling when we arrived we were told our room wasnt available til the next day so we had an alternate room for the 1st nite!.. Which was wonderful the next day we were given a new key and told to go about our business and theyd move everything for us which they did... Thats service!...we were pampered continuously one nite there were 5 off us sitting around the bar the bartender said im sorry sir the bars closing but hed leave the taps on a we could continue to enjoy our beers, a chef was on all nite and cooked for us in the wee hours of the morning wow!.. We got engaged and our photographer shot a photoshot for us with such lasting memories... Wed like to shout out to Lozane and Anthony excellent service from both!... Our only issue the place was very spread out and we had to walk somewhat which was fine considering that after our 10 days wed each gained 10lbs !... This is a fantastic resort for couples looking for a great private retreat the spa services are Excellente the staff top notch and the location exquisite!... A great choice for an upcoming carribbean getaway 5 stars!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Rich B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2014

We stayed at couples San Souci for our 10 year anniversary. My fiancé and I spent a lot of time perusing vacation sites and deals looking for an affordable trip that would still be the romantic getaway in paradise we so desperately needed.

We initially had booked a trip to st Lucia through a groupon getaway but after reading all the reviews in trip advisor we realized we rushed into it and got a refund while we still could. Somehow we came across the Couples resorts and it seemed perfect. After looking over all their locations, San Souci seemed just right for us. Quiet and spread out was what we were looking for. If you are looking for a party place then this isn't for you.

Couples has a private lounge at the airport for their guests which was great. Clean bathrooms, AC and free drinks while you wait for your free shuttle. However the shuttle was very old and cramped. I'm a fairly
Tall guy with back issues so it was a really uncomfortable 2 hours.

Once we arrived the staff was Incredible. They took our bags and held them while we checked in. We were given free champagne and driven to our rooms. The rooms are a little older but were very clean and still very nice. Great ocean views from out balcony. We spent a lot of our meals sitting on our little private balcony starting out at the beautiful Caribbean ocean.

The grounds were beautiful and well kept. Lots of little stone walkways through the beautiful plants and flowers. A lot of stairs through so if you have trouble with walking it will be hard to get around. By the time we walked to a restaurant or the lobby we were drenched in sweat. The only disappointing thing was the beach. The main beach is very small and cramped. And well not that nice compared to most Caribbean beaches I've been to. The nude beach is about 50 times nicer and bigger but going au natural isn't out style.

The food was great. Fresh seafood everywhere. All the restaurants were delicious. The only slight complaint would be they could use a little more variety, especially with the in room dining. It was so nice to walk right off the beach to the little bar and grill and get some delicious lunch and well needed shade and then go right back to the beach.

Lots of awesome handmade local souvenirs are available right on the beach from a few select local venders that I guess have a deal with the resort.

Every member of the staff was amazing. They made it seem like they only cared about pleasing you. Every request we made was answered quickly and with a smile. I have extremely high customer service expectations and couples did a wonderful job of meeting them.

The private dinner on the beach was incredible and so was the couples massage. We got to relax and get a deep tissue massage while looking out over the open ocean. It was heaven.

All in all this place rocks and we would recommend it to anyone. Could not ask for a better vacation for such a reasonable price.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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2  Thank Marcjenn0703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2014

We stayed at Couples Sans Souci 20th January to 4th February 2014, what can I say other than we were spoilt from arriving to departing. Mimosa's for breakfast to night caps of anything you wanted, to pre dinner martini's. The food was fabulous from all restaurants and even the in room dining was good.
As for in room, during our stay they were starting to replace some of the soft furnishings with newer up to date ones but not so that this would impact on the ambience of the rooms.
Loved it so much that we are looking forward to returning in 2016 to once again let sand gravity kick in and take over.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Yvonne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

This is a great resort! The staff was wonderful and very personable! They go above and beyond for you. The food was awesome!! We loved the fruit smoothie and veggie bar at the mineral pool!! It was wonderful having a private beach didn't have to worry about other resorts or vendors invading out beach! I felt comfortable leaving my items on the beach. Lots of fun activities to do. If we can ever afford it, we will go back! We met lots of couples who had visited before, some were on their 5th and 10th times to the same resort! I highly recommend Couples San Souci !

Room Tip: B block beach front suite! It puts you right where you need to be!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lisa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

We travelled to Ocho Rios, Jamaica Feb 1 - 8th. Spent 4 nights at Couples Tower Isle and 3 nights at Couples San Souci.

Who are we? We have travelled extensively. We seek out quiet, peaceful nature escapes, secluded beaches, clean air and good food. Running, cycling, hiking, tennis, swimming, snorkeling in beautiful surroundings is an important part of any vacation we go on. We're not 'drinkers', but do enjoy a good quality beer / cocktail with a meal after a long day of fitness activities.

San souci satifsifed a lot of what we look for.

Dining experience - The food was exceptionally good. Lobster was only available only once a week - but was the best I've ever had. Prime rib - will be dreaming of it for many months to come. The variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and entres at the buffet lunches was just right. There were only 2 options for beer, and the wine - red or white..... There were some wines available at an added cost - if that interests you. The one NEGATIVE about the dining experience was the gala night - that was your only option for food - and it was accompanied by a very loud reggae band. Good music. Amazing food. But we prefer quiet beach side dining experiences. One evening had an unplugged musician with a guitar at dinner which was very nice. Most resorts separate the 'party' atmosphere with loud live entertainment - from the quiet romantic atmosphere. you did not have a choice on gala night. The Cassanova 'a la cart' restaurant was incredible - wonderful views. It had a piano inside but did not see anyone playing it. We sat on the patio. Unfortunately a very loud live band came on at the bar below at around 9 pm - again, great reggae music - but my idea of a quiet romantic dinner. Would much prefer just listening to the sounds of the ocean.

The rooms - We were in an ocean view room, main floor (would suggest top floor 3rd). We were in A block - overlooking the pool bar.... Perhaps the blocks near the spa would be a better choice - further from the beach, but certainly quieter. Certainly not a 5 star resort, but the rooms were clean and well maintained and a good size. Again, the only NEGATIVE would be the noise of the nightly entertainment, we tend to go to bed early :) And wake up early. Would prefer a peaceful ambience in the room in the evenings. Instead you will have to enjoy a very loud band - from the beach on gala night, and from the bar on other nights. They finish fairly early ? 11 or 12 pm? (Not sure because we are always in bed well before that time),

Activities - There was decent snorkeling right off the beach - with a small reef a short swim from shore. Also very safe in this area with very little boat traffic, no jet skis, and only the occasional hobby cat. Tennis courts were close to a major road - but depending on the wind direction you could hear the traffic, but not breath the exhaust. Nice views around the courts with a large pond on one side, a many tall trees. I heard the tennis lessons were excellent. There were bikes on the resort that you could take around a short jogging track around the pond. Beautiful scenery all around. Hobby cats available, as well as lessons. Twice a day snorkeling excursions by boat are a must. Dunns river falls, also worth spending a morning at, but a bit of tourist zoo. Reggae beach 5 minutes away by car is also a nice way to escape the crowds at the resort but costs 10 dollars to get in.

The resort- What I liked the most is it had a small resort feel, spread over a good sized area with many areas you could explore and escape the crowds. Beautiful, natural setting.

Service - The best I've experienced in the caribbean! Genuinely nice! Special thanks to Kamar at water sports for teaching my girlfriend to windsurf and also coming out on a kayak when he noticed that I ventured too far away on my stand up paddle board. It's beautiful along the coast so very tempting to paddle in either direction away from the resort, but they prefer that you stay close.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Seasonedtraveller401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

This was our first time to Jamaica and an adult only resort. We went to their dedicated lounge at the airport and then transferred over to the hotel. When we arrived the room wasn't what we asked for but there wasn't an issue and the next day we were offered a choice of 3 different types. This level of service then became the norm, nothing was too much trouble from ordering bespoke smoothies, to staff politeness and water sports teams. The staff certainly go the extra mile and clearly this shows through with the number of repeat couples we met. The rooms need some modernisation which they have started but the rooms were always clean, the mini bars stocked with whatever you requested and the air-conditioning worked well. Entertainment each night was varied with the big gala dinner and disco on the beach a highlight. You can keep as active as you want or head towards the spa and mineral pool for relaxation - it had it all. we had a fabulous time and will certainly be heading back.

Room Tip: For quietness go for F or G blocks, if you don't like steps go for the beach blocks
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank aiwai2014
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
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £272 - £464 (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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