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“Beautiful, quiet, sounds of the ocean”
Review of Couples Sans Souci

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Couples Sans Souci
Ranked #4 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
McPherson, Kansas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful, quiet, sounds of the ocean”
Reviewed 15 February 2014

Return here every year.........my husband and I love it. Quiet, beautiful surroundings, friendly staff. Trip to the a Spa with staff Ruth is a must. She is very kind and great at her job. We love it here and look forward to coming back each year. Never have to worry, it's great.

Room Tip: Beachfront B30 or any B block on 2nd or 3rd floor that overlook beach from your balcony. They are st...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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5 Thank Rierson2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Souderton, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2014

Wow! We just got home from the most amazing vacation we have ever had! We went to CSS to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We might have called it a second honeymoon if we'd ever had a first one, so maybe a delayed honeymoon? Well, it was worth the wait!

We arrived Sunday afternoon and were eager to change out of our winter clothes and have a Red Stripe in the Couples lounge. We weren't there very long before we were escorted to a shuttle. Somehow we ended up being the only passengers and our very animated driver was happy to share his knowledge about his country with us. It was a fun ride and we laughed a LOT!

Upon arrival at Couples, we went to the front desk and were told our room wasn't quite ready, which was fine with us. We were just so happy to be there. She directed us to another desk to make dinner reservations, after which, we decided to go get something to eat. This part was a little confusing, and probably would have been easier if we had opted for the orientation tour, but we found our way to Bella Vista and decided to eat there. After hearing about Jerk Chicken, I wanted to try that first. It was good but I was not expecting it to be spicy, so I dipped the chicken into the extra sauce and had a bit of a wake-up call! Good stuff, though. I had more of it during our stay.

When we returned to the lobby, we were escorted to our room, G-5. It was close to the lobby but an uphill hike from the rest of the resort. That was ok, we got a good workout and had a really nice view. I will say the view was partially obstructed by the elevator tower and there was a walkway right in front of our balcony that led to it. We would have enjoyed a little more privacy but we loved the huge balcony so I wasn't about to complain!

If I had taken better notes, I'd be able to give the order of everything we did, but I'll just have to put it in categories instead:

Food - we ate at every restaurant and took advantage of room service a bit as well. We loved everything but I think we agree that dinner at Bella Vista later in the week was the best meal and dining experience. We sat right by the beach with tiki torches next to us and the stars above us. Gorgeous! The beach party on Tuesday and Gala on Friday were fun events with lots of great food also.

Activities - we had so much fun at the resort that we had no desire to leave so we didn't do the customary Dunn's River Falls or Trading Places or anything like that. We took the paddle boats out one day for a bit, went snorkeling one day, and did the scuba diving one day. My husband had always wanted to try scuba and I was going to try it just so we could have the experience together. We both breezed through the swim test - a down-and-back lap of the pool - and watched a 20-minute video. Just the video had me anxious already so by the time we got in the pool to learn to use the gear, I had pretty much already talked myself out of it. Putting the heavy gear on and going under water, breathing through a regulator was just too much for my claustrophobia to handle and I backed out of the lesson. Our dive master tried to help me overcome the fear but I wasn't having any part of it. My husband on the other hand, picked it up easily. As it turned out, we were the only ones signed up that morning, so the guide invited me to come along and snorkel while they dove. I was thrilled! I know they normally can't do that, so I really appreciated his kindness. Not only that, but we had bought an underwater camera for just this purpose and he was not allowed to let my hubby use it because it was his first dive. So the guide filmed it for us. We have some GREAT video of the entire thing, including video of me above them snorkeling and watching them from the surface. It was an amazing experience for both of us. We also took part in the fishing tournament at the pond and had a lot of fun.

Spa - we hadn't planned on taking advantage of the spa, but I had a lot of knots in my shoulders and decided to do a half hour stress relief massage. Kenneth did a great job and the location on the cliffs was spectacular. I would definitely like to do that again someday.

Layout/Environment - Sure there are a lot of stairs but the layout of this place was amazing. We loved going on the different walkways looking for hidden treasures - hammocks, Jacuzzis, great photo spots, etc. We looked for the little critters everywhere because that's what we are into. We saw lizards, geckos, tree frogs, and doctor birds. We got some great photos of nature - one with a tiny lizard who climbed up my arm and onto my ear lobe, where he looked like an earring! We also visited Crackers the parrot and got photos and video with him. In one video he actually said his name, which we weren't expecting. He was so cute! The weather was perfect. It rained a couple of times but never disrupted our plans, and apologized with a rainbow every time, which made for beautiful photos to bring home.

The people - the staff was fantastic. Everyone was so friendly and cheerful and seemed to enjoy making our stay memorable. I loved the way they called me "Milady" and how they were always asking if everything was good. We have a difficult time sitting still and a few times a staff member would say to me "slow down Mon!" I'm going to say that myself when I start getting stressed at home. It's good advice. We met some other couples who were very nice and enjoyed seeing familiar faces in various places around the resort.

Overall, this was the perfect place for us. We don't like crowds and we found a place that wasn't crowded, even at the gala when most guests were present (in peak season, no less). It was quiet and peaceful, but still offered lots of fun things to do. We love nature and CSS is full of lush greenery, beautiful flowers, intriguing wildlife, and paths to explore and discover. We like to do things together and Couples is all about couples spending time together.

The morning we left to come home, it was raining and I told my husband Jamaica was sad we were leaving. We can't wait to return!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank PnG25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gosport
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2014

Jamaican Winter Break

We normally have a winter break in the Caribbean so this time we thought we would try Jamaica and along with that a smaller resort than we were normally used to.

The welcome to the hotel set the standard for our visit. Nothing seemed too much trouble for the staff.

We had requested a bath (tub) and so we ended up being up-graded to one of the Beach-front blocks. What a bonus that turned out to be, a very spacious and clean apartment – large bedroom; en-suite bathroom which contained a huge Jacuzzi and walk-in shower; lounge with flat screen TV leading onto a balcony over looking the main pool and beach.

The whole resort is built on a hillside over looking the private beach and has numerous paths/steps winding through original rain-forest. We found that the paths/steps were not too much of a problem(I am waiting for a hip replacement) but because we were on the beach front we did not have to negotiate them too often.

We found the food was good but we did not have the usual amount of choice we have found in larger resorts at in particular Dinner. Breakfast and Lunch were fine but we thought Dinner was a bit lacking; saying that the lobster nights were very enjoyable.

The resort twice a week closed all restaurants and set-up on the beach one night and on the lawn (behind the beach) the other. The amount of work by dozens of staff throughout both the days this happened was immense it was such a shame that once we were all seated chaos reigned when the food was made available. It just became a bun fight with not a lot of organization attached. It just needed control over the number of tables queuing for food as opposed to everybody at the same time. Such a shame after all the hard work setting it all up.

Facilities throughout the resort were good – all the non-motorized water sports were always available and free. Tuition for all of them was also available and free. There were always plenty of beach loungers available and always plenty of room around the main pool.

The over-riding aspect of this holiday will be the staff at this resort they were excellent; nothing was ever too much trouble and we were always greeted by a smiling face wanting to know how they could help to make our stay more enjoyable.

Room Tip: We found the beach front rooms were a better option.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank DeralPutt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pompano Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2014

My wife and I loved it here! We only had a couple of days, and wished we had more. We came here for our wedding, small just the two of us, and they did all the work. We told them what we wanted, and they made it happen, and we couldnt really ask for more.
All the staff are so friendly here. We didnt take part in the group activities, but others looked like they enjoyed them. I got the chance to scuba dive a couple times, while my wife was able to get the sun that she so loved. We also tried out the kayaks and water sports, the catamaran trip and other stuff they had on property. Next time, I think we will venture out to see the sites.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Christophe F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clermont, Georgia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2014

We have been going to Jamaica every two years since 1974, and have seen many different venues and changes. Despite all of the megaresorts being built on tiny patches of beach, there are small, elegant, charming hotels that help you get away from it all. Couples San Souci is the best that we have found in many years. Secluded on a hillside overlooking the sea, the resort is in a tropical rainforest with exquisite landscaping and lots of quiet spaces. The rooms are beautiful, but their best asset is the staff. They are wonderfully Jamaican...warm, playful, and exceptionally competent and gracious. The food is the best resort food...particularly the Lobster Nite! The Spa is first rate with treatment rooms overlooking the sea. Whatever sport or fitness activity you want, they have it...we will be back!

Room Tip: Because it is on a hillside, rooms in the buildings that are beachside do not require as much up and...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank larrybecker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pickering, Canada
Level Contributor
63 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Elwood2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thunder Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2014 via mobile

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
Helpful?
3 Thank Rich B
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

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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