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“Fabulous food and diving, but beach a bit pokey” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Couples Tower Isle

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Couples Tower Isle
Ranked #5 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Huntingdon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
688 reviews
147 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 567 helpful votes
“Fabulous food and diving, but beach a bit pokey”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2011

This was our first package/resort holiday since our honeymoon over 15 years ago, so we really didn't know what to expect and we were very nervous about the resort been a 20-something booze-a-thon. Reviews on TripAdvisor were good and we got a great deal through an agent, so we took a risk.

Many of the things that we expected of the resort just didn't happen and the people there are a very wide mix of ages and they're not all beautiful 20-somethings dancing the night away, so us 40-somethings were actually a lot more comfortable that we anticipated. And as food snobs, we were not let down in the slightest. My mind just boggles as to why anyone would rate the resort as having poor food: perhaps they expected better pizza and a McDonalds? The only thing I would have preferred to see on the food and drink front was a better choice of wine included in the tariff. The choice of wine was very poor and apart from the four branded bottles of plonk, it was restaurant pricing for something more interesting. Perhaps a middle ground of a decent selection of wines in the price and then premium wines for a mark-up would be better.

Service throughout our stay was generally superb with staff bending over backwards (not literally!) to help us at any moment. Occasionally we got people who were just watching the clock and didn't seem to care or could not be bothered to at least pretend they cared. One night in the Eight Rivers restaurant we had an entire service like this, but it was the excellent service generally throughout the resort that made this stand out even more that it might have.

Our room (a deluxe ocean view) was spacious and functional whilst not being overly luxurious, but it did at least have the best in-room coffee I've ever drunk (it actually tasted of coffee!) As a European, I'd have preferred a Queen-sized bed as I prefer not hunting to find my wife in the night, but I can see how the main clientele like a monster bed. It was certainly very comfortable. There's a turn-down service, but this seems to come at randome times and serves no purpose whatsoever - not even a chocolate. Is this something cultural I'm just not getting?

Diving at the resort is very good with outstanding coral formations and a couple of very interesting wreck dives. Whether you get to penetrate the wrecks seems to be a bit random in terms of the experience of the people diving with you (often first-timers on the noon dive) and who the DM is (yay, Collin is awesome). Fish do seem a bit in short supply and on a number of dives, the DM used bread or a boiled egg to bait them. That said, I did spot plenty of lobster, a turtle, my first puffer fish (they're so cute when they're cross) and loads of lion fish. No sharks though. There is a fee for renting a wetsuit, but having diving included in the rate is fabulous.

As can be seen in many photographs, the beach is a bit small and loaded with chairs, which is a bit of a shame. Given how many people were actually on the beach at any one time, I'm not convinced that this is necessary and a bit more shade would have been good as there was always a bit of a fight for the few loungers that were in the shade.

If we were the kind of people who returned again and again to the same resort, we'd do so at the drop of a hat and the divers in particular seemed to be returning guests for the most part. We prefer to try lots of new places, but it's a tough call even given that preference and I could see how we could come back to Couples Tower Isle.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank masaccio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (954)
Date | Rating
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English first
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2011

Transport from airport could be more comfortable. Very welcoming on arrival. Bedrooms can be noisy from corridors. Don't be afrraid to ask for a change of room. We did and there was not a problem. Food is excellent with a large choice and a variety of restaurants. Some need to be booked and these tend to be the best. Drink is unlimited and the waiters are always available to bring you drinks on the beach. The variety of cocktails avaiable is unlimited. Unbelievably, all of the activities are included, from scuba diving to horse riding. Even the entrance fee to Dunn's River Falls. This is a MUST DO. Really enjoyable. The live entertainment on a night could have had a wider variety of dancing. Reggae seemed to dominate, which I suppose was understandable. Waiters were very attentive and the reception desk were always helpful. This was on par with any previous holiday that we have had and we would not hesitate to go back. You will love it. Enjoy!!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kitten5747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2011

Went here for our honeymoon and loved it. enjoyed the on and off site activities that were included. the rooms were nice. the staff were very friendly. the food was great. i would love to go back.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cute1_cnr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Iowa
Level Contributor
86 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2011

Visited Couples Tower Isle in 2005 and returned to see if it had retained it's charm after the major overhall. It has upgraded many thing but is blessed to have retained the charm it had before. I miss the French Restaurant but the 8 Rivers Resaurant is wonderful. The staff makes the place. One of the major concerns voiced at other resorts seems to deal with the front desk. They have no problems here with check-in and out a matter of minutes and all with a smile. They understand that this is their first and last impression with the guests. The dive staff was great! The recreation staff wonderful. The bartenders know how to make drinks and use the good stuff.

Lets just make this short - They do it right at Couples Tower Isle - from the beginning to end was a great, relaxing week.

There was an incident with a rather large Martini glass -

Room Tip: Get an upper level ocean view.
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DDGone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
davisburg
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2011

My husband and I are frequent travelers to the Couples Resorts in Jamaica. This year we decided to make our second week, our first visit to Tower Isle. The first week we stayed at Couples San Souci, (which was our second time there) and delightful! There is absolutely no comparison to Tower Isle and all of the other Couple's Resorts. The atmosphere was extremely dreary because of the Staff's unhappy attitude. The receptionists were rude and blunt; bartenders very blah, housekeeper never said a word to us, spa not friendly, food just OK, room nice, but balcony veey small for the level we reserved. Even the manager was very matter of fact, when we spoke to her about our concerns. Obviously, we will not retirn and do not recommend. Bill and Nancy Muth

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank avisburgbill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2011

My husband and I traveled to CTI the first week of April for our anniversary and as a celebration of my masters degree. It was our 4th time to Jamaica (and Couples), and our first time to Ocho Rios and CTI. I am writing this review as a repeat guest to Couples to clear a few things up for those who are considering traveling to CTI.
THE GOOD: the food, the resort grounds, the watersports
THE JUST OK: the beach/swimming area, showtime after dinner
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: activities after ten o'clock, tour and taxi prices that aren't included in your package
THE GREAT: the staff and the included activities, Silver Birds, the spa
At first, we were really thinking we should have stuck with Negril for this vacation. The resort was for us too "hotel." (I'll explain . . . .) We aren't used to hallways to get to our rooms or other areas when in Jamaica. Ironically, this is what other people loved about this resort. We also love a more authentic Jamaican feel when it comes to music and decoration and CTI definitely had less of this than Negril. Again though, others we talked to thought Couples Negril was too rustic and appreciated this about CTI. On to the night life . . . Our first two nights the resort was dead by 9:30 except for maybe 3 other couples that were at the piano bar. While we enjoyed the piano bar, we felt it was set up predominately for older guests. It was sing along after sing along of the same songs by the same people. (And yes we did attempt to be good sports and participate) We like the dj that plays at CN on some nights to give the sing alongs a break - again just our preference. That said the beach party night, casino night, and the steel band night with the Silver Birds were AWESOME! We also began to realize that because of all the included excursions people were just plain exhausted from their day. Activities we enjoyed: snorkeling, catamaran cruise, Dunns River, lots of daytime sports and the above mentioned theme nights. Food we enjoyed: all of it! (Bummed we missed the lobster this year, but knew this ahead of time.) This place really gets you with the staff. As much as we love Negril, the staff at CTI blew them out of the water. These people will do anything to make your trip more enjoyable and they are genuine and sincere in their converstaions. I mean, seriously, they talk to you and listen for the response, because they want to hear the answer. They also share with you a piece of their own lives. I doubt we will EVER find a better staff than those who work here! Anyone who has had unresolved issues at this resort, has clearly not brought them to the attention of anyone who works here during their stay. And yes, we did have some minor issues. No hot water - not a problem, we will gladly switch your room and upgrade you. Your water shoes got a hole in them after the first day - no problem we'll give you another pair. The buffet is closed and the grill is not open, but you just arrived - no problem, we will find someone to cook for you now. You wanted to play volleyball but it's not on the schedule today - no problem we'll get a game going for you. Nothing was ever a problem! Go and see for yourself UNLESS the beach is a MAJOR deal breaker for you and if it is check out CN and/or CSA in Negril!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank eceteacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2011

Our stay was Feb 28-Mar 6, 2011. This was our 2nd time to CTI....the 1st in 2006 when it was still COR. We booked the "Secret Rendevous" to save some money and were happy to get CTI. We were anxious to see the new renovations!

We LOVE the new CTI!! We were so impressed with the renovations. What a difference from our 1st visit. It has a very different "feel" than the other Couples Resorts, but still has what draws us back to Couples.....friendly employees, great food, awesome guests and romantic atmosphere.

We stayed in the "basic" Garden room and liked it very much. We were on the third floor with a nice private balcony in a quiet location near the spa. The addition of the complimentary water bottles was great. You can fill them yourself at the grill or ask any of the bartenders to fill them with ice water and they'll happily oblige.

We ate at all the restaurants and enjoyed all of our meals. We had a complaint about the breakfast service and noted it on our "check-out evaluation". In true Couples fashion, we received an email a few days after our return addressing our concerns.

The addition of the pool with the swim-up bar is a HUGE plus. It makes the resort feel so much larger. On our first visit in 2006, the property felt small and a little confining. Now it feels more spacious.

We really enjoyed the privacy of the beach compared to the Negril beaches.

We made it to the island this time and had a blast! Met several great couples and hope to meet up again next year.

I must say, our 1st visit to COR in 2006 (our 1st visit to any Couples resort), was just so-so. We enjoyed the "couples" part of it, but not so much COR itself. In 2007, we decided to try CSS. We fell in love with CSS! Went to CN in 2008. That trip we decided no more trips to Mexico for us. From now on, it would be Jamaica. After several trips to Negril (all to CN except for 1), Ocho Rios was calling us back. We booked CSS for Sept 2011. At the last minute we booked the SR for Feb/Mar and were thrilled to get CTI. We will be back to CN in Sept 2012 for a reunion with the Sept 2009 couples we met!

We can say with absolute certainty, FOR US there is no "best" Couples Resort. There are things we love about each of them and would return to any of them in a heartbeat:)

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CubbyBlu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Couples Tower Isle

Property: Couples Tower Isle
Address: St. Mary, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Formerly Couples Ocho Rio)
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 ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Couples Tower Isle 4*
Number of rooms: 226
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playground to Hollywood celebrities in the 1950s, glamorous Couples Tower Isle exudes a chic sophistication perfectly balanced by a relaxed Caribbean sensuality. Perched on the lush terrain of Ocho Rios, Jamaica—the resort seduces with breathtaking sea views, a wide sandy beach and century-old palm trees. Discover the joys of snorkeling among the reefs, windsurfing on the waves, or sailing into the sunset on a catamaran, rum punch in hand. Intricate blue tile work and jade chaise lounges offset the striking white retro architecture. Luxurious rooms boast private ocean-breeze balconies. Whether being pampered in the Zen-inspired spa—recognized as "Best in the Caribbean" by Travel+Leisure—sipping cocktails at the piano bar or indulging in an exquisite meal alfresco, Couples Tower Isle creates countless intimate moments that inspire you to return again and again. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Couples Tower Isle Hotel Ocho Rios
Couples Hotel Ocho Rios
Couples Ocho Rios
Couples Hotel Isle
Couples Ochos Rios
Ochos Rios
Couples Tower Isle Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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