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“Ja Man!”
Review of Couples Tower Isle

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Couples Tower Isle
Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Henlow, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
307 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 246 helpful votes
“Ja Man!”
Reviewed 30 April 2012

We went to CTI expecting a holiday in Jamaica with good food, drink & service & that's exactly what we got. CTI is an International hotel in the Caribbean, occupanacy was 95% American due to its proximity to the US and flight connections. The BA Kingston connection from Gatwick meant a 2.2 hour taxi ride to CTI but we had an excellent driver in Eric so it didn't seem quite so long. Our 2nd floor room was good with an Ocean view, however some rooms on the ground floor could be noisy as the main corridor to the resaurants was directly outside the doors. With 4 restaurants to choose from, eating selection was good, however with a full occupancy you needed to reserve times in 2 Bayside & Eight Rivers on arrival. Service in all was very good with exceptional waiters in Denville & Davinth, 2 guys who coundn't do enough (make note Mr Henry) to help. Don't expect true Caribbean food, this is an International hotel, but overall excellent. Evening entertainment varied with the Silverbirds exceptional, Beach party was fun but other nights were average.
Having a daily stocked mini bar in your room is a great move as the bars can be quite a treck if your room is located at the resort extremes; Champange with onion rings & fries while watching the sun set was "awesome" !
The beach was relatively small, but cleaned 2/3 times a day with seaweed being brought inshore by quite strong winds, loungers & shade were plentiful & beach butlers were also good. Excursions provided by CTI were Dunns River Falls (take aquashoes as hiring or buying is a ripoff) but you need to be fit or have strong travel insurance, we saw 2 ambulances arrive during our visit. The Catamaran was good fun especially when it circled the nudist island, though on our visit the transfer from the beach (normally it boards via the jetty) was tortuous via a small boat due to the wind.
Shopping was an experience as you get dropped off into a den of shops that are designed for the cruise ships cliental, most items can be bought cheeper at CTI's own shops; however it's fun to see it. Other excursions were plentiful but due to some of the distances to transfer made them quite expensive.
In summary, we have visited many other Caribbean resorts, Sandals/Almond etc and Couples is up there in qualtity & service; if you want a true Caribbean holiday then maybe there are other resorts to go to.

Room Tip: Rooms on ground floor could be noisy, ocean view prefered
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank CGT21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New Haven, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

Hello,
We stayed at a grand resort in Riviera Maya just a couple of months before visiting this resort, so our first impression was somewhat of a disappointment. The resort is quite small, rooms and furnishings are somewhat outdated, first lunch was mediocre, nothing about it is grand but the beach/sea.. But we changed our perception of the place after a couple of days there. The sea is truly amazing, the beach view from the rooms facing the sea (you must have one!) is the highlight of the resort. Every night we were falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves at the bottom of our building. The resort is literally on the beach, rarely one gets so close to the water..
We were swimming back and forth to the nude island and it was excellent -- the water was so warm, clear, and beautiful. Snorkeling is fun too for small fish, but certainly not as breathtaking as in the Red Sea in Egypt or other places known for live corals (there is not much in Jamaica as you probably know).

Fantastic swimming in the sea and the amazing clean well-maintained beach are probably the main reasons why we enjoyed our vacation even more than in Mexico where the resort was out of this world, but the sea was breezy all the time and unfit for any quality swim or snorkeling.
The food was very good (you'll probably gain weight if you don't swim), service - no complaints too. They say "no tip policy" and I think people actually don't tip at all and then wonder about not getting their drink within 10 seconds. We tipped for the most part and had no problems with any service. A dollar or two can go a long way.

The nude island is fun, but it's kind for older people, at least that was during our stay. My bf and I swam there and spent a couple of hours on the island. There is no beach to swim and more limited access to a variety of drinks and food. Older unfit people hanging around naked is also not for everyone's taste. Visiting the island is fun for a couple of hours, but I wouldn't do it every day.

Don't do shopping trips, a waste of time. You'll find better deals for coffee and gifts at the airport or at the resort gift shops. We didn't do any other tours, but really regretted going on a shopping tour. Getting from and to the airport was not a problem, but it's a long trip (1hr 45 min). There is not much to see on the way to the resort.

If you decide to stay at this resort and love animals, please feed the kitties!! There are 6 stray young cats next to Building 3 (next to the parrots), and they come out at 7-9pm looking for kind people like you to bring them some snapper or chicken leftovers. We were feeding them for 5 days but couldn't find anybody to feed them after we left, comments were lime "we don't care about cats". Very sad some people can't see beyond their own egos.

Enjoy your vacation!

Room Tip: You've got to have the sea facing room. We had 4313 or something like this, amazing view of the...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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5 Thank tetand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2012

My husband and I travel often, however, this was our first time in Jamaica. This resort is nice but we are not too impressed. The view was breathtaking, however, the service in the hotel is on and off. There were times when we waited for them clear our table for what it looked like forever; we were done with our soups and almost with the main course while our empty soup dishes were still on the table making it all cluttery and messy. The wait staff would just pass by and not even notice; we had to stop them and ask to take the dishes away. Other than that and bugs on the first floor hallway and elevator (we were on the forth floor with ocean view), we had no complaints. The beach is awesome and so are the two pools. At the time of our visit (early April) there was ample space and lounge chairs to enjoy and get your tan on. All in all, we had a good time regardless of the above mentioned. After all, we were on vacation and wanted to relax with our friends. If you can tolerate the deficiency in service, then you will have a nice time enjoying what this beautiful beach has to offer.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank ChicagoVacationers2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

Admittedly, we read review after review of many Jamaica resorts before deciding on CTI. There were a few that worried us, about different things like ants, dated rooms, etc. Luckily most of the reviews were positive and didn't complain about things like the wind, some rain, a ride from the airport and other things that the resort can't really control.

This place was absolutely the most relaxing resort we have ever been to. Is the beach as long as those in Negril? No, but you will not be hounded by vendors or anyone from the outside public either. Are there ants? We found one, in 6 days. Is there wind? There was a breeze every day, a red flag 3 days, but so many activities are available you just need to be flexible and not on such a stringent schedule - this is Jamaica mon!

The restaurants were great! 8 Rivers and Bayside were fantastic. Smaller portions, but excellent food. Verandah was a little disappointing just due to the fact that the servers that night weren't too excited - compared to other staff. But the food was excellent. The Patio restaurant buffet is amazing - the selection of salads, fruits, breads, desserts were all amazing. Very interesting and unique Jamaican entree's also.

The drink were always great, ask for premium liquor if you wish. The beach - stunning, always chairs available. Don't be like a few losers and set your towel on a chair at 7am and not show up until 3pm, that's just rude!!! Snorkeling was great, catamaran lots of fun (sit up front to get soaked!!!), Dunn's River was refreshing and something you have to experience. The island beautiful and relaxing, and just no pressure or hurry by anyone.

If you expect things to happen quickly here, you might be disappointed. They definitely made us relax, which we needed. Everything was truly 'no problem'. Visit San Souci, the trips happen M-W-F from about 930-400... SS has a beautiful resort as well, just some different tastes, but equally nice.

Our room at CTI was a 2room suite and definitely worth the price!!! If you think of everything included in the price, the cost was amazing! And having the extra space is always nice. Met some very cool people here, from newlyweds to those who have been coming for over 30 years. Everyone is approachable and you just need to speak up and say hello!

Had the 30 minute couples massage, you have to try it!!! Say hello to the parrots, don't worry about the shopping trip, as there are opportunities at the resort to buy souveneirs without the pressure.

We cannot wait to go back! Contacting a couple we met here now to plan our trip next year! You will not be disappointed, if relaxing is your goal.

Room Tip: Ocean view room, building 3 or 4
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank anderl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Medford, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

My husband and I stayed here the last week of March. Everyone else seems to love it here but we thought it was just OK. We are only 30, but generally like a quiet, restful vacation. We were celebrating our anniversary but it was not acknowledged by the resort.

We were in the 4th building on the 1st floor (4101 I think). The room was noisy as it was across from the elevator and right outside the housekeeper's headquarters. We heard carts banging and loud conversations from 8am to about 5 pm. Our room was also situated in front of the pool bar which meant music and drunk people yelling out while taking shots. However, our room was somewhat peaceful from about 6pm until the next morning.

The food and drinks at the resort are delicious. The buffet had a nice variety, loved the Poolside Grille the best. My husband was eating jerk chicken and fries everyday! I did not like the restaurant reservation system. We arrived on Sat and were told we could not get a dinner reservation for our anniversary on Sun. When we did have a reservation at Bayside, we had to wait 30 min for a seat.

We did enjoy the activities and music. Katie and Garicia were great! Do not miss the Steel band. They were amazing and extremely talented. Dunns River Falls was nice but they are attempting to hustle you from the moment the resort shuttle drops you off. They approach in the parking lot, ask your name, then carve it into a wooden trinket and try to make you purchase it. They were also pretty forceful in getting you to purchase the DVD and pics from the Falls.

Overall, I do not think I will be returning to Couple's Resort or Jamaica. There is something for everyone and this was not for us. I think this resort is more for the couple that likes to party (which is OK) not us. Lesson learned :)

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Vanntastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

I have to admit, it's tough for me to describe Couples Tower Isle as a 'resort' (considering it's cozy size) but if you're looking for a romantic, compact place to stay with minimal walking, then this is the place for you!

I also can't help but mention that while this is considered a 'no tipping' hotel, by all means, please do tip the wait staff, bartenders, maids, watersport staff and other helpful personnel. Tipping is best handled discreetly (tucking a dollar bill into your palm and shaking the hand of your bartender is pretty much the only way they will accept a tip) and while it's not expected -- and even flat our refused if you are too obvious about it -- we found that it meant quite a lot to everyone we encountered. This is a very hard-working, very eager to please staff, and going the extra step to tip means a lot to them and is an excellent way to show your appreciation.

The beach, while short in length, still allows for a nice stroll to stretch your legs and feel the waves lapping at your feet -- and you're never too far from your room if you need to run up for a forgotten item or just need a little time out of the sun. That being said, the bathrooms around the pool and beach area are superbly clean! So running up to the room to use a more clean, comfortable bathroom was never an issue (the ladies will know what I mean!) I would certainly say that you'll want to request a top floor room, and preferrably in building #4 (the building closest to the swim-up bar and wedding ceremony area) as the hotel does sit surprisingly close to a road that can be somewhat noisy with braking trucks at varying times throughout the day. In addition, the distance from the 'main' areas of the hotel (while short) will also allow for better sleeping since it sits furthest from the buffet and restaurants (the buffet doubles as a stage and dance area into the night with steel drum bands and various other musical acts).

There are not a ton of planned activities, and I certainly wouldn't describe this as a 'party atmosphere' hotel, but there's enough to assure you'll keep boredom at bay should you wish to stay up late (each night offers something different such as a bonfire on the beach or a movie on the beach). Also, keep your eyes peeled for the rooftop martini bar, which is sort of a hidden feature. The food has a wide variety, and unlike other all-inclusive resorts we've experienced, we never tired of the food -- and felt the quality was superb! It's certainly more than the usual cheese pizza, hot dogs and burgers, though if you want that, it's still available.

If you've never been to Sans Souci, certainly take advantage of the opportunity to 'day swap' and try out the resort. It's only a few minutes drive from Tower Isle (transportation, of course, is provided) and it has a completely different feel. I will warn you that there are LOTS of stairs, so if you have a hard time getting around -- or are not in the mood for climbing to various levels of the resort -- then you may want to skip the visit. At least for our style, we definitely preferred the more 'posh' feel of Tower Isle -- and especially preferred the views.

Another feature we really appreciated was the 24 hour computer room where you could check your e-mail and use the internet for no additional fee. So staying in touch with loved ones back home was always easy and hassle-free. Also, there are photographers around the resort who take pictures of you at various times and you can check out the photos in the Photoshop if you're interested in purchasing them. They also offer a complimentary photo session with one of the photographers if you're interested in setting up a time. There's no obligation to buy any of the photos, but while traveling as a couple, it allows you to capture some great moments with your other half without having to stop everyone you see to ask if they can take a picture of you together in some of your favorite spots.

Be sure to say hello to Mike (the friendly 'paddle board guy' you'll see selling shells in the ocean each day) and buy a shell or two if you're so inclined. Everyone was so very kind and truly seemed to enjoy making your stay as wonderful as possible. We can't say enough positive things about this resort! And we will certainly return very soon!

Room Tip: Building furthest from the buffet (top floor or high floor would offer the best views)
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BeachyKeen_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meriden, Connecticut
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

This place is incredible, from the time you check in until the time you leave, the staff make us feel like part of their family. From the bellmen, front desk crew, customer service, and housekeepers to the waterfront staff, waiters, cooks, and of course the bartenders, Mr. Henry should be proud of his crew, as they are the reason we'll keep calling CTI home for our vacation. Even he remembered us from last year's repeaters' dinner as we were lucky enough to be asked to sit with him. This year he waved us over and asked to join him for coffee and dessert at the beach party.

If you can't have a great time here, you just can't have a great time. You can be as busy as you wish with the great activities offerred, you can be as laid back as you desire, or you can fall anywhere in between. It's hard to believe that some reviewers complain about waiting at Customs, the long drive from the airport, the length of the beach, etc. I'm sure that they would also complain about the noise of the airplanes if they stayed at a place next to the airport, and the vendors that would invade the beach if it was attached to other neighboring beaches. (although I have heard that they've ordered a bigger beach and that it's being delivered next week) The chronic complainers should just take the boat ride over to the island, take their clothes off, and really discover what relaxing is all about.

These are the people I go on vacation to avoid, so I can meet new people who like to enjoy themselves, take things in stride, and basically just "chillax". I can think of no place better than CTI to just do that. My wife and I are in our 50's and this year we met up with several honeymooning couples who were just a pleasure to meet and enjoy our week with. There is something nice to be said about the next generation.

Again, CTI is the place to go for relaxation, to meet wonderful people from around the world, to enjoy fabulous food, refreshing cocktails, and to learn the definition of vacation!

Everything Irie!

Room Tip: Gotta stay oceanside, If I wanted woods, I'd be camping!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank jimlinfusa
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 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Romantic 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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