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Review of Couples Tower Isle

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Couples Tower Isle
Ranked #4 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 May 2014

Just returned from CTI and already looking to go back and we live in Tenerife
We had a family holiday and found everything superb, internet worked perfectly everywhere but in the games room.
5 stars to the entertainment staff Miguel Royan Darren all take a bow we throughly enjoyed your company, thank you for keeping Dan busy and we enjoyed putting the post back up for the volley ball on the beach.Not forgetting Coleen who worked very hard in the piano bar sing a long at night, we really miss you all.
The food is good the rooms very comfy, there is nothing else you need.
on the way home we book the Mo Bay club at the airport this is very week worth it you are treated like a vip, escorted to the front of every queue and then into the lounge where there was plenty of food waiter service for your drinks wi-fi wish they had this service at manchester.

Karen Cayo Ian and Dan

Room Tip: we had rooms 3315 and 3315 nice and quiet air con worked perfect
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank kazTenerife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 May 2014

My son got married at the resort on May 11th, and it was perfect. We can't stop talking about how wonderful everything was. The food is some of the most delicious I've ever eaten. The staff is very friendly and helpful. It was the best vacation that my family has ever taken, we didn't want to leave. The wedding was a dream come true that we will never forget. We hadn't even gotten home when we started planning on when will go back.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Dave V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

This resort was amazing! This is our second trip to Jamaica, and to the Couple's family of resorts, but our first time to Tower Isle. When we go there, we were offered rum punch or beer while we checked in, and then we found out that we had been upgraded to a Junior Suite, which was absolutely fantastic! Huge room, corner balcony with a small alcove to sit in as well as a set of outdoor furniture, a HUGE bathroom with 2 sinks, a hot tub bath, and a walk in shower! It was a great start to the trip! The mattress was a teensy bit hard, but we still got great sleep! We had been told to start by making reservations at the two restaurants that require it, so we did, and I'm so glad we were told to do that! The reservations fill up fast, and for good reason! The food was all excellent, there wasn't a single thing we didn't like! That goes for all of the restaurants, not just the reservation ones. Do plan on being at each of the restaurants for a while though, you're on island time! (except the delicious buffet of course!) The ones that require reservations also have a dress code, dresses or skirts for girls, no flip flops, and slacks and collard shirts for guys, no sandals.

The activities were both many and fun! We were never bored! I highly recommend the scuba, it was amazing! As was the snorkeling, kayaking, and catamaran cruise! I will say that on the catamaran cruise they do ask for tips at the end, since they are not on the resort, but they definitely earn it! I felt bad because I hadn't brought any cash from the resort, I would recommend bringing a few dollars along, because the crew is fantastic! They play games, dance, swim, and just provide a great time out on the ocean!

The resort is on a smaller property than Couple's Sans Souci, the resort we had stayed at previously, so there was not as much room to wander and explore, but that didn't take away from it's charm! They still had great evening entertainment, including a steel drum band and Jamaican dancers! I will say that on the big gala night when they have souvenir vendors come in, they can be a bit pushy in order to get you to buy something. Very friendly, just "hey, come look at my stuff!" etc. Just stand firm and don't buy anything you don't actually want! They do have a lot of really nice things, and we got several! Be sure to pick up some lignum vitae carvings if you can, it's a local wood to Jamaica, and it's the only wood in the world that does not float!

The internet at this resort was no good in the room we were in, which is also different from Sans Souci, where the internet was good in the rooms, but they do have an internet café where you can print boarding passes and such, which was the only time we wanted to be on the computer anyway!

The resort staff were all so friendly, and they remember who you are after meeting you only a few times! This in and of itself is reason to go to Jamaica instead of anywhere else! They genuinely care about you and want you to have the best time you can!

This was a fantastic resort overall, and we can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Definitely get an ocean view room if you can, it's worth the extra money! The corner Junior Suit...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Andrea P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

“Best Vacation Ever!” This is what we’ve been saying since we returned from our first visit to Jamaica and Couples Tower Isle (CTI) on May 1, 2014.

We had such a fun relaxing time, and met so so many people that were on their 5th, 10th, even 20th year visiting this resort that there is no doubt in our minds that we will be back. You run into as many repeaters as we did, and you must conclude the resort is doing just about everything right.

We began this trip to Paradise on April 21.

Yes, Montego Bay’s airport can be a challenge, but after getting through customs, we found the Couples Resorts greeting center in the airport where we could await our ride to CTI. While in the greeting center, we could use their private washrooms and have drinks on the house. What a relief!

Upon arrival at CTI, we were greeted with live music, rum punch, cool wet washcloths, and plenty of help securing our luggage and checking in. You immediately sense these people are happy to see you, and will expedite your arrival on to your room as quickly as possible. Not to mention you will have a beautiful view of your first look at the Isle on the opposite side of the lobby. Just what you want after a long day of traveling.

We were booked in Block 4 on the first floor in a Deluxe Ocean View room. We found it comfortable, clean, quiet, roomy, and while somewhat worn, the bed, the private balcony and the view more than made up for that observation.

In addition to the privacy supplied with the roomy balcony with two chairs and a table (my wife and I played lots of backgammon out there overlooking the island), we appreciated the two towel racks on the balcony wall for drying wet swimsuits.

Our room was equipped with a “dorm-room” refrigerator, stocked with several sodas, drinks, juices and Red Stripe beers. The minibar, included at no extra charge, is only restocked when you call room service for it, off of a list of selections in the room. We ordered bottles of gin, vodka and rum immediately upon our arrival, also fulfilled at no extra charge. They supplied 750ml bottles of Appleton brand liquors, and all were excellent. I have included a photo of the list of what was available for use in your room.

Food was plentiful, delicious, and available at virtually all times. We never had room service, but judging from the numbers of servers we saw in the halls, lots of people took advantage of it.

The common meal area is the Patio Restaurant, adjacent to the larger pool and a bar. The Patio is a buffet restaurant, but a cut above most anything we have experienced at other all-inclusive resorts, and cruises too. Food was always tasty, varied and of the appropriate temperature. Yes, some of it was rather pedestrian, but that is the nature of buffet restaurants everywhere. On the other hand, you could also easily find finer food at every meal in the Patio that stood out in flavoring, spice and elegance. We enjoyed every meal, food and service at the Patio. Do not miss a breakfast meal of the an omelet custom-made for you. We loved asking for an omelet with Callaloo, bacon and cheese, as well as the delightful smiles and attitude of our omelet-makers, Hanif and Karon. Tell them we said hello! Breakfast also included the ability to make your own Bloody Marys to get your day off on the right foot. Every morning, we would view the activities board, just to see what we were not going to partake in. For us, it was the water, the drinks and the food.

The resort is situated on what amounts to a large cove, so the beach is effectively private, no outside uninvited vendors allowed. Delightful!

Because we spent so much time in one of the two pools or on the beach, we enjoyed many a lunch in at the Pool Grill. We enjoyed the jerk chicken, calamari, snapper sandwich, and more. The french fries particularly stood out here, as good as any we have ever had.

CTI has three restaurants with higher-end offerings in food and level of service. Both Eight Rivers and Bayside require reservations, while Verandah is first-come first-served. All are at no extra charge whatsoever no matter how often you go.

Men, do not be disappointed. Bring slacks, something above sneakers or flip-flops, and a collared shirt as all are required to get into the premier restaurant at CTI, Eight Rivers, well worth a visit. We were delighted with both our visits to Eight Rivers - and as we did not see anyone under-dressed, my guess (and congratulations) is that the resort enforces its dress code in Eight Rivers. I had the best lamb I’ve had in over 25 years at Eight Rivers. The restaurant is a do-not-miss.

The dress codes were much more relaxed in Bayside and Verandah. Others have dismissed Bayside, but we found both of our meals there tasty and appealing, and we enjoy Thai food (Bayside’s theme) in fine restaurants at home. In addition, the staff went out of their way to accommodate us when we appeared with another couple we had met who also had reservations - each party with reservations for two, but we wanted to eat together. The staff accommodated us graciously. The views and location of Bayside are difficult to beat.

Good luck finding a paper napkin in any restaurant on the property - they were all heavy cloth napkins, even at the most informal Pool Grill.

I can also happily relate that there is no small chair on the property. I am no small man, and there were no tight fits that I could find. Ah, that’s vacation.

There is entertainment each evening. It is from a stage in the Patio Restaurant. Very special meals and entertainment take place on Saturday and Monday evenings. International Night is on Saturday evening, and Monday evening is the Beach Party. The Beach Party not only includes musical entertainment, but dancers, an acrobat, a fire-breather and a contortionist along with plenty of interaction with the guests. Lots of fun!

The bars were all equipped with all manner of liquors, including “top-shelf.” I do not believe you can name a drink that they cannot make. Beer aficionados may experience some initial disappointment as you can have any beer you want, as long as it’s the Jamaican-produced Red Stripe. Back home, I greatly enjoy the multitude of American craft beers. That said, I found the draft Red Stripe perfectly adequate, and better than the bottled Red Stripe. The friendliness and enthusiasm of the staff at all bars, heavily utilized by us - terrific. I would like to give a special shout-out to Paul and Angelika, among others.

As much as I love beer, I love coffee even more, and the Jamaican coffee available in all restaurants was top-notch too. What stood out here was the two packets of Jamaican coffee available each morning for our in-room coffee maker. Delicious coffee, better than any room coffee maker I’ve experienced. Also, I’ve never seen more than one packet in the room anywhere else I’ve stayed.

It seems generally the loudest thing at this resort is the blenders making drinks. Housekeeping doesn’t even use vacuum cleaners - they use brooms and mops throughout. The smaller pool with the swim-up bar had local music playing at a low volume, which added a nice ambiance. The larger pool had no music, which was fine with us.

Peace and quiet, with one minor exception. What I assume to be a bunch of newbies who got a little too inebriated no doubt on their first day at the swim-up pool bar and decided it would be entertaining to grace the resort with their loud illustrious knowledge of swearing and four-letter words. But even this occurred late in the day, one day only, and we chalked it up to mere bad manners and childish behavior, we knew that the setting sun would eliminate the annoyance. This is not a resort for frat-house behavior, regardless of the display late this one afternoon.

The beach is kept spotless with regular pickup and raking. Flags are distributed for you to stick upright in the sand when you are in need of a drink. Lifeguard Ricardo was kind enough to ask us if we’d like him to take a picture of us together. Much appreciated.

We had occasion to meet the General Manager of the property early in our stay. We then knew who was continually walking the grounds, checking up on facilities, staff and guests.

Jaimie-Ann is to be complimented especially. You will find her at the front desk and at the guest services desk, where you will frequently meet up with Kirk, who always greeted us with a smile, a laugh, and a fist-bump. “Kirk makes it work.” So many employees commented to us as to how many years they had worked at CTI. They were all really proud of their service, and they have every right to be.

We did find that the coordination between our comings and goings and housekeeping could have been better. We’ve observed on cruises that housekeeping seems to take care of the room when we are elsewhere, virtually invisibly. Such was not always the case here. Nevertheless, we wanted to tip our housekeeper for the careful attention to all details at virtually all times, but she would never take the tip.

Couples Resorts has a an effective no-tipping policy, but know that policy applies to employees of Couples Resorts only, and does not apply to contracted employees who handle your luggage at the airport or the drivers that get you to and from the resort, among others. Those service providers not in Couples uniforms will be expecting your tips for their services performed. We tried tipping other CTI service providers early in our stay, but gave up trying after many declines.

We are very sensitive to tobacco smoke. Our room had no tobacco odor at all, though there was an ashtray in a drawer. We saw very few guests smoking at all.

As written about it other reviews here, water from the shower tends to get all over the bathroom floor. We had absolutely no problem ever calling Housekeeping at any hour to get immediate towel service if necessary. And I do mean immediate. One could hardly hang up the phone and there was a knock at the door with a full supply of additional towels.

Ah, and the island, as in Tower Isle. Yes, we did visit one day for a couple of hours - we did not want sunburns! No gawking or idle touring while dressed allowed, and for very good reason. You go out there to go au naturel, It is a small island with a small pool, swim up bar, and even a modest lunch is served. There are bathroom facilities. All ages and body types were in attendance, and I found it quite comfortable.

I do not agree with the some voices in other reviews for every-other-day program clothed and unclothed or anything like it. The island is too small to accommodate any kind of crowd that even this relatively small resort (~222 rooms) could generate. You want to go out to the island? Be prepared to take off your clothes upon arrival. The resort does give those that want to visit the island clothed the opportunity - as long as it is before 9 a.m. Meantime, I’m now getting in shape for another visit next year. End of story.

Topless sunbathing is allowed at the far end of the pier that juts out towards the island, but toplessness there we did not see, and I think I know why. It would be almost exhibitionist to do so. Anyone that did go topless there would be in full view of most of the resort. The island is far more private.

We are giving CTI our highest rating because of our wonderful experience and the total value of what we got for our money. We loved it.

Before finishing, one more piece of advice. Upon your departure from Montego Bay’s airport, give serious consideration to using the services of Club Mobay, which will cut down dramatically on your time in lines through airport security and give you a comfortable cool place to wait for your flight. Club Mobay was included in our package, but if it is not included in your travel package, it comes highly recommended by us as well.

Room Tip: I have every reason to believe an ocean-view room in Blocks 1 through 4 to be worth the added expens...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank WhitIV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014

Stayed here for 2 weeks early May. We had great weather with very little rain.
We have stayed at CSS 4 times previously and fancied a change. We was not disappointed.

Food and drink quality as good. There are more rooms here on a smaller site so I was a little worried it may feel too crowded but it didn't. They were always sunbeds available at any time of day. The only thing I can say is there isn't many places to have a walk. At CSS they have little paths and a pond to have a walk around. It doesn't feel as tropical as CSS but we didn't really mind. No issues with mosquitoes either.

The beach isn't much different in size but the sea is deeper here and better for swimming and snorkelling, you can see a few fish over by the Bayside restaurant and along the rocks, take a banana out and feed them. They are a little shy but be patient they do come out and eat it. The beach is in a private cove, so no hassle with vendors.

Service in all the restaurants on the whole great just with one exception on our last night we ate in Eight Rivers and the service was very slow, especially the drinks. We asked for a rare to medium steak that came well done too, they were happy to change it but we couldn't be bothered as the service was so poor that evening. That night they seemed to be over stretched, with a few larger wedding parties. We had eaten there several times previously and we had received great service with lovely food, just one of those things I guess. Can’t be perfect all the time but they do try.

The Bayside Restaurant has a really nice setting, Asian food, great mixed starter. We asked for the green and red curries to be more spiced up and man they were. First time I’ve been away and not craved for a curry as soon as I have got home.
Lunch time buffet was good too, always something different daily themed like Italian or Asian or Mexican.
They didn’t have any mango for a few days for breakfast, this was something I really missed, they are so juicy and sweet here. I mentioned this to Ava (Entertainment Manager) she brought some mangos from Kingston just for us and also mentioned this to Mr Henry (Resort Manager) he got some in especially for us too. The staff will go way and beyond for the guests. Thank you so much.

Room service worked well too for drinks as well as food. Didn't have to wait very long.
The rooms are not as big as CSS (not having a separate sitting room) more modern than CSS. Very clean, everything in good working order. Maids did a great service too. We got back to our room by 3:00- 4:00pm and it was always made up with fresh towels.

As at CSS the staff are friendly with a great sense of humour and the majority of them are more than happy to give a really great service with a lovely smile.

Will we return to CTI or CSS next time? My vote is CTI. We had a great time.

Room Tip: We stayed in Block 5. Very nice quiet location. This is further away from the bars & restaurants...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Holidaysareus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

We just returned yesterday from a wonderful week at CTI. This was our 3rd time saying at a Couples resort (twice before at Swept Away) so we came expecting great food and service. That is exactly what we got. Since the resort is small the staff quickly recognized us and we made friends with other guests. The grounds are beautiful and I love the modern look of the resort.

Friends of ours got married while we were there. The ceremony was simple, beautiful and very easy on her.

We still prefer Swept Away over Tower Isle but only because of the beach and for the more spread out natural feel of CSA. The food and service are equally as good at both!

On a side note if you are celebrating a special occasion I cannot recommend the Private Island Dinner enough! We have never done a beach dinner because we felt that we had already paid for dinner so why spend another $200? However we were celebrating our anniversary and the idea of dinner on a private island was pretty cool so we went for it! It was amazing! We were met on the dock by our personal waiter with champagne, hors d'oeuvres and our personalized menus. Our table on the island was beautiful and the meal was amazing. We chose the earliest time possible so we could enjoy the sunset. I'm glad we did because we were the only ones there and the later dinners couldn't have seen anything because it was so dark. The photographer took some photos of us and told us we got a free 5x7 in a frame with our dinner. Then when we returned to our room it was decorated with rose petals. It was fantastic!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank mrs_weaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

This was our fifth visit to Couples Tower Isle and we already have plans to return. We renewed our wedding vows this trip and the wedding coordinator, weather and everything was perfect. This was a memorable event for us and it could not have been any better. We love this resort and all the staff. Food and restaurants and all amenities are fabulous! Perfect size and we love the 'welcome home' comments we receive each time we visit. Truly a Jamaican paradise!

Room Tip: All rooms are nice however the newer wing has larger bathrooms.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bev08
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

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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £255 - £625 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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