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“Nice, but not spectacular”
3 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
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Nice, but not spectacular”
Reviewed 5 August 2010

We went to CTI for our honeymoon in May 2010. My husband wanted to go to Sandals, but I convinced him that Couples would be just as good. However, our first impression upon arriving at the airport was that Couples seems one BIG step down from Sandals in every way. The Sandals airport lounge looked way more luxurious than the Couples one. Hubby didn't let me forget that for the rest of the trip, and we wondered whether Sandals would've been a better choice. But we didn't care too much, we just wanted to enjoy our time together.

The property is beautiful, the rooms are lovely and comfortable (good AC and very clean; good maid service for sure). We LOVED the food at 8 rivers and at the asian fusion restaurant (forgot the name). However, I am honestly bewildered by the reviews saying that the staff are friendly. In general the staff did their jobs, but trust me, there is no service with a smile. (Notable exceptions: the AWESOME bellhop guy who brought us to our rooms after our initial checkin, and the waitstaff at the nicer restaurants.) The lady at the check in desk was positively frigid -- not outright rude, but definitely not welcoming. Same story with the gift shop lady. The staff at the buffet never looked us in the eye or said one word to us beyond asking whether we wanted water.

I'm not really surprised at the story about the people getting held up at gunpoint on the horseback trip. The general attitude of the staff is kind of "eh." Very few of them will go above and beyond their job descriptions to help you out.

The scuba diving guy tried to charge me $10 for the wetsuit AFTER i was already strapped into the gear, which was just annoying and sheisty. (The free scuba is a GREAT perk though -- you should definitely do it!) Drivers and tour guides on the excursions will remind you repeatedly throughout the excrusion to tip them, and the dudes at Dunn's River Falls literally followed my husband back to the tour bus to get their tip. We definitely don't mind tipping them, they do a great job; but it detracts from the experience to constantly be reminded. The dolphin excursion (not included, and quite pricey) was wonderful! We loved the staff at the dolphin trainer place, super nice.

We got the complimentary massages which is another amazing perk. FYI, you do need to tip the masseuses afterwards.

The food was great throughout the whole trip. It's easy to get food any time you're hungry, and the coffee is excellent! They don't have coke products or beer selection though (only red stripe).

You can easily have an excellent vacation, but don't expect 5 star/luxury treatment. Be safe, everyone!

Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank cutepurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jamman, vice president of Operations at Couples Tower Isle, responded to this review, 12 August 2010
Thank you for your review and you positive feed back.

I have spoken to our Scuba staff to ensure that they advise all guests of Scuba suit hire and costs.

I am sure after you visit other all-inclusives you will no doubt appreciate the service standards and inclusions that we offer is second to none.
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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
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English first
El Cerrito, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 July 2010

My wife and I spent 5 nights at the resort. Virtually everything was perfect. Service and attitude of the staff was impeccable. The room was fabulous and with new contemporary decor. The food was of a breadth to interest everyone and high quality. The weather was perfect. Out of all my travel experiences this one was the top. There was no stress - just what we needed.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rootshot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toledo, OH, USA
Level Contributor
58 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2010

We stayed at Tower Island the second week in July. We had a beautiful room facing the ocean. We slept great every night and honestly had no complaints whatsoever.

We ordered room service every morning. It arrived by 0630. After that we usually went to the gym (very nice weight/exercise room) and worked out. After that we checked our email (excellent and free internet cafe) and then had coffee on the veranda.

The overall cleanliness of the place was excellent. The new renovations are top notch. The food was also excellent. We went for the informal veranda dinners. However, we did book the Asian (Thai) restaurant two nights. The ambiance was incredible and the food and service was good. I also think that the desserts are some of the best I have ever eaten...especially the Key Lime Pie.

The various pools throughout the property were very relaxing too. Lots of chairs pretty much everywhere. We never had a hard time getting a place to sun ourselves. The resort is also big enough that we were able to find privacy as well.

We also booked two massages. Both were very relaxing.

The fellow vacationers were mostly Americans with a sprinkling of Brits and Canadians. Since it was summer there were quite a few honeymooners. Quite a wide age range...early 20's to 70's.

All in all an excellent trip with no downsides. We will most probably be booking again in the winter.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank DryProp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ipswich
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2010

My wife and I have just spent our first wedding anniversary at Tower Isle which happened also to be our 3rd stay at this amazing place.
We always read the reviews on here and having read some of the none to complimentary ones I do really wonder if they stayed at the same place.
The reports of rude staff are rubbish a friendlier bunch you could not wish to meet.
The food as always was exemplary.
I spent a lot of time diving and the dive team of Collin, Lloyd(Raster Man) and David the boat captain cannot do enough to make the diving relaxed and fun, and as for the erroneous reports of having to pay for the dives that is complete rubbish, albeit you do have to pay for any training courses, it is PADI what else would you expect.
Our room was cleaned every day, our only small complaint was the one or two groups of very loud and drunk Americans but these were only the minority, a little more could have been done to control their behavior (management comment possibly here?), all this having been said we met with old friends there and we WILL be back next year all being well.
Karl & Sue Brackenbury.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SarahL_Karl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shawnee, KS
1 review
Reviewed 22 July 2010

Can't say enough good things about our visit. There are many things provided by the resort inside and out. We could have been busy the whole time, but did lounge on the beaches where servers would stop by with fruit trays or ask you if they could get you a drink. Everyone was pleasant and they weren't even working for tips; very refreshing. The resort offers activities for any speed of lifestyle (partiers, active, slow-paced, etc.). You can be as busy or as relaxed as you want to be. Some hi-lights for us was the catamaran cruise, kayaking on the sea, fitness center looking over the ocean, the food!, horseback riding, classes offered, and Dunn's river falls. This was all included. A great trip for a new chapter in our lives.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KS_King_KandA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montana
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2010

My wife and I stayed at Couples Tower Isle July 7 to July 11. It was our 10th anniversary and we had planned the trip for a year. I picked CTI because of the vast reviews I read about on Trip Adviser. 90%+ of these showed good reviews. We did not find this on our stay. We are simple people who enjoy cruises and just getting away. Mainly the CTI staff (mainly the women) were very rude and more concerned about looking good than helping you or even smiling when you ask a question. We went for the free activiies as well. The horse back riding was posponed. CTI stated it was an unknown reason but we found out someone got robbed. I was not suprised with Jamaica being the way it is that this happened. CTI just shrugged this off and did not offer anything else. My main thing was the Scuba Diving. They say it is free for all and that is true but if you are there for 3.5 days as we were you are out of luck. There is a list everyday and you need to do it before your second to last day as you are not allowed if flying the next day. I asked the manager about this and she said to stay longer. I advised her of the horse back riding situation as well the fact that the desk clerk's mistake that caused us to miss Dunn River Falls. She gave us 20% off at the gift shop on items we could of got for 50% off down town. On the Dunn River Falls issue we ended up paying for our own cab ride down town to the tune of $50, not exactly free! My wife left her jewelry there and after four days she realized. She called them and they said they found it in the room but for whatever reason they did not call us. She made arrangements with the security manager to have it mailed. Two days later she received a call that it had been found. She advised the lady that it had all been taken care of and asked why she did not know. All and all this place lacks in many departments but mainly customer service. I would not stay here. I cannot say on the other Couples Resorts and probably will never know first hand. Don't believe all of the good reviews. They are probably submitted by CTI employees under false names and accounts!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank mkjm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jamman, vice president of Operations at Couples Tower Isle, responded to this review, 30 July 2010
Thank you for your review. I am very disappointed that you did not experience the same excellent vacation that so many others have had.

Your experiences will no doubt help other guests when visiting a COUPLES resort.

1/ Our Horse back riding is 3 days a week and is included in our all-inclusive package.

2/ We offer free scuba diving for certified divers and a novice dive is included also. If you are staying just 3-4 days best to sign up for this the day of arrival. Always remember that it is an international standard not to dive then fly with in 24 hours.

3/ We also, include Dunns river excursion which includes free transfers and entrance fee. There is no sign up for this. We require guests to meet in our lobby to board the transfer bus. This procedure is also explained during guest orientation conducted twice per day as well as on our in room TV channel.

4/ Please lock your valuables in our room safe provided.

5/ Our All-inclusive package also includes shopping tours.

ALL reviews on this site are written by past guests NOT COUPLES staff.
Report response as inappropriate
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Forest Hil, WV
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2010

This was my husband's and my first trip to a Couples resort and I could have stayed forever! The staff is super friendly! We had an accident on one of the sailboats and had to be rescued (how embarassing) and the gentleman who rescued us coud not have been more comforting and friendly (No worries, mon!). The food was phenomenal and the activities were wonderful. I would go back in a New York minute! The only complaint that we had was that the Cataraman cruise was a bit too much of a party atmosphere for us. Otherwise, bliss!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Couplesgirl
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 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 On the Beach 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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