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!
- 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