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“Coming Back”
Review of Couples Swept Away

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Couples Swept Away
Ranked #13 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Carrollton, Texas, United States
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Coming Back”
Reviewed 21 August 2014

After years of prodding, some close family friends convinced us to travel with them. As a long time Sandals Diamond member, I had HIGH expectations. Swept away did NOT disappoint. Loved the tropical feel of the resort. Beach is close regardless of where your room is. The resort has a long beachfront and is narrow so everyone room is less than 5 minutes from the beach. Every beach chair, which are plentiful, also had a float (which are welcome in the ocean, pay attention to this Sandals). Room was comfortable and clean, but a little more rustic than Sandals. Room had shutters that could be opened and closed which welcomed the nightly sounds of the tree frogs (or what we call Caribbean crickets). When shutters are closed, room is quite private and capable of cooling via the AC. Our room had a large patio with a view of the beach. great place for a sunrise/sunset. Several restaurants that offer buffet or menu service. Only one requires pants, collared shirt, closed toe shoes. Food was plentiful and tasty. Love the all inclusive nature. Drinks plentiful and my favorite, soft serve ice cream. As a BIG scuba diver, I always look for that and judge with a critical eye. I found the dive operation to be professionally run. Dive sites are within 10-15 minute boat rides (or closer). Rental equipment is ScubaPro and in good shape. For non divers, they offer a Discover Scuba Diving course for free that gets you into gear, into the pool and on a boat within an hour. for experienced divers, morning 1 tank dives on Monday and Wednesday are Advanced dives only (deeper). They also offer a 1 tank dive at 1:00 PM to shallower reefs. Saturday is a 2 tank morning dive. Typical check-in is 8 am with the boat pulling out by 8:30 and back by 10. Allows you to get a dive in and still have most of the day for hanging on the beach. We WILL be back.

Side note - Good WIFI connectivity. FAST

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Jeff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Richmond, Virginia, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

My husband and I spent months planning for our very first all inclusive trip without the kids. This was our 10 year anniversary trip. We read lots of reviews and watched tons of youtube videos. We choose Couples Swept Away Negril because we wanted the laid back vibe of Jamaica and Couples had many included excursions and good reviews.
Sadly, we were not very impressed. As soon as we arrived at the airport we were greeted at the couples lounge. It was OK. Nice to have a place to go and transportation, but the "bar" left little be to desired. They basically warm white or red table wine and either light or regular red stripe on tap served in small plastic cups. Our hour and a half bus ride was nice. Stewart, our driver, was very friendly and told us all about Jamaica as we traveled. We had a little stop along the way at a local place to use the restroom and grab a fun drink. We enjoyed that.
When we arrived at Couples Swept Away our ocean view room we had paid for was not ready, which was disappointing. We were given $100 resort credit for our "inconvenience". Before we went to our replacement room, we were told to check with the concierge about dinner reservations. The concierge was very unfriendly and not helpful at all. Every question I asked about dinner or activities was answered with a very annoyed comment. This was the worst service I have ever received from the person who should be the most friendly, most helpful person at the resort. Every reservation I made I ended up having to change because she did not explain a single thing to us and I was planning blindly.
After leaving the terrible service at the concierge, we went to our replacement room. It was a garden room on the first floor, the very first building from the check-in area. There were many things about the room that were not what we expected. First, the mini bar that was suppose to be "fully stocked with premium drinks" was literally 2 red stripe beers, 3 waters, a coke, a diet coke and a ginger ale. There was no liquor at all. We were later told that this is "how it is" and that you fill out a form and your request are filled the next day. I guess this is the resorts way of getting around giving you anything on your first night. However, this was still about the extent of the "fully stocked" mini bar the whole week. (I did ask for Crown Royal one day and was told that they "did not take requests" even though their website says they do.) There were no flowers in the empty vases around this room. The shower in the bathroom area was very old and there were no complimentary toiletries other than the shampoo and body wash that were attached in the shower. The room was on the first floor and there was a hammock on the porch area, however, if you sat on it you couldn't get out of it because it had a worn area and a hole that you fell into. The room being on the first floor and totally screened in, I did not feel safe at all. Needless to say we were not pleased with our room the first night. On day 2 we were told to have our bags packed up in our room by 10:00 am and someone would come move them while we were out. We were to check in at 1:00 for our new room. We check from 1:00 until about 3:30 when we finally got into our room on the other side of the resort.
Our ocean view veranda suite was in no way an ocean view. (see picture) This room was on the 3rd floor and directly next to a building that was being renovated. So for the rest of our trip from 9 AM until 5 PM each and every day we heard the sound of taking out tile and ceramic tubs. It was terribly loud and in no way relaxing. When I called to inquire about this I was told it was "just how it is." The bathroom in this suite was also nasty. The tub was dark and dingy and very small and the tile of the floor was chipped to pieces. On the 3rd day there my hairdryer sparked and almost caught fire. When I called to report it the operator seemed concerned and said someone would come right away, however nobody ever came. At that point I gave up on anyone being helpful and just did not dry my hair for the rest of our stay.
As far as the staff, we read that everyone at CSA is "so friendly" however, that was not the case for us. It seemed many of the staff members did not want to be there. The front desk staff was not helpful, many of the food service staff seemed mad and again the concierge was terrible. I cannot say everyone was unfriendly though because we certainly met some wonderful staff, such as Curtis and Chevon at the swim up bar, Clayton who gave our glass bottom boat tour and the adorable young guy who lead the volleyball games and sport activities (I think his name started with an "H").
We were impressed with the food at CSA. We enjoyed the view and Thai food at Lemongrass and the seafood at Patios. For lunch the beach grill was good. It was fun to eat at and served corn chips and good guacamole, but mostly more American food. I I wish I had known more about the times and days things were open because we only found the vegetarian grill on our last day and it was amazing. We ate at Feathers, the "fancy" place, one night, but we were not wowed. There is no view and it seems like you are in a little hole in the wall place. The food was ok, but very small portions. Tip...you can order a steak. It is not on the menu, but ask for it, very yummy. Our favorite meal was breakfast at the Palms. Great coffee! Wonderful selections of fruit and all types of breakfast food. We did eat dinner here a few times as well, but nothing was super amazing.
We were disappointed with the "main dinner shows" at the Palms. I really wanted to hear a good Reggae band or a Steel drum group and instead there were weird Circ du soleli type acts and some not so stellar elevator music performers. We did enjoy the piano bar very much though. This was probably the most fun nightlife at CSA.
The activities were fun, but I feel like we missed out on many things because every time I went to ask the concierge about something she did not explain. We did get to take the glass bottom boat tour and our favorite outing of all, the sunset boat tour or "booze cruise". We would have loved to go out to Rick's cafe, but did not learn that the hotel offered this trip every day until our last day there. Tip...you can take the resort trip to Rick's every day at 4:00 for $15 a person, however, Rick's cafe itself offers a FREE shuttle to and from your hotel all the time.
All in all, we had a nice trip, but felt that we really had to lower our expectations and roll with the punches to enjoy ourselves. It would have been nice to actually see the ocean from our ocean view, or have a real stocked mini bar, or been able to go back and take a nap during the day without that terrible noise. We enjoyed the beauty of Jamaica and may return, however, we will not be recommending Couples to any of our friends or family and will not stay there again.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Jill G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abraham I, Owner at Couples Swept Away, responded to this review, 27 August 2014
Dear Jill G,

Congratulations on your 10th anniversary and thank you for choosing to spend it at Couples Swept Away. Although some aspects of your vacation went well, it was disappointing to hear that this special occasion visit did not meet your expectations. Please know that your experience will be brought to the attention of our front desk and concierge management.

Couples Resorts apologizes for the inconveniences endured. Please email any additional details on your stay to abe@couples.com so we can address these issues immediately.

Sincerely,
Abraham Issa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

When we were greeted by Brian at the airport, it should have been the sign that my wife and I were going to be taken care of incredibly well on this trip, but due to a delayed flight and potentially having my first day taken up by a work commitment, it wasn't until we got off the shuttle at the resort that my brain was finally able to switch off.
As I instinctively went to grab out bags, the bell hop assured me that we "didn't have to worry about anything". Something in his voice and the glasses of sparkling wine that soon came our way confirmed we had indeed arrived in a place where we would have absolutely no worries for the next week.

Thankfully, by our first morning the work issue sorted itself out and we could both fully relax.
Both of us slept so well (which happily continued for the rest of the stay) and even after only 4 hours of sleep (that damn delayed flight) both woke refreshed and excited to see the beach we could only hear on our late night walk around the resort the night before.

It did not disappoint. The photos do no justice. The sand, the water, the sounds, the peace and quiet. Yes there was the occasional call to go paragliding or buy a hat (and some other items), but that was predicted and expected. There seemed to be an unofficial agreement that vendors did not approach the resort past an, apparently clearly defined to all of those concerned, invisible line.
The resort security were always inconspicuous and friendly but effective.
(Tip: If you really don't want to be bothered, set yourself up closer to the resort/treeline.)

The resort staff were beyond exceptional. Every team member was approachable, friendly and beyond helpful. Even with sixteen years of hospitality management behind me, I was consistently impressed by the attitude that seemed to prevail among every employee we interacted with.

The food was never short of delicious, whichever restaurant we tried. One definite highlight were the fish tacos at Seagrapes cafe. In fact, as a proud carnivore, this vegetarian spot was such a pleasant surprise we ended up eating lunch here several days.

I really could go on about how much we enjoyed our stay here, but for the sake of brevity I'll try go for highlights.
The catamaran excursion
Jamaica night (yes, every night here was a night in Jamaica,but the temporary village that was set up on the beach was fantastic)
Len Brown in the piano bar.

All the staff, but a special note of thanks to those we interacted with the most (I'm listing these as I do know the management of this resort take note).
Andre, Kimron, Arthur, Hewitt, Shanice and all of Carlos' exceptional entertainments team.
The bar staff in the Aura lounge.
Davyn in the swim up bar.
Delores, the awesome singing and dancing server.
Obrien and Oneil and Clarence at reception.

I cannot recommend this resort enough and we are already planning our return.

Couple of things to help you when you do arrive.

There's a supermarket almost across the street from the great house entrance of the resort (about a 1/4 mile from the main entrance) that sells sunscreen and other essentials for about half the cost of the resort shop.

Delroy's taxi service is a great option to drive you around and is cheaper than the resort taxis (Call him from the room 876.572.3533).

Do yourself a favor and check out Barrys bar just past the fence at the end of the resort. Cool little spot.
Also, if you go to Ricks cafe, I highly recommend walking another 200 yards further along the road and visiting LTU Pub. Meet some locals, have a few relaxing beers. Ricks is good to see, but is a bit of a mad house.

Room Tip: We stayed in the atrium suite. Not having a TV was ideal and never missed. We were in the middle of...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Derek K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

It took me a few months to write this review because I knew it would be a long one. But I relied heavily on trip advisor reviews when booking, packing and planning, so I hope this helps someone. I also still read the reviews from time to time just as a reminder of the vacation because we had such a great time and I can't wait to go back, so sometimes I peek and see what people are doing and saying about it.

We traveled as a couple Feb. 13th (Thursday) to the 18th (Tuesday) 2014. We are 26 and 34, very active and social people who like to travel. The weather was amazing, it didn't rain even once. Water was calm and warm (although I did get cold when scuba diving).

This hotel was recommended to me by a friend and I also read a lot of reviews before deciding to book, so I knew for the most part what to expect. I actually was expecting a bit less from the resort based on reviews so we were pleasantly surprised with how nice it was. Not sure if it was because our expectations were that it would be really run down and rustic or because we're not that picky. I have been to a lot of places and experienced really nice 5 star American resorts but also am not that picky and prefer to go somewhere more for the fun than for the hotel room itself, so keep that in mind when you read my review. We chose this resort because we were more interested in having an all-inclusive resort on a nice beach where water sports were also included in the cost. This resort was above and beyond anything we expected and we are now worried about traveling other places since it is hard to find one that has so many things included in the price, including tips, so you never have to carry cash with you.

ROOMS
We booked an Atrium room (#1121) which is right near the Palms buffet and Lemongrass Thai restaurants (They are in the same building, one downstairs one upstairs). We weren't near the road but we could hear cars and horns at different times of day. Nothing that bothered us. We could also hear restaurant workers fairly early in the morning but that didn't bother us either. Atrium rooms are secluded and feel like they are actually individual buildings. We never heard or saw our neighbors because we used our porch to come and go rather than our front door which was really nice. There was a stone path leading from our porch out to the sidewalk and we had to walk through palm trees and bushes that surrounded our room and made it feel extremely private. So although we could hear noise, it never bothered us and when we were in our room or on our porch nobody could see us and vice versa. Something to keep in mind about atrium rooms that I only saw referenced on trip advisor once or twice, but I think is kind of a big deal, is that the bathroom walls don't go up to the ceiling. So while there are walls to keep you hidden from view, there is no noise barrier. My boyfriend and I had been together for a year when we went and were fairly comfortable in that department (he more than me), but by the end of the trip, we were sufficiently initiated in eachother's bathroom activities and it didn't end up bothering us at all. The walls to the outside of the room are made of shutters (so you share no walls with neighbors), there are screens on the outside and the shutters open and close for privacy, and there is always a nice breeze in the room for fresh air and you can hear the (very loud) tree frogs at night. We liked the tree frogs because it made us feel like we were on a tropical vacation but if you can't sleep unless it's quiet, don't choose these rooms. There are also no TV's in the atrium rooms. We didn't miss that at all and were really glad that we were never tempted by the tv, or our cell phones, or any electronics that connected us to home or the outside world while we were there. We were however, able to use our phones for calls home, texts and facebook if we wanted because our building got great wifi service. We wanted to book an ocean front room but by the time we finally booked our vacation (In September prior to our February trip) they were sold out. I ended up really glad we didn't get one of those rooms because they are right on the sidewalk path and there is absolutely no privacy whatsoever. And it really didn't matter to be on the beach since all we had to do was walk out of our room and around the corner and we were on the beach anyway. We only spent time in our room to shower, nap, sleep and change clothes, if we wanted to view the beach, we were sitting on the beach anyway, not in our rooms. And when we were on our porch hammock, we were really glad not to be on display for every guest who walked by (as the more expensive beachfront rooms leave you). We also didn't have an ocean view. Again, didn't need one.

I have read reviews that said the resort is spread out and a long walk to the beach and restaurants...not true. Unless you are a completely couch ridden person or someone with bad legs or knees I can't possibly figure out why anyone would think walking was a big deal or that it was a "long walk" to anything. We went back and forth from one side of the property to the other all day long and never felt put out or that it took too long.

BEACH
The beach is beautiful. There are plenty of lounge chairs. The hotel was at 100% capacity when we were there and there were always extra chairs and the beach never felt crowded. There are many people who get up early and put their stuff under the shaded areas because they feel they are somehow entitled to have a reserved spot even though they aren't in them half the time. We would have liked to sit under those shaded cabanas at times when a book or towel was using it instead, but we were able to find other places to sit instead. If there weren't, I would not have felt badly removing those people's things and sitting there until they came back...which often never happened during the time we would have been using them. The cushions of the lounge chairs are also floatation devices so you can go into the water and lay on them. That was a nice benefit. There is a roped off area in the water for Couples guests and I never even saw fish inside of it. It is completely clear and shallow enough to stand in for quite a ways out, and it was not choppy or full of seaweed or fish or anything. There is a stingray that swims around the shore by the watersports boats sometimes but that is all we saw in the swimmable areas the whole trip.

I got a jellyfish rash on my arm from the scuba diving rope, and maybe also a baby jellyfish we swam over. The first rash I had them pour vinegar on and it went away almost immediately. The next one I didn't want to be fussy and it didn't burn that bad so I left it alone, and the rash ended up lasting a couple months (the scar from the rash lasted that long anyway, the actual rash lasted about 2 weeks). So if you are in the water and think you got stung, have the watersports staff take care of it immediately or you’ll be dealing with it for weeks.

WARNING ABOUT BEACH VENDORS
As for vendors on the beach. They are annoying, but can be avoided. A simple "no thank you" DOES NOT work. They will try to be a bit pushy even if you say this, and if you are talkative and friendly like we are, they will take advantage. They will learn your name and they will try to find you every single day to strike up a conversation and get you to buy something. We never did, and we continued to be nice to them, but it got old pretty quick and at one point we avoided walking close to the water because we didn't want to see certain vendors that we knew would bug us.

There was one incident that was pretty bad, while extremely funny, especially in hindsight, it was really uncomfortable. There's a guy who walks around in a chef’s hat and asks if you want fresh caught lobster. We assumed he worked for the resort because we had only been there for a day and it happened to be lobster night that night. So my boyfriend said "sure." I quickly ran over and asked if the man worked for the resort and if there was a fee and he ignored me, which lead us both to realize he was about to take us for a ride. We continued to ask if there was a fee and told him if there was a cost we didn't want the lobster. He pretended not to hear us until he had finished cutting and cleaning 2 lobsters, then asked for $20 ( I don't remember now if it was per lobster or total, but either way, why pay for some strangers lobster that's been sitting around for who knows how long, when we could get it on the resort for free). We told him we didn't want the lobster and explained that we had tried to stop him, he argued with us and asked why we would think we should get free lobster etc. We explained back that we were on an all inclusive resort and it was lobster day and that it made sense for us to think that, and we told him we weren't paying him because we had no cash and said we were sorry but we'd tried to stop him and he didn't listen. He told us to go back to our rooms and get money and we continued to argue that we were not going to do that and didn't want his lobster. Finally security came over and mumbled something to the lobster guy, the security looked annoyed, not sure if it was with us or the lobster guy, but he was successful in eventually getting him to leave. He scooped up his lobster guts and ate them, then took the lobsters and continued trying to sell them on the beach.

Another vendor (off resort) tricked us into letting him put bracelets on our wrists and then told us we could tip him for them on our walk back to the resort. We walked away and had actually forgotten about it when he came running after us on our way back reminding us to give him his tip. We felt badly because we spent all our cash on tshirts and tried to give the bracelets back and apologized for forgetting (we didn't want the bracelets anyway) and he got mad and said nevermind and walked away with a scowl on his face. This is apparently a common tourist trap so don't let anyone put any jewelry on you because they will claim you bought it, and if you are off resort, there is no security to help you. We were lucky this guy left us alone.

Speaking of walking off resort...we were surprised at how run down and horrible many of the nearby resorts looked. Some of them actually ranked higher on trip advisor somehow. The only other hotel anywhere near Couples Swept Away that we would dare to book that looked decent, was the Beaches resort next door. I wouldn't recommend ANY of the other resorts on this beach besides these two.


SCUBA PROGRAM
As for watersports...one thing I never see mentioned in the reviews is the scuba program. I will elaborate on this in case anyone is interested in scuba diving or becoming scuba certified. Neither of us were scuba certified before we got there. We looked into doing it before our trip only because we found out that we could scuba dive for free once we were there if we were certified and we thought it could be a good opportunity to try it (I think you can go twice a day- they may officially say once a day, I don't remember, but we saw other people go twice and we were able to go twice a day as well). This is a huge benefit because scuba diving is expensive. We didn't end up doing the certification before we got there because we live in a cold state and wouldn't have been able to complete the open water dives before we left and the cost was extremely high (over $1,000 per person). We decided it wasn't worth it because we weren't sure how it would work to complete our dives on the resort or if we would have to hunt down a PADI scuba center or if we would have to pay a fee etc (none of that was clear from online research). It seemed too complicated and expensive so we didn't do it.

However, once we were there we were told we could do one free scuba dive as long as we could pass an introductory pool test and scuba lesson so we tried it, liked it and ended up paying to complete our PADI certification while we were there, for only $250 each. GREAT DEAL!!!!! That being said, here was my experience with scuba diving and the certification, just so you know what you're getting into. First they require you to swim 8 laps in the pool. I live in a high altitude state (Colorado) and run 20-30 miles a week at an 8 1/2 minute per mile pace, so I assumed that I was in good enough shape not to worry about the swim test even though I am not a swimmer. I was wrong. I had an extremely hard time and would have given up if my boyfriend had not been there to encourage me not to give up and if he hadn't wanted to try scuba so badly. You are technically not allowed to stop and rest or hold onto the sides of the pool in between laps or they will fail you. Admittedly, I was unable to avoid doing this, but thankfully the guy doing our test let it slide and passed me anyway. I ran out of breath and really felt like I might drown if I hadn't taken a break. Maybe it's because I'm not a swimmer, or maybe my lungs are good for running only, but don't assume the swim test will be easy. It was not. My boyfriend and I were the only 2 doing the test which may be why they were a little more lenient, I don't know. Once you pass the test, they have you watch a 20 minute video about scuba diving, sign some release forms and then you go back to the pool to learn how to use the scuba equipment. I didn't anticipate any problems with this as it looked fun and we would be in the pool (my scuba fear has always been of sharks and being taken away under water by some invisible tides). Those fears turned out to be a non-issue, but in its place was a new and unexpected "fear." Getting used to your scuba mask and the feeling of breathing underwater is EXTREMELY uncomfortable and unsettling. So much so that I wanted to give up and quit several times simply because I couldn't stand the feeling of having my nose plugged up and not being able to feel my chest move in and out under water (so I felt like I would suffocate even though I clearly was breathing just fine). I have snorkeled (and we even did it on this trip before learning to dive) and I never have an issue with the snorkel mask-I think because I know I am just a head turn away from being out of the water. Who knows. Anyway, this is apparently a very common discomfort because the first part of underwater training is to simply learn to stay under water for 5 minutes without coming out.

Most of the initial training is basic like this, learning to use the equipment, safety precautions etc. Then they let you go out for a 30 minute dive in about 30 ft. deep water. I thought I had gotten comfortable with breathing etc until we jumped in the ocean and I panicked a little, again coming up for air and saying I would just wait in the boat, ha ha. My boyfriend and the watersports guy were sooooo extremely patient with me and just let me get used to the water and once I did, we had an amazing time, such a cool experience and we were really proud of ourselves for trying something like that. We immediately decided to complete the full PADI scuba training (the lowest level because we wouldn't be there enough days to do anything more). It cost $250 and required reading 3 chapters of a book, taking the tests in the back of the book (we admittedly skimmed and looked for the answers- and have since read through them fully now that we're home and want to go again) and then doing another pool training the next day. There were a few other things about the second pool training I wasn't expecting that threw me off a little and made me want to give up, for instance you have to learn to fill your mask up with water and clear it out without coming out of the water, you have to swim underwater with your eyes open to find your mask in the deep end after the trainer throws it and makes you fetch it (this is in case you lose your mask under water while diving- makes sense it just sucked). That took me several tries also and once we were done I thought the bad part was over, but it wasn't, they make you do that in the ocean as well. You don't have to open your eyes under the sea water and they don't throw your mask in the ocean, but you have to take it off, let it fill with water and put it back on and clear it out while standing on the bottom of the ocean. I was afraid of not being able to do it and being 30 feet underwater, with water up my nose, choking and unable to see, but I held my nose with my hand so that didn't happen and just did it quickly and got it over with. You also have to demonstrate a few other skill under water but nothing hard and it didn't take long. It probably is much more involved and serious if you do the training in the states over an extended period of time, but we were happy to have done it the way we did.

The watersports staff is really professional, knowledgeable and patient and we were the only 2 people getting one on one instruction whereas in the states we probably would have been in a class with 20 people and unable to get individualized attention or get nearly the amount of patience for skills that required more time (for me). I never thought scuba diving would be something I'd ever want to do but now that I've done it I can't wait to take another vacation to do so and am finding it really hard to locate another resort that offers free scuba diving. I'd like to explore lots of islands, but this resort spoiled us so much that I am finding it really hard not to want to just go back again next year and forgo other places. From my research, Jamaica isn't known for its diving and we didn't see anything spectacular (other than lion fish and an eel) but I think if you are already certified when you get there and can do some deeper dives earlier in the morning there are probably other things to see. There were pretty fish obviously, and some coral, but not the kinds of scenery you see in scuba pictures.

WATERSPORTS ACTIVITIES
As for other activities, we did the catamaran cruise and that was fun. However while you do sail out to Rick's café, you only go just to see it. They don't let you off the boat and into the water at that stop and you don't go into the café. You sail back to another cave where you can get in the water and swim for about half an hour and then you sail back to the resort. It was fun, but not fun enough to do more than once. There are a lot of little kids diving off the cliffs asking for money and they will swim over to the boat and literally hold onto it and stick their hands up through the net and over the sides with their hands out asking for money. A bit unsettling, but we just ignored them and eventually they left. You can go to Rick's on a private catamaran (for a fee) or take a taxi there if you want to hang out there, but from what I heard it's not worth it. It's really expensive, you don't see anything different in the restaurant than you do in the boat, and the cliff diving is very dangerous. Recently a tourist actually died there from doing it and apparently many people have gotten paralyzed and died because there is no instruction on how to jump in properly and the workers/locals will tell you it's fun and safe even at a high distance when really, it's not. But they're laws aren't that strict and so if you want to do something dangerous that you can't do in the states, go for it, but you can die and people do.

Snorkeling was fun as well. We also used the hobby cats (sailboats). One or both of you have to take a lesson to learn how to sail, it didn't take long (I didn't take the lesson, I just went along for the ride). All of this is free and the watersports staff is soooooo nice, patient and knowledgeable.

FOOD
The food was good, sometimes delicious, never bad. Because we went on our trip over Valentine's Day and were celebrating an anniversary, we decided to go to Feather's Restaurant (the one you have to dress up for). The food was good, but if we ever go back, we won't bother packing extra clothes and shoes for it. There are no windows in there and the atmosphere isn't anything special and the food is great at other restaurants so there's not much point in wasting your time or suitcase space for it.

CLOTHES
You also don't need to bother packing a whole lot of clothes or shoes, a couple sun dresses and cover-ups and a lot of swimsuits is all you need. We walked around in swimsuits all day, we never used a towel, we just air dried in the sun (so don't listen to complaints of "no towels" because who cares about towels when you'll dry in 30 seconds from the sun anyway). You also don't need anything but a pair of flip flops unless you plan to go to Feathers restaurant. Lemongrass also has a dress code but it's not as strict. You can wear flip flops and men can wear shorts.

NIGHTLIFE
There's not a ton of night life and it's probably because everyone is too tired at 10pm to do anything but sleep. We tried a couple times to stay up but all we managed to do was dance to the live music in the Palms and try casino night one night (it was ok-we won some free hot sauce and coffee). There is a bonfire one night that we really enjoyed. Other times we just stuck to ourselves and walked the beach. I did get bit A LOT and it took a couple weeks for the scars from scratching to go away. I brought bug spray but didn't use it (my mistake). I never saw the bugs that bit me, I guess they're really small.


RESORT PHOTOGRAPHERS
My last note is on resort photographers. Nobody seems to mention the fee for this and maybe that's because people who stay 7 days or more get a resort credit that covers the cost, but if you rely on their photographers to capture your vacation for you, be prepared to pay $250 for the pictures on DVD (or more). They are about $15/picture, or $250 for 100 pictures. Go in every single day and ask to look at the pictures so you can sort through them and remove the repeats or the ones you don't love, that way at the end of your stay you'll have less pictures to sort through. It takes a lot of time and there is often a long line to do so. We took a lot of our own pictures but there were times (like while snorkeling, or at sunset, or after the catamaran cruise etc) that they took some really fantastic and memorable photos that once we saw them, we couldn't do without. So we begrudgingly spent the money. If I go back, I will not do this, but because we didn't know it was so expensive, we let them capture a large portion of our vacation for us and we would have had to walk away without the pictures otherwise. They do take great pictures, they are really creative and capture awesome photos!

Pretty much everything else is covered in other reviews. I highly recommend this resort, but only if you are low key and not overly picky about glitz and glamour and definitely only come if you are in a good relationship because I think that solitude and lack of distraction could wreak havoc on a couple in a not-so great relationship. We did see one couple there fighting and screaming at eachother, but everyone else seemed happy and in love. For us, it was amazing. The best vacation I have ever been on and I don't know that we'll ever top it. We had a great time and I can't wait to go back someday.

Room Tip: Don't waste money on beachfront. The rooms are not private. Atrium rooms are great and private a...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank ColoradoPeep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Souderton, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We visited Couples Swept Away upon a recommendation from our travel agent. We had six adults in our family group ranging in age from 24-55. There was something for everyone at Couples! We paddle boarded, kayaked, sailed on Hobie Cats, snorkeled and just relaxed on the gorgeous Negril beach! The atmosphere at CSA resort is relaxed and fun! The staff is attentive, friendly and helpful all the time!!! While we were there, Dream Week was in full swing celebrating Jamaica's independence, and the resort did a great job of bringing the Jamaican culture to life in the form of authentic entertainment and foods!
We never felt rushed or crowded at Couples - we walked into most restaurants and were seated right away. The Palms offers a phenomenal breakfast buffet and if you can, make a reservation for Lemongrass and Feathers. The fish tacos and grouper sandwiches on coco bread at Seagrapes were to die for!
It's one of the most beautiful resorts I've ever seen. You KNOW you're in Jamaica because it's lush and tropical! Our three couples were in three different buildings spread across the resort so we were able to check out three different rooms and they were all incredible. We had a beachfront verandah and loved the quick access to the beach and the view!
We also went to Rick's Cafe which was crazy but a lot of fun! The catamaran cruise is a blast too!
We can't wait to return to CSA. Now I know why they have an entire wall of their lobby dedicated to their faithful returning clients. It's a place too make memories - I know we did!

Room Tip: Middle of the property is a good bet because the restaurants are located at opposite ends of the res...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank sue m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dyersburg, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Just as the other reviewers stated, Couples Swept Away never disappoints. This was our third visit and without a doubt will be back. From your first encounter at the airport you are treated with kindness and above the board service. Everyone truly enjoys their job and are dedicated to superior customer service. We have tried the other adult resort in Jamaica and without a doubt, CSA wins hands down. The welcome at check in sets the tone and the spoils begin. The outstanding staff makes it really hard to leave. Smiley in Patois was always ready for my husbands aggravating and always came back with a witty reply and a smile. Piano bar was always a good time. Both Feathers and Lemongrass served excellent meals. With our group we always share a bite or two and every entree was great. I recommend the PanThai Noodles, very good. Could have eaten them for every meal. The chef at Seagrapes went above and beyond. Often came out from behind the grill to wait tables or even deliver food. Made sure everything was just as expected. Rarely would you find that in the states. Fish tacos and sweet potato chips were a great lunch.
We found the beach to be just as beautiful as the last time we were there (last year). Very little litter which is hard to control with plenty of lounge chairs. Watersports team always excited to be at work. They do their best to accommodate your every request. I hope the red boat gets in the water soon. Was a bit of a challenge on delivery. Our room was clean and very comfortable. We were never disturbed in the morning by housekeeping. They seemed to understand much needed "adult time" letting us sleep well past 10. Nothing negative all positives. Love you CSA

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank workhardtraveloften
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palos Heights, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

This was our second trip to Jamaica but first time at a Couples resort. It is pricey compared to some other all inclusives, but the fact that so many excursions are included (also the airport shuttle) makes it worth the money. The food quality is also great. The only meal we didn't care for was at the buffet. Everything else was delicious. Patois has amazing banana-stuffed french toast for breakfast and pizzas for lunch and dinner. The food at Lemongrass was great as well. Feathers is the most upscale restaurant. Again, great food and service there but we did feel a little rushed. We also loved our room (Atrium Suite). There is no TV which we did not miss once. The patio is huge. The bathroom was plenty big and we always had clean towels. There are some little ants that crawl around in the bathroom but I don't think that can be avoided anywhere in the Caribbean. One complaint I did have was that we filled out the request form of what we wanted in our mini-fridge weeks before our arrival. It was not stocked when we got there. Why bother asking if it isn't going to be fulfilled? That was a minor detail though. Our overall experience was great. The beach is beautiful. You will get asked to buy things from the vendors, but there is security around if they are a bother to you. We always had something to do here and felt like we should have stayed longer! We would love to go back.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank chicagolefty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Couples Swept Away

Property: Couples Swept Away
Address: Norman Manley Blvd, Negril, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#10 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#14 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Couples Swept Away 4*
Number of rooms: 312
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Immediately upon entering Couples Swept Away, you realize that you have arrived in paradise. Exotic flowers bloom amidst acres of green—on seven miles of the purest white sand beach in Negril, Jamaica. Dotted among the tropical gardens—open-air cafes, small pool enclaves and fresh fruit oases are yours to discover. Never crowded or hurried, the resort offers an intimate tranquility and when desired, total seclusion. All rooms embrace a quiet elegance with island cedar furnishings and pure white linens. Plantation shutters open onto private verandahs with views of gardens and azure sea. Breezy open-air restaurants engage candle-lit lanterns and billowing white curtains to strike a romantic note. While the pristine 10-acre sports complex encompasses every imaginable activity, the superb spa serves as a haven of relaxation. Couples Swept Away simply captures your heart and soothes your soul. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Couples Swept Away Negril
Couples Swept Away Hotel Negril
Jamaica Couples Swept Away
Swept Away Resort
Negril Couples Swept Away
Swept Away Negril
Couples Swept Away Jamaica
Couples Negril

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