Couples Swept Away – Trip Review – April 30th – May 7th, 2005
Chris & Angie – Martinsville, Virginia
Let me start off by saying that I did my fair share of research before deciding on a vacation for my graduating girlfriend and myself. I spent countless hours on this site reading every possible review and downloading every photograph. I had previously been to Ochos Rios from a cruise ship, and Jamaica looked to be a great place to stay for a week.
We were specifically looking for a relaxing vacation that was not the typical “hotel-stay”, similar to what we have experienced along the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach. What we desired was a romantic, tropical paradise, with white sand beaches, unforgettable sunsets, and the freedom to spend some “quality” time together. What we found was nothing short of absolute, pure, paradise at Couples Swept Away.
We booked our reservations back in August, requesting a second floor Atrium room in the old section. We flew from Greensboro, through Charlotte to Montego Bay, and experienced no problems with our trip down to Jamaica. Once we arrived, the customary Red Stripes were consumed along the road trip to Negril, and we observed the local scenery from the air-conditioned comfort of the tour bus. Check-in was a breeze, and we were promptly escorted to our room… the exact one we had requested! It was everything we had read about and more… the tropical plants were amazing, our view from the room included a great glimpse of the water, and we settled in for a week of pure bliss.
As soon as we slipped into our suits, we were off to explore the beach and all it had to offer. First stop was the Sea Grapes beach bar, where we had a light snack of fresh, local fruit, sushi and a fruit smoothie. I wanted something of a little more potency, so I stopped by the main bar to request a nice rum punch to start off my vacation and keep those Red Stripes running on their full effect. Orientation was at 5:00, and was very helpful in figuring out where we were in this complex, and what it was that we wanted to do while we were there. Delano wrapped up his introduction to the resort just in time for us to claim a hammock near the Sunset Bar, and Davien hooked me up with the first of many Sunset Punches that I consumed over the week.
It was as perfect as all the reviews had stated… the two of us alone in a hammock at sunset, drinks in hand, love in the air. And the week was just beginning….
Dinner the first night was at main dining hall, where the chairs were pulled out for you, you were seated, and napkins placed in your lap, very nice, indeed. The shrimp and scallop salad was out of this world, and was followed by the freshly grilled snapper, that I feasted on many times during the week. Once we finished the main course, we usually slipped out to Sea Grapes to have dessert on the beach with our toes in the sand. Strolling along the quiet beach ended our evening, as we made our way back to the room and the sounds of the night became alive.
The room was fantastic. It was NOT your typical hotel room by any means. The ambiance of the wooden shutters and cathedral ceiling with ceiling fan was truly a dream come true. As I lay back on the bed, listening to the sounds, feeling the cool breezes blow across my skin I couldn’t help but feel relaxed. We settled in to the “Jamaican Lifestyle”, turning off the lights, and enjoying the rest of the evening in each other’s company.
The second day started off a little askew. Knowing to have placed the menu on the door hanger the night before, we were anticipating our breakfast being delivered to our verandah early that morning. We had set the alarm on our cell phone to wake us about 6:00 am, so that we could be up and ready for the delivery. The problem: we forgot about the hour difference due to daylight savings time, so we were really waking up at 5:00 am local time!! No problem, Mon… we curled up in the hammock and watched the most beautiful sunrise we have ever witnessed while we enjoyed the quiet, pre-dawn hours. Breakfast arrived about an hour later, consisting of fresh coffee, juice, fruits and croissants. We ate leisurely on the verandah listening to the chirping of the frogs and birds. Pure paradise.
Time to pack the carry bag and hit the beach! There were no shortage of available chairs along the wide stretch of beach, and so we chose a spot beneath a large palm tree that provided some shade from the hot sun. After just a few minutes of baking in the tropical sun, the call of the cool, aqua-clear, water beckoned us to take a dip. Grabbing a floatie cushion, we treaded off into the knee-deep, 80-degree water and floated and played around until 10:00. The magic time… the time they opened the bar for service!!! (Found out on Wednesday that I could always get a mimosa, screwdriver, or bloody mary over at the main bar starting at 5:30 am!) Drinks were great… they had anything you would normally order, but in Jamaica one must partake in the local spirits…RUM. All kinds of concoctions from Sunrises to Sunsets to Moonrises were served. My favorite had to be the Brandy Twist, made with some raspberry liquor, (I think), and of course the private stash of “Rocket Fuel” offered to me by Davian (whew!). (Here’s a recommendation to CSA… “bendy straws.”) Also you should bring a small, insulated beach tumbler (Dollar Store), it really helps to keep the drinks cold, especially the frozen types!
The beach was wide and beautiful, with cleanly raked, white sand that just beckoned you to walk on it. The sun was hot, and I was glad I had spent the extra time in the tanning bed to ensure I didn’t get the dreaded “Tourist Sunburn.” We spent most of our time on the beach, and our Atrium room was close enough to run back to before lunch, which we ate mostly at the main dining hall. There was always something fresh… grilled fish, fruits, made-to-order omelets, and it was always so pretty sitting by the pool, looking out over the beach and ocean. Following lunch it was time to refresh our drinks at the Sunset Bar, grab a floatie and wade out into the water. It was just sooo relaxing… the gently rocking motion of the waves, the feeling of the sun on your skin, and a drink in hand! I think the locals attitude of “No worries, no problems, Mon” was truly starting to take a hold of us. We were in paradise.
We had dinner at both Feathers and Lemongrass restaurants. Feathers was a bit too stuffy for us, as we had become accustomed to having our desserts barefoot on the beach, so we left before the final course was served. Lemongrass, the Thai restaurant, was good. The food was spicy, and with the restaurant being located on the upper floor of the main dining hall, it got a little hot, but the view was spectacular. Overall the food far exceeded my expectations.
We took the snorkeling trip out to the reef located just offshore. It took about 15 minutes to ride out and we had about 30 minutes of snorkeling time, but you could do this three times a day, every day, so if you wanted to go you could. Take a disposable underwater camera with you for some pictures, and make sure to save a shot or two to take from standing in the water, out in front of the beach. That’s the view I remember the most, out on the floats… drink in hand. We attended a friends wedding one afternoon, and it too, was beautiful, complete with beachside ceremony, and a reception back in the middle of the resort… cake, champagne, everything. I think we might go back next year and get married ourselves!!
We spent the majority of our time relaxing and enjoying each other’s, and friend’s company on the beach and around the resort. It got to be a regular thing to see our “group” all around the complex, the beach, and in the restaurants. The call of, “Hey! There’s Chris & Angie!” echoed throughout the resort, and we smiled each time we spoke with someone. I guess a little of Jamaica was starting to rub off on us!
I liked the fact that we didn’t HAVE to do anything, and that’s pretty much what we did. We set our own pace. Got up when we wanted and went to bed when we wanted. My only regret was that I only booked this paradise for 7 days!! Next time it will be 10, or more…
Departure on Saturday went flawlessly, and we were soon at the airport waiting for customs. Just about 30 minutes and we were cleared, giving us time to pick up those last minute gifts and keepsakes. Our return trip was non-eventful until we arrived in Greensboro one bag short. No problems, no worries, Mon… it was delivered to our house the next morning.
Overall, this had to be the best vacation I have ever had. The “non-hotel” type of vacation, combined with Jamaica’s laid-back attitude, resulted in pure bliss. The resort, grounds, and beaches are honestly a true paradise, and we are already discussing our return trip. Ironically, the couple we met up with is trying to schedule their return for the same time as we are, so it’ll be kinda like a family reunion!!
As I sit here, I’m trying to think of all the bad reviews I read, and what exactly it was that those people were complaining about? Honestly, I can only remember one thing that went wrong over the course of the entire week. One evening I had a waitress forget to bring me a Red Stripe for dessert. Big deal. I went over to the main bar… maybe 25 feet, and kindly received an ice cold Red Stripe from the bartender. No worries, no problems, Mon. That was it! All the employees were friendly and were willing to help in any way they could. By the end of the week, all the bartenders at the Sunset Bar knew us by name, and we were always greeted with a warm smile. I can’t wait to go back.
- 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