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“We Have Found Paradise!”
Review of Couples Swept Away

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Couples Swept Away
Ranked #14 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“We Have Found Paradise!”
Reviewed 18 May 2005

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.

  • Stayed May 2005
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 18 May 2005

My new wife and I read some bad reviews about CSA and had some trepidations about what to expect. Our fears were soon allayed. Our room (4319) was just what was expected and the view of the ocean was breathtaking. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this resort. We were married there and the wedding was picture perfect. We took advantage of the videographer and photographer and had 70+ pictures and a DVD made. One word of advice, if you are married on a Tuesday and are leaving on a Thursday, they will not have your picture album prepared, nor the DVD complete. They will mail it to you. We received ours several days later and, once again, perfect.

The food is certainly better than "cruise food", but it's not magnificent or awesome, but it is palatable. The drinks are great and they'll make you any drink you can call out, any time of the day. Try the Jamaica Browning substituting banana for the papaya and put a little soft serve chocolate ice cream (found at the juice bar) in for a wonderful, fattening treat.

The resort is a place I did not want to leave. The beach is the best I have ever been on, and I've been on many. The staff is great, helpful and made us feel that they had known us for years. My wife snorkled, water skied and we particpated in the Catamaran cruise and the glass bottom boat tour. Another word of advice: On the catamaran cruise, I would not jump or cliff dive. It seemed as if 80% of the people who did got hurt, and some hurt badly. All in all, this was an ideal get-away and want to go back as quickly as possible.

  • Stayed May 2005
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13 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Memphis,TN
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2005

As this was our first trip to Jamaica and to Couples Swept Away, I feel obliged to write this review. I spent many hours (and still do) reading the MB for Couples. IF you read all topics and do research (as any "seasoned" traveller should) you will still be overwhelmed by how fantastic this resort is.
We arrived at the resort at about 3:30 or so, and checked in and taken to our room almost immediately. To be honest, we had decided if the room wasn't ready that we would take a dip, eat, and just be happy we were finally there. I am not royalty, and didn't expect a moment of silence when our bus came in!!! (although, by the end of the week we felt like royalty)
I even told my now husband " I think they must think we are famous".

Our room was not what we expected. Only because we got a complimentary room upgrade. I had my heart set on the atrium, but the beachfront suite was better than I imagined. Simple, but elegant. No chandaliers or anything, just very romantic, clean. We brought a room freshener that plugs in, Never needed it. I read that sometimes because of the humidity the room may smell damp or heaven forbid "beachy"! All appliances worked fine, especially the mini-bar. Magically restocked EVERY day with beer, water, wine, (red and white) vodka, rum, scotch, oj, tomato juice, & pineapple juice.

Bathroom was very clean. plenty of outlets, and light. Water was always hot if needed and pressure was fine. When they come back the 2nd time of the day to turn down the bed they pick up bathroom again.

Brought bug spray but never used it or got bitten. Plenty of squitoes where we live so if we had seen any there, well, they exist.

Our wedding went off perfectly, and we had 11 guests attend that we met through the Couples MB and on site. It was fantastic. Tamika was a sweet pro. I worried for naught.

Service was not New York minute, but we didn't want a New York experience. We never starved or sat thirsty. Always served with a big gleaming Jamaican smile. Always greeted when we greeted. If you put off neg. vibes by all means, expect it in return. I don't care what you spend, act like a jerk and people will treat you like one.

Food was different than what we are used to, but I catch myself craving the smells and tastes. So much to choose from also. Could never make up my mind what to eat. Solution: all of it!!! And food always available. Even at 2:30 am. Try it all. Feathers was awesome. The thai rest. was not my favorite, but I don't like thai food in the states. But, I atleast tried it.

We were only there for 5 days and no way had enough time to participate in all the included activities. So we booked for 10 days next year!!!!!

If you sincerely mean to enjoy yourself you will. If you take the time to just kick back, take it all in, you will love this place. Never seemed crowded, didn't feel pressure to participate, if things weren't on time (off by minutes only) we just grabbed a drink, smiled at one another, and thanked somebody we were there. e-mail me for any more info.

Standing ovation of two for Randy and all the Couples staff. Well done!!!

  • Stayed May 2005
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Helpful?
18 Thank Andi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 18 May 2005

A wonderful place to stay, if you arent expecting much.

THE FOOD? Pretty good Just dont go if you like big portions also, the room service stunk. The food was generic. Their jamaican fruit platter consisted of Honeydew, Watermelon, oranges. NO MANGO OR PAPAYA!!
THE PEOPLE? EXTREMELY Nice until you are ready to leave. We had to check out by 7 am on may 3rd and the man at the front desk did not have any change (not even 4 dollars) for the room charges. THey wanted to refuse us breakfast when we went in at 7:26 and the room officially opens 7:30.
THE ROOMS? Either too hot , too cold, always damp. We had a swarm of ants invading our room but that was quickly cured by the housekeepers.
We had a first floor verandah beachfront suite which couldnt have been better. THE SUNSETS ARE TO DIE FOR!! If you want a TV in the room, specify that you want a Verandah room. (they are newer) Also, they kept knocking on our door for "turndown service"etc. at least 3-4 times a day if you dont have your "do not disturb" sign up

This definately was NOT the once in a lifetime Honeymoon I thought I would be getting. (even though we paid the same) We did not get our champagne on arrival (or cold towel for that matter)

I must stress, the grounds are beautiful and well kept, people were very friendly, the bar will make you anything you want. There was a martini bar upstairs in the Palms that i didnt find out about until the end (we didnt do the tour) Feathers was VERY delicious even though they had the same thing for dinner friday til friday (menu switches weekly)
There was plenty of activities to keep you busy, the scuba instructors are awsome

  • Stayed April 2005
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81 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2005

I don't understand how anyone can write a bad review about this place. It has been a year since my husband and I visited Couples and we are dying to get back there. I seriously dream about Jamaica. We did run into people who were dissatisfied with their stay. However, these people were also very uptight and hard to please. Needless to say my husband and I steered clear of them. But the real reason I am posting is because I want to know the name of the guy at the piano bar. My husband and I are driving ourselves crazy trying to remember. If you know could you please post it for us. Thanx

  • Stayed May 2004
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Helpful?
5 Thank dunnright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 17 May 2005

My husband and I got married at Swept Away on April 17, 1999. This was my first time flying. The experience from just stepping off the airplane was excellent. The 2 hour ride from the airport to the hotel was a little scarry because how they drive there but the tour guides were very funny. We got there before check in so are room was not ready yet, but we went through Apple Vacations so we had our own personal guide to explain everything to us about the hotel and activities to things to do around Jamaica. The staff were extremely nice to us we felt like Kings and Queens the whole five days and four nights there. We treated the staff like human beings so we got treated very nicely. We got married on the beautiful white sandy beach which was set up with a table covered in beautiful red and yellow tropical flowers. We had a delicious carrot cake and two bottels of champange all included. They really go out of the way for couples getting married we had 1/2 hour complimentary massages and a newlywed party. Our room was a beachfront Verandah suite with a spiral staircase it was very clean and very laid back I loved it!!! Everything was perfect we had no complaints at all. I recommended this place to everyone. We were going to go back for our one year anniversary but the price doubled. We still went to Jamaica but that's another review.

  • Stayed April 1999
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7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 16 May 2005

First let me start by saying that I am a travel consultant and have been for nearly 10 years.
My travel has been varied and extensive my entire life, once I became an agent it was even more so. My husband has also traveled very often to many destinations as well.
With that said, I will also concede that Couples Swept Away is not the best resort I've stayed but it is by far the best resort I've stayed in the Caribbean and/or Mexico.
It took me a lot of talk to get my husband to go, once he went he didn't want to leave "home".

I realized what a treasure this destination was after 7 years of being a leisure travel agent and having clients travel there and time after time, after time, hearing rants and raves about the destination.

I went for a 7 day visit to Couples Negril two years ago and loved every second of it.

We went to Couples Swept Away for our anniversary in January and could not find one thing to complain about.
And no - the resort did not know my profession - so this didn't have anything to do with the way we were cared for.
Check in was fine, no longer than any other resort (5 star or not) that I've stayed. And the staff was amazing, kind, sweet and helpful.
They, just like any other human being I've come into contact with, respond well when you give them a smile and a 'thank you' for all their efforts.

Our room in the original section (atrium w/hammock) was spacious and clean day in and day out. Bathrooms huge and well cared for/maintained.
The "extras" like the Catamaran, Scuba, Tours at night, etc... better than ones I've paid for at other resorts.

Of course the food (especially the Thai restaurant) is wonderful, I am a vegetarian (not vegan) and had no problem at all.
The drinks were good, my husband and I worked in food service (waitress and bartender respectfully) for a few years at some point in our life so we both expect and appreciate good service, not one time were we disappointed.

The sports bar was a blast, the pools were pristine and we didn't miss not having a swim up bar as we thought we may.
I would not only recommend this resort, but I would seriously examine the person(s) who wouldn't.

I have since traveled to other places and will continue to both for work and pleasure, but there is NO DOUBT we will always go "home" back to Couples Swept Away, back where we are cared for, appreciated and made to feel like the world has stopped and we are suspended (even for a short time) in paradise!
Much love Mon,
J.LA

  • Stayed January 2005
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Helpful?
20 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#11 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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