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“I didn't believe, but I do now!”
Review of Couples Swept Away

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Couples Swept Away
Ranked #14 of 85 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
DFW
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“I didn't believe, but I do now!”
Reviewed 7 January 2010

Everyone kept telling me, "When you go, then you know." I thought,yeah right, a hotel is a hotel. I made plans to go here and there and everywhere. People said, "You will just want to sit on the beach." I thought, they don't know me. I like to be busy when I vacation.

Then, I arrived. And, um, can I just say that everyone was right.

We stayed the first week in Montego Bay at a small B&B called Emerald View Resort. So, we arrived at CSA on Dec. 13. The transfer was quick and easy with a short stop. We arrived to the much-anticipated champagne and cool towels. Check in was quick and easy, although we thought the shuttle driver was a little careless with our bags. The property was so beautiful, with lush trees spilling over wandering paths, flowers blooming everywhere and palm trees creating the perfect picture.

In no time, we walked into our suite in the Great House, 5106. I had requested something on the third or fourth floor and was so happy they were able to accommodate us! We did lots of research before we came. I practically lived on the Couples message boards, which were so helpful and interesting. It's a wonderful feature Couples offers. The room was just as I anticipated, simply decorated, roomy and clean. The balcony was our favorite. We could have spent the entire vacation enjoying the view, the breeze and the sounds of the ocean. We always slept with our door open so we could fall asleep and wake up to the crashing waves.

And, as others told us would happen, I immediately cancelled all plans to leave the resort. Maybe next time, but this trip we just tried to enjoy all the amenities CSA offered. I have to say, we failed! There was so much to do and see and eat that we don't feel like we experienced everything in just one week. I guess that's a good reason to repeat visit.

The first night we went to Casino night in the Aura lounge. My new husband cleaned up at Texas Hold 'em. Well, being from Texas, we had to represent. When it came time to bid, some other guests didn't follow the rules (only couples are suppose to pool money, not large groups) so we weren't able to buy what we wanted, but we don't hold that against the hotel. My stomach was a little queasy that night, so I asked for a drink to settle it. The bartender made me a girl scout cookie drink. Yummy. We closed the night, and several to follow, by sitting on our balcony after a quiet walk along the beach.

All the bartenders were quick and responsive. Sure, you might not have had instantaneous service, but we weren't the only guests on the property! I was slightly disappointed in drinks, which didn't seem very strong. I could only get a buzz by requesting a shot. We had a great time trying all the different drinks like the hummingbird and the Bob Marley (wow!)

The beach! What can I add that hasn't been said? The first morning, I jogged down the beach (to the left when looking at the beach) something I had been looking forward to for months. It was everything I wanted. With my headphones in, I didn't even have to talk to the vendors who roam the beach off-property. Even when we walked down the beach at dusk, we found that most people responded to a polite "No thanks." One time, I took the advice I had read on this board with a rather persistent vendor, telling him, "Respect, Mon. We said no thanks." We also noticed a big difference between Negril and Montego Bay. In MoBay, almost every person, including staff at Doctor's Cave and restaurants, offered us weed. At CSA, almost no one did.

I left a note with my sleeping husband when I went for the run. When I returned, I revised it to say I was at the Palms for breakfast. It was divine to enjoy the quiet as I ate my personally-cooked omelette (extra cheese) in front of the pool surrounded by so many people but in my own world. When I returned, he was still sleeping! So, I revised my note one more time and headed for the beach. Hee.

The sand was sugar soft. The water was warm and calm. Not much sea life. I spent hours sitting in a hammock or on a chair reading a book with my handy green flag. I almost felt bad using the flag because the numerous bars were always close. The chair cushions/floats were wonderful. For such a simple amenity, it added greatly to the experience. We enjoyed the traveling bands and meant to buy a CD. We always felt safe and the security guards never let you feel harassed.

The staff and service was wonderful! We started to feel bad because everyone could remember our names, but we kept forgetting people. We were shocked to discover that some of the staff we felt did the best job were practically new hires. That means CSA has a great training program. I would also add that most of the guests seemed to reflect the atmosphere CSA works so hard to create. Everyone was friendly and talkative and ready to share their vacation with us. If we had not been on our honeymoon, we definitely would have interacted more. Another thing to do on our next visit!

I tried to eat daily at the Sea Grape, always making sure to include those wonderful sweet potato chips, the red pepper hummus and some soft serve ice cream! We ate at Patois the most. Between my husband and myself, we would pig out on the great food, ordering three appetizers, two or three entrees and all the side dishes. Almost every dish was spectacular. The service was always top-notch, we never had a problem.

Reservations for Lemongrass and Feathers were easy to get. The night we ate at Lemongrass we enjoyed not only the food, but the entertainment. We enjoyed beautiful food while listening to beautiful music. Then, we went to the Martini bar for "dessert" while watching cultural dancers, fire dancers and a limbo artist.

We only ate dinner at the Palms once, but it was also great. My favorite was the cheesecake. Our table was on the edge of the dance floor, so we would eat some food and dance, eat some more and dance. Later, we went to Aura lounge and continued to dance. I wish you could make requests there, but it didn't keep us off the dance floor. We never had a complaint with the night life. There was lots to do until about 10 p.m when things quieted down. But that is just when we headed to the lounge again. It was great being just down the hall from the lounge, so convenient. It was amazing that we heard no noise from the lounge.

We really dressed up for dinner for Feathers. Like I was warned, we spent most of our time in bathing suits and coverups. Next time, I'll bring more swim suits, tops and skirts and fewer shoes, pants and shorts! The red wine there seemed above what the other restaurants serve, although I by no means am a wine expert. Upon a suggestion by the board, we requested the dessert sampler which did not fail to impress our stomaches or our eyes.

Unfortunately, we left our camera in the lounge and didn't discover it until the next morning. We were heartbroken to lose our honeymoon pictures. We called and reported it to security, just in case someone turned it in. The head of security surprised us by coming up personally to look into the matter. He had to search our room before he could file a complaint, which we understood. We couldn't tell if he thought we were stupid or lying or none of the above. But mostly we marked that up to not being familiar with the facial expressions and sense of humor of Jamaicans. Sarcasm and humor or difficult to get when you are part of the culture, so when you are unfamiliar it is easy to misread. But luckily for us, a couple we had talked with at the lounge (Alan and Dot, who visit for a month every year!) had our camera and found us by early afternoon. We absolutely hope to follow in their footsteps.

We went on the catamaran cruise. It was great to view the cliffside hotels and enjoy the rocking of the boat. The crew was interested in getting us to party. But I thought the rum punch was pretty icky. Beside, what did I need to drink up for? All my alcohol was free, booze cruise or not! :) I slide down the slide and dove into the water to explore a cave filled with large and small fossils. I was shocked at how strong the current was when you started to climb into the cave, which included a tiled-bar marked "Joseph's Bar." I cautioned my husband, who has back problems, not to swim all the way into the cave. I wish we had brought our snorkel stuff with us.

And we signed up for night time snorkeling. It was, as expected, a little scary, but entirely worth it, even with the small additional cost. We saw lobster, flute fish, sea urchin, octopus and a sting ray the size of a large coffee table.

Both the beach bonfire and the dinner on the beach were exciting and enjoyable. It was funny to listen to a Jamaican band play Christmas carols. We didn't go to the Casino, which was the size of a large living room and lined with slot machines and an electronic blackjack. And we missed out on Ultimate Chocolate. There was just so much to see and do! The Great House served us well! We also really enjoyed the computer room because we could sneak in late at night when it wasn't busy. My husband said they had the best coffee on the resort!

We visited the gym facilities. I had selected this resort over CN because of the gym, but again there was just so much to enjoy that I didn't get over there nearly enough. We enjoyed our free 30-minute massages. First, we visited the bar and had some flavored water and a smoothie. Then, we played a little pool before heading to the zen hot tub. How peaceful! The massages wrung out whatever little bits of stress or tension that had managed to hang on this long.

I wish all the schedules were in one place. The general schedule is easy to find and useful because it includes that day and the next, which makes it easy to plan. But the gym schedule is only at the gym and the water sport schedule, well, we never found it. In fact, we tried to take the water skiing class but an employee told us the wrong time, so we missed it. Hard to be disappointed when there is so much to do. We just took out one of the paddle boats instead.

We enjoyed a continental breakfast one morning, which made us feel spoiled.

The room was always cleaned and refreshed whenever we remember to take off the do not disturb. But we never get any of the towel animals. I don't want to get repetitive, but maybe next time.

We did tip toe off property once. The ATM machine on-property wasn't working, which was a small hassle. While we were off, we stopped by the local craft market. It was overwhelming and uncomfortable. Think of 50 vendors all with basically the same items who all want the $20 you have to spend. Too much pressure and the only time we felt unsafe. Instead, we did most of our shopping along the beach. Sure, the vendors are still pushy, but it was at least one-on-one. Beside, wether we buy a bracelet or not could have a significant impact on their weekly income. I might be pushy in that economy as well.

Our only real disappointment was with the mini-bar. It was a struggle to get it stocked and when it was stocked, it was definitely not with "top-shelf" liquor. When I think high-end vodka, I am at least thinking Grey Goose and such. This vodka was in a plastic bottle and had a Russian name. We still enjoyed the bar and drank it, but I think a tweak in the marketing or an upgrade in the liquor is needed. This is the only area we thought CSA over-promised and under-delivered and is in no way enough to keep us away!

Well, let me take one thing back. Our only disappointment wasn't the mini bar. Our biggest disappointment and one that still sticks with me to this day was leaving. It was so sad. We enjoyed our last breakfast at Patios (the waffles, yum!) walked the beach and said goodbye to our room.

I sound like a 16-year-old gushing about her first boyfriend but everything I am saying is true to my personal experience. CSA provided such a wonderful, perfect honeymoon, we started worrying about how we would ever top it.

I also have to give credit to all of you. My husband would ask simple questions (what type of electrical outlet and such) and I felt happy to be able to provide answers. Everything I read and the advice I received proved accurate. Next time, I know to believe you all!

This was our first all-inclusive experience and perhaps that makes a difference. We are laid-back, budget travelers who try to experience the real culture and be happy regardless. CSA sure made that easy.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
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8 Thank Pixelicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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NJ
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2010

My husband I just returned from our 2nd amazing trip to Couples Swept Away. We flew US Airways out of Philly which was our only negative; we will never fly them again. They do not let you choose your seats ahead of time so they had us sitting on separate ends of the plane coming and going. Luckily we found someone to switch with us going but coming back, no luck. They don’t even seat children with their parents!
Once we arrived in Jamaica to the Couples Lounge for a Red Stripe and off to Swept Away. Check in was a breeze since I had done the pre-check in for Romance Rewards repeat guests online our welcome gifts were waiting. Sipped some champagne and 15 minutes later we were in our 2nd story Garden Verandah room. We loved the location and could even partially see the ocean. Is there some road noise outside? Yes, but I could not hear it in the room. Our AC worked great, mini bar was stocked, and we had a nice flat screen TV. As with our last trip we heard many 1st time guests complaining they did not have a TV in their room. Do some research, Couple’s website clearly states which rooms do and don’t have what, if it is important to you book the right room! The property as a whole it is still breathtaking, clean huge beach, tropical gardens and spotless facilities.
After our trip last year I really did not think that the service in this resort could get better, but it did! You see every employee doing that little extra to make your trip fantastic. Several employees remembered us from last year and we really enjoyed seeing them again. Everything is still No Problem and with a smile. We got to eat at Feathers this year which was very nice but I must say a little cold for me. I prefer the open air tropical feel of the other restaurants but our meal was delicious and service impeccable. This trip we ate meals and snacks in every restaurant and again could not find anything we didn’t like. I encourage people to remember you are in Jamaica; drink Red Stripe and have a beef patty by the pool, yes they have burgers and fries but you are really losing out if you don’t experience the other food they offer, the choices are endless. Branch out and try the Thai at Lemongrass, the jerk chicken dishes at Patios or goat cheese appetizer at Feathers, you won’t be disappointed!
This trip we went on the Catarmeran Cruise and the snorkel trip. The “water sports bothers” are awesome and Rasta Ralphie was very entertaining. We got to use the gym facilities which were modern and clean. Go early b/c it is open air and it gets hot over there. We also did a tour through the excursions desk to YS Falls. We had a private driver and went on a boat tour of the Black River to see crocodiles first. YS is one of the best excursions ever. The ride is long and bumpy but the waterfalls are beautiful. We tipped one of the guys who worked there a few dollars to take our pictures swimming in the falls and they came great, what a great memory. We had a couple of Red Stripes and lunch there and then had our driver stop at Times Square for us back in Negril to do some shopping.
Our reason for coming to Swept Away this trip was for the New Years Eve celebration and we were not disappointed. Starting around 6:30pm there was a full cocktail party with food, drinks and music then onto our reserved table at the Palms for a Grand Gala Buffet and every food imaginable and 4 more musical acts all of which was fantastic. I cannot explain the amount of work that goes into this evening it was beyond impressive. At midnight they release hundreds of balloons from the ceiling and the entertainment continues until everyone moves to Aura Lounge for the DJ and more dancing. There are so many details about this celebration that I can’t explain them all except to say that I am sure it cannot be topped.
Once of the best things about this trip was being a repeat guest, you are treated extra special. We had registered for the resort’s Romance Rewards program after out 1st trip. On this trip it entitled us to pre check in, free repeat guest T-shirts, free couples massage, an invitation to the special repeaters dinner, and a cooler bag with water and snacks at check out.
One last note: While we recommend this resort to everyone I strongly encourage people to research a destination or resort before they choose to go. We met many couples who paid a lot of money to go to CSA but only wanted to party all day and night and this just isn’t that atmosphere. I can’t understand how people go on vacation to a place like this especially for NYE and not bring any shoes other than sneakers or flip flops and only shorts to wear? There is a dress code for the restaurants and we saw several people get turned away each meal for not adhering to it. Again do your research and pick a place that offers your speed vacation.
We can’t wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ItsAlwaysSunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2010

Once again, we have just returned from Couples Swept Away (CSA). This was our 5th visit to CSA, and our sixth is already booked for 2010. Ricardo and the staff at CSA never disappoint us. The food just gets better and better, the entertainment staff kept us laughing, and very much entertained. (Aikem, you and Jody ROCK!!) The morning cello and guitar at breakfast was such a treat. Simple, yet elegant, and absolutely beautiful to listen to. Not only do we recommend this resort, or any of the Couples Resorts to strangers, we have turned on many friends, and friends of friends, who have now become regulars. Do yourselves a favor, go to the website and take a good look. BOOK if you can; you won't be disappointed!!!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank CarmichaelJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vermont
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2010

Wow, we have stayed in many all-inclusive resorts, been on cruises, nothing compares to the great stay we had at Couples Swept Away. We have been home for one week and I am missing CSA so much. Our room was in the greatest location (beachfront veranda suite). Located between the tiki bar and swim up bar. Right outside our room was the hammock, horseshoe pit, volleyball area.

Float cushions were provided on all lounge seats which was great to use in the ocean or pool, and there were plenty of them. There were plenty of restaurants to chose from and breakfast room service was also included. The food was incredible!!! All staff member were incredible, really liked Oral (bartender's name) at the swim up bar.

The room was very comfortable. Very clean. .... Just disappointed in myself for not doing more at the resort as they offered so much. I was too busy relaxing. Next year will make a point to take advantage of all offerings.

Ok, I can go on and on, a photo of a sunset (also great) is nothing like the real thing, so my review is nothing like the real thing. I say "just do it, book it, we were not dissappointed"!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank BoatingVermont
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frederick, Maryland
Level Contributor
54 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2010

Couples Swept Away was AMAZING. Service was the best, food was delicious, beach was perfect, everything was irie mon.

Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank billykeyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
zionsville IN
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2010

My wife and I traveled to Swept Away for our honeymoon and could not have been happier. We stayed in a garden veranda suite and though the room was a bit sparse having a couch and chair on the veranda more than made up for it.
The food was wonderful and the grounds are amazing.
The best part of the resort is the staff. They make a genuine effort to remember your name and go out of their way to be curtius and helpful.
We can't wait to go back next year to celebrate our anniversary.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jack0771
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2010

We just came back from a week in paradise that is Couples Swept Away! When they say, this is the best all-inclusive it is TRUE!!!

We had great arrival on a Sunday with a prompt pickup from the Mo'bay airport...The ride is a little under two hours from Mo'bay to Negril due to traffic and road construction. They are in the process of expanding the highway which will take a good deal of time. Please remember to tip the driver and porter as they are living off the tips.

We reached the resort around 1:30 pm and they immediately had chilled champagne ready for us. We were escorted to our beach front room which was simply spectacular. Full view of the ocean, stocked mini-bar. Our porter gave us a good tour of the room. Be sure to know how to work the air-conditioner as it was hot right away. :-)

The rest of the vacation was just AWESOME!!!! Read for tips!

First tips, immediately book dinner at the Lotus Cafe and Feather right away as they fill up quickly. Also, book your snorkeling and catamaran in advance as they fill up quickly.

Other Notations:
1. Concierge is fantastic!!! They booked us a private car to the YS Falls which was much cheaper than the tour. $50 per person vs. $80 per person. Concierge also rescheduled our dinner on the beach at a last minute's notice. Ask for Andre Whyte, he is superb!
2. Food is out of this world. The dinner at Feathers is the best! Eat there at least twice.
3. Put a towel on beach chairs by at least 8 am to get the best spot or they are gone quickly.
4. Don't waste your time at Margaritaville. Too pricy and overhyped. You can walk there on the beach but not worth it.
5. Check out the cliff diving at Nic's cafe. Take a taxi from the resort.
6. On the catamaran cruise, you are allowed to swim right by the cliffs. It is spectacular so bring your trunks on this.
7. Try the Hobie Cat as it is really cool to sail on this.
8. Jet skis are not included so you will need to bring cash.

Some things that were wishful:
1. Toilet didn't work for about one day but they fixed that ASAP!
2. Snorkeling is only for about 30 minutes each trip but there are three different areas they can take you.
3. Scuba Lessons begin quite too early in the morning (8 am) but are started in the main pool.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank moha0018
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
#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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