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  1. #1

    Default Having avery hard time choosing between CSA & CSS. Please help :)

    I know this topic is a hot topic on the message boards, I have read alot of them already.

    I'm having a hard time choosing between the two resorts for several reasons. One being that CSS is about $500 cheaper than CSA but I don't want to pass up quality to save a little bit if the other resort is worth the money. The reason i'm having such a hard time choosing it because of the beach. I live in the south & the Gulf of Mexico ( esp. Destin, Fl and surrounding areas ) have a pretty amazing beaches very similar to the Caribbean during times.

    My reason for wanting to travel to the Caribbean is to experience a whole new beach, hopefully even more beautiful than the GOM. From what I have read, everyone raves about the CSA beach, and it looks amazing from pictures. However, it seems very crowded & very similar to GOM and I'm wanting more of a "Tropical & Secluded" feel for this vacation and something complety different from what I'm accustomed to. Atmosphere is important too. I want to be laid back and be able to totally relax but being in my mid 20's and my husband early 30's we do like to socialize but the night life is not a deal breaker. Basically, the deal breaker is the beach.

    I think that CSS looks ideal because of the lush nature & looks so much more "deserted" than any beach I've been too , but my one concern is how small the beach is & the water clarity. Also, i'm interested in knowing if it is a man made beach or natural, I'm asking the b/c of the color of the sand.

    This will be my first trip to the caribbean. I have searched high and low for the perfect Island & Resort to make my first visit too. All the Couple's resorts look amazing but I have very high expectations for my first trip I hope someone is able to give me a detailed response on which resort to choose and make my decision easier! Thank you again for your help.

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    We too had the same problem, after being at both places, Our only solution was to do a week at each next December!!!

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    I can't comment on CSS (other than the photos) as I have not visited, but I have visited both the CSA and CN beach. I am wondering why you are not considering CN as the beach is as beautiful as CSA but deeper and much less crowded. The pool and swim up bar at CN are spectacular but the vibe at CSA is a bit more happening I think.

    It is true to say that there is little nighlife at CN but the beach is very laid back and there is NEVER a problem getting beds whenever you want them. Btw the water is calmer in Negril than Ocho Rios.

    I love both CN and CSA and am consequently I am doing a split stay for our next trip to Couples. Good luck in choosing!

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    I find the beach at CSA much bigger as you have more room to spread out. The beach at CNN felt cramped to me and the swimming area is much smaller. I felt that csa's beach is WAYYYY more beautiful. We are saving for trip #5 to CSA so I should know!!

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    We have not been to Couples ever but going Dec of 2012 and we wanted to do both resorts so we did the split too (CSA and CN) and I cant wait to experience the beauty of both of them!!

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    If the beach is important to you then go to CSA. It isn't really that crowded. The resort is a bit more lively than CSS. There is a night club at CSA. CSS is quiet and romantic and things get really quiet at nighttime. CSS works perfect for us as we enjoy the nightly entertainment and then head to bed.

    Either resort will work for relaxing. All of the Couples resorts have a relaxing atmosphere during the day and romance at night.

    I'm not sure if the beach is man-made. I kinda doubt it. I think the beaches on the Ochoie side just have rougher sand than the Negril side. We've been to three resorts in Ocho Rios and they all had the courser sand and small 'cove' style beaches. The sand at CSS is kinda packed down and hard while the sand at CSA is deep and soft.

    For romance we go to CSS, but for beach time we go to Negril.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

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    I don't know where GOM is, but since you say you haven't been to the Caribbean, I'm thinking maybe Mexico?
    We've been to CSA, CTI and CSS. What we really love about the Couples chain (one of the many things), is that the resorts are all smaller than the mega resorts in places like the Mayan Riviera or Punta Cana. You don't have all those people everywhere and difficulties getting into restauarants, or long walks to the beach from the back of a mega resort. There are no trains to catch.
    CSA beach is busier than CTI or CSS because it isn't private, but you won't have those rows and rows of chairs lining the beach. We never had a problem finding a spot, particulalry in the sun. It's a beautiful beach in that the sand is white, and soft up from the water, and the water is shallow with a sandy bottom, great for swimming and floating. The beaches of CTI and CSS were not as nice, but being private made up for it in so many ways for me. Not kids passing by, or jet skis, or vendors. Sometimes I like those things on a vacation, but at CTI and CSS it was such a nice change not to have that. It was so peaceful and uncrowded. However, if you want some livelier action the pool bars often had activites going on.
    We loved CSA, mainly for the beach, but being at CSS with the lush surroundings was a true tropical experience. We loved the paths through the property, with random hammocks or seating, and even a hot tub tucked away. Often we'd walk and not see another person. It was truly tropical and romantic. However, at night there was always something going on. The beach party is fun, as is the gala, plus there's always some entertainment at the Balloon Bar patio, with a band and dancing, or casino night. If you're still looking for more you can always go into Ochi.
    Take it from someone who is a self-proclaimed beach connoisseur, lol, you can't go wrong with any Couples resort. I've been on some extremely gorgeous beaches around the Caribbean, including Turks and Caicoss, Grand Cayman, Barbados, Cuba and St John. So the Mayan never interested me with it's rocks, and "whales" for all the erosions problems, man-made or enhanced beaches, and way too many people.
    Sure, CSS isn't the best sand quality, and there is some seaweed in the water, but it's not man made, it's calm and great for floating, the wonderful staff keep it immaculate all the time. Overall the whole Couples experience makes up for what the beach lacks. Trust me, I have researched every destination we haven't been to, or compared those we have, and Couples and Jamaica keeps drawing us back.

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    OMG jamaicamecrazy.......I have been to the Cayman Islands twice, Turks, Barbado's and many other places but OMG I have been to St. John (US Virgin Islands) and loved that trip and have drempt about the day that I can go back there but I have a new destination that I must go to before I go back to St. John and that would be Couples resorts and going there in December of 2012! Sorry but when I say you said all of those places and then you typed in St. John, I just had to chime in and say hello!!

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    Jamaicamecrazy, thanks for the info! BTW the GOM (gulf of mexico) is in the southeast USA particulary Alabama & Florida panhandle. Water clarity is more of a concern than the sand. I was hoping to hear that CSS is clear, maybe not as clear as CSA but pretty

  10. #10


    Hi Andie,
    We also live on the Florida gulf coast in Navarre. If the beach is really important to you, I have to say you would be disappointed in CSS. It's our favorite resort but we don't go for the beach since we have such a gorgeous one at home. We have never stayed at CSA but the resort looks gorgeous from the beach and the beach and water there are great!

  11. #11



    You may understand my concern then considering you live on the gulf & already have such a gorgeous beach to go to. My question isn't particualry being dissapointed in the beach at CSS but more is it a different kind of beautiful than the GOM or will I be wishing I had saved money and just gone to the gulf instead. I'm wanting a true tropical, out of the US vacation and hoping I can find that at CSS but def. not wishing I had spent money somewhere else. Since the beach isn't important to you at CSS, what keeps you going there instead? Just curious!
    Thanks for your info!

  12. #12


    Hi Andie, sorry it took so long to reply! You have a point. The reason I recommended CSA is because the beach at Negril is exactly what I picture when I think of the perfect Caribbean beach. Long beach walks, gorgeous water... But our beaches don't look much different from that especially when the wind is coming from the north and the gulf lies really flat. CSS is a very special place. It is built into the side of the hill...something we definitely don't have here. lol. It is so beautiful and very lush. I haven't seen a picture yet that does it justice. You pretty much have to see it for yourself. There are very many little private places tucked away. It takes a week just to find them all! Also, being your first trip to Jamaica, you would probably want to do the Dunn's River Fall trip that is included. It gives you a different view of the island. So, I changed my mind. Since you want something different than GOM, I recommend CSS!

  13. #13


    We've been to both places. We are also Florida people...
    The beach at CSS--smaller, almost in a "cove". Quiet, not public. Sand is not as fine. Water is clear, but because the sand is not as fine, it stirs up easier. The bottom has seaweeds, but I just hop on my float over them. There is also places further up where you can enter the water by stairs on the rocks--very un-Florida like.
    The beach at CSA--fine, packed sand. Crystal clear water, no seaweeds. Much longer, more room. Public--so vendors and musicians walking up and down (we kinda like). The beach is big so we have never felt crowded, even when there at full capacity. Calm water, float for hours.
    Other big differences we noticed at CSS vs CSA:
    Rooms--CSS room was much bigger, we liked it better.
    Food--Although food was of same quality and all very good, CSS lacks the variety of CSA especially at breakfast. Although CSS has room service which was nice for lunch. We only did a shorter stay at CSS, but I think I would have gotten bored with the food if I was there a whole week.
    Price--Keeping in mind we were satisfied with our stay overall and we also saved some money going to CSS, we are double booked to return to CSA. If we wanted a change and weren't going a week, we would return to CSS in the future.

    They are different, but I think you'll be happy either way but we prefer CSA. If we had never been CSA, we wouldn't have even noticed the food variety thing.

  14. #14


    The beach at CSS does not compare to CN or CSA, you would be disapointed with the beach. CSS is very nice and romantic.

  15. #15


    Sorry, I seemed to have lost track of this thread.
    Andie, did you decide?
    The water clarity at CSS was good when we were there. You could float and see the bottom no problem. From our room (when the sun was shining bright in particular), all the colours from the patches of sea grass or coral made it even more stunning.
    Thing about water clarity is that weather effects it. At CTI it was windy and the water wasn't so clear. But I have seen the photos and know it can be! When we were at CSA it was perfect... but I know it can get a bit murky with bad weather

    btw, soonerfans, when we were on St. John for the day (from a cruise), we went to Trunk Bay. Yes, it was beautiful indeed, but the water was quite high, so hardly any beach. Soon the weather changed and the wind came up just a bit, and the waves increased, and the visibility was gone. The waves crashed into the shore right up to the trees. People were scrambling, grabbing stuff and getting up into the bushes. The guards stopped people from snorkeling. Yet the sun was shining. It was Jan and not storm season. Perfect example of a gorgeous beach affected by weather. It happens.

    Andie, you will love whichever you choose.

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    Jamaicamecrazy, you do a beautiful comparison of the two resorts. I also had that same decision to make, and decided to do a split stay for our upcoming August trip. Since my husband broke his leg water skiing at CSA, it kind of has a negative memory thing for us, but we have found the Couples AI's to be the best we have ever experienced. This August we are staying at CSS for 4 nights for romance and beauty, then 7 nights at CN for the beach. I will post a review at the end of August comparing the two beaches, as the beach is very important to us as well.

  17. #17


    We have been to CSA twice, and CSS 3 times, and for us, CSS has stolen our hearts. It is a stunningly beautiful resort that just "oozes" romance at every turn. No, you cannot walk the beach for miles, but the beauty of Sans Souci, in our opinion, far outweighs that factor. Here is a link to some of our pictures from CSS, but as "cakes" said, pictures don't really do it justice.

    Also, we have satyed there for 10 days, and found the menu choices quite varied (they change throughout the week), and we don't eat any seafood, so I don't think you'd have a problem with the food at all, in fact, we found the food at CSS to be better overall than at CSA!

  18. #18


    Still have not decided. My mind changes every day. I may just have to pick straws to pick out which resort.
    Jamaicamecrazy- I have noticed while looking at previous guest photos at CSS most of the photos show overcast skys and not so clear water, so I can see where weather affects the clarity of the ocean. I just want a completely different experience than the beaches i'm accustomed too but I also am very big on crystal clear water so it's a hard choice. I know i'll be happy at either resort so i'm pretty sure picking straws is my best bet, lol! Thanks everyone for your suggestions and advice!

  19. #19


    CSA is also real close to the cliffs and provides another wonderful aspect of watching the sunset there hanging out at three dives for some kerk chicken etc....
    Randi & Sherri
    18x CSA repeaters
    1x CN

  20. #20


    If you still haven't decided, just wanted to chime in and agree with the other poster who wondered why you aren't considering CN, it sounds like it would meet most of your criteria. We love the CN beach because it is so wide (CSA is longer, but more narrow) and felt like we had more room to spread out. But, as others have said, you can't go wrong with any of them!

  21. #21


    We too are from the GOM (Mobile, AL) and have been to both resorts. The beach at CSA is more comparable to the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico than the beaches at CSS. However, it is still very different. The water is much more calm and clear and the sand is much more fine (more like flour than sugar) than what you experience at the Gulf. The beach is never as crowded or loud as those along the Gulf either, especially at CSA where the crowd is adult couples only. You could walk for miles or sit in a single spot and soak in the exquisite nature of Seven Mile is truly spectacular!

    CSS is also a beautiful resort and has a gorgeous main beach (never went to Sunset Beach), which is very different from those along the GOM. The water was pretty clear and very calm and the veiws were spectacular. We found though, that while we were at CSS we spent a lot more time in the pool than on the beach. The trek out into the water is not as enjoyable for us as it is at other beaches. CSS does have a good bit of seaweed and the bottom in many areas has more of a riverbed consistency than what you would expect at the beach (at least it did while we were there).

    If you are looking for a gorgeous beach resort that is completely different from what you would experience along the Gulf, I would have to recommend CSS. However, if you are looking for a beach that is somewhat similar to what you are used to, only MUCH more relaxing and even more beautiful, I would have to recommend CSA. It's a hard choice to make for sure and I don't think you will be disappointed either way, but CSA is the way for us.

    Mark & April
    CSA - 06/03 (Honeymoon), 07/08, 10/09, 10/11, 5/14
    Secret Rendezvous - 11/05 (CN), 06/07 (CSS), 12/12 (CTI)

  22. #22


    I also live in Florida. I chose CSS for the different landscape that we do not have at home.

  23. #23


    Quote Originally Posted by Andie00845 View Post
    Still have not decided. My mind changes every day. I may just have to pick straws to pick out which resort.
    Jamaicamecrazy- I have noticed while looking at previous guest photos at CSS most of the photos show overcast skys and not so clear water, so I can see where weather affects the clarity of the ocean. I just want a completely different experience than the beaches i'm accustomed too but I also am very big on crystal clear water so it's a hard choice. I know i'll be happy at either resort so i'm pretty sure picking straws is my best bet, lol! Thanks everyone for your suggestions and advice!
    Maybe if it's crytal clear water you are after then you need to google that and find where in Jamaica it is you need to go. I would hazard a guess that this may be difficult for anyone to guarantee on a daily basis but you may just get lucky at any of the resorts. CSS is amazing but we are all now scared to recommend it because you seem intent on getting that clear blue water. We were at CSS for 14 nights last November. We had cloud all day nearly every day and we never snorkelled once (we took our own equipment as we love to spend hours in the water watching the fish do their thing) because it was pointless. However, we loved it so much there we have booked another 14 nights starting 26th November. YAY!

    Good luck with your dilemma.

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