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  1. #1

    Default "Which Couples resort is best?" - the definitive answer

    Come on, did you really think there was a definitive answer? But...

    I did a completely unscientific analysis (averaging the Trip Adviser reviews). I was surprised by the results:

    CSS: 4.57 stars
    CN: 4.50 stars
    CTI: 4.46 stars
    CSA: 4.43 stars


    That is a surprisingly tight band of results considering the multiple thousands of reviews (ranging from 2057 @ CTI to 3628 @ CSA). My view is that a 0.14 difference between the high score and low score can be attributed to noise in the data and that there is no "best" Couples resort. They are all equally high quality vacation destinations. I suspect that for those of us who have a strong preference of one over another it is likely based upon 1) first resort visited will always be special, or 2) the favorite resort has a special thing (AN, private beach, long beach, vendors/no vendors, staff & friends, etc.).

    I have mentioned before that after 6 CN trips, for trip 7 we are heading to CSS on December 12. While I have a bit of trepidation due to my familiarity with and love of CN, my own little analysis here tells me "relax...everything is irie!" (note: for first timers - read up on the resorts, think about the "special things" mentioned above that might sway you...then have confidence that regardless of choice, it's a good one! )
    Last edited by Bert; November 6th, 2014 at 05:11 PM.

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    See you there. We are heading for CSS for our 5th trip Dec 11th. We hope to hear about your thoughts of comparison between CN & CSS. We have been afraid of trying CN since we are so in love with CSS.

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    That's some of the best scientific analysis I've seen. Spot on. Our best has been CTI since 1995. April 2015 will be number 38. However, I can ease your trepidations concerning CSS. We did stay there once. Penthouse suite in D block. Unbelieviable. Gorgeous. And SSB is so much more than TI. We really loved it. The only thing we missed was the CTI staff. That counts for about 80% of our enjoyment. I know you will have a great time. After all, it's still Couples.

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    lotsastuff4u - we show up on December 12...see you there!

    Crabracer - i meant to include staff under the "special things" list...I will edit now. Thanks!

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    Very interesting indeed. The following is what I had written and posted some years ago as I have been asked over and over why we go to the same resort every year. This is what I found:


    Someone recently asked me why I keep coming back to the same resort ( for us it's CSS or nothing), and I actually didn't have an answer. I guess when you find perfection, it's nerve racking to think of spending my hard earned dollars to try something new and sitting there kicking myself and wishing I was back at my second "home". Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I have no sense of adventure. Maybe I'm biased. Who knows.
    So I thought I would take a look at what else is out there, and what others are saying about them. There's lots of places to go, things to do and see, but when I go on vacation, I want to relax with my wife, be pampered, be treated special, and do as little as possible. I want to let the daily grind just melt away with every lap of the ocean washing up on a beach.
    Being a self professed couples "junkie", I just had to see what else is out there.
    I looked for similar resorts, only in Jamaica to be fair, only all inclusive, to be fair, and some of the more popular resorts. I created a formula, taking the cost of each, based on a daily rate from a local travel agent, I checked the rating on tripadvisor, and formulated a factor, which considers what would be called bang for the buck. I figure that the cost of a vacation in comparison to what you get and how satisfied people have been, is very important to most. The rated number relates to value of what you get in comparison to what you pay. The higher the number, the more bang for the buck.
    I used the cost of the trip, including airfare from Toronto Canada, based on a 7 night stay, including taxes, in February, and divided it into a daily rate. Compared that rate to approval rate of that resort on Tripadvisor from prior guests, and divided it out.
    Yes I know that you have to take the ratings on TA with a grain of salt, but I only took into consideration the ratings of "excellent" and "very good".


    So here is a list of the Couples resorts and how they rate.

    Couples San Souci 15.5
    Couples Negril 14.7
    Couples Tower Island 14.9
    Couples Swept Away 11.2

    Now in comparison, here's how some of the competition stood up.

    "S" resort in Negril 5.2
    "S" resort in Ochos Rios 7.8
    "S" resort in Whitehouse 9.9
    "H" resort 13.7
    "S" resort called Wild Orchid 10.2
    "R" resort as in Carlton in Mobay 7.5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crabracer View Post
    The only thing we missed was the CTI staff. That counts for about 80% of our enjoyment. I know you will have a great time. After all, it's still Couples.
    Just returned from our 2nd trip to CTI and I would have to agree with you on this point. We are loyal CSA fans but really enjoyed talking with some of the long time staff members and returning guests at CTI. Everyone has their favorite, which is all good.

    Life is good

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    Seems like your connecting the dots if you don't put forth your mathematical equation.

    If your happy, thats all that matters. Your not "Crazy" nor "lack adventure" but perhaps you have "fear of regret".

    Its your vacation money so be happy where you spend it. If your looking for validation you'll get plenty of it on this thread.
    If your looking for new ideas, not so much to be had.

    Trip advisor holds little cred for me as the ratings are not consistant. By that I mean a guest can have a 5 star time, but if they found mold some where or the front desk person did not perform as quickly they take off points.

    Weather can also play a big role. If it rains, its depressing! Resorts look bad when it rains. Especially ones that are mostly oriented outdoors.

    Im sure you'll have a great time even if you have to climb steps. Since you know it has steps, and the resort is spread out, how can you or anyone give bad marks to it if you are wll informed.

    To me a resort rating should be based on execution of what it has. If you got the greatest pools but a fair beach location I won't go there. But lets say I am going to a destination wedding to a resort not of my choosing I will rate it based on how well it presents what it has.

    to some a vacation has to be "perfect". Thats great but when its not, is it "ruined"? I suppose only if you let it!!!!

    Enjoy your "Adventure" and we look forward to reading your comments!

    ......"You always take the weather with you!!!"
    Last edited by Bargamon; November 7th, 2014 at 10:02 AM.

  8. #8

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    Of course the very best Couples resorts is

    CN..Couples Negril..Oh,how I love typing these words.

    GO.RELAX.ENJOY CN and have a Salty Dog for me..Ruff Ruff

    Hugs from Tommywommy of 10 0 C
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  9. #9

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    I agree with Novastar for us CSS is the best , best value, best location ,best staff can't get any better see you soon CSS for our 4th time can't come fast enough
    Yam'on
    CSS 2012
    CSS 2013
    CSS 2014
    CSS 2015 soon come

  10. #10

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    I suppose I was intrigued by a resort situated in Bloody Bay. Once there, the beach, the sea, and the wonderful ambiance that is Couples Negril makes it home for me, the best? Pretty subjective, but all I need.

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    Hi Everyone -- I'm REALLY hoping you can help me! My hubby and I visited CSA this year in May (first time at Couples and First time in Jamaica). We really liked it and plan on going back in 2016 (I know.. it's so far away).. But I'm SO TORN between trying CN and CSS. My heart says CSS because it would be so different from CSA. We loved the beach, but didn't love the vendors. I think we'd like the less crowded more romantic feel of CSS, but my biggest concern is, the beach - is it sandy or rocky (when you wade into the water) and also, is the water calm like at CSA? My hubby and I floated for hours on the beautiful calm Negril side and that would be a deal breaker if we could not do the same at CSS. If anyone can help ease this for us, our decision will be made. We REALLY liked CSA, but I want to LOVE the resort for what we're spending. Thank you all so much for any help!

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    Regretfully the main beach at CSS is usually a tad rocky with some seaweed.Not the best area for gently floating around in.Does not compare to beaches at CN or CSA.CSS is by far the prettiest and most romantic of the four to us.

    Hugs from Tommywommy of 10 0 C

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    The one that's best???? It's the one I happen to be at...at any particular time! All good!

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    We returned on Sunday from our 2 week stay at C.N. We were also there for 2 weeks in June. Obviously we feel that is is more like "HOME" for us. We have stayed at C.S.S. which is our 2nd favourite and C.T.I. We loved Couples Barbados but the diving at C.N. was much more convenient. Over the years we must have slept at C.N. over 100 times.

    We travel a lot "Thank God" for our Health in our Retirement. Have visited many countries and stayed at many different types of Resorts. They are always compared to C.N. None of them have the fabulous staff, wonderful grounds, superb dive team and excelllent food. We love the Couples only concept.

  15. #15

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    My wife and I fell in love with CSS from the minute we saw the view from the lobby. We have been 2 times and going back in April. We have been thinking of Negril but have been reluctant to go somewhere different because if it ain't broke why fix it. I have been reading all the good things people say about CN and we are going to do a split stay to check it out. We will go to CN first then home to Sans Souci to celebrate my 50th 😂. I think we will love CN but want to go to CSS to see some of the staff we have become friends with. I have also checked other resorts and can't find any that are a better deal. Thanks to this message board it help to pass the time untill the next trip to Paradise with the love of my life.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_Bliss View Post
    Hi Everyone -- I'm REALLY hoping you can help me! My hubby and I visited CSA this year in May (first time at Couples and First time in Jamaica). We really liked it and plan on going back in 2016 (I know.. it's so far away).. But I'm SO TORN between trying CN and CSS. My heart says CSS because it would be so different from CSA. We loved the beach, but didn't love the vendors. I think we'd like the less crowded more romantic feel of CSS, but my biggest concern is, the beach - is it sandy or rocky (when you wade into the water) and also, is the water calm like at CSA? My hubby and I floated for hours on the beautiful calm Negril side and that would be a deal breaker if we could not do the same at CSS. If anyone can help ease this for us, our decision will be made. We REALLY liked CSA, but I want to LOVE the resort for what we're spending. Thank you all so much for any help!
    Just saw this and wanted to share my thoughts, even though the post is a bit old by now. We've been to CSA four times, and are planning our fifth trip next year. On our last trip, due to problems with flights, we ended up adding a few days (not a bad problem to have!). We took the opportunity to spend a few nights at CSS, and we are so glad we did. It was astoundingly beautiful and had most of the same features that we so love about CSA. The trip to Dunn's River Falls, while a bit touristy, was a once in a lifetime experience. I have absolutely no regrets and nothing bad to say about CSS.

    Having said that, I don't think we'll be back. We first fell in love with CSA for its beach, and CSS just can't compete on that one front. But to us, it's a pretty important one. We live in California, just four miles from a good beach, but when we stepped on that baby powder soft sand at CSA, that was it for us. And you just don't get that at CSS.

    CN is a bit different. It has far more in common with CSA, and the beach is quite comparable (I'll leave it to others to argue which is better). CSA has a much longer, narrower beach, while CNs is not as long, but deeper. Both have the wonderful Negril sand and the beautiful, crystal clear water. I have done the "Trading Places" to CN twice, and again, have virtually nothing bad to say about it. The one major difference I noticed applies only if you spend a lot of time taking advantage of CSA's fabulous Sports Complex, since CN does not have comparable facilities (though I imagine it has a perfectly nice gym and spa).

    The one other comment I will make, because there seems to be quite a pattern on these boards, is that for many (perhaps most), the "best" Couples resort seems to be the first one that person visited, regardless of which one it was. It seems somehow your first Couples resort spoils you for all other resorts -- even the other Couples properties. In any event, I'm sure you would love CSS, but for us, had we not been there as part of a split stay, we would have regretted not returning to our favorite. And while we love spending an afternoon at CN, we would likely wish we were down the road at CSA if we ever committed a whole trip there.

    Good luck in your decision, and sleep well knowing that whatever you decide, as long as you end up at a Couples resort, you've done virtually everything right.

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