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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    This discussion is insidious. I try (and almost always succeed) in not letting the behavior of others impact my enjoyment of the moment. I am happy to report that I have never had a group negatively impact a single moment of my time at any Couples resort...I wish I could say the same for everyone else.

    Perhaps worse than having a group negatively impact your trip is letting a second hand experience compromise a Couples trip not yet taken. It's sort of like thinking "it might rain...maybe we shouldn't go." (and that there is just crazy talk )

    Keep the faith, Gatekeeper.
    It happened to us at another popular resort in Negril, we have not been back.

    If that ( large group takeovers) happens while we are at Couples we will look somewhere else. We do not go in the Spring and Summer months so we usually do not see the destination weddings that have been discussed in this thread. We were not crazy about Mexico either after about 10 trips there compared to Jamaica but we found a gem about 2 years ago south of Cancun. Will probably try CSS again next year, have not been there since the renovation to the beachfront suites.

  2. #52

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    Bert, isn't "letting a second hand experience compromise a Couples trip not yet taken" what reading message boards and reviews is all about. How else can you evaluate a resort you have not visited yet but by the experiences and comments from others that have been there, both good and bad?


    And unfortunately, the behavior of others can negatively impact anyone's trip. Not ruin it, but make it less than it would be otherwise. We had one bad experience in 4 trips. That will not keep us from returning. But if it were 3 bad experiences in 4 trips, it just might get us looking at other alternatives. A big part of the charm of Couples Negril is the vibe we get at the resort. If that vibe were to change in a negative way, then the experience is lessened, and maybe lessened enough to not be worth the price.

  3. #53

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    "Everyone comes to Couples for [his or her] own reasons. Some come to get drunk, others just to mellow out on the beach. It's a very large beach and quite easy to find a quiet place, away from the drunks. If you can't tolerate others, perhaps Couples is not the place for your vacation." Note the grammatical correction ;-).

    We do not enjoy the large groups. In the past, Couples did have policies limiting the number of guests that were allowed to book as a group, but these do not seem to be in place anymore. We are able to work around them when necessary. Mostly, we try to book around them instead.

  4. #54

    Default Doing some serious thinking

    Quote Originally Posted by Nan View Post
    "Everyone comes to Couples for [his or her] own reasons. Some come to get drunk, others just to mellow out on the beach. It's a very large beach and quite easy to find a quiet place, away from the drunks. If you can't tolerate others, perhaps Couples is not the place for your vacation." Note the grammatical correction ;-).

    We do not enjoy the large groups. In the past, Couples did have policies limiting the number of guests that were allowed to book as a group, but these do not seem to be in place anymore. We are able to work around them when necessary. Mostly, we try to book around them instead.
    I was about to book our next trip to CN (our 11th) when I asked my wife she said lets do some research on another place. Remember last time?
    Last time there was a loud and large group there that took over everything. In 10 days we only went in the pool bar once because they were so rowdy. But our biggest disappointment was Otahite....that is usually our romantic night. Well when you have a group of about 16 people who have been drinking all day trying to talk (yell) above each other it REALLY ruins the atmosphere. Most nights we couldn't even get in the piano bar....
    We MIGHT give CN another try but this has happened on a certain level the last two times we've been there so it may be time to move on.....very sad !!!
    Captain Jim
    "I will grow old....
    But I won't grow up"

  5. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nan View Post
    We do not enjoy the large groups. In the past, Couples did have policies limiting the number of guests that were allowed to book as a group, but these do not seem to be in place anymore. We are able to work around them when necessary. Mostly, we try to book around them instead.
    Book around them?? Are you able to find out if larger groups are booked before doing so yourself?

  6. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatekeeper View Post
    Book around them?? Are you able to find out if larger groups are booked before doing so yourself?
    There are no organized groups that I know of going to CSS until November 1.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by novastar View Post
    There are no organized groups that I know of going to CSS until November 1.
    Resorts claim that large groups are not a negative factor for the other guests, yet they refuse to disclose when these groups are booked in. If they are as they say, not something to be avoided, why the secrecy??

    As I see it there are pros and cons when a resort books large groups...

    Pros

    - brings in revenue (albeit at discounted rates...those who book as couples pay the going rate)

    Cons

    - they disturb people who want to enjoy the (as advertised) quiet and intimate properties
    - they make a mess of pool decks and beaches
    - they drink in excess and become loud and overbearing
    - they intimidate and overwhelm staff
    - they turn dining areas into (unofficial) private venues where "normal" guests have to endure huge tables and excessive noise
    - they party in rooms late into the night and keep others awake

    This list comes from my experience on several cruises (we no longer cruise) and 10 days at an S resort (we no longer consider any S resort)...and one very unfortunate week at CSS with a group who had been displaced when another Jamaica resort closed.

    I sincerely hope that Couples understands that booking in groups that diminish the experience for their loyal repeat clientele, will in time, hurt the bottom line far more than simply telling large groups "no thanks".

    IMHO
    Last edited by Gatekeeper; March 28th, 2017 at 06:34 PM.

  8. #58

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    "I sincerely hope that Couples understands that booking in groups that diminish the experience for their loyal repeat clientele, will in time, hurt the bottom line far more than simply telling large groups "no thanks"."

    Preaching to the choir here on this point. My fear is that when another resort opens in Jamaica that has something similar to what SSB is, all the groups will flock there, and CSS will suffer because the groups would already have driven away many of their repeat guests, and they will have a failing resort, and end up closing, as so many other resorts who took the easy route and catered to groups did. Short sighted gains and long term pains.

  9. #59

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    I have seen these things happen in many businesses over the years. They are usually the result of hiring a consultant who drives these changes...the immediate effect is a spike in revenues and everyone in management cheers, when the longer term damage begins to come to light the consultant is gone and that money is wasted.

    I was in automative repair for 25+ years (shop owner) and I learned (the hard way) that it was better to leave a hoist empty than to work for break even. Doing cut rate work just damaged my reputation and left me working for a clientele that couldn't see anything beyond the price.

    Hopefully Couples sees the passion in these threads comes from the fact that we don't want to lose an experience we all value...I doubt that can be said about the groups.

  10. #60

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    Interesting topic. During our trip to CN in 2016 we experienced a group of 25 co-workers and their guest, who arrived mid-week and it really changed the dynamics of the resort. This group, almost all in their mid-twenties and single, had received this trip as their employers yearly bonus. I can't tell you I witnessed bad behavior because I didn't. What I did see was the dynamics change due to the herd mentality that a large group brings. Dinner? They arrived as a group and sat as a large group. Pool or beach volleyball? In short order they were the only ones playing. Pool or beach chairs, entertainment at night? You get the idea. I can't tell you I have the answer. I don't blame Couples for taking a 25 room reservation nor can I find fault with a couple who are upset because they spent their hard earned money for a relaxing vacation with their significant other and they didn't get it. Personally, I think whomever booked the trip for them did them a disservice by sending them there. In talking to them they clearly would have been happier at a different type of resort geared more to their interest, taste, and age.

  11. #61

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    Interesting that when a large group is booked they may, from time to time, be given exclusive access to a certain venue or beach thus shutting out those of us who travel as simply husband/wife, for that night. Yet groups are are not excluded from anywhere.

    Odd that when large groups (or weddings) are on the property often those paying full price can be under restrictions as to where we can eat or which beach may be closed...whereas the groups which pay a discounted price enjoy their time with no restrictions what so ever. It kinda feels like we are penalized for paying a higher rate and booking year after year.

    Frankly I detest all these marketing programs...I have been at my bank for almost 50 years, yet a new client gets a better interest rate or some other perk. Getting tossed off SSB last trip, and even though management did try hard to make it up to us, really left a bad taste in my mouth. In my mind some of my loyalty disappeared when we were told we weren't welcome on the beach after 3pm that day.

    I'm still on the verge of booking CSS for June...it may have been automatic in the past, and it may come to be yet, but I'm more conflicted than I may have been in the past.

  12. #62

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    Interesting thread... fact of the matter is, Couples can and should control group size in their restaurants. That's easily done by limiting the size of tables, by not "stacking" them for large groups.

  13. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatekeeper View Post
    Interesting that when a large group is booked they may, from time to time, be given exclusive access to a certain venue or beach thus shutting out those of us who travel as simply husband/wife, for that night. Yet groups are are not excluded from anywhere.

    Odd that when large groups (or weddings) are on the property often those paying full price can be under restrictions as to where we can eat or which beach may be closed...whereas the groups which pay a discounted price enjoy their time with no restrictions what so ever. It kinda feels like we are penalized for paying a higher rate and booking year after year.

    Frankly I detest all these marketing programs...I have been at my bank for almost 50 years, yet a new client gets a better interest rate or some other perk. Getting tossed off SSB last trip, and even though management did try hard to make it up to us, really left a bad taste in my mouth. In my mind some of my loyalty disappeared when we were told we weren't welcome on the beach after 3pm that day.

    I'm still on the verge of booking CSS for June...it may have been automatic in the past, and it may come to be yet, but I'm more conflicted than I may have been in the past.
    This is what happens at CTI with the island. Last year, it was closed for the entire day to prep for the wedding later that day that some big time wedding planner come in from the states. They did offer us SSB, but we were leaving at 2, so the logistics wouldn't work for us
    Vicky

  14. #64

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    My take on the groups thing.

    They travel to reconnect with friends and have a good time. The resort chain is advertised as Couples and our previous experiences were that it was mostly about that. Think of it this way. Previously it was like people were going on their Couples vacation like a date. On a date most of your focus is on your partner. You don't normally bring your friends on a date, because that changes what it is. Same thing if you're meeting your group of friends. It's not like a date, it's like a party.

    This is a change in atmosphere. I'm not saying they are bad people or having sex on the beach, they're just looking for a different experience than what many of us repeaters are used to/looking for. In any group (Multiplied greatly when alcohol is in the mix) voices become louder with any increase in numbers: That's a fact. Just that alone changes the atmosphere for every person who is not part of the group. Throw in different activities which always happen because of the nature of the crowd and you have big changes. Ask yourself -How many couples play a drinking game between the two of them? How many couples talk loudly at dinner (With just two people)? How many couples get rowdy and loud?

    I'm not saying anyone is a bad person, I'm saying large groups bring different expectations to the Couples experience than what many of us repeaters have had for years now. Large groups are NOT going to Couples for the advertised Couples experience. Nobody who is part of a 12 person group is going to Couples for a romantic vacation with their partner, they are going to be with their friends. Two different things.

  15. #65

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    Well said. The issue is not trying to demonize anyone, but the vibe of the resort is totally different when its a party, not a haven for couples. I do understand why the resort does this (they are in business to make money, bless them) but if this happens a lot, I suspect that we'll look elsewhere.

    Next March is our 11th trip to Couples!

  16. #66

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    We are going to CSS in a couple of weeks. While I hope we don't let a group, if there is one, ruin our trip, I will be disappointed if some of the activity that has been reported in this thread occurs. We have enjoyed Couples due to what it is advertised as. A place for a couple to enjoy a romantic experience. I don't feel that groups partying and being loud allows for that experience. I just wish people would be considerate of others and try to respect all people at the resort.

    I know others have said they will look for some where else to go if things continue the way they see it going. But where else can you get what Couples offers (or at least use to most of the time)?

    I really wish management would comment on this thread. I know some don't think it is an issue, but it seems like it is to me.
    Last edited by kycouple; April 6th, 2017 at 02:24 PM.

  17. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inthesun View Post
    Well said. The issue is not trying to demonize anyone, but the vibe of the resort is totally different when its a party, not a haven for couples. I do understand why the resort does this (they are in business to make money, bless them) but if this happens a lot, I suspect that we'll look elsewhere.

    Next March is our 11th trip to Couples!
    I just booked our 6th visit in June 2017...and if groups become a big issue for us we will also start looking elsewhere. I really really hope it doesn't come to that.

    This is our first ever non-winter trip south (30 in total). Retirement is great.

  18. #68

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    This is the latest review from Couples Negril:

    "The only issue we had, was during our second visit to Otaheite, a group of 10 came in and were very loud, and disrespectful of the other patrons. They were constantly moving between their two tables, talking loudly, not caring about anyone else. This bothered many in the restaurant including the staff. I'm sure if anyone from this group reads this review they won't recognize that it is about them though."

    3 more weeks for us, hopefully we won't have this experience.

  19. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfinch View Post
    I'm sure if anyone from this group reads this review they won't recognize that it is about them though."

    Goldfinch, a day after the review you quoted is a review that says "We went with a group of 12 to celebrate a 50th birthday. The resort night life is not great, music is missing during the day. If you are looking for a more quite, peaceful and relaxing property this is definitely the place for you. We wanted a little more of a party atmosphere. " Coincidence?

  20. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    Goldfinch, a day after the review you quoted is a review that says "We went with a group of 12 to celebrate a 50th birthday. The resort night life is not great, music is missing during the day. If you are looking for a more quite, peaceful and relaxing property this is definitely the place for you. We wanted a little more of a party atmosphere. " Coincidence?
    I guess that answers the question as to whether Couples is discouraging groups...maybe they will read this thread and at least consider what groups can do to their reputation. Those 4+ Stars are hard to earn and easy to lose.
    Last edited by Gatekeeper; April 11th, 2017 at 06:34 AM.

  21. #71

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    No response to this thread from management but they were quick to respond to the "Royalton Now Open " thread.

  22. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by drbcwp View Post
    No response to this thread from management but they were quick to respond to the "Royalton Now Open " thread.
    The troubling thing about this is that we are being told that this board is only for discussion of Couples resorts. Well, neighbors can affect the quality of one's stay at your Couples Resort. I respectfully suggest that prohibiting discussion of people's concerns about this will end up being counterproductive in the long run.

  23. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iriemon View Post
    The troubling thing about this is that we are being told that this board is only for discussion of Couples resorts. Well, neighbors can affect the quality of one's stay at your Couples Resort. I respectfully suggest that prohibiting discussion of people's concerns about this will end up being counterproductive in the long run.
    I found that odd also. Couples management seem to be very sensitive to this. I guess it's their board, their rules, but it does limit some discussion that they may actually benefit from.

    Ultimately the customer is 100% in charge and gets that power from their wallet...and who they choose to open it to.

  24. #74

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    Am I the only one here that thinks it odd that this discussion is taking place on a message board for a resort company known as... Couples? Perhaps we should all... management and guests... pause to let that sink in.

  25. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Am I the only one here that thinks it odd that this discussion is taking place on a message board for a resort company known as... Couples? Perhaps we should all... management and guests... pause to let that sink in.
    Well, if we are going to play a game of semantics, it is "Couples", plural, so groups of couples getting together is right in the name! It isn't "Couple", singular

    But I feel that this is mostly just about setting expectations and managing the atmosphere. Unless they start allowing bachelor parties or sorority groups in for the most part these groups are still couples, they just coordinated beforehand (much like we do on the "meet-up" threads, BTW) and perhaps have a different expectation for a Couples resort than others. So they need to have the appropriate expectations (more intimate, less loud partying, more relaxation) and management need to enforce the atmosphere when it gets out of hand. But we also have to realize that the "honeymoon experience" of feeling like you and your partner are the only ones on the resort and everything is done just for you is also not a realistic expectation, despite the staff, in my experience, doing everything possible to convey that atmosphere. Couples is CLEARLY not a party resort chain, and anyone who has been to a party resort can easily tell the difference. But it is good to give feedback, especially if it is done on the spot while the offending behavior is still on display, so the management can make a determination of how they want their brand to be perceived.

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