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    Default Review of CN - April 2018 (It's a long one!)

    We just returned from our first visit to Couples Negril (third visit to Couples (2014 - CSA & 2016 - CSS).
    For each of these trips we celebrated a wedding anniversary, this was our 24th. We brought another couple with us (they also came w/ us to CSS in 2016). Sorry it's long but I know when I'm reading these things, it's nice to feel like I'm really getting a thorough review (especially for newbies).
    Arrival /Check In
    We arrived on Friday 4/20/18 and the airport was relatively busy, we waited in line for customs for about 30 minutes (the line looks worse than it is and we didn't spend the extra on Club MoBay).
    The shuttle driver was drab (I don't think he spoke one word the entire time except to tell me to shut the window (I was getting car sick so was hoping for a little air). That pissed me off, but I shut the window and my mouth. It rained for much of the drive so I just tried to relax until we got to Couples. There was only 6 of us on the shuttle and we did not stop 1/2 way.
    Check in at CN was about what we've experienced in the past. A "welcome home" and a cool towel and paperwork to start the process. No problems at all.

    Room
    Ah, the room debate! I know this is a hotly debated topic and a very individual choice but for us, we personally feel the room makes a huge difference in our stay so we chose to budget and upgrade to a GARDEN SUITE #9301. Though this was a garden suite, we had a nice view of the garden/pond and a (very) partial view of the ocean.
    Our travel agent already requested a Suite on a high floor and we know that is not guaranteed, but that's exactly what we got. Our friends were in the next building over on the corner just down one floor so that was fun we could see each other from our balconies (they were in Room 8207 and it was equally as lovely). The bathrooms in the suites are to die for. HUGE bathroom w/ a soaking tub and separate shower area, double vanity, make up mirror and counter, closet and toilet. The hammock on the balconies are SUCH a great touch, we spent lots of time in the hammock reading, talking, etc. The bed is comfy and faces the windows so it was nice to lay around in the afternoons when we needed a break from the sun and just lay in bed and watch the palm trees, birds, etc.

    Main Beach / Au Natural Beach
    I won't get into the main beach too much, it's everything you've all read a million times, it's GORGEOUS. The calm, warm most beautiful blue waters coupled with the soft, white sand. Enough seating in the sun or the shade, whatever your preference. Not as much water sport noise or foot traffic as CSA which was nice. Drink service on the main beach was GREAT - much better than what we had at CSA.
    I will mention (because it could matter to some) that our Building (9) ends w/ the start of the Au Natural beach so while it was not an issue for us, you could see naked people on "their" beach if you chose to look. One thing we noticed was each day there was a group that would converge on the hot tub at the AN beach and were extremely loud & obnoxious for several hours. They would die down after dinner and luckily were only there a couple days overlapping with us. At CSS the nude beach was very far from us so it was a non issue. I will say though, there was one guy from Building 8 that would walk around naked MULTIPLE times per day. I never saw him cover up - he would walk the entire length of both buildings to get to his room fully nude. It got a little creepy because he would walk slowly and deliberately in front of all the buildings looking at anyone who was outside, many times per day and it got plain old. There was a wedding that took place in the garden with lots of people and he strolled by naked as could be. I think someone reported him at that point because he was truly inappropriate. We mentioned it upon check out too - hopefully the staff can patrol some of that and corral it in if it happens again. Im far from a prude but c'mon dude.

    Smoking
    I know, I know, another big ole debate and Im not looking for a fight, this is OUR OPINION and my review so I'm putting it out there in case others are interested. There was quite a few smokers in buildings 8 and 9 and we smelled smoke often while on our balcony. I don't even know what the policy is (and I don't really care) but I wish there was a building that was designated as smoking so non smokers could request to not be in that building. It wasn’t a deal breaker, but trying to enjoy coffee with smoke wafting up was a little yucky. We requested a high floor and that's what we got - maybe (in thinking about it) next time if we did a lower floor, maybe it wouldn't be as noticeable. Again, not complaining, just wanted to let people know. Also, there is no smoking at the pool (only one small spot) but on the beach it seemed there was quite a bit of smoke smell - a turn off to us, but I realize not to all.

    Island Time
    I'm putting this in for newbies - if you've never visited an island, you must be aware there is something called "Island Time" - I've noticed this in other places we've gone. For example I ordered coffee/cream and banana bread to be delivered to the room about 6:30am and it arrived closer to 7:30am (not a big deal at all, I actually expected it) but for someone who expects that kind of thing to be spot-on prompt, you need to know before you go so you're not disappointed.

    Entertainment
    We are admittedly early to bed and early to rise. The nightly entertainment in the Cassava Terrace went until about 10:15pm and was very loud (and they strangely played a LOT of the same stuff night after night - it was a little annoying to hear Red Red Wine and The Gambler so many times to be honest). We knew what time it would end and we could then sleep, watch a movie, take a bath, etc in the quiet, but to have the same band play a lot of the same music for 5 nights did get a little old). We didn't do a lot of the nightlife stuff - but we did enjoy the piano bar (on the night we went, he did not play piano, only guitar and sang which was great). We are not partiers and don't go on vacation to do so.
    One of our most favorite activities was snorkeling and sailing (hobie cat) - we did it several times and it was enjoyable and beautiful. Highly recommended to take advantage of the water sports. We have also always done a private catamaran cruise for our Anniversary - we chose not to this time because it didn't fit into the schedule and the weather did not cooperate so we skipped it. I regret that a little because our private cruise at CSA was the BEST memory we'll always cherish. We did not (have never) done the included cat cruise w/ the group. I know I've heard it a million times people say it's amazing. I just don't think it's for us for a few reasons. This could be argued all day and I'm sure we're "missing out" but to each his own
    I would also say to take advantage of the complimentary photo session! Some of our very best laughs and memories were with THEODORE and NICKESHA from the photo department. They are both amazing, funny and delightful - we had a blast w/ them on our photo session (we also did some group shots w/ our other friends). Highly recommended.

    Food
    We ate at Lychee & Otaheite one time during our 5 nights. Both were great and would recommend. We also had dinner at Heliconia one night (though did lunch at the Grill a lot). The Cassava breakfast was fine (though the scrambled eggs were always so darn runny). The Veggie Bar has AMAZING sweet potato chips and dips you simply must try. I was always excited to see what kind of "drink of the day" they had. A nice change from alcohol all day to be honest! No complaints w/ food or variety.

    Spa
    The Oasis spa was nice, though I have to say NOTHING will ever compare to our massage at CSS (being in a hut over the water and listening to the waves and birds was the most amazing experience). We had a reflexology massage in the spa and an 85 minute swedish massage in the treehouse. Both were great, but the treehouse (extra $10 pp) was a nice treat.

    FINALLY, My Summary
    By this time you're wondering if this review will ever end. I'm sorry it got long, but wanted to be all inclusive (lol).
    When I think about CN compared with CSS and CSA a few things come to mind…
    1. I was surprised that CN is called the most "intimate" of all the resorts, we thought CSS was much more intimate personally.
    2. Our Room Choice (Garden Suite) at CN was ABOVE ALL the most luxurious and comfortable room we've had - we are glad we splurged and we'll do it again in a heartbeat.
    3. Compared to CSA - we liked CN because it was less "busy" as far as noisy beach vendors but yet there were a few (unlike CSS which only has a couple vendors who visit like once per week). Though I felt that at CN, the vendors were really quite pushy when I just wanted to browse.
    4. I felt that the staff was most friendly at CN - though anytime we've been to Couples, we love the staff..
    5. We will be going back to Couples I'm sure in another 2 years -- I have no idea if it will be CSS or CN but I think those are our two top choices.

    If you have any questions or want to see photos, please email me at emrsg@yahoo.com.

    Thank you for taking time to read my review!

  2. #2

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    Another great review. By great I mean thorough. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

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