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  1. #1

    Default CTI April 2018 Review

    We visited Tower Isle on a day pass in December 2016 when we were staying at Couples Sans Souci. We had avoided it because it was more like a hotel but we were really taken by the 1950ís hotel feel so decided to give it a try for our next Couples visit. We are glad we did.
    While we enjoyed CSS, there were a few drawbacks which were addressed by Tower Isle. Firstly, CSS is not situated directly on the ocean so you donít get the same kind of crashing ocean noise that you get at CSA or CTI, especially as the rooms at CSS are set back farther from the beach than either of these places. Coming from a landlocked part of North America, this is something we missed after staying at CSA. Secondly, the stairs at CSS are an issue. We had no real problems negotiating them, but you did have to think more carefully about how you are planning out your day. Finally, the extra restaurants at CTI are welcome as, while the restaurants at CSS are fine, there is way more variety at CTI (more about the restaurant at CTI later in this review).
    Now on to our stay at CTIÖ We booked an Ocean Junior Suite that was located on the second floor of building 3. There were no obstructions so we were able to look out at the pier, the ocean and the island, with no problem. The room is not luxurious but suited us just fine. It was spotlessly clean when we arrived and kept that way throughout our trip. The bed was harder- which suits us so we loved it. This room has both a shower (point the head towards the wall and you wonít get water flowing out) and a Jacuzzi tub (which does fit two!). If youíre tall enough you can sit in the Jacuzzi tub and look out at the ocean. Unfortunately, I couldnít manage this very easily - but my husband could! The water flow was excellent and there was one morning where we couldnít get the water very hot but the rest of the time was okay. The suite was a good option for us as my husband doesnít sleep very well so he could leave bed and work on his vacation photos.
    The beach at CTI is lovely. Unlike CCS the sand is proper beach sand- soft enough to squish your toes through. Itís not particularly large but there was always space. There are no palapas so if you require shade you will have to do what we did and move around. This might be a problem if the resort is full, but this didnít seem to be the case when we were there. We went out to the island a few times. We like to be on our own so we sat under the pavilions. Beware- this will result in being windblown and possibly splashed upon by the waves hitting the rocks (reef?) around the island. We generally went out in the morning and left around noon when the winds really picked up. The wind wasnít as much of an issue on the beach however and there wasnít a day where island trips or water sports were completely banned because of it. The water was quite clear so you could easily see any rocks (which there werenít many of) and it was lovely warm! We spent some time around the main pool also, as it was quiet. We didnít venture down to the swim up bar. Red flag service was available and offered but, quite frankly, it was good for us to get out of our loungers and walk around so we didnít bother waiting for it all the time (yes there are two flights of stairs but really itís not a big deal).
    We didnít do a lot of activities but my husband did go snorkelling a few times and enjoyed it. There were 3 locations that they take snorkelers to and he saw two of them. Funnily enough, he saw way more fish on the one afternoon trip than he did on the morning trips, despite being told that the opposite was true. Next time, I think he will get his PADI and go on the scuba trips. We also took in the rum class and the wine class and enjoyed those too (we even won a taste of 21 year old Appletonís). The only other thing we did was a coupleís massage which was the best Iíd ever had.
    We enjoyed all the restaurants as well as the special dinners, but our favourite was the Verandah which served the most Jamaican inspired food. It also had a menu that changes more often than Eight Rivers being the same only on Thursday and Fridays (closed for the special event dinners). Eight Rivers was also good for finer dining. The only thing I wish about both of them is that there was a little more time between courses- but I know some people want their food to come quickly. Bayside was our least favorite as far as food goes, but the location canít be beat as you are literally dining above the water. We had no complaints with the quality of food Ė rather itís only that we eat a lot of different Asian cuisines already so it wasnít as unique to us. We frequented the grill often as you could get patties there- but they also serve jerk sausage and jerk burgers which are also delicious. The veggie bar was always good for a healthier meal or snack, and offered a changing selection of iced teas and juice blends that were fun to try. The Patio had great breakfast and lunch selections but we never ate there for dinner.
    Both gala nights were good. Unlike CSS or CSA, the majority of tables were for two so you didnít have to dine with strangers. Do go to the rooftop martini bar as the view is amazing- but get there early as the martinis take a while to mix! The Managerís Cocktail Party on the terrace is also excellent- the hors d'oeuvres are definitely worth it, plus they always have an interesting cocktail to serve. The terrace, by the way, was our favourite place to sit for pre or post dinner cocktails!
    Now as to service, I would say that we received the best ever service at CTI. Everyone was welcoming and pleasant. A few staff members went out of their way to please us: Ereca at the Verandah brought my husband a lion fish appetizer even though we werenít dining in the restaurant that night, and was generally just incredibly warm and welcoming. One night at The Verandah we asked for Spanish coffees instead of regular dessert and they had to figure out how to make them. They were very passable, but the next night at Eight Rivers they surprised us with two beautiful, PERFECT Spanish coffees! So thanks also to Janelle and Antoinette. Dominic proceeded over the wine class and he is highly entertaining. The bartenders were also great. We like to end our evenings with a double brandy and drank them out of Remy and Courvoisier both, leaving Hennessyís Ė but when they got Courvoisier in again they let us know and poured us generous servings right away!
    In summary, I think we have a new Couples favorite. We still love the beach and water at CSA, but the smaller size of this resort along with the private beach make up for any short comings. The nicer beach and less rocky water mean that CTI allows us to enjoy the ocean more so, while there are many wonderful things about CSS (the expansive grounds, as well as the size and lack of wind at SSB) , we will return to CTI first.

  2. #2

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    Wow, thanks for taking the time to write this up. These are the type of posts that made this message board great. For those of us "landlocked" souls and with no trip planned we are able to spend 5 vicarious minutes at one of the resorts.

  3. #3

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    Thank you Cinnyvs for the post. We are going there very soon; do you have any tips or wisdom to pass on (other than the many in your informative post)? Like things you don't feel were worth the time or that you regret not doing? (ex. signing up for dinner reservations, Dunn's River, water sports, etc.)

  4. #4

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    The one thing I regret not doing is going on a hobie cat. But it was so hard to get the desire to plan anything!
    The other thing I would mention is that we liked to go down to the end of our at sunset or after dinner and sit on the longest drinking wine or brandy.

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