Couples Tower Isle
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Travel Blogs from Ocho Rios
We were greeted with cocktails and warm washcloths for cleansing our hands at the desk. We were thrilled when got to our gorgeous garden view room with a king bed and a balcony overlooking a beautiful rainforest-like garden. The room was complete with towel animals and we left the french doors to the balcony open for most of the trip despite my (as …
We arrived in Jamaica safe and sound, after a pretty quick flight....only about 4 hours - faster than getting to Vancouver, which may have to be considered in any and all future travel plans! :)
We were up pretty late the night before and had to be up at 5am in order to get to the airport in time for our 9am flight - we got 4 hours of …
... a head covering and this lead to some confusion on all sides, and then another sister stood up and volunteered, without a head covering either.... then as the meeting progressed, more and more sisters took their turn without head coverings! I was shocked because we have had some very clear direction on the use of head coverings when interpreting, but I the brothers explained to me afterwards that only the main interpreter taking the lead wears one here, not ...
... restaurant to enjoy a full day of access and activities. The icing on the cake was that we were the only guests there the entire day, so the three of us (Diane, Grandma and I) were being waited on hand and foot by tens of staff members exclusively.
To start off our day, we were served ginger beer (non-alcoholic Jamaica specialty) on a private pier cabana overlooking the ...
... will take you up in a line where each person supports their neighbour in a long (hand held) chain. A word to the wise, while most expenses in Jamaica are tourist traps, shelling out money to rent water shoes is absolutely nessisary. The rocks are slimy and slippery and at times you are waist deep in pools of water while climbing. just make sure that you pay in Jamaican money (JBM) or expect to be taken advantage of.
The difficulty ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Couples Tower Isle Ocho Rios
Each of the past four years we have come ot couples. The food is excellent, especially the ocean side pasta bar. We play golf and the course is fantastic. The staff is exceptional and always make you feel special. As return guests the flowers in the room, the tee shirts, massage and champagne always make us fel special. We will be back next April... we can't wait.
Had a great time
In every vacation there are always a few glitches.
We had our share (plane 4 hours late, so no one to greet us)
No one told us we had to have formal wear to get into one of the restaurants
No notices telling us where the orientation meeting was.
Jamaica and Jamaicains are laid back.
Do not expect them to jump to your commands.
Treat them nicely and they will treat you like gold.
They especially like it when you say please and thank you.
Not to offend anyone, but, they knew we were Canadian because we said please and thank you (try it)
Soft ice cream at one in the morning sitting in a hot tub.
Who cares if they can't get the paperwork right.
Great staff HAVE FUN!!!!!!!
2nd Time October 2002 - Perfect Vacation
My husband and I were married at Couples Ocho Rios on October 12, 1998 and we just returned from our second trip there to celebrate our four year anniversary. We were there from October 12 - 19, 2002. Our first trip and our marriage in 98' were absolutely perfect. They upgraded us to a villa with our own private pool and also upgraded our parents. Our wedding was professional and exactly what we wanted. Our photos and video are beautiful.
We were thrilled to be going back this year. We actually booked the Couples Secret Rendevous package which gives you a much cheaper rate, but they decide where you are staying. They notify you a week before you leave which property you will be staying at. We were thrilled to be at Ocho Rios again. As repeat visitors you are entitled to several free perks, including free airfare from Montego Bay airport to the resort on your arrival. Unfortunately though, when you book Secret Rendevous you don't qualify for this one perk since your trip is already discounted so much. So, we took the bus which was a blast. We bought a six pack of Red Stripe at the airport (we brought a little cooler with us for this reason!) and we had the bus all to ourselves. The ride to Ocho Rios took us about 2 hours and we loved it! Our driver was fantastic - we were passing buses that left 15 minutes before we did! He was an incredibly skilled driver - it was exhilarating! He stopped when we needed to pee and needed more beer and was very friendly.
Upon arrival at the resort (we were the only people checking in which was nice), about 4 p.m., we were greeted with champagne (of course) and escorted to our room. We made a point to tell the front desk that we were repeat visitors and we were given a 2 room category upgrade. Our room was very spacious, on the top floor and had a fantastic ocean view.
I really could go on and on about our trip, but I will give the highlights. We felt very special -our first night when we returned from dinner there was an anniversary card and a bottle of champagne chilling in an ice bucket for us. (We drank it with breakfast in bed the next morning - yumm). We were given free massage coupons, free t-shirts, invited to the repeat guest dinner, etc. Each night when we got back to the room we almost began to expect a little present on the bed!
The food at Couples is really outstanding. The variety and the quality is really fantastic and the service is wonderful. The Le Gourmet restaurant is not to be missed (we ate here four times at least). Breakfast in bed is always nice, even if just for a pre- breakfast buffet snack! We didn't miss a meal. The joke became "Are you hungry" "Nope" , "Well, let's eat then!" The snack bar, the buffet, the top shelf drinks and it was all great. I am a vegetarian and I always could find plenty to eat. The wine and champagne were also very good - we drank wine, champagne and draft Red Stripe almost exclusively, but we did have the occasional "Jamaican special".
When we were in Jamaica tropical depression Marco created really thick clouds and some rain almost the entire week, but the staff went out of their way to keep guests entertained and happy.
Couples Ocho Rios has character and charm, and we love that about it. We love the sense of history, the piano bar with all the photos of the "old days", but if you are looking for a gleaming new resort, you may want to look elsewhere. We love it here though and would go back again.
The nude island is a huge draw for many, many people. Of the repeat guests that we met, about 90% of the couples come to Couples Ocho Rios for the island. Of course they loved the resort as well, but there is something special about that island (not that we would know!)
The beach is great - it's not Negril of course, but the water is lovely and the beach is private!
The two-person hot tubs secluded in the jungle with "occupied" signs are wonderful. We spent so much time there. They are romantic and very special.
I think Couples Ocho Rios is a resort where you either love it or you hate it. Things are not perfect at the resort (but are they ever), and if you expect perfection, perhaps you will be unhappy. But if you can overlook certain small things, have a positive attitude and see the little imperfections as charming as we do, then you'll really enjoy yourself. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation with lots of charm, character and atmosphere then I really think you'll love it here.
Don't get married at Couples!
We got married at Couples OR on May 2nd, 2002. We had read a lot of great reviews about the site and were not disappointed when we arrived there. The bus trip is not the best, and it's MUCH worse on the way back because you know you're going home. All in all we had a good time, food was excellent, service was okay. We were told our marriage certificate would arrive in the mail 4-6 weeks later. It did not. After repeated emails and phone calls, we found out that they had not recieved our $50 filing fee (to be paid in cash), so the papers were never sent through to be processed. Now, I know we paid the fee, I remember my husband doing so when we were picking out flowers. 6 weeks later I did not have the receipt for proof of payment - if you get married, make sure you get and keep a receipt. I would have thought that IF they didn't get the funds they would have let us know BEFORE we left the resort. Many more phone calls and emails later, they got back to us and told us that even though there was no proof of payment, without prejudice they would send it in for us and to expect it in 8-9 more weeks. Well, it's been another 9 weeks and still no papers, they don't respond to emails in a timely matter and getting Nadine the wedding coordinator on the phone is next to impossible. So it is nearing the end of the year and for tax filing purposes as well as insurance reasons we are probably going to have to get married legally again! So much for $3000 spent on our wedding/honeymoon.
Loved the Ambiance, Activity
My boyfriend and I stayed at Couples Ocho Rios in January 2002 and thought it was absolutely fabulous. This was my 3rd all-inclusive Caribbean vacation, and would definitely return to Couples Ocho Rios over the others.
The resort grabs you from the very beginning. I will never forget the moment I got off the shuttle bus and stepped into the lobby. It was open air on one side, with a wall of beautiful Palladian style windows/doors opening onto the crystal clear turquoise blue Caribbean waters. We were immediately greeted by someone who took our luggage, brought us champagne and brought us to a comfy seating area to fill out all the check-in paperwork.
Our room was great. The lock started sticking (because I stuck my sandy key in it.) And without even mentioning it (I assume the maid noticed when she came in to do cleaning), they fixed it.
The rest of the building(s) was very nice as well. It is an older structure, but that adds to the charm in my opinion.
The grounds were quite nice. The beach was pretty good as well, although not as nice as some others we've stayed at. And it was quite clean. Staff raked the beach every morning and picked up cups, etc. all day. Saw staff cleaning up the seaweed frequently as well.
For an all-inclusive the food was good. At any of the AI's I've stayed at, the food is bound to be a little on the institutional side.
The service was absolutely outstanding. We did encounter quirky things that some may view as poor service. I guess it's all a matter of perspective. Sometimes service was a little slow by American standards. Jamaica simply has a more relaxed pace than in the U.S. (Maybe we can learn something from them?) But for us, it just added to the relaxing experience.
Because it is an older building, there were renovations occurring while we were there, but they did absolutely everything to minimize the annoyance. For example, there was a guy on a ladder in the hallway working on lights on the ceiling. He saw us coming down the hall and, completely unnecessarily because the hall was more than wide enough for us to pass, he scrambled down the ladder, closed it up and moved to the side to let us pass and apologized.
The water sports staff was absolutely GREAT. Richard gave us sailing and windsurfing lessons. Talk about patience!! In addition to being an excellent instructor, he was so encouraging and patient!
Even as we were leaving, the maid stopped and asked us how our stay was.
We really loved that the main dining area was open air. Nothing beats starting your morning with a plate of fresh fruit and Jamaican coffee on a covered patio overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
We also liked that the nightly music, shows and disco were on a stage in the main dining area. It was nice to have the warm breeze blowing in as you watch the show or dance at the disco.
At the Bayside restaurant they had strolling musicians every night we ate there. Sitting at an open air restaurant jutting into the sea, waves crashing on the side of the structure, romantic live music, warm breeze... What could be better?
Some evenings just before sunset they had a saxophonist playing out on the pier, which just really added to the ambiance.
We just had the lowest priced category room, and when we got to our room a bottle of champagne was awaiting us.
Good to Know
Definitely a good place for couples looking for just the right mix of rest and relaxation and activity. Also, for us, the perfect balance of refinement without being stuffy.
Here, all-inclusive means all-inclusive. No limitations on the number of times you can eat at the al a carte restaurants. Instruction is included with all the watersports (except scuba). And no tipping really means no tipping. We’ve stayed at other all-inclusives where tipping was supposedly included, but it was absolutely expected once you got there.
While we were there, the clientele ranged greatly in age (but adults only, of course). We really enjoyed this. I had been to a resort where the clientele was generally closer to my age (30), but actually enjoyed the wider age group at Couples.
The nightlife is not quite as lively as another all-inclusive I've stayed at, but still enough for us. After the nightly entertainment the disco ensued for a couple of hours. Sometimes it stopped sooner if it cleared out earlier and vice versa. After that, there was still a regular bar and a piano bar with sing alongs until the wee hours.
The ride from the airport to the resort is long. (3 hours) So grab a Red Stripe (or a Pepsi if you don't drink), sit back and enjoy the trip. I viewed it as a good opportunity to see some of the countryside and the "real" Jamaica.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The perfect place for Couples
Feb. 2002 was our second trip to Couples Ocho Rios. The time spent this year was even better than the year before. With all th food, drinks and off site tours you can't go wrong. The staff is so friendly, they want to make your stay unforgetable. I can hardly wait to go back!
Well, we had very high hopes from what we had heard. I was recently told (after our return)that Couples had changed management. Unfortunate for us and future guests. After enduring the 3 hour bus ride from Montego Bay, we arrived. All went well for, mmmmm, 10 minutes. We were greeted with smiles and champagne. We had our bags dropped in the room and it was off to the bar. I placed an order for 2 drinks, they were served 20 minutes later. This service continued throughout the trip. We constantly had to get up from meals to get drinks from the bar (no one else was going to get them for us). The resort is beautiful and the food is slightly above average. The service was terrible. In addition, our sink in the bathroom was clogged, there was no CD player in the room as advertised and our cable did not work. We requested these problems be rectified on day #1. By the end of day #2, I found myself under the bathroom sink with a pocket knife. I also fixed the cable. Never did see a CD player, though. The day of departure we decided to have a nice breakfast. After having to ask for silverware, a coffee cup and a glass of water, I figured I wasn't going to complain about the lack of a placemat. Check out Turtle Beach, Barbados ...... you'll enjoy it...
Wonderful holiday - wonderful people
My husband and I went to Couples to get married in November 2000 and returned for our anniversary
November 2001 and will be back November 2002.
This hotel is the best I have ever visited (I have travelled a lot). Our wedding went without a hitch and
though there were a lot of weddings each couple said that they felt very special during the ceremony etc.
The staff are exceptional, always eager to help you enjoy your holiday. The range of restaurants is fantastic.
You can eat anthing from Burger and Fries to 5 star haute cuisine and anything in between.
When we returned after a year, the same staff were there and they all remembered who we were.
On the second visit we did not expect the trip to be as good (a case of looking through rose coloured glasses)
but in fact it was better second time around.
During July, 2001. My fiance' and I decided to finally tie the knot, and although expensive, decided to go to Couples in Ocho Rios. What a surprise upon arriving, that we had found paradise. I would have to say that all the amenities and grounds were perfect, just like the brochure, but the most impressive aspect was the staff and the other couples around us. I have never met such a friendly and outgoing group of people, they made the term "no problem" turn into a philosophy for my husband and I. Thank you Couples (and Wayne - the bartender) for making our honeymoon the best ever. See you next year!
A taste of paradise
My husband and I went to Couples for our 10th wedding anniversary. It was everything that we hoped it would be and more. We renewed our vows and they had a wonderful ceremony and reception in the gazebo. All of the staff were polite, friendly and they treated you like royalty. The rooms were lovely and I believe that they all have balconies. Try a suite or villa if you can afford it. The beach was breathtaking. They even had a nude island but we didn't visit it. The restaurants were exquisite and the food was excellent. We had a ball on the party boat and at the beach party. I went horse back riding for the first time. There are more activities than you will probably have time for. The trip to Dunns River Falls was very exciting. We are not drinkers but we drank virgin drinks throughout the day. I miss them now. The entertainment crew was very talented. They will teach you how to dance Jamaican style. The grounds are breathtaking too and you wil enjoy the private jacuzzi's and hammocks for two. We enjoyed the boat ride on the glass bottom boat. After visiting couples, I am now a lover of jerk chicken and curry chicken/lamb. I especially liked the fact that it was strictly for couples. I can't wait to go back!