Cathyg
(Traveler)
11/18/16 05:20 PM
67.142.162.24
Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

2016 Jamaica Nov 10-17 Couples San Souci

Thursday…. We got up at 4 a.m. and got ready for our 20th Trip back to Jamaica since 1998. We left the house at 4:45 a.m. for the airport. We checked in and went through security. For the first time since my knee replacement April 2015…I stayed in the pre-check line and did not inform them of the artificial knee and surprisingly I did NOT set off the machine with my new knee. They told us the last time that knees manufactured less than 2 years ago don’t set the machines off…So I was very happy about this.
We boarded our flight and left on time at 7:20 to Charlotte. The next flight also went without a hitch. We arrive Montego Bay at 2:15…went through immigration and checked in at the couples’ desk and boarded the bus. The ride to Couples San Souci took 90 minutes. We checked in and were given room A17…. second floor A building. Check in went very smoothly. I had prebooked dinner reservations on line and had chosen our repeater gifts. We got two t shirts as a second-time repeater and a $100 resort credit. We went to our room and they delivered our luggage. I unpacked. Our room was lovely…the view was great. They filled our bar. We set up our computer and hooked to the free internet which worked quite well all week. We changed and went to the martini bar at 5:30….and enjoyed Clive’s wonderful music. Then we went to dinner at Bella Vista at 7. We both had the Caesar salad. I had curried chicken and Steve had Jerk Beef. Both were good.
It had been a long day and we retired early.

Friday November 11…We got up at 6:30 and saved our chairs and had breakfast at Palazinni at 7:30. Steve had ham and cheese omelet and I had sausage and cheese omelet. There is still a line issue at the omelet station. While waiting to order an omelet, you block access to some of the buffet items. I think they need to put up some sort of barrier to define where the omelet line should stand.
It started pouring down rain but it only lasted about 45 minutes and the rest of the day was beautiful. We saw the new girl peacock. We are so very sorry the boy died.
We then went to SSB for the day. Clean towels arrived about 9:00 every day. The bar opened at 10. There were ALWAYS 2 bar tenders this year as opposed to one last year…so the line never got exceptionally long to get a drink. If you bring your own cups…the bartenders cannot fill them. They give you your drink in a plastic glass and you must pour it into your own cup. They will give you two at once. I am not quite sure what this rule is about but it seems kind of silly to me. We had lunch at SSB at 12:30. The buffet is nice but I wish they would serve salad at the buffet.
We went to the martini bar at 5 but it was closed. I did look it up and the martini bar is closed Tuesday during the beach party and Friday during the Gala. We went to the grand gala for dinner at 7. It was muddy but nice.

Saturday November 12…. We got up at 6:30 and saved our chairs. We had omelets for breakfast at 7:30. We then went to SSB. For lunch at 12:30, we ate at SSB. We went to the martini bar at 5. For dinner, we went to Palazinni at 7. Steve and I both had lamb chops.

Sunday November 13… We got up at 6:30 and saved our chairs. We had scrambled eggs for breakfast at 7:30. We went to SSB. We had lunch at SSB. We went to the martini bar at 6 for the Facebook Couples group meet and greet. We went to Casanova for dinner at 7. Steve had fish and I had a salad. Service was MUCH better this year.

Monday November 14…We got up at 6:30 and saved our chairs. I had a western omelet and steve had ham and cheese omelet at Palazinni. We had lunch at SSB. We went to the managers cocktail party at 6. We had dinner at Bella vista at 7. I had snapper and steve had beef.

Tuesday November 15 2016…We got up at 6:30 and saved our chairs. We had scrambled eggs for breakfast. We went to SSB. We took our rock we bought last year over to the man we bought it from and had him update it and refresh it. He did not charge us…but we gave him $15. We went to Pallazinni for lunch so I could get a salad.
We went to the pool bar for drinks at 6:15. They have installed a couple of tall drink makers and they block the view across the bar if you are sitting in front of them. We had dinner at the beach party at 7. We were told that there are 150 rooms and there were 284 people attending the beach party…which means the resort was nearly full. I will say that most of the patrons go to SSB. People do go to the main pool but this year we did see some people at the pool beside the spa. Last year we did not see anyone there.

Wednesday November 16 2016…. We got up at 6:30 and saved our chairs. The chairs we had been sitting in all week were taken…so we had to move. I wish Couples would adopt the system that club orient in St. Martin has. Upon check-in, you are given two tags with your dates and name written on them. You tag your chairs and those are your chairs for the remainder of your visit. There is no scrambling to get chairs every day. This fighting for chairs is certainly an issue every day. We had breakfast and went to SSB. We had lunch at SSB at 12:30. Right at lunch time it started pouring down rain. It was thundering and lightening. It rained the remainder of the afternoon. We went to the pool bar for drinks at 6:15 and then went to the repeaters party at 7:00 inside Palazinni. We had surf and turf and it was very good. There were 73 repeat couples.

Thursday November 17 2016…we got up at 6:00 and saved our chairs. I could not believe our original chairs were already gone again. We walked all around the resort taking pictures. We then had breakfast at 7:30. We went to SSB. It started pouring down rain again about 9. We went back to the room to get ready to leave. Our flight was at 3:30. So bags had to be out at 10:30, Checkout was at 11, and the bus departed at 11:30. It poured down rain the entire trip back to the airport. We checked in. We went through security and went to Margaritaville for a cheeseburger, onion rings and a margarita. Our flight left on time. We flew to Charlotte. This year we got our global entry so we went straight through immigration. We got our luggage. Turned it back in and went to the admiral’s club to wait for the flight home. We got home about 11 pm.

We were very pleased with our maid service. The only complaint is that the room was never serviced before 4 p.m. every day. We are early risers so there is no reason to wait until 4 p.m. to clean our room. By 4 p.m. we are back from the beach ready to shower and dress for the evening.
We recognized very few activities directors or wait staff from last year. There must have been a sizable turnover in the past year. We also did not have anyone who we felt went above and beyond this year. Do not misunderstand me…they all did a good job and I have no complaint…but there was no one that was exceptional.

Our favorite place on the resort remains the beautiful lake. We love seeing all the different birds and turtles…and of course Krackers the parrot is a delight. He always says hello and good bye and loves having his picture taken.

We have been to several resorts in Jamaica over the last 18 years…and every one of them had a no tipping policy. We however…have always tipped…and it has never been refused. This trip was no exception. We tipped the bus driver $5 to and from the resort. We tipped the baggage handlers $1 a bag. (from St. Louis to Jamaica and Jamaica to St. Louis.) We tipped the person who filled our mini bar $2. We tipped the maid $2 a day. Each time I handed one of the employees’ money…. I said…can you take this and are you sure you will not get into trouble….and each one said yes and took the money. I left the maid $2 under the pillow everyday…and everyday it was gone. I never tipped outside of the room…so no one else saw the exchange. Like I said …this is the way we have done this for 20 visits…and to my knowledge….no one has ever lost their job for taking a tip. There are those who will argue that tipping is not allowed and they leave gift bags instead. This is a personal choice.

We had a wonderful time and have already booked with Dave Parker at all the way travel to return December 9-15 2018.


TravelHat
(Traveler)
11/18/16 10:11 PM
68.52.42.38
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Thanks for the report. We are scheduled to get back to San Souci in April. We find the chairs at SSB to be a PIA as well and we do not go down and save. We did go down one morning for a swim about 6 and found it silly how many chairs had a towel and a book on them.
We think that this is a great resort and will continue to go if it continues to be good.


Carol_HillAdministrator
(Traveler)
11/19/16 08:21 AM
174.228.128.1
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Thanks for the report. Did Dave Parker have a group there when you were there? I am surprised that the resort was so full. Although perhaps since there are now so few resorts like this, they are full now? We haven't gone to JA much recently, but when we used to go, the resorts were very rarely full.

The situation with the chairs would really p*ss me off. I do not get up that early at home, and I certainly wouldn't do so on vacation! If you don't reserve a chair, you don't get one??


Cathyg
(Traveler)
11/19/16 08:41 AM
67.142.162.27
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Dave did not have a group there...I believe his ya hooligans go in May?

We have gone to Jamaica in November many many times....and the resorts are always full.

You can certainly get a chair at the pool or beach...but the location may not be the one you want. There were a couple of days all the chairs around the pool were taken but there were chairs available on the beach.

SSB beach leaves a lot to be desired....we tried sitting on the beach a couple of days last year....and did not enjoy it. We like to sit on the pool deck where we can dip in the pool yet see the beach.


Carol_HillAdministrator
(Traveler)
11/19/16 09:04 AM
174.228.128.1
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

OK, thanks. Wonder why they would be full in November? We used to go February or so, when we were totally tired of snow and ice and wanted to get away, and back then, the resorts will generally not full.

Guess I misunderstood on the chairs, as the location of a chair isn't really that important to me, so long as I have one--and an umbrella!!


Cathyg
(Traveler)
11/19/16 09:24 AM
67.142.162.27
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

the umbrella is an issue...not all chairs have an umbrella or a palapa on the beach...which is another reason people grab chairs.

We have always gone the week before Thanksgiving....and it has always been a very popular week. I think it is toward the end of hurricane season....and still cheaper prices.


Carol_HillAdministrator
(Traveler)
11/19/16 12:39 PM
174.228.11.44
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Umbrellas are a BIG issue for me, as I cannot sit out in the sun at all..

Cathyg
(Traveler)
11/19/16 01:41 PM
67.142.162.27
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Even those of us that love to sunbathe...need a reprieve under an umbrella.

PelicanPirate
(Traveler)
11/24/16 03:42 PM
98.29.235.208
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Thanks for the report. Do they have snorkeling/scuba diving there and is it easy to do and worthwhile underwater scenery wise. Is the nude beach entry to the water soft sand or rocky and requiring water shoes?

TravelHat
(Traveler)
11/25/16 09:50 PM
68.52.42.38
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

They have diving, one complimentary dive per day for certified divers. Getting in the water on the nude beach requires water shoes, pretty rocky. I brought a mask and snorkel and went Snorkeling off the beach but I think they have organized trips as well.

Cathyg
(Traveler)
09/11/17 08:15 PM
97.73.80.136
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

we are returning in December and have just changed our st martin trip in April to CSS

TravelHat
(Traveler)
09/11/17 09:04 PM
69.247.140.56
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

What are your dates in April? We will be there 4-11

Cathyg
(Traveler)
09/11/17 09:13 PM
97.73.80.136
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

5-12...we will see you there!!!

TravelHat
(Traveler)
09/14/17 10:25 PM
69.247.140.56
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Great see you then, first drinks are on us

deputydog1157
(Traveler)
09/17/17 01:08 PM
199.47.250.131
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

After our first venture to a C/O vacation was supposed to be on St. Maarten for our 39th anniversary was changed thanks to Irma, we have booked for a week in April (4/20-4/27) to celebrate our anniversary and my 61st. Looking forward to it. Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.

DarkDiggler
(Traveler)
09/18/17 08:17 PM
69.109.131.124
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

DD1157,

Just for your information, please note San Souci's nude beach is not C/O, it is mandatory nude and enforced. Since this is your first trip, I didn't want you to be surprised.

The beach is super laid back and I am confident you will enjoy! You will discover being sans suit is really not a big deal.


deputydog1157
(Traveler)
09/19/17 12:56 PM
199.47.250.131
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Thanx for that info. We live in Florida and would hang out nude in the pool and the lanai before my sister moved in with us. We've never been nude in public but we both agreed that all or nothing is the way to go. Maybe this will alleviate her fears and allow us to book at Club O when they finally reopen. If she's uncomfortable then the textile pool will be fine. I think she's a little more OK with it because it has to be couples, no gawkers. We shall see but she really seems excited to go.

TravelHat
(Traveler)
09/21/17 10:34 PM
69.247.140.56
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

There is a great Facebook page for the resort. You should join and the suggestions there are plentiful. At the resort you can head to the right on the beach and catch some privacy and work your way up to the pool area which is more populated and open.
The resort is awesome, you will enjoy.


Cathyg
(Traveler)
10/14/17 08:46 PM
97.73.80.137
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

We return December for the third time and again in April for the SXM replacement.

Yes...SSB is nude not clothing optional like club orient....but it is also MUCH smaller...MUCH more quiet...and MUCH more private than CLub orient.

You can select a palapa on the beach...and have total privacy.

when you come to the restrooms at the pool or come to have lunch at the pool...you can certainly cover up with a towel and NO ONE will say a word about it and if they do...screw them. You should sit on a towel at all times..who cares if it is wrapped around your waist? and if they do...it is THEIR issue not yours.

I hate the NUDE Nazis

I have been going to nude resorts for 20 years and am a member of AANR

The only people who actually cry enforcement...are those who have nothing better to do.

Do NOT let these folks keep you from trying CSS and SSB.


Robf
(Traveler)
10/23/17 10:10 AM
76.123.230.234
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Thanks for your update- We leave Friday for a week to take place of out SXM trip. Hope we enjoy it as much as Club Orient

deputydog1157
(Traveler)
10/23/17 02:21 PM
199.47.254.33
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Hope that you be able to post a report of the trip, will be going in April for 1st time

Cathyg
(Traveler)
10/25/17 06:22 PM
97.73.80.200
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

it is not SXM....just enjoy it on its own merit. If you try to compare the two...or make expectations of similarity...you might be disappointed.

It is a very beautiful historic resort. It has simple breathtaking views.


Cathyg
(Traveler)
10/25/17 06:24 PM
97.73.80.200
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

DD..April will be our 4th time to CSS but our first time in APril. We actually have some SXM friends joining us there...which should be fun.

deputydog1157
(Traveler)
10/26/17 09:41 AM
199.47.254.33
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Thanx for the vote of confidence. This trip is our first there. We are planning this around my birthday on the 21st and the cancelled trip to SXM that was to be our 39th anniversary. Also 1st time AN but at 60+ it's time to step outside the comfort zone. Really looking forward to it and any trip reports like your initial post that started this thread.

Cathyg
(Traveler)
10/26/17 05:07 PM
97.73.80.209
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

There is certainly SSB with the nude pool beach and hot tub...but there are several other beautiful pools and a beach to indulge in that are not nude.

This resort is amazingly beautiful set in the hillsides...and so many beautiful little nooks and crannies.

If you have seen the james bond movies live and let die and Dr. No ...they were both filmed at this resort. The lobby looks exactly the same!

It is truly a tropical paradise and the views are breathtaking. We walk around taking pictures....it is that beautiful.

I don't know what building you have booked...but A and B are closest to the beach and also closest to the lake and closest to the main restaurants and closets to SSB.


deputydog1157
(Traveler)
10/27/17 08:43 AM
199.47.254.33
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

You should be a travel writer with your descriptions. I have no idea what building they have me in. Do you know if there's a way to find out prior to arrival or is it just something we will find out when we get there? We have reserved a one bedroom ocean suite for Apr 20-Apr 27. Hope the weather plays nice but if not, oh well. We will be away from the rat rave here.

Cathyg
(Traveler)
10/27/17 12:35 PM
97.73.80.209
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

We are in a one bedroom beachfront suite...which is building A or B. If you booked a one bedroom ocean suite then you will be in buildings D E F or G. These buildings are higher up the hillside...so the views are spectacular. But you will be further away from SSB if that's where you plan to land. However you will be closer to the lobby and the gym and the spa and the balloon bar and the martini bar! So you will have more steps to climb but that just means you get to eat and drink more!

We can never predict the weather of course...and Jamaica is a big island...it rains somewhere everyday...but it doesn't mean it will rain where you are.

And you are right...even if it rains...a rainy day on vacation is better than being at home.


TravelHat
(Traveler)
10/27/17 07:45 PM
69.247.140.56
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

We like building E. There are some steps but we usually end up at the Casanova, Balloon Bar and the entertainment at night. So the walk home is close. The views from F and E can't be beat I think those are your category. Go on the website and join the rewards. You can request a building and stock your in room bar and beverages.

Cathyg
(Traveler)
10/27/17 08:53 PM
97.73.80.209
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

you can only go to Casanova so many times...it requires reservations and you are only allowed to make one reservation on line. but yes...this building is closer to Casanova...the French restaurant.

There is a piano player at the balloon bar...we have been once...but if that is your cup of tea you will certainly be close by.

this is all about what is important to you....the resort is beautiful...no matter where you stay.

If you want to be close to SSB and palazzini or bella vista and the main beach and the gala and the beach party...building A and B are the closest.

If you want to be close to the lobby and Casanova and the gym and the martini bar....stay further up the hillside.

There is no wrong answer....it is a personal preference.

You should definitely fill out your rewards on line...but you don't always get what you ask for....


sugarae
(Traveler)
11/09/17 01:34 PM
70.16.201.69
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Thank you for the informative report. For the first time in 28 years we will not be going to Club O in March. It looks like we will try Couples San Souci.

Tropez62
(Member)
11/16/17 12:23 PM
65.156.255.10
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Thank you for the great information. We, too, are SXM / Club O veterans, who are trying this for the first time (in March). Since Club O isn't all-inclusive, we've always enjoyed Grand Case and other favorite nearby spots. Since this is all-inclusive, do we even need a car? Or will/should we spend all of our time at the resort? Never done an all-inclusive before....and if we don't need a car, what is the best way to get from the airport to the resort?

Thank you!


Carol_HillAdministrator
(Traveler)
11/16/17 12:38 PM
73.255.141.246
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

You DO NOT want to rent a car in Jamaica!!!! Drivers in JA are crazy. Most people in JA spend almost all their time at the resort, and if you want to do a trip off the resort, hire a cab for the day. As far as transfers to the resort, you should have discussed that with whoever you booked with. Many agencies sell bus transfers, or you can hire your own cab.

thesimpsons
(Traveler)
11/17/17 11:53 AM
71.134.228.56
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Couples San Souci provides a bus transfer which is included with your stay. It is customary to tip the bus driver. We are going in February for our first visit.

John
(Traveler)
11/17/17 12:54 PM
173.238.41.231
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Very sound advice Carol, they also drive on the opposite side of the road than North America which can add to the stress of driving there. It' s scary enough just being a passenger!

TravelHat
(Traveler)
11/17/17 08:48 PM
73.58.182.11
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

There is a reception lounge at the airport that you will be escorted to the bus from. The ride is about 90-120 minutes to the resort. You don't need a car. There are excursions from the resort with transportation provided. Look at the website for prices or complimentary. Skip the shopping one. You can also arrange a private car to take you on a tour or a offsite river raft trip leaves from the beach.
There is complimentary diving, snorkeling and othe water sports that will keep you busy if just laying out all day isn' t your thing.


txnudist
(Traveler)
11/19/17 06:22 PM
47.186.154.175
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

We are Club Orient regulars, but made the change to Couples San Souci in October. If you don't want to climb lots of stairs, we recommend A or B block rooms. Both are on the flat area near the restaurants, swimming pools, bars and beach. The nude beach is a bit of a walk, but on a nicely paved road. The nude beach has it's own bar, grill, and swimming pool / hot tub.

The food is wonderful, at all 3 restaurants and the staff outstanding.

We highly recommend this location as an alternative to CO while it is rebuilding.


nibs
(Traveler)
12/06/17 01:08 PM
71.223.35.214
Re: Couples San Souci Ocho Rios November 10-17 2016

Agree with those who recommended the Beachfront Suites and Bldgs A and B. However, the first time we went to CSS we stayed in Section D and it was lovely. Right over the ocean from our Veranda and about halfway between the beach and the upper buildings so really not so many stairs. I agree that you should not rent a car. You can book excursions from the resort which will include transportation and of course Dunns River Falls is included at no additional charge. We love CSS. In 2018 we're doing a split stay between CSS and CN. Can't wait. You should join Romance Rewards before you go, if you haven't already. Then you could request a block. There is no guarantee but we've always gotten what we requested in the 7 times we've been.
Sally



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