This was our first visit to this resort. Besure to read my other report on Couples OchoRios. Both reports are different, we did things the first time that we didnt do the second and did things the second time that we sure didn't do the first time.
Here is my trip report on COUPLES RESORT, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. My wife and I went to COUPLES in Dec 98 for our honeymoon, we are in our mid forties. As you know COUPLES is a all inclusive resort for couples only, no singles unless you arrive as boyfriend and girlfriend, and no kids are allowed.
COUPLES is located about 1 1/2 hours from the airport in Montego Bay. A shuttle will take you from the airport to the resort, free.
You may tip the driver a couple of dollars, he does not work for the resort. The ride is a like a ride from hell, sit back relax, everyone there drives crazy. COUPLES is a older resort, but quite nice, face lifts were being done when we were there in Dec98.
When you check in, they will give you a moist towel, a glass of wine and you will fill out some checkin paperwork. You will be given a room key and a room safe key. Keep up with them. Your luggage is taken to your room for you. At that time they will tell you what time orientation will be the next day, this way you can find out more about scheduled events and ask questions to the staff member. We spent five nites there, we had reserved for our honeymoon a mountain room view, and when we got there they upgraded us to a ocean view room .
The room, when you opened the door, on the bed were two towels shaped/formed in the design of a heart or two swans, very romantic. The room was carpeted with a king size four poster bed, nightstand, desk with a cd/radio on it, a love seat, entertainment cabinet with a color TV and a double sliding closet.The balcony had two french doors that opened to a large balcony. The bath room was large, with a tub/shower, shampoos and a hair dryer. It doesn't matter is you get a mountain view room
( a whole lot cheaper) vs a ocean view room, all views are excellent, anyway you will not spend a whole lot of time in your room.
1. RESTAURANTS AND DRESS CODE: PATIO RESTAURANT: this is an openaired outdoor/covered area, serves buffet breakfast and lunch. Very good food. Dress code: very casual, guys can wear swimsuits with shirts, flip flops or shoes or
shorts with shirt.....the ladies can wear swimsuits with a sarong or shorts with a top, bikini tops are ok. At nighttime the same location serves as the entertainment area and disco after 10 pm. Across from this you will find the outdoor bar and pool.
VERANDA RESTAURANT: is an inside air conditioned, order from menu, excellent food, candle lite, wine and strolling minstrel singing songs to you. Dress code: casual, men shorts, shirts and shoes, ladies wear shorts, tops, sun dress, sandals or shoes, no swim attire allowed. FRENCH RESTAURANT: elegant, required reservations, seven course meal..Dress code is
men will wear dress pants, open collared shirt, and shoes, ladies wore pants suits, cocktail dresses, or a fancy sun dress/ with shoes or sandals. Be sure to eat here, it is excellent, seven course meal. PASTA OR BAYSIDE RESTAURANT: is located hanging out over the ocean. Very romantic. Dress code: casual. Go there and try it, like I said very romantic.
BEACH GRILL: do I need to say more, hamburgers and great tasting jerk chicken. Dress code: swimsuits.
All meals are served with wine, mixed drinks that will be brought to you if requested.
2. On Wed. night all restaurants are closed and they have a beach party buffet on the beach. A live steel band plays, tables and chairs are set up on the beach, three longgggg tables hold the salads, deserts, and food. After the meal, the staff plays games with the guest, guest participation, you can join in ( get a chance to win a bottle of rum or tia maria) or watch, then after that they have entertainment on the beach.
3. Room Service: Be sure to place the door tag on the out side knob of your room prior to 1 am for room service the next morning for delivered breakfast. You choose what you want, but basicly it is a pot of coffee, juice, pastries. You can eat this plus go to the breakfast buffet and get a delisious omelet.
4. ACTIVITIES: Everything is free well included in your package. Excursions to DUNN RIVER FALLS, be sure to go on this one. A shuttle will take you from the resort to there. The group starts at the bottom of the falls at the ocean, and a guide will lead the group climbing up the falls. Prior to getting there, the shuttle driver will stop and you can rent water shoes for
$5 a pair. These are a must for climbing the rocks. Tennis shoes will work, but get heavy with water. The climb is fun, most of the time you are in water up to your knees or waist. Be sure to take a couple of dollars with you, to tip the guides that led your group up the falls., this is not furnished by the resort. After the climb is over, you can shop with the vendors. Listen to your driver when he let you out, he will tell you what time he is leaving going back to the resort, be there or be left. The staff of COUPLES holds a beach reaggie party for couples guest after the climb on the beach there at the falls. Play games if you want or drink rum punch or red stripe beer furnished by the resort.
HORSEBACK RIDING: Stables located across the street from the resort, walking distance. All sadals are English except for one western style. You must sign up a day in advance for reservations for horseback riding. The guide, who works for Couples, will take the group up on a mountain trail, tell you all about the scenery and stuff. If you bring your camera, he will take your picture free. Remember no tipping. Horseback ride will take about 45 min to an hour.
SUGAR CANE PLANTATION TRIP: We did not go on this, but understand it is interesting
SHOPPING TRIP TO OCHO RIOS: We did not go on this either, but it is a trip into town to shop with the local
vendors who sell their crafts. There are also vendors set up across the street
at the resort who also sell craft for souvenirs.
SUBA DIVING, SNORKELING, CATAMARAN CRUISE, GLASS BOTTOM BOATS, AND WATER SPORTS ARE OFFERED FREE. When we were there in Dec the water was too choppy to snorkel, but when we go back in Aug 99, we will do some water activities. Most of the time we just vegetated at the pool or hot tub, drinking, or walking around the resort. The resort furnishes plenty of beach towel to be used at the pool area, free of charge.
5. Now a little about the grounds of the resort: All staff members were extra nice to all guest. There are two wedding gazebos, one ocean side and the other located in the foliage jungle in front of the hotel. Weddings are free if you stay 4 or 5 days, this includes the ceremony, preacher, musician, cake, champagne, and flowers. We saw several weddings, they were quite beautiful. There are plenty of hammocks located all over the grounds. There is a large pool with two large hot tubs close by, there is another hot tub located near the outdoor ground chess board, this one will hold 20 people where the others held 12. In the tropical jungle in front of the main building, you will find two hidden hot tubs built for two people. The tropical jungle has beautiful foilage and flowers and walking trails through out to wander and look at the plants..
The bar serves all top name liquor, as well as red stripe beer, Coors and Heiniken. If you can name a drink the bartender will fix it. It is unlimited mixed drinks, wine or beer. There is a staff photographer who takes posed or random pictures of couples. They are developed, posted in a room near the pool for viewing, if you want them it is $8 a piece, if you don't want them, no problem mon. They are good. The resort does have work out equipment for those who wish to exercise.
6. ENTERTAINMENT AT NIGHT: At the Patio Restaurant, they have shows each nite, local singing groups,
reaggie shows and dance girls, fire eaters, and contortionist and one night the staff members entertain, which are good also. At 10 pm or so this area turns into a disco area. If that is not your cup of tea, go the the PIANO BAR inside the french restaurant, drink and sing karaokee with the staff.
7. SWIMSUIT ATTIRE: If you have never been to Jamaica before, you will see most anything from woman wearing swimsuits that are one piece, to bikinis to thongs....the men wear regular swim trunks, speedos and bikinis. I would suggest that you pack several swimsuits, as this will be your main clothing besides shorts. Topless sunbathing is allowed, the staff request that it be done on the pier that looks towards the nude island. Take plenty of suntan lotion.
8. A LA NATURAL ISLAND: I saved this for last, we did not go in Dec98, but we are planning on checking it out this
Aug when we go back. From what I understand, a swim up bar, numerous lounge chairs. There are restrooms on the island and a tower that you can climb up in and take a picture of the resort from some 200 feet from shore. When you get off the boat that took you to the island, and after getting past the bushes, YOU ARE REQUIRED, ladies and men, to take off your swimsuit, this is not clothing optional. From everything I can find out, those couples that are not use to being naked in front of others are nervous at first, but in a few minutes they don't think twice about being naked, remember everyone else out there is naked too. They say the people on the island are more talkative/ friendlier compared to those on the beach or pool area. Ozzie the bartender will make fantastic mixed drinks, plus he will remind people that dress code is nude, not partial nude and no photographs unless it is of your selves. You can take pictures of the resort from atop of the tower located on the island, great view.
9. Be sure to bring at least three cameras ( throwaway type and a underwater type), band aids, suntan lotion, amonia-ad, aspirins ,suntan lotion.... Basicly if you can get it at Walmart in the states, bring it. For items that you take for granted at home will cost two or three times more in Jamaica (import taxes), This goes for snacks, too.
We toughly enjoyed our honeymoon in Dec98, we have already booked and paid for a trip for this Aug 9-16, 1999. This time we booked the DOUBLETAKE OFFER, four nites at Ocho Rios and then COUPLES will fly us over to the New COUPLES Negril resort that opened summer of 98 for an additional three nites. This time instead of flying out of Jackson, Mississippi to Atlanta to Montego Bay ,we will be flying out of New Orleans airport directly to Montego Bay, air fare and seven nites, booking ocean view room cost $3,000.00. If you have any other questions please contact me and I will try to answer them, I enjoy talking about
Jamaica and COUPLES resort. I will close by saying once again COUPLES RESORT is very beautiful, and romantic, only couples are allowed here, no singles or children, a very nice place for a honeymoon or wedding.