we have holidayed twice at Negril and decided to try the other side of the Island. I spent a lot of time researching the two Couples resorts as we knew the brand and decided that Sans Souci was the one for us.
Absolutley beautiful, it fitted us brilliantly.
Sans Souci reviewers will talk about the huge number of stairs to climb, but this adds to the charm of the resort and gets you moving a bit during the holiday! We stayed in C block, more on this later as it is so often not reported on.
For those who were in F and G yes I can appreciate a trip back to the room several times a day would be a pain as you do have to go up and down stairs. We have always found that if we get up early (our favourite time of day) take our things to the pool or beach and stake our spot, we can watch the resort come to life long before breakfast starts in the Palazzina. There is something wonderful about sitting at the side of the pool at 7.00am and enjoying the early moring sunshine in FEBRUARY!!!!! We seldom return to the room before 5pm, other than to change after aeobics or put contacts in after breakfast.
We did watch with amusement some people coming down with towels etc before 7 am and claiming their spot, then going back to their room and not appearing much before 11.00! Still we prefer the mornings and use the sunbeds to sit and read.
Breakfast in the Palazzina is lovely, it is smaller than the negril equivalent which gives it a cosy feel. You can eat inside or out. Needless to say again outside is our preference. Lots to choose from fruit / pastries/ cereals/ toast and bagels / hot cooked / sausages/ bacon/ ackee / eggs etc made to order omlette and waffle station. You can have room service and there is a lot to choose from for this also. We had this one morning when we were off early in the morning for an excursion so we didn't have time for a relaxing breakfast.
Lunch, we alternated between beach bar and the palazzina, depending on whether we wanted a salad and dessert or burger and fries. You can eat a full three course lunch at the palazzina - salad, cooked lunch and dessert (there is always an icecream or sorbet on loads of cakes and pastries and often local delicacies to tempt you too). sometimes it is themed , roast meat or curry or oriental or just a cooked dish.
You have to book for the fine dining Casanova (we ate indoors on the only one time that we ate there) the food was lovely but for us the brighter lights and fast service (it was anything but slow - in and out in an hour, 4 course plus coffee) meant that there was not the romantic ambience of the Palazzina or Bella Vista. You could book outside , but these go quick so make sure you book in advance!
Palazinna (also has to be booked) was our favourite as the lighting was just right (sitting outside there is lighting but also the moonlight) and the food amazing. Eating outside to the sound of tree frogs is fabulous, you can see couples enjoying a private dinner on the beach from the palazinna.
Bella Vista, hard to get more romantic than this place as you are eating practically on the beach, the trees are lit up and the atmosphere is great. However you need to time it right, We found getting down when they opened around 6.45 was the easiest anything after 7.10 and you were having to wait at the bar for a table. Food was great but the drinks service a little slow, I was the only person drinking wine on one side of the restaurant and had to ask three times for a refill before my glass was topped up. This may sound picky but it really was just the one thing that we had to bring to the staffs attention and was rectified just fine with a very sweet waitress (thank you Shawna), it should illustrate that there really are no problems and no issues eating at the restaurants.
Walking around the resort at night is so easy, there are lots of lights (not floodlit - but enough to see well - my husband as a night vision problem and did ok). as there are steps to navigate this is necessary and really well done.
Having been to Negril where there is little difference in the rooms I didn't bother to upgrade and only realised when we were there of the difference in the types. So we had an ocean deluxe suite, two large rooms plus bathroom. We had a bath and shower.. Although we had no balcony, we had a separate room with two sets of huge double windows, when you opened these it was like being on a balcony anyway! We practically never dined in the room (1st night and one breakfast) so it wasn't a big deal. If you spend a lot of time in your rooms and want to sit on a balcony go ahead and upgrade, if the room is for sleeping and unwinding after sun and before dinner C block may be perfectly fine for you. The rooms decor is fresh in blue and white (room safe works and door has deadlock but no chain), it is clean, huge and has all the amenities of the other rooms, just no balcony. As returnees and romance rewards members we pre checked in so we had our minibar stocked when we arrived, as we had a 17 hour trip and arrived at 8pm this was a god send). The real advantage of C block? only 35 stairs to the beach/ palazinna (you are right next to palazzina) and about the same to the balloon bar - C block is placed half way between everything. It is next to D and E but unlike E and F has no residual noise from the showtime at the baloon bar, has no noise from Palzinna and the only time we heard any noise was when we went to bed early from the Friday night gala (and this stops before 11.00 anyway). All entertainment stops at 11.00 at the latest and moves to the au naturel beach to party so that does not affect any blocks.
The only houskeeping issue we had was our air con unit dripped in to the closet and wetted some clothes. this happened twice, the first time it stopped within an hour and we reported it to the guest services. Second time was our last night. Our housekeeper happened to be in the room and reported it to the front desk, as well as leaving us with extra towels to mop up the puddle. I am sure it was fixed (we mentioned it to head of housekeeping after we had checked out that we hadn't seen anyone from maintenance and she was right on to it).
The management and staff are friendly fun and always ready to talk. we mentioned that we had not had any towel sculptures to the head of housekeeping and we had one every night thereafter until we left. We were only talking about how lovely they were, not complaining that we hadn't had one for a couple of nights!
The gym and fitness pavillion has breathtaking views and is a great place for morning aerobics, classes start from 8.00. I did Aerobics most mornings at 9.00 or water aeorobics at 11.00. This is in the mineral pool and very refreshing. If you want to run around the lake I recommend first thing in the morning. 3 times round for a mile, and dont forget to stop and say hello to Crackers the parrot, if you dont she will say hello to you anyway! The resort is totally safe for wandering alone or with your other half.
During the day, walk up from the beach or pool to the mineral pool. pass D block and the wedding gazebo and grotto (stop here for a secluded "dip" the fish swim all around your feet if you are on the endge and dipping them in the pool) , there is another smaller beach area before the mineral pool (with smoothie bar) and then the spa and salon. We upgraded our free massage to a 55 minute one which was lovely and I also had a pedicure (still looking good two weeks later!).
As returners to couples we were able to have a free massage, a trip to tower isle (which was not really for us as it did not have the lush grounds of Sans Souci and was more of a hotel than a resort, although the island in the bay looks lovely). Proudly wear our T Shirts, spend the resort credit and of course attended the returnees dinner (by the pool which is a change to how it used to be apprently). We liked it.
Water sports as always are plentiful, not many guests seemed to take boats out but the water cycles and pedaloes are well used, glass bottom boat trip was fun.
Overall a relaxing trip, Sans Souci does not have the beautful bloody bay or 7 mile beach of negril so if it's a beach holiday you want this may not be for you. There is a beach, walkable in about five - 10 minutes, you can swim out to the pontoon and back. By the spa where the sauna is you can walk down to enter another beach area (but the water comes up to the step almost) but you can swim out there as well.
The grounds are wonderful, really beautiful, take the nature walk with one of the groundsmen on Sunday or Wednesday ( we went with Kirk) which is informative and great fun. sit at the pool bar to have amazing cocktails accompanied by quizzes and games with the entrtainment crew. relax and enjoy, there are lots of hammocks for two all over the resort, jacuzzis, places to sit in or out of the sun and make sure if you haven't been during the day that you go to the au naturel beach at sunset (clothing on after 5pm), watch the sun go down it is really beautiful.
They get it just right and nothing is too much trouble. Thank you Couples for an amazing holiday and we will definitely be back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled on the cliffs of Jamaica’s emerald coast above a dazzling stretch of Caribbean, Couples Sans Souci beckons you to surrender mind, body and soul. The resort's 'no worries' mantra comes to life as every day unfolds. Lose yourself exploring secluded stone pathways. Melt away stress in the healing natural mineral springs. Feel a rush of exhilaration scaling Dunn's River waterfalls. Or simply drift asleep in a hammock by the sea. Located in vibrant Ocho Rios, the resort's design pays tribute to an understated colonial elegance—intricate latticework, white woven furnishings and feathered palms set a refined stage for your island escape. Dining options abound—from authentic Jamaican fare to five-star international cuisine. Private cabanas at cliff's edge provide the ideal setting for our signature spa treatments, while the choice of resort activities knows no limits. Learn the art of living well while living in the moment at Couples Sans Souci. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Couples Sans Souci Hotel Ocho Rios
- Couples San Souci
- Couples Sans Souci Ocho Rios
- Couples Sans Souci Jamaica/Ocho Rios