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Reviewed July 21, 2008

The San Souci resort was beautiful. We were told the drive from the airport was 45 minutes, more like 2 hours from MOntego Bay to Ocho Rios. I dont know if it was this resort or the Jamaican food, but it was awful.. The 3rd day of not eating, everything seemed to be good because we were so hungry. This is all inclusive, but everyone expects a tip. If you go to the beach bar and get served, if you dont give a tip, it is hard to get your next drink... .

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SINGLEDOUT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 21, 2008

A quick review but all you need to know.

Ok first of all let me just say do not book your holiday through Thomas Cook experienced major problems with them nearly not getting on our flight all due to ticket problems!

Transfer from Airport to hotel is horrible, it takes 2 hours and they drive about 30mph all the way. If you can afford it take a plane.

Anyway CSS is the best place i have ever been to. We stayed in B block which is in the perfect location for the beach, pool and some restaurants but is not the best room ours was damp smelling! But other than that was ok.

The food in all three restaurants was better than i ever expected all meats were cooked to perfection.

The pools were superb and all the little extras around the resort made the place so pretty and relaxing. I cannot fault the surroundings at all. Beach is on the small side but we found this to be perfect as the resort was never over crouded.

The staff, well what can i say, we need you to all come and work in the UK it would be a much happier place. The service they provide is unbelieveable, nothing is a problem for them. Although certain guests did not pay them the respect they deserved!

I have always said i would never return to a place i have been before until now that is.

One thing i must point out is that you can get the feeling that some couples are there for more than a holiday! It seems the place has a few swingers.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank lmwarr21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 13, 2008

We visited Jamaica for our first time July 2008 and stayed at CSS. First of all, if you have visited Jamaica in years past, they have a brand new highway along the coast that is tremendously better than the small two lane road you probably road on before. This makes the ride to the resort from Montego bay very comfortable and safe. If you are looking for a laid back, easy going atmosphere, this is your place. It is an older resort, so the buildings do look older, but all are well maintained and most have the latest ammenities(flat screen tv, etc.) We stayed in D block which is the Veranda Suites and it was the best location on the resort. Right in the middle with the least walking. The only bad thing and I hate to even say bad, was the steps. But you are on the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean so I would say the walk up the steps is well worth it. The cuisine was First class. In all the restaraunts. The staff was friendly and helpful. The entertainment staff was wonderful and we enjoyed all the nightly entertainment. The starlight gala and the beach party offered world class entertainment that was excellent. The on location excursions like scuba diving and other water sports activities were excellent. Very organized. We did a refresher course with their staff dive master who was more than knowledgable and made us feel safe and comfortable on each dive. They do have a two beach towel rule, but if you want a clean fresh towel you simply go to the watersports counter to get new ones. The in room bar was stocked everyday, the housekeeping services were excellent . The room service food was very good and very fast. Overall, I have nothing bad to say about the resort. If you are a rich, snooty person used to staying at the Ritz Carlton, San Souci might not be your cup of tea. But if you are a middle to upper class couple, looking for seclusion, quiet and great food and service I would recomment this resort to you for sure. We will be returning as soon as we get a chance.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank rethamc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 8, 2008

My husband and I just returned from our wedding at Couples Sans Souci, which took place on July 4th. After reading countless reviews on Trip Advisor, we settled on CSS and it was an excellent choice.

We departed Dallas, TX on July 2nd with a connection through Miami on American Airlines. The initial leg of our trip started off well with an upgrade to first class. Once we arrived in Miami, things started to go downhill. Our flight was initially scheduled to arrive in Miami shortly before noon and depart around 12:45. When we arrived, we discovered that our flight had been delayed until 2:26pm. The plane was leaving Haiti and experiencing equipment problems, but we were assured that we would leave as soon as possible. The flight time continued to inch further and further out, until the delay was well past 3:00pm. Soon after, a torrential thunderstorm rolled in. Most of the folks flying in to Montego Bay were headed to an all-inclusive resort. The delay meant we were all out an entire afternoon at the resort, and people really started to lose their cool. We sat back and took in the scene as a near riot broke out around the ticket counter. Miami-Dade police arrived at the scene and people started to calm down somewhat. Meal vouchers were issued to all and the lure of free sandwiches and beverages seemed to calm everyone down. Once we finally boarded the flight (after 6pm!) we noted that the plane was probably manufactured in the 1980’s era. The plastic on the interior was cracked and peeling and the seats were filthy. We sat on the tarmac for quite some time, and the pilot finally came on the speaker and advised that we were waiting on a mechanic to sign off on the plane. I was wary about this development, but I was also eager to arrive in Jamaica. We departed soon after and were greeted with the smell of burning fuel emitting from our overhead air, along with the loudest engine I’ve ever encountered on a commercial aircraft. Once we arrived in Jamaica (after a white-knuckled flight), we could not get off that plane quickly enough.

Immigration and customs went by smoothly. We went to the Couples lounge for a beverage and met with an employee who provided us with beer. He wasn’t particularly friendly, but we weren’t either after such a long day. We boarded our shuttle and were soon on our way. Due to our late arrival, we were the only couple on our shuttle. The van was not air conditioned, but we weren’t uncomfortable at all. Our driver was incredible throughout the trip. He drove very fast and dodged in and out of lanes while passing slow vehicles. I never felt as through I wasn’t safe on the drive as he seemed very capable. The drivers in Jamaica are wild and I still don’t understand their system of honking and flashing headlights in lieu of turn signals. We asked him to avoid the stop midway as we wanted to arrive at CSS as soon as possible. The drive took about two hours and we arrived at the resort close to 9:00pm.

When we arrived as CSS, it was dark so we couldn’t fully enjoy how spectacular this place was. We sat down at check-in and they provided us with rum punch and a cool cloth. Check-in was quick and efficient and we were soon on our way. We opted for a beachfront Jacuzzi room and were placed in the A block on the second floor. I’ve read previous reviews that describe the rooms as rundown or shabby, but we thought they were beautiful and very comfortable. There was a plate of cheese, crackers and fruit on our entry table atop the minibar. The bar was stocked with several bottles of alcohol and a bottle of red wine. The fridge had juices and several sodas available, along with cans of Miller Lite. Our bed was made with white linens and topped with towel art and flowers. The bathroom was very large and had a Jacuzzi tub, separate shower and all the typical bathroom fixtures. Sadly, we never used the tub. I would recommend that the ladies bring their own hair dryer as the one provided doesn’t have much power behind it. The amenities included conditioning shampoo, lotion, bath gel and aloe gel. I didn’t bring any of these items as I planned to use the ones provided, but I soon realized that conditioner is an absolute necessity. I ended up purchasing a bottle of Suave for $6.00 (US) in the gift shop, so I’d recommend bringing that as well. The room also has a TV on a roll cart, so you can watch it on the couch in the adjacent room, or roll it to face the bed. The balcony was a nice size and looked out over the main pool and the beach. It had a table and two chairs and was very spacious. We were close to the action and we loved our location. I highly recommend these rooms.

After surveying our room, we changed clothes and headed out for a late dinner. We didn’t think we would be able to make it to any of the restaurants in time, so we decided to check out the beach grill. We were pleasantly surprised to make it to Bella Vista in time, and we were seated in a table along the shore. It was incredible, really. The water was only a few feet away and we dined in candlelight. There were twinkle lights wound around the trees and it was absolutely beautiful. The menu was varied, and most of the items were excellent. The curried seafood was delicious and the conch fritters were wonderful. The spring rolls were excellent as well, and my husband raved about them throughout our stay. We weren’t impressed by the desserts at most of the restaurants, but overall the food was incredible.

When we awoke the next morning, we were absolutely stunned by the beauty of the resort. Every inch of the property is meticulously maintained, and the foliage is a sight to behold. We often stopped to take in our surroundings and took the time to explore the entire property. There were stairs everywhere which wasn’t a problem for us. It could be an issue for anyone with disabilities, though. A shuttle was always a phone call away if necessary. Along with the main pool and beach, there is a mineral pool and a grotto located in the spa area. The grotto is really neat. There are fish swimming in the water and it is located down a flight of stairs, where it is surrounded by a rock ledge to relax on. I could go on endlessly about all the areas to explore.

We dined at Pallazina each morning for breakfast and it was always a great experience. We were hoping for more seafood choices, but the buffet was vast and there was an omelet bar each morning. We headed to the main beach afterwards and we were pleased that there were plenty of lounge chairs to choose from and we never had a problem finding a shaded area. The staff served our drinks on the beach and they were always checking with us to see if we needed anything. The dirty banana and hummingbird frozen drinks were really, really good. I’d recommend asking for extra rum with those selections. We took our floaties out to the water and laid out in the ocean each day. Despite slathering on waterproof sunblock repeatedly, we still ended up slightly sunburned each day. I would recommend bringing a hat because my scalp and forehead got the worst of it by the end of our trip. We dined at the beach grill for lunch, and found that the jerk patties and burgers were very good.

Dinner reservations were not a problem and we booked a table at both restaurants on the same day as our dining experience. We prefer to have dinner late, and the 9pm time was great for us. If an earlier time is preferred, it is best to book a day or two in advance. We thought we might be able to have lobster on Wednesday night, but we arrived late and I do not believe it was served at Bella Vista. Casanova was a great experience. The food was awesome! The fried seafood appetizer was wonderful and by far my favorite dish during our trip. The snapper was great and my husband enjoyed his beef entrée. The pumpkin soup was rich and filling, and the bread selection was very good. We tried the desserts, but they weren’t as great as we had hoped. The staff at CSS was always friendly and courteous and went out of their way to make our stay special. We wish they would allow tipping as our servers always did an incredible job.

The following day was our wedding. Our wedding coordinator Nadia did an excellent job arranging everything. We opted for an upgraded flower arrangement of multicolored roses and individual roses to put in my hair. It was a little pricey, but well worth it. We also decided on the expedited marriage license. The normal timeframe is 8-12 weeks following the ceremony, but the expedited option guarantees the document in four weeks. I’m glad we decided on it, as my local DMV did not allow a name change with the temporary document. We woke up early in the morning and had breakfast, then spent several hours out on the beach. We tried room service for lunch, and the food was prompt and delicious. There was no stress, just total relaxation. I had an appointment with the salon at 3pm and they did a great job on my hair and makeup. I did utilize the shuttle quite a bit on this day, as the spa and salon area was a trek from the A block. Our sunset wedding was scheduled for 5:00pm, and Nadia came to our room to pick me up and assist with any dress issues, if necessary. The ceremony was short, yet sweet, and it was followed by cake and champagne. Our photographer, Patrick, did an incredible job. He walked us all around the resort and took photos on the beach and around the nature pond. We ventured over to Sunset Beach soon after and the photos were beautiful. We were able to meet with the photo desk the following morning and choose our favorites. When we departed, we were provided with a bound album with all the pictures and a photo CD to print the images at home. After our photos, we headed back to the wedding gazebo for our private dinner. Our wedding took place on the Gala night, so we opted for a romantic dinner to celebrate our wedding. When we arrived, there was no one there. No table set up, no waiter, nothing. My husband left me down there and headed up to the lobby. He met with a manager and they immediately sent down a bottle of chardonnay for me, along with a waiter to set up the table. Due to the delay, we did not start dinner until an hour and half after our scheduled time, and we missed the Gala. We weren’t very happy about this, but we will say that the resort made a concerted effort to correct the situation and we still had a wonderful wedding day.

The private dinner was outstanding. It was well worth it, and the food was amazing. We didn’t think it was possible to improve upon the menu at the restaurants, but the spread was really tremendous. Our waiter, Giftson, was wonderful and made the night very special. We decided on a menu from Casanova, which included the seafood appetizer, lobster-stuffed tilapia, salad, soup and a dessert. The gazebo was lit by candlelight and it was so romantic to sit close to the water and dine in private. After the dinner, we headed back to the main lawn and caught the last few minutes of the gala. We had asked for the staff to send our cake to our room so we could enjoy it together, but when we arrived it wasn’t there. The following morning we had our ‘Just Married’ breakfast in bed. It was scheduled to arrive between 8:15-8:30am, but we didn’t receive it until closer to 9:00am. It wasn’t what we had requested for the breakfast, but it was still nice. We were disappointed by this point, though, so we headed up to meet with our coordinator. She resolved these issues and ended up sending the cake up to our room that afternoon. We closed out the day on Sunset Beach. We grabbed a couple of floaties and laid out in the water, hand in hand, and watched the sunset. It was so romantic and we wished we had done it each evening of our stay. We dined at Palazzina on our final night, and we decided that was our favorite restaurant at the resort. The escargot was great, and my seafood kebob entrée was delicious.

Our flight left mid-afternoon, so we had an 11:00am checkout. This was the only morning we had regular breakfast room service. While it was good, I’d recommend heading to Palazzina each morning as the breakfast there was very good. Checkout was uneventful, and we were sad to leave the resort after such a short time. We’ll definitely return to CSS as our trip was more than we could have ever hoped for. I’ve seen quite a few people complain about food, service and the like. Other than some wedding day snafus, our trip was absolutely perfect.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank ElleCarys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 26, 2008

The place is gorgeous, nature-wise. I went hungry though often as a vegan/vegetarian. Service was very sketchy. Sometimes good but many issues with it overall. We were promised things we never got. It rained heavily and people got hurt all over the place due to it being slippery. And there was nothing to do in the rain. It was freezing too. The mixed drinks were horrible, The bathrooms were not maintained well at all and were often dirty.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank gsharon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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