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Reviewed May 25, 2006

My husband and I were at Sans Souci from May 13th through the 21st and from the moment I stepped foot through the lobby I knew I was in my own personal heaven. I can't imagine anyone not having the time of their lives at this resort. We had the most incredible time, truly reconnected and that's really what Couples is all about! We also met some wonderful new friends that we are already e-mailing and I am most certain we will keep in touch, we are already planning a reunion. The maturity of the lush landscape is amazing, (the largest rubber tree I've ever seen) the cliffs make the resort even more unique... it's absolutely beautiful! The rooms were more than adequate, always clean with every comfort of home plus flower petals & turn down - they may not be to everyones expectations but they served my purpose most excellently. The mini bar was stocked daily, the food was great and we had it from every resturant! The Beach Party was a super time. On the night of the starlight gala it had rained all day, so they moved it into the Pallazina - it was still awesome and beautiful, what a hard job they have to even put a function like this on much less to have to move it at the last minute and still have it be amazing. The entertainment was more than enjoyable. The water is so beautiful. The beaches were great even though we hung out more at the A/N pool where we met the nicest people in the world. The most wonderful thing about being in heaven with the person you love the most, is sharing your experience with super nice people who truly seem to be there to make your every dream come true. I never passed a member of the staff who did not smile and say "Hello Mi' Lady" they were truly the nicest people in the world. From the guys who fill your mini bar to the housekeepers, from the waitstaff to the bartenders and the entertainment crew - they were truly great. I must especially mention Ricardo in guest services, Orlando (my pet) at the Balloon Bar, Connie at the Main Pool, Roger at the A/N, Onique who filled our mini bar and Junior! How lucky we were to share some time in paradise and with such wonderful people. Anyone planning a vacation should surely go, I have nothing negative to say. I think it has everything to do with the attitude you go with and if you have an attitude to relax, enjoy beauty, each other, meet others and have fun then Sans Souci is for YOU!

  • Stayed: May 2006
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21  Thank Denise L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 23, 2006

I went to Couples resort 3 times in 8 months. CN, CSS and COR. I had problems at CSS and never got them resolved. I have e mailed them several time., the management e mailed me back but never followed up. I was a member of the couples message board and they had cut me off because of my complaints. If you want to be neglected, and get a lot of hot air, then go to Couples. The message board has cut me off because I don't kiss there #####. I had nothing but praise for the resort until CSS and I had put a great report on this until I never got a problem resolved. Randy and Ivona just let me out to dry. I don't think they have many people going to 3 resort in 8 months, but they don't have to worry about me. I will never return.


28  Thank Catchem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 23, 2006

San Souci March 21-27, 2006

Some people, given a choice, would live in a Victorian Home. Some would rather live in something brand new. Neither is right or wrong. That’s how I look at San Souci.

I loved San Souci, and part of what I loved was it has the kind of character you can’t get in a brand new resort. There are so many places to be discovered….there are old overgrown paths that you only see if you’re looking, as well as old stone stairways and the like. You wonder why they are there, and what it must have been like to be here many years ago, before the All Inclusive explosion in the Carribean.

This was my 2nd trip to Jamaica. My first was 2.5 years ago, when I stayed at Grand Lido Braco, which I loved. We were nervous going back that staying at San Souci might not compare to our first Jamaica experience. Luckily, it was, for us, as good, or even better, in almost every way.

The Property: It’s just breathtaking. We stayed in the G block, which is the last building at the far east end of the resort, near the spa, and 2 buildings east of the Lobby and CassaNova Ristorante. There are no steps to get here from the lobby, but you are at the highest point, so everything else but the lobby and the “f” block is downhill, or down steps. Views are amazing. I loved all the climbing and walking, because I could eat more! Some may not, and for them the A or B block , or even C block would be better. The “Dahlia”(D) block seemed optimal, being centered in the resort, on the hill so that they were downhill east to the spa area, or downhill west to the main pool/beach area. They also seemed to be larger suites. G block is the Verandah Suite, the least expensive, with a large bedroom/sitting area, a large balcony, an immense walk in closet, and a nice bathroom. F block had 2 room suites, with a separate bedroom, and a small table in the room, and a smaller balcony that G block. We liked G block because we could watch TV from the bed(not much, but a few times) and we used the large balcony a lot. I’m attaching pictures of the room in G block and the view; This is G5, which is the lower level. We had what seemed like a personal Saxaphone player each night when Dexter came strolling by---more on that later.

The Water: On the “Spa Side” of the resort, there is a mineral pool(salt water), which has 12 lounges, and maybe 4 umbrellas. There is a small bar, and there is a hot tub up some stairs which is kind of hidden away, and surrounded by lushness. The pool is great, smaller, and relaxing. Next to this area, down a few steps, is a “beach without water”, a sand area that overlooks the sea, but it’s about 10 feet below you, at the bottom of a wall. This area is in front of the fitness area. You can also walk down a few steps near the wedding gazebo here, and there is an old spring fed natural mineral pool area, with very cold fresh water. We were in there maybe 5 minutes, and I didn’t see a single other person go in it all week. Kind of cool.
Over the hill to the main area, and you have a large sandy beach, where you must rise early to claim your spot in the shade(By 6:30 AM, most shade spots are claimed, most days.)The water is beautiful, but there are a few areas where the light sea grass grows and I saw a black sea urchin there(after I Had been sightlessly pushing along the bottom with my hands moving my float)so just be careful. There is more shade west toward the water sports area, since there is a grove of trees there. Water sports are very nice. Scuba, snorkeling, glass bottom boats go out regularly. Wind surfing, catamarans, water bikes, and kayaks were always available. The guys are very helpful, and keep an eye out if you look like you’re in trouble, they go out in a motor boat to help if needed.
The main pool by the beach is very nice, has a swim up bar and volleyball net. Not much shade, and only a few umbrellas, and some tree shade, depending on the time. You must play bingo at the pool bar(for shots, of course).That was fun.
There is also a pool behind the lobby, which is very pretty, has a waterfall, and is empty during the day. There are no lounges around it, but if you grab a float, you have a private pool, and there are tables and chairs and a bar(the balloon bar is off the patio). We spoke to a couple who took advantage of that, and loved it.

Healthy Stuff: The gym is near the mineral pool, and was mostly empty, except one overcast afternoon, when it was packed. Nice, modern equipment, including5-6 treadmills, 3 bikes, 2 different types of stairclimbers, and a bunch of nautilus. Many TV’s, and a great view of the sea-the gym is open 24 hours(really). There are many classes scheduled daily, and they are lightly attended. (aerobics,water aerobics, yoga, stepping, etc). The Spa is great. There are many private outdoor massage huts- just get a couples massage, because it’s great(50 min $180 and up per couple). I had a body wrap ($90/50 min) and facial($95,50 min) also-the facial was my favorite(they did not only a hand massage, but a reflexology on the footsies as part of the facial)Way better than at home, and similar cost. Great atmosphere in the spa. Wonderful, experienced staff.
There are healthy selections at the buffets, as far as many fruits and salads. The beach grill does offer salad. There is a walking trail around a pond at the far west end of the resort, and there are bikes that you can ride there. 1/3 mile track, blacktop, not new. This is where the tennis courts are. They are quite nice, and there is a pro for lessons and play. As I mentioned earlier, I love this place because you can walk off all the food you eat. I loved walking this property. There are endless paths, leading to views, flowers, birds(Cracker and Anita)ponds, and the Nude Beach(Sunset beach).
Food: Cassanova (Italian) near the lobby. Indoor dining, men need a jacket, outdoors, less formal, but harder to get reserved.. My favorite place. Everything was excellent. Great cappuccino. We ordered every course one time, and I was just too full to move, not that portions are very large, it takes so long to eat 6 courses! The pasta & risotto were wonderful, but they were filling. Pumpkin soup was very yummy. Desserts were always very good. La Piazzina(French) Dress is resort casual, I believe, which just means neat, no tank tops. Very good food, in the same location as the buffet for breakfast and lunch, but with tablecloths and multiple waiters. Again, great food and presentation. Not a single complaint, it was all good. The Beach Grill/bar: On the beach, the grill shares a roof and platform with the bar. Burgers, daily jerk specials, salads, and “patties”, which are like a large “hot pocket”, only really tasty! I had the chicken, and it was a spicy (comparable to jerk in hotness) chopped chicken with green peppery paste (wassabi ?) mixed in. The crust is like puff pastry. Yum. The Buffets: Breakfast is a buffet, with a fruit/yogurt, etc area, a pastry/cereal etc area, a hot food area(changed minimally daily) and an outdoor omlette station. All was good. Dexter, resident strolling musician, plays the flute beautifully for early breakfast goers. Same buffet lunch, except hot buffet was lunch food, they add ice cream and cakes to the pastry area, and the omlette station becomes a pasta station, where they stir fry veggies, etc for pasta. It was always good. I didn’t eat ot the au natural beach grill, but heard it was good. Room Service: Always good, always a little early or right on time. I read somewhere that people would order fruit to their room early, do a walk or workout, shower, etc, then go to regular breakfast, so I tried that on day one. Then kept it up- I loved the room service, we even had lunch 1 day we had late dinner reservations, and it was great.

Activities: We all did the water sports, especially catamaran, and that was fun. There are organized volleyball games(the employees play too!)tennis, bocce, that sometimes are well attended, sometimes not. We played bocce on our own with a plastic set weighted with water….odd, but entertaining. The game room has…games, a pool table, and 2 computers w/internet access. I think the employees use it a lot, but it seemed like management might be cracking down on that, because I noticed it stop rather abruptly. There’s an orientation 2 times a day-a good idea to just walk around and see parts of the property you might not know existed. We took just the free shopping trip. There is free transfer to golfing, free trip to Maragaritaville, and free trip to Dunns River Falls, which is something to see and climb, but I did it last time. Did I mention it’s a nice place to walk? Finding hidden relaxation stations is a nice pastime, too.(Hammock Hunting).There is a dry-erase board with daily schedule by the pool. “drinking Games” “Mixology classes” are fun, and we did a “mini pottery” painting, where we took home a pot that we painted ourselves with the help of “D.J.” the potter.(real nice guy). ($5) He also had stuff for sale. There is stage entertainment every night. Tues and Fri are Beach Party and Gala night- outdoors, very nice, and restaurants are closed for these events(room service still operates)There are also piano sing-alongs, karaoke and game nights. One band, I believe it was “Soul for Soul” was unbelievable. They were great. I stayed up for a piano sing- along, but missed most later night stuff, which is usually after 10 PM in the Balloon Bar.
Shopping: There is a Jewelry store on sight, and a gift shop, both quite pricey.(Braco’s were reasonable). There are vendors set up near the beach selling carved items, and other crafts. Nice people, not super aggressive. The shopping trip to Ocho Rios was a little over 2 hours, and brought you to one of the little gated outdoor”malls” owned by Indians, where the workers who are Jamaican keep running to the owner to ask if they can lower the price. All stores have the same stuff, most stores have overpriced(even after the barter)jewelry and cigars of questionable heritage, and rum. OK since it was quick, but I think I would rather buy stuff from a Jamacan national who sets up shop along the road and works for himself, and sells real Jamaican made goods, but you need your own transportation for that. The airport looked like it had a lot of nice shops, but there was no time to see them(see “transporation”) Some people took the free shopping bus, and just left the “compound”, crossed the street, and hit a real market, where the atmosphere is aggressive, but it’s the real deal. Note that the free shopping trip busses are not couples owned, and the driver expects a tip, and probably deserves one. 3 liters per person booze is allowed back to the states, and we paid about ½ the marked price on rum cream(3 liters for $39) . Tanzanite is the big item down there now-looks like amethyst only a bit bluer, and they tell you it’s hotter than diamonds. Whatever…I don’t think there’s any big deals to be made in Jewels, but it’s a nice high priced momento of your vacation.
Transportation: We tried Air Jamaica this time, non-stop from Newark, and it was great, and on-time. Couples has a nice little lounge to wait in until the transport van arrives. Red caps will handle your bags if you want and get $1 per bag. We took a “JUTA” van, on a 2 hour ride to the resort. Roads were worse than last time, and since I started out with a headache, I was sick for the ride, so luckily I had ½ bottle of water from the lounge that kept me from hurling. Roads really were terrible, but it depends on your car-on the way back, we had a regular charter type bus, and it was fine. Drivers stop if you want for a red stripe or potty break. We had a 5:55 AJ flight and left the resort at 1:30, which seemed early, but hey….just in case. And thank God, because we waited on line, after line, after line at the airport . Air Jamaica was good for having an employee there to direct you as to which line to wait in(none are marked) And since you are on a 1.5 hour line, it’s best if you are on for the right airport. After that 1.5 hour check in, and ticketing, we proceeded to another 1 hour line to be screened, some with walk thru detectors, some with wands. Then, on to customs/immigration counter for a short wait, then time to find your gate, which read “19” on the monitor, “2” on the boarding pass, and was being announced as “9” on the announcements (correctly)and they are in completely different areas, at least a 5 minute brisk walk away from each other. By the time we hit the gate, it was 10 minutes til boarding, and we then proceeded to sit on the plane for a ½ hour late takeoff. That all being said, last time we flew into Philly, and Philly was worse. But I had wanted to check out a few airport shops, and couldn’t. The new section of the airport is very nice.
Overall Impression: I’d go back in a second. My husband and I talked about it, and we both really loved the whole experience. Our room was perfect. The views were spectacular. Having a Strolling sax player during the twilight hours was great, and he stood on the wall by our room each night, and could be heard down to the entrance and mineral pools, and spa areas. The room was impeccably clean. It was visited several times a day to make bed, clean, restock, turn down bed, take bottles/trays. We spoke to a couple who called this place “dated” and had stayed at the Ritz Carlton, which they preferred. I liked San Souci’s atmosphere, and found it to be all I could ever want. My bathroom was nice, and the water pressure was very good, hot water plentiful. The tub drained slowly, that was it. Oh, the plug on the hairdryer was replaced with one from the 50’s, which I found kind of funny, others would say “dated”. If you stay in A or B block, you will barely encounter the stairs, unless you head over to the spa. Anyone can just ring the lobby, and they will drive you from area to area. The ages at this resort were quite varied, and ever changing. Tons…like at least 50% Canadians(resort was full). Few Euros, and many many young(20’s)couples, honeymooners, and weddings. Saw less than 10 couples in the 60 + category, unless they all just looked and acted younger. Median age was 35-40, I’d guess. I didn’t visit the nude beach except for sunset, but my impression was that , while very pretty, it offers little shade(5 umbrellas) and the pool-I saw no shade. While it is totally hidden by wooded peninsula from the other side, it looks out onto other hotels, which aren’t really unattractive, but who might have quite a view, especially with binoculars. Nice view of cruise ships coming and going also, about 1 mile away(hard to tell, they are so big) The staff was without exception great. I never experienced “Jamaica Time”(waiting)while at San Souci. We were a little unprepared for how many times we needed to dress(my husband needed long docker type pants 3 times)because the gala is “resort formal”, and the Italian Restaurant is too. Grand Lido was a little more dress down, but it was no big deal at all, that was just because we couldn’t get outside reservations to the Italian place, which was our favorite, so we had to eat indoors 2 times. This was a perfect vacation for us, very romantic-even much of the entertainment was aimed at “couples”, which it should be, at Couples!


  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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27  Thank oobiedoobie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 22, 2006

Visited Sans Souci last part of April 2006. Fantastic stay…the food and liquor were good, and the service was excellent. The grounds and our room were outstanding (we stayed in G block).

Bus ride: Anticipated a much worse ride than what is advertised. If you’ve ever been on a dirt road, you’ll be fine. Both to and fro, the bus drivers were safe and considerate. There and back, it was 2.5 hours (including stops).

Resort: Breathtaking. The walks around the property were a delight. If you do not want to encounter stairs, stay in A or B block. Definitely don’t stay in G block. This resort has a risk/reward: The higher up you go, the more stairs you encounter - but the views are amazing at the top of the resort.

Food: We enjoyed room service and the food at the beach grill. From the burgers to the patties, everything hit the spot. We liked the Italian restaurant a little better than the French, but thought both were above average. The shrimp appetizer, spicy seafood soup (can’t remember the name), salmon, and filet were excellent at the Italian restaurant. I thought the breakfast spread was especially nice which included all the breakfast items you could imagine to complement an omlette station.

Beaches & Pools: Both beaches were solid. The main beach was groomed and was a nice setting. The au natural beach was a little more raw, but was appropriate given the theme. There weren’t a lot of people at the all nude beach, so we found it a little boring. But it was a fun experience, and we’re glad we tried it. After 5:00, the beach opened for all to see the breathtaking sunsets.

Activities: The best part of the resort was the inclusion of all the activities. My wife and I did the resort dive and it was by far and away the best experience we had at the resort. As novice divers, we were very nervous, but the instructor made sure we were comfortable in the pool before we went to the dive site. Once there, both of our guides took extra care to ensure we were comfortable and enjoying the dive. Our positive experience was the direct result of the dive staff’s extra attention. We had fun kayaking and sailing as well (saw no point in snorkeling after doing the dive). Dunn’s river falls is an absolute must do – I cannot over state this.

Spa Service: The wife and I paid $180 for a 50 minute couples message. As it was my first massage ever, I was a little skeptical about if it was worth the money. It was a nice experience. After 5 days of scuba, kayaking, sailing, and climbing the steps, it hit the spot.

Staff: Just like everywhere else, you can encounter the occasional disinterested staff member, but for the most part, from the bellman and cleaning ladies to the restaurant and bar staff, the service was excellent. We anticipated the Jamaican people having disdain for the tourists, but their positive nature was almost always evident.

Overall: I would highly recommend the resort for couples in their 30-50s keeping in mind the required climbing to the rooms in C-G block. If you’re looking for a wonderful, laidback, scenic environment, this seems to be the place. If you’re looking to party, look somewhere else.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
18  Thank BeachesandMargaritas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 22, 2006

I have to say I completely disagree with the negative reviews. My husband and I just came back from spending a week at Couples Sans Souci. We had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves despite the rain we had a few of the days. The worst things we experienced were the long rides to and from the resort and neither time was bad. We found everyone and everything to be very nice. It is necessary to keep in mind that it is a third world country and things are not going to be like they are in the states or perhaps elsewhere. Our room was always cleaned and our mini bar stocked. The staff was very good to us everywhere we went. I found the woman bartender, Connie, at the pool bar to be very sweet NOT surly. The blender at the pool bar did break down for quite a bit during our stay, but it rather easy to walk the 15 extra feet to the beach bar to get a frozen drink if that is what you wanted. The food was very good and we enjoyed the restaurants quite a bit. I have to agree, the fries at the beach grill are amazing. We had courteous, fast room service several times. I had a wonderful cucumber and honey facial from Ruth. It felt fabulous and to be up in the trees over the ocean and it was so peaceful. We fell in love with the hammocks up on the cliff and enjoyed a wonderful sunset there. All in all it was an amazing vacation.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank piper5403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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