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“First Time in Jamaica”
Review of Couples Tower Isle

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Couples Tower Isle
Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 September 2017

This was my husband and I's first time traveling to Jamaica. We arrived on 9/10 for one week. The airport process was a breeze. Customs went very fast (hurricane irma was hitting FL this day, most flights were canceled, airport was not busy) Once we were through customs and had our bags, we went to the Couples lounge. Bathrooms, beer and soda/water is available here + free Wifi. We waited around 20 minutes and then we were on our way to the bus to take us to the resort. There are many porters at the airport. Our bags were placed on a dolly and brought out to the bus. The porter did indeed expect a tip as he blocked us from getting on the bus until we gave him something. Our bus driver was very sweet and gave us a history along the way. Our bus was completely full with other Couples guests. The ride to the resort took a little over 2 hours.

Check in was very easy. We were given a drink and cold towel once we stepped off the bus. Check in was a little odd though-- everyone that got off of our bus, sat down at the check in desk side by side. I wasn't a fan of this process because you have to fill out personal information, give credit card information etc. I didn't think it was appropriate when a stranger is sitting 6 inches from you to see or hear any of that. Once check in was complete the bell boy gave us a tour along the way to our room.

Room - Our room was in block 5 (garden unit) on the 2nd floor. We lucked out and had a clear view of the ocean! We were very happy about this. Room was clean, did not smell, no issues with the bathroom. Our room was clean by 4pm everyday. The mini bar was stocked with the items we picked daily.

Beach/Pool - There were plenty of open chairs daily with a raft on the chair to use in the ocean. Chairs that have shade are few and far between. Unfortunately the beach was not in good condition the entire week of our stay. Beach erosion had occurred a few days before we arrived. The hotel employees did not rush to get the fallen palm trees off the beach or the garbage debris thrown away. I understand erosion happens but was very disappointed it seemed as if nothing was being done to make it look half way decent. There were even electrical wires in the water that were attached to the fallen palm trees..not safe. The main pool with the water fall was nice. We didn't spend much time there, but there were always guests in the pool. The swim up bar pool was closed when we arrived and opened a few days before we left.

Food - We ate at the breakfast buffet daily. Lots of good options, although they were mostly the same each day. We ate lunch either at the veggie bar or pool grill. Loved the sweet potato chips w/ dip! The pool bar has nachos, popcorn, ice cream and various soda options all the time. You can either grab that or sit down at the pool bar and order of the menu. We had reservations at eight rivers 2 nights and bay side 2 nights out of our 7 night stay. They were both fantastic. Loved the view of the water at bay side.

I would highly recommend the piano bar. Make sure you go when the man with the saxophone is playing - very talented. Piano sing a long is very fun too! We watched a few shows. The steel drum band is fun to watch along with the few nightly singers.

We did the glass bottom boat ride and snorkeling. We took the scuba diving clinic and then went on a scuba trip afterwards - I would highly recommend the scuba diving, but be prepared to be exhausted afterwards. We also went paddle boarding which was fun. Never made it out to the island, but everyone that we talked to who went out there loved it.

The resort was not busy at all, it probably wasn't even 50% full when we were there. My husband and I were celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. We marked that down prior to arriving and at check in but no acknowledgement from the resort. I was disappointed because for our 1st and 2nd anniversary at a different resort group, they helped us celebrate all week.

All in all, would I come back? Maybe. But I would try the other Couples resorts first.

Room Tip: 5206 -- "garden view" room but you have a clear view of the ocean as well
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  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank MrsKFoley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abraham I, Owner at Couples Tower Isle, responded to this reviewResponded 20 November 2017

Dear MrsKFoley,

Thank you for your visit and feedback. It was wonderful to host you for your first time in Jamaica. Although you rated us average, it seems you enjoyed Couples Tower Isle.

We would love to have you here or at one of our other properties in the near future. Please let us know if you do decide to return to a Couples resort.

Kind Regards,
Abraham Issa

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86 - 92 of 3,231 reviews

Reviewed 18 September 2017

This was our first trip to Tower Isle. We have stayed at Secrets St. James in Montego Bay, Valentin Imperial Maya, The Royal, and Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Kaan in Mexico.
We were told the drive from the airport was about 1.5 hours. That must be dependent upon the driver you get because our drive took a few minutes over 2 hours. We felt our driver was incredibly slow, with little to no traffic on the road.
We stayed for 6 nights in a basic garden view room. The room was adequate with a good sized balcony and my request for a room away from the road was met. The one negative about the room was the shower. The shower would flood the bathroom floor as there was no door or ledge to block the water. No matter what, even if we rolled up a towel to block the flow, it would still flood the floor. Also, it seems as if the flooring and the minibar cart could use updating. The AC worked like a champ and maid service/ mini bar service was perfect.
We came when Hurricane Irma was in the Caribbean but had a good time with no rain! The storm did affect us a bit though with the sea levels and activities. The resort can of course not control mother nature but, what they do have control over is the way customer service/extra accommodations are handled when half of the resort is unusable. This was our biggest complaint. When we arrived the swim up bar was empty due to repairs and unusable and remained that way throughout our stay. Given this, we were left with 1 pool (with water feature) and beach. We missed having pool activities to join into in the afternoon although they had 1 day of activities on the beach before the beach eroded. The beach ended up washing away up to the sea wall and this caused a few palm trees to fall over and the beach bar (tiki hut) to be washed into the sea. When these started to wash into the sea, none of the staff was in a huge rush to grab it before it washed out, leaving debris floating in the water making the sea dangerous to swim in. So, everyone and I mean practically everyone headed for the 1 pool open on property making it very uncomfortable. To make matters worse, there was no entertainment at the pool to be had. No music, no games aside from pool volleyball for 2 hours a few afternoons. We aren’t used to this. Most resorts have activities like bingo, dancing, funny games and pool volleyball. This probably normally happens at this resort, but given the 2nd pool being down, we didn’t get to experience any of this and the only thing they decided to move to the other pool, was volleyball. One can only play so much volleyball. After a few days of this, we asked with another couple, on our final day to go to Sans Souci as their beach was usable and all pools as well. This was not met with accommodations because it was Sunday. We were informed we could pay to go. We were told other couples had inquired about this as well, and they were not met with accommodations either. At this time half of the beach became usable by bayside and we enjoyed the rest of our day. I think given the double whammy of the beach eroding and the swim up bar being closed, they should have been more accommodating to guests for alternative options as we had never done trading spaces and there was a large enough group for them to realize there was an issue.
Aside from this we particularly enjoyed the free Dunn’s river trip that was included. Don’t miss this. It’s touristy yes, but very scenic and fun. We were also excited to try the catamaran cruise but to our surprise, it was a pontoon boat. It’s my understanding that the original catamaran boat is out for repairs. Still, we enjoyed being out on the water seeing beautiful Jamaica, even if the experience was cheesy at times. Go on this, but just be aware of which boat it is. My husband tried snorkeling off of the shore given the red flag no snorkeling trips, and didn’t see much. We really enjoyed the beach while it was intact and the views at this property are fantastic. We also enjoyed doing the tie dye. We’ve done this before at Secret’s but this was much more affordable, enjoyable, and the staff assisting were dolls. Only takes about 20 minutes and you have a great, unique memento. We made our own fun by playing in the waves, drinking a bunch, games, etc.
The food is really, very good. Lunch was pretty much always my favorite as there are so many options. For dinner there are only 2 restaurants that require reservations (bayside and Eight rivers) we surprisingly enjoyed Bayside the most. Eight rivers is supposed to be more of fine dining and while we did enjoy the meals here, you can’t beat the view that Bayside provides. We learned to order 2 entrees at Bayside though. No complaints with the food other than the fruit was odd and flavorless with a few exceptions (banana, coconut).
We enjoyed the drinks being served at the Piano bar and wished the Piano bar was open earlier in the day. No real top shelf liquor was available during the day (not unheard of). Some days it was hard to get even middle shelf at the main pool bar.
The entertainment was decent to mediocre at times. We really enjoyed the Silver Birds Band, the man that played before them, Karaoke was funny, people dancing was entertaining, other live music we couldn’t really get into. I would recommend that the resort open the club/disco a bit earlier at like 9. Many times we couldn’t stay up for the disco because the entertainment prior was putting us to bed (and because of the many drinks we had through the day, haha). We tried casino night and it was lack luster. Really needed some music and ambience.
All in all, we would likely try the other Couples properties before returning. If the price was right, we would return to Couples Tower Isle as many things were good, we would just make sure things were operational before booking.
Pro
Dunns River Falls
Food
Bayside (order 2 entrees)
The views
Easy property to navigate
Silver birds
Guy before silver birds
Beach before it washed away
Maid service- always received day cleaning/turn down
Mini bar refills
Easy to get dinner reservations as long as it's a day in advance
Piano bar drinks

Indifferent
Hit and miss with the staff -85% were great

Con
Limited day activities after beach eroded (needed music at the pool for a few hours or something during pool volleyball)
Casino night needed some ambience/ music
Fruit was all flavorless
No swimup bar through entire stay
Rooms need updating
Catamaran wasn’t a real catamaran (was a big pontoon party boat)
Never got any recognition at the restaurants or in the room for it being our anniversary despite several concierge/front desk people congratulating us (only mention this because every other vacation we’ve taken, this has happened)

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank katsmeow9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2017

We've have now stayed at all but one of the Couples resorts but we've visited them all. Couple Tower Isle was a great birthday vacation spot for us and although hurricane Irma forced us to stay 4 days longer than expected, we made the most of it.

I'll start by saying that as usual, the drinks and food choices were great. They could use more of a variety or change in the menu here and there since it all becomes repetitive at times. The staff was friendly most of the time, with just a few that were more on the quiet side. Byron greeted us with much love upon arrival and remembered us the entire time he saw us. The front desk staff became our best friends after having to extend our stay twice so it was nice to feel like family to them. We were offered a distress rate for the extra days and got to stay in our room which was nice.

We were disappointed to find that the pool with the swim up bar was under construction when we arrived and did not reopen until we left. Good thing there was still another pool (although sometimes crowded) that was closer to the food options anyway. The hurricane effected the beach a little so that caused the pool to get crowded as well.

Our one bedroom ocean suite was perfect (3316). Very roomy, clean, with some minor things like light fixtures and low water pressure that needs to be tended to. They did address the water pressure while we were there but it was only slightly better afterwards. I think they need to clean or replace the shower heads to make it easier to get the layers of sunblock off after a long day in the sun. The view from our room was great and centrally located to everything.

The entertainment staff was great, although the hired entertainment was just okay. They have better shows at Negril and San Souci in my opinion. We visited the lounge/ night club which was cool and the music got better as the night went on.

Housekeeping did a good job although they failed to replace our face tissue and bathroom glasses until we asked. Little things but still something we like done automatically.

All in all, I had a great birthday trip at Tower Isle and we might be back after visiting my other favorites again first. Couples San Souci and Negril are still the best for my kind of vacation. None the less, everyone at Tower Isle made us feel welcome and was great for the value.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank anitam79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2017

We wanted a peaceful vacation over Thanksgiving. Couples tower isle, provided that. We liked that the watersports were included and didn't require an extra payment and that activities such as shopping, catamaran cruise, Dunns River Falls, and snorkeling were also included in booking. The food was good! As we were there over thanksgiving, my favorite part of the food was that nearly every meal included some sort of pumpkin dish. If returning to Jamaica, Couples Tower Isle would be on our list to consider returning to.

  • Stayed: November 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank okietraveler333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CouplesSocialMgr, Public Relations Manager at Couples Tower Isle, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2017

okietraveler333,

Great to have you with us and we are pleased you had a fantastic experience.

We certainly look forward to hosting you again soon.

Regards,

Michelle G

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Reviewed 14 September 2017

This makes our 2nd visit to CTI. This is truly home away from home. From the Couples lounge at the airport upon arrival to the bus ride back to the airport for departure, we were treated like family. Byron was at the entrance greeting us upon arrival as he did on our last visit and of course remembered our names.

The view from our room was spectacular (Room #4109). Waking up to mimosas on the balcony is a must daily. Watching the sunrise & sunset is breathtaking, just beautiful. This time around we didn't do many excursions just stayed at the resort and enjoyed the amenities.

The nightly entertainment is always on point. From the beach party and interaction with the audience we truly enjoyed ourselves. Looking forward to our "Three Times the Charm" Trip back to CTI.

See you soon!!!

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank MeMe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CouplesSocialMgr, Public Relations Manager at Couples Tower Isle, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2017

MeMe S,

Three times the charm indeed!

Thank you for sharing your comments with us and we look forward to hosting you again soon.

Regards,
Michelle G

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Reviewed 11 September 2017

We've stayed at Couples Negril and SA. We needed a quick and easy summer getaway and decided to go back to Jamaica. Couples is easy, easy, easy!!! Wanted to do something different so we went to Tower Island. Decided on this one vs San Souci because of TA reviews. Everyone wants to know which one to choose and I wish I could tell you that 'TI is the one to go to" but they are all good and it really depends on what you like and when you go.

This was our first summer trip and we loved that it was not crowded at all. It helped that a lot of the visitors went to the island during the day so never an issue with a spot on the beach. The crowd is younger with lots of honeymooners. makes for a different vibe than the snowbirds in January. Just when we decided that summer was the way to go, Irma shows up a week after we left. Good rates vs playing the hurricane odds.

I loved the food at Tower Island. The staff was the best yet.

We stayed in Garden Rooms at SA and oceanfront at TI. No comparison. Yes, rooms are a little older, but it was comfortable and had a great view. Rooms were quiet and the AC worked.

the only negative-TI is not on seven mile beach.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank suju402
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CouplesSocialMgr, Public Relations Manager at Couples Tower Isle, responded to this reviewResponded 14 September 2017

suju402,

Thank you for your continued support ad for sharing your feedback. We are thrilled to have had you with us and appreciate that you understand that each resort will appeal to different persons.

We are elated that you had a good experience and we look forward to having you vacation with us again soon.

Regards,
Michelle G

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Reviewed 7 September 2017

We had the most amazing time! The food, the resort and the staff are top notch! All of our meals were world class. The Chef made every dining experience 5 star! The grounds were well maintained and beautiful. Every event was decorated with the 'red carpet' and 'show ready' look. Tenille with the entertainment kept us smiling and happy throughout our extended stay, Oral took great care of us on the beach keeping our drinks full and making us feel at home, Clayandrew always had our drinks made perfectly and promptly, Byron greeted us to the resort with open arms, Andrew always, with a big smile, asked us if we needed anything and a HUGE thank you to the general manager Leonard for accommodating us when our flights back to Houston were cancelled due to hurricane Harvey. He made sure we were doing ok and checking in on us and our families back home. Couples Tower Isle became our home away from home for 16 days. We will be back and look forward to seeing our Jamaica family on our next vacation! Thank you CTI for the memories!

Room Tip: Premier Ocean Room has the best view of the water and private island
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  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Lauren L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CouplesSocialMgr, Public Relations Manager at Couples Tower Isle, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2017

Lauren L,

Thank you for having vacationed with us and we hope all was well with you after the hurricane.

We have shared your wonderful accolades with the Staff and are pleased that you were able to experience our exceptional customer service.

Couples Resorts thanks you for your feedback and support and looks forward to hosting you again soon.

Regards,

Michelle G

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Couples Tower Isle

Address: St. Mary, Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Formerly Couples Ocho Rio)
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $392 - $1,184 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Couples Tower Isle 4*
Number of rooms: 226
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playground to Hollywood celebrities in the 1950s, glamorous Couples Tower Isle exudes a chic sophistication perfectly balanced by a relaxed Caribbean sensuality. Perched on the lush terrain of Ocho Rios, Jamaica—the resort seduces with breathtaking sea views, a wide sandy beach and century-old palm trees. Discover the joys of snorkeling among the reefs, windsurfing on the waves, or sailing into the sunset on a catamaran, rum punch in hand. Intricate blue tile work and jade chaise lounges offset the striking white retro architecture. Luxurious rooms boast private ocean-breeze balconies. Whether being pampered in the Zen-inspired spa—recognized as "Best in the Caribbean" by Travel+Leisure—sipping cocktails at the piano bar or indulging in an exquisite meal alfresco, Couples Tower Isle creates countless intimate moments that inspire you to return again and again. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Couples Tower Isle Hotel Ocho Rios
Couples Hotel Ocho Rios
Couples Ocho Rios
Couples Hotel Isle
Couples Ochos Rios
Ochos Rios
Couples Tower Isle Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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