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“San Souci is 'without worries'”
Review of Couples Sans Souci

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Couples Sans Souci
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Charlottesville, VA
117
Reviewed 10 April 2006

My wife and I returned yesterday (April 9, 2006) from a seven day vacation at Couples San Souci and are trying to adjust to real life. We are return visitors, but were there three years ago when it was owned/managed by BAT, a British tobacco company.

Overall, we were again happy with our treatment while at this resort, and will probably return. If you try to take in everything this resort has to offer, one week is not enough. Plan a longer trip there if you can.

The staff here are all extrememly friendly, and go out of their way to make you feel like you are the most important person there. The watersports manager Mike deserves a special thank you, as he sat with us during the return guest dinner, even though it was obvious that the GM, Pierre, wanted him to smooze with some of the bigger money folks. He was excellent dinner company and really felt like a true friend for the rest of the week.

The food, service, grounds, and most importantly staff, are fantastic. My only negative comment is that the Nude beach/pool is a mandatory all nude activity. Three years ago it was optional, so if you wanted to strip down it was totally fine, and if you wanted to stay totally or partially clothed, that was also cool. That side is definitely the best beach and possibly pool the compound has to offer, but you are excluded from using it unless you are a nudist. Somehow doesn't seem right.

I highly recommend this resort, and will hopefully return some day.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
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17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,865 - 3,869 of 4,028 reviews

Reviewed 10 April 2006

Another great trip to Sans Souci. Our 3rd trip in consecutive years. First trip since Couples took over. Three of us couples in all.
Trip From Airport:
Our flight arrived from Philly on time and moved through immigration and customs fairly quickly. We looked for the Couples Lounge to grab a few complimentary Red Stripe. The Couples staff quickly sent us to a waiting bus. We waited about 25 minutes in the bus for other passengers to arrive. I would have preferred to sit in the lounge and wait. The ride to Sans Souci took a little over 2 hours, faster than years prior.
Arrival:
When we arrived, I was very excited to be home again. I had a quick restroom stop at the Balloon Bar and was greeted with a big hug by my good friend from previous years, the bartender Orlando. Check-in was fast. The very nice bellhop Evol took our bags to our room and we were ready for the week!
Room:
Our room was E-10, Oceanview with Balcony. The third year we stayed in E block and we love the location. The rooms aren't in immaculate condition but it didn't ruin our vacation. We were well aware of this before and didn't hesitate to come back. For example, a couple of light bulbs were blown, water pressure wasn't great, some floor tiles cracked, bathrooms a little old and not updated, TV channels didn't come in alot of the time. We're on vacation on a great resort, it didn't bother us.
Restaurants:
Pallazina (French)- had pretty much the same menu as last few years. Very nice service and the food was also very nice. Try the Crab Cake!
Cassanova (Italian)- formal dining was elegant as usual. Trevor played piano while we ate amazing meals. Try the Filet of beef!
Beach Grill- Burgers, pizza, salad, jerk specials were great. Dre makes a great jerk-pork with french fries.
Staff:
Unbelievable staff as usual. The staff is definatly the reason we come back every year. They treat you like kings. Evol, bellhop; Dre, cook; Dexter, musician; Pierre, GManager; Ricardo Jason Duwayne Miguel Junior, bartenders; Philbert Shaun, supervisors. Last but not least, the best and my favorite bartender, Orlando.
Overall:
Not too happy with the change to the Sunset beach to Au Natural from Optional. Years prior it was a great beach to relax on. Now, unless you want to disrobe, you must wait till 5pm. The price goes up a little every year and now the resort for those who don't disrobe while sunbathing gets smaller. Other than that, the resort is great and will definatly go back again. I can go on and on about this great resort. Thanks again Orlando for an exceptional time!

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
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17  Thank rgaffney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
San Francisco
117
Reviewed 7 April 2006

Couples Sans Souci is remarkable. The rooms are beautiful, the restaurants are scrumptous, the service is the best and the grounds out of this world. Why stay anywhere else. My wife and I enjoyed every momemt. I have heard people compare it to Sandals and they say Sans Souci is not as good. To be honest these two hotels can not be compared. Each has its own unique features and are designed for different kinds of clientele. If you want seclution, intimacy and romance Sans Souci is for you. There was plenty to do or not to do. The beach is wonderful and well kept. This is a great resort for weddings and honeymoons. We will be repeat guests, count on it.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2006

My husband and I are in our early 30s, and we vacationed at Sans Souci from March 26-31, 2006. It was our third visit to the resort in five years, and each time we have been there, we've experienced different ownership of the property. The fact that we continue to return speaks for itself.

We were a bit concerned when we learned that Couples had taken over. We were afraid that it would take on more of a resort chain, mass-market type of atmosphere. Our fears were allayed after arriving, with everything more or less as we remembered and expected.

All of our reservation requests were met. The staff was attentive and polite. We recognized staff members from past years, who even remembered us! The food and drinks were fine. Prior to Couples ownership, a few spa services were included and I thought that was a fabulous incentive. The new management has changed that policy, and now only offers a complimentary 30-minute massage to repeat guests. We had no problem booking this service, but we had to cancel because of severe sunburn. I was pleased when spa staff accommodated our request to switch to a foot reflexology treatment, since we were in no shape for a full body massage.

Our room in the A block was comfortable, but it could definitely use a bit of a makeover. The dresser was in bad shape -- scratched, with broken drawers and a crooked mirror over it. The stained sitting room furniture has seen better days. With such a gorgeous property, it's surprising that the management would overlook these details.

The beaches and the pools are clean and beautifully maintained. We were badly burned the first day, and for the rest of the week, we were hard-pressed to find a place in the shade. I would highly recommend that Couples invest in some more umbrellas and lounge chairs, especially at the mineral pool (only about 8 chairs and 2 umbrellas!). Be sure to bring your own sunscreen, aloe, etc., as the gift shop charges close to $20 for such products.

The yoga class at the fitness pavilion was wonderful. The new high-speed Internet access makes staying in touch with family much easier and cheaper than phoning. Our Verizon cellular service also worked on this trip.

The ride from the airport was only about two hours, but getting back took more than three. We can't wait until the road construction is complete!

We plan to return to Sans Souci next year, and we would recommend this resort to anyone looking for a quiet vacation in paradise.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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21  Thank kikinj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2006

I just returned from a 4 night stay at Couples Sans Souci with my boyfriend, and am a repeat guest from pre-Couples days. Although the resort is still everything the website and pictures say, and the staff are the most genuine and caring staff you will find, there are some changes that might not be noticeable to some of you, but will be noticeable to those who vacationed prior to the Couples takeover.

The biggest change is in the guest-mix itself; I found a different clientelle than in the past. In the past the guest were generally 30's to 50's, polite, refined, caring, and very aware of the wonderful property they were visiting. The new guests from my perspective are younger (now 16 year old is the minimum -- in fact it looked like Spring Break in Florida for a bit), louder, ruder, and more "ugly-American" if you know what I mean. Obviously, this must be a result of the Couples marketing, and I am not sure what kind of discounts are being passed out, but if you like bathing beauties with tatoos and bodies that should be covered up, loud and foul language at the pool, classless manners when dealing with other guests, then you should book right away.

Return guests of the resort are still booking, and so it is not totally a different crowd, but it seems to be "leaning" in a direction quite different the past Sans Souci experience. Speaking with a long-time staff person at the hotel, the new management cut the staff in 1/2, and the general impression from long time staffers is that they will bring in less qualified staff with little training rather than keeping the long-time ones. While there may be other reasons for changing the make-up of staff, luckily that is not yet apparent from the guest standpoint, but it is pretty clear the new management and existing staff have a way to go before this integrates comfortably. Again, this is only my impression and is quite noticeable once you check in.

Also, the au natural beach is now mandatorily so, which from a guest standpoint is not fair since it is the nicest beach on the property, best view (pool has a waterfall), and one which you should visit. In the past you could do so since it was clothing optional. My feeling is when you are paying the rate for the property, you should be able to experience it all -- with or without your bathing suit; if it's optional, then that's your choice. Obviously, someone uncomfortable in that setting just won't go there -- perhaps this is a result of the younger guest age?? We were having a drink at the au natural bar (the beach had a total of 8 people on it at the time). A manager came up to us at the bar (we had tee shirts and shorts on) and said a guest who was nude complained that we had on clothes (there were only 3 people au natural at the beach -- so the comment was rather odd). He said that since it was cool (cloudly and colder that day) he would make an exception due to the weather; my comment to him was that if it was mandatory, why did not the bartender, and, by the way, him (manager) also dress "au natural" -- to which he could not answer. We left shortly thereafter but, still, this never would have happened before.

There was an underlying tension from the old staff about what was happening with the new Couples management, and although the resort is absolutely gorgeous, the suites are beautiful, spa services are special, and the food was also pretty good for an all-inclusive, I will pay close attention to others comments as this Couples resort moves forward.

I am not so sure that some of the guests booked Hedonism and just got on the wrong bus --

I heard guests with loud foul language, arguing with the staff over ridiculous things, not saying please and thank you, and well, some of these kinds of people are why you go to a more expensive resort -- knowing they won't be there. Guess what, they are starting to arrive and Couples only took over in October.

Hopefully, management will "get their bottom line back" if that is why new management took over, and then attempt to get back the solid, repeat guests that Sans Souci was known for. Until then, I would still recommend the resort, with hesitation.

The drinks are still wonderful, Dexter is beautiful with his flute and sax skills, and the Friday night gala is wonderful, weather is gorgeous. The roads are getting better; they are getting ready for the World Cup of Soccer in 2007, so lots of building going on, but prepare yourself for a long ride to/from the airport.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
32  Thank ckdk1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 31 March 2006

Couples resorts purchased SansSouci September 2005, ALL staff and management were offered a position with COUPLES Sans Souci. New staff members are generally employed from hospitality schools and are given training by competent trainers. The minimum age is 18 years and COUPLES only. The Au Natural beach has changed is rules due to guest comments.

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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 Sans Souci

Address: Route A3, St-Mary | PO Box 103, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
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 ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $435 - $1,228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Couples Sans Souci 4.5*
Number of rooms: 150
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

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