The hotel was really pretty. The staff was nice, at times I felt they were a bit mocking.
The food at the hotel was all included, even alcohol. The buffet was really good, lots of different foods. The french restaurant was very yummy, the italian was so so. On saturday they have an all night outside dinner buffet - one of the best ever, there is a huge variety of food, and good quality. There are a lot of activities included in the price as well, take advantage of them all, its worth it, however sign up for them early. The food.
Lots of activities.
Couples, Ocho Rios has some issues
Couples, Ocho Rios Review Chris & Susan Monro 4819 Dale Ct. Middleburg, FL 32068
(904) 291-4825 (904) 505-1268 email: email@example.com
Dates of Stay: June 10th, 2003 through June 16th, 2003
PADI Certification #s: 0111423846, 0111425564
Compliments: Terrance Beach was as professional as we recalled from our previous visit, and enjoyed the assistance he provided during our stay.
OBrien and Meshagay from the entertainment staff were wonderful and very accommodating. Meshagay even went so far as to accompany my wife on a private shopping trip into Ocho Rios. She was very helpful. George and Antionette at the Pool-side bar were the only two people who could be counted on for a positive attitude and a bright smile. They were at Couples 2 years ago, and we were delighted to see them again.Lionel 'Woody' at the dive center was a very professional yet entertaining person who smoothed things over, despite issues we had.We were delighted to be upgraded from our deluxe ocean view room to a penthouse on the 4th floor.The booze-cruise was terrific, and our off-site excursion to the Toscanini restaurant was fantastic; truly a high-point of our vacation.
The dive center could not provide diving slots until 3 days after we arrived. We arrived on Tuesday, June 10th, and could not dive until Friday, June 13th.The dive center only provides 2 diving times per day, 6 days per week, and 1 dive time on Sundays.The dive staff, despite several of them being signatories in our log books from 2 years ago, treated us as non-certified divers, and required the our first dive would be to no deeper than 30 feet, and accompanied by a dive master who was completing a certification for a student diver. The dive master paid little-to-no attention to the student, and only required a neutral buoyancy demonstration at the end of the dive before shaking the students hand and congratulating him. My wife and I were left to keep an eye on the student during most of the 30 minute dive, while the dive master went looking for Eagle Ray and other exotic sea life. More often than not, the student was not even in view of the instructor/dive master.2 years ago, the most professional of all dive staff at the dive center at Couples, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, W.I., whose name is Lionel Woody, collected $50 for a night-dive, which was cancelled due to inclement weather (Specifically, an approaching Hurricane). When reminded of this fact, Woody specifically recalled the event, and discussed putting together a night dive for Saturday, June 14th. This dive and subsequent requests for the same never resulted in a night-dive. The dive center never completed the dive as promised, and never refunded the money. There were no weather issues during our most recent stay. The night dive appears to be a Red Herring offer that nobody ever gets to do; despite collecting funds for the dives. We have confirmed this with several other Couples repeaters.The watersports staff was very VERY disrespectful of myself and many others. Despite the fact that 4 AMF Alcort SunFish are on the beach, the staff refused to allow me; a sailor of 22 years, with 5 years SunFish racing experience; to take one out until I started to complain. I was then referred back to the towel desk where watersports are handled, and was referred to as Mister 22 years, and told to sign. After about an hour of enjoyable sailing solo, I brought the craft back to the beach, without incident, in a 16 knot wind. The following day I was delighted to be recognized by the same staff members and subsequently invited a friend to accompany me, so I could teach him a little about sailing, while our wives engaged in craft-making by the pool. During this time, we sailed out the western-end of the bay, and I explained the basics of beating, reaching, broad-reaching and luffing. We went through several helms-down leeward rotations (a tack). After that I explained the mechanics of a jibe vs. a tack, and we tried several jibes. On one occasion, during the jibe, the boat over-rotated, and we rolled over; not a big deal. I righted the boat, stabilized it, instructed my guest on how to board, and then boarded myself. This is a common occurrence with a SunFish, and nothing to be concerned or scared of. Upon reaching the beach I had to endure a 3 minute lecture from a watersports staff-member about what we did wrong. I was speechless! Not only was I being lectured by a person who clearly did not have a significant grasp of the English language, but I was embarrassed in front of my guest, who was only learning. This was totally unacceptable.On the 11th of June, we reserved space at the BaySide resturaunt for our 4th anniversary dinner. The excursion was a disaster. We had the most rude waiter I have ever had the displeasure of being served by. The man was rude to my wife, directly, and seemed to be disgusted by our very presence. We were dressed elegantly, and looking forward to a romantic dinner to celebrate our 4th anniversary, an anniversary, I might add, that began with a honeymoon at Couples, Ocho Rios, in 1999.On Saturday, June 14th, I entered the Piano Bar to enjoy some spirits and group entertainment. At approximately 12:15 am, an individual entered the bar, looking for his wife. He was distressed and angry. His wife was seated across the piano from me, and he had words with her. They both walked to the bar together, and 30 seconds later, the gentleman marched across the room, shoved me off my stool at full force, and then presented his fist to my face. His wife started yelling, and he was subsequently removed from the bar; along with his wife. I still have the bruise on my elbow from the backward landing on the floor of the bar.There were several other issues related to excursions we took from the resort, such as the Dunns River Falls Cruise, and the Blue Mountain Tour which caused us concern. Mr. Beech cleared up most of our issues related to the Dunns River Falls excursion but I heard a great deal of complaints about the excursion itself. A 4 hour trip that only includes 15 minutes of rum, and being out in a family oriented excursion where children are present, and climbing the falls with 60+ people linked hand-to-hand were not features that were described in the advertisements. The Blue Mountain tour was exceptional, until we descended into Kingston. Despite the multiple offers to purchase ganja at the Blue Mountain coffee stop, it was awe-inspiring and very tasty (we bought two pounds of coffee). The tour of Kinston was depressing, and somewhat frightening. On several occasions our tour guide locked doors and instructed us to close windows, and to move personal items to the center of the van. The lunch stop was a disaster, and I wonder who ever decided that all guests on the excursion should be required to sit at the same table together. After having already spent 4 hours in a van with these people, I will not go into detail, but sitting with the two other couples was absolutely disgusting, and we left the group table before the meal was ever delivered. (FYI, my wife was diagnosed with a mild form of Legionnaires Disease the day after we retuned home, which should give you some clue as to the conditions we were forced to accept during this final excursion, the day before we left Jamaica)In addition, there was a dead bird in the aviary, which we reported, but was not removed for 3 days.We had significant difficulty in using your complimentary Internet access. The staff didnt seem to be surprised by this, and said this it was usually down. This was not the case two years ago.Numerous tour offers listed at the Tour Desk, and listed on the green-legal sheet were not available, including the helicopter tour and the day-trip to Cuba.Most of the staff working the pool-side bar or the Beach Cafe (except George and Antionette) were unhappy or dis-interested in our patronage. Seldom a smile, and even when we tried to cheer them up or make them smile, we were ignored or dismissed. It was a frequent occurrence that staff members would come to the café and be served first, despite a line of guests who had already requested jerk chicken or burgers.On three different occasions, I personally witnessed a staff member at the Beach Café wiping his bare hands across his face/nose prior to handling food, and never washed his hands.The one day in which we crossed the road to take a look at the tennis facility, I remarked to my wife before we crossed, that this was one time when looking both ways was pretty important. We crossed safely amidst traffic, and upon getting to the other side, we strolled around.
2 minutes later one of your staff members/tennis pros walked right up to us and interrupted our conversation to tell us that we needed to look both ways before crossing. I was shocked at the condescending tone and child-like treatment we received. We never did play tennis. The individual was rude and disrespectful.
Upon reflection, without significant countermeasures, it is unlikely we will become a 4-peater at Couples. It seems that conditions, attitudes, and overall hospitality have declined somewhat from our trip in 2001.
New rules, less freedom (required reservations, SCUBA, pool restrictions, etc) have made the resort less than it was before. Since this resort was the site of our honeymoon, we regret having bad feelings about it, but the number of negatives has to be made up before we would decide to stay at or recommend Couples, Ocho Rios again.
Extraordinary service and luxury
Fantastic accomodation with wonderfull staff and great facilities. Incredible good food.
A very enjoyable stay.
Entrance to Couples Ocho Rios
Couples Ocho Rios
Couples Ocho Rios resort - the beach!
Runaway Bay Ochos Rios
Couples Ocho Rios
Has anyone stayed at the above hotel??? We have booked to go for Xmas and NY after the hotel we were stayin in in Mexico was badly damaged by Hurricane Wilma.
Any Comments would be appreciated.
RE: Couples Ocho Rios
I wasn't overly impressed by Couples Ocho Rios, I posted several travelogues with pictures on my Ocho Rios page if you want more detailed info but in a nutshell I thought the food was just OK, the hotel a bit dated (we were there in Feb 2005). I did like all the included watersports and excursions, there was something to keep us busy every day we were there.
RE: Couples Ocho Rios
I was at Couple Ocho Rios in 2000 and it was looking dated then. Couples Swept Away Negril is much better value and the food there was great.