After our visit to Couples Ochio Rios that philosophy has gone totally out the window!
Yes the flight is long, yes the Customs/Arrivals at the Airport is long winded (you suspect to keep people in a job), yes on top of all that it is along drive out to Ochio Rios. But once you get there within in minutes it all becomes a distant memory as you realise it was all worth the effort to visit this beautiful place.
Everything was first class. The bar stock branded drinks a dozen or more whiskeys for example all top brand names. I drink Guinness which they did not carry as a stock drink but once I told the Bar Manager it was available the next evening, with the instruction that in advance of our next visits to e-mail and he would ensure it was available from night one. Just one example of staff who not only were the friendliest staff we have ever encountered but repeatedly prepare to go out there way to make sure everything was perfect.
The food, the trips, the accommodation, the location, the facilities, were first class. The staff and the local people outside of the resort, despite genuine poverty, were unbelievably friendly and cheerful even more so if you responded to them with genuine respect.
The simple reality is if you want anything ask and if you can not have the holiday of a lifetime, (or indeed a wedding in a beautiful unforgettable location) at Couples Ochio Rios you would be best staying at home, locking your front door and forgetting about ever going anywhere again, because your expectations are that high nowhere will ever be able to meet them !
Would we go back, the question is would we have left given the choice and the answer to that would be a big, big no!
Travel operator: Holiday travel Club
The hotel was superb. The staff couldn't do enough for us. And the food was totally scrummy.
Unfortunately the only drawback is that the hotel is a 2 hr drive from the airport, and the roads leave a hell of a lot to be desired (I actually got off the minibus with whiplash!!).
However, we had a terrific time, and would definately recommend it.
Travel operator: Kuoni
It is located a little outside of Ochio Rio's, however the hotel does put on shuttle buses into town.
Rooms were of a good standard, would recommend the see view.
Beach and pool areas were kept spot less, Cocktails and cold towels brought to your sun beds from 10am on wards.
Staff were all very friendly.
Free Excursions were good and broke up days when you got fed up with the sun.
Although excursions are free, you are expected to tip the guides & driver.
Golf. you can play as much as you like for free, you do need to pay for the caddie, around $20
Drinks - all branded ie miller & Redstrip beer, Remy brandy, Bailys.
Food was of a good standard with plenty of choice.
Entertainment in the evening was made up from a resident band and singers, the hotel also brought in guest preformers as well.
The only down side is the amount of Americans that visit the resort. They tend to travel in large groups and spend the first two days like kids in a sweet shop, drinking to excess and being loud, from the third day on they claim down a bit and can be quite nice people once they shut up to give you an oppurtunity to talk.
I would recommend to any of my family or friends to stay in this hotel, and would go back.
Travel operator: Thompson
We woke in the morning and when we came downstairs and made our way to the beach grill/breakfast area wow!! It is open plan and looks directly out to the ocean. The view was amazing and hearing the waves as you ate breakfast was something we enjoyed. The breakfast had everything you could imagine and then some! It was very American though but there was such a large choice on a help yourself basis. Lunch was the same again with a vast choice and desserts that were just gorgeous! There was 3 resturants to chose from and all were of high standard with their own atmosphere.
You could eat and drink till 5 am in the morning but there was no room service avaliable apart from a continental breakfast. On our second day we were upgraded by couples to suite 216 which was a complete surprise and made our holiday something we will never forget. In this suite we had a walk in closet, a queen size bed, a mini bar which was restocked daily and a jaquzzi bath in the bedroom aswell as a large balcony faceing the ocean, a sitting area, and a bathroom which was great aswell. All rooms have air conditioning and we also had a television,safe, and radio alarm clock too. At couples they do a 'turndown' service for you each night and that too was a lovely touch.
The staff are happy, always laughing and are very commited to their jobs. Couples have a no tipping policy however we did tip and found that most staff expect it and were more than willing to accept what tip we offerd. The grounds are full of lush carribean gardens and there are 2 privite jaquzzi's, 2 shops, a currency exchange, a beauty salon, tennis courts, gym, a privite island where you could sunbathe naked lol, and lots of exursions included within your stay. This also included water sports, horse riding, shopping trips, glass bottom boat rides and much much more.
Entertainment was not something of high interest to us however they did provide a beautful evening on the beach where all the tables were lit by candle light, and there was a sax player on the pier. The staff also provide a 'comedy' entertainment evening. This is a couples only resort and it really is romantic.
We married here too and again our wedding co-ordinator was amazing, and our photographs and wedding video was of high standard. Our suite was decorated for after our wedding and it was romantic and elegant. We did worry that this resort would be too 'posh' for us but it was very down to earth and you did not need to dress to impress if you didnt want to. It had a very relaxed yet classy feel to the place and you can do as little or as much as you want too.
We will be going back in 2008 and those sayings that you hear are very true when it comes to Jamaica, 'once you go, you know' We would highly recommend Jamaica, and couples to anyone who is looking for an amazing time. It was perfect from start to finish.
I wanted to add that the web address provided for this company is incorrect. It is www.couples.com. On there you will find information on each resort they have, plus there is a message board too.
Travel operator: thomson
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