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Reviewed 3 March 2012

My husband and I traveled to CTI Feb. 19-Feb 25 2012. We chose this resort (with help from our travel agent) because of all of the included activities. And the price.

So I will start with the traveling experience. I was so nervous (I had not traveled international for about 7 years) and after reading the reviews (which I was advised not to do) I expected the worst. I think we got lucky, as I still heard travelers talk about extremely long waits in customs. We arrived in Jamaica to find an extremely long line for customs. I thought, "Great...here is the 3 hour wait they were talking about." But I was luckily wrong. My husband said it took about 1.5 hours but it flew by so fast I didn't even mind. Be careful what you wear as we were coming from 20-30 degree weather to 80 degree weather! It was a warm wait. After going through customs, our bags were already waiting for us. After passing immigration we were greeted in a room with a lot of resort lounges. The men standing in front of the Couple's lounge were thrilled to see us and very welcoming. We only had to wait about 15 minutes in the lounge before our bus was ready to take off. My husband tipped the guy who took our bags and apparently that might be rare? Because he was thrilled, told the bus driver, and we were a target for the question, "Do you like to party?" Which is a pretense for do we want to buy some paraphernalia! Haha. So be careful how you answer those questions. In all reality though, they are so nice even when you reject to buying anything from them. I was also a little nervous on the bus ride - I had heard not great stories. But to be honest, you are in Jamaica, you are heading to your resort, get over it. It was about 1.75 hours and yes as it was a little long, no big deal! Just try to enjoy every minute of it.

We were greeted at the resort with extremely welcoming and friendly faces. We got drinks and a cold refreshing towel as we checked in. We were shown to our room and yes, as everyone says, they remember your names! Our room was 4412. I could not have asked for a more amazing room (other than a suite, and to be honest I don't think I would have preferred the view!) - We payed for a Deluxe Ocean View. Not sure what the difference between Deluxe and Premiere are but I think they were the same in our case. We had the most amazing view. I felt bad for people maybe in like 4406 or something because their view were blocked by palm trees. We looked out our room to see pure ocean with a fantastic view of the island. We the second to last room on the 4th floor of block 4 - far enough away from the swim up bar and everything else to where things were sooooo quite and peaceful. The ONLY complaint about the room (as I was nervous from previous reviews, also) was that the room didn't have a fan so it got pretty steamy in there and took forever for the mirror to clean off due to humidity. And the shower - although very roomy - didn't have a big step so water got everywhere. Did it ruin my stay in my room? Absolutely not!!! Wouldn't have changed a thing. I am not a very sound sleeper so on nights I couldn't sleep (as there was not a noise (i.e a loud fan) to help me sleep) I would go out on the patio, sleep on some chair pads, and it was amazing to be able to safely sleep outside. On nights I COULD sleep in the amazing king size bed, we slept with the patio doors open and listened to the ocean. We also did not have ANY phone service at the resort. In some spots (sometimes my balcony but mainly the beach and a coulpe of restaurants) I picked up WiFi and could use the internet. They also have an internet cafe there to use! So as it was kind of a bummer not to use my phone, it was kind of nice to not talk to anyone on the phone for a week!

Every morning we ate at the Patio Restaurant buffet and I recommend having an omlet and/or a waffle. Those were my favorites. Every day for lunch (or most) we ate at the pool grill. Just more American type food (different taste) but really good. Especially the fries - haha. One day we did order in room service. The food was amazing, hot, timely, and we ate out on our patio watching the ocean. Other nights we dined at Eight Rivers (after making reservations on the first day) and Bayside. Just be aware their portions are quite small, although I got full. Also - a tip - if you want an appetizer, order one for each of you - they are not your typical "appetizer." - VERY TINY. Haha - but fancy. We also ate dinner at the Verandah Restaurant on Lobster night (VERY good!) but I will say at all of these "fancier" restaurants, you will be there for quite a while! Like 60-90 minutes. But who cares, you're in Jamaica?! It buys you some time before the nightly entertainment anyway! We ate at the Patio Restaurant 2 nights and that was decent -good also! I'm a picky eater, so take that into consideration. My husband LOVED the food. We didn't frequent the Veggie Bar, but as we were laying out a waiter/worker would come buy with fruit-kabobs. SO good.

The activities, as I said, are why we booked this place. And I think they are definitely worth it!!!! Our first activity we chose to partake in was Dunns River Falls. I didn't really want to go off of the resort but this was only a 20-25 minute drive and the driver (GARY) made it so enjoyable. It was so fun, but bring water shoes. You can purchase them but it was nice to just have them. I took an underwater camera and they turned out pretty cool. The only downside to this place are the vendors. But this is how they make your money so just say sternly, "NO" and push your way past them. Keep your hands to yourself as they will just put things into them! I'm a sucker and got hit 2 times with almost buying things. Ugh! :) We did not purchase the video ($40.00) but I would have if we would have brought enough money to Dunns, haha. I purchased an $8.00 photo of my husband and I getting poured on by the falls. So cool! We also chose to go snorkeling. It was looking kind of gloomy out and aside from our first day almost every day was pretty windy! We thought we were not going to be able to go (per past reviews) but we did! We chose to go at 11:00 (after the 10:00 clinic) otherwise you could go at 3:00. We KIND of kicked ourselves for not going again because the 3:00 one takes you to an underwater mind shaft - we saw coral reef and underwater plants and some fish, was by far still amazing, but still! We also kick ourselves for not going scuba diving. You don't have to be certified but they still teach you at the clinic. And its included (Very rare!). We were going to do the Catamaran Cruise, but it was booked so we would just lie on the beach instead! We also got a complimentary 30 minute couple's massage for our honeymoon which was absolutely amazing. Other days we played pool volleyball a couple of times and sand volleyball (a great workout) one day! So fun and you meet a lot of people!

Nightly activities were fun, but as someone said, always kind of late! I'm only 24 but after lying in the sun all day you are kind of worn out and don't want to wait until 10:30 to see the entertainment! We did a couple of nights, and the Movie on the beach was fun! (Even though we couldn't stay for the whole thing). They bring you towels, popcorn, and of course you have your drinks. Our movie was "Country Strong" haha. Monday night was the Beach Party. I didn't REALLY want to go but SOO glad I did. There was so much amazing food and again, you meet great people! They then had fun entertainment following it.

We didn't go to Margaritaville or on the Shopping Tour but I heard they were fun! We also did not partake in Martini Bar or Piano Bar but I heard great things about them, also!

The beach was VERY small as we were told when we booked it. We were told the beaches were not as great as on the Negril side. HOWEVER, it is a private beach. Which makes it 100% worth it. No vendors coming up to you bothering you while relaxing. We did not partake in going to the island, just our preference, but we heard that was fun! It was a lovely view though to look at the pretty island from our room/beach.

Obviously weather is by chance, but I was a little nervous because when I would check for the next week there were quite a few days that said "20-40% chance of showers." Well, our days were at least 80 degrees partly cloudy to sunny. One day it was 88 degrees and sunny (while my family was going through a blizzard back home!) We had only one day we were lying on the beach and it started to sprinkle. We ended up going back to the room to wait it out/nap but I'm pretty sure it lasted maybe 20 minutes. Again - a light sprinkle!

We like to sleep in but we just didn't here. We woke up about 8:30-9:30 daily. Before we would go to breakfast, we would take our towels and go find 2 chairs with the PADS on them. They fill up quick so we went and put our towels on them. This is one very nice thing I noticed - if there is a towel on a chair and chair pad, people wont take them. Very respectful! You can also leave your stuff by your chairs while you go take a swim in the ocean, which I was nervous about the first 2 days, but everyone is there for the same reason. To relax and have fun!

Drinks were amazing! I'd recommend the Jamaican Smile! I had so many and never felt buzzed! Haha. My husband always had "The Special." Whatever that may be! Service was really great, sometimes a LITTLE slow, but you're in Jamaica. No rush! There were two different times that I messed up our lock box which we used daily. The manager had to come up to reset it for us as she had to use her card. It was a pretty quick fix, which was nice.

Gift shop was fun! My husband bought a couple of cigars from there (pretty expensive) and then then they had a Cigar Booth open the night of the Beach Party! So that was cool.

The day we left went so smoothly. They tell you what time to put your bags outside of your door. Ours was 10:15, and our bus left at 11:15. You don't have to make any arrangements. We had a lot of time to walk around the resort, take in the scenery, buy any last minute gifts, and have breakfast before the bus took off. We were ready to go by this point (as we missed home) so the 1.75 hour bus ride got a little long. But once we got to the airport, people were very helpful in getting us to our gait. We had time to eat at "Margaritaville" at the airport, which was awesome because we didn't go to the actual Margaritaville. It was quite the difference to go from all inclusive to then buying a $35.00 meal for 2 (wraps, fries, and a coke!) but everything went fairly smoothly.

Sorry for the book-long review, I hope it helps people! These reviews helped me stress and not stress but hopefully this one makes you excited. Don't regret going, don't listen to the reviews that talk horrible..I can't quite grasp why?! I didn't see any carpet ripped by the way! Have a wonderful time and just relax, 'cause you're "In Jamaica Mon!"

Room tip: 4412 - Which means 4th block, 4th floor, Room 12. So cool! AMAZING view. Deluxe Ocean View. Great working A/C. All around wonderful!
Date of stay: February 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank Lisa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2012

Well, where do I start. We returned home to the UK today from Jamaica and I must say, it was a sad day :(

We stayed at Coupled Tower Isle and it is by far one of the most beautiful, friendly and clean resorts we have ever stayed at. To top it all we also got married at CTI and the day could not have been more perfect thanks to their on site wedding organiser.

Now this will be the first review I have ever written for any resort so I am coming from the angle of what I read before we left and what I actually found when we got there.

Arrival:

We landed at Kinston airport in the early evening and OMG the journey was actually horrible, our driver did his best to keep our spirits up but after a 4 hour car drive to Gatwick, a 10 hour flight and another 3.5 hour drive to resort we were well and truly knackered for want of a better word.

However, on arrival we were actually greeted by the hotel manager, a reception staff and our bell boy, and ALL we fantastic, we had wet towels to refresh us and then were rushed to the buffet restaurant for food before it closed. Even in our state this was a very nice welcome! We did not know at the time the man who greeted us was the manager lol, very nice man!

Room:

We stayed in room 3310, premier ocean view room. As far as I am aware this is the highest paid room you can have other than a suite, and it was AMAZING! We were situated 2 floors above reception right at the back of the resort facing straight onto tower isle, the beach and everything else that comes with it. If you want to upgrade your room ask for 3310, it was PERFECT!!

The room was extremely clean and after some of the reviews I read I was worried about the bathroom, DONT, the bathroom was brilliant, very clean and very good size with a walk in shower. Our parents also stayed at tower isle in "normal" rooms, one with a partial ocean and garden view and one with a view of the gardens to the front of resort, both rooms were nice but you pay for the view ;)

All rooms have a free mini bar stocked with alcohol of your liking, and when I say alcohol, they actually put 1 litre bottles of stuff in there an not miniatures - that came as a shock ;)

Rooms are cleaned in the morning every day with fresh towels etc and then your bed is turned down and mini cleaned again in the evening. The cleaners add nice little touches such as flower heads on your pillows etc and towels shaped in all kinds of random ways.

Overall resort presentation:

Now, we read a lot of reviews about ripped carpets and out of date decor, absolute tosh!!! This resort is the most modern resort you could ask for and most of the restaurants etc are painted once every other week, we know because we watched them do it and were very pleased with the upkeep. Pools are kept very clean and the beach is constantly cleared of any debris from the sea by the "lifeguards" I put that in quotes as they all wear blue clothing that says that but they tend to do all the organisation of watersports and cleaning of pools etc.

Food:

Well, I have to agree with the many on this one, the food was absolutely superb, from the buffet restaurant right up to the Eight Rivers restaurant. We ate at every single restaurant on resort at least once, one thing to note, as many have said, reservations for Eight Rivers and Bayside get taken quite quickly, I.e. you would not be able to book for the same day or sometimes next day but any after that you can book in, so make sure you get your reservations in early.

The buffet food was fantastic, I don't know this for fact, but we believe that the majority of the food is produced on site, it is all so fresh and tasty from the bread to the mac & cheese which they serve (which is amazing BTW).

The verandah restaurant is also amazing for those wanting a restaurant feel but without reservation, you can just walk up the the verandah and they will seat you if places available, if not they will put you on a 20-30 min waiting list, in which time you go to a bar an enjoy yourself ;)

The bar side grill is open almost 24 hours a day and served amazing food cooked right in front of you, such as Jerk Chicken, Chicken Nuggets, Fries, Jerk Beer Berger and so on, you get the point. This is a great place to go for lunch instead of the buffer or for a late night snack after the booze ....

Bayside serves amazing 5* Asian food in our opinion and the head chef tends to come out and have a chat with you while your waiting between courses, also the setting for this restaurant is perfect, right over the sea on basically rocks lol!

And finally, Eight Rivers, WOW! This is a fine dining establishment and the food is to die for! This restaurant if out in the open and not on a resort I would say is deserving of a Michelin Star! I will say no more, you need to try!

The Staff:

99% of the staff we met were absolutely outstanding, they all recognise you daily after meeting you and always give a warm welcome, I say 99% as there was the odd one that looked like they couldn't be bothered, but hell, everywhere has those.

Our bell boy right from day 1 remembered us as "bride and groom" and greeted us every day in the lobby with a yeah mon bride and groom how you doing type welcome lol!

The staff also rotate, so one day you will see them in the swim up bar, the next they will be posh'ed up and in the Eight Rivers, so don't p*** any of them off ;)

We made many staff friends there also have added us to Facebook, these staff really do care!

Other stuff:

There was one more point I wanted to touch on, I know some people mentioned that the resort uses a red flagged sea as an excuse not to do watersports, not true, of the 14 days we were there there were 2 days that the sea was red flagged and watersports off, believe me, if you saw the sea you would understand why, its for safety and fair play to them, whenever they deem it safe they are out there.

We also did Dunns River Falls excursion and the Cattermeran - both free of charge and provided by the hotel and are defo worth doing.

What would I change about this holiday:

ONE thing and ONE thing only - fly into Montego bay, you don't want to be doing the route from Kingston to CTI, I can assure you :)

I am sure there is much I have missed off from this but hell, I crammed everything in while I could.

My opinion if your 50/50 on this resort, just go, you won't regret it...

PS : My parents did the day visit to Couples San Soussi, NOT a touch on CTI, go CTI every time!!!!!

Hope this helped!

Room tip: 3310 - thats all you need to know (or any other premier ocean view - its worth the money)
Date of stay: February 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank Gavin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

The new wife and I went to Couples Tower Isle for our honeymoon and we were really happy to have chosen the resort for the biggest and most expensive trip of our lives.
It is a beautiful resort. Yes it can be windy and so some watersports may not be on every day. Yes the beach is small. But so what. The setting is amazing - really tranquil and beautiful with a lovely beach and gardens as well as a couple of pools and hot tubs so there's always somewhere to relax in peace and quiet.
The food is very good - not amazing - but for all inclusive it's very good - lots of variety and all very tasty.
The rooms are also nice - not superb - fairly basic, but modern and clean and with lovely views of the Tower Isle.
The staff are in the main very friendly and helpful and the evening entertainment is worth a look most nights.
All in all a really lovely holiday in a relaxing location. We would definitely go again.

Date of stay: January 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank saffal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

This was our second time in Jamaica over the past two years but our first time at Couples Tower Isle (CTI). The experience for arrivals was fairly the same in that you need to be patient as you get through customs and you get to the resort, although this resort was nice as you had a 'special' bar where you are taken and only stop once before arriving at CTI.
The weather was really good - without exception. Every day was sunny (after some cloudy mornings after they dissipated) and the sky was always clear, including at night when you could see so many stars.
The food was really good - with one exception: the breakfast buffet always had runny scrambled eggs (and needed more attention with refilling the trays). The food at the restaurants was always good. The Gala Buffet had a wide variety. Eight Rivers was as good as everyone who reviewed this said, especially lobster night on Friday. The Bayside was romantic and had excellent Asian cuisine.
The service was mostly good - with two exceptions: we left the Veranda without dessert because more than 90 minutes for a dinner is crazy and we frequently had dirty dishes in front of us for extended period of times. One of our best experiences was at Eight Rivers with Jermaine as our waiter. He was very attentive and friendly and I already mentioned how good that food is.
The activities were mostly good - with two exceptions: there was frequent dead time between a 7:00 dinner reservation and a 10:30 activity so we often times missed the 10:30 activity 'cause we hit the wall and fell asleep. Make sure you read the board at the Gala restaurant as that seems to be the only place where they post evening activities. The BEST activity was the catamaran. It was unique and humbling as you felt as if you were in a movie as you soared through the waves and went to a cove where you swam in the beautiful waters. We also had a really nice time snorkeling - taking advantage of that great water. We considered doing the catamaran another time but chose to do the other activity before leaving for the week - the nude island. Also a unique experience where we met some really nice people and got a tan without lines, we were there almost every day as the beach, although nice, had a lot more 'noise' so during prime hours we hit the island and after 3:00 came back to the pool where volleyball was the activity at least two days in a row.
Lastly, the accommodations were bad with one exception - our room was close to the activity rooms (the gym, the Internet, the pool). Our room was 1103. This room had one mirror only in the bathroom - none in the other room. There is no fan in the bathroom so we had to wipe the mirror and try to get ready together in the bathroom (which had a pocket door difficult to close as it is wood and wood does not do well in moist weather). Our fire alarm in the room went off 4 times - twice on our second night at 6:00AM and 6:10AM, once on Wednesday at 4:43PM, and once on Friday at 2:21AM. We had mentioned this twice at the front desk with nothing special being done - although a maintenance person came on Wednesday to no avail. The sheets smelled for three nights - yes, we should have said something sooner but we thought it was because of the moisture that seemed to stay in the room - which also made the towels difficult to use as they were frequently moist (so make sure to get fresh towels every day). There was no television reference guide because it was taken from the 'bible' (as every room is provided a binder with information in it so make sure you check the table of contents first). The iHome look-alike is just that as we never figured out how to use it and it didn't charge our iPods. Also, there are not a lot of toiletries - three dispensers of body lotion, shampoo/conditioner, body wash - and two soaps. The shampoo/conditioner is shampoo so bring conditioner as I bought a bottle at the gift shop, an 8 oz. Suave conditioner, for $5.01. Lastly, the safe in our room worked until the last day when we needed it to work. It didn't take our code and didn't even light up at one point but we got it to work again just before they sent a maintenance person there.
When all was said and done and we were leaving for our week, I told the manager about our sad accommodations, again, and my $21 for extra expenses - the conditioner I mentioned above and additional sunscreen that we purchased at the gift shop - were still paid by me - with no offer from the manager as she listened to my complaints especially around the fire alarms, and gave me a comment booklet to complete, which I promptly did.
Overall, this was a nice winter vacation and we were still sad to come back to the northeast but really glad to come back to our homey accommodations. You will still enjoy the stay - and the great get-away!

Room tip: Avoid block (building 1) - any room beginning with 1...
Date of stay: February 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank OceanAngel_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2012

This is our 5th time here, and 11th time to Couples. They have done a lot of renovations to the property. The food was INCREDIBLE - some of the best ever. Staff is great and you always feel special. Beach is good, but small, restaurants have something for everyone, and rooms are nice. The nude island is great too!

Room tip: Go for Ocean View
Date of stay: February 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank SuziandFrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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