Editorial coordinator Laura Dennis kicked back and relaxed with
her husband for a few days at Couples Negril in Jamaica. Her report
It seemed like an endless journey to get to Couples Negril. We
traveled by car, plane, puddle-jumper and shuttle bus for the
better part of a day, but that became a distant memory upon
entering the resort's open-air lobby.
The staff greeted arrivals with champagne and hot towels, and
beckoned guests to the comfortable rattan loungers while the
check-in process got under way.
The 234-room Couples Negril is the funkiest member of the Issa
Resorts family, which also includes Couples Ocho Rios and Swept
Away in Negril.
The low-rise resort, often described as Negril chic, presents a
nice contrast to the classic, colonial style of Couples Ocho Rios
and the tropical ambience of Swept Away.
Crimson and jade hues, local artwork and lush foliage are key
elements found throughout Couples Negril.
Rooms showcase the hip style of Negril, with bold colors and
Also capturing the attention of guests are the inclusive
property's many offerings, from its beachfront locale to its
During the day, most couples could be found lounging at the main
pool or on the beach.
The pool's swim-up bar is a popular spot that offers cool drinks
and a shady respite from the strong sun.
Another hot spot may be the nude beach with its self-service
bar. I personally don't know, but I believe the adventurous can
attest to it.
Couples also can be found participating in all kinds of water
sports, snuggling in the swinging seats in the lobby (which boast
great views) and engaging in many public displays of affection,
especially the honeymooners.
Some of the other diversions are the air-conditioned game room;
a small gym, where classes such as yoga are held; the spa, with a
long list of services, and four tennis courts (two are lighted for
One of Couples' strongest selling point is including off-site
excursions in its rates.
Guests can sign up for a shopping trip, catamaran sunset cruise,
glass-bottom boat ride and an outing to Rick's Cafe, the place to
go for sunsets and cliff-jumping.
Playing golf at a local course is another excursion that can be
arranged by Couples for no additional fee, according to resort
sales manager Caroline Cousins.
She said greens fees and transfers are included in the
Dining is a large part of the Couples experience. Food is
plentiful, tasty and available round the clock.
Cassava Terrace is open for breakfast (try the fruit smoothies),
lunch and dinner; the Beach Grill serves snacks throughout the day
and Mediterranean cuisine in the evening, and room service is
available for continental breakfast.
The resort's gourmet restaurant and its top dining venue is
Otaheite (pronounced Oh-Tahiti).
The a la carte restaurant is open six nights a week, and
reservations are required.
The dress code at Otaheite is casually elegant, which translates
into long pants and a button-down shirt for men, and either a
dress, skirt and blouse or pants and blouse for women.
There is nightly entertainment, but it is not unusual to see
couples walking hand in hand back to their rooms after dinner.
And spending time in the room is not such a bad thing.
All of the rooms have balconies or patios, and nice touches in
every unit include coffeemakers with Blue Mountain coffee, CD
players, pitchers of water that are replenished daily and
umbrellas. However, guests need to bring their own CDs.
The resort has 18 suites, which feature hammocks on the
balconies, Jacuzzi tubs and stocked minirefrigerators. Hors
d'oeuvres are delivered to guests in suite accommodations, as
Irons and ironing boards, which are available in suites, are
being added to regular rooms this winter.
The resort has a strict no-tipping policy, but guests should
have plenty of singles on hand when transferring to the airport,
for shuttle bus drivers and porters.