NEW YORK -- Couples Ocho Rios, the forerunner of Jamaica's
all-inclusive resorts reserved for couples, turns 25 years young
this month, just as the paint dries on a new, $2 million
The refurbishment effort included renovation of 80 mountain- and
oceanview guest rooms in the 212-room resort's main building and
the conversion of 13 rooms on the fourth floor into six penthouse
"By continually upgrading our existing product, we ensure our
guests the absolute best in design and comfort," said Couples
Resorts president and CEO Paul Pennicook.
Reworked interior room decoration at the 19-acre, beachfront
property now reflects a yellow-and-green "Negril chic" look, with
new bedding, upholstery and drapery; Mexican tilework; and fixtures
such as wall sconces and, in suites, artwork by local artisans.
Attention has been paid to the smallest detail, according to
For example, new furnishings are dominated by deep, butter
yellow and avocado green; headboards and duvets are covered in rich
cotton with the Couples logo embroidered in gold stitching; and
sconces are home to ginger plants.
Public areas of the resort also were upgraded, including the
Piano Bar and restaurants Le Gourmet and Verandah.
An interesting addition to the renovated Piano Bar is a display
of vintage photographs featuring founder Abe Issa with a host of
celebrity guests, including Eugene Fodor, the late travel guidebook
Couples Ocho Rios, built in 1949 by Issa as the Tower Isle
Hotel, reopened as a couples-only, all-inclusive resort in
The property, re-nowned as a celebrity hotspot for the jet set,
quickly became the flagship resort of a new chain.
Today, a private
island with a tower just offshore still is referred to as "Tower
Isle" in tribute to the resort's history.
Couples is celebrating its silver anniversary with special
events, including participation in a Jan. 18 golf charity event at
the Upton Golf Club and a fireworks display and dance party on Jan.
Vacations at Couples Ocho Rios include airport transfers to and
from Montego Bay; air-conditioned accommodations with satellite TV
and CD player; in-room champagne upon arrival; continental
breakfast in bed; all meals and snacks; unlimited, premium-brand
cocktails and drinks; free weddings and renewal of vows; catamaran
cruises; and other perks.
In addition to on-site amenities and water sports, Couples Ocho
Rios offers trips to Dunn's River Falls and horseback tours at no
"Guests at Ocho Rios experience the best of all worlds -- an
unparalleled host of amenities and off-site excursions along with
luxurious accommodations in a spectacular natural setting, coupled
with the reliability and familiarity of their longtime favorite
resort," said Couples Resorts chairman Lee Issa.
Vacationers can sample the venerable resort at significant
discounts next year under Couples' new "Early Booking Bonus"
The deal offers savings of up to 30% on bookings of three or
more nights through Feb. 28 for travel until Dec. 26.
Travel through June 27 features discounts of $130 per couple,
per night, off published rates; travel between June 28 and Dec. 26
has savings of $150 per couple, per night, or $1,050 for a
Couples Resorts, based in Montego Bay, owns and operates Couples
Negril and Swept Away in Negril in addition to Couples Ocho
The chain debuted a preferred-agent program in September that
offers bonuses of $10 per room night in addition to the standard
Agents enrolled in the program also are entitled to earn one
complimentary night for every seven nights booked; a free listing
on the Couples Web site; customized business cards and stationery;
monthly Web fliers to send to clients; advance notice of promotions
and special events; and sales manager and resort access.
To become a Couples Preferred Agent, visit www.couples.com/agents.asp and fill out the
Benefits of the program are tracked automatically when agents
complete the online VIP registration form for clients; agents must
pre-register clients in order to earn bonuses.
For more information, call (800) COUPLES or visit www.couples.com.