A Couples Negril Review and what to expect at this all-inclusive resort.
One night while having dinner with some friends someone suggested we all go on vacation together. As soon as it was suggested it was a done deal. We were going. The question was where?
I threw out that I was dying to go on an all-inclusive vacation. I had never been. And the thought of an all-inclusive vacation sounded like my dream vacation. I get to sleep in, eat whatever I want, sit down in the sun, or the shade, float in the ocean, or the pool and most of all not being in charge of anyone but myself.
If you’ve ever looked at all-inclusive vacations there are so so many. One of the couples in our group of friends has been to several in the past. So they suggested one of their favorites, Couples Negril. We knew since it was an adults only trip we wanted to go to an adults only resort so Couples Negril fit the bill perfectly.
It’s a small resort in Negril, Jamaica. Not super tiny. It does have 200-plus rooms. But when we were there it felt very small and intimate.
My least favorite part of the vacation was getting to and from the resort. The airport is on the Eastern point of the island, the resort is on the western. That required a 90-minute drive in the shuttle each way. The road is very windy and bumpy. If you have motion sickness you definitely need some medication.
We had taken a red-eye from Salt Lake to Atlanta and then had a layover before heading off to Jamaica. I personally don’t do well on small amounts of sleep. And I don’t sleep well on the plane. So I was already sick by the time we landed in Jamaica. And then I had to take the shuttle. It was not good for me.
Couples Resort has a waiting area inside the airport where you can sit down, have a drink, use a private bathroom, I’ll while you wait for your shuttle. They know when people’s flights are coming in so they wait until they have either everyone or a full shuttle and then they take everyone and their luggage out to the shuttle. This worked great for us because a few of us took different flights. But we alright arrived roughly the same time.
As I said the shuttle right is 90 minutes of Winding Road. If you can sit toward the front of the shuttle you have better air conditioning. If that’s something that you need or want I would recommend trying to get as close to the front as possible. There is a stop part of the way to use the restroom if you need to. You can also buy some jerk chicken and drinks.
The entrance to the resort is beautiful. The lobby overlooks the pool. It really does feel like a calm tropical paradise. Once you’ve checked in they walk you to your suite and your luggage follows.
The one thing I did find odd was that our bathroom only had plantation-style shutters. They were high up on the wall as the window was in the shower, but there was no screen. I don’t know if that’s in every room. Or just our room. I was slightly concerned about bugs. But I don’t think I was ever bit in our room or ever saw bugs in our room.
Jamaica is very humid compared to Utah, but the buildings are nice and air conditioned. Once you have been in the pool or the ocean the humidity doesn’t feel so bad.
In the mornings we would put on our swimsuits and cover-ups and walk to the breakfast buffet. I felt like I was sleeping in but somehow we were usually the first ones to breakfast. Probably because my children were on a wide-awake-at-6 a.m. kick and Jamaica was on Eastern Standard Time.
Fun fact: Jamaica does not observe Daylight Savings. So in the winter, they are on Eastern Standard Time and in the summer they’re on Central Standard Time.
The breakfast buffet was really yummy. They only have continental breakfast out until 7:30. That’s when they put the full breakfast out. You can also order continental breakfast room service.
I loved their fresh juices. And they had a delicious bowl of porridge. Seriously I ate one every morning. I also drink a coconut most days. They had fresh coconuts with straws in them so you could drink the fresh coconut water. So yummy. I would drink one at breakfast or poolside.
The buffet also features a ton of different items including pancakes or waffles, a different variety of french toast each day, an omelet bar, a smoothie bar, a pastry table, etc. There were all kinds of things. There should be something for everyone. My husband even had them make him some gluten-free french toast.
Then you’re seated in an open-air dining room. They bring you water, coffee, refills on any drink. If you’re ready to start drinking at breakfast they have mimosas. And of course, you’re welcome to get up and get seconds if you want to.
After breakfast, we would head to the ocean. They have floats on all the chairs at the beach. So you can just take one and go float in the ocean. They have a section roped off just for people to swim and float. It keeps you from going out too far to where everyone is doing their water activities such a sailing.
Couples Negril also has a nude beach area. So that part of the beach is roped off as well. If you are interested in the nude beach it has its own section of the beach separated by plants and shrubbery. There are beach chairs and a private hot tub.
There are beach chairs all along Couples Negril’s beach and there are tables scattered between them for drinks. There are also hammocks for relaxing.
When we were done floating in the ocean we would head up to the pool or lunch depending. It was usually around 10 or 11. The swim-up pool bar opens at 10 a.m. and The Grill opens up for lunch at 11. They serve hamburgers and pizza and jerk chicken. Everything was yummy. They also have a soft serve ice cream machine where you can get your own ice cream cones. That was a dangerous thing. We would get one just about every time we passed it. The other options for lunch were the buffet and the veggie bar, where they make wraps and hummus.
After lunch, we would get in the pool and just float around and relax. This was when some of us would also go down and do water sports. I didn’t really do them. But others in the group did sailing and stuff. There was also an afternoon activity most days. Whether that was a game like Minute to Win It or class on the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. They also have dance classes for reggae and salsa as well as others.
About 5:30 or 6 we would head to our rooms to dress for dinner. The dress doesn’t have to be fancy. Just actual clothes. I wore a sundress and sandals. Ricky swore slacks and a button-up short sleeve shirt. So your basic resort wear.
There is one fancy restaurant, the Otaheite, which does require a dress code of elegant casual. So there are no flip-flops, t-shirts, shorts, sneakers are hats allowed.
That restaurant also requires a reservation. It is also super delicious. So definitely try it out while you’re there. If the scallops are an option for an appetizer. I highly recommend you order them. And here’s a secret tip, you can ask for more. You will want to. They’re delicious.
The other restaurants include Lychee, which was an Asian restaurant, the Grill became an Italian restaurant at dinner time, and there was still the buffet option. Even though there are three restaurants plus the buffet their menu rotates every two nights. So there should be new dish options every couple days.
I think everyone’s biggest complaint about the whole trip is that there were five couples, so 10 of us, and they only would seat parties of 8 or smaller. So we never got to sit together except at lunch at the Grill when we move the tables around ourselves.
We took the Catamaran Cruise. It was fun. They took us to some caves and we all jumped off the boat to swim into them and explore. We also took the glass bottom boat out for a night cruise and snorkeling. Both were very fun.
We also went to Rick’s Cafe. I know people love it, but it was not my scene at all. It was kind of a rainy afternoon and I wasn’t jumping off the cliff nor did I want to sit in the loud, humid, open-air bar. I told Ricky that I was so uncomfortable there. My comfort zone includes fancy restaurants and not loud bars.
When we booked we got a free excursion, for which Ricky and I chose ziplining. That shuttle ride was like is a 60-minute ride. I wore shorts and a t-shirt and some good sneakers. If I had been thinking about it I would have packed some yoga pants to wear instead. Next time I guess.
Definitely, take your sunscreen and bug spray. And if you run out of bug spray like we did you’ll have to buy $15 bug spray because the mosquitoes up in the canopy are ridiculous. Ziplining was super fun. I would highly recommend that. Also, the zip line guides were hilarious. They kept everybody laughing the whole time. Don’t forget some cash to tip your zipline team.
They also have nighttime activities at the resort such as live music and parties. One of the last nights we were there was casino night. We played Blackjack, but they also had poker, roulette, and craps.
When you participate in any of the activities you get resort dollars that you can use bid on prizes. I got a cool necklace with magnets so it can be a necklace or bracelet.
Since it is in Jamaica there’s a lot of marijuana around. I don’t remember the resort necessarily smelling of it, but the beach did. There were people walking up and down the beach selling it and bracelets, and flags, and whatever. They weren’t pushy and in your face though, at least on the resort. The exception was one guy who one of our friends in our group told him that if he found us the next day we would all buy a bracelet from him. So you better believe he found us.
We even had a couples massage there. I’m not big into massages. I’ve never actually gone to get one. I’m insecure about my body and I don’t want strangers touching it. But I figured we were in Jamaica, and I was never going to see this person again so it was fine. That massage was amazing. I only have the ones in my husband gives to compare it to but she didn’t hurt me. Haha. Anyone else’s husband say that he’s barely touching you and it feels like he’s digging in as hard as he can?
I felt super relaxed after the massage. I wish I’d gotten it earlier in the week. I think next time I will. It was so so nice. We also got a body scrub which made my skin feel so soft after. It was amazing.
On the day of check out, you simply pack your bags and leave them in your room. They will come get them for you and store them until you are ready to take the shuttle back to the airport.
The shuttle back is another 90 minutes. This time I was prepared with some Dramamine. It helped a little. I had also brought some preggy pop drops because I figured I would get some nausea. I might need to go get something stronger for the next time we have a long shuttle ride. Or maybe we need to splurge for the helicopter. There was a helicopter option to take you from the airport and land down at the other end of the island near the resorts.
The airport there was business as usual. You can buy any alcohol you want to take home with you. The signs there say the US allows you to bring two bottles per person. I would double check with the Customs website. We brought three bottles with us and the Customs agent told us it was two bottles total so they were supposed to charge us for the third one but he wasn’t going to.
Also, when you are coming home have your e-passport ready. There’s an app for that and they were pulling people out of a super long line who had it already done.
All in all, it was a super great vacation and I’ve been dreaming about the tropical life since. I’m excited to start planning our next vacation. Check out my next post for what you need to know before you go all-inclusive.
Tip: If you were hoping to see a Jamaican bobsled you can find one at the Hardrock Cafe at the airport.
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