Sans Souci Resort & Spa Hotel, Ocho Rios
Reviews - Sans Souci Resort & Spa Hotel
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Historical Traveller Reviews of Sans Souci Resort & Spa Hotel
Rain, Rain and more Rain!from Malibutwo
TUesday it started raining and pretty much never stopped. Friday it rained so hard I thought a hurricane was coming and this is were i start to get mad. First off, they have a gala, which they moved indoors. We tried to call for room service instead and they CANCELLED IT! thats right, so we, the paying guests had to go get soaked, My shoes got ruined from the mud, and Im still suffering from a cold. We ate the rather awful food quickly and went to bed early as we had to leave the next morning. At 10 pm a fire alarm in our block (A) started to go off for ONE HOUR with no explination from the security walking around outside. Finally the next morning we were woke at 6 am to be notified that the shuttle was leaving in 1 hour because the roads were bad and to have our luggage outside in 20 minutes.
All in all I cannot really comment on the activites at CSS as most of them were cancelled due to rain.
What you have been hearing about the staff is true. they really arent that happy and the only ones worth talking to are Junior and Roger. Both really fun guys and very happy!!
The food was also not that great, never hot, and The staff on the Inside dining area of Cassanova's were really really unfriendly.
So anyone traveling to CSS in the future, If you are a beach person, THis is not the place for you. It is a cove and very small. If you can tolerate a long, bumpy ride, Unfriendly staff, and mediocre food for a very unnique and beautiful resort, than this is the place for you because the cliff views, lush vegitation and intimacy of the resort is really like no other.
Sans Souci Met Expectationsfrom sprinter11s
We arrived in Montego Bay and had the same experience as everyone else with the long line at immigration and the classic van ride to Ocho - About 2 hours with a stop 1/2 way.
We arrived at the resort at 2:30pm and were greeted with a cold towel and a rum punch. Check in was quick and we were assigned the room we asked for (B22 - Thanks Tracy from Berwick Travel), but since the room was already taken, the desk clerk upgraded us to a corner room on the third floor - B36. If you can get this room, go for it. We had a view of the beach and the pool, along with the privacy of a tree to block some of the view at us. The room was refurbished and nice. The bathroom was big, with a large shower and a separate Jacuzzi tub (which we never used). There was a separate living area with a 20" tv and mini-fridge stocked with sodas, water and Red Stripe. On the second morning we left $4, for the maid asking to stock it with more waters and Red Stripe Light. This request was met and was kept throughout our week.
We used room service for breakfast a few days and for afternoon snacks. The chicken wings and pizza were both very good. Service was usually quick, though one morning they were a little late. I guess everyone else wanted breakfast at the same time.
The resort itself is not spread out. There's about seven buildings built into a cliff. The A & B blocks are on the beach, C & D are up about 1/2 way and E - G are up at the top near the lobby and Cassanova restaurant. So it's not your typical spread out all-inclusive, but that made it more intimate. Though the resort was sold out (thanks to the hurricane that hit Cancun), it never seemed crowded.
The pools and jacuzzis were kept clean. We spent most of our time at the main pool outside our room. It has a swim-up bar and seemed to be where most of the people were hanging out. Never had a problem getting a lounger wherever we wanted to sit. It was hot though, so we found ourselves in the pool most of the time.
We ventured over to the clothing optional beach one day. They say it's all nude now, but my wife went topless and no one seemed to care. This is a nicer beach, but way more quiet and I thought somewhat boring. There was only a handful of people and everyone kept to themselves. We weren't uncomfortable with the "nude thing", we just liked the main pool better. The mineral pool was nice too, but very quiet as well.
There were some activities listed, but there really wasn't a whole lot going on. The hosts: Ricardo, Kadean and one other gal (sorry forgot her name) were very nice and tried to make it more fun. Be sure to play shot bingo at the main pool, it was a blast - Shot, shot , shot!! They also came out at night and partied with everyone at the Balloon bar or on the theme nights. They really have to love their job to stay so upbeat the whole time.
The food at this resort was good. It met expectations. We ate at Cassanova (Italian) two nights. If you want to eat inside, gentlemen had to wear a jacket. Two nights at Palazzina (French), 2 theme nights and one dinner at the Beach Grill. So we got a good variety. Overall, we liked Palazzina the best, but had one excellent meal (lobster) at Cassanova on Wednesday. Theme nights were buffet style, but the food was very good. The beach grill serves up great jerk chicken, pork and burgers/pizza for lunch.
The bartenders were very attentive. Especially Orlando at the Balloon Bar and Junior on the beach. Connie at the main pool was great all but one day. She was either in a bad mood or got some bad feedback from her manager. She became more friendly as she got to know us more during the week. She has been there a long time and everyone referred to the pool bar as Connie's bar.
We went on a boat ride along the beach and saw Royal Plantation and Jamaica Inn. They looked nice from the ocean. Also saw Mick Jagger's house up on a hillside. The boat ride cost extra, but is negotiable. We went with another couple, Dave and Lerona from Canada who also went to Dunns River Falls with us earlier in the day. They stocked a cooler with beer and champagne. It was a nice sunset cruise and worth $50 for 4 people.
We only left the resort to go to Dunns River Falls. We went on a Saturday, because no cruise boats come in on that day. Though walking up the falls was somewhat treacherous, it was nice. One recommendation, don't bring a camara. You will get wet and you don't have time to take pictures. They will take a picture of you underneath one of the falls and you can buy it for $5 afterwards. Other than that, we didn't go into Ocho Rios. Not that we were afraid or anything, we just liked relaxing at the resort.
We took $50 in ones for tipping and spent it all. The staff didn't expect to be tipped and I think it's against Couple's policy, but we did it anyway - They were all so nice.
We met a lot of people, most around our age. A big hi to Neil & Kim (first people we met on the bus over), Lee & Trish (our best buddies - Thanks for the Mylanta the last day!) John & Terri, Cliff & Gretchen and Dave & Lerona. Hope all is going well back home!
Overall, I would say Couples Sans Souci met expectations. Though we liked Jamaica, we probably won't go back to Ocho Rios. Maybe try Negril sometime, as I heard the beaches are nicer and you don't have such a hassle getting there. Sorry I am not posting the pictures we took, I cannot work the digital camera and my wife's at work today... If you want to know more info, feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll accommodate.
Rain and Relaxing, Monfrom A TripAdvisor Member
We finally arrived around 5:00pm. We were greeted with a cold towel and a Red Stripe (Yay!) Check in was quick and we were given a complimentary room upgrade. We had booked an Oceanview Balcony Suite and were given a Jacuzzi Oceanview Balcony Suite.
When we got there we were impressed. We were in room B26 (3rd floor of the B Block) The room was very spacious. The bathroom was big, with a large shower and a separate Jacuzzi tub. There were his/her sinks. The toilet did not work 100% but all it needed was a little jiggle after use. Not a big deal. The bedroom had plenty of closet and drawer space. The ceiling fan and air conditioner were right over the bed. They both worked great. There was a separate "living room" area with a small couch, love seat, coffee table mini fridge and TV. The hotel offers tons of stations (CBS, NBC, ABC from NY) as well as HBO, Starz, Showtime, Skinimax, ESPN etc...The mini bar had a few cokes, diet cokes, sprites, red strips and waters. It was filled 3 out of the 4 days we were there. The room had a small (but big enough) balcony with two chairs and a table. The view of the ocean was great. We enjoyed having breakfast on the balcony several times. The only problem we had with the room was the 2nd day there were some ants in the bathroom. When housekeeping came they sprayed and the ants did not return. The room did not seem dated and had no odor. We had no problems with water pressure or hot water.
Room service was available from early morning until 11:00pm. We used it twice for breakfast, which was great, and once to bring some chips and salsa to our room while we watched a movie. There were a lot of options and service was on time and quick.
As far as the resort goes, it is very nice. The grounds are kept clean, as are the beach, pools and Jacuzzis. It is very lush, and yes there are a lot of stairs. Everything is not as spread out as people say it is. Pretty much everything is within a 5-minute walk. There are conveniently located bars by two pools, the beach, the AN beach, and lobby. The pool and beach bars only stay open till 5:00 though. The beach bar opens again at about 6:30 The game room has all sorts of board games, a pool table and 2 computers with high speed internet access. It was never too crowded, even when it rained.
The beach was nice. It was not white sand, but it was well groomed and soft. The area where you swim in the ocean was pretty small, and very calm. It seemed more like a salt-water pool than an ocean. As far as water sports goes, I can’t tell you very much. It rained most of the time we were there so there was no snorkeling, no scuba, and limited sailing and kayaking. The one time we did get to go kayaking is was nice, but we were limited to a very small area because of the weather.
The main pool was great. Good temperature, clean and just the right size. The swim-up bar was great too. Plenty of beach chairs for everyone. It would be nice if there were more shady spots.
The AN Beach was fine. It had a nice pool. There was only 3 other guests at the pool when were there. The AN beach itself was all washed up with debri because of torrential downpour on Friday. I’m not sure how long it took them to clean it up.
Couples San Souci was definitely lacking in the activities department. Every day the “schedule” called for beach or pool volleyball, or a ping pong tournament and it never happened. There was no one to organize it and it seemed as if most of the guests were not interested.
The crowd was a mixture of late 20’s early 30’s, including some honeymooners, as well as some couples in their 40’s. There were a few guests older than that, but not many.
The food at this resort was fine. Not great, not bad. Exactly what I expected. There is enough of a variety for 3-4 days, after that it can get old. Casanova’s was the best, but to sit inside you have to wear a jacket. They will give you one if you don’t bring it. You can sit outside (same menu) w/o the jacket. In general they like to dress a little formal, but were fine and more comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt everywhere except Casanova’s/.
The drinks were delicious, but not made very strong at all. Even when you got friendly with the bartenders, they still were not that strong.
Most of the employees were very friendly. No one was ever rude or gave us a hard time. However it did not seem as if they were really happy. When you chat with them they become more fun, but it seems as if they are just doing their job. A few mentioned that things have changed (they make less money) since Couples took over. While the service was totally fine, it didn’t seem to be a place where the staff was having a great time and trying to go out of their way to make the guests have a great time too.
We did not use the spa services, so I can’t comment.
The tennis courts were nice, and you can use them 24 hours/day. I did get to take one tennis lesson and it was private because no one else showed up. That was great.
The weather was awful while we were there. On Thursday evening when we arrived it rained off and on. ON Friday it rained like I have never seen it rain before, all day. We stayed in and watched movies and played games for most of the day. The Friday Night Gala was moved inside. That was disappointing. On Saturday it rained on and off. Sunday was beautiful, although very humid, but that is to be expected. Monday was nice too, but we had to leave at 11:30 to make a 4:40 flight. They make you leave the resort 5 hours before your flight.
Overall we had a nice time. We met some nice people and got to relax. That is what wer were looking for. We would not return. Unless you are going for a long trip, you lose too much time traveling. There is nothing that was so special about the place made it worth it. If I were to return to Jamaica I would most likely find somewhere to stay in Montego Bay.
Still lovely, but this jewel has a few flawsfrom kirbyderb
had an amazing timefrom A TripAdvisor Member
Bus ride: The bus ride is not too bad if you know what to expect. We met at the Couples Lounge and had a cool drink. Everyone on our bus was going to the same resort. Roads were bumpy...but that was expected. Stopped once along the way for a Red Stripe and bathroom break. It took us approx. 1 1/2 hours.
Arrival/check-in: We were greeted with cool towels and drink upon arrival. Check-in was quick and efficient. As we arrived in the early A.M. rooms were not available. We anticipated this as the website states check-in is at 3 or 4. We changed into our bathing suits and headed for the beach and pool! Enjoyed lunch, explored the beautiful grounds and made our way back to get our rooms.
Rooms: Our room was in the A block on the second floor. Great view of pool. Very spacious rooms with seperate sitting area. Large bathroom with jacuzzi tub. Water pressure and temperature were great. We had a stocked mini-bar with Red Stripe, soft drinks and water. It was stocked every night and never needed to ask. Plenty of towels and beautiful designs with flowers every evening!
Food: We enjoyed the italian restaurant, the Friday evening gala was amazing and the desert at the french restaurant was to die for. We ate lunch most days at the beach restaurant/bar. The jerk chicken is especially good. We would go back to the room and order room service appetizers as we got ready for the evening events. The swim-up bar was really fun during the day. Junior was amazing...constantly singing and Connie makes the best Pina Coladas. We enjoyed the live entertainment at the Balloon Bar each eveining. With everything included in one price it was truly a find.
We upgraded our free massage to the couples massage for and additional fee. We enjoyed it so much we went back the next day for additional treatments. We also had the free manicure/pedicure. Unfortunatley Couples will no longer be giving out free massages...very disappointed!
Our weather was perfect. We had a tropical rain a few evenings and one morning. Plenty of other activities to do when its raining!
The staff was very courteous and friendly. I think 5 nights was a perfect amount of time. If you realize you are going to different county and go with the flow you will really enjoy yourself. I know we can't wait to go back!
A week at Couples San Souci-Its no longer the Grand Lidofrom queenmmda
For those of you who have been to the San Souci when it was a Grand Lido or a stand alone, you know the charm of this place. This was our third time back, 1st (and last) as a Couples property.
Since becoming a Couples resort, we noticed a few things, mainly food oriented.
The two main restaurants do NOT change their menus all week. This wouldn't be so bad if there were more restaurants to chose from. The food was very good, it just got repetitive. Ditto the buffet lunch and breakfasts. The food was good, plenty of it but the variety was limited. The food quality was just alright and we noticed fewer dishes/choices. That is not to say we went hungry. For example, no Eggs Benedict at breakfast, the cuts of meat were not as good. It felt like they lost their chef and were using basic, stock menus.
Otherwise, golf was great (Upton golf course), room service, turndown service - all were good. It just was not up to our usual standards.
Recent Visit to Sans Soucifrom OHCincinnati
Trip from the airport:
Pro – there isn’t anything positive about the trip
Con’s – this a bumpy, winding 2 hour + ride in a crowded shuttle bus. You share the ride with guests going to other Couple’s hotels. If you prone (at all) to motion sickness, this is a terrible ride! I didn’t have time to arrange other transportation (private car, charter flight), but would definitely do something different if we returned.
Pro’s – it’s a beautiful place and being on the side of the hill makes for a very different feel to the place. The beach is small, but private to the resort and there are several great places to hang out. Each pool has is on feel and several places to relax on the property. The staff was great; everyone was very nice and helpful.
Con’s – it’s on a hill, so a lot of steps but not a big deal. This hotel has been around a long time and there are many returning guests which sometimes think they are part owners – which can be annoying at times.
Pro’s – the rooms are big and it is nice having the separate seating area. Great view from the deck. The overall cleanliness of the room was good.
Con’s – the rooms show their age, the biggest issue is lack of water pressure and hot water, especially in the evening prior to dinner. We also had issues with the safe and refrigerator. For a luxury hotel, it was also odd we had plastic deck chairs and in room coffee was the instant version.
Pro’s – the beach grill and the Italian restaurant were great. We ate twice at the Italian restaurant and the food and service were very, very good. Room service was quick and OK food.
Con’s – the French restaurant was OK at best. It was noisy and the food was just not very good.
Pro’s – there is a lot included at this property, i.e. Scuba and all the water sports. However, due to high surf, there were limited operations while we were there. Not sure how often this occurs. Some of the off resort tours are included as well and we did the Dunn Fall’s trip which was fun.
Con’s – none
This is a beautiful hotel with a great staff. There is a lot more good than bad, but you are paying for a top property. We had a wonderful vacation and really glad we visited this hotel. Mostly due to the travel to the hotel, we will likely not return. I would rate this as above the norm for AI resorts, but not one that approximates a 5 star hotel like other really good AI’s we have stayed. Hope this helps!
not what we expectedfrom jillian68
we were not impressed with couples sans souci.
i guess after reading other reviews, we were expecting the same type of service, but we didnt get that at all.
upon arrival, we did NOT get cold towels nor did we get a champagne drink or cheese and crackers. we were starving after the long day of travel and a 2 hour and 15 minute bus ride to the hotel.
check in was fast, less than ten minutes. we did get fruit juice brought to us. since the hotel was not full, we were put in a jacuzzi room, which we didnt pay for. that was ok with ud. however we never got to use it due to the fact that the water BARELY trickled out and it wasnt even warm. no matter what time of day it was! not to mention it had dead flies and ants all over our bathroom. i know its the tropics, but we specifically requested a higher florr so we didnt have bug issues, which we did anyway.
room had a nice view of pool and ocean.
loud at night and hard to sleep with all the noisy cricketts etc.... the walls are definately thin, we had elephents above us, or so we thought!
and the a/c was either too hot or too cold.
i did NOT get any pretty towel art as others had said they got every day. no flowers on our bed.
had to ask for the mini bar to be restocked, as few times. he came to stock it 2 times, the other days i had to ask. also the maid was very nice, but she didnt leave enough towels, until i had to ask for more.
but we did tip her at the end becuz she was so nice and really did work hard for probably low pay.
we also tip the room service guy even though the food wasnt too good. not his fault.
oh and the toilet ran so we kept that door shut at night so we didnt hear that.
let me back up to the bus ride....
nice driver but long SCARY ride! we would never stay that far again if we ever did return to jamaica. def stay in montego bay!
they allowed us to get a free 20 minute massage, which isnt included any longer since 'couples' took over the hotel.
nice massage, a little rough, and not too sure if they are LMT but anyway it was free. i def would not pay that much for one there. i get better ones at home for far less money.
weather was rainy everyday but our last. but that had nothing to do with our opinion of the hotel itself.
they had NO activities to do, rain or shine!
one day we played bingo at the bar, be prepared to drink shots alot! that was one time only while we were there. we saw a board with all the daily activities but nobody walking around to lead them.
alot of bored people! and NO music most of the time at the pool. wouldnt it be nice to hear some music while laying around the pool, all the time?
food was average, nothing special. i did really enjoy lobster at casanova one night it was offered.
i was tired of the same stuff everyday.
not that good really. i guess if you dont eat out mush at home then you have nothing to compare it to and so you may love it. we did not.
well i am probabaly leaving something out and if so feel free to email me. email@example.com
Wedding/Honeymoon To Rememberfrom A TripAdvisor Member
The next morning, we were very pleased with the view from our room (A8). The beach was very clean, and the pool was sparkling. We met with our wedding coordinator at 10, and found her (Dana) to be such a gracious woman. We had been told that the Sans Souci made wedding couples feel special, not like some other resorts that use an "assembly line" mentality when approaching weddings, and they DO! She spent as much time as we needed answering our questions, helping us choose music, and showing us the various places to choose from for the ceremony. I truly believe that Dana made our marriage painless! I didn't have to worry about a thing. The day of the ceremony, I had my hair and makeup done at the salon and the ladies there were so sweet; I felt like a princess. Dana came to the room to escort me to the gazebo where the ceremony was to take place...she was with me every step of the way. Later that evening, we had a meal on our patio served by our very own waiter. The whole day was like a dream come true.
While there, my husband and I enjoyed swimming, snorkeling, and, best of all, scuba diving. I had never been scuba diving before, but our instructor,Philip Fong, was patient and informative. We enjoyed the first lessons so much we took the advanced lessons and are now certified by Padi.
If you decide to go to the Sans Souci, stop by the bar and visit with Orlando. He had to be our favorite bartender. Also, ask for a "Connie Special" at the main pool's swim up bar. Yum!
We had his/her massages at the spa. The therapists lead us to an oceanside cabana with a thatched roof where we undressed and waited. Once they started the massage, it was hard to stay awake. The breeze through the windows and the sound of the surf is very relaxing. We also had pedicures at the salon. Both the salon and the spa give friendly service.
One thing we absolutely loved about our room was sitting on the patio and watching the hummingbirds flit around the hibiscus to our left, and seeing the butterflies lift,blanket-like, off the shrimp plants when anyone walked by. Amazing.
All in all, the food was wonderful. We didn't have a problem with lukewarm food. We loved the jerk chicken at the bar and grill, and the restaurants were great, but my husband's favorite was the BBQ chicken wings and pizza from room service.
You can't, in our opinion, go wrong with the Sans Souci. We loved it so much we plan on celebrating our first anniversary there.
not the 6-star it claims to befrom travelagent98
Top Local Tips for Ocho Rios
Flying into Boscobel We always fly into Montego Bay and travel by charter plane to Ochio Rios. It's quiet, efficient and private. It is expensive, but well worth the hassle free of the transportation the resorts offer.
Zip Line Excellent!
Long Travel Time Be aware that it takes about two hours to travel from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios. We were not prepared for that long drive time! They are renovating the infrastructure, so I'm sure that will not be the case once it is complete.
Other names for Sans Souci Resort & Spa Hotel
- couples sans souci ocho rios
- couples sans souci hotel
- couples sans souci
- couples san souci
- Address: Ocho Rios, - Ocho Rios - Jamaica
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