Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jamaica - Tower Isle

 As I mentioned in my earlier post, I’m slowing readjusting to “real life” (yes, still readjusting) after a wonderfully relaxing week in Jamaica and have finally gotten around to writing a bit and posting some pics. 
 Well, my thorough research certainly paid off and the trip to Couples Tower Isle was absolutely amazing.  It was a fabulous experience, and while I don’t like to go to the same place twice, I’m already longing (and looking) to go back.

The resort and grounds were clean, pretty and well maintained. The Miami chic look and feel was right up my alley. The food was very good (sometimes excellent), and offered something for every taste and palate.  The staff was attentive, service oriented and super friendly (without being overbearing). The weather was great and the country itself is lush, green and diverse. All of these things combined made for a very special and memorable trip. 
 We arrived after a long day of travel (it’s nearly two hours from the Montego Bay airport to the resort alone) and quickly settled in with some nice cold prosecco.  In all honesty, on my first day, I wasn’t sure how much I loved the resort. I was tired from travel, we arrived amid clouds and showers, I was upset about no room service or bath tub, and the casual quick-serve restaurant wasn’t the best first impression (all of the other restaurants are on a whole other level).

But oh how that changed – and quickly.

By day two I was in love; a totally 180 degree turn.
Every morning, I was up bright and early, as I didn’t want to miss a minute. We filled our days with pool swims (equipped with a swim up bar), dips in the gently wavy ocean, great meals and excitement of meeting great people from around the country and from all walks of life.
The beach is private and gorgeous as the resort is nestled into a cove. It boasts soft sand with little to no shells and just a few tiny fish that hover about the surface. While I really do “enjoy long walks on the beach,” I was initially disappointed that the beach is very short. That said, I quickly appreciated the beauty and character of this particular beach and it really made other beaches like Mexico pale in comparison. As the resort wasn’t at full capacity (to my pleasure), there were always plenty of beach loungers around and hardly any wait for a drink or food.
While we initially planned to do a few excursions (they offer many options – from catamaran cruises, to snorkeling and water sports, scuba certification, tennis, yoga, classes, etc), we only were able to tear ourselves away from the beach for one – horseback riding in the mountains on an old plantation. While that was fun (and provided great views), my fear of horses had me a little nervous, but I’d still highly recommend it.

From the sun and the water, we were usually tired by late afternoon and enjoyed a little nap before dinner – the perfect thing to do on vacation. And speaking of dinner, the restaurants were great and we had a little tour, trying each of them – from Bayside (Asian) to Eight Rivers (Jamaican/Caribbean), to Veranda (continental fare) and beyond. I particularly liked the Veggie Bar, which offered snacks throughout the day and had all fresh juices and smoothies, sandwiches and wraps and the coveted sweet potato chips (just so very delicious).

There was even a beach party one night, and it exceeded my expectations with great food and entertainment!
After dinner, we would head to the 50’s style, vintage piano bar, which showcased old photographs of famous guest from back in the day. The bar also had a nightly pianist, who would play for the bar’s sing-along of popular tunes, which everyone gladly belted out. Some songs were a bit cheesy, but they did have a good mix of oldies and favorites (like Billy Joel, Elton John, etc.) While some have complained that there isn’t much of a night life, we weren’t looking for one (we get enough of that in NY) and I was happy to go to bed on the earlier side some nights. That said, the resort is really what you make of it and the pools are open 24/7, as are some other spots for late night hang-outs.
One thing that really added to our trip was the great people we met there. Couples from New Orleans, Baltimore, Tampa, and Mobile were especially fun and we enjoyed seeing them at breakfast, hanging with them in the afternoon and reconvening after dinner at the piano bar. By trip’s end, there were lots of smiling, familiar faces and that was especially nice.
 There were a few minor things that I would have hoped for, and beyond room service, I would have loved a bathtub (one of my favorite parts about staying in a hotel).  And if I want to get down to the real nitty-gritty (I may be a touch crazy), I would have liked the brand’s logo embroidered on the towels and bathrobes. Besides that, there’s little I would change.

 By the last day, I was convinced that I will be hard pressed to find a better place (though I will happily try), and would absolutely love to return to Couples Tower Isle.

1 comment:

  1. I may have to go there next time I need a Caribbean getaway