Honeymoon Destination: Couples Resorts, Jamaica

If you are looking for a caribbean honeymoon that won’t break the bank, I highly recommend checking out Cheapcaribbean.com for some deals, particularly all-inclusive packages.  (This is in no way a sponsored article, I’d recommend the site to any stranger I meet.) So, when checking out options for our honeymoon, this was the first place we looked.

We chose Couples Resort Tower Isle, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. My husband and I have grown to love Jamaica and its people, so we tend to choose Jamaica over other Caribbean destinations for vacations and have stayed in Montego Bay, Negril, and most-recently; Ocho Rios.

The beach at Couples, looking out to Tower Isle
The beach at Couples, looking out to Tower Isle

We wanted to do all-inclusive for the honeymoon so that we didn’t have to do any real planning- I think I’d done enough wedding planning by that point- and could just relax at a fabulous resort. After a bunch of research, we settled on Tower Isle, despite the fact that it is quite far from the airport. We also liked that the resort is child-free, and couples only.

Couple Tower Isle has 220 rooms, 6 restaurants, 4 bars, 4 jacuzzis, 4 pools. The restaurants are always important when choosing an all-inclusive, and we were happy with what they provided. We didn’t learn about the history of the resort until we arrived there.  Tower Isle was the first all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, founded by Abraham Issa, who is considered the “father of Jamaican Tourism.”  The resort was built in 1949, and the main building (the oldest section) has a real 50’s Caribbean vibe to it.  The architecture of that main building gives away it’s birth date. There is a piano bar inside the main building that is lined with black and white photos of celebrities who visited in the 50’s & 60’s.

Our 4th floor ocean-front room
Our 4th floor ocean-front room
Balcony view
Balcony view
Our room was at one end of the resort
Our room was at one end of the resort. The main (oldest) building is seen from here.

We arrived to beautiful (typical) Jamaican weather for the first 4 days of the trip. Then Hurricane Joaquin made his appearance, which was a bummer, but really not a vacation-wrecker.  Joaquin directly hit Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica just got some clouds, rain, wind, and high seas as a result.

We were very happy with the resort and the service, but bummed out when Joaquin arrived and shut down all watersports and private island (Tower Isle.)  The resort let us do a day trip to another Couples Resort – San Souci, also in Ochos Rios- during this time, which was nice.  But when Joaquin’s weather persisted, we requested to do this again and were denied.  The good news is that even though the weather wasn’t ideal, they don’t close the bars or the pools!

Our rainy day trip to San Souci Resort
Our rainy day trip to San Souci Resort
The hurricane weather set in, and brought high waves
The hurricane weather set in, and brought high waves

The San Souci Couples Resort has a totally different layout and atmosphere.  The 2 resorts are really not alike at all.  San Souci is set upon a bluff overlooking the ocean, and has a lot of stairs to traverse to move around the different sections of the resort.  This is not a bad thing, since over-eating and drinking is mandatory at an all-inclusive. I’m really glad we were able to check out San Souci despite the weather.

We were very happy with the room and the restaurants.  Here’s a tip: Fridays are lobster nights, and each restaurant will serve a lobster dish, but it is not on the menu. You have to ask for it.  I’m so glad I asked, I had some great lobster tail at the Eight Rivers Restaurant.  There is also a complimentary 25 min massage for the honeymoon package.  You can pay a fee to upgrade that to 1 hour.  I did this, and it was a great decision. She even massaged my scalp…. mmmmm. There’s a small nightclub at the resort, which I’m happy to report: We made it to 2x!  This is a feat for all-inclusive beach resort vacationing.  The sun and the food/ drinks usually kill you by 9:30 each night.

At dinner in the main dining room. Covering my make up-free face.
At dinner in the main dining room. Covering my make up-free face.
Nice beaches, with plenty of room, and you can seek shade if you prefer.
Nice beaches, with plenty of room, and you can seek shade if you prefer.

The ocean (pre-hurricane Joaquin) was a bit choppy on this side of the island.  I’m comparing this to the protected coves of Negril, where we had stayed previously.  On the plus side, I didn’t run into any Jellyfish here.  Last year in Negril we were both stung.  We spent more time in the pools than the ocean this time around.

Many of the other couples we met during the honeymoon were also married on the same day as us.  We made a lot of friends, and even met a couple that we had previously met in Negril, at Grand Lido Resort, the year before – which was totally unplanned!

Overall, our experience was great, and we really like Couples Resorts.  We’ve decided that in the future, we need to check out the Couples Resorts in Negril.

Sunset in Ocho Rios
Sunset in Ocho Rios
The view from out balcony
The view from our balcony
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