Date of Trip: June 2010
Couples Tower Isle — Hedonism III — Desire
This short piece is intended to be a review of our recent first Couples Tower Isle (CTI) experience and a comparison with our numerous visits to Hedonism III (4) and Desire Cancun (6).
We arrived at CTI on June 10th, for a ten day visit, after flying from Ottawa, Ontario via Toronto with Air Canada. The flights were on time and uneventful and we arrived at Mo Bay at about 1:00PM. We got through Immigration quickly and our bags arrived shortly after we got to the carousel. Quickly through Customs and very warmly greeted at Couples desk. We were offered a cool facecloth and choice of Red Stripe or water and told the transport would be about 20 minutes. Two quick glasses of Red Stripe later and two more couples for the van and we were away. The other couples left at Sans Souci and we arrived at CTI about 2 hours after departing Mo Bay. We rarely hit the speed limit but we had a very safe driver. This was the most difficult part of the vacation.
Arriving at CTI we had a warm reception and were promptly off to our Deluxe Ocean view room in block 5 (5307). The room was the best we have had at any of the above resorts. While a distance to walk, it turned out to be wonderfully quiet and had a beautiful view through flowering vegetation of the sea. The room was kept spotless by a variety of housekeepers although Maria was the assigned housekeeper. We declined the daily turn-down service. We found that the room was made up too late for our preference but we learned after reading the in room booklet on the last day that we could have called housekeeping and requested that the room be made up at a specific time. We’ll read the instructions early next time!
We were delighted with the layout of the property and the high standard to maintenance. Unlike Hedo3 where maintenance was poor at CTI everything worked or positive efforts were made to fix things. This was particularly true of the water sports equipment. The dive boat is well designed and equipped although it was out of service for 3 days. We used the snorkel/glass bottom boat as an alternative. There were 3 Hobies, 2 water trykes, several wind surfers and kayaks. We were particularly interested in diving. We were impressed with the Dive Masters, Lloyd and Collin, and with the equipment. My wife was nervous and had some mobility problems but the Dive Masters easily accommodated her. We once had a dive with only us as divers. We never had more than 8 divers on the morning dive. We stopped going to Desire because the water sports were withdrawn apparently because of permit problems (since resolved). They never did have an included dive program. We decided last September that we would never return to Hedo3 because their dive program was essentially being run out of Breezes, the equipment was in poor condition and the other water equipment was inoperative and there appeared to be no incentive or resources to repair anything. I guess this is now irrelevant since the property is re-branding in August.
The first observation we made was the incredible attention we received from all of the staff we encountered. Without exception all the staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We had found the staff at Hedo3 to be very warm and friendly but these employees exceeded every expectation. At Desire the staff is also excellent but the language difference makes it more difficult to interact.
In our opinion the food provided in the various CTI restaurants was varied, well prepared and presented. It was well above that provided by Hedo3 and probably more varied that what we had at Desire. We had four wonderful meals at the outdoor Bayside restaurant (Thai theme), two at Eight Rivers, one at the Veranda and the remainder at the Buffet. We found the breakfast menu to be very extensive. We had light lunches at the smoothie bar or snacked on the light food brought over to the Tower Isle. Reservations are required at both specialty restaurants and these are for fixed seatings. When dining at these restaurants we observed that there were usually open tables. I don’t know if you would be denied seating without a reservation.
One disappointment was the inability to swim off the beach. Although the beach itself is large and well equipped with lounge chairs, there is now some sort of algae/seaweed that is plaguing the beach water and making it unusable. The resort has about a 10 man team working tirelessly to rake and remove the weed but it is a never ending job. We are disappointed that the resort does not allow ladies to be topless except at the end of the dock. No one goes there as it is totally exposed to the sun with no facilities. We believe that the swim-up bar pool should permit topless ladies in that area. Surely guests can tolerate that. Because of this we spent all our time at the “Island” where we had great fun.
The nightly entertainment was good but not as erotically charged as that of Hedo’s. Here we are coming to the biggest differences we found between the three locations. In our opinion the ladies at Desire and Hedo dress to tease in the evening. At CTI there were very few “hot” outfits and there was no sexual tension in the air. Whereas at Hedo3 and Desire the couples tended to be over 40 and into having a sensual time at CTI there were a great number of newlyweds that simply wanted to chill out. Relatively few couples ventured out to the “nude” island. Those of you that understand the difference between getting “naked” and getting “nekkid” will know what we mean. Few people used the Spa pools at night so we enjoyed several au natural hours to ourselves the hot tubs and “Buddha” pool. It seems that the biggest excitement for most non-islanders was to cruise by the island on the Catamaran excursion and wave to the naked “islanders”. Pity!
The return bus left at 10:15 AM for a 2:00 PM flight. The bus was a little larger and more powerful and without a stop at San Souci we made the trip in 1 hour 50 minutes.
In summary, Hedo III and Desire were more sensuous and exciting. CTI has outstanding staff, great food in a variety of settings, a wonderful and well maintained property and water-sports facilities which provide exceptional service to couples that want to get to know each other or renew their relationships. At this time the major shortcoming is the plagued beach. Couples is truly as they describe “the refined all-inclusive”. We’ll be back.