Imagine yourself on a beautiful Caribbean island, palm trees swaying over your head, your feet sinking into the powdery white sand, warm turquoise water gently washing over them. Now, imagine you’re at a resort there, built just for couples, designed for you and your partner to have the most romantic holiday possible.
Your bungalow is on the beach, you step out of it and you’re on the sand. There are clear-bottom kayaks, paddle boards and mini catamarans for two, 4 restaurants, 2 pools, a spa, outdoor jacuzzis, and a huge sports complex complete with a lap pool, gym, tennis court, yoga classes and a fresh juice bar. And best of all, it’s all-inclusive!
That’s Couples Swept Away in Negril, Jamaica – a paradise for couples.
Traveling To Jamaica In The Time Of COVID
With all the craziness of COVID-19, keeping up the romance can prove quite challenging even for love bugs like us. Being home in Miami, we find ourselves watching the news a lot and getting into that anxious uncertain mood that’s hanging over the world right now.
But this is exactly why we needed to get away and have a little us time. We wanted a moment to hit the reset button, a romantic place where we could focus on each other and somewhere that felt safe and relaxing.
Now, I know what you might be thinking – but how can I travel from the US to Jamaica in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic?
It’s actually not that hard. There are only 2 steps you need to complete – get tested and fill out a travel authorization form. You can read the official COVID-19 entry requirements for Jamaica here.
Americans can now fly to Jamaica so long as they provide a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR or Antigen test result prior to boarding the flight. The test must be performed no longer than 10 days prior to the date of departure. Most labs deliver results in 3-5 days and some are even faster, so this requirement is not hard to meet.
There are 4 test types accepted:
- A Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (RT-PCR)
- A Nucleic Acid Amplification test (NAA)
- An RNA or molecular test
- An Antigen test
For more information on COVID-19 testing requirements for traveling Jamaica click here.
Travel Authorization Form
Once you get tested and receive your test results, you can fill out the Travel Authorization form. This form has to be completed between 2-5 days before your flight.
The form is pretty simple. It just contains some basic questions about you, your plans in Jamaica, where you’ve traveled in the past few weeks, etc. You also have to upload a copy of your negative test result when filling out the form.
Within 2 days of completing the form, you will receive your authorization bar code over email.
You need this barcode and a copy of your negative test results to board your flight to Jamaica.
Couples Resort Swept Away – The Experience
As soon as you step off the plane in Montego Bay, the warm air of Jamaica instantly relaxes you. Couples Swept Away has a lounge at the airport where you can have a drink or snack while you wait for your complimentary car service to transport you to the hotel. The drive to Negril takes 1.5 hrs, which didn’t feel too long and was quite relaxing.
As you step out of the car, you’re greeted with a grand British colonial style building nestled in a backdrop of a 19 acre beach jungle. As the attentive staff takes care of your luggage and greets you at check-in with a welcome drink, all of your coronavirus-related anxiety washes away and you start to get into that island mode.
There are always hand sanitizer stations around and spacious areas that allow you to keep plenty of distance from other guests.
Once you head over to your room, you start to realize you are in a tropical paradise. The majority of the hotel is outdoors, so it feels very spacious and almost like you’re one with the jungle. Most bungalows are right on the beach, nested in between thick tropical plants and palm trees. The sounds of exotic birds fill the air and add to the romantic atmosphere.
All About Couples
Couples Swept Away is like no other all inclusive hotel as this resort is couples only (hence the name) and 18+ , which means no spring break partying or children running around. The hotel accepts same-sex couples as well. All their activities are quite romantic. They have restaurants open 24 hours to ensure you’re always well-fed and happy. After all, romance and being hangry don’t go well together!
But one of our favorite things about this place is that the majority of other guests are also couples, either on a honeymoon or just a romantic getaway. You can just feel the love and romance in the air and it adds such a unique warm vibe to the experience.
The resort doesn’t feel like a typical all-inclusive place with music blasting and alcohol flowing. You will mostly encounter loved up couples enjoying tame beach activities, relaxing at the swim up bar or having a romantic dinner on the beach. There are over 300 rooms though, so it is still a large resort.
The staff at Couples Swept Away was very attentive and always available. We were impressed by the ratio of staff members to guests. There was always someone around to refill our glasses or see if we needed anything. As with any other Jamaican resort, staff members are very upbeat and friendly. Overall the service here is on a higher level than what you would expect from an all-inclusive resort.
There are 8 types of rooms to choose from. And all of them are designed to give you the feeling of sleeping in the jungle! The walls of your room are basically windows, protected by mosquito nets, that beautifully merge the outdoor and indoor by allowing the soothing sounds of the jungle to pour into your room. You can close the wooden shutters when you need to.
Here are the different types of suites Couples Swept Resort offers:
- Garden Verandah Suite rooms are decorated with classic french doors and balconies that look over the lush tropical garden.
- Great House Verandah Suite is close to the pool bar and restaurants. This suite even offers views of the Caribbean Sea.
- Atrium Suite has wrap around shutters and even a hammock to laze about on the balcony.
- Ocean Verandah Suite is a more private room and yes, ocean views through the french doors!
- Beachfront Suite has a private balcony, floor to ceiling shutters, the perfect ambience for some serenity. The beachfront suites don’t have a TV to allow you to focus more on enjoying the outdoors.
- Beachfront Verandah Suite is steps from 7 Mile Beach, look out from your french doors into the turquoise blue Carribean Sea.
- Great House Ocean Suite is perfect if you want to splurge a little. It’s close to the restaurants, but also private. It has a fully stocked customizable wet bar, plush king sized bed and its spacious terrace opens right onto the beach.
- Premier Beachfront Suite would be the ideal room for a honeymoon. There are only 8 of these bungalow-styled suites in the resort. A very spacious Caribbean style room with a picturesque outdoor living space only a few steps away from the beach.
We stayed in a Beachfront Verandah Suite which features a spacious verandah just steps away from the beach.
All Inclusive, Even Water Sports!
All activities at Couples Swept Away, food and even premium drinks are included in the price, so you and your partner can focus on one another stress-free.
The only exclusions are the spa services and candlelit private dinner on the beach.
While premium alcohol usually comes at an extra charge at similar resorts, at Couples you don’t need to worry about that – all the drinks are included, even premium spirits!
The facilities are all you need and more. Scattered around the hotel during the day you’ll find people laying by the 3 pools and jacuzzis, playing beach volleyball, staff teaching classes from mixology to aerobics, and even reggae dancing! At night you’ll find live entertainment, bonfires at the beach, talent shows and a sing-along piano bar.
What really stood out for us at Couples Swept Away were the array of water sports available that were included in the nightly rate. Even scuba diving is included as long as you are already certified. If you need to get certified, you would have to pay the certification fee. Usually these come with additional charges at a regular all-inclusive resort.
The beach at Couples Swept Away is one of the best in Jamaica. We found ourselves spending a lot of time on it and wanting to try every water sport available.
Water sports and activities include:
- Catamaran excursion
- Scuba Diving
- Paddle boards
- Kayaks (even a clear-bottom one)
- Sunfish sailing
There weren’t enough hours in the day to do all the activities! Although we were happy to leave some for the next time we visit. All activities had very professional staff to help you out with the equipment and patiently teach you all the necessary skills.
Of course, we can’t talk about Couples Swept Away without mentioning Seven-Mile Beach. This Negril beach is one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve been to, and as you know, we’ve been to quite a few 🙂
The white sand beach is lined with sea grape and Palm trees, offering some respite from the sun while laying out. The blue turquoise water is calm, shallow and warm with no sea creatures that may give you a fright or treacherous rocks. We stayed for 4 nights and the entire time the water was completely calm with very small waves, if any, even during the couple rains we experienced.
Couples Swept Away spans across quite a long piece of the beach so you won’t have to worry about it being crowded. It’s also perfect for long walks on the beach as you have a lot to cover in both directions.
Sun chairs along the beach come with a float mat that you can use in the water. There are a couple of beach bars where you can always grab a drink or a quick bite. And, of course, there are also beach huts, swings and hammocks, in case this place didn’t sound like paradise already!
Pools & Amenities
There are two main pools at Couples – one at each end of the property, and a smaller pool with a swim up bar. They are not heated but the water is the perfect temperature to cool off from the Jamaican heat in the middle of the day. Both pools are relatively small with a few lounge chairs around. However, we noticed not a lot of people hang out at them anyway. Most couples spend their time at the far more impressive beach.
The hotel also has an array of services on site, so you never need to leave. There are business services, meeting rooms, beauty salons, dry cleaning, boutique shops, in case you’ve forgotten anything, to name a few. What allowed us to really relax in these strange times was the security of knowing that there was a physician on call should there be any issues.
Fresh Farm To Table Dining Experience
Let’s talk about the restaurant scene! Me with my adventurous palette and Yinon with his weak spot for desserts, we both always have a lot to say about food. And the options at Couples Swept Away did not leave us disappointed.
You have 6 main restaurants to choose from, all included in your package. Each restaurant change up the menus every day so you can keep trying new things.
Our favourite restaurant was Lemongrass. This dinner-only restaurant is a fusion of all things Asian. The menu is a mix of Indian, Thai and Japanese food. The oriental vibe of the restaurant and its ocean views make it a delight for all the senses. We loved the spring rolls, the Pad Thai and Vegetable Gobi and the delicious Lychee Creme Brûlée for dessert. We limit our meat consumption so we were happy with the veggie options here.
If you’re looking for a romantic date, go to Feathers. This restaurant has a more upscale vibe and a gourmet menu. It’s an award-winning restaurant in Negril, so make sure to book ahead. There is a dress code and the restaurant is only open for dinner. The gourmet dining features continental cuisine with a Caribbean twist.
Had a late one at one of the 8 different bars and are now starving? Don’t worry, Cabana grill is open until 5am! Get the best views of the Caribbean here and eat the best jerk chicken. The Cabana grill has loads of sandwiches, salads and general casual food to satisfy any cravings.
Patois Patio had a really engaging menu of Latin and Caribbean flavors. It’s open for breakfast lunch and dinner so plenty of time to try out their menu. It’s more of a bistro-style spot so you can relax into the tropical atmosphere.
While most restaurants have an array of dishes, we found that Seagrape Cafe offered the most vegetarian-friendly and healthy options. Sit on the outdoor deck overlooking the water and have lunch here, you won’t regret it!
The Palms restaurant offered the most international food of the 6 restaurants. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner you can find yummy pizzas, pastas and delicious entrees including a fresh catch of the day.
The island’s largest sports complex is located just across the road! While it’s technically part of a different Couples resort, Couples Swept Away guests get complimentary full access to all the facilities:
- 9 Tennis Courts
- 2 Squash Courts
- 2 Racquetball Courts
- 4 Pickle-ball Courts
- Table Tennis
- Basketball Court
- Lap Pool
- Outdoor Gym
- Outdoor Jogging Track
- Yoga & Aerobics Studio
- Spin Studio
- Steam Rooms
There are also plenty of different classes you can take at the center. They include daily yoga classes, couples massage, Aqua-cise and spin classes when they have a guest instructor in. You can even take different group classes or private lessons for tennis, squash, table tennis and racquetball. Or if you’re looking for a challenge you can get their in-house trainer to personally design an outdoor track route just for you. All these lessons and training sessions are also part of your package!
And when you need a bit of energy you can head to the fresh juice bar and grab a healthy smoothie squeezed right in front of you. There really is something for everybody here.
If you feel like venturing outside of the hotel, you’ll find plenty of excursions to pick from. Try horseback riding, bobsled down mystic mountain, go rafting on a bamboo raft, spend a day doing the Kingston tour and explore the historic Spanish Town.
There is even a night excursion that takes you to a famous luminous lagoon. The water lights up at night as if it were filled with glow sticks. Pretty magical! These are just some of the activities Couples Swept Away offers. Click here to learn more.
COVID-19 Note On Activities
Keep in mind that at the moment tourists are not fully free to wander outside of the resorts due to some COVID-19 precautions. When you enter the country you will go through a health assessment, where a government employee will let you know if you can leave the resort for excursions. Typically you will be able to go to government-approved excursions and you will just need to do some extra planning. The concierge at Couples Swept Away will be able to help you with this.
What Coronavirus Measures is Couples Swept Away Taking To Keep Guests Safe?
First of all, we’d like to say, you should fully relax about your stay in Jamaica. Since the country has reopened for tourists, there have been no reported cases of the virus at any resorts in Jamaica. The resorts are really taking the virus threat seriously and are taking extra measures to keep their guests safe.
Now, let’s talk about what Couples Swept Away is doing to ensure the safety of their guests.
- Rooms are steam-cleaned
- Temperature check for staff prior to coming to work
- Staff is not allowed to wear uniform outside of the resort
- Temperature check for guests every morning at breakfast
- Surfaces in common areas are disinfected frequently
Couples Swept Away truly is a fairy-tale place that teleports you into a paradise from the moment you land. Here the drinks flow all day, the food makes your taste buds dance, there are activities for the adventurous and facilities for the couples that just want some downtime. The friendly staff is always there to help you have a good time or just crack a joke and laugh with you.
This place is perfect for a romantic getaway and a recharge from hectic city life and everything that’s going on in the US right now. We got to relax from such a crazy year, have new experiences, some spa time and felt rejuvenated from the natural environment. And most importantly, Yinon and I left even more romantically recharged and reconnected.