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Back in July, I had the pleasure of staying at Couples Tower Isle. This beautiful all-inclusive, adults-only, couples hotel is located in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. This property was built in 1949 and was the first resort built on Jamaica’s undeveloped north coast. In 1978, the founder, Abraham Issa introduced the “all-inclusive, couples-only” concept to Jamaica, and the Tower Isle was renamed, Couples Ocho Rios. The property was again renamed years later as Couples Tower Isle.

While this resort has been renovated, the art deco architecture remains.

The Pool Grill – Open for lunch and dinner as well as late night food service.

I found many things to love about this resort, but the food was definitely a highlight! There were many restaurants to choose from, however with COVID-19, not every restaurant was open every day, so we had to plan our meals out to make sure we hit as many restaurants as we could. Reservations are required for dinner at most restaurants and it was super easy to make them the app for our entire stay.

We ate most of our meals at The Patio which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They offer both a buffet (currently modified with a server plating the items you select) and an á la carte menu. Our favorite meal was at 8 Rivers. This restaurant has a glamorous 1950s era feel, serving classic food while incorporating local Jamaican and Caribbean ingredients. Reservations are required and a dress code is enforced. Dinner at The Verandah was also a treat! The website describes it as, “For those nights when you crave continental cuisine at its finest.” While it was continental cuisine, the chefs elevated it in both the fusion of flavors and presentation.

One restaurant that we did not get to try was Bayside. I heard incredible things about the casual and candle-lit Asian restaurant situated on the sea.

This resort is very romantic and great for couples celebrating their honeymoon or anniversary. They do offer nightly entertainment with live music and dance shows including resident band and cabaret performances, but the resort gets pretty quiet at night.

While there are garden view rooms, most guest rooms face the Caribbean Sea, many with views of Tower Isle. Tower Isle is a small private island for au naturel sunbathing. The beach here is small but private so you will not encounter vendors trying to sell you anything. During our stay, the water and beach were full of seaweed and there were red flag warnings, so we didn’t spend much time there. Luckily there are two pools, one with a swim-up bar that we enjoyed.

Every room features air conditioning plus a ceiling fan, private balcony or patio furnished with wide cushion seating and an outdoor table, large bathroom with a shower or tub, IPOD/MP3 player, satellite flat-screen TV, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, in-room safe, complimentary minibar that is refreshed daily, and nightly turndown service (the turndown service is currently on hold due to COVID-19). The furniture in the rooms felt a bit dated, but the rooms were clean and comfortable. The bed was so comfortable, we slept like babies.

Being a travel agent, I do have the opportunity to stay at a variety of resorts. Couples Tower Isle is now one of my favorites. The hotel itself felt special with its art deco architecture. The views were incredible and the staff was lovely! This resort felt like home to me. I think it is a great choice for a couple looking for a quiet, relaxing getaway.

To see more of this resort and the other Couples Resorts I visited on this trip, visit my YouTube channel

About a month ago, my husband and I visited Jamaica. While some of you may believe it is irresponsible to travel during this time, please remember that this is part of my job. I have many clients traveling over the next few months (quite a few to Jamaica) and part of my job to advise them. There is no better way to let them know what to expect than to experience it myself. That is why when Couples Resorts in Jamaica invited us down to spend five days learning all about their resorts, we jumped at the opportunity.

I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that we had second thoughts after confirming that we would join them. It wasn’t being in Jamacia that worried me, but rather the plane ride. Flights were limited and we departed from Chicago O’Hare, connected in Charlotte, and continued on to Montego Bay, Jamaica. 

We had our masks and face shields and hoped for the best. O’Hare Airport was nearly empty, as was our plane to Charlotte. The connecting flight to Montego Bay was about 80% full but no one sat next to us, although we did have people in the rows in front of and behind us.

Overall the flights went really well. Most everyone stayed seated throughout the duration of the flights and practiced social distancing as best they could. There was no beverage service on any of the flights and instead, we were handed a bag upon entering the place with a bottle of water, biscoff cookies, and a hand wipe.

Jamaica has regulations to enter the country including an approved travel authorization, negative COVID-19 test depending on your state of residence, health screening upon arrival, and temperature checks. There are also restrictions on where you can go within the country. We were required to sign a statement agreeing that we would not leave the resort.

Traveling right now is not for everyone. There are lots of rules and if you do not yet feel comfortable doing it there is no rush. But if you are comfortable and willing to follow the strict guidelines you may find yourself in what seems like your very own paradise as crowd levels are very low. I had such a good experience that in a few weeks I’m off again, this time to Cancun!