We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

Which White House hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
CT
Level Contributor
43 posts
1 review
Save Topic
First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

I have currently booked a week at Sandal's Whitehouse Jamaica. (4/2/14-4/9/14).... I booked the honeymoon beachfront penthouse- club level. Although after POURING thru all these great forum posts..... I have a couple of questions.

I have also been looking at the rooms at the Royal Plantation resort.... the rooms seem less expensive... and have butlers.... thoughts on this? Or is it like trying to compare apples and oranges. I enjoy just relaxing by the pool.. or ocean..and hubby likes scuba diving.

Also considering upgrading to butler level room at Whitehouse... I am willing to pay to upgrade... but I have read several posts that indicate closer to your arrival it may be less expensive to do so.

Also I am confused by the constant sale.... is there a chance that the price may drop again prior to arrival... or is it the same "sale" over and over. I know they offer price adjustments until my reservation is paid in full.... any tips??

And I would like to thank everyone that shares their experiences here on this forum.... what a really wonderful resource this is for people who are trying to make travel decisions!!!! (p.s- this seems to be one of the friendlier forums I have visited!!!!)

Becky

171 days 8 hours 16 minutes and 12 seconds..... but who is counting????

Edited: 12 October 2013, 23:44
Minnesota
Destination Expert
for White House, Negril
Level Contributor
13,075 posts
169 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

Great resort (SWH) and very nice room Becky. It is our favorite and all the tips and info you could want comes from the many different posters on all of the many SWH forums. Pouring thru these, as you said you have, you have discovered why we all enjoy that great Sandals experience so much. SWH has three of the best pools around, each with its own personality. The beach is second to none as it is two miles long and totally private--with lounge chairs for everyone. The butler program is great and offers that extra bit of special luxury for a special occasion. Sometimes you are offered an upgrade, but it is never guaranteed. The sale is always there and if the price drops you can get that new price honored right up until you have paid in full. Thanks, we all enjoy sharing our experiences and stay away from knocking down any other resorts.

Chambersburg...
Level Contributor
2,642 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

The sales and promotions do change but sometimes it can see like it takes ages for it to do so. The percentage off promotion typically stays around the same for the same room categories. What changes more often is the other promotions like free nights, free massages, spa credit, free catamaran cruise, airfare credit ect. It definitely does not hurt to keep an eye on things. For instance when my husband and I booked our honeymoon in 2011 the room category we wanted was around 212 PP/PN. In 2012 it seemed to dramatically jumped to 220-something and then shortly after it jumped again to 248. I was so sad to see such a high increase in such a short amount of time for the same exact room. And although SRC has made some additions and renovations since our trip, to my knowledge those rooms had not yet been renovated and the only additions were a fire pit and a brick oven pizza hut on the beach. Hardly accounting for an additional several hundred dollars for the same room. I waited and watched and now for the past few months its been back down to the $225 zone. Its not as cheap as it was before but certainly better and certainly a price I can justify. So keep watching because ya never know.

Durham, United...
Level Contributor
126 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

If hubby likes diving there is not a great deal to see but the crew are great and the diving is so easy. The boat leaves twice in the morning so your hubby can choose whether he wants to do one or two dives. First dive leaves around 9am and returns around 10.30 then second one leaves at 11am. Not al of Sandals resorts do it this way. We think it's great because it gives so much more flexibility. Ie , we can choose to have a lie in and a leisurely breakfast and still go diving if we want to.

New England
Level Contributor
2,463 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

I do think comparing the resorts is apples and oranges. SRP is small and intimate. You can visit SGR right next door for a bit of action, or to try different restaurants. I read that the noise from asGR can carry over well into the night, depending on where your room is. The beaches are smaller and you won't be able to stroll along the seaside. SRP is all butler, as you know, but I'm not sure what the staff:guest ratio is, since the whole place is butler.

Whitehouse is larger and more spread out. It is surrounded by a nature preserve and the private beach is perfect for strolling along. The overall vibe of the resorts is elegant and quiet. Perfect for romantic seclusion.

I would stay with your whitehouse reservation, although there are strong supporters of both resorts. Book the room you want now. If you wait and are hoping for an upgrade, you might not get it and could be disappointed you didn't do it when you had the chance. April is part of the high tourist season, and rooms could book up, limiting the opportunity for an upgrade.

As far as pricing, there is always a sale, and like Rachel said, it's usually about the free perks. Something to consider is that Club level allows you excellent support services without having to consider tipping. Many people choose to tip their butlers, although it is NOT required. The recommended tip (based upon other TA members) is $20 per day, per butler. You would likely have two butlers. For our stay, that would add about $320 to our trip expenses and wasn't worth the cash, to us. The butlers are worth every penny, but not in our budget. Tips are personal and based on your experiences with your butlers but definitely add to the cost if you choose to do so. On the other hand, since whitehouse is so large and spread out, it might be nice to have someone to call if you forget something in your room, or would like a snack or drinks while you are relaxing on the beach! Just call your butler and they will help with anything like that! How nice :)

Decide what kind of experience you want to have and choose the resort that best fits your desires and needs. Have a great time!

Ontario Canada
Destination Expert
for White House
Level Contributor
8,601 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

becky, both resorts are totally different...both in layout and in vibe.

SRP has a more elegant old world feel to it and every room is butler level. The resort is small, only 74 rooms and has only one small pool. We found the atmosphere to be very quiet and relaxing...a great place to go and read a book on the beach or by the pool, have high tea at 4:00pm each day, and enjoy the best food of any Sandals we've been to.

SWH has a more fun vibe where you are comfortable dressed up or down. The resort has 360 ocean-front rooms, has 2 miles of private beach and 3 large pools. You can easily find places to relax and have quiet time or be very social, especially at the swim up bars. Food is excellent with a great variety of restaurants to choose from.

Our choice between the two is SWH with stay #11 coming up in 3 weeks. We most often book the same room you have booked as we enjoy being higher up in the building for the great views. Be sure you book the room you will be most happy with...don't rely on waiting in case the room category sells out. Also, if the price of the room decreases between the time you've paid your $400 deposit and the time you pay in full, you can request a price adjustment. We keep an eagle eye on the prices and almost every stay we end up with a lower price than what we've booked.

Ontario Canada
Destination Expert
for White House
Level Contributor
8,601 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

Livin....you mentioned about the noise level at SRP carrying over from SGR which is right next door...that is very true. We stayed in the West Wing (the only building with an elevator) and we could easily hear the late night music from SGR. It wasn't bothersome to us...I wear earplugs due to hubby's snoring...but I did hear that others found it annoying.

New England
Level Contributor
2,463 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

Our room at SGR for our upcoming stay is in the manor house, a lower room category, so I am bringing earplugs just in case. I am a very light sleeper and it's difficult for me to fall asleep and slay asleep. B says I won't be allowed to go to bed early OR sleep in, so I've got to make it count!!! :)

I enjoyed your description of the two resorts, different that what I had gathered. Experience is everything! I really want to go to Whitehouse, but thought it would be too slow and quiet for us, perhaps I was wrong. Maybe that will be our next stay in JA! That beach looks to die for!

Ontario Canada
Destination Expert
for White House
Level Contributor
8,601 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

Ear plugs are a great idea for anyone who is a light sleeper....though I must admit...snoozing in the lounger at the beach or pool is a great way to get some extra shut-eye if you miss getting a good night's sleep!

I've heard some folks mention on the forums that Whitehouse does not have enough going on for them at night. We've never found that to be the case. Aside of the theme nights, there is always a violinist, band or singer playing on the piazza or at the beach, the martini bar is great fun at night, and there are always shows taking place in the cabaret. They've also recently introduced movie night on the beach which I'm excited to try. We aren't night hawks by any means as we are early risers...but we do enjoy socializing over a night-cap and we've certainly never been at a loss to find fun things to do at SWH.

Having been to SGR numerous times during the day and evening while staying at SRP and also when staying at the previous Sandals Dunns River, I can say that in our opinion, SGR is probably the liveliest and busiest of any Sandals. They have so many restaurants to choose from and places for late night partying, that I can't imagine anyone getting bored there!

That's the terrific thing about Sandals...they have so many great resorts to choose from...all with different personalities. Our goal was to try all of them and then go back to the ones we love the most. Our top 3 are SWH, SGSL and SRC in that order!

Fredericton NB
Level Contributor
32 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

Hi Becky

We are also booked in for April. (4-11) We have also booked the same room category as you. The other posters are giving you good advice from what I can tell. This will be our first visit to Whitehouse and we can hardly wait after reading all the comments on this forum and reading reviews. I would definitely stay at Whitehouse over SRP. With 2 miles of beach and an ocean/beach view with every room, how can you go wrong?

For us, the added expense of a butler is just not worth it. The butler rooms may be a little larger but I don't think it is that significant of a difference. Hope to see you there in April!

Barrie Ontario
Level Contributor
1,058 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: First Sandal's trip... Please offer your opinions....

We stayed in the manor house at SGR near the main entrance. We asked to move because of the noise , between the echoing in the halls to early (very early ) jettys. in the morning it's like a train station.

Edited: 13 October 2013, 18:51