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“Quality Vacation at Sandals Whitehouse”

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Sandals South Coast
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in White House
Certificate of Excellence
Saint John, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Quality Vacation at Sandals Whitehouse”
Reviewed 30 March 2011

We stayed at Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica March 2011. I have never been so satisfied with all things at a resort until now. From the great garden tour with Oshoi, booking the off resort tours with Rowena at Island Routes and the boys on the Soul Rebel, it was awsome. Thanks to Roy, Aldane and Rodderick as well as the rest of the crew of the Soul Rebel. We are going back next year for sure.

Room Tip: Take the garden tour with Oshoi, it's great
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank NorthernTraveler_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Rosemount, MN
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 March 2011

We loved Sandals Whitehouse. We stayed in the Italian village which was close to the bars, restaurants, gym, bars, and main pool. Loved the location. Our room was locaed next to the maid's quarters so it got very loud in the morning with their talking and moving of the carts. Every room has a view of the ocean with a balcony which is nice.
Our fridge was not routinely stocked with water so had to call several times to get water or go get it ourselves. Our safe was broken and had to call for service several times before someone came. And, we seem to have brought back some kind of bugs. I haven't actually seen any bed bugs at home but we had bites there and continue to get them at home so had to buy a new mattress. I did see a couple bugs in our bed there. Supposed to be a 5 start resort!
The ride to the resort is long and windy and bumpy but I loved seeing how most people really live there. It's an eye opener I wouldn't have wanted to miss. Loved the resort. It never felt crowded. The drinks were strong. The nightly entertainment was a blast.

Room Tip: Ask for the Italian village
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank tbgilbyRosemount_MN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2011

We stayed at the Sandals Whitehouse in mid-March. This was our 3rd trip to a Sandals property having previously stayed at the Sandals Regency in St Lucia and Sandals Royal Bahamian, and I would rank the Whitehouse as the top choice of the 3. To summarize:

Ride from the airport - we found it fine. It's certainly a little bumpy / winding and takes about 90 minutes from Montego Bay airport, but we didn't find it bad and comparable to the roads on other islands.

Grounds / Beach - the resort is huge. We were told it was fully booked but the beach and grounds are pretty massive there is tons of room and you never feel crowded. Lots of chairs available, although the main pool area seems to fill up quickly there were always lots of chairs on the beach. There are definitely some bugs on the beach, but if you bring / apply bug spray you'll be fine. There are no other resorts in the immediate area so its quite private and there are no beach vendors, etc. The water is pretty shallow and calm and is nice for swimming.

Rooms - we just had a basic room, but all the rooms here are Ocean facing right on the beach or pool due to the way the hotel is laid out and our room was new, quiet and comfortable looking out over the beach. We were in the French Village which is farthest from the main area / lobby, but only a pleasant 5 minute walk and there is a pool and beach right there. Dutch Village is probably the quietest, Italian closest to the action, French is a nice mix. Only thing we didn't like about staying in the French is that if you wanted a drink or something later in the evening the bar at the French Village pool closed at 6 and you have to walk 10 minutes round trip to the main area.

Food - we found the food excellent, particularly Neptune's and Eleanor's. Breakfast at Eleanor's was also great and Cafe de Paris is a nice treat. I've seen some complaints about waiting times, we never had to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated but we consistently went for dinner around 7. There seemed to be some lineups around 8pm at some restaurants, but they didn't seem to be excessive, you can always sit at the bar while you wait, and if you don't want to wait in line just eat at some time other than 8pm. Overall lots of choices and good quality.

Excursions / activities - we did the pelican bar catamaran excursion and I would higly recommend it. You stop on the way to snorkel, stop at the pelican bar for a beer (its a bar / shack on the middle of a sandbar offshore) and then come back. The crew is great fun and makes it worthwhile. There's free snorkeling, water-skiing, glass bottom boat rides, etc that are worthwhile. We also played squash and basketball during the week and there's the usual tennis courts, beach volleyball, gym, pool tables, etc.

Service - we found the people very nice and the service quite good. They can be pretty laid back and no one is in a rush, so you may have to chill a bit if you're in a hurry. I would say this was the best / friendliest service we've had at a Sandals by a pretty wide margin.

Other - There is wi-fi available, but they charge $43 for the week, which seems kind of weak for what is supposed to be a luxury all-inclusive. The resort is kind of off by itself in a quieter area of Jamaica so if you are looking for shopping or off-site activities you're pretty limited.

Overall we had a good time and its a great choice if you want to go sit on the beach and chill out in a nice setting.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Townsie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pickering, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2011

We returned from SWH on the 26th of March from a one week stay - and we were definitely not ready to leave. Weather was perfect, our surroundings ideal, the staff couldn't have been friendlier. Not going to address the bus ride-It got us there, enough said about that already. Our check-in couldn't have been smoother or quicker. We were in our room within 15 minutes of arrival at the resort, in bathing suits and at the pool, 20 minutes after that. Our first "meal" at the jerk shack on the beach was the perfect start to an interesting week of dining experiences. Our favorite meals of the week were in Neptunes, where our food was served hot, was very tasty and the service (especially the last time) was most attentive. Italian food lovers that we are, Guiseppe's dinner was our least favorite. Basically, no flavor at all, and al denta pasta taken to a whole new level of firmness. We did have pizza there for lunch one day and it was great. Lots of flavor, served hot and that dining room in particular is a wonderful environment. Great furninshings, soaring ceiling, nice background music. We didn't make it into Jasmine's for no other reason than we ran out of nights. Lunch at Bluefields was okay too - watch out for the jerk sauce, yummy but HOT. Nice sitting in the beach setting there, service not the quickest but that was okay.
We used all the pools the week we were there. Started in the French. Fun, busy and great barstaff. Played some volleyball, met some great people but somehow never went back the rest of the week. Spent most of our time at the main pool and enjoyed "observing" activites more than participarting, but that is just us. Met a lot of wonderful people there from all over the planet and the bar staff at the swim up were simply the best. A shout out to Copeland, "thank you for that special drink that no other bartenders could make ", you took very good care of us. Hope you will still be there when we next visit.
Our room was located penthouse Dutch village, an upgrade for us. They didn't give us concierge service in what is a concierge room but that was okay. We couldn't have had a better spot. Clear view of the sunset every evening, and that was spectacular! We overlooked the pool, but it was the quiet pool so that worked well for us as well. Just a short walk to the restaurants & shops. I had requested any village but French as my husband has a bad knee and they did accomodate us. I am grateful that they honored our request. Our housekeeper did a good job, never returned to the room to find it not yet cleaned, and our few minor requests (regular tea, note pad, lots of bottled water) was always done. Our turndown service was also well done with the usual towel art and a fresh flower every evening.
We always have a couples message when at a Sandals, this time no different. We did save a wee bit of money because the spa had some "specials" available. The girls are always cruising the pools and beach for customers - some people said it was annoying. We didn't find it that way at all - tell them you have already booked or just not interested and they just "smile" and move on. Our contact was Sandra, and she was one of the 2 attendants for our treatment. She was great....and so friendly. We ran into her a lot over the week and she couldn't have been nicer. Hardworking, friendly...a true asset to the spa/resort.
We loved the Cafe! Our routine included grabbing 2 Cappuccino's to take back to the room nightly when we watched the sunset. Fresh crepes made to order, pasteries to die for, soft serve ice cream (my husband's weakness)...and again, the most accommodating staff. We were particularily touched by the efforts of the young woman you served us the morning of our departure. She went so far out of her way to make us happy...I wish I had made note of her name, she was delightful!!!!
Many people have complained on Trip Advisor about the "chair hogs" around the pool. The resort was 100% occupied our week, and we found chairs everyday. True enough, not always exactly in the perfect spot but always at the pool of our choosing. There are only so many chairs that can be placed on a deck and not all of them can be "just perfect" but I will agree that it was sometimes annoying to see the loungers reserved by the butler suites, and to never see them used. These guests paid a lot more money so I guess they deserve the extra little perks. Certainly, not going to let that upset our wonderful week.
I could actually write a novel about our Whitehouse experience but will not. Was it perfect? No it wasn't. Any little complaint we may have had, was specific to us and I will deal with it in a different forum. Will we return? Absolutely!!!!
WE LOVED OUR VACATION. We are a couple who happen to love Jamaica. We have stayed at SMB twice, SOR once, SLT once as well. This was my favorite. My husband is torn between the Whitehouse and our first visit to Montego Bay. The staff at this resort was truly wonderful! Kudo's to management.
Olivia and Rowan, if you are out there, please contact me through this site. Would love to stay in touch.
We would be more than happy to answer any specific questions people may have so feel free to contact us. We will return to the Whitehouse and that is probably the best recommendation that anyone could give.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank thebuks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Detroit
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2011

We stayed in the French Village and had a beautiful patio on the 4th floor overlooking the beach. The room was clean, grounds at the resort amazing and staff friendly. The only down side to staying at the French Village is the distance from restaurants, shopping and the main pool but after a few days we got used to the walk and it was definitely needed after our frequent stops each night to the pastry shop! One drawback to our room was that they never stocked our refrigerator with beer only sodas and water. We called and they did bring up some bottles of red stripe but a couple we were with had problems getting theirs stocked until they talked to the resort manager. I have stayed at Riu's and Palace Resorts and they always stocked beer in the refrigerators so I found that odd with Sandals not doing this. The French pool was fun and we never had problems getting chairs or towels and it was nice being close to Bluefields - the restaurant made a fantastic jerk chicken and the view of the beach was awesome although service was slow - it was faster to go get drinks at the nearby bar yourself rather than wait for the server.
We did have a problem with sand fleas or no see ums and everyone had red welts from the bites. We purchased repellant at the resort store and that seemed to help. However, this problem is not confined to this resort as we stayed a few nights in Montego Bay at Rose Hall and encountered the same thing on the beach there.

One really nice thing about this resort is that even at full capacity you did not notice it as there was never a wait, line or the feeling of overcrowding at the beaches or pools.
The restaurants were good. We never waited more than 15 minutes for a table. We enjoyed breakfast at Eleanor's - the eggs benedict and carribean french toast were great! Also the mimosas! The best place for lunch was Bluefields followed by Guiseppes for pizza. The favorite for everyone for dinner was the beach party on Monday where grilled lobster was barbequed on the beach. The only drawback was there was not enough seating on the beach and we were escorted to a dark table at Bayside far from the buffet line. We also had no drink service and had to walk over to a bar at Neptunes to get wine and water. Seafood or chicken is the way to go for dinner. The steaks were not good (even the filet) and had a different taste.
The dinner at Eleanor's was nice - best service of the week. Neptunes was good until they forgot about our table and we left without dessert. We attended the Welcome Back dinner and that was excellent - the food and service better than most of the restaurants and we even got a bottle of rum! White night was really nice on Wednesday with the chocolate buffet.
Entertainment could definitely be better. We caught the steel drum band at the end on Saturday and that looked to be the best. The talent show was good but lacking since there were only a few participants and the fashion show of the gift shop items with tags still on the models was a bit tacky. The Martini piano bar was fun.
We would definitely return - the location is well worth it!
Also, don't sweat the ride there and back - sit back and enjoy the beautiful Jamaican countryside!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kate413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hammonton, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2011

This was our first time to Sandals Whitehouse and first time ever to Jamaica. We had been at Sandals in Antigua for our honeymoon back in August 2009 and loved the entire Sandals experience. We choose this resort based on reviews and based on our previous experience with Sandals....we were not dissapointed. This resort definitely lived up to our expectations and more. The grounds were beautifully and kept, resort staff willing to bend over backwards for you, amenities were great and what you would expect from a world class resort. The beach was beautiful and well kept. The resort was at capacity when were were there but you could not tell. The pools and other areas were not at all overcrowded. Sometimes it was difficult to get chairs by the pool or by the beach with umbrellas if you did not wake up early and stake out your chairs by 7:30am. Other than that, I can not say anything even close to negative about this place. I wish we could have stayed a few days longer!! We would love to go back again too!
About the bus ride....we heard lots of very negative things about the 90 minute shuttle ride from Montego Bay Airport to Whitehouse. It was not that bad. Trust me, I am typically a very nervous person and I did not find this ride to be that bad at all. Just keep in mind, the roads in Jamaica are not what they are in the US. So yes, the ride will be a little bumpy at times. The drivers do drive a little bit on the insane side (passing other vehicles on a narrow 2 lane road), but they are used to driving this way...its not that bad. It was also nice to see the local areas of Jamaica and how they live. The ride almost kept us from going to Whitehouse, but don't let it. It wouldn't deter us again in the future.
Sandals is great. Whitehouse was awesome. Very worth it!!!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ReeRee1214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2011

Sandals Whitehouse is by far the best all inclusive we have ever stayed at. Despite some complaints about the location being isolated and a long drive, the benefits of being "isolated" are fantastic. In other resorts in Jamaica, including other Sandals resorts, there are many peddlers on the beach. At WH there are none. In fact, being here is like being on a deserted island - the chairs on the beach are even 10-15 feet apart. This makes for the perfect romantic getaway. The bus ride in was on a large coach and took almost 2 hours. The bus ride back was on 2 small van buses and took just over an hour, but was a much more harsh ride - some people felt ill upon arrival.

We booked a Concierge Suite and it was located in the Italian Village. We chose this type of room (concierge) in order to be guaranteed we would not be in the French Village. It was well worth it. Our vacation was intended to be a quiet getaway from our hectic life and enjoy each other's company. The French Village and Pool are great too if you are looking for more action and less quiet. Not that one or the other is better, in fact, it is great that this resort can offer the best of both worlds. We just prefer secluded relaxation and that is what we got. The benefits of concierge service was an extra treat - like at check in when our bus arrived with 50+ people. We were all seated in the lobby to wait to get called. Being in concierge suite, we were the first couple called and quickly walked to the concierge lounge. The walk to the lounge took longer than the entire check-in process! Other benefits we used were the free boat tour, free room service, and extra service from the concierge team. We will definitely get a concierge room or suite again - but we would not waste the money on butler service as this is completely unnecessary for us (we can unpack ourselves and don't need help getting our towels on our chairs!).

We were there over the Christmas holidays. Even though it is a busy time, we never had a problem getting prime chairs on the beach. Ample towels each morning are available without having to worry about signing them in or out.

The food was perfect for us. Anyone who complains about the food choices, selection, or quality should really give their head a shake. With the exception of the odd meal not being what we expected, we were completely satisfied. The breakfast and lunch buffets were perfect for us allowing us to select healthy options - though most people seemed content with the vast array of unhealthy options too -- depends on your preferences but both choices are available!

Overall this place was great. Definitely worth the money for the concierge suite also.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank WtoCtoTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals South Coast

Property: Sandals South Coast
Address: White House, Jamaica (Formerly Sandals Whitehouse)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > White House
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in White House
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals South Coast 5*
Number of rooms: 360
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the undiscovered. Journey to a forgotten Jamaica where the natural beauty is simply unforgettable. Within a 500-acre wilderness preserve, blue mountains, lush palm groves, pristine coastlines and shimmering turquoise waters create an unbelievable backdrop for a monumental resort. Sandals Whitehouse Europe Village & Spa perfectly blends the exotic allure of the Caribbean with the refined elegance of Europe. Charming Italian piazzas and fountains are surrounded by gardens resplendent with fragrant foliage, while three European-inspired villages – Italian, French and Dutch – are home to luxuriously-appointed, all oceanfront rooms and suites. Each one offers magnificent views overlooking the two-mile long beach, and top tier suites come with Sandals’ legendary Butler Service. Seven restaurants serve mouthwatering gourmet cuisine from around the world, and entertainment ranges from a sophisticated piano bar to bonfire beach parties and a chic nightclub. This resort is truly a world unto itself, where time is all but forgotten and the only moment is now. World Travel Awards: Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All – Inclusive Company,” 16 years in a row. Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand,” 18 years in a row. Sandals Whitehouse “Jamaica’s Leading Spa Resort” Five Star Diamond Award, American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. We’re so very pleased to announce that Sandals Whitehouse European Villages & Spa has been named in Condé Nast Traveler’s Voted 2012 Readers' Choice Awards “Top 15 Hotels & Resorts in the Caribbean,” coming in at No. 10 and “Top 30 Resorts in the Caribbean,” coming in at No. 4 as part of the annual “Best in the World” poll. Presented Certificate of Excellence for 2012 and Travelers' Choice Hotel for 2012. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Whitehouse European Village Hotel Whitehouse
Whitehouse Sandals
Sandals Whitehouse Jamaica

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