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“Nice but not a 5*”

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Sandals South Coast
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in White House
Certificate of Excellence
Nova Scotia Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nice but not a 5*”
Reviewed 6 April 2011

I had really high expectations for my first experience with Sandals and was left feeling a bit disapointed. I do not believe this resort is a true 5*.
I stayed in the French village and the room was nothing but basic, cheap dirty shower curtain and overall cheap feeling to it, again not what I would expect for 5*
The grounds are beautiful and food was good, staff for the most part are friendly.
The boat for watersports was broken for a week solid which was disapointing as this was one of the reasons we booked.
The sand fleas are horrible and I believe they have a problem, definetly bring bug spray I saw some people bitten alive, this kept me off the beach at times.
The bus ride is beautiful to and from, a bit scary but fun and lots to see.
Overall it was a good trip, would I go back...no. I do not feel Sandals is superior to many other resorts and that you are paying for the name.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank jacqueline_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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unitedstates
2 reviews
Reviewed 6 April 2011

I have been reading the reviews for months now. I must say it was a wonderful trip and we will go back. Did we have trouble finding towels? Nope! pool chairs? Nope! Waiting in line to eat? Nope! The ride there was not bad at all actually kind of fun and exciting. I did take a dramine as I do get car sick and had no problems. We need get upgraded which was nice. The food is pretty good there was only one place we didn't like food. We just didn't go back there. The pool bar was a lot of fun and the people who worked at the Whitehouse will go above and beyond to please you... The only draw back was the sand fleas. So we just didn't lay on the beach. We did walk the beach a couple times a day ended up with a few bites but not to bad.... Over all great trip! The couples massage was wonderful!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank schultzw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2011

Service is not the best.....I get the feeling that many of the staff just don't want to be there. I would suggest it may be because of the no tipping policy. They are generally unfriendly.

The room condition could be better. The towel rack pulled completely off the wall. The safety latch has been ripped off the door. There are holes in the wall not properly repaired.

Food is good but overall second to other 5* resorts we have been to.

You have to get up before 6 am to secure lounge chairs around the pool. People are allowed to take up more then 1 chair because they do not have properly enforced policies.
Many times they run out of towels, and people have to wait for as much as an hour to get one.

Finally the sand flies are horrendous. I must have over 80 bites on my body....many of the bites swell up and blister. Extremely itchy and difficult to sleep....which is a good thing as I have to be up at 5:30 AM to get lounge chairs for my wife and I. We stay away from the beach because of the sand flies.

One of the things that attracted me to the resort was the Berringer wines that they served. I enjoy the Cabernet. When we got here we were informed no Berringer Cabernet...but a Chilean Cabernet was what they had. Then half way through the stay no Cabernet but Merlot....and I came to have the Cabernet.

Considering what we paid for concierge level service here for 2 weeks, I have to say my feelings are that we are sorely disappointed with the experience. I certainly do not recommend the Sandals Whitehouse to anyone.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank KevinHA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2011

My husband and I just got back from a long weekend at Sandals Whitehouse. It was a fantastic stay. This was our 3rd Sandals and it is one of our favorites! We booked our trip about 3 weeks ago based on one of the deals Sandals was having. We booked a waterfront view room but got upgraded to a concierge level room. Our room was located in the Italian Village and had such amenities as room service and fully stocked bar. We dined at several outlets which Eleanors and Neptunes were our favorite. We met one of the Executive Sous Chefs (Ryan) who was an absolute charm. He was very personable and really went out of his way to ensure guests had a memorable experience. Through a conversation with Ryan he found out it was a wedding anniversary and he made us a special dinner one evening while dining at Neptunes. It was absolutely fantastic. We also enjoyed Eleanor's for breakfast and dinner. The eggs benedicts were superb and the filet for dinner was outstanding. Out of all the Sandals we have stayed (St. Lucia, Antigua and Whitehouse), my husband and I both agree that Whitehouse's food is the best!

Entertainment was great too. The piano bar is a must! It was such fun to sit around and sing songs that I haven't thought about for many years. The paiano player can really belt our "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi. The streel drum band on Saturday IS A MUST! I read in other review not to miss it and they are so right. It's very energetic and fun to watch them perform especially when they do their solos. Don't miss it.

In regards to the drive to the resort, it wasn't bad going there but heading back to the airport was not as much fun. One recommendation don't drink too much the night before oyu leave because it will make the drive back to the airport unbearable. My husband learned that one the hard way.

In regards to buying souveniors I would wait and get them at the airport in ontego Bay. The prices at the resort were incredibly high ($36 for Appleton Rum) and we saw the same items at the airport for a fraction of the price.

If you get a chance to go I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! We definitely will go back!

Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Cwilsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ninety Six, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 April 2011

It took me forever to find the right spot to spend my 20th anniversary. Once I made the decision to go to Sandles Whitehouse, the nerves were settled. While there, people that had traveled to other Sandles locations agreed that this one was the best!
I read tons of reviews and I had decided once I returned I was gonna give one myself. So here goes. Once arriving at the airport, I noticed some good changes from the last time that I was there(5 yrs ago). We arrived on a Tuesday and things were rather quite in the airport. We got through security quickly and proceeded to the sandles lounge. By the time I went to the restroom, there was hardly any time for a drink. They were ready to take us to our 6 day paradise. The ride was pretty accurate from the other reviews that I had read. Once you left Montego Bay, there was nothing. It was a 11/2 hour ride but the driver told us all about the island which was enjoyable. It made the ride go by much quicker. When we made that last right turn into Sandles, we knew that it was well worth it. We were welcomed with wet clothes to refresh ourselves with and our first drink. We than relaxed in the lobby while we were checked in. This process went by quickly. My room was not ready since we arrived there so early, but since we went with another couple, we had them put our things in their room so we could start enjoying our vacation.
I was under the impression that we would be staying in the French section, but they took us to the Italian Village. From what I had read the party was in the French section. And they were true, but we decided we needed to be closer to the room at night, so our location was wonderful. We did get them to let us look at French Section and they were going to move us but we decided not to. We stayed in the honeymoon beachfront walkout room and it was nice. The pictures were a little decieving, but all in all, very nice. We walked right out our patio door on to the grass which led to either the hot tube or the beach. The view from the picture made the patio entrance look really big. It was not that big and the table was not big enough for a meal to be sit up on it. They may change tables in order to do so but we never had room service. The room and bathroom were very clean. It was not like some of the reviews that I read. The only complaint that I had with the room was the temperture which they fixed and the noise level. They had the thermostat sat at 70 which could not be changed. We called and they came and lowered it for us. The walkways got pretty noisy at night, but it never interfered with our sleep.
Now on to the grounds. They were beautiful!!! All the flowers were in full bloom and there was not a piece of grass out of place. It was heaven on earth!! I made sure to do the orientation and they gave you all the info you needed to get around so that you didnt miss anything.
The beach was beautiful as well. I will suggest to you to get towels early and safe a chair. I don't agree with this though cause there was chairs that were saved by towels that never got used. We did talk to a guy on the beach and he rounded us up chairs one morning. So if you can't find a chair, always ask for help. The pools are the same way about chairs getting saved. And there are none to be rouned up there.
The swim up bars as well as the other bars are always very crowded. It takes longer than expected to get drinks. At night time when the pool bars close it gets really really really (get my drift) bad. BUT drinks are very good. The Dirty Banana is the bomb. The only beer served is Red Stripe and Red Stripe Light although you would see them dipensing both out of the same tap. So who knows.
Now, on to the restaurants. They are very crowded as well. If you don't want to wait 45 minutes, I suggest you go around 5 or 530. The food was very good. It is a 5 course meal so servings are not really big, but by the time you finish, you will be full. They do have some that have dress codes but they will let you sit outside if you aren't dressed appropiately. I do have a complaint with this. I went in and put my name down for a table and was told that we would be seated shortly. I noticed a guy inside with shorts on so I figured my husband sitting inside with shorts on would not be a problem. A few minutes later, the same guy exited right beside me. When I was told the table was ready and she noticed my husband with shorts on she refused to seat us. We were told that it would be a 45 minute wait to sit outside although we had just waited 20 minutes for inside table. When I told her that I had seen the guy with shorts on, she refused to listen. Believe me, I strongly agree with dress code and I think it makes things more romantic, but be fair.
I am getting ready to tell you about the highlight of the trip now! We purchased 2 excursions through Island Routes which was there on the resort. Our first was the sunset cruise. I can't say enough about it. In the beginning, I started feeling a little quizzy and wondered what I had gotton myself into. It was a little slow getting started (entertainment wise as well). They had a full bar and a DJ. After going in front of resort and then changing direction, the fun was about to begin. They took us to a spot and allowed us a swim in the ocean which was very nice. They shared island info with us and then on the way back, we saw the most beautiful sunset. They had a photographer on the boat, so he made everyones picture on the front of the boat with the sunset in the back ground. It was amazing!!! Once the sun set, the party began. You could feel the floors vibarate. Our crew was so much fun. We also did the YS Falls and zip line excursion. That was lots of fun too. We took an hour ride by car through the countryside to get there. The driver was great and shared even more info with us concerning the island. Sandles' hire all of the drivers so they are very safe and nice. Our driver for this trip devoted his whole day to us. He allowed us to stay as long as we wanted and stopped on the way back to the resort to let us buy shrimp form ladies selling it along the road.
We did do the glass bottom boat ride which was included and signed up for snorkling but once doing the glass bttom boat, we cancelled the snorkling. There were NO fish. They carry you along the same reef for both. I saw 1 yellow fish and 1 school of brown fish ( I'm being very serious). Because of all the fishing there, the fish are gone.
Everynight, they turn your bed down and leave a daily guide in your room. I highly suggest looking over it daily. It gives you a list of everything happening and when. The shows were always good so I advise you not to miss them and there is always other activity going on in different locations. The beach bonfire is something you don't want to miss either. Very romantic!
Well now that an hour or more has gone by since starting this, I'm gonna end for now by saying that Sandels is everything that you hear and more! I would go back in a heart beat! This being my first time, it has left a huge impression on me!!!

Room Tip: Get room closer to main pool. Less walking!
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paradise096
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakville, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2011

Trip from airport to hotel was fine, long drive but scenic and safe.
Hotel grounds and buildings were beautiful. Umbrellas and lounge pads need to be replaced. Staff very friendly helpful and polite. Stayed in Italian village, main floor walkout to beach. Was nice and close to main pool and restaurants. Room was comfortable, maid service was good. Food was very good, breakfast at 9am never had to wait. Lunch was poor, they had the jerk shack open some days, if not it was buffet at same restaurant. Dinner was great, went at 630 or 7pm and never had to wait. Food was excellent, wine was very good. Sand fleas, I got some bites but my skin was ok, my husband did not get bitten. Water sports were good, snorkeling, not much to see reef in bad shape.
Enjoyed our stay, would go back again.

Room Tip: Request Italian village,walk out to beach room
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Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Annie00112233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2011

I live in northern Ontario and didn't think for us to bring "bug spray " and no one told us there is a huge problem with sanD FLEAS "PLEASE understand some people have no negative reaction to this pests" but unfortuantly My spouse and I did " we loved our stay but we paid good $$ for it and Now its been few days back I have to go to the docter these bites are not getting any better but worse :(

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Springwood Cott... R
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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