We just returned yesterday from a week at this resort. We don't usually return to places because there are so many places to see, but I would consider returning here.
We stayed in Room 2203 in the Dutch Village, a butler suite. The room was large and nicely decorated. Only problem with our room was the occasional foul smell coming from the bar sink. Despite several requests, this was never fixed while we were there but the butler brought a plug-in air freshener to cover the smell. That worked most of the time. This was perhaps my biggest complaint for the week - and something that should not occur at a hotel this expensive and otherwise nice.
The grounds were beautiful and very well maintained. The fire pits, ocean walkway, pools, architecture, beaches, etc. were all very enjoyable.
My husband went on several scuba dives, and appreciated the fact that he could dive at 9am (deep dive) and 11am (shallow dive), and be able to meet me by the pool or beach in time for lunch every day. Anyone planning to scuba, note you must pass a quick test in the scuba pool before diving, and they will require you to go on a shallow dive before you can do the deeper dive. My husband said the dives were nice, but nothing too amazing to see, unlike other places he has been. Nonetheless, it was easy for him to get several more dives under his belt.
The restaurants were good. With butler service, our tables were reserved for us; not sure how long others may have had to wait. The food was generally very good, but perhaps not gourmet. Biggest complaint was the tuna was overcooked and tough one night. All in all, a relatively minor complaint.
We were told the hotel was at 97% capacity. It is spread out enough that we never felt it was crowded. Always saw open pool chairs, and there appeared to be enough pool areas, restaurants & bars that it was not a problem.
We enjoyed the spa, but I do think it was overpriced. Also, when we booked our room, we were given a $150 spa credit. One of our first days there, they offered 20% off spa visits if you booked that day, so we did. When we arrived for the spa treatments, we were told we could not combine discounts, so it was either use the $150 or the 20% off, but not both. And, they added a 12.5% "service fee" to the cost of the service. I thought this was all a bit inappropriate, but just know before you book.
Butler service was nice. We had Chris and Ainsley, and they did a good job. Brought us lunch by the pool every day, snacks in the evening, and a few surprises like bubble baths with flower petals scattered all over the floor. They always had a smile and a good attitude. Each pair of butlers has up to 8 couples at a time, so they are not hovering over you. We did not feel like we are only 1 of 8, though; they did a great job of "juggling" the needs of their guests.
The resort is isolated, and for those who like to explore, this might not be the best place to go. I am recovering from a back injury, so sitting by the pool or beach every day was all I needed. As I mentioned, the scuba helped keep my husband occupied.
Because of my back, we did not chance the drive in, but rather took the helicopter transfer. If this fits in your budget, I highly recommend it. 20 minutes and you are at the resort, with great views along the way.
Everyone we met at the resort was friendly. It was easy to strike up a conversation with just about everyone. With perhaps 2 exceptions, the staff were always very friendly and had great personalities - from the maids to the bartenders to the waitstaff.
The variety of pools was nice. On this trip, we preferred the quiet Dutch pool. No music, no DJ, just the sound of the waves on the beach. For those who prefer more entertainment during the day, the Italian pool certainly seemed to have plenty of that.
The ocean here was very calm, and made it nice to take walks on the beach. We had no problem with bug bites, but did apply bug spray before eating dinner on the beach the night they had their beach party.
All in all, it was a great way to celebrate our 20th anniversary.
- 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