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Sandals South Coast
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Reviewed 30 November 2013

Reading that anyone gave this resort less than 4 stars, shocks us completely! I am hoping to write a helpful review for those who want to know all the details about this amazing place from a young, fun, 30-something point of view. I want to start by saying that we both have had experiences with all inclusive places, this was not our first. We also have traveled to numerous places from Hawaii to almost every island in the Caribbean, so we have places and resorts to compare this to. To be honest, Jamaica was a place I never really cared to visit, but my husband surprised me with this trip for my 30th birthday. Now, I can’t wait to go back!! We were there from November 20th-24th 2013.

It is only a 3 hour plane ride from Baltimore, and after arriving at the airport we were greeted by the Sandals crew who directed to us to their amazing Sandals lounge while we waited for the included airport transfer. Beer on tap, water, coffee, lounge area, you name it-it was more than a lounge. From there, it is an hour or so drive through a bit of scary, poor, and narrow roads, but once you arrive you realize it was well worth it!

We were greeted by the smiling Sandals staff with cold, refreshing towels, luggage is taken care of for you, and we were given a glass of champagne as we received the tour of the resort. Walking into the resort, you can’t help but have your breath taken away. It is stunning. The resort looks like you stepped into an Italian or French village with a beach of clear, teal water.


**The beach**
-Our favorite beaches to date are Barbados or Antigua with the powder white sand and clear water, but this beach was still stunning! The sand is a light tan and powdery under your toes. The water is turquoise and you can see the reef from your beach chair. Some reviewers complained about rocks in the water. True, it is not completely smooth on the bottom of the ocean when you first walk in, but it is nothing to complain about, for sure! I would say the only thing I wish we could have done was take the pool floats into the ocean to relax like we did at another all-inclusive in Antigua. That would have been icing on the cake. All non-motorized sports are included and we had a great time taking the catamaran for a ride around the reefs off the coast. Waitresses come by and get your drink orders, and you see numerous Sandals employees cleaning the beach at all times. An empty cup won’t be there more than 5 minutes and any straight twigs, grass, etc. are scooped up right away. The beach is nothing short of wonderful.


**The rooms**
-It is not the Four Seasons, but they were perfect for us for this trip considering we slept and showered in there and that was about it. There was so much to do, we didn’t spend much time inside. Naps and resting were by the pool or on the gorgeous beach! We had the concierge level, so we had a fully stacked and always replenished mini bar in our room. Well, I say mini-bar, but it was full open bar to be honest. The great thing about this Sandals is that each room is oceanfront. We were in the Italian Village which was closer to the main (huge, and gorgeous) pool and the restaurants. I read some people complained about it being loud, but it wasn’t at all for us. It was lovely and very convenient. We walked down to the other villages for lunch and to parooze, but I loved the convenience of our location. Our corner balcony gave us an almost 360 view of the resort.


**Safety**
-I know other places in Jamaica our friends had gone to that said around the perimeters, there were people offering drugs or haggling you to buy their products or braid hair, etc. I also heard it was very unsafe. Well, we were 100% safe. One of the best parts of this resort is that it is literally alone on this side of the island and not full of resorts next to it. There were no vendors selling anything on the beach, no one except guests and the staff were allowed. We even walked to the edge of the beach one afternoon and there was a security guard station monitoring the edges of the resort. One afternoon, there was a snorkeler in the water that was not a guest, and a security guard followed him the entire time at the edge of the beach making sure he was just passing through (turned out he was swimming home across the water). Very safe and very secure!


**The food**
-I am vegan so I was extremely worried about being able to eat here….but they were amazing. The food was delicious (usually I get stuck with pasta and oil). There was something on every menu for me, and if not, they made something for me that was delicious. My husband loves seafood and he said everything he had was truly amazing as well. He enjoyed the omelet stations at the breakfast buffet and we both loved the smoothie station! Elanor’s is the upscale (aka. wear pants) restaurant and that was my favorite. His was Neptunes which was a seafood place on the beach. We only at the Italian restaurant for lunch and their wood oven pizzas were amazing! (mine minus the cheese, but the vegetables on it were fresh and perfect and my husband loved, loved his margarita pizza). I would say innovative and yummy dishes at every restaurant. Café de Paris is also an adorable pastry & coffee café that we spent time at: lattes with breakfast and after dinner drinks with sweets. The pastry chef even came out to meet with me so he could make me a vegan pastry dessert. That was beyond appreciated!!

**The Service**
-I feel like people that put “the staff was only ok”, must have been at a different resort. The staff was our favorite part. One of the bartenders, Renaldo, was outstanding! He asked our names our first night there, and the rest of the trip we would here, “Elle!!!” or, “Mike!!” from across the resort whenever he spotted us. I would go again, just to visit our favorite bartender! Besides the bar, of course, the staff was attentive and went out of their way to make sure we were 100% cared for and happy. The bartenders at the pool bar were hilarious and amazing as well! A smile at every corner and I would love to know the staff:guest ratio…it was great!


**Fav thiings**
-I am a picture lover, as most gals are. However, you can only say, “Excuse me, could you take a picture of us?” so many times. And then, of course, there are the photos of just my husband, and then of just me. One of my favorite things about Sandals is that there are “paparazzi” everywhere snapping candid photos (and posed photos if you want them). They ask your room number and at the end of the trip you can see them all and pick any you like to take with you on a CD or printed. A photo of my husband and I walking holding hands, and a photo of us on the catamaran in the middle of the ocean are two photos we never would have been able to have but we do now! I am so glad we have these memories. I can understand if you aren’t picture people, this may be slightly annoying…but a simple, “no thanks” works. Not to mention, you are in paradise, get photographed!
-The liquor and wine is not rail, it is top shelf…my husband and his Grand Marnier Margaritas can vouch for this.
-Everything is made for romance. The 2 seats at the tables at dinner with the chairs next to each other instead of across, for example. Tiki huts for two on the beach, the big comfy daybed-like sofas around the fire pits are a couple of others.
-Speaking of romance, no kids also made a hugggge difference. We have been to other non-adult-only all-inclusive resorts before, and adults-only was so wonderful. It was very romantic getaway. Also, it ensured it wasn’t a “just party” atmosphere like a lot of all-inclusive places. Don’t get me wrong, the pool bar was loud at times, fun and endless shots if you wanted them which we participated in many afternoons, but it wasn’t a “spring break” feel.
-Because this is an expensive, couples resort, we were curious about the ages of everyone before we arrived. I can tell you it was a perfect blend. My husband is 31 and I am 30, and we were incredibly comfortable. At the pool bar, the martini bar, hot tub, and on the beach, we met and had a blast with young couples (like us) getting married that week or on their honeymoon, those celebrating their 30h wedding anniversary… and everything in between. I swear the older crowds drank more than us….we had so much fun with everyone.
-Piano bar from 10-11pm at the Martini bar was so much fun!


**Notes**
-We had the concierge level and besides the bar in the room, we would not do this level again, or we would go one step above to the Butler level (reserving the beach chairs for us would have been nice!). We opened a bottle of champagne when we got there, drank the waters, but other than that we didn’t have a chance to use the bar in the room—every bar or restaurant was so accessible, no lines, great service, that we just didn’t need it.
-The bathrooms could use slight updating in the next few years and as I said before, it is not the Four Seasons. I am very particular about the rooms we stay in and it was just fine for us, but just to note.
-The no tipping is great! Sometimes we felt bad, but they won’t accept it—period. It made it so easy not to have to worry about carrying around ones everywhere we went.
-Would love to have seen more vegan options on the breakfast menu…but I realize vegan guests are one out of thousands who visit, so I understand…just putting it in the comment box :-)
-We never, ever, had a problem finding empty chairs by the beach or by the pool! We were there during a sold out week, and it never felt crowded. If anything, the opposite. The restaurants never made us wait more than a few minutes...and those minutes we waited at the bar having a pre-dinner glass of wine chatting with the friends we made or the bartenders.


I can honestly say we are Sandals lovers for life! We will not be able to go to any other all-inclusive, again, we realize why they are the highest in price because it was worth every penny.. Would we return to Whitehouse? Absolutely, in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: -Italian Village is very convenient -Butler service level=best rooms
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank ElleAndMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals South Coast, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Thank you so much for your great review of Sandals Whitehouse. We're thrilled to read that you had such an amazing vacation with us. You enjoyed our beautiful property and beach, delicious dining and the genuine hospitality of our wonderful staff.

We can't wait to welcome you back for another stellar vacation in the near future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2013

When booking this vacation I took a few things into consideration. First my girlfriend and I wanted to relax! We wanted to find a perfect balance of relaxation and partying. SW provided us with the perfect venue and atmosphere which we were able to take full advantage of. The resturants are great and have excellent variety. They have done a really nice job of emulating authentic cultures specifically in the Italian and Asian resturants. The service was excellent as well.
The ground here on this property are breathtaking. From the tiled walkways and beautiful landscape to the free roaming peacocks you could not ask for much more when looking at overall appearence. Upon arrival you enter into the main lobby which overlooks the main pool and directly behing was the beach. The beach is prestine and stretches for a few miles which is uninterupted by vendors or other hotel goers.
There is not a lot of negatives to report except for the rooms are a little dates and kind of gives you the feeling of being in a hotel. You don't spend much time in the room anyway and by no means would it stop us from returning. Sandals is continuously looking to imporve their properties and before we left the manager Mr. G informed us about some improvements they had in the works. Needless to say we will definitly return to this property after we explore other Sandals properties! Keep up the good work.

Room Tip: All rooms are oceanview!
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank EricO470
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals South Coast, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

We're so happy to read of your great vacation at Sandals Whitehouse. We always strive to offer amazing experiences for our guests and it's awesome to know that your stay was the stellar experience you expected. Thank you for your review.

We look forward to your return!

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Reviewed 29 November 2013

My husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary at Sandals Whitehouse and we were very impressed with the resort. Loved our location in the Italian village which was the closest to the main pool/pool bar and most restaurants. What made our stay was the staff at the pool bar. Keon and Avril put on a good show, but Ronneil was a very sincere and kind young man from Petersfield who was in the training program. He was very attentive and genuine, and made us feel like we were the only guests there. Sandals would be foolish not to hire this young man permanently!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Chris K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals South Coast, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2013

We really appreciate you taking the time to review our resort. I'm so happy to read that your experience at Sandals Whitehouse met your expectations. Ronneil and our other team members will surely be pleased to hear your kind comments.

We hope to see you again in the near future!

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Reviewed 28 November 2013

We had a room in the Dutch village, beautiful view of the pool and ocean. Room was nice for a regular vacation but would've liked something more for our honeymoon. Otherwise, wonderful resort! We had a small room key issue which was handled very well thanks to the manager Steve. He apologized for any inconvenience and treated us to a romantic dinner on the beach. The chef Cleon was fantastic and surprised us with his special menu just for us and came out to even hand deliver it. Our server, Cristal was wonderful. She was working at neptunes restaurant that night but was assigned specifically to us for our special dinner. She was very attentive, personable and sweet. We had our pictures taken as part of a sunset photo session and our photographer Delano was fantastic! He's very talented and has an artistic creativity that really comes through in his photos! Definitely book him for your photos! We highly recommend this resort and would definitely come back! All the staff were wonderful, always smiling and they were just happy mon!

Room Tip: Dutch building
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Amanda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals South Coast, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2013

We're so happy that you had such a wonderful stay at Sandals Whitehouse. You enjoyed a romantic honeymoon and it's great to hear your review.

Thank you so much for your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back for another stay in the near future!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2013

My wife and I stayed at Sandals Whitehouse from Nov 16th through Nov 23rd, in room 3314. We have travelled a fair bit over the past 18 years, to various islands and a number of different resort chains. While we have considered most of our holiday experiences to be good, and some even great, we have not till this trip seen a resort which has been so clearly well run or staffed

Our Travel Professional, Linda Francis, told us how she and her husband had stayed there and how much they had liked it. She described their experience at length and assured us that we would like the resort too. As good as it sounded at that time, the real experience was significantly better.

We traveled down on Air Transat and both flights were great.

Arrival at Sandals Whitehouse was conducted reasonable quickly and a Credit Card was requested. What we did not know was that each of us would be given a little "on-site" charge card. This is just like the "Sail and Sign" card you get on a cruise. So on the resort you don't need to carry any cash, just this card to purchase anything. Then settle up when you leave. Although we provided a credit card, I settled up with cash the night before check-out. I thought this was a good process.
I had read on TripAdvisor that Mr G would be seen out and about, and we saw him and a number of the other management staff many times. They were often seen picking up dishes, etc, it is very impressive to see the GM and management team "on the floor" making things run
Additionally impressive was the number of Directors and Managers who spoke to us during the week at different times. All wanting to know if we were having a good time and if there was anything we needed. Another highly impressive experience for us was how everyone of your team members, no matter what they did, shared your management team's interest in how we were and how our holiday was going. As my wife mentioned, a Grounds Person could be heading somewhere, "On a mission", but would often stop and make sure we were having a good time
We were in the French Village which is about as far as you can get from the main pool and most restaurants. We did not find it to be too much of a walk, in fact it did allow us to get some exercise. If you prefer not to walk far one of the other villages might be better. However the French Village also has a great pool and a great Pool Bar Team.

We spent one day at the Main pool and the Pool Bar team are not to be missed. All day long they put on quite a show.

We tried all the Restaurants and found them all to be quite good. Our favorites were Bluefield's and Neptune's. Everywhere the food was good and service was very high class. A major bonus was that you did not need to make reservations. I always found that task a pain and it was nice not to need to do this.

The Scuba Team is excellent. I dove 4 times. The equipment was good and they were very safety orientated.

Finally the evening entertainment. It was the best that we have seen at an All-Inclusive Resort.

We will be returning to Sandals Whitehouse, for sure. It is head and shoulders above any resort that we have been to yet.

Room Tip: French Village is a bit of a walk from the main village area, not bad, but something to be considered. All rooms appear to have a bit of an ocean view, so that should not be a problem. Our preference would be to not stay in the Dutch Village, the pool there is pretty small.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank Dawgone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals South Coast, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2013

Thank you so much for your review of your stay with us! We are truly pleased to see that you enjoyed your trip to the fullest and got to experience what Sandals Whitehouse, a true all-inclusive, is all about - a great time in paradise!

We look forward to seeing more of you on your next visit with us!

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