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“25th Wedding Anniversary - Not all that great”

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Sandals South Coast
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in White House
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 June 2014

My husband and I stayed at this resort 6/15 - 6/22. We chose to doing something different and said why not splurge on a Sandals vacation because we never did one before. I'm really not sure that I would ever do a Sandals vacation again. After that long, horrendous ride from the airport to the resort (which took 2 hours due to heavy rain) we arrived around 5:00pm. We had a "Club" room so we had a separate check in. Well they ask to see my "booking" of the room and then make you fill out some paperwork with your return flight and I say, I need my "booking" information back because it had my flight times on it. They can't find it. I literally just handed it to them 10 minutes before requesting it back and they "can't find it"! I was not very happy and they did look they were trying to find it but they never did. Good thing I just bought an android phone and was able to look up my reservation online because otherwise I wouldn't know what time my flight was.

We tell them that it is our 25th wedding anniversary on 6/17. Never saw a note, flower, etc. on that day. The worst thing about this is when I was on the elevator sometime in the afternoon that day I went to my room for something and saw a girl with a cart that had plates of chocolates, plates that had "Happy Anniversary" on them with cake and I thought well hey....one of those will probably come to our room. IT DID NOT!!! Never a mention of it in their daily "Breeze" paper either. But they mention everyone else's Honeymoons, etc in this paper. Not that this is a big deal but I know when I booked this my travel agent made sure to mention that it was our 25th anniversary and then when we checked in they specifically asked us if we were celebrating anything. Whatever....it's not that big of a deal but I have been to other less costly resorts and they have always done something for us.

I didn't appreciate the day of our anniversary we had a 7:15am wake up call! We did not ask for a wake up call and they are quite lucky I was already up because I would have made a serious complaint. How do you mess up a room number wake up call when they know who you are at the desk when you call?? Also, we were not able to fix the clock in our room. It was off by about 3 hours.

When our travel agent booked this trip we were told that we were going to receive $150 in Spa credits. Well....we never saw those and then when you read the spa rules it says that you can't use your credits when a treatment is marked down for that particular day! We didn't even bother asking for them. Live and learn I guess you can say.

We purchased the Honeymoon Beachfront Penthouse. The room had a nice view of the pool/beach but it does say that these rooms are supposed to come with double sinks in the bathroom. We only had one, which isn't that big of a deal but one sink then means only limited amount of space to put your bathroom acccessories. They also give you a list of the TV channels in the book in your room but the channels in the book do not actually match up with the channels on the TV. But....you only need your TV for a little while when you are getting ready to go to dinner and before you go to sleep. We wrote down the channels and left them in the bedside drawer so the next people don't have to hunt and peck for a certain channel like we did.

Overall the food was pretty good. Was not a fan of Ellenores or Neptunes and I'm not really a big fan of eating outside at night. There are way too many bugs in fact I had a very large black beetle type bug insist that my hair was his stopping point that night. I do not like bugs so I had a little freak out moment. You definately need bug spray and even then you still feel bugs biting at your legs at night. Which brings me to the next point. You obviously have to spray yourself as soon as you get up everyday if you plan on going anywhere near the beach. My husband and I were covered in sand fly bites everyday before we figured out that we were getting them during the day and not at night!

The people that work here are fantastic. There wasn't one person there that I didn't think wouldn't go out of their way to help you. My personal favorites were Richard at the Dutch Village Bar. He would make me a new drink everyday! Also, Ascendia at Bayside would always greet us for breakfast or lunch at Bayside and then come talk to us when she wasn't busy to ask how our day was and what we were going to do.

Now the ride home - that was a trip too!!! Our driver asks if anyone wants to make a pit stop halfway between the airport and resort. A few people did, but the gas station that he was going to stop at was closed and then you look out your window and see someone peeing on the side of the road! Well he didn't stop here - he went up a few miles and stopped at this hole in the wall gas station. The men who did get off the van to use the "bathroom" so it was so bad that they ended up walking around back and peed on the building. I didn't even bother getting out of the van. I had such bad motion sickness from the driver speeding up and then slamming on his brakes because they had to let a car pass all the time - I didn't want to get out and risk getting sick.

Overall, we did have a good time because it was still better than being home or at work but I don't believe I would do another Sandals resort again. I know Sandals totes that has superior service. They do have a great service but it really is about the same as I get when I stay at a 6 golden apple resort. To me.....Sandals is really not worth the extra money.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank MauiMe067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,767 - 2,773 of 7,177 reviews

Reviewed 30 June 2014

This was our 2nd trip to Whitehouse. We stayed at Whitehouse in May 2005 for our honeymoon and at Sandals Grande Riviera in June 2010 for our 5 year anniversary. We returned to Whitehouse because it was more relaxing to us compared to Grande Riviera, which had a very different feel than Whitehouse. Whitehouse staff and cleanliness also outshine Grande Riviera on many levels. We knew what to expect with the bus ride and we enjoy getting to see some of the country on our way to and from the resort. As always, we were pleasantly greeted upon arrival and immediately started our 7 night, much needed, vacation. The entire staff at the resort was amazing. The entertainment group was fun and friendly: Owana, Prince, and Cheldon were the three we got to know the best and they were amazing. The shows were wonderful and entertaining. We especially loved the steel drum show, the balancing guys, and beach party entertainers (limbo dancer, fire breather, and balancing act). We loved all the food. I have to say that, on this trip, Jasmines was my favorite. Their food was absolutely amazing! The cooks are always willing to accommodate if you have a any special requests. There was a guest that came in with a gluten and dairy allergy while we were in Cafe de Paris and they made him a special dessert to accommodate his allergies. The returning guest dinner was delicious and fun. We had one of Sandal's engineers sitting at our table and it was really interesting listening to him explain some of the workings of the resorts. We liked visiting the Martini bar after the evening shows. Romeo and Troy are some of the best bartenders around and a lot of fun. It did rain every day from around 1pm to around 3pm, but it provided a good excuse to take a break from the sun and relax on our balcony or take a nap in our room before a night full of activities. I have no complaints about finding chairs on the beach or around the pool. We were always able to find a seat. I love the addition of the small fridge in the rooms. It was great to have easy access to bottled water or juice when we were just relaxing in our room. We stayed on the 3rd floor of the Italian village (we requested the same floor as our honeymoon room) and the view was amazing. The room was cozy and kept very clean. The maid service did a wonderful job. My only suggestion to Sandals is to put screens on the balcony doors or allow the window with the screens to open so guests can hear the ocean at night without inviting the bugs into their room. The bugs were much more bearable this trip than they were on our first thanks to a fogging they do each day to keep them under control. I only used bug spray on two of the nights and ended up with only one bite during the whole trip. My husband and I had yet another amazing visit to Sandals Whitehouse and I cannot wait until we can revisit them. This resort remains our favorite thanks to the friendliness of the staff and the cleanliness of the resort.

Room Tip: The top floor will provide you with the best views because of how some of the landscaping has grown...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Lisa19_21_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2014 via mobile

This was our 3rd trip to Sandals and our first trip to Whitehouse. I will say the only negative thing I can say about the trip here. It is a long and windy trip from Montego Bay.

Now on the the good things. Whitehouse was simply amazing. The food was amazing. You have to try Ellenores. At this resteraunt, ask to be seated in Fiona's section. She is the very best and most talented person that I have had the pleasure dining with. She told me and my wife that she was training to be a butler. There is no doubt that she will be the best ever. And after I had the best steak of my life, I found out that her brother was the chef. The entire wait staff is amazing. We had the pleasure of meeting the head of that staff, Earl. He should be commended for a very impressive staff.

The pools are outstanding. There are two swim up bars. The bar staff is also good at what they do. If you can find Troy the bartender, do so. He is charismatic and treats the guests very well. And makes great drinks.

The photographers are also very good if you want that sort of thing. My hope was not to buy this trip but after a trip to the Pelican Bar I had no choice.

Whitehouse left us very impressed. We will be back. But next year we are booked for Ocho Rios. Hopefully they will impress like our three previous trips.

Thank you Whitehouse and also thank you Royal Carribean. You keep us coming back or as you like to say, Soon come back

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Rick_Collins26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2014 via mobile

We booked this vacation a year ago when we left Sandals Antigua. Antigua was wonderful!!! Looking forward to Jamaica we leave Detroit....let me say we read on other reviews that it was an hour and a half drive from the airport. We were not told this when we booked and we're told we would be upgraded to a club level room because we were Sandals Select members. We arrive at the airport and proceeded to the Sandals lounge. After a short wait we were escorted out to begin our journey. It was us and another couple that crawled in to a white van that felt and sounded like it was going to fall apart. We began our journey. .. Over the river and through the woods on a curvy very narrow road. The man behind us was super sick as was I. We ask the driver to stop about 45 minutes through the ride and he said he would when he found a safe place. We stopped for about 5 minutes before we continued the same another hour. 1 hour and 45 minutes after we started we arrive at the resort only to encounter our next problem....no room upgrade and a room that is a lot worse than a Fairfield Inn ( at least the Fairfield Inn has free Wi Fi ). Talked to one of the managers ( you will NEVER be able to speak with the General Manager so don't waste your time.
) who told us to give him a few minutes and he would see what he could do. We waited another hour and a half only to be put in th en same room... ( he said they were totally booked and could not do anything for us.) Again ask for the G.M.!!! No luck. This same person said just give him 24 hours to take care of the problem..He would call us back...that was June 14 and still haven't heard from him or the GM. My advice is don't let someone at the comeback soon desk book anything for you unless you get every single detail in writing on their stationary.
I cannot hold the I'm sure hourly employees accountable for 3 people's actions. The employee were great. Trace Ann in the "Jerk. Chicken and Pork" hut is wonderful!!!! Kendrick ( a waiter at the Bluefish Grill) was great.... we ate there twice because of his service. My husband talked with someone named Heidi who was also very nice. Food was very good...not great but very good. Pool area very nice. Resort clean.
Would we return...or recommend to a friend...NO.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Sherry R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals South Coast, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2014

Hello Sherry,

Thank you for your review of Sandals Whitehouse. I’m so sorry that your experience with us did not meet your expectations. We are known for providing luxury in a friendly and comfortable environment and unfortunately, during your experience, it seems we did not meet those expectations. As hoteliers we realize that there is always room for improvement and feedback is crucial in this process. Therefore, your comments have been passed on to the relevant departments for immediate evaluation and action as needed. We do hope you decided to visit one of our other lovely properties, as we would like the opportunity to deliver the luxurious Sandals experience on a future stay.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2014

It was our first visit and the staff went out of their was to make sure we were taken care of. Staff was friendly with great attitudes. The resort was clean and there was plenty of activity to keep everyone satisfied. We are already planning our return trip. Hats off to all. Great job.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Edward C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2014

We just returned from our sixth visit to SWH June 17 to 24th and tenth Sandals visit. The resort is beautiful with well maintained grounds. We remember when many of the trees and shrubs were small and with time are tall and stunning.

We also remember when we could walk all the way along the beach, even as recently as last June. We were shocked at the change in the beach that way. One guest described the beach as dirty. It is still immaculate and raked every day. However with the erosion many of the trees' roots are exposed and they will likely die in time as the sand continues to be washed away. Several staff told us though Sandals is trying to figure out how to resolve this problem.

All the rooms face the ocean, some have better views than others depending on the level of room you choose to book. We were fortunate to again be in the Dutch village, room 2304. Our housekeeper Maureen did a great job in cleaning our room early in the morning, just like last year, and Mary who completed turn down service every night was thoughtful as she realized we went to bed reasonably early. Thanks Krystal for taking care of us even though you are now at Beaches Negril!

We ate at every restaurant except Eleanor's. All the meals were good although we would prefer that Bayside return to its original menu (international and not French). Lorna at Bayside made my husband great sandwiches at lunch and kudos to Tameisha for such great granola at breakfast. I am going to try the recipe.

Denese at the Cafe de Paris is so welcoming. What a great memory for faces! Years ago she brought us some raw sugar cane from home to try. Thank you Denese for the special table and flowers you set at Guiseppe's for us. You are a pleasure to deal with and asset to SWH.

Giuseppe's is probably one of favourite places. The hostess, Synovia, was very friendly and after Denese set a special table one night and we returned another Synovia surprised us with flowers on our table when we went it the antipasto bar. Theadra and Ranneil are both great servers at this restaurant.

There were probably only two things that struck us as being negative during our stay. The Dutch pool was NOT maintained by the water sports person responsible for the area. Moving Rayon who was previously responsible for the Dutch area to the water sports area was not a good move. He took pride in keeping that area spotless. The other area we thought was lacking was the entertainment. It needs it be improved and earlier. The piped music was disappointing

If you are travelling to SWH remember it's the staff that have made this place a success

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank LCandBE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2014

We were married at Sandals Whitehouse on June 16. We booked our trip to Sandals Whitehouse through Nikki at Beach Bums. Our trip started out amazing thanks to the first class nonstop flight. Navigating the Jamaica airport was a lot nicer than Cancun. Nikki made sure we were checked in our hotel, which made that easier, too. We had a resort credit so we upgraded our room, didn’t see how it was worth the $600 extra. Thanks to Noah our wedding was a breeze and Ricardo made the picture taking fun. I was disappointed in the beach too rocky and weedy. The ocean was not the blue we expected. The resort had all but one restaurant all together in the main area. The restaurant at the end did not serve breakfast. So if you are at the far end you are a mile away from breakfast that was disappointing. The food was good but not outstanding. If you sat at the main pool during the day sometimes the games got a little annoying, felt like I was on a cruise ship. Overall the resort is very nice, it is very well kept. Next time we will try somewhere different but would defiantly go through Nikki at Beach bums again.

Room Tip: Stay in the Italian village if you want to be close to the action
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dennis0070
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

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: £364 - £1,226 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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