This is a 2 part quick write up. First I'd like to give me 2 cents on Whitehouse and second, I'd like to ask all of you your thoughts on hiring a private airport transfer because my wife and I will be visiting Whitehouse again in November.
First, my review:
The fact that my wife and I have already booked a 2nd visit to Sandals Whitehouse should tell you that we really like it the first time. We were there in Nov 2011. It was our 4th Sandals visit. (This coming Nov will be our 7th Sandals visit). We stayed for 7 nights. Originally booked their concierge category room but was surprisingly treated to an upgrade to their butler suite (without a butler) in the Italian Village. It was great and since then, I've been spoiled and only book suites now.... Thanks for making me spend more money, Sandals ;-)
We loved the non-crowded and large resort. The beach was huge, clean and plenty of areas to just relax without anyone near you. If beach going is not your thing, the rest of the resort has plenty of areas to just walk around. From the general area, to the gardens to the tennis courts and fitness center, there's always something to explore. Ironically, I'm no big fan of heat and sun... yes that is ironic. So during the hot day, I'd like to relax a bit with a cold drink in air conditioned space. The lobby was always my favorite. It's huge and plenty of areas to just sit and cool down. Feel like a desert? Cafe du Paris was my wife's favorite. I'm sure she had at least 6 ice caps daily!
Food is as expected for Sandals. I wouldn't call it world class but it is very good. Best out of all Sandals, I think. We didn't bother with the french and asian restaurants. We stuck with the more casual foods. We particularly liked fresh pasta buffet at bayside. They make your pasta to your liking on the spot.
The staff were great and always friendly. I'd say they are second only to St Lucian Grande. I only say that because my wife and I were married at St Lucian Grande in 2008 and returned there in 2009. So we have a bit of a biased opinion. At Whitehouse, we never felt crowded or had no privacy. Aside from the busy lunch and dinner peak times, which is to be expected, we felt like we were the only ones at the resort most of the time.
This Nov, we have booked the butler suite (with butler of course). I have my fingers crossed that this time, our second butler experience will be much better than the one we had in Antigua last year.
My question about private airport transfer:
We are considering a private airport transfer this time. Due to the 1-1/2 hr one-way and the privacy, I'd prefer not to be crammed in a mini-bus with bunch of other people. I contacted Sandals and they told me that the price is $245 one-way. At first, the Sandals rep said that the vehicle would be an Audi A6, VW, Hiace, Ipsum or Noah. What?!? I'm just an ignorant Canadian so I have clue what a Hiace, Ipsum or Noah is. Somehow I don't think they out class an Audi.
That said, $245 even for an Audi? I then called Island Resorts, Sandals tour authorized tour organizer, and they said that they can guarantee an Audi. Still, for 245, I'd figure a Benz at least. On the plus side, if it can be considered a plus, they say they will include snacks, and drinks (wine).
I've read a couple of reviews here on Trip Advisor and "Joe Cool Taxi" seems to have some great reviews and recommendations. Almost sounds too good. They charge only $80 one-way to Whitehouse.
So my questions is, can anyone here give me some suggestions ad thoughts on this? My wife is very cautious with "freelance" services. She's worried about safety and security. Being not recommended and arranged through Sandals, she very reluctant or refuses to use anything else. I can agree with her to some degree but I'd like to hear from others who have used Sandals car service or any other car service in Jamaica. Joe Cool Taxi does not have an Audi or anything like that. As far as I know, it's a little van. I'm fine with this because it'll be a more personalized service and for $80 compared to $245.
Thanks for reading and any feedback.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sandals Whitehouse European Village Hotel Whitehouse
- Whitehouse Sandals
- Sandals Whitehouse Jamaica