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“Very Romantic Setting” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals South Coast

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Sandals South Coast
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in White House
Certificate of Excellence
Edmonton AB
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Very Romantic Setting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2010

I have a hard time reading reviews that say DON'T GO.

The ride there is windy and bumpy but you do get to see alot of the real Jamaica. The bus driver informed us before we left about our 1hr 30 minute bus ride and assured us that he had done this route many times and gets everyone there safely. He played music and talked and joked with us and we made a pit stop along the way to stretch our legs. The drive was very scenic. They beep the horn before they turn corners and seem to have their own system that works.

Arriving to the resort...we were greeted with a cool facecloth like every one else on the but but we had butler service and none of us recieved our champagne. We stayed with every one else and were treated no different even though we had payed up the nose for butler service.

Our butler finally met us in the lobby and we were then escorted to our room and started to feel better. Our room was a beachfront walkout honeymoon suite and it was beautiful, just like the website. Our view was great with a large deck. We could watch the sun come up and go down from our bedroom or deck and we could walk to the beach in about 5 steps. We stayed in the Italian Village which I would reccommend. It is closer to the restaurants and entertainment etc.. but still very quiet. The other areas of the resort were busier and more party like.

Our 9 day stay was perfect. Every staff member went out of their was to talk and ask how things were, even the girl serving icecream in the buffet asked me how we were making out. I did not see an unhappy couple at any time during our stay.

Entertainment was intersting but nothing super. However over by the restaurants they constantly had violinists, singers etc... singing outside the patios that was very enjoyable and romantic and pleasant. They had a chocolate buffet outside at 11pm one evening with a special outside entertainment.

There is a Cafe called Cafe de Paris that is so neat. It is a little bakery with tons of different fresh baked goods from cream puffs to cheescakes and cookies and lots of different teas and coffee. Sitting on the patio listening to the entertainment sipping camomile tea with cream puffs was great every night.

I am a pick eater. We ate at Eleanors three nights in a row but I enjoyed every other place as well. The pizza at Guisepees was really good for a midafternoon snack.

The main pool was beautiful but the hot tub there was abit cool, which in the heat of the day was nice. The pools are beautiful and there are three pools in toatal. The main one is close to all the restaurants etc.. the other pools are in teh dutch village and french village. The french village seemed to be the loudest. The italian village only has a hot tub but it is a great quiet place to relax and read and has a great view of the beach. It was my favorite quiet place. Also our beach section at the Italian Village was the clearest and nicest I thought, there were not alot of beach chairs so we really had alot of privacy and at night we would go back out to our chairs and no one ever walked by.

Our butlers came to our room every night and walked or drove us to supper. They always had prepared our table ahead of time with flowers. Every night they would do towel art on our bed and put flowers and candles around the tub and champagne. We had a choice to go to the buffet or have the butlers bring us breakfast on our deck every morning. We went to the buffet once but choose to eat on our deck the rest of the time. We were given a cell phone and we could call the butler at any time for anything. I didn't call often as I felt like a nuicance but they called to check on us regularly. They brought us things to drink and eat on the beach as well.

The beach was very calm, alot of time there were no waves. Reminded me more of a lake. The only waves we saw came from boats going by. We have been at the dominican and loved their beaches better. This was a nice beach to walk on and explore, but swimming wasn't for me. There is alot of grass on the bottom even close to the shore, alot of star fish, and fish about your feet, neat to pick up and see and explore but there were no more than a couple people in the water that I ever saw and jumping waves is out of the question as there was none.

The resort was not that large so it was easy to find everything and get around even if you are older. No steps other than going up to the restaurants.

I would definately go back to this resort for the peacefullness and kindness. It was extremly a romantic feel to the resort and so nice to be around such happy people. Becasue they all speak english there was no communication barrier which was so nice as well.

The trip back to the airport was not as great a experience. I almost got sick the whole was. The driver did not speak one word to us and he drove much faster and I did not feel well and did not feel as safe. There are seat belts in the vans and they are extremly clean and airconditioned. We left in the morning which is no doubt why I felt more sick. But we arrived faster to the reort which was a bonus.

Tipping is all inclusive except if you have butler service, then you are expected to tip. This I did not really want to do because we spent an extra $5000 for butlers so I felt we deserved the extra treatment without having to tip but we did, we tipped $200 for both butlers as we were told this was the average. We also tipped the bus drivers and the guys that take your luggage to and from the bus at the airport as they are not employed by sandals.

Overall this trip was very expensive, but even without butler service I would go back again in a heartbeat. We even drank the water they put on the tables and so was everyone else. I did not see anyone get sick or complain the whole trip.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank travelgirl10057
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver
Level Contributor
55 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2010

Jamaica:
Like other Caribbean Islands, Jamaica is beautiful, balmy and far enough south that the water is warm—unlike some parts of the Bahamas. Jamaican people are smiley, laid back, forthright, honest and very frank. This is important to remember because sometimes their frankness can be mistaken as rude. Example: whether on a tour or airport transfer, your driver or tour guide will right-out ask for their tip and expect a ‘handshake’ in short order.

Check-in:
With Sandals it’s always important to remember that even though this string of couples resorts promises no tipping, the airport transfer is always outsourced, so remember money to tip for this leg of the journey. Sandals has a nice lounge at the Montego Bay airport with plush couches, nice bathrooms and basic refreshments to get your primed for the Sandals resort experience. Depending on a million factors, your airport transfer process can be slow or run like clockwork. It’s different every time.
*Note that you can check-in online, but it’s not widely publicized that you have to do so 4 days prior to your arrival.

Arrival:
After a 1.5 to 2 hour transfer along a fairly windy and bumpy road, you arrive at the WhiteHouse. Unless you are in a Butler suite, plan for a fairly cumbersome check-in process. Other than the chilled face cloth and champagne offered upon arrival, checking-in is my least favourite activity at any Sandals resort.

Staff:
The staff are gracious by Jamaican standards. Don’t be offended by their confidence and honesty, it’s cultural. Most of the staff we got to know were very hard-working and conversational. They love to joke around with guests. They love to laugh.

Restaurants:
Contrary to other Sandals and many other all-inclusive resorts, with the exception of the Butler suites, you can’t make reservations for the restaurants. Also, you can eat at your favourite restaurant every night if you wish. There are no restrictions.

Breakfast: Try your hand at Bayside’s buffet or the white-gloved service at Elenors for Breakfast. You can get in and out of Bayside fairly quickly, whereas Elenors provides a more lingering, enjoyable experience.
Lunch: Giuseppe’s Pizzeria, Neptune’s (seafood), Bluefield’s Beach Club (Jamaican).
Dinner: Eleanor’s (nicest, Caribbean cuisine), Jasmin’s (pretty nice, Thai cuisine), Giuseppe’s (good food, Italian cuisine), Neptune’s (pretty nice, seafood), Bayside (a la carte, OK dinner, not suggested).
Snack: Café de Paris, serving crepes, pastries, chocolate treats and specialty coffee from 6am – 11pm.
Bars: Each bar is different; each bartender is different. Some drinks are made one way at one bar, and another way at a different bar. Don’t fight it, just embrace it. Try a hummingbird or dirty banana.
Dress Code: In the evening, Men need to wear pants and a collared shirt for Jasmine’s and Elenors’, women, just look nice. Nice shorts or jeans are permitted at the other restaurants. If you don’t dress properly for either of these restuaranst they’ll usually allow you to sit on the patio, which is lovely.

Beach:
The resort’s beach spans approx 400-500m. Beyond the resort’s property line, there’s an additional km of stunning, undeveloped waterfront which is great for walks or runs (after you give your name and room number to the security guard).

Water Sports:
Other than offering the regular all-inclusive water sport fare: water tricycles, kayaks, windsurfers and hobie cats, Sandals also offers (but doesn’t readily publicize) water skiing, wake boarding and knee boarding behind a well-maintained MasterCraft ski boat. They also do a daily snorkel and glass-bottom boat tours.

Sandals Luxury Included:
Depending on your definition of ‘luxury,’ Sandals can either be well-appointed or a disappointment. Sandals shines in the way they treat return guests. They are definitely nicer than your run-of-the-mill, $700 per person Mexican resort. Being able to sip champagne in your room, wake board, go on snorkel excursions and eat decent food any time of day is a nice touch.

Rooms:
Most rooms are standard resort rooms with a balcony. Most have a view. As with anything, the more you pay, the nicer your room will be. Note that because the climate is tropical, some rooms do have tiny bugs that like to crawl on the bathroom counter, or the like. Just be prepared for this and

Suggestions:
- Bring an insulated travel mug for your water or beverages.
- Lots of sunscreen
- Most of the rooms have tile floors, which can be loud if you have night owls above you, so try to ask for a room that’s not near stairs or the elevator and on the top floor if you want some peace and quiet
- Also, unless you’re in a Butler suite, Sandals doesn’t provide slippers, so bring your own.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
17 Thank tripstyler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
maine
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2010

The 1st thing that happened when we got to the Sandlas lodge at the airport was a Sandlas employee asked us for a tip. All inclusive? Then the hour and half drive to the resort that my husband and I called a suicide ride. Everyone is passing everyone, no road signs, no speed limit, our driver was crazy. Once we got to the hotel we did not have internet for three days because they were doing "upgrades." We needed to communicate with home. Once the internet came back up it was extremely slow. The staff needs an attitude adjustment. I was extremely nice (overly nice) and time and time again I was not treated with the same respect. We booked horseback riding off from the website. We had to track down someone to tell us where to go and what to bring the day of. They should of been confirming with us! Once we got to the horse back riding, they did not have enough horses because the resort forgot to call and tell them how many would be coming. A surprise? no! We had to wait an hour in the grass for them to bring more horses. When we could of been by the pool. Then came our wedding day. The ceremony was very nice and I booked months in advance a private dinner for my new husband and I for our wedding night. I cannot even express to you how horrible it was! We were suppose to start at 6p.m. This was confirmed with the wedding office, her name is Opal. Waitress never even came until 6:40. We were sitted and she left to get us our teaser and apatier she said she would be right back. We poured our own drinks, tried to find napkins; never found any and sat to wait. She didn't come back until 7:30. I was starting to get fed up but I let it go because it was our wedding night. Then she left to get our entree. We keep pouring our own drinks and talking. At this point it was getting very late. She never came. 8:30 I got up and left. I still cannot believe I paid 200.00 for this. The next day I had to contact our travel agent about our trip whom was EXTREMELY helpful. He got a hold of the resort manager and made all the phone calls for me. I meet with Kevin the resort manager, he apologized to me and took our room bill off. He also said I would be reimbursed for my dinner. Well I've been home for 4 days and guess what I was never reimbursed. My suggestion is to never visit the Whitehouse. Save your money for something bigger and better!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jesslg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2010

stayed at whitehouse from jan 7 thru jan 13. had a great time. sandals food is always excellent. although the resort was at capacity it never seemed crowded. you could always find a beach or pool chair. plenty of beach to walk. plenty of places to jog. plenty of everything (including rum). it is an interesting drive to the resort but nothing a large mug of red stripe can't handle. i would definately go back. very relaxing.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank oleander0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2010

Went to Whitehouse for the first week of 2010. The property is HUGE and beautiful. A longer stretch of unoccupied beach could never be found in the better known parts of Jamaica. The rooms are large and very clean with small balconies and bathrooms. Rooms in Butler category have large balconies. Almost all rooms have great views. My only complaint would be that the A/C is too powerful and the thermostat does not control it. The beach is v shaped and every bit of 2 miles. You can even walk past the end of the hotel and continue along the beach for more privacy. The pools are clean and large (the main pool HUGE), and two have swim up bars. The service is exceedingly friendly, but at the expected relaxed pace. There are some A+ tours in this part of the country and we did two. One was the Black River pontoon boat ride and Y.S. Falls. The falls are often compared to Dunn's River Falls because they look similar. Y.S. is on a 3000 acre farm and is far less overrun with tourists. I can't convey the beauty of this place in words. The other tour we did was the Appleton Rum factory. This is located on a historically significant sugar plantation and is very interesting and well run. You see demonstrations of how rum was made centuries ago and how they make it today. It also seems that the people in this rural (farming and fishing) part of the country enjoy a nicer standard of living than those in more developed parts. One word of caution, the roads to the resort from Montego Bay airport are rough. GO TO WHITEHOUSE NOW...DON'T WAIT.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank pumaNewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oklahoma
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2010

Sandals Whitehouse was great. It was very quiet and for the amount of people that were there it never seemed crowded. The food was okay. The beach was nice and the weather was great. The worst part of the trip was the bus ride to and from the airport...90 minutes of twists and turns.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cwpotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2010

Well how can I sum this up? I will start with the good, and end with the disappointments, and you must be the judge of what you are willing to accept, but what you simply cannot live with. The atmosphere, staff, decor,and most of the guests were great. Now remember if you are looking for perfection, I don't think you will find it anywhere, that being said, I found the Whitehouse to be the best resort possible, keeping in mind this is the only resort and destination I have ever been to!! The food was amazing, except for a over cooked chicken one meal, service well that is one of the down points, if you have no patience to wait for food DO NOT GO TO THE WHITEHOUSE. I did not mind the wait except the 2 hour wait at Jasmine's I was ticked about that. Overall though it was okay. beach great, watersports great, but if you are going scuba diving I reccomend tipping before you go, or doing a private dive for 80.00 pp. Remember golf is not included at this resort, and if you plan on trying another Sandals while you are here you must pay for the transfer, the stay at one play at 7 does not apply here!!! This is a secluded resort, miles away from everything. Spa great but over priced. Swim up bar love it, but service horrible, but the bartenders are fun and doing the best they can. We had no shower head in the room when we arrived, took 3 phone calls to have it fixed, but I was in paradise so that was minor. I cannot say enough about the Jamaican people I love them!! I suggest the Appleton rum tour/Black river. this was the best, we did the Chuuka zip line but I think the Mystic mountain zip line would have been better it is one loooong zip line instead of nine traverses.Bottom line is we loved it, we would return in a heartbeat, but remember you will not be happy with this resort if you expect perfection! You have to be the type to be able to go with the flow!!!!!!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank luvpigs69
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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