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“why was this resort so much nicer last year?”

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Sandals South Coast
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in White House
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 January 2007

My husband and I spent our 7th anniversary at Sandals Whitehouse in December 2005 and loved the resort so much, we chose to return last month. Last year, the beaches were gorgeous and well manicured except for a small yellow fish that would bite us every time we went swimming. This year, not only were the yellow fish still there, but there was so much seaweed that there were also jelly fish and star fish! So, we never really felt comfortable swimming in the ocean. The resort is really nice- very upscale. There are beautiful swimming pools, but we'd come to swim in the ocean.

The grounds are beautiful. We loved our room with a view of the water, and the setting really is paradise. The room was well maintained. The US television stations only worked intermittently, but we didn't come to watch tv anyway. We were determined not to let the problem with the beach keep us from having a great time.

We did feel the quality of the food and service in the restaurants had gone down, though, which was disappointing. In 2005, the New Year's celebration was great! Fabulous outdoor buffet around the pool and 3 different bands by the pool for entertainment. All the dinner tables were surrounding the pool, so we could enjoy the entertainment. This year, the qualify of the food on the buffet was reduced dramatically, and there was only one entertainer, who was located far away from the food, in a plaza where there were no tables, so that people just stood around or just went to bed. It was so disappointing!

My last comment is that although the staff is normally accommodating, we encountered several members of the restaurant staff who were downright rude to us! Last year, it took forever to get your food at the restaurants. This year was a little better. But at this all-inclusive resort, where all the food and alcohol is included in your fee, we sometimes would order a third entree for dinner,so that we could try new things. The reaction was always negative. We weren't being pigs, but one night, our group of 6 ordered 10 appetizers (they were small) at the Chinese restaurant, and the waitress muttered under her breath, "Jesus!" when we did that. We were really embarrassed at her reaction. Another day, we decided to step into the buffet for a late lunch, and the woman rudely told us the buffet was now closed, without letting us know where we could go for a snack. The staff in the restaurants was downright perturbed when I asked for straws for my iced tea, or when I asked for more sweetener for my tea. There was no reason for their negative reaction to my requests for service. Last thing, the quality of the wine this year was dramatically lower. Last year, there was a selection of South American and European wines in the different restaurants, which was nice. This year, there was only one brand available, a California label which I consider "grocery store" quality, and they had no cabernet while we were there, only merlot.

Of course we had a wonderful time. But we won't be going back to Sandals Whitehouse next year.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank deweytruman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,625 - 6,631 of 7,133 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2007

just got back from SWH 3 night getaway...

sandals waiting area in the airport: very well furnished & clean w/complimentary beverages.

bus ride: waited about 10 min for our bus, new w/ A/C. 90 min through poverty stricken country side, some people may think this ride is a little scary, we didn't about 1/2 way through you stop at a rest area which is safe, you can use restrooms buy a drink, snack, cigarettes, this rest stop is for tourist only. once we approach the resort we were greeted by staff w/ cold towels and champagne.

room: we had a premium beachfront room on the 3rd floor in the french village which is the furthest from all the restaurants and entertainment, which was ok we were able to walk the grounds and enjoy the whole resort. our room was very well furnished and stocked w/ soda, juices, and bottled water. housekeeping always kept the room clean. keep in mind all rooms at this resort are true beachfront. we didn't want to waste our money on an upgraded room just to have a bar or butler, we didn't think it was worth it for a 3 night getaway.

staff: respectful and very friendly.

service: pretty good considering it's jamaica and not NYC.

restaurants: plenty of them, food was excellent, plenty of options for all tastes. again, food is EXCELLENT!!

pools: 3 big pools 2 w/ swimup bars, very clean

beach/ocean: huge beach about 1/2 mi long & wide in plenty of spots plenty of lounge chairs & umbrellas, ocean is warm and appears to be a blueish green, beach is very well kept and clean. we didn't encounter one sand flea or get bit by one bug.

weather: sunny w/ some clouds high 80's during the day low 70's at night w/ an amazing breeze. there was no rain for our stay (when it does rain it's around 4:00pm for a short time than it clears up, so dont worry it's always nice in jamaica).

I'm trying to keep this review as short as possible so i'll end it like this....this was our 2nd time at this resort we LOVED IT, this resort is for couples looking to relax, sunbathe, drink, go to a nice dinner in which most people were very dressed up have some after dinner drinks and call it a night. there was plenty of local entertainment (bands, comedy, etc.), and there is plenty of land & water activities. if your looking for a resort where you can leave and go into small towns and shop and walk around this place is not for you, it's in the middle of nowhere w/ nothing around which we like very much. it's very private, brand new, and absouletly beautiful.

Tips: see about joining the signature series membership it's free. we joined online and recieved 15,000 signet points which was $375 in additional savings on an already discounted price. we paid $2048 for 3 nights in a premium beachfront room w/ air included, we thought is was very fair.

7 nights here would be a little boring for us, but it was great for a 3 night getaway WE LOVED IT!!!!!!!

don't waste your money on an upgraded room, all rooms are true beachfront.

bring some bug spray, just in case, we didn't need but you may.

this place is good for a nice getaway to RELAX and enjoy time w/ your spouse/ partner.

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank G.I.A.-TRIP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2007

Hello everyone! My husband and I had read these reviews for 17 months previous to being there. This was the most awesome vacation I had ever dreamt of, and still can't believe we've "been there, done that"!. I miss Jamaica every day, and can't wait to return. I'll try to compact, but seriously, could write a book on our trip, it was just amazing! My hubby & I were celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary, never been outside our country. We booked at the Sandals Inn, the lowest price vacation Sandals had for Jamaica. We were just looking for relaxation, romance, all inclusive, lots of quiet times. We were very surprised when we were contacted giving us a free up-grade to the Whitehouse, I had to tell them we needed to check it out first on the internet. Boy, was I delighted to accept that! Tnis was the most dream vacation come true! I had read the advice for the sickness pills,
bought them, didn't need them. The trip to the resort is scary, just don't look ahead. The driver's do this everyday, watch & absorb the trip, you'll be very happy they don't have accidents, just "near misses", along your trips! The arrival is everything you've read about, Red Stripe in the lounge upon your arrival in Montego Bay , cold towels & champagne once you get to the Whitehouse. We had a room in the Italian Village, very nice! Everyday, room service & re-stocking of your fridge with juices & bottled water. The retaurants are spectacular, men need to wear dress pants and collared shirts for the evening meals at Guiseppes, Eleanors & Jasmines, all the other meals at the restaurants are very relaxed, many people we met were confused, and had not experenced dining at some, because they thought they had to be dressed to be there. Our favorites were the Duck Breast & Filet Mignon at Eleanors', the T-Bone steaks at Arizonas', ABSOLUTELY, the pastries & coffees at Cafe de Paris, (several times during the day & evening's), everything was awesome ,every meal. We never experienced anything we did not enjoy. Be sure & have the mimosa's at the Bayside & Eleanor's for breakfast. Also a must have; Salmon eggs benedict, Stuffed french toast (Eleanors), Breakfast buffet at the Bayside, (& their made to order omelettes).The chocolate buffet, (my hubby filled his plate & was called back over to fill another to take back to our room). The excursions: Canopy Tour, a must do! Rayon & Keefer, excellent tour guides! A big A+! This is so awesome, we would have done it twice, had we the time for it! Fonthill Horseback tour, a MUST do, especially if you're an avid horse-back rider, you get an imazing jungle tour and go out into the ocean for horseback riding, my hubby loved it! I was a novice, Ian is an excellent guide, he tethered my horse to his, I thoroughly loved it! Have him sing you his song, it is really beautiful & he wrote it himself, he has a very beautiful soul filled voice. The Black Safari/River Falls Tour is well worth the price. We saw 2 crocodiles, they have names for them. On to the waterfalls, hubby swung out into the base with the big rope & did that twice! It is very cold! We had a wonderful lunch, courtesy of Darren & Nelson, our tour guide & driver. The sand-fleas, yes, they are there. Just wear sun-sceen with bug repellant, I think I might have had 3 bites. I could go on - and -on, we had such a terrific time. Did I say I miss Jamaica yet? I will definately be back, those warm smiles and beautiful sceneries are calling! Email me with anything else I can be helpful with, I will be happy to answer!
inchworm@mail,com

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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23  Thank inchwormsl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2007

My husband and I are both 25 years old, and we had our honeymoon at Sandals Whitehouse Sept 18-Sept. 25. We had an absolutely fabulous time! I can not say enough good things about this resort and the people running it.

Ride to resort - We didn't feel that the ride from the airport was nearly as bad as the impression we got from other reviews. Since we have never been to Jamaica before, it was very interesting to see the land and the way of life here. They do drive a little crazy, but it was all just a part of the Jamaican experience. We didn't mind the ride to and from the resort at all, although the ride from from the resort was a little sad because it was taking us away from paradise.

Room - We had a concierge room in the Italian village on the third floor, which was absolutely beautiful! We had a fully stocked bar which was re-stocked every day, and we had a beautiful view of the ocean from our patio. They also came and turned down our beds every evening, which was a nice touch, but we didn't feel it was necessary.

Food - We enjoyed all the restaurants. Our favorite was Jasmine's. We also loved, loved, loved the cafe! It was so nice to be able to go in anytime and satisfy your sweet tooth. You must ask for a crepe. They make it fresh while you wait with the filling of your choice. Yummy! The beach barbecue is a lot of fun and the midnight chocolate buffet was worth waiting up for.

Pools and beach - The pools are very nice. We spent most of our time just floating around in the main pool and sipping on our drinks. Talk about relaxation! The swim-up bar is the best part because you don't even have to get out of the pool. The beach is beautiful. There is tons of beach chairs. The water is crystal clear. My husband and I spent a lot of our time just snorkeling in front of the resort. We saw tons of star fish, congos and puffer fish while doing this. We got bit by the sand fleas, but what are you going to do. It happens! Since it was their rainy season, it rained every day around 2pm, but we would just go back to our room and shower and get dressed for our evening.

Activities - There is a ton of activities going on all day. I got resort certified and went scuba diving. I have never done this before so it was a great experience for me, but others were saying that there wasn't as much sea life as other places. Some people in our group saw a big sting ray. We also went out on the hobie cat, which was fun. They also have sailing, kayaking and water skiing. We didn't do any of the tours that they offer.

The people working at the resort really made our vacation extra special. I really can not say enough about the people working here. Any time you passed a worker as you were walking, they always made a point to say hello. The bartenders at the martini bar were our favorite. We sat up there one night and learned alot from them about the Jamaican culture. They had a lot of great stories to tell.

My only con is that we didn't have a chance to get many souvenirs. The resort has outside vendors come in once a week to sell their crafts, but we didn't realize that they came only once, so we didn't buy much while they were there. If you don't leave the resort, the gift shop has souvenirs, but they are very pricey.

Overall, our trip was wonderful and we would go back in a heartbeat. Please feel free to email me with any questions, molenda_chrissy@yahoo.com.

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank cmm390
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2007

Just returned, literally 1 hour ago, from the Sandals Whitehouse. My husband and I stayed there from December 26th through Jan 1st. It was great to get out of Chicago's 40 degree weather! We got married a year ago at the Sandals in the Bahamas and wanted to celebrate our 1st anniversary at the Whitehouse. We flew on Air Jamaica, which was fine and uneventful. They do serve food on their flights which was a plus since fewer and fewer airlines do anymore. The ride to and from the airport is long and obnoxious, but it gets you where you need to go. At least you get to see some very beautiful scenery on the way. The check-in process at the Whitehouse was very speedy. We had orignally booked a beachfront, penthouse concierge suite but were upgraded to a butler suite at check-in. We had never used the butler service before and did not think we were going to use it, but were pleasantly surprised at how great it was. We had two butlers, Dwayne and Tashwayne, who were wonderful! I cannot say enough about them. My only complaint, if you can call it that, is that we had no clue how to tip them. This is the only service that requires a tip and we had no guidelines as to how to do it. And yes, I am sure you can ask, but we just continued to tip them generously. As for the room itself, it was in the Italian village which is a great location. It was large and homey, facing the ocean. We got to do a candle light dinner on our balcony the last evening there and enjoyed that. The grounds for the resort and very beautiful and well kept. We did not experience any issues with bugs, which I was afraid of having read previous reviews before going. Daytime, we mostly just sat on some beach chairs and relaxed. We liked to break up our lounging with walks along the very large beachfront. We did enjoy the beach. We were surprised to find that topless bathing was okay, not that it bothered us. We did two tours which we thought they were not great. They were the sunset catamaran cruise and the shopping trip to Negril. We were going to do the river cruise and Y.S. falls, but decided not to having not so great experiences on the previous two tours. Plus, the Whitehouse is pretty far away from anthing so it takes another hour or so just to get to the tour. At night, the entertainment was fair. But, I wasn't expecting any great performers. They did do a pretty good job with New Year's Eve and we had a great time. As for the food. it too was average to good. Again, I wasn't expecting gourmet and having been to a Sandals before I knew what to expect. We did really enjoy the pastry shop. It was fun to get some desserts to share and they all tasted great! All in all, we had a great time and would go back!

24  Thank Melissa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2007

We were at Sandals Whitehouse Nov24-Dec1/06 and enjoyed for the most part our first trip to Jamaica and first trip to a Sandals resort. We have been to Cuba twice, Dominican twice and Mexico once so we compare to what we've experienced at the other resorts.

Our holiday started off bad as a result of Air Canada informing us and several other customers that we were on standby because of overweight cargo from other passengers. We didn't know if we were going to make the flight until 10 minutes before boarding. Considering that Air Canada deems the cargo is more important to get on the flight than the paying passengers I doubt we will fly with them again. The sickening feeling of wondering whether we would be on the plane is not worth the fact that the planes are roomier than other planes we have been on. At least with Sky Service we didn't have to worry whether we would be on the plane or not.

The ride to the resort is on narrow, windy roads which gives a wonderful view of the beautiful countryside. The down side is the speed at which some of the drivers travel making one wonder and hope you get there safely. The drive didn't bother me but both times it affected my husband negatively even though he took gravol which only seemed to help a little.

We found the weather to be perfect for us. It was warm with very little humidity every day. It was sunny and clear in the morning and for the first few days it clouded over for several hours in the afternoon and sometimes rained and then it stopped for the evenings. I think we only used our umbrellas once. It had rained the previous week and one of the employees made the comment that he would be glad when the cold front passed. I said that he had no idea what a cold front was and that our cold fronts were below zero. We all laughed and he said yes but it was cold for them.

We stayed in the French Village on the second floor close to the end which was a short walk to the pool, beach restaurant and beach. We loved this area because of the location. We walked every morning on the beach up to the restaurant for breakfast and never had a problem with the distance. We both enjoyed the walking for the exercise. This wouldn't be ideal for anyone who has mobility problems but it didn't pose any problems for us.


We thought the whole layout, buildings, landscaping and beach was gorgeous and liked everything about it. Lots of chairs for everyone at the beach except for the day they did the photo shoot and they removed all the hundreds of beach chairs and only replaced them with a few of the padded pool chairs. This was annoying because they didn't replace all the chairs that we and others were using so when we came back from lunch there was nothing to sit on until I found some chairs that weren't being used and dragged them down. When we were there there was no seaweed in front of the French village, a little in front of the Dutch and the most was in front of the Italian village so I thought our area was the best for swimming, with the Dutch area second.

The water was never rough enough that one couldn't go in the water. The only down side was the occasional jellyfish which were so clear you didn't see them until you got stung. It seemed the jellyfish were more prominent in the afternoons than the mornings. I got stung a couple of times on different days and the last time left a large welt and then when it disappeared it left a burn mark which has discoloured my skin but it wasn't any big deal. We also noticed a few bite marks once and a while which we assumed were from the sand flies but they were never itchy and didn't bother us.

There are 7 food outlets and we don't usually eat a la carte because we enjoy buffets better but that is what is offered so we tried them all. The resort was less than half full when we were there so we never had any long waits to get in to any of the restaurants. We enjoy trying different foods so we never ordered anything that we would normally eat back home. The only restaurant we were really disappointed in our meal was at Eleanors and that is only because we didn't enjoy what we had ordered.

We enjoyed the nightly outdoor shows and ended every evening at Cafe de Paris which quickly became a wonderful habit. We didn't bother with the disco so don't know how it was. We found the staff to be friendly and very helpful. If you have a problem or are unhappy about something,don't be afraid to mention it to management. If the lobby staff doesn't seem too interested in your concerns, leave a letter to be given to the manager and it will be looked after.

There is so much more that could be said but even though there were a few glitches they weren't serious enough that we wouldn't return.We didn't participate in the various activities but we went for relaxation and that is what we did and loved it. Compared to our other holidays it rates as one of our best, ties with our Playa del Carmen holiday last year and we will definitely try another Sandals in the future.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank snowyowl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2006

We traveled to Sandals Whitehouse for our 25th Wedding anniversary and was a little anxious about the trip from Montego Bay to the resort because of some of the reviews written about the bumpy roads. Yes, the roads are bumpy, but my concerns were not relaxed. Good conversation goes a long way.

After we landed in Montego Bay we went through customs with no problems and was invited to relax in Sandals refreshment center. We waited approximately 15 minutes before it was announced that we were ready to load for the trip to the resort. Unfortunately, we ended up waiting another 20 minutes after we loaded the van because the other couple that was coming in flight was delayed. The driver loaded us and walked away. We had to inquire to find out what was going on. We took the the drive to the resort in a very comfortable van with relaxing pleasant ragae music.

Upon arrival we relaxed in the lobby with champagne and after completing some paper work we were assigned to the Italian Village; the best village of all. We booked a deluxe and was upgraded. This was a special treat. In addition, the food, entertainment, staff, were all great. Our favorite restaurant was Bayside because they offer the best food and service.

The resort provided us with a cake and champagne for our anniversary and they announced it in their daily newsletter. This was my all time favorite vacation and we can't wait for our next trip. The weather was perfect; approximately 85 degrees each day. The worst thing about the trip was that we did not stay long enough.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Tripsforever
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: £397 - £1,251 (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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