We had a wonderful time at Whitehouse. The grounds are simply beautiful. I give our trip an “A+” rating. It really was a magical week, and a perfect way for us to celebrate our tenth anniversary.
We had no trouble getting through immigration and customs. It all moved very quickly and we were then on our way to the lounge. Arriving at the Sandals lounge was just what we needed after a crazy day of travel. The lounge was nice and cool, full of very comfortable couches, and nice cold drinks. There were no snacks to speak of by the time we got there (a lone piece of cantaloupe, I believe), but we were just happy to have a nice, comfortable, and cool place to rest.
We were taken out to the bus probably a little sooner than necessary. It was just us and one other couple, and we sat on the bus probably 10-15 minutes before the other 3 couples arrived. As soon as they were on board, we took off. It was right at 5:00 when we left, and it was lightly raining. The driver was very friendly and chatted quite a bit during the drive. We were prepared for the road to be awful, and I think that helped. It didn’t seem quite as bad as we had imagined. We didn’t make any pit stops, and got to resort around 6:30.
The ladies went inside to sit down and were given cool cloths. We handed in our vouchers. As soon as my husband came inside, we were whisked away to the concierge for check-in. We were offered drinks as soon as we were inside. O’Neil checked us in, and showed us to our room. He was very courteous and helpful. Our bags arrived to our room very shortly after we were inside.
We were upgraded to “The Best Room In the House.” We declined the butler service, but enjoyed the other perks of the room. We did not come prepared to tip a butler or else we would have loved to have had this extra pampering. The room was lovely, with a nice large living area. We really enjoyed this as we had brought a few movies with us. At night we would crash on the couch and watch a movie in the living room. We really enjoyed the room service, too. We used that many times during our stay. We were in the Dutch Village and had a spectacular view. The shower was huge, and got nice and hot. The bathroom was a very nice size. I have read in the past that some people said the ceiling fans were worthless. We quite enjoyed our fan. One thing I will mention is that although there is a switch on the wall to control the fan, the actual fan was turned down to low. So my husband had to pull the pull chain to put it into high mode and then we could control the speed of the fan from the wall. So if your fan goes too slowly, just make sure it is on high on the actual fan. Also I have read that you had to hold the on button the whole time for the hair dryer. When I first switched it on, the on button did pop right back out. But then I toggled back and forth between the on and off buttons a few times and then hit the ON button quite forcefully. Then it worked perfectly without having to hold it down. So don’t give up on the dryers, you might just have to work with the buttons a little bit. We paid to use the internet service. My husband brought his laptop and own cables for connection. We got on right away without any issues. It worked great for us during our entire stay. The room really was wonderful. We greatly enjoyed the size and the marvelous view.
Our room was immaculate upon arrival. It was cleaned each morning while we were out. One morning my husband was not feeling well and so we put the do not disturb sign up. Later that afternoon they called to see if there would be a convenient time for them to come and straighten the room. I thought that was above and beyond. We had turned down the service during their normal cleaning time and didn’t expect them to come back later. They asked us when we were planning to be out for dinner, and they came during that time.
Turndown service each night was very nice. Especially if we had taken an afternoon nap, it was nice to get into a fresh bed at night. They changed out towels and such if that was needed.
I mentioned O’Neil above, but I wanted to say again how nice he was. As soon as we arrived to the Suite Concierge for check in, he got drinks for us and quickly went through the check in process. He told us we had been upgraded and went over all of those details. He congratulated us on our anniversary and told us to be sure and let him know if we needed anything.
We went back the next day, and O’Neil remembered us by name. We told him which reservations we wanted, he picked up the phone right away, made our reservations without having to ask us for our names or room number.
When our mini-fridge was restocked, I asked for more of specific things (cranberry juice, Sprite, Coke). These were left in good supply for us.
We were at Whitehouse to celebrate our ten-year anniversary. One evening we were surprised when a cake was delivered to our room. It said Happy Anniversary on top and there was a nice card for the concierge staff.
Lancelot, the concierge manager (I believe), called our room to check on us and make sure everything was going well. He wanted to see if there was anything else that they could be doing for us. It was a nice call. The day we were checking out, he ran into us in the Suite Concierge office and he introduced himself. When he heard our names, he remembered us and that he had spoken to my husband.
Everyone we dealt with through the concierge was very personable and friendly.
Overall, I would say that the food is very good. Our first night we ate at Bayside, and I would say that meal was adequate. The food seemed to have been sitting for a while and was not hot and just did not seem freshly prepared. I had the coconut shrimp appetizer, and it had a rubbery texture. Other than that, there isn’t really anything I have to complain about.
We ate breakfast at the Bayside buffet twice and at Eleanor’s twice. One morning we just grabbed some pastries from the café. The buffet breakfast was very nice. Lots of choices, a nice omelet station, fresh juice being made right then. The a la carte dining at Eleanor’s gave you a nice variety and the food was very well prepared.
We always enjoyed our lunches, too. We ate at Arizona’s, the Bayside buffet, and at Bluefield’s. I have to say that I really loved Bluefield’s. The view is amazing, and there was always a nice, gentle breeze coming right off the ocean. I had a patty each time we ate there, and always enjoyed those very much.
We ate dinner at each of the restaurants. Eleanor’s, Jasmine’s, and Giuseppe’s were all very good. My husband’s favorite was Eleanor’s, and he really enjoyed the steak there. My favorite was probably Giuseppe’s as I really liked the antipasto bar. The service was really excellent. At Jasmine’s our server called us by name throughout the entire meal. She especially impressed me. But all of the servers were always very courteous and prompt.
I have read mixed reviews of the beach barbecue, but I have to say that we really, really enjoyed ourselves. We started off with some of the freshly cut-open coconuts. They pour out just a bit of the juice and then mix with rum and other yummy stuff. The food was all very good. The suckling pig was delicious. All of the food there was fresh and very well prepared.
We enjoyed all of the drinks. Favorites were the Hummingbird and Jamaican Smile. We took our Bubba Kegs with us during the day and I especially liked having a big Hummingbird to sip on by the pool. The martini bar is very nice and we enjoyed a few evening drinks in there.
We attended the late-night chocolate buffet, and it was very good. The chef did such a nice job setting everything up, and the presentation really was beautiful. He was working until the very last minute getting everything set up, and I did feel badly for him as he kept apologizing that it wasn’t ready right at the exact minute it was supposed to open. But you could tell he was working very hard and trying to have everything be just right. The chocolate was all very, very good. Extremely rich and delicious.
I thought the photographers were very nice and not at all intrusive. We did the sunset pictures on our last evening. Remember, you can ask for the pictures on CD! That way they are only $5 per picture, plus $5 for the CD. I was happy with the pictures. I wouldn’t say I was thrilled, but I was happy. The pictures were always staged and framed very nicely, but a number of the sunset pictures were very blurry. I know those are harder shots to take technically, but I was still a bit sad. We were able to get some very nice ones though. We also purchased images of us kayaking and from other adventures during the week. They are pictures that I could not have otherwise captured, and I think it is a great service to provide.
We snorkeled, sailed on a Hobie Cat, took a spin on a water tricycle, went kayaking, and went on a glass bottom boat tour.
We had a nice time snorkeling. We do not have a lot to compare this to, as this was only our second time to ever snorkel. The water was cloudy, and they said that some days it is better than others. And swimming from the boat to the reef, we were stung by tiny jellyfish. In spite of that, we had fun. We had planned to go another day but were unable to do so because of an issue with my husband’s contacts. Otherwise we probably would have gone at least one or two more times.
The water was also very cloudy on the day we went on the glass bottom boat tour, but he took us out quite far and worked to find something for us to see. We did get to see a lot of sea life and also just had a fun time on the boat. Kagian and Cleveland were the crew for the snorkel/glass bottom boat outings. They were very courteous, informative and funny too. We had a great time with them.
I was skeptical about going on the water tricycle as I had read from so many that it is very hard to do. We decided to do it anyhow, and I was glad we did. It is just like a paddleboat. You do have to work at it, but it wasn’t awkward or overly difficult in my opinion. It was fun, and I was glad we went out.
The Hobie Cat was great, and I really enjoyed that a lot. Kayaking was fun, but we sure had a hard time going straight! We got a lot of good laughs.
We came prepared to defend ourselves against bugs, but never had to use any spray. I got two, or maybe three bites, but nothing at all that warranted needing to wear spray in our opinion.
I had a West Indian Massage, and enjoyed every second. Every staff member I came in contact with at the spa was so kind and gracious. The massage was very well done, and I spoke with my therapist beforehand, letting her know the kind of pressure I wanted. She checked on me several times throughout to make sure the amount of pressure was to my liking. Everything was quite lovely and the checkout was very simple.
We were very sad to leave, but the checkout process was very fast. We looked over our room charges, and they were all correct. After eating lunch, we waited in the lobby for our bus. A short time later we were loaded up and on our way. The ride back was a bit bumpier than the ride out. I think the driver you get can really make a difference. We made it to the airport in plenty of time.
We have never used a travel agent before. We but contacted Amy with Dream Makers Vacation Services. She is EXCELLENT. She always responded promptly, answered all of our questions, gave us helpful information about traveling, and basically held our hands through everything! And then the night before we were to leave, our flight was cancelled due to a forecasted ice storm in Dallas. I was in panic mode. She helped calm me down and really helped guide us as to what we needed to do. It was so late on a Friday night, I didn’t want to call her. But as my husband was on the phone making calls to the airline, I emailed her. Sure enough, she got right back to me and helped relieve my fears and told us what all we needed to do. I look forward to working with Amy in the future. She really is amazing. And I honestly think she is the sole reason we were given such a wonderful upgrade. She had emailed a few days before we left telling them we were celebrating an anniversary and asked them to upgrade us if at all possible.
- 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