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“Not the St Lucian Grande, but not shabby at all...”

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Sandals South Coast
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in White House
Certificate of Excellence
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Not the St Lucian Grande, but not shabby at all...”
Reviewed July 25, 2011

My husband and I stayed at Whitehouse July 12-19 for vacation. This was our second Sandals experience and we were not disappointed. Our first Sandals experience was the Grande in St. Lucia which in all honesty, it will be hard for any hotel to match that place. It was absolutely amazing. However, Whitehouse was a wonderful experience and we would recommend it for sure. Definitely an older demographic/crowd at this resort, which for us, was perfect.
Resort, Pools: The property and grounds are immaculate, beautiful, and well taken care of - this place is absolutely huge. There are three villages - Italian, Dutch and French – with the Italian being the one closest to the main Piazza and where all of the restaurants/shops and activities are. If you don’t want to walk or have trouble getting around, you will want to stay in the Italian Village, which is where we stayed. The Dutch village pool is pretty quiet, with the French Village being the party location. There is a much younger crowd at the French pool, so if you want to participate in a lot of pool activities and sit at the pool and drink, this is where you should go. The main pool is a lot of fun, great drinks and tons of people to meet and chat with. If you are looking for a quiet afternoon – go for the Dutch pool as it’s the most laid back out of the three. We bounced between the main and Dutch pools and the beach.
Rooms: We had a penthouse honeymoon concierge room. Our room was super clean every day with a gorgeous view. It was a little tired and the hair dryer fell off the wall every time I used it, but honestly I didn’t travel to Jamaica to complain about the hair dryer. The concierge level isn’t exactly worth the extra money, but we got an offer to upgrade. The extra perks include a stocked fridge (alcohol in addition to water, juice and mixers) and they will make your reservations for dinner. They say there are no reservations at any of the restaurants, but the butler folks get priority followed by the concierge and then everyone else. All this being said, the restaurants were never packed and the most we saw anyone have to wait was 15-20 minutes. Other perks from the concierge was a special boat ride they offer to the concierge level - drinks, appetizers and an afternoon out on the water. Our concierge Taneeka sent us a dessert to the room the night before we left with a note thanking us for choosing Whitehouse. It was a nice touch, they really try to make you feel spoiled and fussed over.
Food: Overall the food at Whitehouse is pretty decent. They really try to give you a variety of foods from varying ethnicities and some of it is fantastic, and some is just ok. As many other people have posted Eleanor’s was our favorite for dinner. Jasmine’s and Giuseppe’s were both just ok – but they try. Our dinner at Neptune’s was terrible. Super salty, overcooked and overall just bad, but this was the only meal we could say was terrible. Lunches were pretty good all around. We liked Neptune’s (much better for lunch than dinner) and Bluefield’s because you could sit outside. Breakfast at Bayside was delicious. They have everything from made to order omelets to cereal, mimosas, potatoes, grits, pancakes and waffles, tons of fresh fruit, yogurt, etc. We don’t eat breakfast a lot at home so it was a real treat to eat breakfast all week. The Café de Paris was awesome, they had something similar in St Lucia. Coffee, tons of pastries, crepes, and sweets. I hate to admit it but we stopped there at least once a day to get something sweet.
Drinks & Bars: There is no shortage of alcohol at Whitehouse. Frozen drinks at the main bar are delicious, Avril makes a mean mojito and there is a constant flow of Red Stripe which is great beer. Make sure to stop by the Casablanca Martini Bar and have a drink there, it’s a really cool space and Marlon makes awesome martinis.
Beach: The beach area here is huge. Way bigger than the beach at the Grande in St Lucia and much prettier. The water in the mornings is crystal clear. We were lucky enough to see a pair of rays and a small black tip reef shark swimming one morning, it was so amazing. Due to the reef right there, the opportunity to see different types of fish is much better than other places we’ve stayed. There is seaweed in the water later in the day, but for the most part, its gorgeous water, gorgeous beach, and the sunsets here at worth sitting and watching. Tons of chairs so no rushing to save a seat.
Activities: The activities at this resort compared to St Lucia were far superior. They keep you as entertained as you want to be, while there is opportunity to sneak off and have a quiet romantic evening. There are activities all day poolside. Each evening there was something going on. The best evening for us was at La Cabaret. The Steel Birds steel drum band is a MUST SEE. These kids are super talented and a lot of fun. The beach party and White Night (complete with chocolate buffet) are also super fun activities we really enjoyed. Another must is the glass bottom boat ride, this is included in everyone’s package is a lot of fun. It’s about an hour or so of seeing the reef without having to get into the water. They also have snorkel trips, so if you like snorkeling, definitely go check out the reef.
Staff: I cannot say enough about the staff at the resort. As with the Grande, the staff does whatever it takes to make sure you are having a wonderful time and they are meeting all of your needs. Everyone from the front desk staff, maids, activities and pool side guys to the bar tenders, we were impressed with everyone and how hard they work here.
We had a wonderful week at the Whitehouse and as with the Grande is St Lucia, highly recommend it and Sandals. We’ve been to many all inclusives, but none have even come close to Sandals. Nothing compares, they know what they are doing. We were so relaxed and had a romantic, fun filled week – which felt more like 2 weeks by the time we left, which means we really enjoyed!!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank pghgirl1077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Detroit, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2011

I perused this Forum several times prior to my trip to SWH in May 2011. My husband and I had spent our honeymoon there in 2006 and I expected some changes and wanted to be abreast of them. All of the updates to the property were great. Particularly, we enjoyed the lushness and tropical feel. It seemed more beautiful than before as well. We stayed in the Italian Village, third floor and if you want to spend your money on the room, I highly recommend staying at the concierge level. We've stayed at 2 other Sandals --Montego Bay and Royal Caribbean and did not opt for the extra expense of the concierge level. While the service level is probably not that extraordinary in terms of treatment, the rooms and amenities are far greater at the concierge level. It was an amazing 5 nights at our favorite destination ever.

A few suggestions:
Go concierge level if you can
Deep Woods Off worked the best at night for the no-see ums. Spray around your beach chair before relaxing.
The Candlelight Dinner was amazing-- don't do it on the beach--get a gazebo -- it is a better experience and less nightime bugs.
If you are a picky wine drinker- drink cool champagne all day-- it is very good and a great option for the choices available.
When it rains -go to the spa--there is a free covered jacuzzi that smells of jasmine and is very relaxing and beautiful. You just walk into the spa and let them know you'd like to enjoy the jacuzzi during the rain and they show you where it is. A great way to end a day a the beach!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TheHauteColes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lanham, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2011

This is our second trip to Sandals Whitehouse, in Westmoreland, Jamaica! This is also the second group of close friends that traveled with us. They heard me speak so highly of the Resort and its staff, that they just had to see this resort, themselves: All couples were glad they did, and are now talking about going back 'again', and we're just getting back to the States ... smile! We got word this morning, that another group of friends are interested in going, and want to start making their down payments ... smile! We owe a large part of the success of this vacation to our travel agency [Dream Makers Vacation Services]; we just can not say enough about the owners -- Mike, his lovely companion Amy, and their colleague Amanda. They were there every step of the process, from taking over the booking to making sure that we arrived at the resort, enjoyed ourselves and the trip back to the States. No wonder they were mentioned by the resort management, as an outstanding travel organization. I could tell that by my research of company and all the awards they've won over the past several years, from Sandals ...smile! [Dream Makers Vacation Services: KUDOS & BRAVO to YOU, for a job well deserved of your reputation!] My wife & I, and at times, my traveling group, look forward to working with you guys on our next adventure. Thanks, Dr. Mike Jones

Room Tip: Italian Village is closest to restaurants; Dutch Village in middle & quietest; French Village on...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Dr_Mike238
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2011

The Sandals Whitehouse vacation was awesome. I would definitely go again. A great value.

The property is beautiful and it was nice to be on a closed resort. It is definitely catered mostly to the 35 -60 age group which is fine with me. There were quite a few young couples on their honeymoon. A few suggestions for others that would like to attend. You should stay at least 7 days to enjoy everything. We stayed only 5.

Scuba
Marietta could not participate without redoing a resort course. It seemed to me that they were trying hard to exclude as many as possible unless you took the course. They almost excluded me but I had put one dive entry in for last summer because they required a dive within 18 months. Since I forgot to add an entry for Marietta they would not let her dive without a resort course. She opted not to dive at all.

Here are the recommendations to get around the Scuba issues.
1. Do not disclose any medications that you are taking. If you list any medication they automatically require a doctor’s note. You may just want to get a note from the doctor in advance of the trip. I knew about this prior to filling out the medical questionnaire from other visitors that got excluded from diving. I simply said “ no” to all questions
2. Make sure you have your certification card with you
3. Make sure you have a dive entry in your log book within 18 months
4. Make sure you have your log book
5. Go to the dive shop ASAP to set up your dive for tomorrow. It closes about 4:00 daily. Only 1 dive the first day. No dive within 1st 24 hours after or before a flight .
6. The dive boat and the guides were great and only about 3 people “qualified” per dive . Expect small groups.

Shopping trip
Not worth the time or money. We did visit another Sandals resort at Negril and it is more like Fort Lauderdale on spring break for singles in their 30’s. I did not like the atmosphere or the grounds.


Y S Falls trip
Marietta went on this trip when I was Scuba and loved it. It was Zip Lines and a Falls visit . She said the guides were awesome

Couples Message
It was a wonderful experience but very pricey. I enjoyed it and so did the wife.

Airport transfers.
Be prepared for a 2 hour bumpy ride. Make the best of it and enjoy the scenery. The people are very poor and living conditions are horrible. You will be totally sheltered on the resort.

Meals
Your choices and food is excellent. The Bayside buffet restaurant is your best overall choice because the food is just as good and you can serve at your own pace. Generally the waiters are much slower than we are used to in the states which I found irritating .
Neptunes is a nice seafood choice
Jasmines Asian food restaurant was my wifes favorite

We did not use it but I understand you can order room service and get almost anything … included with tipping optional

Fitness facilities
They had a nice fitness facility ( I did not use it took the week off). 10 pieces of LifeFitness weight machines and it was vey adequate. They also had a treadmill and elliptical trainer. 4 Tennis courts

The rooms were clean and very nice. We stayed at the French village which was the most basic.


Overall the rooms the grounds and the overall experience is super and I would definitely go again.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ldauria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perrysburg, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2011

Sandals Whitehouse is a two hour bus trip from the Montego Bay airport. The bus trip is one of the most memorable and frightening parts of the vacation. This trip was my third time to Jamaica, but my first time to Whitehouse.

This resort is awesome for couples because it is the only resort on about 3 miles of beach. You don't get the beach walkers and solicitors trying to sell services and drugs all the time. It is very relaxing and care free. If you want to drink and have a good time, one pool is more of the "party pool," but the resort itself is not "party central."

We were asked if we wanted to upgrade from a concierge room to a butler room a few weeks before our trip for an upgrade fee (which was far less than paying upfront). Upon speaking to a representative, I found out I was misled by the previous Sandals advisors, and that we did not have an unobstructed view of the ocean. I would STRONGLY suggest getting the butler service. We only called the butlers 4-5 times during our entire week's stay, but the extra service and attention you receive for being a butler guest is completely worth it. My suggestion would be to book your sandals trip yourself and get a concierge room. If you go through a travel agent, they likely won't tell you about the upgrade offer. I paid 1/2 price of the Butler Upgrade than what they had originally offered via email upgrade offer, so make sure to ask for a lower price!

PROS
1. The food was very delicious
2. The room and accommodations were kept clean and tidy several times per day.
3. Café de Paris was amazing, best asset to the resort!
4. The beach chairs and cabana were in great condition, as well as the pool area.
5. The butlers were great, and really made our trip go from great to OUTSTANDING!
6. The bar staff was very entertaining, attentive, and quick with drinks.


CONS
1. The wait staff during meals was slow, and not very attentive.
a. Drinks were ordered when we sat down, but never came back to be refilled
b. Other tables that arrived 30+ minutes after us would get served before us, etc.
2. SCUBA/snorkeling shop people were not friendly, and borderline rude

I was disappointed with the Sandals online and phone representatives. When booking the honeymoon, I wanted to be extra special, with a great view of the beach and ocean. When booking, I was told that the concierge room I originally booked would have an unobstructed view of the beach and ocean. Two weeks before departure, I discovered the room would not be overlooking the ocean, but overlooking a pool and the lawn, with trees blocking the view of the ocean. Last minute, I decided to upgrade to a butler suite to get the view we were originally promised we would get. I am very angry that I was misled and that the room I had booked was not what the representatives on the phone and instant message chat had told me it would be. I am glad I upgraded to the butler level room, but disappointed that I was misled. Be weary of pictures online and the view they say you will get if that is important to you; you get what you pay for!

Room Tip: You get the room and view that you pay for; don't expect full ocean views at anything less than...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank sw552704
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2011

First off, let me give a special mention to Hamish, Sasha, and most of all Mr Koen - we owe each of these people a very special thank you for going above and beyond our expectations - but this reflects the attitude of the entertainment staff at this resort.

That being said, this is a lovely, well manicured property. Very secluded and easily lends itself to a romantic atmosphere. We were awestruck at how well kept this property was and how difficult it was to even spot the care takers. Everyone had a friendly attitude and was eager to share a smile or just chit chat as we enjoyed each moment on this property.

We visited in October 2010, not sure if Hamish is still with the facility, but he certainly knows how to manage a crowd and entertain a wide variety of tastes.

Mr Koen - could there be a more laid back and soft spoken person on the whole of this island??? And yet, somehow he finds the time and energy to manage the property so effectively without ever missing a beat. I love that little black notebook he keeps with all his notes and details. So simple, so effective!

The beaches are tended to every day, the pools and pool area were clean and well kept. Towels were plenty. Snacks were decent, a little more variety outside of the restaurants would have been nice, but no complaints.

The dining - well, my wife is a "foodie" and she never once complained. It was a really good time all the way around and I suspect we'll be back sooner, rather than later as we really enjoyed our first experience with Sandals.

Thanks to everyone - apologies for the late review.
We literally had zero complaints. You cannot go wrong with booking this place.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TheGoodDr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orem, Utah
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2011

We were at Sandals Whitehouse for five days from July 14-19. If we had more money we would definetly still be there. Our trip was unforgettable and it was because of this resort. We visited the Sandals Negril for the day and I was shocked at the difference between the two resorts. I wouldn't even put them in the same category. Whitehouse is top notch from the food, service, grounds, and staff professionalism. The ninty minute drive is worth it to get to this beautiful resort. Ignore the sand flies posts because we didn't get any bites at all and we spent tons of time on the beach barefoot.
Pros:
Grounds: The grounds were very spacious and it did not feel like a crowded resort. The garden specialists do a spetacular job at keeping the grounds perfect from the flowers, trees, and the beach. The beach was not crowded at all. In the morning I enjoyed doing my run down the beach. At night we walked along the beach in the moonlight usually all by ourselves. The grounds were quiet except by the main pool and the frech pool where the entertainment would take place.
Safety: The resort does an awesome job with security around the perimeter of the resort. We only saw one vendor that tried sell us some handmade wooden carvings on a rainy afternoon. We both felt very safe in Jamaica at the resort.
Weather: The weather was perfect even during rainy season. It was sunny in the morning and around two o'clock it would rain for a little bit. Which we didn't mind because it felt nice in the afternoon. In the evening the skies would turn to partly cloudy which produced spectacular sunsets. It was like we knew what time of day it was from the weather.
Service: The people who work at this resort did an amazing job. The employees were happy and cheerful. They were happy and outgoing at making sure their guests were happy and having a nice time. Everyone we passed or helped us smiled and asked how we were. The employees were very professional. Never once did I see any employee using a cell phone or socializing with other employees. They look very professional too. I believe this has a lot to do with the quality of this resort.
Restaurants: We enjoyed all of the restaurants at this resort. The food was pretty good. Some items tasted better than others but overall we were impressed. We enjoyed Eleanor's, Jasmine's and Neptunes. Our favorite dishes were at Neptunes- the mussels and the Fried Calamari. We enjoyed Bluefied's but the service was really slow. The Jerk pork is a must try.
Room: We stayed in the French village on the third floor in a basic room. The bed was extra comfy. The room was always clean and the ac worked perfect.
Scuba Diving and Water Sports: We both enjoyed all of the water sports we tried. Diving was pretty good. We saw rays, eels, octopuses and numerous fish. One day the dive master even let my husband do a little spear fishing with him. The snorkeling was a lot of fun but the mandatory life vest gave me a rash.
Island Routes Negril Daytrip: We really enjoyed this trip and we recommend it. Our guide was a good driver and he provided us with a ton of interesting information. We went shopping and got some great deals. We also visited Margaritaville, Sandal's Negril, and Rick's Cafe for cliff diving. This was our favorite and it is a must try.
Cons:
Room: One night we were locked out of our room for ninty minutes. The decided to malfunction and it took about two hours to get it completly fixed. It wouldn't have been a big deal but we were tired pretty tired after the evening entertainment and we had an early dive planned the next morning. The shower seemed to never get hot in our room. I don't know if it was a problem with our room, the resort, or the whole island. The way our shower/bath was built it caused the entire bathroom to flood everytime we would take a shower. We fixed the problem by stuffing a couple of towels in the problem spot. I can see the benefits of booking a room closer to the main area. The walk was nice and we enjoyed but after doing it six times a day it got a little tiresome.
Roads: They really are bad and the way people drive is different then we are used too. We tried to focus on the scenery and towns instead of the pot holes.
Overall, I recommend this resort to anyone that wants a relaxing romantic atmosphere. I recommend to book for at least seven days.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank GOAMY2PARADISE
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:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > White House
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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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