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“Beautiful resort with great Jamaican Hospitality”

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Sandals South Coast
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in White House
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 17, 2009

Our vacation at Sandals Whitehouse from March 31 to April 7 was our first Sandals experience and definitely won't be our last. From the moment we arrived at the Sandals lounge at the airport until we were back on the plane coming home we were impressed with almost every aspect of our trip.

ROOM: We booked the most inexpensive class of room - beachfront patio - and were upgraded to a luxury beachfront on the third floor of the Dutch village with a gorgeous view and more space than the patio room. We loved the location - it was just steps to our preferred pool and beach area and about a 2-3 minute walk to the piazza and restaurants. The only things we missed compared with other resorts we've been to were bath robes, slippers and beer/liquor in the mini bar. However, we knew that since we didn't pay extra for a concierge level room that these items would not be included so it wasn't a disappointment. Next time we will book a concierge level room for all of the extra perks!

FOOD: We really enjoyed the food at Sandals Whitehouse and likened it more to restaurant or cruise ship dining than typical resort food. I emailed guest services the week before we left to ask which restaurants would be the best options for us since I am vegetarian and my husband is vegan. When we arrived, they had someone from food services meet with us to discuss our dietary needs and preferences. The next day, someone called to ask where we'd like to eat and at what time. We selected Jasmine's and when we arrived the chef came out to talk to us and said he would pretty much make us anything we wanted. This was definitely going above and beyond since there was a vegetarian option on every menu at the resort. Needless to say, we ate extremely well and particularly enjoyed the veg pad thai (with tofu!) at Jasmine's and the bean succotash with veggie fritters at Eleanor's. They are very flexible and accommodating, all you need to do is ask. For example, my husband couldn't have the soup or appetizers on the Eleanor's menu, so they brought him hummus from Bayside and minestrone from Giuseppe's.

We typically went for dinner between 7:30 and 8:30 and our wait times varied from immediate seating to 45 minutes, with most being around 20 minutes. I'm not sure why people complain about the wait, make an evening of it and sit in the piazza or the martini bar and have a drink while you wait.

We ate breakfast every day at Bayside and buffet lunch at Bayside or a la carte Arizona's (which had a garden burger). We didn't eat at Bluefield's since the only veggie option was salad, but heard other people say it was excellent. One day we ordered a pizza to go from Giuseppe's for lunch. It was really tasty but took 45 minutes (they told us 20), this was the only restaurant where the wait times were usually double what they told you.

The coffee, tea and treats from Cafe de Paris are delicious and I looked forward to them every day.

RESORT IN GENERAL: The grounds were immaculate with many different types of trees and flowers (and four pretty peacocks). We loved the European feel, especially at night in the piazza. Everything was well-maintained and pleasant to look at.

POOLS: We only strayed from the Dutch Village pool a couple of times. The other pools were nice, but we preferred the quietness of the Dutch pool. There were a lot of reserved chairs, but if you are out there by about 10 am you can still snag a couple of loungers.

BEACH: The beach was beautiful and perfect for lounging, walking or jogging. The sand was soft and clean and every day we saw workers raking it and burying sea weed. On the less windy days, when the water was clear, we saw several star fish. We saw lots of people taking them out of the water and placing them on the sand for extended periods of time to take photos and a couple of them died. It's okay to take photos, but don't take them out of the water for more than a few seconds!

ACTIVITIES (ON SITE): You could basically be as active or as lazy as you wanted at Sandals Whitehouse. There were lots of activities at the other pools, plus basketball, tennis courts, scuba lessons and shuffleboard, but we pretty much just relaxed. We went on the snorkeling boat once - the reef is nice with a lot of small, colorful fish and interesting plants.

ACTIVITIES (OFF SITE): We booked independently with Patrick Grandison, Esperanza Tours, to go to Negril for the day on a customized tour. For US$120 he picked us up at 10 am and drove us to Negril telling us about the towns along the way. We stopped at an outdoor market to do some shopping, then headed to Sandals Negril for a couple of hours to check out the resort and have some lunch. Just show your Sandals ID card at the door and they will let you use all of the facilities. It was a really nice resort, but after seeing how cramped they are for space and how close they are to other resorts, we were really happy we chose Whitehouse. After lunch, we headed to Rick's Cafe for some drinks and to watch the cliff divers. On the way back Patrick stopped so I could take some photos at a fishing village I had seen on the way out. He was a great guide and told us a lot about the island and went out of his way to make sure we had a fantastic day. We highly recommend him and would book with him again.

We also left the resort for a short trip one morning to head into the town of Whitehouse (on the hill overlooking the resort) to bring books and other school supplies to a primary school. We co-ordinated the visit through the resort (it is one of the many projects that the Sandals Foundation supports) and they arranged the transportation for us. There was a bit of confusion as to who would pay for the taxi (one person said it would be us, but then another told us right before we left that the resort would take care of it since we were bringing donations and they were sending a camera with the driver to take photos for the Foundation) and in the end we were on the hook for the US$30 fare. If we had known it would cost so much with their driver, we would have arranged our own because I doubt the fare would have been so high for a drive of less than five minutes each way. But, we really should have had this clarified before we left, and next time we'll make sure that the fare is set/negotiated before we go.

BUS RIDE: Going to and from the resort it was just the two of us in a van and both drivers seemed really cautious and didn't take any risks with passing. Yes, it is hilly and bumpy, but we loved the resort so much that it was worth it (and I'm a very nervous passenger). The drivers pretty much gave us a guided tour both ways and we learned a lot about the island and many of the little villages we went through.

AIRLINE: We flew on Sunwing Airlines and found it to be comfortable with great service. We sat in an exit row and had lots of extra legroom. We were pleasantly surprised with the complimentary welcome champagne, hot towels, hot meal, wine with dinner, free headphones etc., and would definitely fly with them again.

OVERALL: Jamaica is a beautiful island with really friendly people. Sandals Whitehouse was gorgeous, the food excellent and service outstanding and we'd love to go back.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank tommy_grrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,867 - 5,873 of 7,188 reviews

Reviewed April 17, 2009

My husband went to Sandals March 27 - April 5. We are both 39 years old. We were celebrating our 20th anniversary.

We loved the resort! It was picturesque, relaxing, and fun. We loved the Paris Cafe (French bakery) and Northfields Restaurant (best jerk chicken ever)! The three pools were great too! The beach is HUGE. Great sunsets!

We spent most our time at the pool. I got a great tan. I ate good food. I gained 5 lbs.! We also did a Renewal of Vows. Really not very serious. CD player to walking done the aisle kept skipping. So funny! We laughed a lot. The pastor was a sweetie pie though. I was worried about my hair at the "wedding" but they had a GREAT person and I forgot her name!!! So sorry. Ask for the girl who does wedding hair and I guarantee you she will do a great job on your hair and makeup!

Verona is the front desk person that I loved the best. I have been to Jamaica 8 times before and by far, this is the most beautiful place I have ever been on the island.

I want to go back!!!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Melody69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2009

My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon and we loved every aspect of it. The resort is gorgeous, the people are wonderful, tthe weather was perfect, the pools and beaches are warm and clean, the food and restaurants were romantic and high quality. I haven't one single complaint and would highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank gletherow1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2009

My boyfriend (now fiance, he proposed while we were in Jamaica - and I have to add that he asked both of our parents to meet us out there and to bring the ring half way through the trip to surprise me and to celebrate with us! He is so great!) and we had the BEST time at Sandals Whitehouse. It was our first time out of the country and we couldn't have chosen a better place. Whitehouse was safe, clean and beautiful. There was so much to do either at the resort or on excursions -- we were never bored. We stayed in the French Village (THE BEST!) Though it was the least expensive, we loved the French Village. The walk was not too far from the main restaurant area. It was the most happenin' with music, a restaurant on the beach, pool volleyball, sand volleyball and a swim up bar (a must have!). Beyond the hotel my fiance and I went horseback riding (our favorite activity), we went on the treetop canopy tour and to Rick's Cafe to see the cliff divers/shopping in Negril. I would highly recommend that you take a tour because the bus drivers offer you so much information about the island. They are willing to answer any questions. Our driver even stopped to pick leaves and fruit off of trees so we could better understand what he was telling us. There is really too much to say about how wonderful our trip was. And I cannot wait to visit another Sandals soon!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank jamaicansmile_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2009

No work, didn't take electronics, direct flights, outstanding food, drinks, service, upgraded room. only negative is that one tour did not make the quota to go and we wish we would have worn dressier clothes for one night. The road over the mountain was horrible and the drawback. What beautiful facility, weather, etc.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank wvtxgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2009

We just returned April 11 from a week's stay at Sandals Whitehouse. I was so concerned after reading some of the recent reviews, that I almost changed our reservation at the last minute. We generally take at least 2 or 3 beach trips a year. This year, due to sick, elderly parents, this was our first get away. We have stayed in Florida, Aruba, the Bahamas, both Excellence resorts near Cancun, the Dreams resorts, and Couples Swept Away in Jamaica. We loved Sandals Whitehouse and hated to come home. First, the staff was terrific! I didn't realize that I dropped a diamond earring when putting it in my jewelry case. It was placed on the night stand by the cleaning staff the following day. Our room smelled of mildew when we first entered. The staff fixed the problem within the hour. I have not slept better in five years, both the bed and pillows were very comfortable. We stayed on the second floor of the Dutch Village. The location was perfect for us. We had a beautiful pool and beach view. The Dutch pool was warm and clean and quiet. For those who wanted more action, there was the French or main pool.There were beach or pool chairs available both in the sun and in the shade any time of the day. You could use as many beach towels as you wanted. We loved the fact that the resort was spread out along the ocean. You never had the feeling of being over crowded. The grounds are beautiful and we enjoyed walking. We generally went to dinner at 6:30 or 7:00 and never had to wait. The food was good. We had some great dinners and some ok dinners, but we truly enjoyed every dining experience. We especially enjoyed the papaya creme brulee at Eleanors, the Red Snapper at Bayside, the shrimp appetizers, the escargot, and the jerk calamari at Bluefields for lunch. We liked the seclusion of the beach. It was one of the best "walking" beaches we have found so far. My husband and I enjoyed the sing along at the Martini bar. The weather was sunny and in the 80's every day. Delroy ( he was funny too) at the pool bar made the best blender drinks, especially the hummingbird. The one area where the resort could make an improvement....2 nites they had an Art Auction. I would rather have some entertainment at the Caberet. We had a super relaxing, revitalizing, and romantic vacation.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank BeachVacay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2009

2 hours from Montego in a tight van with uncomfortable seats, the walk from the room to the main area of the resort was at least 1/4 mile. After checking in, we were not offered a ride in the golf cart sitting in front of reception. I received a laugh when I asked about it...
Items such as coffee and soap were not replenished by house keeping, when I called for coffee it never arrived.....not until housekeeping came later that day. Our room was supposed to be beach front, it was NOT, we were shown another room that was also NOT beach front and told these were our only options, we were told the hotel was at near capacity, NOT possible. The website says "NO RESERVATIONS" needed at any of the restaurants, but we were turned away from 2 when multiple tables were visibly available, we were told they were "held by reservation". VERY disappointed in the LACK of seafood on the menus.... It's an island, surrounded by water!! WHERE is the SEAFOOD!? The best thing about the private dinner on the beach was the service... 3 of the 4 courses were pretty good, the main...Filet was tough and fatty. HIGHLY recommended spending the extra $625.00 to take the 20 minute copter ride out of there!! Island Hoppers...(the hotel made getting information about it difficult). To me, one of the MOST shocking, LOW RENT aspects of it....our room did not come with robes...
-No free internet anywhere, overpriced business center.
-No pool side service. All in all, a rip off. I can not believe how much we paid for this trip. Jamaica is beautiful, I will return, next time we will stay closer to Montego and doubtfully at a Sandals.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JaxInTexas
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:
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: $490 - $1,645 (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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