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“Relaxing, Romantic, perfect vacation!!”

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Sandals South Coast
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in White House
Certificate of Excellence
caribbeanlover
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Relaxing, Romantic, perfect vacation!!”
Reviewed January 28, 2010

This resort is absolutely fantastic. I cannot understand the negative reviews one bit, except that people who write them must be really uptight and hard to please. This place is like a dream and my husband and I are still reliving our trip. We stayed there from Jan 9-January 17 in the Dutch village. My opinion is that the Dutch is the best because it's right in the middle of everything and is relatively quiet so you aren't bothered when you do feel like resting. There are just too many things to talk about, so I will hit all the points as briefly as possible.
BEACH: Oh, the beach. It's like a dream. One of the most incredible, romantic beaches I have seen. It's not even that is has the whitest sand or most clear water, it's just the whole surrounding atmosphere. It's like paradise, and when you take a stroll down past the point where the sandal's property ends, you really feel like you have been placed on a secluded island. Perfection.
RESORT: I just love the decor of the resort. It isn't perfect, but what is? I really liked the fact that it was spread out, because we did a lot of walking and trust me you need it with all of the fantastic desserts. It felt more like an entire community, rather than one small resort which I liked. Lots of places to go and things to do.
RESTAURANTS: We thought the food was pretty delicious.. sure there were a few things here and there I did not like, but overall I don't see how anyone can complain. We didn't even get to eat at all of the restaurants for a full dinner because there was so much variety. Our favorite was the surf & turf at Eleanors (order 3 lobster tails!) and the fish dishes at both Eleanors and Neptunes. So delicious. And the cafe de paris is to die for...nonstop pastry, coffee, crepes..what more could you need??
STAFF/SERVICE: We found the Jamaican people to be true gems. If you are open and friendly to them, they will open right up to you. I really cannot say enough good things about these people, we forged great friendships with a few and we miss them so much! Many of them have very little, but are such content spirits. We really enjoyed the people...try being friendly and open, I promise you won't be disappointed! Also, if you are in a hurry to eat your meals, this is probably not the best place for you. If you can sit down, take in your surroundings, make friends and enjoy every bite of food without worrying how much time it's taking to get your drink, then you will love it!
SPA: While I didn't try the spa services bc of cost, I did take advantage of the included use of the steam room/sauna. it was like visiting a very upscale spa and I really enjoyed sweating out some of the toxins I ingested the night before ;-)
FITNESS ROOM: Great little gym with plenty of equipment and no crowds.
EXCURSIONS: If you are thinking of doing any of these, I HIGHLY recommend the YS Falls & canopy tour: this place is breathtaking, close by, decently priced (71pp) and the perfect amount of time (4 hours door to door) After we went on this I recommended to several others and they came and found me to thank me. It is a perfect excursion.
DO NOT RECOMMEND THE DOLPHIN COVE: My husband has always wanted to swim with the dolphins so after several discussions he finally convinced me to go. I was completely disappointed. To keep it brief it was costly, not enough time with the dolphins, too touristy, too FAR away (3 hours each way!) and just overall not worth the money. I was so frustrated to spend $300 per person and to only get 30 min with the dolphins and practically no personal time with them. Save your money.
I know I said I would keep it brief, but it's really hard to write a short review on such an amazing place. I would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone looking for a relaxing, romantic, perfect vacation!!!!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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houston, texas
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2010

Our Vacation: January 2nd – 9th, 2010
I have divided my review into different topics and you will notice that I do have my complaints – however, my overall experience was wonderful and I am keeping my eye out for the next sale Sandals has for Whitehouse.

Flight and Drive:
The flight over was quick, 2 ½ hours from Houston, Texas. Customs and Immigration was a breeze. We checked in at the Sandals waiting area and were on our bus with in 10 minutes. We had a small 6-passenger bus. The drive took 1 ½ hours. My husband, Gregg, and I took some Dramamine and napped on the way to Whitehouse. We were both prepared for the craziness.

The drive back was on a much large “tour” bus. We hit some traffic going into Montego. The construction and road conditions made this trip just a little longer. The airport check-in was very unorganized. Our experience with the security was horrific. Standing in line to go threw security was a joke. Different officers would bark at you to hurry up and throw your stuff on the conveyer belt. They would pull you out of order to pat you down. This would meant that your stuff was either waiting to go threw while they patted you down and the people behind you were having to push you stuff up to the conveyer belt or it would be mixed in with three or four other people stuff. Security just grabbed your bags and would shove them threw. They did not have enough plastic bins and my husband had to put his car keys in his shoes. I got done with my pad down and started trying to retrieve all our stuff. My husbands shoes came threw with one of the shoes on its side. The car key had fallen out. The Jamaican security made a half-[--] glance in side the x-ray machine and shrugged their shoulders. We lost the car key, had to take a taxi from the airport in Houston back to our house to get the spare and drive back to the park and ride to pick up the car. If there is one reason not to go back to Jamaica it would be the airport security – everyone around us was talking about how traumatizing the security line was.

Check-In/Check-Out:
The seating area is so large and comfortable. We sat down and in 5 minutes, our butler, Damion, came to get us. A quick stop by the concierge desk to swipe my credit card and we were in our room.
The evening before we left, we stopped by the concierge desk to settle our bill - quick and easy. Turned our butler cell phone in the morning we left and dropped our room keys off at the front desk.

Room:
Penthouse Butler Suite – Dutch Village 2402
The room was nice but nothing extravagant. I was disappointed that we did not have the flat screen TV’s but we did have an Ihome to play our pod in the room. Great view of the beach. We really enjoyed our sitting area. In the afternoon, around 1 pm, we would rest in the AC and read our books. I think this help stave off the heat exhaustion that many people were equating to a flu/bug. Being from Houston, we feel that we have a good grasp of how hot certain temperatures feel. The daily activity list always showed the weather forecast around 82 – 84 degrees. On Thursday, we got back from our walk after lunch around 1:30 pm and I thought the heat was just crazy. Gregg happened to bring a survival tool that has among other things a thermometer. He pulled it out of his backpack in the room – it read 73 degrees (which was right – we had the thermostat set on 72). We set the device outside on the table for five minutes – the table is not metal. Guess what the temperature was…………. 106 degrees!!! I mentioned this little finding to our butler the next day and he laughed. They just us a forecast number to keep your mind off the heat, he said. It really does get that hot – and that is the winter.

Butlers:
Damion and Christine were wonderful and we enjoyed the pampering. Now I know why butler service is so addicting. Both of them made us feel pampered and we loved the little perks....cooler on the beach, yummy snacks and of course the "towel art". However, I will say this.... I got a great deal on the room so I just factored in tipping. Would I book the top-level suite again - probably not (being on the top floor was four flights of stairs too many), but I would differently book a butler room if the price is right.

Room Service:
We tried to call room service from our room phone and we could not get a dial tone out so I call Damion and he took the order. Room service was nothing special and it was so slow. It took 1 ½ hours to get our food.

We had ordered breakfast in bed for 9-9:30. It did not show up until 10 am. This was frustrating since we wanted to be out on the beach by 10 am. We did not order again because of this problem.

The only other time I tried room service was on Thursday around 10:45 and I tried to order a pizza, which is on the late night menu, and was told they didn’t have anything but burgers and sandwiches.

I would say that room service is a bust….don’t even try ordering because you will get so hungry waiting that you get cranky.

Breakfast:
The rest of the week, we ate the Bayside buffet and tried Eleanor’s once on Thursday. Bayside is a B- due to the organizational problems (the line for omelets blocks up all the other self-serve food) but the food is great. Great selection and the fruit smoothies are fantastic. Eleanor’s gets an A. I had a grapefruit, eggs Benedict and the stuffed French toast. My hubby had the two egg breakfast and pancakes. Great service and fantastic food made me wish we had tried Eleanor’s sooner.

Lunch:
I am not a fan of buffets so we never stopped by Bayside for lunch. We split the week between Bluefield’s and Neptune’s. Bluefield’s is an A+. I almost forgot that I was at a “no tipping” restaurant because the service was so fast. Neptune’s was an A. A little slower on service but still good. Gregg loved the fried calamari and I could not get enough of the mussels. I generally ordered the tapas or calamari for an appetizer and the lamb salad and mussels.

Dinner:
Eleanor’s was great (A-) and we ate there four different nights. Both lobster and steak were excellent. Giuseppe’s was a complete disaster (F) – of course we did not go back. It took 45 minutes for our appetizers to arrive. Then 30 minutes later the wrong pizza was brought out – another 30 minutes before the correct one arrived. The pizza was for me since my husband, Gregg, cannot eat cheese. We had been there 2 hours - Gregg was starting to waste away before my eyes so I asked the waiter about our food and he said that they could not bring our entrée until I had finished my pizza. I politely told him that if Gregg did not have food very shortly he was going to pass out – needless to say, they brought out the entrée’s before I finished my pizza. The food was not very good except for the pizza, which I enjoyed. I had some horrible beef dish, which was gross. Gregg said the pasta and shrimp was ok. Given the horrible experience, we were hesitant to try any other restaurant besides Eleanor’s since the service was good and we always had our entrée’s within 1 hour.
However, the last night our butler convinced us to try Neptune’s. We had thought about going earlier in the week but the wind in the evening was extreme. Friday night was perfect at Neptune’s – the food was an A+. Gregg said the steak was better at Neptune’s than Eleanor’s. I had the seafood pot – excellent. We both enjoyed the calamari appetizer.
Of course, we visited Café de Paris quite a few times. They had yummy little bit size desserts and thankfully one non-dairy dessert, the almond cookie.


Dietary Needs:
I heard such glowing review on how the resort handled dietary requirement such as vegan/vegetarian. We were disappointed on how they handled Gregg’s dietary needs. He is severely allergic to dairy - lactose intolerant and cannot eat anything containing dairy. I had made a note of this in our butler page on the Sandals website. I do not think the note was read because our butler’s did not have knowledge of Gregg’s need. He ended up with cheese on almost every salad that he ordered even – only once did they get our request right. A note for anyone who is lactose intolerant – thee resort does not have non-dairy creamer. So poor Gregg did not drink any coffee all week. I’ll have to buy a box of little packets of non-dairy creamer for our next trip.

Beach:
The beach is lovely – long and deep. I really liked the fact that when you are sitting in your lounge chair on the beach there is a great deal of space between you and ocean. This allowed us to relax and read even thought people were talking and walking past us. We did notice that the French beach was terribly over crowded and noisy – we met a couple who was staying there and the lady was saying that she had to wear ear plugs to read - the noise was so bad. Of course if you like that type activity level that would not be a problem. Our preference is quite. We lay out in our chairs every morning for a couple of hours and read – so relaxing.
We loved walking the beach and the northwest portion of the beach past the resort is gorgeous. Walking a long the beach we say many starfish, an eel, a variety of fish and a sting ray.

Water:
Water clarity varied with the wind and time of day. For the most pair the water is crystal clear. The only time the water was cloudy was the wind and tide were going in the same direction and in the late evening if the water sports were particularly active in an area. Even this was not a big deal since in a few hours the tide or wind would change. The best time to walk the beach and look for aquatic life was when the tide was going out and the wide was blowing against it.

Sea grass:
We heard some complaint about the sea grass while we were there. See grass is GOOD. It is home to lots of little fish, starfish, crabs and helps prevent sand erosion. There is a portion of the beach were there is no sea grass and guess what – no fish to see. I wear water shoes so the texture does not bother me.

Snorkeling:
Snorkel Trips are at 10 am, 11 am and 1 pm. The snorkeling trips are divided between the shallow side of the reef and the deeper portion located further out. Our first trip at 1 pm and was a shallow trip. The fish were quite small – baby fish if you will. I was a little disappointed. However, the following times we went at 10 am. Since the tide was out, we went to the deeper side of the reef. The deep trips were very rewarding and we say a plethora of large mature fish – I guess the shallow side of the reef is the “kiddy pool” for the baby fish..LOL.

Glass Bottom Boat Ride:
They went out at 9 am and 2 pm. We went once at two and saw a 3 ft. ray, different types of coral and a few schools of fish. Ok trip but it did give me little motion sickness- you are staring down while the boat is moving.


Pools & Hot Tubs:
We never used the main pool since the playmakers have their activities going. We loved our quite Dutch pool and hot tub. The pool was a little too cold for me to get in. We did enjoy sitting in the hot tub and having a drink while the sunset. Our view of the French pool was from our trips over to Bluefield’s –lots going on and a lot of people.

Bars:
The Dutch pool bar does not have frozen drinks – not a problem for us, we drink beer and mixed drinks. The main pool bar has nachos, which I did not discover until Wednesday – I am still craving them. We stopped at the Piano bar on Sunday and met up with another Croc couple. We stopped by one other night and sat outside. Nice place to hang out after dinner.

Bugs:
Let me preface this subject with a note that I am normally eaten alive if there is a mosquito with in 25 feet of me. If anyone is going to be bit that would be me. Beside bugs just loving me I am very allergic to their bits – general reaction from a mosquito bit involves a welt the size of a dime. So we came prepared for the worst – two type of spray: 100% Deet Sportsman Spray and OFF Deep Woods. Surprisingly we never needed them at the resort. I only used OFF on the zip lining trip. Even there I did not have a problem with bugs. I did notice a few bug bites on people – they had used the bug spray provided by the tour guides. At the resort, we did not encounter any mosquitos. The only bits Gregg and I got were small little red spots. They did not itch or sting and the only reason we know we had been bitten was by the visible mark. We each got two bits.

Off Property Activity:
Zip lining – Chukka Montego Bay: 9 Traverses
This was our one activity off-site. The drive is around one hour from the resort. Gregg and I enjoyed the hiking and traverses. The rain forest is all right but don’t expect to see any wildlife. We were a little disappointed in the scenery (we zip lined in St. Lucia and the rain forest is incomparably better there). However, the excision was fun and we would recommend the trip.

Souvenir Vendors:
On the way back we talked to a couple who was so disappointed that they didn’t get to buy souvenirs from real vendors and had to shop at the resort gift shop. So I wanted to make a note of were and when you can buy trinkets. On Monday about ten vendors come in and set up by the main pool. We visited them in the morning and stopped back by to buy a few things around 3:30 pm. I got a few necklaces and some carved turtles. I notice that a few of the vendors stayed and set up by the main fountain later that night. There is a concierge trip to Negril on Tuesdays. They take you to the craft market and stop at the Sandals Negril for lunch. We really wanted to go on this since it is free. However, our zip lining trip was that day and at that time no one else was scheduled the rest of the week for zip lining. There has to be at least two couples signed up for the trip.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank whitetiger1021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2010

I did not pay attention to all the bad reviews because people do like to complain. The biggest problems we had were with the staff and food. Staff is very slow even for Jamaica and there was not much variety in the food. Wait time is really crazy and food was average.
The food at pool bar was good and breakfast buffet not much you can mess up there.
I do not think I will be returning to this Sandals Resort again. We will try another one but again not going to this one again.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank packerbacker717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2010

I was a little nervous going to Sandals Whitehouse because I had read mixed reviews on this site. For those that gave it a negative review, what more are you looking for? The resort was BEAUTIFUL and the people were fantastic! It did take a long time to eat dinner but who is in a rush when they are on vacation? The bartenders were very entertaining and polite and had us laughing all week. The waitresses were very nice and kept asking us if we needed anything. There was always something to do and the weather was perfect!
The ride from the airport was interesting. Our driver said that it is one of the worst main roads in Jamaica but I really didn't think it was that horrible. It was bumpy and curvy and people drive a little crazy there but I just sat back and enjoyed the plush landscape and appreciated the opportunity to see the little towns and houses. If you get motion sick, I would take something before you get on the bus. Half way to the resort we stopped to go to the bathroom and have a beer or so which was nice...I liked that part.
We ate at every restaurant and our favorites were Giuseppi's (even the pizza's for lunch) and Jasmine's though Bluefield's was great for lunch. Neptune's had a good lunch menu but the dinner wasn't the best (we actually ended up going to a different place that night), Bayside was great for the breakfast buffet but dinner was just so-so, Eleanor's was really good for dinner! The room service menu was kind of small but the food was good! We loved the fact that Bayside was open all night, and we took advantage of that!
We spent most of our time at the French pool playing volleyball, meeting new people, walking on the beach, and having drinks. Most of the activities happened at the main pool but we liked the intimacy of the smaller French pool and found it easier to meet people there. We stayed in the Italian village in a concierge suite which was very clean and well-stocked, the concierge made our dinner reservations for us for each night. The beach party night was fun with live music and entertainers and the biggest buffet I have ever seen! One night was a fundraiser for Haiti which I thought was going to be a bunch of people pushing for donations (which are desperately needed but you don't want to feel pressured on vacation) but it ended up being a really fun night. They had many different music acts, dancers and a fashion show and a buffet that was even bigger than the one at the beach party!
We tried to do a lot of the watersports and had a lot of fun attempting them. The sailing was great though the lesson was brief so I would try going out on a day that is a little calmer. The hydro-bikes were a blast and gave you a pretty good work-out! We went on the glass-bottom boat tour which was nice, it was great to see the natural reef that is about 100 yards off-shore. There were many different corals and sea-creatures that I wouldn't normally get to see. My husband and his buddies went sport fishing and had a great time. He said that the guys that took them out were awesome and the fishing was good (each guy caught one).
In general, the attitude of the people was my favorite part! They are soooo laid-back and let you do whatever you want. "Can I get up during dinner and take my plate back to my room?" "No problem, mon!" "Can I walk into the fountain and take a picture standing in the middle of it?" "No problem, mon!" "Can I have two lobster tails at dinner instead of one?" "No problem, mon!" "I want a drink that tastes like a banana, can you make me one?" "No problem, mon!"
I guess I just can't say enough about this place and I am now really upset at the people that gave it a really negative review. There was eight of us in our group and we all booked to come back again in two years. The resort was booked to capacity when we were there so maybe that helped but I just can't see having a bad time in such a beautiful place. If I had to say something negative, I would have to say that the ladies from the spa get kind of annoying. They must work on commission because they were walking around and asked us a few times a day if we had booked a spa service. We ended up lying to them and saying that we booked a massage even though we didn't so that they would stop asking. Even after we turned them down, they asked about our stay and if we were having a good time which I thought was very very nice.
My pictures do not do it justice because I took them quickly before we left with my BlackBerry. If you are looking for a gorgeous place with great staff and a wonderful attitude, stay here. We have been to other resorts, very nice ones, and we would easily come back here. The hardest part was getting on the plane to come home. Oh yeah, our flight was delayed for 4 hours and they let us stay at the resort so we wouldn't have to sit in the airport...very nice.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank onthego2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
151 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2010

ARRIVAL
Had an uneventful flight through Miami to Montego Bay. I was actually surprised at how efficient the crew opened the cabin door and had us on our way. Security was very tight and you could even see out the window how each worker at the airport would search each other before entering the aircraft. The airport has shown many improvements from the first time my wife and I visited in 2009...and many MORE improvements from 2008-07. Once getting through customs (which took about 30 minutes) we saw our bags had been unloaded from the belt. This is an important fact if you've never done this before. Don't look for your bag on the belt. They will be removed and placed on the floor. AND, don't panic.... they will probably not all be together. We were greeted warmly, as always, as returning guests and invited into the sandals lounge. It is just to the left after getting through customs.
INSIDE ADVICE: Bring your own cup! That's right! Bring a plastic cup with your for a coca-cola product or Red Stripe. In fact, the sandals employees encourage it! After all you have a 1.5 hour bus ride ahead of you. It's important to be comfortable! Every other guest who saw what we were doing smiled and said that's what they'd do next time.

BUS
You've heard it all. It's a long ride but take it all in. You are on vacation! talk to your bus operator. he'll have tons of interesting facts. After all, you are in his home. And here's something I haven't seen addressed in other reviews. If you are nervous about the drive... keep looking out the window on the left for Belmont School. Once you see that you are ALMOST there.

RESORT ARRIVAL/ROOM
We were greeted with warm towels and a smile. It certainly felt like home. This was our first trip to Whitehouse but our third to Sandals. We'll never change! The loyalty program is like none other. Not only did we get a discount off our stay with the Sandals Select points, but we also got a substantial upgrade because of our loyalty.
INSIDE TIP: Make sure to "check-in" before you arrive. It really does save you money. If you enter all of your information on-line all you have to do is give them a credit card, sign the back of the paper, and you are on your way. Our bags arrived quickly and Patrick the resort loyalty manager was there to greet us.
Speaking of the upgrade... we basically booked the lowest category of room in the French Village and were upgraded to the room just below concierge in the Dutch Village on the third floor. We couldn't be happier! Our room had a king bed with corner balcony with windows you could open. The view of the ocean was wonderful. And, being on the end meant it was a bit quieter than other rooms. We only used the elevator to come up. Even from the third floor the walk down wasn't bad at all.

SERVICE
The best part of Sandals is the service. We informed them before we arrived that my wife's parents would be arriving a few hours after us. they had never been to Jamaica or Sandals before and we were worried about being able to meet up. No problem! They made sure we connected to have the times of our lives!

SPA
My wife did visit the spa for a massage I bought as a gift for our anniversary. She said it was wonderful and would return. I'm not one for spa's so I'll have to take her word on it!

FOOD
We are old people in young people bodies! We are known to go to bed early and wake up early so the laid back sandals lifestyle works for us. Some people complain about having to wait for dinner. I can tell you this, if you KNOW how to plan your day you will be just fine. Each day we showed up to a different restaurant either right when it opened or shortly after. We never had a wait and always had great service.
Our favorite meals were at Eleanor's. The surf and turf is exceptional and when it's paired with a Caesar salad it's to die for! Don't forget the coffee and crème brule for dessert! And, if you want an extra lobster tail... just ask!
Each morning it would be hard to find us without stopping first at Cafe De Paris. Being able to grab a latte' and a croissant before breakfast took the hunger edge off before the Eggs Benedict came to the table at Eleanor's. I'm sure we saw the water wheel in the restaurant turn a million times over the course of our stay!
Bluefield's beach club was a great stop for jerk chicken during lunch. We ate at the restaurant once but discovered the BEST secret of all at Sandals Whitehouse; to go orders! Being able to take a salad and pizza to go from Giuseppe's was perfect. I walked those pies from the restaurant to the Dutch pool almost everyday. In fact, when my father in law discovered his love for Neptune's calamari he walked down there and brought EIGHT orders back to the pool. And you know what? A Sandals employee was happy to carry the feast for him. It was one of the highlights of the trip.
The last day we did grab breakfast at the buffet (bayside) and it was quite good. They had all the omelet stations and other things you would expect but they also had the smoothies and other juices you didn't expect.

ENTERTAINMENT
It was unfortunate that we arrived when we did. The earthquake in Haiti had struck just days earlier but that didn't stop Sandals from making a different. A relief effort fundraise was held in the courtyard with singing, dancing, and even a fashion show. There was also an auction to help raise money for the cause. It was well respected and a nice touch.
We also saw plenty of musical acts at the theater near the main building. It was a bit loud for us but we did enjoy hearing the music outside as we played shuffleboard before bed.

POOLS

We absolutely LIVED by the Dutch pool once we discovered what we liked. The Dutch pool is the quietest and most laid back place on Earth. The bar isn't by the pool and even though it doesn't have frozen drinks (pina colada, etc) it does have everything else you could need. And, it's just a short walk from the French Pool where you can grab that famous jerk chicken to go. The temperature of the Dutch Pool also seemed to be much warmer than the others and the hot tub was TRULY hot! But if it's volleyball and a party you are looking for it seems like the French pool is for you.

BEACH

What else can we say? The beach at Whitehouse is spectacular. There is almost too much beach! If you try to walk the entire length you certainly can work up a thirst and an appetite. Good thing there's a bar on each end! Ha! The water was as clear as you could imagine and I've never seen so many starfish. Each morning we saw workers raking and burying the seaweed under the sand. That's some hard work.

WATERSPORTS
Each day we would call the water sports desk and sign up for the snorkeling trip. We brought our own gear but it's available for rent. Since the south shore of the island isn't as disturbed it was the best snorkeling we've ever done. They certainly didn't rush you back to the boat which made for an enjoyable experience.
I'm not one for water skiing but my wife sure is. Almost every morning she would get out on the water for a ski. She was able to slalom but says the rope is a big long for her taste but once she got the speed right between her and the Mastercraft boat they were good to go.
I'm a bit more laid back and enjoyed the sailing. You were able to take a 12-14 foot long hobi-cat out for a spin as often and as long as you'd like. If you do plan on sailing get it done in the morning because the wind tends to pick up in the afternoon.

SOON-COME-BACK
One tip I did take from other travelers is to visit the soon-come-back desk. I was able to exchange my sandals select t-shirts for the sizes we needed. They were gifts for being returning guests. That's another perk! But, after talking to the sandals employee we were able to get a great rate for a future stay along with a $125 resort credit... and Patrick even gave us a bottle of rum! Try getting that from anywhere else!

DEPARTURE

We were asked to be at the lobby about four hours before our flight. The loading of the bus was quick and right on time. We arrived at the airport two hours before our flight (perfect) and were able to get plenty of time in the airport for a quick lunch and some duty-free shopping. What an amazing stay. We can't wait to return!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank mtsublueraider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2010

Once again, Sandals does not disappoint. Having just returned from Whitehouse, our vacation was fantastic. I had read some negetive feedback on the resort and was anxious to see for myself. The management, staff and every single person I encountered was pleasurable and accomadating. I simply do not understand how anyone can visit this resort and be unhappy. However, we did encounter some pretty miserable guests, in which the taj mahal would not have satisfied them, misery in...misery out.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank irob102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Powhatan, VA
Level 6 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2010

As a 5 time repeater to Sandals, we were very anxious for the re-opening of SWH and looking forward to this trip. Never have we gone to the south coast of JA, so this was a first.
Personally, we love the ride and seeing all the sites and sounds of the island. This ride reminded me of what the trip to Negril used to be like until they improved the road. It was very exciting and truly a representation of how most of JA is as far as the culture. If you don't like the twists and turns then the only other option is to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a helicopter. There is a helo pad but no aerodome near the resort. Someone told us it is $600 for the ride one way, no thanks, I'll take my 1 hr+ shuttle ride thru the hills.
Funny part about check in is that our friends got our returning guest check in and we were left in the lobby to fill out our paperwork. No big deal...it's all good, we are on vacation!
Rooms were nice. I appreciate they made this resort w/all the rooms facing the ocean. Even the lessor priced rooms, so the only upgrade is whether or not you have a bar and butler. Both things which I can go without and fend for myself. Oh, also room service, but we don't spend any time in the room for that anyway.
We were in the French Village, which I particularly enjoyed because of the walk. Many would not, but this is the only exercise we get on vacation so it was a relaxing to walk hand and hand w/the hubby to dinner or where ever. The pool also lives up to the rep of being more lively. We enjoyed that pool and beach more than the rest of the resort. Also, Bluefields is there. FABULOUS because of the cooks. Shana-Kaye spend every day making sure that the special foods we wanted she prepared. Most tourists don't enjoy the local cuisine, but we very much love the JA foods. So, she made a point each day to tell us what she had made and when it would be ready. All becaused we asked. Many times in JA if you ask for a reasonable request and they can share their culture with you, they will be happy to assist you.
I loved the refrigerators in the rooms and ours was filled daily. We asked for extra waters and got them. If we wanted alcohol in our room, we just asked for extra drinks at the bar and walked back w/them. Once I asked for a bottle of champagne from a room service guy walking w/his cart and he gave it too us.
The restaurants had very good food. Not much did I eat that I wouldn't eat again. I loved the surf and turf at Eleanors. Although, the service was very poor (only in timing). It took forever one evening, but where else are you going to go on vacation? So, we made the best of it and the food was awesome. I think the service being slow all week was due to the fact most of the servers are new. In talking to management, many were still being trained, so if we went back, I would hope it improves. That really is my only complaint!
Staff was great in the pool bars and at Bluefield's. We are looking forward to going back and seeing the same faces, like we did every day while there.
The beach is spectacular! No where in JA has this much beach associated w/one resort. Negril is beautiful, but shared w/all the resorts along the 7 miles. This is 2 miles of seclusion. Truly a romantic place to be.
You feel like you are the only ones there while on vacation.
One other critque; an unscheduled shut down of all the restaurants one evening so that they could put on a charity function for Haiti. It really wasn't executed well. I don't think the presentation of the food matched the taste. Much wasn't good and there were long lines to get the better foods. I gave up and just drank more! As far a charity event, on vacation, I would have preferred that they give the option to attend. There was no where else to eat, so by default, we were involved in a fund raiser. We bowed out and went to the martini bar.
What a great spot to have a nightcap and end the long day of sunshine and paradise! I love the fact you could participate w/the piano player or sit outside and listen. Much of the time we were outside. In Jan. to sit in 80 degree weather was a true blessing!
The Cafe de Paris is a marketing creation and a hit! No other Sandals we've been too has this! I am not the coffee drinker, but loved the pastries and teas that were offered. What a great pick me up in the mid afternoon!
We didn't buy anything from the photographers or the gift shop there, but did enjoy wandering through their stores. I do all our shopping at the airport in duty free.
The returners dinner was nice, but next time we'll probably not participate. I felt like I was at a convention. Food okay not great there either.
Breakfast was by far the best and loved sitting outside watching the birds fight over plates of leftovers! very entertaining.
It was hard to leave such a relaxing place!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank dmenger
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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