My wife, Jill, two friends and I stayed from Jan. 23-30th. A little background...Jill and I have been traveling the Caribbean for over twenty years as well as Hawaii. We have been to many all-inclusives as well as regular hotels and condos. Thus, we have a lot of experience in terms of making comparisions.
SWH was a great experience. Here is a breakdown by category.
Location: 1.5 hours from Mo. Bay. Be prepared and just accept the fact if you go to SWH you will be in the bus a while. Enjoy the ride and see the countryside. The hotel itself is on a point so there is a lot of beach. There were no other hotels or businesses nearby.
Beach area: As mentioned, a beautiful white sand beach, gentle slope and plenty wide for walking, @2 miles in length. Three roped off areas for wading into the ocean. Appeared to be free of sea weed. The only roped area we walked in was all sand. No significant tides for bogey boards, etc. We walked the beach each day (saw no nudity for those who have inquired recently).
Rooms: There are three hotels. The Italian section has the largest rooms and balconies and is closest to resturants and other activities. The Dutch and French are the other sections. Total capacity is just over 700 and during the last week of January the hotel was either at or near capacity. Rooms were well kept. Every room is ocean view but you probably would not leave your sliding doors open if staying on the first floor.
Grounds: well manicured with the usual array of tropical flowers you would expect at a top hotel.
Pools: Three large ones, each with a whirlpool. The pool near the Italian section was the largest. Most organized activities were held there. The "Dutch" pool was the quietest and the "French" pool was the noisiest and had the busiest bar.
Food and beverages: One of the items that sets Sandals apart from some other ALs is the quality of food and brand label alcohol. There were four theme resturants. Resturant themes included, oriental, italian, mediterrainean(seafood) and french. There is a beautifully located daytime, Jamaican resturant called Bluefields for those who want a great view of the ocean while lunching. The food at all the establsihments was excellant. A word of caution, the dining experience is designed to last about 1.5 hours so plan accordingly. There is a buffet style resturant for those wanting to eat quickly. Two other spots deserve a mention. The maritini bar is a great place for a night cap, with a very good piano player on "sing along" nights. There is a small pastry shop with great coffee, wonderful finger pastries and excellant ice cream.
Entertainment and nightlife: The attractions were uneven in quality, some good, all typical of a caribbean resort. After 10:30, things quiet down very quickly. SWH does not offer any "wild and crazy" entertainment one might find elsewhere. The snorkling was very good if you take the free boat trip to the reef. We enjoyed the hobie sailboats. Other water sports were also offered as well as the typical pool games during the day.
Service:I have saved SWH strongest quality for last. I have read a few reviews where some had a bad experience. The four in our group were always happy with the service. From the waiters, bartenders and housekeepers, right down to the four new Indian interns, it was always "service with a smile". Sandals lets you know they appreciate your business and they make sure you know they want you to come back.
Overall impressions: Great service, excellant food and drink, above average rooms, grounds and beach and pools. Average entertainment. A stay at SWH will leave you with the desire for a return trip. While everyone seems to have a special "server" they feel warrants a special thank you, I want to mention four who made my stay particularly memorable; Earl at Eleanors, Cheryl at the Italian pool, Bala at Bluefields and especailly Joshini, who seemed to be everywhere. Feel free to contact me directly if you have questions....Larry
- 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