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“A lovely holiday 9.5/10”

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Sandals South Coast
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in White House
Certificate of Excellence
canterbury uk
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A lovely holiday 9.5/10”
Reviewed 10 March 2012

We travelled from the UK on 21st Feb and returned 6th March.

Would qualify the comments below by saying this is our 3rd visit in 5 years to Whitehouse and anything perceived as negative was really just a mild inconvenience. We would go back and recommend the resort.

The trip from Montego Bay to resort was 2 hours on our arrival due to the road having deteriorated again since last year and it being the evening. This wasn't great after a 9 hour flight and all the hanging about at the airport before hand. However, you can't blame Sandals for that. You can get a helicopter transfer for about 400 GBP per couple but only in the hours of day light. As we didn't arrive until 5.50pm not much point in doing that as not much to gain, as with the 5 hr time difference all you want to do is eat and go to bed. The return was better at 90 minutes but again a very bumpy ride. Both husband and I are seasoned travellers/not travel sick but would advise anyone who is to take their medication before hand and maybe pay no attention to the road ahead! Otherwise the driving style may prematurely age you...

Weather - again nothing Sandals can do... Unusually it was a bit "iffy" from previous years. During 2 weeks majority of time very warm 25-35 degrees C up until approx 2pm then a sand storm would blow up or rain. This all disappeared by dusk and a lovely warm evening to eat in or outside. So if you want to sun tan or do outside activities, make it the morning and leave the afternoon for a nap indoors or playing tennis / spa activities.

Room. No upgrade this time but did get our request of the Italian Village. The room 100% clean and tidy with the staff making a huge effort each to day to keep it so. On occassion not cleaned until about 3pm which was a little annoying if you wanted to go back and relax, have a coffee on the balcony etc. Unfortunately our room was 1st floor by a stairwell. OK 99% of the time apart from a few inconsiderate guests who thought it was OK to talk/shout their goodbye greetings very loudly right outside our door at 2am. Room we thought was starting to look a bit "tired" with slight chips in the wall, the towel holder falling off the wall during the stay (was fixed up again within 4 hours) furniture a bit scratched in places. However, room now has an ipod dock and wi fi computer access (at a cost of 40 dollars a week- really should be free for what you pay for the holiday in our case over 4600 pounds sterling) Bed extremely comfortable and air con worked very well. Room stocked with water/juice/fizzy drinks daily and coffee. Had no trouble getting any extra just call into guest services or reception. We were outside most of the time anyway and never really had to wait for more than 2 minutes before .being served at any of the bars. Fresh water also available from cafe de paris - just help yourself from the counter or the juice bar near the Gym.

Speaking of which... very impressed with the upgraded Gym. About 6 new treadmills plus other new equipment. Busy as you would expect at peak times eg early morning before breakfast. But just adjust your arrival to suit. We never had to wait for equipment during the 2 weeks at arrived between 7am to 8am or 4-5pm most days. Didn't make use of the yoga studio or squash courts/tennis courts this time but looked in good condition. Lots of planned activities free of charge should you wish to take them up but we just like to chill. We did however do the Garden tour with Oshoi, one of the fulltime gardeners on the property. Absolutely, fantastic info on all things garden/fruit trees/conservation etc Would highly recommend.

Pools - just about acceptably warm, sea was warmer we felt. Very clean from what we saw. Only used once as we like to be by or in the sea. Also agree with other guest comments that there were quite a few "loud" tipsy guests around the pool/bar so avoided. The hot tubs were un-usable as they were over 42 degrees C. if you had even a slight bit of "pink" flesh forget it. Feels like your a lobster about to meet its end! Dutch pool very quiet and relaxing, French don't go there unless you like loud company/drinking competitions or an Ibiza vibe.

Beach - kept very clean but still a problem for me with bites from critters lurking around. I was well prepared this year with anti-histamine tablets and cream with hydrocortisone. If you react badly to mozzy bites etc make sure you take them with you. In addition used the anti bug spray (tropical formula) on exposed skin. They do still spray manually around trees etc but I still had about 8 bites which must have occured late afternoon when all the stuff was wearing off! My husband had about 20 bites but no skin re-action - lucky him. I ran out of meds as had to use them every day unfortunately. The on site nurse will supply free of charge a dose of anti-histamine medicine. However, as a fellow health professional wasn't very impressed as she didnt ask any medical history, my name or any drug allergies etc before dispensing. We tok our own snorkel gear and snorkelled off the beach. Probably saw as much wildlife underwater as when they take you out on the boat. Would recommend both to do again in the mornign as clearer visability. Good idea also to wear rubber sole "water shoes" if going off the beach as the sea bed a bit rocky/stony in places. Only had to go about 20 meters off the beach to see the fish/rays/starfish etc

Restuarants. Food was generally quite good but service except in Neptunes or if helping yourself from Bayside buffet very slow. If you go at "peak times" (about 7.30pm to 8.30pm) we had to wait for about half an hour. We were prepared and didn't mind as we were on holiday - what's the rush have a cocktail? You can eat 24/7 if you wish somewhere or other so no one should be that starving, Had 2 bad meals in Guiseppes (re-heated pasta dish and gloopy risotto), no fresh shaved Parmesan/ Italian Ham/ sundried tomatoes etc on the anti-pasti area. Jasmines has improved dramatically and had 2 good meals there.The rest of the food on the whole I would classify as "good" not great. Small portion sizes and the vegetables served where really only a garnish size. However, you can ask for "double" if you wish or go somewhere else afterwards. We found with 3 meals a day plus snacks from the cafe de paris coffee shop what was served was actually adequate. House Wine was very drinkable but seems to be served up very infrequently. You get half a glass when you arrive and a cocktail should you wish and usually have to ask to have your glass re-filled. It would have been more acceptable to leave you with the bottle so you could serve yourself. Only other gripe that was staying 2 weeks the menu isn't changed so a bit repetitive. We ended up mix and matching eg can I have the salmon with the angel hair pasta instead of the risotto. On the whole we felt the whole resort is aimed at the american market still with "sweet tasting bread" "frizzled up" streaky bacon and desserts that look wonderful but just don't taste of anything other than vanilla. If your going to serve pastries put "real" cream inside and lemon gateaux should taste of lemon.

Generally facilities - all communal areas kept very clean staff work very hard and very friendly. Nothing was too much of a problem if you ask. Sandals have put in lots of new seating areas and fire pits plus straw sun shades on the beach were a welcome addition. The "bagging" of the best loungers is a problem and you do need to stake your claim by 6.30am at the latest if you want a specific spot. Not a problem for us as with the jet lag etc we were awake by 6am most mornings. If you did lie in there was plenty of bed's/shades but maybe not quite where you would want to be. The "Games" area eg pool tables etc could do with new equipment as again looking tired now.There is also a small amount of "construction" going on in resort. There seems to be a large hole being dug at the back of the italian village ? what was wrong. Didn't interfere with us at all. In addition a walkway is being completed along the edge of the beach. It was almost finished as we left and was being completed by hand with only a small bob cat running back and forth with concrete. Again it didn't bother us in the slightest.

None of the above would stop us returning and other British guests said in their opinion the only resort better especially for food was Sandals St Lucia Grande. We may give that a whirl and would appreciate comments on such.

Hope the above assists.

Room Tip: Request what you would like. Italian for close access to restuarants, Dutch for quiet location and c...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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6 Thank cathryn m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2012

Our vacation was Jan. 26th, -Feb 2nd.2012. Over the past 12 years we have 16 stays at every resort Sandals has to offer, excluding the two in the Bahama area. This being our 2nd journey to the Whitehouse. I have to say that it was not the most pleasant vacation we have ever had. It is still paradise, however, there were a few things that didn't make us too happy, but unless we made the effort to locate upper management, they were no where to be seen. On more than one occastion, we were not waited on equally. I guess it has become custom to tip the bartenders, because if you don't you are consider 2nd class citizens. This happened to us at one of the swim up bars and again over by the bar by Neptunes. And speaking of Neptunes, we had about a 1/2 hr wait to get a table, after being seated, another couple came in and were seated, received their drinks, food, the chef came out and spoke to them, desert arrived for them,and we were still waiting on our salads. I guess. Because this has NEVER in any of our vacations with Sandals, happened in the past we are very, very disappointed in the Whitehouse. Don't get me wrong, the rooms are great, the view is spectacular, the food, ok. however, not one time could we get lobster. I don't know where those guys were hiding but they were not at the resort. And yes we did exspess our concerns to one of the managers at the front lobby. So they are aware of the tipping, and the VIP treatment of only "some" of the guests. And yes, the bugs are out. It took us 3 weeks for the itching and scratching to stop after we returned. So, I can honestly say, I'm very disappointed. We are not giving up yet, though, hopefully our next trip in July to Beaches and the following January 2013 trip to Negril will restore our faith in Sandals.

Sad in Indiana

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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7 Thank twohoosierstraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

We chose Sandals Whitehouse to do something special for our 25 wedding anniversary. It is a very nice resort and the people were very friendly. However, the food was okay but not great. All beach chairs in the shade are reserved by 6:00 a.m. or shortly after. There is no service on the beach really. Once or twice a day maybe someone would stroll by. Water in the room fridges was not much and it was hard to find water anywhere else except to wait in line at a bar for it. The rooms were nice but not particularly luxurious and the different classes of room were very obvious. We got a somewhat upgraded room but not a butler and even though that was very expensive it somehow felt like poor cousin status. We spent one week at Whitehouse from Feb 27. I'd all it a 4 star or maybe a 4 1/2 star at best. However, our second week is at Sandals Negril and it would be a stretch to make it a 3 1/2 star so Whitehouse starts to look good in comparison. I just don't get the Sandals attraction ! We won't be back.

  • Stayed March 2012
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6 Thank GlennaAnn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

Sandals whitehouse was all that we expected and more. Everything was clean, the food was great and the staff couldn't do enough for you. They actually combed the beach every morning to make sure the sand was clean! We upgraded to the concierge room and the extra attention, room service and scenic boatride as well as unlimited drinks in our room made it absolutely worth it. The only issue we had was dinner time was always a 2 hour adventure. After the second night we just planned for that and hung out in the martini bar and just enjoyed our time together. The food was worth the wait! We met many people that were Sandals regulars that stated Whitehouse was their absolute favorite. I totally agree. One of our best vacations ever!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Krohde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerset U.K.
Level Contributor
110 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 521 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2012

We enjoyed our previous visits & until now would rate this one as #3 on our list of Sandals Resorts, having visited all of the Sandals during our 24 stays in the past 8 years. We stayed at Whitehouse on this occasion 28th February to 6th March.
Just to give you some perspective we have on average 4 holidays a year to the Caribbean/Bahamas, we like our 'creature comforts' so fly first class & select a high catagory room/suite. By the time we arrive at the Resort we have spent a lot of money & our expectations are high.
Transfer to resort. The road has deteriorated over the years & the driver could not see the potholes very well as it was dark & raining so transfer 2 hours duration. The return journey during the day was not as bad taking 90 minutes.

Accomodation: We had a lovely spacious 2 room ocean front suite in the Italian block (we always stay there). You could sit up in bed & look at the ocean, the lounge had a large balcony overlooking the ocean also. The cleaning was to a high standard, our favourite drinks were waiting & the fridge stocked daily with champagne etc.

Now for the downside! We think our neighbours upstairs were furniture removers by occupation, when they were not out on the balcony shouting to their friends in the suite below us, they were dragging the furniture around day & night.

Restaurants: The quality of food has been on the decline at Sandals for the past couple of years, menus not changing, cheaper cuts of meat purchased. A small thin slice of beef (tough as shoe leather) will appear on the menu as sirloin steak. Food on most occasions arriving barely lukewarm. We are very familiar with Caribbean time & are not usually impatient on holiday. Some of the service we experienced this week was unacceptable,

Eleanors: we waited 20 minutes just for coffee & to have our order taken at breakfast. Lines of people waiting at the door while vacant tables were not cleared for a long time. When they were eventually being set up it was like watching something in slow motion, the server walking slowly to & fro with 2 items at a time.

Giuseppe's Italian. There is a no reservations policy at all of the restaurants, until you ask to dine outside Giuseppe's for dinner that is!. You will then be told this area is exclusively for Butler guest reservations in the evening.

Bayside. we mostly had lunch here (as we are not fans of 'junk food', burgers,natchos, chicken wings, fries etc). The choice was very poor most days as was the quality, the jerk pork being cubes of some substance containing lots of gristle & impossible to chew!
Room service; We only ordered from this menu twice, on our arrival as it was late so we ordered dinner, it was inedible & once for breakfast. Because of the logistics the hot food is wrapped in cling film for a long period as the restaurants are quite a distance away, the result is often a soggy mess.

Beach. There is a nice long beach not very scenic as there aren't any landmarks, mountains etc. or ships sailing by on this coast. There is a Beaches resort scheduled, so you need to visit soon!

Beach huts : on the beach outside our block there are 7/8 beach huts. The Butlers reserve these for their clients on a 24/7 basis by leaving plastic signs 'reserved for suite #' in situ 24 hours a day. The beds are made up & coolers placed there in the morning for people who quite often fail to use them all day at a time the resort has 100% occupancy. How disgusting is that? We realise they wish to earn their gratuity but there are boundaries.

We do not visit the French or Dutch pools but we walked by the Dutch village pool one night at 10pm, the Butlers had reserved poolside tables & chairs so obviously the same problem occurs there.We did report this to several people people during our stay including Butler/Concierge desk, we wanted to speak to the G.M. but he did not seem to be available. There was however a small notice in the Daily Breeze (info sheet delivered daily) advising guests not to reserve sunbeds or pool chairs for longer than 2 hours without occupying them. This was so 'all their valued guests could avail of all the facilities on a first come first served basis' thats a joke!, perhaps someone should bring this to the Butlers attention, it is they who reserve prime locations continually 24/7
The Butlers at Emerald Bay would only prepare your sun bed/cabana when you were present & ready to occupy it.
Main Pool ; we usually enjoy spending some time here each day except during this vacation this pool bar area was inhabited daily by a large group of very loud, drunk 40-60 somethings (you thought I was going to say 20-30 year olds)! so unlucky to be there at the same time.

Temperature & conservation: it was quite cool during our stay, wet, windy with sand storms yet the aircon was on so high in all the restaurants, it was freezing & uncomfortable. Think green, turn it down. Bring something warm to wear inside the restaurants.
Staff; we have chosen to visit Jamaica because of its lovely friendly people & the smiles, not the weather as Jamaica is the land of rum & rain, the wettest in the Caribbean in our experience.
Not many smiles this time & a lot of disinterested staff surprisingly in areas where customer service is paramount, Concierge desk & Soon come back desk most unfriendly, so no Diamond level Customer Loyalty recognition here now. Unlike a previous visit, when the Food & Beverage manager at that time visited the restaurants each evening chatting to clients. When we were leaving the resort the F&B manager together with a lovely lady from the Soon come back desk (also at that time) came to wave our bus off. I doubt the current staff know we have left yet or care.
The staff most friendly to us were people we met pushing trolleys in the grounds, the gardners & watersports staff.
This visit was a major disappointment to us but we do hope you enjoy yours, have a great time

Room Tip: Chose one with facilities you will be happy with, don't rely on an upgrade
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
13 Thank ClaireandJohn
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:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > White House
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 (per night): ₹ 27,165 - ₹ 72,655
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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