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Reviewed 16 May 2007

Sandals Whitehouse April 2007: Our first stay at an all-inclusive. This place was absolutely beautiful & looked fairly new. Grounds & beach were impeccable. Staff very amiable and accommodating. Talked to several other couples who have been to Sandals 6-8 times and they said this was one of the better sites. Located away from any crowds and very relaxing. Dining choices a lot more numerous & varied than expected. We are sailors & beach people from FL so did not leave property on any tours. Sailing could have been more interesting. Hobie's were not in the best shape and trimmed down, which better for novices. Also after-dinner entertainment mediocre, which may have hit bad time. Had some decent country & pop artist prior week. With two young kids and jobs, this was exactly the relaxing, slower pace we were looking for. Definitely a re-do.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank KJJAXFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2007

Beautiful resort, well layed out, lots of attention to detail. Stayed at the Dutch where it was quiet and peaceful. Lots of activities but we went diving every day and upgraded our certification. Dive team very friendly and well organized. Very good dive sites. Dining is excellent as is the beach. All staff are friendly and can't do enough. Bit of a drive from airport (1 1/2 hr) however well worth it. This is our 5th trip to Jamaica and the weather did not disappoint This trip was 12 days and we had 2 rainfalls for about 1 hour at the dinner hour - perfect timing.

Stayed: February 2007
8  Thank Scubafor2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2007

It was wonderful. The resort was relatively new, clean, well kept. The staff was friendly and very helpful. The food was good, I would not say great, but certainly good and there was plenty of variety to choose from.

The setting on the Southside of the Island was perfect, away from the crowds. Once we got away from Montego Bay and into our privately driven car for the 90 minute drive to the resort we knew it would be nothing but peace and tranquility until we had to leave to come back home.

The caribbean is magnificent, the grounds were very well manicured, the pools were clean and refreshing but the very best part of the vacation was the Red Lane Spa. My husband and I each indulged in two massages. My favorite was the Heart Rock, but he liked the Swedish. I am sure all are great.

We stayed on the concierge level, they were there to help with dinner reservation, spa reservations, to handle laundry services, to answer all questions ~ excellent service.

We spent quite a bit of money but it was fabulous, wish we could go back tomorrow.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Beejaykay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2007

My husband and I stayed at Sandals Whitehouse for our anniversary from September 25 - October 8, 2006. This was our first Sandals resort and we were a little leary at first. We flew Vancouver to LAX and hopped on Air Jamaica direct from LAX at 11pm and arrived in the morning at Montego Bay. Air Jamaica treated us really well and the food was divine. We arrived in the morning at Montego Bay airport and within 15 minutes we were sitting in Sandals' Whitehouse lounge at the airport waiting for our charter bus to the resort. We left within the hour and drove for I think, an hour to get to the Whitehouse. All I want to say about the drive was, they drive on the opposite side of the road and the drive from MB to Westmoreland, where the Whitehouse is located, is very curvy and long. No potholes on the road lots of lush coffee plants and palms, coconut trees, a lot of very poor shacks on the sides of the roads and across the street beautiful homes on the hillside overlooking the bay and Cuba. Arriving at the Whitehouse was cold face cloths awaiting us for check in and champagne, the reception hall was beautiful and air conditioned. We had our luggage loaded onto a golf cart and were driven to our honeymoon suite in the Italien Village. Our room was absolutely stunning with a nice sized balcony to enjoy coffee in the mornings and drinks in the evening, overlooking the almost deserted beach in front of us. The rooms were fantastic with huge soaker tub and two sinks in bathroom, shower and toilet. Sitting area in living room, fully stocked bar to consume and when bottle is empty it somehow appears full when you come in from the pool or beach. Bed was very comfortable and hubby was happy to find CNN on tv so he could follow the stockmarket in the morning. :)))) The pools were clean and large with always something going on at one of them, either water polo, volleyball or something. The staff at the resort went out of their way to make you feel welcome, not a moment went by without someway saying good morning or good evening etc. Always with a very large smile on their faces. The boys and girls that work the swim up pool bar by the jerk restaurant are the best at stories, jokes and magic. We loved them. The management we met, were out of this world, so wonderful and really wanted to know if your enjoying your stay and if there is anything they can do to make your stay more enjoyable. For instance, they ran out of mango one morning and it is my favourite fruit, I happened to mention this to the waitress who told a manager and the next day for three mornings, at 9am there was a knock on the door with a whole mango sliced on a silver tray with a flower in the vase and it was compliments of management. Can you believe this? I was so impressed as was my husband.
The guests that we met were absolutely fantastic most all of a honeymoon of some sort, there was a couple from England celebrating their 28 years together, a couple from PA celebrating their 20 years, a wonderful couple from Chicago on their honeymoon, a couple from Australia married 32 years, a great guy from AZ who was celebrating life and to this day we are in touch with all of them. Even planning a trip to Sandals this year for our 1st Anniversary with one of the couples.
All in all, this is not Montego Bay, this is a beautiful resort that has so many fantastic restaurants, bars, tennis, golf, beaches and people that we can't wait to go back again. We met people who had been in Montego Bay and actually hated it and asked to be moved to Whitehouse and that is how we met them. I highly recommend this resort and thank you to TripAdvisor for helping me to make the decision of where we would go last year.

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Brownbebe18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2007

We have cruised and have also stayed at several resorts in Caribbean: Cancun (Moon Palace, Le Meridien); Nassau (Sandals): Jamaica (Couples Swept Away); Grand Caymen (Marriott); Bavaro Palace (Punta Cana). Overall, we rank the Sandals Whitehouse as above average but with some problems.

The good:
- Absolutely beautiful property with lush landscapes and wonderful architecture. Spacious resort with secluded areas to relax. Noise level is minimal (no motorized water sport activities except resort boats for ski/snorkeling/scuba activities). No planes or helicopters around to disturb the peaceful surrounding.
- Beach is one of the best. Long, white sandy beach line that is not crowded and kept immaculate. No vendors selling goods, etc., or visitors from other resorts. Very nice lounge chairs, tables and umbrellas on beach. Spectacular display of starfish in the shallow water. However, we were sad to see some guests poking at the creatures with sticks as well as picking them up out of the water and taking them back to their room or chairs! I guess people get caught up in the moment but it shouldn't' happen....
- Entertainment was actually very good (we normally do not go to the resort activities). Resort seems to focus on Jamaican culture. We enjoyed Caribbean dance shows as well as two unbelievable steel bands. The resort also featured a great Mento band several times – fun Cajun/Jamaican like music. We particularly enjoyed listening to them while they played under a huge shade tree during the afternoon tea – cool way to spend some time enjoying the breeze off the ocean. Professional vendors available one night during the week so no need to go outside the resort looking for tourist items. Also, violinist in evening on piazza. Spectacular chocolate buffets on Saturday and Tuesday. Beach party with good buffet outside on Monday. Resort plays reggae type music throughout resort which is nice touch.
- Staff – courteous and friendly - they definitely make a difference. Genuinely seemed willing to help even though they must hear the same requests, comments, etc., day after day. Special compliments: Orane at swim-up bar; Roxina at Eleanor’s; Maksim – Manager; Hugo (filling in from another Sandals resort).
- Activities – snorkeling offered 3 times a day - okay but in some rough water. Wine & cooking classes were fun and educational.
- Gym – very nice facility with good equipment and several treadmills, etc. A little warm but not unbearable.
- Pools – French pool seems to be the “sports” area with volleyball, etc. Dutch pool is quiet. Italian (main) pool is the party area with large swim-up bar and water activities. We spent our time at main pool when we felt like mingling and then went down to beach or Dutch pool for relaxation. The only problem with Dutch pool is that there are no public restrooms.
- Art gallery. There was a lot of activity around this new feature and we found it to be very educational and fun. The representatives from Park West were very professional and polite. We thoroughly enjoyed this amenity and think it will go a long way in maintaining a sense of class and sophistication to the resort.
- Spa is beautiful and upscale with very good offering of services.
- Guests in general are enjoyable and pleasant. Activities bring guests together to mingle if you are interested. Otherwise, there are other areas to spend quiet time. It is not a cruise atmosphere and you are not pressured into joining in.
- Game area provides pool tables, table tennis. Equipment is starting to show some wear but the pool tables are outside under a verandah so that will happen in humidity.

The not so good:
- First room that we had was dirty. It appeared that the floor had not been swept or cleaned prior to our arrival, dust in corners, smelly pillows (we threw them on the floor away from the bed). However, the manager was understanding and found us a new room - he did what he could to make us happy. I think that housekeeping needs to improve on the service – all other resorts where we have stayed had cleaner accommodations. Also, the furniture in the rooms is already starting to show some wear and tear even though the resort is only a few years old.
- Food is for the most part is okay and what you would expect for all-inclusive. Not as good as Couples Swept Away. However, we had problems with meals being served warm instead of hot. The breakfast buffet was somewhat disappointing and it took a while to get an omelet. The lunch buffet at Bayside is nice (fresh salads, sandwiches, pastas, cheeses). Best restaurant was Giuseppe’s (Italian). Jasmine’s atmosphere was unique and sophisticated but main courses were average. Eleanor’s service in evening was very good and upscale. Steaks were tough. Perhaps try something other than steaks at this resort – same problem at Arizona’s. For a great lunch or snack – go to Bluefield’s. Right on the beach with perfect view and good chicken salad and wings. Arizona’s good for light night snack if needed. We would not rate food as horrible but just not the best part of this resort.
- Liquor is plentiful although choices not as extensive as the Sandals in Nassau. Our favorite was hard to find but Manager helped us out. Wine list somewhat limited compared to other Sandals resorts (as we heard from other guests). However, the house cabernet and merlot were okay with dinner.
- Transportation to/from airport. Our trip to the resort was fine. However, the return trip was bad as the driver took too many chances with speed and passing large tractor trailers on narrow roads. Sandals should find a way to control what happens during the transportation even if the drivers are independent contractors.

Tours:
The only tour that we took was the horseback riding tour. One of the highlights of the vacation. Some of the horses are a little spirited so make sure you let the guide know about your level of experience. It appears that the horses are treated well and we saw no signs of them being overworked. The swim in the ocean is an incredible experience and the horses do seem to enjoy the water. If you go to the Fonthill tour, ask for Ian as the guide. He is great.

Recommendations:
- We were in Italian 1 building, 3rd floor (premium upgraded to grand luxe – not concierge). Great view of ocean and beach. In our opinion, Italian 1 & 3 and Dutch 1 are probably the best buildings for beach/water view. French village seems to be somewhat crowded and a little noisy – water volleyball, swim-up bar (but also close to Bluefield’s). It looked like several of the younger couples liked the French village and seemed to be having a great time. Dutch village would be okay but all buildings more or less surround the pool / hot tub area – but it is relatively peaceful and quiet with open beach front area. Italian buildings surround a small hot tub area with nice landscaping. There is no pool immediately accessible in Italian area. The village is closest to the central area of activity but the noise (music, etc.) didn’t bother us in the evening. Still felt like we had privacy.
- We were in a luxury room. Only real advantage (we think) to being in a concierge room seems to be the mini-bar. However, if mixed drinks are important to you – just bring or buy a bottle of your favorite liquor. Soft drinks and juices are already in the refrigerator.
- Hairdryers are okay – at least you won’t have to pack one. Same with iron. Resort gives you a nice amenity kit (4 ounces each of aloe gel, aloe lotion, shampoo, conditioner). It was enough to get us through the week.
- Sunburn – spa offers a soothing and peaceful water lily wrap that really does help. Be careful – the sun is hot here. A lot of people commented that they got burned even though they normally do not in other areas of Caribbean.
- Gift shop offers anything you forget (toothpaste, nail polish remover, etc.). Also sells hats, t-shirts, candles, etc.
- Remoteness of resort not really a problem. Plenty to do on resort and ample tours available. We were never bored.
- Rooms have a CD player.
- Phone calls are available in room for .99 a minute (international). Cell phones worked well.
- Great television reception with all major channels.

Overall, we recommend the resort. The good outweighs the few negatives that we experienced. Resort excels in beauty (mountains on one side, ocean on other), staff, landscaping, amenities and privacy. However, would love to see improvement in housekeeping, food, liquor selection and transportation.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank VacationCouple07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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