Sandals Whitehouse European Village and Spa All Inclusive
Po box 5000, Westermoreland, Jamaica
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Sandals Whitehouse European Village and Spa All Inclusive Westermoreland Reviews
Relaxing Tropical Paradise Nov 02, 2008
After months and months of reading reviews and searching for the perfect destination for our honeymoon, we finally decided on Sandals Whitehouse.
My husband and I wanted to find that perfect tropical paradise – you know; lots of sand, gorgeous sunshine, beautiful blue water, and little umbrellas in our drinks. We’re not “partiers”, so we really wanted to make sure that we chose a resort that didn’t attract a big party crowd or have a wild night life. Luckily, with the help of our travel agent, Nancy Finn from Island Getaway (myislandgetaways.com), we found our paradise.
We honeymooned at Whitehouse from Oct 6 – 12th 2008. I was a bit worried about traveling to the Caribbean during hurricane season, especially when I checked the weather forecast which predicted thunderstorms EVERY day that we were there. I’m happy to report we only had one thunderstorm on one evening we were there – which actually gave us a much needed break from the sun.
THE TREK ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS:
After reading all of the horrible reviews about the trip from the airport to the resort, I had prepared myself for the worse. I have issues with motion sickness (as well as issues with idiot drivers), but the trip wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated. To be perfectly honest, there were just a few times that I thought that my life was coming to an end… but we made it there alive. If you’re really worried about the trip across the mountain, one piece of advice I will offer – travel on heavy travel days. We travelled on a Monday, so there were a lot of other people going to the same resort – which meant they put us in a big tour bus to take us there. The tour bus can only go so fast, and it at least makes you feel a little safer when you’re about to meet another large bus in a tight turn. Some of the couples that came in mid-week were brought to the resort in a little taxi cab, and many of them came crawling to the bar as soon as they checked in. I’m sure that the small little taxi’s would have scared the hell out of me as well… the zip around the slower moving buses and insane speeds. If nothing else, look at the upside; you get to see “real” Jamaica… not tourist Jamaica. It’s actually pretty amazing. On the way back to the airport, we were lucky to get another bus, and our driver this time gave a detailed tour the entire way back. It was great to learn about all of the little communities that you’re traveling through, and it keeps your mind off of all of the bad drivers. To sum up the drive, the resort was so amazing that a scary 90 minute driver was worth it… and I would go again in a heartbeat.
Nothing short of amazing. The grounds are beautifully kept. I loved the European décor and designs mixed with all of the tropical landscaping. The layout of the resort is very nice and flows well. You get the feeling that you’re staying in a little European community, not a resort – there’s no “hotel” feel to it at all.
To say that the beach is gorgeous is an understatement. A nice beach was a top priority on our list, and the beach here exceeded our expectations. There was plenty of room, and we never had an issue finding a nice place to lay in the sun all day. In fact, there were several days where we were the only ones lying in a section of lounge chairs with no one else around.
There are short rain showers every afternoon. They’re brief and the sun comes back out once they’ve passed through, so just take it as an opportunity to go get a snack and something to drink.
THE POOLS AND THINGS TO DO
I loved the pools here… truly something for everyone.
*The Italian Pool (main pool) is HUGE and has a lot going on. The swim up bar always looked busy and had a crown of people sitting around looking like they were having fun. Music was upbeat and loud, they often had activities, contest, and game shows going on. There are plenty of lounge chairs around, and despite all of the people it never looked too crowded.
*The French Pool also had a swim up bar and was the site of pool volleyball. There always seemed to be a decent sized crowd here and a lot of people participating in the volleyball games.
*The Dutch Pool was my personal favorite. There is no swim up bar, but there’s one right beside of the pool. This was the “lazy” pool. The played laid back Caribbean music and people just floated on rafts or slept in the lounge chairs. If you like to take a few good books with you, this is the pool to enjoy them at.
They had many different water sports available everyday. We took one of the hobie cats out for a while, and I wanted to try water skiing, but never got around to it. We went snorkeling the day before we left, and I wish we would have done it earlier in the week so that we could have gone again – it was amazing! We also did the glass bottom boat ride and saw some pretty amazing coral. If you go on either of these, plan to go as early as possible. You can see so much more when it’s sunny and clear.
BARS & RESTAURANTS
The food was about what we had expected. There wasn’t anything that absolutely blew us away, but some things that were pretty tasty.
*Giuseppe’s – I was really looking forward to this as I love Italian cuisine. The have an antipasti bar that was pretty good. Hubby loved the fresh mussels. The entrées weren’t very good, and we actually left and had dinner somewhere else that evening.
*Jasmines – I don’t really care for Asian cuisine, but the hubby loves it so we gave it a try. Less than impressed. We also received sub-par service here.
*Eleanor’s – One of our favorites! We dined here twice during our stay, and had breakfast here once. Breakfasts tastes the same no matter which restaurant you eat at, but Eleanor’s is a sit down while Baysides is a buffet. Dinner was fantastic. I had the filet and lobster both times, hubby had the filet and lobster one night, island cracked conch on the other night. The filet was average.. it was good, but nothing you can’t get at a restaurant at home. The lobster was one of my favorite things – lots of meat and good flavor. If you like shrimp, you must try the shrimp cocktail…. Absolutely the best shrimp I’ve ever eaten! The Pumpkin Crème Soup was the other favorite that I discovered while I was here… another must try. Eleanor’s also had the best service at dinner, very professional waitstaff.
*Bayside’s – One of our favorites for breakfast. They offer a huge breakfast buffet every morning, and the cook to order omelet’s are pretty good. They also have a juice bar and a pastry station filled with muffins, bagels, scones, etc. Dinner was average, but the dessert was the BEST. I’m a huge chocoholic, and they have a chocolate mountain cake that is wonderful.
*Arizona’s – This quickly became one of our favorite places to stop for a snack. The fish taco’s were surprisingly tasty. The have a late night menu from 10pm to 5am, and the chicken quesadilla’s on the menu are one of my favorite things that they serve. The taco salad bowl is also pretty yummy.
*Bluefield’s – This is the first place that we ate at when we got to the resort. It’s very casual, traditional Jamaican cuisine. I actually fell in love with Jerk Chicken with red beans & rice – something I wouldn’t usually eat. Hubby had the national dish of Ackee and Saltfish, which wasn’t too bad. The jerk calamari, festivals, and the Stamp and Go’s were some of the good (but different) appetizers that are worth trying!
*Café de Paris – I was so excited when I heard about this little pastry place on the reviews, but to be honest, I was pretty disappointed. I have a sweet tooth, and nothing here really did anything for me. When you walk in, it all looks so good – but it unfortunately all tastes the same. Everything is served very cold almost has a refrigerator taste to it. Kind of like you left something sitting in the freezer too long… right before it gets freezer burn. However, they do have made to order crepes, and the chocolate ones weren’t too bad. Their soft serve chocolate ice cream tastes just like dairy queen. I was happy to see that they had iced cappuccinos (I didn’t know what I was going to do without a Starbucks for a week), and they were actually quite delightful. Tip: if you drink milk with your sweets (as I do), make sure you ask for COLD milk. They serve 100% cow's milk unpasteurized, which doesn't need to be refrigerated, so make sure you ask for cold milk when ordering ;)
The bars – At first, it was disappointing to find that the only beer on draft was either red stripe or red stripe light… but after just one day there, you realize that it’s just to hot to drink beer without feeling sick. Because of the heat, we usually didn’t consume any alcohol until the evening… perhaps we’re just lightweights. My favorite drink from the bar: The Hummingbird. It was fresh bananas (which is odd that I liked it, considering that I don’t like bananas), rum, and banana crème liquor in it. They were fantastic! If you’re in the mood for something refreshing and hydrating with no alcohol, you have to try the blended fruit juice… I’ve never tasted a better drink in my life! Unfortunately, we discovered these on our next to last day.
The rooms were spacious and very clean. On a couple of occasion, turn down service didn’t show up until almost 11pm.. and we were already in the room getting ready for bed (the sun takes it out of you! We went to bed so early all week!), but the rest of the week they were there by 8ish. The reviews are right… the beds are horrible, and the pillows are worse. BUT, at least when you wake up, you can see the ocean from your window (hey, bright side to everything).
We loved it. I didn’t think that I would enjoy Jamaica as much as I did, but I’m in love with it. There were a few minor snags here and there, but that is to be expected. We had a fantastic honeymoon and I’m so glad that we found such a beautiful place to spend it at… we defiantly needed a nice week of relaxing and unwinding after planning a wedding for a year. I would recommend this resort to anyone who just wants to get away and relax. I’m sure that we will go back again!
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Let your worries drift away with the sea Apr 19, 2008
Me and my fiance decided we needed a break from school and work. No better way to do it than all-inclusive. It's not my usual idea of vacation. I usually like to see culture, history, and architecture. But if you're planning a romantic getaway with no worries at all, Sandals is it. We booked this resort because of a great deal they were having (almost 60% off). You can imagine that the value was incredible. The great things about this place is that the food and service was absolutely impecable, the rooms were comfortable and clean, and the beach and pools were relaxing. The downfalls were that it was so far away from all of the tours that we decided not to go. There is one tour close called the Y.S. Falls, but it was closed for the time we were there. Plus the majority of the vacationers were older in age. We were confronted a few times and asked if we were on our honeymoon. I suppose a Sandals trip is for newlyweds and married couples on thier anniversary. If you are looking for a feeling of seclusion and sophistication, this is it. But don't plan on going out and about without dropping a lot of money.