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Lance & Debbie Leighnor in Jamaica at YS FallsWelcome to the travelogue of Lance and Debbie Leighnor as we journey to the vibrant island of Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea at the Sandal's Whitehouse European Village and Spa. The purpose of this travelogue is to let family and friends know how our trip went and share some of the sights we saw on our trip. I also hope anyone looking to visit Jamaica and this resort will find this information helpful. And if you get a chuckle or some useful information out of these pages - consider it a bonus!

If you see a camera icon () on any other page, there will be a link to pictures on that image. Or look in the main navigation, all our photo galleries are there too.

For this travelogue, we're not going to recap all the things you should do in detail prior to a trip. Just a simple list and if anyone wants to see the misery that not doing it right can cause you, take a look at our St. Lucia travelogue from last year.

Make sure you do these three things:

  1. Get your travel documents taken care of before you do anything else!
  2. Work with a good travel professional. Our guy Jim Bengston was his usual competent self and we highly recommend his services. Check him out here on the web.
  3. Make sure your bank knows you're going. That way your credit card or debit card works out of the country.

Sandal's Whitehouse - The Facts About This Resort

Sandals Whitehouse is an absolutely gorgous property. Every single room has a sea view, all that changes is just how good that sea view is. Also every single room has a very good view from the balcony (if you're above ground floor) or from the ground of the lovely mountains in back of this resort. The property itself has been very well maintained and the gardens and overall look of the resort itself is stunning. Accomodations are divided into three villages - Italian, Dutch, and French and are themed somewhat accordingly. If you're wanting to relax from being over-stressed like we were, the Dutch village is the place to be. No wild party pool and you're not right next to the main resort area. So it's very quiet over there and you won't be disturbed. The only noise we heard the entire time we were there was our neighbors coming in late one night.

There are no other nearby resorts and the closest village is a couple of miles away. So if solitude, down time, relaxation, and just chillin' on the beach is what you want - then this resort delivers very well! The beach is also every bit as big as all the pictures indicate and goes on almost forever with lots of very fine sand. Even were this resort at 100% occupancy, you wouldn't feel crowded as the beach is just that big. One concern we had is we had read some reviews on TripAdvisor.com before leaving were some people were complaining about Sand Fleas and being eaten alive by them. We accordingly found some bug spray with DEET and had it with us just in case. We never touched the bug spray and never got bit once - either of us.

The resort itself is located inside Crab Pond Bay on the south side of Jamaica, which is a reef-protected bay open to the sea. The ocean off the resort is very shallow and anywhere from 15' to 30' off the beach you will get into sea grass. The reef itself is less than a quarter mile out to sea and that's where they take you snorkeling. What's fun is you can literally stand up to take a break while snorkeling as it's that shallow out by the reef. Sailing was feast or famine here - on some days it was so windy they made you take one of the watersports guys with you and on other days we had barely enough wind to sail at all. Of the eight days, we had one day I'd consider good sailing. I will say the one day I went solo with one of the watersports guy was one of the wildest rides I've had in a Hobie Cat yet. Darn near pitch-poled the boat and that would have been a ride no one wanted. Pitchpole basically mean your boat does a cartwheel - a front hull digs in and stops cold - the back of the boat and crew typically goes flying over the front...NOT fun!

You are also 90 minutes from the airport at this resort. You will get to see a lot of back country Jamaica going to and from the resort and the people away from Montego Bay are poor and in some cases tremendously so. Another plus due to the remote location is you will absolutely see no beach peddlers. We saw none the entire time we were there. The remote location also means that trips off the resort take a lot of time - you're a minimum of 30 minutes to 2-3 hours one way away from anything. What that meant to us is that we only did one trip off this resort versus the multiple trips in St. Lucia. The last implication of Whitehouse being so far away from the other resorts is that going to another Sandals on Jamaica while there is really impractical.

Weather was delightful while we were at Whitehouse. High temperaturess in the 80s and the only rain we saw was the day we came in (again) and late in the afternoon for a few minutes the day before we left. Otherwise sun, sun, and more sun!

This resort is also considerably less expensive than other Sandals and doesn't fill up as fast - likely due to the distance from the airport. We went in June, which is wedding month for the most part at Sandals and were easily able to get a room. Many of the other Sandals were at or very near capacity when we went to plan our trip. We also got to see quite a few weddings too!

Lastly, flights to and from Jamaica are easy and cheap in comparison to other locations.

The Trip Begins!

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Trip Date: June 8 - 16, 2011