Traveling the world is one of the goals in my husband and I’s lifetime planner. Before I married my husband, he had never left the country. Last year we traveled to Antigua for our honeymoon and we just returned Sunday from one week in Jamaica. Our next trip will be a little less tropical, but with a busy lifestyle, we all need a little ‘R and R’ sometimes. We loved the Sandals Luxury Resort we experienced for our honeymoon so much, that we decided to try another. Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa in Westmoreland, Jamaica, far exceeded our expectations!
The flight to Jamaica was fairly uneventful. Two quick two hour flights from Norfolk Airport and we landed in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The most difficult part of the travel was the 1.75 hour bus trip from Montego Bay to Westmoreland. It was an eye opening experience to view the Jamaican culture as we traveled the windy, narrow roads through the Blue Mountains. If you suffer from motion sickness, make sure to take several Dramamine before the trip. Once you arrive at the Sandal's lobby, you forget all about the crazy ride as you are greeted by several staff members gladly taking your bags from you and offering drinks and a warm towel.
Our room wasn't quite ready so we headed to Bayside, one of six restaurants at the resort, for a quick bite to eat. Afterward, a staff member helped us with our bags to our room at the Italian Village. Our room was quite spacious with a king size bed and a view of the whirlpool and ocean. One unique feature about this particular Sandal's Resort is that every room on the premises is on the beach.
Each evening you have the choice of five restaurants to choose from. Another great feature about this Sandal's Resort is that reservations are not required! That means you can eat whenever you want! Most of the restaurants are open until 10:00 pm and you can even find snacks and coffee available all hours of the night at Cafe De Paris. Speaking of coffee, I tasted some of the best coffee here in Jamaica! The coffee is the most expensive and sought-after coffee in the world! Thankfully, I can order more online after we finish the bag of blue mountain coffee beans I brought back with us!
We spent the majority of our days lounging at the pool and watching the pool activities. There were water aerobics, trivia, pictionary, line dancing and more. Most of the time we just sat back and enjoyed watching. You aren't pressured to get involved if you don't want to.
If you wanted to step away from the pool scene and relax by the water, Sandals had several outdoor seating options. I wish I could transport the scene below to my backyard!
One experience that is not advertised on the Sandal's website are the peacocks that roam free on the property. While beautiful, these birds could be a bit of a nuisance at times. They would jump up on tables or even the rooftops squawking sounds that resembled anything from a large cat to a human yelling for 'help'! We watched several times as the female peacock would come in contact with the male. He would quickly get his feathers in the air and start shaking them while he strutted around in hopes of gaining her attention.
We decided to venture out and see the coral reefs via Sandal's glass bottom boat. The ocean was a bit choppy so visibility was slim. The crew decided to give us a hands on experience of the sea life. One of the crew members jumped off the boat and found us sand dollars, sea urchins, conch, lobster and more.
Another morning, we set the alarm for 5:15 am to see the sunrise at 5:30 am. There was not as much color in the sunrise as I had hoped, but it was still a beautiful experience to see the rays popping over the Blue Mountain Ridge.
Over all, this Sandals was a much quieter location. The large expanse of beach front is owned by Sandals and therefore, is not shared with any other resort or the local people. You do not have to worry about beach peddlers. The ability to eat when you please lends towards a more relaxing atmosphere. There are plenty of night time activities: music, shows, games and parties. You can choose to attend or sit quietly by the water and look at the bright stars on twinkling lights of the locals living across the water. This resort truly allows you to make your vacation what you want it to be.
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