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Sandals Resorts also operates the family oriented Beaches Resorts, the difference being that no kids are allowed at Sandals - strictly for grown-ups - (although I did see families with older teens at Sandals and I brought my own 16 year old daughter and was perfectly comfortable.) But, if you have the smaller variety, then you want to go to Beaches - your kids will LOVE IT! ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.
I toured 2 Beaches resorts when I was in Jamaica, and I wished I were a kid again going there on vacation. Some have an ELMO cruising around, and they have water slides and a video arcade and sports for kids and waffle bars right next to the pools and, and, and....
Not only that, they have a really nice daycare center with activities for all ages, and comfy chairs and bean-bags where the kids can just chill from all the excitement. You can also avail yourself of the babysitter service. All that equals guilt-free parent fun and alone time - how often do you get that?
Only one of you? Beaches offers specials for single parents! Which gives you some down-time in a safe environment, a great vacation and who knows - maybe you hook up with another single parent! - They do weddings at Beaches - in case you run into one of those "Love at first sight" scenarios and want to get hitched! (You may want to wait, though, everybody looks better and seems nicer when they are in the Caribbean... The wedding facilities are for folks who for one reason or another want a place to marry and have kids attend the ceremony - it's not like a We're in Vegas Baby Let's Get Hitched kind of deal)
Sandals Whitehouse Resort in Jamaica, RATING: EXCELLENT
Sandals is a family run business, operating resorts throughout the Caribbean. They frequently have special offers such as this one:
Hello again, this deal was just announced by sandals: - I have never been to the Sandals Emerald Bay resort - it is new, I believe... but it sure is pretty. Sandals sent me a coupon code for this package - don't think I'll be able to make it - but it seems like a really great deal. The coupon code is: CWY33 - there should be a box to enter it during booking. Whoever goes to Emerald bay - please send a picture and tell me how it was! March 26, 2010 - No end date was to be found! Seems like the offer is good for the time being anyway.
SUMMARYLast November (2007), just before Thanksgiving, my daughter and I visited Jamaica and spent 4 days at the Sandals resort called "Whitehouse". This was our first trip to Jamaica and my daughter's first stay at a Sandals resort (I've also been to the Sandals Resort in Nassau, Bahamas.) Also, I should mention that Sandals is for couples and guests must be over the age of 16. The travel agent told us 18, but the Sandals people told us 16. If you want to visit with kids, then Sandals' sister resorts "Beaches" are for you! Sandals is for romance, although we thought it was just perfect for a mother/daughter vacation.
Sandals is by far the best vacation resort I have been to. I have been to more expensive resorts, and other resorts that call themselves all-inclusive, but Sandals gets it right. For now I am going to skip over the incredible natural beauty of Jamaica and the resort itself, and hone in on the specifics of what makes Sandals great!
First off, Sandals is truly all inclusive, and you can fully enjoy your stay without spending an extra dime. We never even exchanged money! That doesn't mean that you can't spend any money at Sandals, there are certain extras such as spa services that are either booked as a part of a package or that you can elect, a la carte, on site. There is also a considerable amount of shopping available and an art auction. (Yes, you have to pay for the art...no free Van Gogh for you!) But otherwise, food, booze, snacks, cocktails, activities are all there for the taking. Sandals is the first resort that keeps its promise.
A few years back we went to a Club Med, you know the ones where you are supposed to be able to get by without money. Well I ended up wishing they would take money because if you wanted to get a few of those umbrella drinks and sit outside by the pool, you had to purchase these stupid pink tickets and buy your drinks. Then you have to figure out just how much each drink is costing you, which was obscene in that the resort was in Mexico and the drinks were about twice what you would pay in the states.
Meals were included, (Buffet, with one big dining hall) but if you want a snack, or miss a meal and want to eat, you pay. Not so at Sandals. Rather than eating in a dining hall setting, you have your pick of a number of restaurants; casual to fancy, local cuisine to fancy French to pizza. Your meal is prepared just for you, you have a waiter or waitress who will take your order, and you don't have to choose between wines described only as red or white, there is a very nice wine list! Or you can order your favorite cocktail or 6.
Or, if you decide you want to feel the ocean breeze while you eat, you can arrange to have your dinner served on the beach.
Our favorite, though was the little French bakery, Café de Paris. It had the most beautiful and delicious goodies. You could go any time of day and pick out a selection. The saving grace is that it is just like a regular bakery, you point at what you want and then the girl behind the counter puts it on a plate, which keeps you from making a huge pig out of yourself. Otherwise, once it sinks in that you don't have to pay, you might not fit through the door when you want to leave.
Guests also have a fully stocked mini-bar in their rooms - sodas, juices, snacks, beer, wine and 3 Full Size bottles of the hard stuff; one vodka, one rum and one gin - all no extra charge. Neither of us drink, but we took the bottle of Jamaican rum as a souvenir. - They said we could!
Finally, Sandals has a no tipping policy which means that you don't have to worry about carrying around cash or get caught in an awkward and embarrassing situation. I can't tell you how much that stresses me out to always have to wonder if I should tip, how much I should tip etc. Once in the Bahamas we didn't stay at Sandals and I spent the whole time trying to avoid the hotel staff so it wouldn't cost me $2 -$3 to walk through a door or get into a car.
These may seem like minor points, but the sum effect is that you, the guest are totally free to relax and enjoy yourself. To me, that's real luxury. No worries man!
RETRO HOUSEWIFE, 2007-11-15
Sandals is currently offering 60% OFF for most of their resorts. Depending on how long you book, you can also get free nights - up to 3 nights free at the Royal Caribbean, and either one or two free nights at most of the other resorts. This is the silver lining to the recession - you can go to the top notch vacation resorts for a fraction of the price. And Sandals is really top notch. Plus - don't forget to visit the spa - here's $250 on me to do it with!These are the best offers Sandals Resorts have at the moment...IMO!
Beaches Resort "Coupon": - Use this coupon code: 553 for the Beaches Turks & Caicos special offer.
Some of the restaurants and cafes you can choose from at Sandals Whitehouse. No herd'em in buffets! Meals are served in restaurants where you sit at your own table, have your order taken and cooked just the way you like it, choose your wine from a wine list and are waited on and pampered. Then you ask for the check....HA FOOLED YOU! THERE IS NO CHECK!
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