An Rx for R&R
My husband and I took a quick, four-day, jaunt to Jamaica in late April. It’s nice to be able to get away – even if for a short time – to rest and relax. When you’re in the mood for some R&R, what better way to unwind than go to Jamaica? After much research, I decided that Sandals South Coast in White House would be the perfect place to escape to.
Prepare for Takeoff
We left at 5:45 a.m. from Whitby, Ontario, Canada, and were so excited to get away that we missed our highway exit for Toronto Pearson Airport. Oops! As we drove down the 407 listening to music and chatting about our imminent trip, we ended up on the border of Oakville… and that’s how we started our vacation.
I already completed our online check in with WestJet and received our boarding passes electronically, which I saved to my Apple Wallet. That was a huge time saver along with our new packing approach – bringing a carry-on only. It truly saves so much time at the airport. When we arrived, we simply parked and headed straight to security.
Packing a carry-on only means you are limited in how much liquids you can bring with you on the plane, but there are multiple places after the security checkpoint to grab extras like mouthwash, toothpaste and even sunscreen.
After a breakfast mimosa at our gate, we were ready for our flight. After a smooth, enjoyable ride we were in Montego Bay in no more than four hours.
Arriving in Jamaica was a seamless experience. We booked a Club Mobay bundle that included arrival and departure service – and we both agreed that this was absolutely priceless.
We walked off the plane and down the ramp directly to Club Mobay where representatives were waiting for us. Our dedicated Club Mobay rep guided us through the airport’s express lanes for immigrations and customs. We also saved time since we didn’t have to pick up luggage at the baggage carousel.
Within 30 minutes, we arrived at the Sandals Resorts and Club Mobay VIP lounges. After a rum punch, we made our way out of Sangster International Airport. Sandals staff were attentive and ensured that our private transfer was ready before we even departed the airport. All in all, we made it through the airport in 40 minutes. We both agreed that we will never go to Jamaica without Club Mobay again!
Thompson Tours & Transfers
The ride to Sandals South Coast is about 90 minutes from the airport. I wanted to start the vacation as soon as possible, so I booked a private transfer to the resort. That said, Sandals Resorts always provides transportation to and from the resort, and it’s always reliable. We booked private transportation because our trip was on the shorter side, and this helped us to make the most of our time.
We used Thompson Tours & Transfers after receiving a referral online. Our driver, Renford Thompson, took us from Montego Bay to White House through some windy rural and mountainous roads. It was beautiful to see the island – and we learned a lot about it as we made our way to the resort. We even had an impromptu stop at Border Jerk (a delicious roadside diner) where we were treated to jerk chicken and some delicious Red Stripe lemon and sorrel flavoured beers – yum!
All in all, we had incredible service from TT&T and we will definitely book them again when we head back to Jamaica in the fall with our kids.
Sandals State of Mind
The staff at Sandals South Coast, formerly known as Sandals White House, welcomed us warmly with a hot towel and big smiles.
COVID-19 protocols are still being followed at the resort but are slowly being let up. Masks are no longer required to be worn in indoor areas.
We stayed in the Dutch Village, which was a quieter spot. It was lovely with a mix of entry, club and butler level rooms, including swim up suites.
Our room was Dutch Beachfront Luxury Room (DGB). With a four poster king bed, modern bathroom with walk-in shower and balcony tranquility soaking tub on the veranda, we were impressed and agreed it was one of the most beautiful rooms that we’ve stayed at in a Sandals Resort. The Dutch Village is centrally located and offers sweeping views of the ocean and Latitudes Over-the-Water Bar. The resort is very spread out and there’s a lot of walking, although it’s all very flat and easy to navigate. I definitely got in my steps – up to 10,000 per day!
The food was consistently good. Eleanor’s and Schooners were the highlights for dinner; and Giuseppe’s antipasto bar was to die for! Cafe de Paris had some of the best coffee I’ve ever had (maybe it was the half cream milk?!) and delectable crepes. The Jerk Shack was perfectly located on the beach – central within the resort – and offered jerk chicken, pork, sausage and fish options. Most restaurants were located in the main piazza, with the exception of Schooner’s which was in the French Village, located near the Over-the-Water Bungalows. If you can believe it, those rooms book up a year or two in advance!
Some of my other observations:
- The resort is perfect for honeymooners and those who want a quieter getaway.
- The entertainment was not to be missed! There were special themes every night at Le Cabaret (an indoor theatre space) and in the main courtyard.
- The beachfront area was great for late night impromptu dance parties.
- There are three great pools and various hot tubs on the property.
- Sandals has added a new Rondoval Village with a swim-up pool that weaves through – it’s absolutely beautiful!
- All other rooms are all beachfront and absolutely glorious.
- The stretch of beach was quiet, walkable and didn’t have any unsolicited vendors.
- Being in a protected nature reserve/ocean protected area, there was lots of wildlife from peacocks to starfish. This meant that the water was not always the crystal clear blue you see in the Caribbean, but was perfect for water sports such as sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling and paddle boarding.
- Great drink choices! The bars were well stocked and bartenders knew how to make a variety of yummy drinks.
- The martini bar was popular every night, especially when late night entertainment was lined up.
- Fabulous food options – not just the buffets, but a la carte selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Beautiful grounds – there was always someone very busy keeping everything looking pristine.
- The spa was lovely and tranquil – a touch smaller than other Sandals but very private and quiet.
- A stunning on-the-water chapel with glass floors is perfect for destination weddings.
- Lots of little spots in and around the resort to sit and relax.
- Sunsets are divine!
- It rained everyday from about 2 to 4 p.m. but that was perfect for nap time.
- On that note… the mattresses were SUPER comfortable.
The staff at the resort were a real highlight. Oshane at the main bar was incredible; Marton in entertainment was a blast; Garnet at Schooner’s was so attentive; Tanesha in housekeeping was on top of everything.
Speaking of – housekeeping was excellent! Our room was tied and replenished daily before noon and we always had turn down service before returning to our room at night.
Overall, our experience was exactly what we needed and I’d highly recommend this resort to anyone who is looking for a truly relaxing beach vacation.
Departing in Style
As noted, we booked Club Mobay for our departure as well. It was the perfect way to end our trip! Not only did we get through the airport check-in and dedicated security line in no time, but we were able to wait for our flight (after a 90-minute shuttle ride to the airport) with a drink and lunch (aka rum punch and Jamaican beef patties). Leaving is never fun, but it was great to extend the vacation as long as possible.
Club Mobay also offers family-friendly areas in their lounge, and they are perfect for those travelling with children of all ages. It’s conveniently located near the gate for your departure, so you don’t have to worry about hustling your way to board when called.