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Sandals Whitehouse – Absolute Paradise

Author: dmk46
Date of Trip: January 2010

They reopened recently. After a recent inspection Sandals decided it needed some upgrades. Our room (which was fine 2 years ago) had all new furniture including the King size 4 poster bed. This is important to me due to back surgery. I have seen comments here just trashing the place. Ultimately, I realized that these people just like to complain. The glass is always half empty.

We were there 7 days and sure, things went wrong. The long rung in the closet (above the safe) came out of the wall on one side. The AC in one room wasn’t working as well as the other room. My wife came out of the hot tub (at the Riviera pool) her foot went out from under her and crashed to the cement (not very slip proof). She suffered a pulled hamstring and was a mess. Their was a Dr. in the pool and came over to give her a look and that was his diagnosis. Within 5 mins they had a wheelchair for her and off they went to the nurse’s station immediately. What I am saying is that things happen; but they get to it right away and fix it with a SMILE. These people smile all day long; how can someone not be happy.

And the BUTLERS! Fahgett about it!! We never asked for a butler when we first went there 2 years ago; but the travel agent [] up and they put us in a room on the second floor with nothing but a palm tree to look at. My wife and I went down to raise a stink. This again wasn’t their fault it was the travel agent. They said there was one room available it was a luxury suite on the 3rd floor but it came with butler service. Total cost for the much better room and butler would be $100 per night. We were shown the room and jumped all over it. I don’t want to spend time on the butlers. They were somewhere between very good and fantastic. There are 2 of them and work as a team. Here is something I want to clear up about the butler’s salary. It has been stated here that they receive no base pay and depend entirely on the tips. NOT TRUE. I called the head butler the day before we were departing and told him what a great service they provide. When asked about the pay, he told me that when guests book a trip to Sandals there is a “gratuity charge” included in your package. This covers all employees of Sandals EXCEPT the butlers and spa employees. So, they all get a base pay (including the butlers etc) but they do NOT get the fore mentioned gratuity fee that all guests pay.

Regarding the tips. If you leave 2 envelopes at the front desk; they split the amount no matter what you put in each envelope. What you have to do in this instance is take the better butler aside and give him an additional tip. I don’t care who you are; but you are going to feel different about the 2 of them. Both times we were there, one butler was unbelievable and the other was very good. Butler #1 would pop up everywhere we went through the day even if we didn’t call him. He would ask us where we wanted to have dinner and if he strongly suggested another restaurant (they’re all beautiful – not to mention free) naturally we would take him up on it. “What time would you like me to pick you up (fancy golf cart -didn’t see a car for the whole week) and I’ll escort you to dinner. At night the butlers are all dressed to the nines. Out comes the gold vest and the black suit and white gloves. One butler was so sharp, my wife suggested I buy some self tanner and wear a pair of white glove. There were 2 restaurants during the week that had rather long lines. I really don’t like being escorted to the front of a line; but what are you gonna do say no? Then he escorts you to a predesignated table with ROSE PETALS all over it. Pulls out your chairs puts napkins on your lap. We get waited on immediately. We know we are getting “daggers’ from everyone waiting in line. Oh well, what is one to do. Meanwhile while we are chowing down and hitting the dessert cafe; #1 is up in our room providing me with 2 slices of key lime pie, because he knows I like it. One other day, he saw we were getting a complimentary back and neck massage by the pool; he sneaks up in the room and fills up the hot tub with bubbles and again with the rose petals for us to relax before going out.

Our room on the 3rd floor had a perfect view of the sunset every night and if you sit out there late you can see a thousand stars in the sky and absolute silence. If you need to resurrect romance in your life; this is it. We tried to extend the stay 3 days; but rate at last minute was too high. I will be booking for next Jan. for 10 days this time.

* My ratings for this hotel o 5 of 5 stars Value o 5 of 5 stars Rooms o 4 of 5 stars Location o 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness o 4 of 5 stars Service

* Date of stay January 2010 * Visit was for Leisure * Traveled with With Spouse/Partner * Age group 50_64

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