May 23, 2013
June 4, 2013

Sixteen years ago nearly to date, my husband (then boyfriend of about seven months) and I first visited Jamaica. I’ve just returned from my 5th visit to this beautiful island. For me, I enjoy the friendly approachable people of Jamaica as well as the varied green, lush mountains and gorgeous stretches of beach. The spicy jerk culinary creations also have their appeal.

As a Certified Sandals Specialist, I wanted to revisit Sandals Whitehouse Village & Spa and Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa—it had been about four years since my last stays. Their all-inclusive couples only product is a terrific fit for honeymooners, those seeking a romantic relaxing getaway or celebration, or a destination wedding (ever more popular these days). It’s all part of my job, revisiting places, beautiful places, to check on updates and upgrades. I like to feel comfortable in selling a particular Caribbean property to clients:  is it a “good fit” overall, which room/suite category is best suited, etc. Experiencing resorts personally is the best way for me to do this.

This trip took me to Sandals Whitehouse Village & Spa on Jamaica’s south coast, the forgotten Jamaica, and Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa situated on the island’s west coast. Sandals Whitehouse is a large expansive property with 360 oceanfront rooms/suites, seven restaurants and an equal number of bars, loads of outdoor romantic seating areas (perfect for pre or post-dinner conversation), spread out along a pristine two-mile long beach. This property is a great fit for those seeking a bit more pizzazz and polish in a very peaceful setting. Sandals Negril is Whitehouse’s laid back little sister located about one hour’s drive north along the coast and is the true definition of “chill”. This largely open-air property has 222 rooms/suites (most with ocean views), six restaurants and five bars and a loyal guest following. The staff and guests equally intermingle and one might feel like family. It’s easy to make new friends here and beach pursuits reign.

When I meet folks on these types of vacations, and share with them what I do for a living, invariably, one of the first questions is “which resort is your favorite?” On this particular trip, it’s Sandals Negril (helped along by Damion and Basil, our butlers answering to our every whim in addition to our beachfront one-bedroom swim-up crystal lagoon suite accommodations). But really, it always comes down to what my clients want. My job is to help them find it.