|Pastry case at Café de Paris|
Hungry? Well, if you’re not now, you will be when you finish reading this post. Besides the pristine white beach, the pools, and the great service, the food at Sandals Whitehouse was so good and was readily available throughout the day and my entire stay. Sandals really understands how not only your accommodations, the beach, and the pool can make or break a vacation, but that dining is as important. No one wants to have to wait for a restaurant to open to accommodate them, especially on vacation and food was always readily available and of a high quality. If you wanted a snack, you could grab one in your bathing suit or shorts, but if you wanted to get all dressed up for dinner, you could do that, too.
|Omelet at Eleanor’s|
It has been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and if you’re feeling like having a big breakfast, you can opt for a sit down meal at Eleanor’s. This sit down restaurant with full service offers you a variety of breakfast items from omelets to eggs benedict to pancakes and more. My recommendation would be to embrace your time off from work and enjoy your vacation and not feel the need to rush through breakfast or any other meal. This isn’t fast food so don’t expect fast food service. Perhaps those people who tend to be the least satisfied are the ones who feel like they still have to rush, rush, rush through everything, including their vacation. There wasn’t much on the menu that I could eat and I ended up ordering what I thought was a short stack of pancakes as she said there was four in the order with a side of breakfast potatoes. What I received was a pancake in quarters with a few wedges of potatoes. Strange, but I really just wanted a good cup of coffee and anything beyond that was just a bonus.
For me personally, it doesn’t matter how good breakfast is when the coffee is either slow in arriving to me or is bad. The coffee not only at Eleanor’s, but in the entire resort was incredibly good. I love a hot cup of coffee and it was hot and delicious. Plus this funky cup made it taste even better! Every cup of coffee I had at Sandals Whitehouse was absolutely delicious. Sandals uses Blue Mountain coffee exclusively and I highly recommend that you buy some to bring home with you. I only wish that they had k-cups for my Keurig! If you really like the coffee, pay a visit to the Red Lane® Spa for a unique Caribbean-inspired treatment where they can offer you an authentic Jamaican experience such as Seashells at Breakfast or the Blue Mountain Coffee Scrub. I wonder if I could drink coffee while getting my coffee spa treatment?
|Breakfast at Bayside|
Maybe a full breakfast is more than you can handle in the morning, especially if you aren’t a morning person. I really did love the buffet at Bayside as it had so many possible options from cold cereal, yogurt, fruits, cold cheeses and meats, eggs made to order, a smoothie station, plus an entire table of baked goods including banana bread and a “healthy” banana bread. On this particular morning I opted for tomatoes, the “healthy” banana bread (which was delicious!), pineapple, mango, and boiled plantains. Most people have an aversion to buffets, but this is not one of those budget buffets at all. When you enter the restaurant for breakfast, you are greeted with a mimosa. After that, you know it’s going to be a great way to start the day!
|Vegetable pizza from Giuseppe’s for lunch|
After spending your day lounging on the beach or by the pool, you’ll start to think about eating again. For lunch, your choices include Bluefields Beach Club near the French village, offering Jamaican specialities; Giuseppe’s with pizzas and salad; Neptune’s Mediterranean Seafood and Grill; or Bayside buffet. It was easy to grab and go at Bayside for lunch as they always had fresh fruit and salad options, but on my last day I stopped in at Giuseppe’s. There was only one server working the entire restaurant and that meant slow service and tables waiting, many impatiently. The pizza was unfortunately extremely undercooked and not terribly appetizing. This was the only time I experienced a breakdown in service and food while at the resort and I appreciated that they were aware and apologetic.
|Golden Seared Crab Cake at Eleanor’s|
After you a day in the sun, you will be ready for yet another meal. Whether you want to dress up or down, there are quite a few dinner options available for you. The choices include Giuseppe’s for Italian; Neptune’s Mediterranean Seafood and Grill; Jasmine’s for Asian cuisine; and Eleanor’s for Caribbean cuisine in an intimate tropical setting with white-glove service. For my last evening at Sandals Whitehouse, we enjoyed a round robin dinner with a course at a different restaurant. We started with Eleanor’s where my dinner guests enjoyed a crab cake served on yam mash with mango chutney while I tried the Callaloo and Tofu Spring Roll. My dinner guests enjoyed the crab cake so much that one of them ordered a few more to be delivered to our next restaurant and the server was more than happy to do so.
|Thai Green Papaya Salad at Jasmine’s|
For our next course, we walked a few steps over to Jasmine’s. I immediately spied the Thai Green Papaya Salad and had to have it. I was a little disappointed when it came because it was made with regular papaya and not green papaya, but I was able to move past that and still enjoy my salad. This Asian restaurant offers a variety of appetizers including pot stickers, soups including a seafood Tom Yum soup, and salads in addition to their wide offering of main courses. Don’t forget dessert as they have interesting options like the Spicy Carrot Pudding with Citrus Sauce or the Ginger Chocolate Mousse. Sounds so good!
Imagine my surprise when I was able to order my main course right off the menu at Jasmine’s! I spotted the Vegetarian Pancit, a stir-fried fresh vegetables and rice noodles dish with fried tofu. The vegetables were fresh and there was tofu in the dish, but the overall dish was middle of the road and heavy on soy and not the best veggie noodle tofu dish I have eaten. This is where I might sound like a food snob, but since I’m right near Chinatown in Boston and I love to travel the world, I was looking for something a little more authentic than what I received. Would everyone feel this way about the food? Maybe not and I can tell you that I didn’t hear any complaints about the food while I was at Sandals Whitehouse so they must be doing something right.
|How about a crepe at Café de Paris?|
If you decided on dessert, you can choose a dish from the restaurant where you are dining or you can visit Café de Paris, which is open from 5:30 am until 11 pm. Maybe you’ll pick one of the many available crepe fillings and watch as a beautiful, fresh crepe is artfully crafted in front of your very eyes. Fillings include fresh or dried fruit, chocolate sauce, caramel, whipped topping, and lots of other sinfully decadent possibilities. Let’s just say if I had one, I would probably have never left! I did see many people enjoying the crepes and you could tell that they were thrilled to have this available to them. I think Sandals hit the mark for putting in this patisserie instead of just a coffee shop. It’s cute, the food and coffee is great, and people love it.
|Café de Paris|
Maybe you would rather have a pastry or a cookie or one of the dozen other options available at Café de Paris. Pick from the little cakes and pastries tucked in neatly within the glass case or from one of the many cookies or brownies in the glass domes above the case. Mmmm…. chocolate chip cookies, meringue cookies, shortbread cookies, and many others. In addition to crepes or baked goods, you can choose ice cream or a coffee drink made to order, like a latte, cappuccino, or espresso. I was thrilled that they had soy milk available when I ordered my latte, which was completely unexpected although it did taste a little different from the soy milk I’m used to having. Nonetheless, it was good! If you’re looking for a nightcap, they also make coffee drinks like an Irish Coffee, but be warned — they are strong! One sip and I was done as it was really strong.
|Espresso martini at Casa Blanca|
Speaking of drinks, don’t forget about the bar options including the Riviera Pool bar, Neptunes, the French Pool, the Juice Bar, Le Cabaret, and Casa Blanca. The funky decor inside Casa Blanca beckoned to me one night before dinner from its high perch above the resort. I was dying to try a martini from the martini bar menu and chose the espresso martini. I could only muster two sips as that was a super strong drink. Don’t expect a girly drink poured in a martini class people. These are real martinis so put your big girl pants on and getting ready to get your martini on!
As someone who loves to travel and enjoys food, I can say that the majority of the food that I ate while at Sandals Whitehouse was superior to what most people think they will receive at an all-inclusive resort. To see an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, hot coffee, great drinks, and an interesting eclectic mix of restaurants and menu items was refreshing. Like anything else, there is certainly room for improvement, but that is more with the food than the service. I will always prefer excellent service over anything else and that is what I received at this resort.
The many photos I took of the food, drinks, and the entire Sandals Whitehouse resort are now posted to the Travel Shop Girl FaceBook page. You’ll find great pictures, video, and information on resorts and cruises so why not stop by and say “hi”?