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Whitehouse Beach at Sandals Resort, Jamaica
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Whitehouse Beach adjoins an area of former salt marsh in Westmoreland, Jamaica. The area is being developed as a tourist resort. It is located about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) west of the town of White House.
About 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) of the beach is maintained by the new Sandals Whitehouse resort to a very high standard. The wide white sands are raked clean every morning.
Protected by a coral reef, gently shelving waters are almost as still as a mill pond with a few ripples. Two swimming areas 230m and 160m long and monitored by lifeguards are marked by buoys. Swimming outside these areas, although formally discouraged, appears to be tolerated, and is attractive to those wishing to swim longer distances.
Strangely, the tourists mainly pack themselves around the several pools in the resort, leaving the many beach loungers, umbrellas and the beach itself an oasis of quiet isolation close to all the resort's facilities.
Although the beaches extend for upward of 10 kilometres (6.2 mi), there is no formal access except through the resort hotel opened in 2005. Access is strictly controlled and a day pass costs US$85. For this one gets full access to all the resort facilities including meals drinks and water sports. However, only the most energetic could hope to take full advantage of all that is on offer in a single day. Those looking just for a place to swim and lounge will doubtless try one of the cheaper or free options elsewhere.
The coral reef about 400m from the beach is used for snorkelling. Unfortunately, the coral has been badly damaged by fishermen using dynamite. It will take a long time to recover its former splendour.
Outside the 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) of maintained beach a narrower, tree lined strip continues for many kilometres. The trees were badly damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and the dead tree trunks and stumps still bear witness to the storm's power.
The salt marshes are subject to environmental protection orders. A pair of storks and many birds are regularly seen along the beach, and a notice alerts one to crocodiles, which are too shy to be seen in daytime.
- "Wikimapia". Retrieved 2009-09-07.