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Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

Cedar Grove, New...
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Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

My husband and I are planning a trip to Montego Bay this September. We've never stayed in an all inclusive before and we are trying to decide between Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid. Open to other suggestions too!

We love to snorkel and kayak and are also looking forward to swim up bars.

What are the resorts like in September? We aren't looking for major nightlife but don't want to be anyplace that seems empty or too quiet. How do the beaches and the food compare between the two?

Any advice much appreciated.

United States
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1. Re: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

"What are the resorts like in September?"

Resorts in all parts of the Caribbean, including Jamaica, tend to become more quiet in September. This is because school starts about that time, it is rainy season in Jamaica, and it is also the peak of hurricane season on the island (possible but only a small chance). According to the Jamaican Tourist Board, arrivals on the island in Sept. are normally about half the number of those that arrive in March (the busiest month of the year).

Connecticut
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2. Re: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

The Iberostar resorts (the three of them) are not located in Mobay; rather, it is a bit over 10 miles outside of Mobay. The three resorts are adjacent with the Grand being adults only. There is a swim-up bar. From the sat image: wikimapia.org/…b the Grand is on the left. From the image, it looks to me that the beach is man-made as the foreshore on each side of the resort shows nearly no beach. As you can see from the image, there is nothing to explore outside the resort meaning a taxi ride; but, you may not want to explore. The water should be very clear but not necessarily without some chop as the North coast is exposed to Atlantic weather.

Secrets is in Mobay, not far from the airport and the cruise ship piers. It again is isolated as it is located on an Isthmus. Here is the sat image: wikimapia.org/…b The two Secrets resorts are at the white "+". Again, getting to MoBay means a taxi ride. It does have a swim-up bar. I have not stayed there and I would be a bit concerned about the clarity of the water as MoBay Harbor is a busy hub with lots of heavy water craft. But, it is a popular resort.

San Diego...
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3. Re: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

I've stayed at both. The Grand has the better food and service, Secrets has the better beach, pools and nightlife. My main issue with the Grand is that reservations are required for dinner (usually days in advance). When on island time, I prefer to take things as they come, rather than having to book ahead.

The beaches at Secrets are man made, but you wouldn't know that to look at them (a series of coves). There is some decent snorkeling at the Preferred beach on the Wild Orchid Side of the resort as there is a little rock reef out in the bay. I've never seen any issues with the water clarity there.

Nightlife at the Grand can be hit or miss. Sometimes the evening bar is packed and other times it was absolutely deserted. Secrets has a few more bars open in the evening, with the piano bar being the more lively of them. There is an entertainment area just outside the piano bar where they have shows most evenings.

Glen Mills, PA
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for Montego Bay
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4. Re: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

How do they handle dining at Secrets? We went to Secrets Maroma last Winter, and getting a table was a real issue. You couldnt just walk up to a restaurant and be seated. You had to sit and wait.

long island, ny
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5. Re: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

At Secrets, you go up to the podium and ask for a table. If there is one available, they will seat you. If not, you will receive a beeper.

We love this system. I would rather wait with a cocktail than have to make reservations.

to add: we never had an issue with water clarity at Secrets. We were even there during a hurricane. We like the small cove beaches. No long beach walks, though!

Edited: 14 July 2014, 18:47
San Diego...
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6. Re: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

The longest wait I've had for a table at Secrets was around 15 minutes. You are at an all inclusive resort. Check in at the podium, grab a pager and head over to the bar for a cocktail! :>

Glen Mills, PA
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for Montego Bay
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7. Re: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

Wish it was that easy at Maroma. The place was overrun by groups and the wait at some places was projected at 1-2 hours. I'll stick with reservations. Never had an issue at the Iberostar getting reservations day of or in the afternoon. Just had the butler deal with it.

long island, ny
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8. Re: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

I think the longest we waited was about 45 minutes. We've also been to a Dreams 2x and another Secrets and have never had 2 hours waits.

I really don't like having to decide when/where to eat before hand. Some days we may eat early and others very late. It is nice to be able to decide on the spot.

It obviously isn't for everyone, but it something we prefer on vacation.

We went on a cruise recently and chose the "my time dining" because we didn't want to be tied down to one seating time.

Punta Gorda, Florida
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9. Re: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

JRFW31, it is funny, my husband and I are having the same dilemma. We love to snorkel, but we love good food and service as well. We have stayed at multiple Secrets resorts and never had a bad experience. We were originally booked at Couples Swept Away in Negril, but if a beach resort can't even get beach towels for the guests to use, it isn't the resort for me. When are you going? We are going Sept 13th thru the 20th. Haven't pulled the trigger until I see my cancellation from CSA cleared on the credit card.

10. Re: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall or Secrets Wild Orchid?

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