This was our sixth trip to Jamaica. We have enjoyed every previous trip, but this one topped them all. We stayed on the preferred side of St. James.
Check in was not only a breeze, but the best greeting we experienced in our six trips. We came with a group of eighteen, and they had a small party ready for us on our arrival. Our flight had been delayed for four hours in Chicago, and the staff, armed with this knowledge, was ready and waiting. From the second we stepped off the bus, we were ushered straight to the lobby bar off of the entry. Check in itself only took less than a few minutes per room. While we checked in, they had someone playing the piano and a bartender on duty.
Don't know how there could be any negative reviews regarding the staff. Especially, hats off to the Colonel at the Manatee swim up bar! This bartender alone made every day fun and uniquely special. Thanks Ernie! He had some help from Donovan and Dr. Phil as well. Everyone of the staffed you passed, each and every day, gave a sincere greeting and smile.
I found the food and selections to be very good. We tried each restaurant and found something on the menu to please us. There was no one with a hand out looking for a tip. Even though we did tip those we felt provided exceptional service, the level of service did not depend on a tip. Drinks were far from watered down as I had read in a few reviews. Never used room service ourselves, but other in the group did and no complaints there as well.
Previous trips have included Negril, so the beach wasn't exactly as nice as we were accustomed, but it was still nice and got the job done. Plenty of sand, sun, and water.
The grounds and hotel were clean and comfortable. Can't stay that the mini fridge was cold, but we didn't spend much time in our room. Besides, there was a bar available about every fifty yards or so! There were no issues with housekeeping whatsoever and I wonder if others that had issues had maybe accidently left their privacy light on when they left the room.
The only downside to this trip was the upgrade to the preferred side. We were supposed to have the "Anniversary Package" with the flowers, fruits, and sparkling wine in our room and they were not. We did not complain, nor did we call to receive these items. We did get the welcome letter and the discount at the spa. However, what was disappointing was they pushed very hard (extra check in, reminders under the door, and three phone calls) to get us to take 90 minutes and attend a special presentation for their vacation club. I felt had they cared more about selling us additional amentities, they forgot to take care of what they had promised. I wouldn't recommend the upgrade to the Preferred rooms. Although the snacks and drinks in the lobby area were convienent, not worth the price. Preferred pools and beaches no more special but a tad more secluded if you are looking not to socialize.
The staff is what makes Secrets so special, and in the end, this is why we'll be returning.
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- Also Known As:
- Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay