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“One of the greatest places I've ever been.”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 18 July 2012 via mobile

Secrets St. James was a great place for a vacation. My wife and I really enjoyed it. The food was great, the staff was very friendly and always cheerful. I like the way they greeted us when we first got off the shuttle by saying "welcome home". The bellman Jeremy was a very funny guy, made us feel welcome. We got checked in - in no time, and went on our way enjoying our trip. They provide shuttle service to Margaritaville, which we were looking forward to going to, but we never went because the entertainment on the resort as well as the Desire Lounge was good enough for us. We had a blast. We are definitely going back here again, and my wife and I made a vow that we are going to visit every Secrets resort across the world.

  • Stayed: June 2012
    • Value
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1  Thank dollab05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,029 - 5,035 of 6,571 reviews

Reviewed 18 July 2012

My wife and I just returned from Secret St James and we did enjoy a full 2 weeks of fun in the sun with no complaints until we arrived home and checked our banking only to find out that someone had done 4 cash advances on our account for a total of $5000.00. This has left us with a very bad impression of the resort because the only place we used our credit card was when we booked a trip through the hotel lobby. Of course there is now an investigation occuring.

Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
20  Thank k j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2012

OVERALL
This was our first all inclusive resort that my husband and I have experienced. I must say that Secrets St. James/Wild Orchid has set the bar pretty high. From the time that we arrived we were greeted with such warmth and enthusiasm which made us exhale and lose all anxiety.
TRANSPORTATION
We opted to use AMSTAR and reserved a deluxe vehicle for transportation to and from the airport. We were happy that we did. The taxi drivers were rather aggressive and the shuttles etc seemed out of control. We were greeted by an AMSTAR rep and were whisked away to our driver Michael who was amazing!!!! He even pulled over so that we could take pictures.
CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT
Upon arriving we were met by Christopher Brown (Crazy Chris) who took care of our luggage escorted us to the Lobby for check-in. As we sat down to check-in we were immediately asked if we cared for anything from the bar. Chris promptly returned with glasses of champagne. Our check-in host was Venese who was a sweet as can be and very attentive. Once check-in was completed we were introduced to Amoy from the concierge dept. Amoy took the time to check our previously scheduled reservations for restaurants and romantic dinner. Amoy was like our little guardian angel the entire trip. The days that she was off she even called us from home to make sure that we were being taken care of!! Upon check-out there was a small discrepancy with our bill and Venese worked diligently to get it resolved.
PREFFERED CLUB
I do recommend. Not to say that non preferred club members received less service. I enjoyed the quiet pool on days that I was hung-over or feeling a little less social. The cute snacks throughout the day and top shelf alcohol were indeed a plus.
FOOD
The food overall was sadly to say mediocre. There was a variety of restaurants but THE best was the Hibachi. We reserved twice and sat at the grill and enjoyed the entertainment from Marlon!!! Marlon was energetic and hilarious!!! On our second experience at the grill we did not get Marlon and was sad!! The other food highlight was The Jerk Chicken Man!!! My husband looked for him every day!!! I must admit, the chicken was amazing. Other than the Hibachi and the jerk chicken cart, the breakfast buffet was pretty good. The other restaurants were kinda blah. I also wished for more Jamaican food….I am in Jamaica!! We can get Italian, French, and Mexican etc anytime….More Jamaican food please. We also had the romantic dinner beach side in a beautiful gazebo! We were taken care of by Fiona!! Fiona was absolutely amazing!! Thanks for making our romantic dinner extra special!
POOL/BEACH/ENTERTAINMENT
The pools were great although you did need to go early to claim a spot with an umbrella. One of the bartenders Julio at the swim-up bar kept my glass full!!! There was always entertainment a contest or something to participate in or just sit back and watch and be amused!! My husband seemed to participate in every other event!! Simone kept the drinks coming and missed us when weren’t there!! We missed her too! The beach was small but nothing to complain about.
I must give a shout out to Mouya, N-Tune, Ashlee (the one that sings) and Inch!! They kept us totally entertained and I think we entertained them as well. They were like my little sisters and brothers and I wish them nothing but the best. They are all so talented!!
HOUSEKEEPING
Thanks Judy for cleaning up our mess and for the “towel art.”

Room Tip: St. James side is quieter.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Living Life A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2012

I think it would be unfair to those reading this review, if I only gave you one side or the other.
Therefore, I will begin with the good points and then not the bad points but disappointing ones. The beach, lounge chairs and the palapas were great. The grounds were well kept and clean. All of their pools were very clean and no chlorine or chemicals smells in the water.
The smim-up bar was fun, and the bar attendants were very accommodating.
Poolside music was good and the jerk chicken was a must try. Nightly intertainment at the outdoor stage was at best, good. The restaurants that we injoyed the most were, Italian and Japanese. The breakfest buffet was great. Oh, I almost forgot. At the Japanese restaurant they like to perform and sing while they cook your meal. Thats a plus! Unfortunately, there were disappointments along the way. Where do I begin? Lets start with the room. We had a great view from our room, but at night it was hot inside. It appears that the hotel is on a budget when it comes to air condition. All of the restaurants have air condition, they just prefer to shut them off and open the doors. They don't even have fans. If you want to cool off, try the computer room. That's the only cold spot I could find. You'll thank me later, lol. Our room alarm clock woke us up late and we realized that everything in our room that kept time, had a different time. We were told later, that we had a sensor in our room that shuts off the power when the sensor detects the room unoccupied. No wonder it was hot! Use wake up service, best bet if you don't want to miss breakfest. After 10 pm everything quiets down except for their dance club, Desires. In other words nothing else to do. One last thing, we took the shopping excursion, what a joke. We asked them if the bus had air condition they said yes. They were partly right. We were scheduled for three stops. We started with a new ice cold bus. After our first stop, they switched buses to an old no ac open windows only bus. Everyone on the bus took a vote to skip the other stops and ask the driver to take us back. Good thing too, it started raining after they droped us off. Can you imagine rain and no AC? With all the disappointments I gave this Hotel a four star rating. We stayed six nights and live in Florida. The rule of thumb for an island is four nights, max. Not enough to do for six nights, sorry!
Hotel management, if you are reading this, all of the workers that we came accross were very intertaining and hard working people. If you haven't noticed you are located in the tropics don't be stingy with the air condition turn it on............

  • Stayed: July 2012
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6  Thank eddyann1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2012

The resort is beyond beautiful the treatment from the staff members are beyond imaginable. The food is tasty but the service on a busy night can be slow. The rooms are amazing, beautiful and roomy. However, upon arrival it was not swept or mopped good. I later found out on the second day the regular housekeeper was away. I tipped her 10 bucks in advance for the five days and later more. The room was mopped and cleaned after that with no complaints at all. The drinks were a little lite if you order at the beach or restaurants. You must go to the swim up bar or piano bar, plenty of top shelf drinks..... our overall impression was amazing! The spa a must and please enjoy the spa whirlpool, saunas and Jacuzzi. Ask for Stephanie, Bryal, or Nadia.... Enjoy!

Room Tip: Rooms located on the oceanfront
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank ashanti a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2012

My wife and I spent 4 days at Secrets St James July 13-16. Of course we read all the reviews and for the most part they are accurate. We were actually on a free trip so it was hard to complain about anything but I will write this review as if it was our hard earned money.

The good:
Service was great overall. Always friendly for the most part. Omar is great as are all the pool and each waiters. Tip them a buck or two and you'll always have great service at the pool or beach. Our check in was smooth and somewhat quick but we knew what to look out for (see below).

The Jerk Chicken cart is good....we had it everyday. Is it the best thing on earth like some reviews state, no, but it is good and worth the experience. Get it with the 'magic sauce'.

The pools are very clean and quite large. They have those blue cushions you can lay on but they tend to all get used up early.

The rooms are very nice but watch out for the motion sensors (will discuss below). The beds were very comfortable, balcony's with great views from all rooms, good selection of US TV channels, 24 hour room service, stocked mini bar, mood lighting, privacy light, etc. Room were very nice. Yes, we had a couple of mosquitos in our room but we realize we are in the tropics. They met an untimley death and we just keep the doors closed as much as possible and never had any other problems. I believe they smoke the facility early in the evening so mosquitoes were not that bad. I never was bitten but my wife was one night. Take a small can of Off just in case.

The food was above average compared to many all inclusives I've been to but still not exceptional. Lots (and I mean lots) of selection for breakfast, lunch was OK out by either of the main pools or barefoot grill. Dinner has a variety and all is a nice atmosphere but the taste may not suit all. Keep in mind most all inclusives many times have bland food with little seasoning but hey, you wont go hungry. Bordeaux and Himitsu were our favorites. You only need reservations at Himitsu if you want to sit at the hibachi grill....which is a great show.

The beach is OK. The swimming areas are small but free of debris, rocks, etc. Get outside of the swimming areas and it's quite rocky with lots of sea urchins. They have 4 hobie's and several kayaks that were always in use free of charge.

The not so good:
Dont fall for the vacation club presentation. They tout it as a non-timeshare type presentation but it is. We luckily did not go but had heard it is a 90 minute presentation where they try to sell you a $30,000 package. Dont waste your time. We listened to their info during the check in but never went to the appointment.

Motion sensors in the rooms. Ugh! While I applaud Secrets for being 'green' it does cause some issues. If there is no motion in your room for 4 hours the power shuts off to the whole room. It also does this if you leave your sliding door open on your balcony for any length of time. So, if you sleep all night without getting up your power and AC will shut off. The rooms never get rally cold but we never got hot either. You'll have to use your watch or phone for your alarm and time though as your alarm clock in the room shuts off too. I kept setting it every morning and on the 3rd day when down and asked about it and they told me it was because the power go off. I can see this being acceptable during the day when all are out of their rooms but at night we should be able to crank the AC.

Dont upgrade to the preferred, As many have stated its not needed. You have access to anything you want. I really do believe the only difference is the preferred rooms have a small hot tub on the balcony. I would NOT upgrade.

Seating in the outdoor stage area. The evening entertainment when done at the outdoor stage is limited. You will find many people having to stand around waiting for seats if you get there after 8:30 or so. If the show is in the indoore Showplace there are plenty of seats.

All of the evening restaurants are on the Wild Orchid side. That said, it really IS NOT an issue. It is less than a 5 minute walk to that side. I really dont understand people who complain about having to walk to that side...unless they are handicapped or somthing.

All in all, we really enjoyed our time away as it was out first vacation without the kids for nearly 7 years. That was very nice. Would I go back to the resort....absolutely! Is it something I want to plan for now....probably not unless its a good deal.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the 4th or 5th floor to get the best view. 1st floor rooms are at ground level and...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank paule4ou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2012

We were there for a short while from 7/13-7/16 for our anniversary. The hotel was beautiful and our room was nice. There was a slight "damp towel" smell that went away as soon as we blasted the A/C. The staff was extremely helpful minus the 1 or 2 people that didn't like their jobs. Every restaurant we ate had excellent food, this is my 5th all inclusive resort and so far the best food yet. No reservations needs except for one place, we didn't bother to go. I'd go again to taste the things I didn't get a chance to while we were here. I would have given the hotel a better score, but we had way too many power outages. The front desk claimed it was Montego Bay in general; but it wasn't. The beach was great and the pool was too. I also enjoyed the activities like ping pong and the shows were on point. I would recommend this resort.

Room Tip: "Ask for specials that may not be on the menu"
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank LexDia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secrets St. James Montego Bay

Address: Lot A59, Freeport, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: £294 - £815 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Secrets St. James Montego Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 350
Reservation Options:
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Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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