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“Excellent Hotel!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secrets St. James Montego Bay

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #10 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Cardiff, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Excellent Hotel!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2014

I don't ever write reviews, but after reading the reviews on here before booking, I felt that I should share my holiday experience. As soon as we arrived, we were welcomed with a cocktail and wet towel. The service during our stay was fantastic. Everyone was really friendly and our room was always clean and tidy. Unlimited room service and re-stocked mini bar every day, with a fantastic range of food. With 6 different restaurants, and no need to book! Entertainment wasn't the best, but didn't affect our stay at all.

One of the best hotels I've been to. Would definately return.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Tara P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets St. James Montego Bay, responded to this review, 10 January 2014
Dear Valued Guest:

It truly means much to us that you took the time to share the experience you had at our resort. We are always grateful when guests share positive things about the property and our team. Our aim is to satisfy our guests and your experience is confirmation that we achieve this. Feedback is always used in a constructive manner and I can assure you that we will also use your comments and continue to work at improving all areas including entertainment.

Thank you for sharing your review.

Best Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant
econcierge1.sesmb@secretsresorts.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,096 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2014

We stayed at Secrets during the second half of our honeymoon. Overall, the resort was lovely, but we are leaving a review specifically because of the efforts of the General Manager, Derek, to take wonderful care of us following two unexpected medical issues. Derek found a specialist to see my husband on New Years Day (a holiday and difficult day to see a doctor). The hotel drove us to the appointment with an escort to make sure we were well taken care of. When we learned that we had to extend our stay until he recovered, Derek was kind enough to allow us to recover in the room at no additional charge. The following day I had to go to the hospital for an allergic reaction. We received a call from Derek upon returning from the hospital, again offering to do whatever he could to help us (he ended up sending someone to the pharmacy for the medication) and making sure we are getting the very best medical treatment. We certainly didn't expect to have to call on the hotel for help in such circumstances, but it was tremendously reassuring to be able to do so, and we are very grateful for the kind service and attention. This is the stuff that matters when you are vacationing in another country, and we extend our thanks to Derek and his staff for all of their help.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank lima1909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2014

Ok people need to understand that in Jamaica you get real people characters, you will not get robot service as in the states, the people are REAL!! and pretty cool to. They give brilliant service but this is Jamaica time. I don't get all the negative reviews. We had issues with housekeeping but i went to see someone on the front desk politely explained myself and it was sorted out, bear in mind the hotel was 95% full. The management and staff are really great. We upgraded to a better room and we got assigned out butler service team Patric and Michael, these guys are "Mustard" that means better than Jam :-). The staff in the restaurants were hard working and attentive. During Christmas and New year they were busy, but we can't complain about the staff.The only thing i could change would be to apply sellotape to loud Americans, yes you know who you are !! There were not too many but they should holiday in Afghanistan or somewhere where they would not be so loud, but god bless Canadians. Apart from that the holiday was the best, and the people made it. Thanks Secrets we have already booked to see you again :-)

Room Tip: Choose a master suite or presidential suite Patrick and Michael are the best butlers on the Island.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Showme3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eighty Four, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
68 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2014

It is obvious that everyone has a different opinion of what constitutes a great hiotel and vacation. if your idea is an very comfortable room and extraordinary bed you are with us. if you like laying on a soft cushion at the pool or beach with friendly and quick drink service ditto. If you like a choice of 11 varied restaurants with each of them providing well prepared, delicious, and well presented itmes ditto. If you just want to just lay back and do nothing or chooose to go snorkeling, kayaking, sailing or maybe play a littel tennis this is the place.There are bars everywhere and they serve middle shelf liquor, and as much as you want in whatever mix you want. it is a short 15-20 minutes from the airport in it's own secluded area. There is not reason to leave the resort unless you want to take the tour 2 hours away at Dunns River Falls, ands the must do; swimming with the dolphins. This is my fourth time to Jamacia, and definatley the best by far. The Jamacian's seem to have discovered that the key to their success is through tourism and they were eager to please, gorgeous, attentive, and pleased to have tourists visit their country. This was not always the way it was a few years back. if you are a gourmet and require the finest service and top shelf liquors/wines go somewhere else. That is not and should not be the mission of All Inclusives.
A few critiques to Secrets: back off the premium membership sales a bit (don't buy) and offer a few more Vegan memu items. No one likes to have to special order all the time.

Room Tip: The higher rooms (3rd and 4th floors) offer a better view, but not required as all rooms face the oc...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JimOKelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
55 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2014

- service:
poor and unmotivated, some positive experiences with waiters in restaurants.
room service and maid is not acceptable (performance even poor after tipping).
reception desk uneducated and not acceptable.
when you arrive the reception staff will try to talk you into a upgrade.
This upgrade does not contain any real benefits beside acces to a "preferred area" that has no real but a even worse breakfast tjan tje regular one. Do not upgrade !
Waiters in the restaurants are uneducated and do not have any idea about wine.
Food is mainly microwaved.
The whole staff does not have any idea about dining culture as they are probably not educated, e.g. Wine is served in dishwasher hot glasses.
When you reserve a wine (white wine) two days beforehand (New years eve) it comes to the table at room temperature... (What was the problem witj48hrs notice ?)

- food: adequate for unexperienced US guests (who are the majority of the visitors), not acceptable for the european tongue (US junk food style). The themed restaurants are more or less a copy of middle of the road american restaurants. The italian food and french food all taste like poor US american diner snacks.
Highlight: The jamaican restaurant with mellowed down jamaican food. Try the curry goat !

- beverages:
poor selection of cocktails, but bar tenders are open to new recipes if you tell them how to prepare tjem..
No real natural juices. Cheap sparkling wine instead of champaign.
Wines of the house: to cheap quality.(But maybe ok for unexperienced US Citizens)

- beach:
great ! Perfectly maintained and well serviced beach.

- entertainment:
great.Womderfull shows of local artists !
But a ridiculous bicycle tour passing construction sites and heading to a trashy souvenir shop in a abandoned cruise ship shopping area (spooky)

- transportation:
ridiculous expensive.60,00USD dor a roundtrip to Montego bay.

- Internet access :
poor. If you like to see the beachball on your mac or hourglass on your windows machine: buy an account.

- TV:
OK with access to all major international networks (only one german channel "deutsche welle")

- Management:
poor. not interested in how the visitors perceive the service they get.
While in other five star hotels every evening or morning a dept.mgr. takes the tour to talk to the guest i have not seen one manager in two weeks !

Summary:
Not acceptable for a five star hotel. If you are european better prefer another hotel for this overexpensive price.
Be aware that you will be confronted with drunk north americans who show up at dinnertime in Bermudas and havaianas !
Nobody will ask them to change hence beiing advised through dresscode..

We unfortunately had to stay there two full weeks.

Overall impression:
To bad in quality for the five star approach.
To expensive for the springbreaker quality that is delivered by service and kitchen.
You could buy junkfood and cheap drinks elsewhere no need to visit the Secrets St. James.
If i were responsible at Secrets i would fire the whole management staff as they obviously do not care how a well renowned name is drwan into dirt.

Room Tip: all rooms have a seeview no matter to buy the pricey upgrade
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Kali1705
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
39 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

This was our second trip to SSJ and we stayed for five (5) nights from 12/31 - 1/5. We love AM Resorts, and Secrets specifically, but I do not believe we will return to this resort again. As a few other reviews mentioned, for being an all adults resort and for the price you pay, you just expect more than what you receive here. There are many positives about this resort, but our expectations are just set higher since this is Secrets. If you have never been to an all adults, all inclusive hotel of this star rating, then you probably will not understand the cons I am mentioning and will probably think I am being to snobby or picky. However, that is far from how we are, as we are not hard to please and just enjoy being in the sun. I think some of this could easily be rectified by management if they read the reviews and put a plan in action.
Pros:
•Location - 15 minutes from the airport and close to the hip strip.
•Check in was easy and welcoming.
•They provided an awesome New Years Eve celebration! This was over the top and a great time for all.
•Pretty good evening entertainment out under the stars (better than the indoor theater).
•Our mini bar was freshly stocked each day. You have to remember to turn your Do Not Disturb light off or they will not stop.
•Many restaurants to pick from and a variety of items on the menu to pick from.
•No reservations needed at the restaurants.
•Bed were very comfy and we both slept great (pillows were not).
•Plenty of drink choices, alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
•Long slacks for men are not required. We did not realize that so my husband did not bring any dress shorts with him but they are allowed (except inside at the French restaurant).
•Pools are nice and there are enough rafts / floats to be shared among the guest. The pools were just the right temperature.
•Water sports available.
•Activities are available during the day.
•Beautiful grounds and hotel. I don’t believe the grounds keepers get enough “thanks” for all the hard work they do.
•Beautiful ocean views and clear water.
•Jerk chicken on the beach each day.
•Wildlife around the resort. Peacocks wall throughout the resort and joined us for breakfast one day. There are also two parrots that are in a cage and trees close to Wild Orchid.
•We were there during the horrible winter storm in the Midwest and Secrets were offering those that could not leave the resort special rates for the additional nights they needed to stay.
•Nice views of the sunset.

Cons:
•Nightlife was lacking.
•Piano bar had a horrible smell to it.
•They advertise many bars on property but no one gathers at them so there is no one to talk to.
•The overall attitude was not happy like Jamaica used to be, even when you would tip.
•Our clock I our room did not work. Not that it is a huge deal but it became a challenge when I called Housekeeping four (4) days in a row to ask for a new one. A new one was never delivered and I finally gave up.
•We tipped the wait service around the pool thinking it would assist in the service we would receive, however it did not.
•It took 1.5 hours to receive room service…and we ordered nachos and mozzarella cheese.
•The first two days (12/31 – 1/1) you had to get up at the crack of dawn to get a good chaise lounge by the pool. I am one of those that use this all day long from 9:00-5:00. Others were putting items on their loungers and not showing up at all during the day. That is very frustrating! If you are one of these people, please quit…there will be enough loungers when you are ready to use it. However, later in the week when the resort was not as busy, it was easier to get a lounger.
•Beach is man-made and not conducive for a long walks on the beach.
•They do not try and get people involved in activities like they do at Sandals. You wouldn't even know activities were going on if you were not right there when it started. Other resorts, like Sandals, go around and try to get people engaged.
•Typically bartenders are the friendliest; I did not find this to be true here.

Will I continue to spread good reviews to my friends and family about Secrets and AM Resorts…absolutely. This is a nice resort, there were just things that I know could be easily fixed and take this resort to the level it should be at.

Big shout out to Yvette as a waitress around the pool, Rayon at Portonifo and Terrol at the towel hut. Go visit Terrol and ask him to show you some card tricks. Go, enjoy and make a decision for yourself. There are many positive, just small cons that could be improved.

Room Tip: I believe the 3rd floor would be the best. Low enough to take the stairs but high enough to have a...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank island30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
217 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

Arrival....After a 3 hr delayed flight and 10hrs in the air followed by 2&1/2 hrs to clear immigration, yes, 2&1/2 hrs, it goes without saying, we were tired and irritable.
At check in (main reception St James, we were staying in the preferred club but preferred reception was closed) we were not offered a drink or a cold towel. We were given very limited information on the resorts facilities, albeit the time was 23.45.
On being shown our room the electronic key would not open the door. The bell boy went to get the key reprogrammed but this failed to resolve the problem. Maintenance arrived and after 20 minutes we finally gained acces to our room.

Suggestion.....Late night arrivals could be shown a little more empathy and advised that resort information would be communicated the next morning. This would just make it feel a little more personal.

The room....Nicely appointed, clean, bright and functional. The bed and pillows are amazingly comfortable. A lovely rain shower, with constant hot water. Plent of towels and toiletries. Beautiful view from the adequate balcony.

Suggestion....Guests could be given some information on how the air conditioning works. We found it difficult to reach the lowest temperature possible and maintain it at that point.

Pool and beach areas.......Spacious around the pools, clean and tidy and the water a pleasant temperature.
The beach pleasant but a little disappointing, or maybe we just had a more idyllic vision in our minds. The beach is fairly narrow, with too many sharp shells and stones and not very long, broken up by small piers of rocks.
The single sunbeds on the beach are extremely uncomfortable with no cushions available, even in the preffered club areas.

Suggestion....provide more comfort for the beach sunbeds.

The restaurants....Of the 7restaurants open on an evening, we only ate at 5 so can only review those.

Seaside Grill...Fairly disappointing. A salad bar to start, just ok.
Asked for no seasoning on our steak, as I myself have a garlic allegy but it came with seasoning. I therefore suffered all night as a result. The steak itself was of rather poor quality, chewy and grissly.

Oceana.....Average at best. Salad bar again. My wife had surf and turf, with a very small portion of surf. I had salmon which was ok.

Portofino....Extremely poor. A long wait to be served and an eternity between courses on our first vist but we gave it another go and the food was very poor on both occasions.

Himitsu....This was probably our 2nd favourite restaurant, the food was good and the service excellent. The only annoying aspect personally, being the chef banging his cleaver on the gridle all night long.

Bordeaux...The best of the restuarants without a double. Non of them are gourmet but this one is probably the closest. It has a pleasant ambience and the food is decent.
With all of the restaurants we ate at we are certain all of the food is pre-prepared.

Breakfast and lunch....Served at the World Cafe. The food was decent with plenty of choice.

Coffee shop....Fantastic coffee! and Garfield? makes a great one!

Suggestion...Secrets, review the standards of your restaurants to ensure consistency throughout. There is a wide gulf it seems and non close to gourmet standards.

The Staff... From the gardeners to the bar, waiting staff, maids and reception, all we're generally friendly, outgoing and pleasant. Of any of those categories, we would have to say the gardeners were as friendly as any. Especially Omar who looks after the scarlet macaws. He was incredibly friendly and informative and obviously has pride in his job.
In our opinion, the staff did push for tips but don't get us wrong, they will always accept if offered!

Christmas and New Year.....The entertainment was excellent and the staff made a real effort. Father Christmas arriving by boat was unique and entertaining to say the least.
The fireworks on New Years eve were spectacular, colourful and fun.

Secrets.....If you want the preffered areas to be more elite (which is what guests feel they are paying for) we suggest some improvements are needed.
Firstly, why not have a designated preffered restaurant, serving Al a Carte food.
Secondly, in the 14 nights whilst we were there, on no occasion were we asked to prove we were preffered guests by any member of staff. This leaves the preffered extras that you pay for open to abuse by no preffered guests.

Finally.....All in all we enjoyed our stay and sincerely hope that the management of Secrets St James and Wild Orchid, take the suggestions we have made in the spirit they are intended and would be delighted to see some of these suggestions in place the next time we visit.
If we were returning to Secrets in the near future we would not choose to pay the extra for preffered, as it stands we do not believe it offers value for money.

Room Tip: 3rd or 4th floor if you wish to have an unobstructed ocean view.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Gerry C
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

Property: 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
#8 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Secrets St. James Montego Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 350
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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