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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
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Reviews (6,891)
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4,496
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All reviewspreferred clubpiano barwild orchidjerk chickenroom servicemarlin barworld cafesecrets resortpreferred poolour honeymoonfrench restaurantseaside grillel patiohibachi grillchampagne breakfastromantic dinnerturn down service
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Reviewed 9 March 2014

We just returned from Jamacia,back to cold weather.This is our second trip to the Secrets resorts .we stayed on St. James side this trip last year Wild Orchid both are beautiful,food wonderful Chef walks all over resort we talked w/him a few times because we are in the food industry he is very nice.Almost evey employee is very friendly I want to point out Moniqiue in the World Café she remembered me from last year her friendly smile starts your day off. Also Nigel who works in pool maintence we talked every morning I never felt uncomfortable he is a true gentleman he told lots of reciepes that I will be trying soon.The resort in right on the beach our room was steps to pool and beach.Everyday Jerk Chicken witch I miss already.The resort is so clean the staff works all day to keep up painting sidewalks etc. If you are looking for paridise this is it. We traveled with our 2 daughters ages 24 and 29they cant wait to return and to bring their friends.See you all in March 2015 cant wait. Paul,Lisa Emily &Abbie

Room Tip: Room on first floors so you can just walk out to pool and beach Room 3138 has both and a resort Peacock who is we talkative
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank paulandlisa2014
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 reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you so much for choosing to visit our resort a second time around. We truly are grateful for your loyalty and it was our pleasure to host you and your family. Your highlight of the outstanding moments during your stay including your pleasant interaction with our staff daily is much appreciated also.

Looking forward to welcoming you back Home next March.

Best Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

I was impressed by the variety of all inclusive options. The room service was great and restaurants were great. The beach and AI activities like guided snorkeling tours and kayaking was also awesome. The rooms were stylish and clean.The staff was one of the most friendly staffs I've ever experienced. Everyone greeted you with a smile. Wonderful!

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank Joni L
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 reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you for sharing your feedback of your recent experience at our resort. I am happy that you enjoyed our room service, food overall, as well as our activities and the friendliness of our team. It was our pleasure to have been your hosts and we look forward to doing so for many future vacations.

Best Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

We spent four nights at St. James, booking through Apple Vacations. As others have stated, the grounds are beautiful and the staff is very friendly and helpful. For some reason, the check in took forever and this is after traveling most of the day and enduring a long wait at Immigration at the airport so having it take one hour to check in is not very appealing. We upgraded to preferred (and probably could have gotten it less expensive if we had asked) and even that took long in having to check that the room was ready, wait for housekeeping to call back, etc. And this is all at 5PM, not at early check in. Then the next person (our supposed concierge) we were shuffled to took a long time too and when it seemed he was going to start on the whole vacation club thing ("how many Secrets Resorts have you visited? he asks), my husband finally said, "we really would like to get to our room" and that stopped the conversation.
We like the quietness of the preferred club pool, the free wi fi, direct view to the beach, snacks and breakfast in a separate room, availability of wines and other drinks at night, among other perks. We could hear the neighbor's television so the rooms are not that well insulated and although the resort rooms are no smoking, there is smoking allowed on the balcony so the neighbors' smoke drifted over. The bathroom set up is a bit strange with no doors to shut off the bathroom--only a door to shut off the toilet and the shower and the lighting was very poor in the bathroom.
Although I have said some negative things, overall we were extremely pleased with the resort. The proximity to the airport is a plus and the restaurant choices were good with the food about on par with cruise ship food. Service was always fast and friendly. All in all, a great vacation at a resort we would consider returning to.

Room Tip: I went with others' opinions to get a higher room and so we were on the fourth floor in St. James preferred and the view was great.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SusaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014

We spent a wonderful week at Secrets St. James in February and it was worth every penny! I couldn't agree more with every wonderful review that has already been posted but I do have a few things to add.
First, we stayed in the Preferred section but our reservation was made through our timeshare company so I don't know what the difference in price would be. I do know that the breakfast in the lobby was very convenient on days we had something planned early in the morning. The preferred club pool was much much quieter than the other pools. All the scheduled activities were at the non-preferred pools and everyone seemed to be having a great deal of fun.
The preferred club room cards are black on the back making them quick and easy to identify. We were asked to show our card only twice at the towel hut and that wasn't until later in the week. The doors to the preferred lobby, when closed, require a card swipe to enter but they were open most of the time.
The daily activity/entertainment sheet is identical to what you find on a cruise. There was something different offered every night. I will say the night the vendors came in to sell their wares was a bit odd. There were maybe 10 different vendors but mostly all selling the same items--- including the identical wooden pieces being sold every single day in a permanent "hut" near the beach grill restaurant. However, that didn't stop us from buying some souvenirs!
We found the food to be excellent!! I have to eat gluten free and it was no problem at all. Each staff member at each buffet station knew exactly what ingredients were used in every single item. At dinner, each restaurant had a chef came to our table to discuss safe options for me.
I love that every age range was represented and all having a great time! There were definitely more 50 somethings than 20 somethings but not by a drastic margin. I can easily recommend for a young couples honeymoon and a 50th anniversary celebration and everything in between.
My only small issue is the connecting rooms. The walls are pretty thin and I could hear our neighbor yelling/talking to her children every morning. They can't guarantee a certain type of room in advance but next year, at checkin, I will request a non-connecting room.
As for next year, we have booked a room on the Wild Orchid side. To me, it's all the same resort and there are no obvious differences but we won't know for sure until we try. Actually, I did find one difference---the all inclusive price (at least through RCI) is $12 per day higher on the WO side. This really perplexes me as St. James and WO share restaurants.
We can't wait to return next February and are already discussing returning the year after that with friends to celebrate our 30 wedding anniversaries!!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ilovebooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014

I have to start by disclosing that I did not pay for this trip. It was paid for by my boyfriend's employer as an employee perk so I can't complain about value for my dollar. I did however check the rates for this resort and my review is based on those stated rates.

The tag line for this resort is "unlimited luxury". The marketing and price point seem to indicate that they want to position this property in the higher end market. They have everything that a high end resort should have... short easy drive to the airport, all rooms are suites with ocean view, directly on a private beach, no wrist bands, no towel cards, no reservations required for dinner, no limit on a la carte dinners during your stay, 24 hour room service with a room service box, privacy lights you can control from within the room....they have it all.

I am not sure if it is the Secrets organization or local management but they are unable to take all of these features and execute them well enough to qualify as a luxury property.

No towel card means unlimited towels - it should be easy and accessible. At SSJ you can have as many towels as you want, but they only have towel booths at the pools. There are no small unmanned towel huts around the property so if you are on the beach you have to trek up to the booth for fresh towels.

The room service experience was very bad. Friends of ours never received a breakfast order they placed and another order was completely wrong. Our breakfast order was 80% correct but everything was tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and was soggy by the time it arrived at our room. We did make use of the room service box but it took 3 phone calls and more than 20 hours for them to remove the uneaten food and dirty dishes. We didn't bother with room service again.

The privacy light was turned on but housekeeping knocked anyway. One morning we received a call in the room to advise us of a sale in one of the jewelery boutiques. We did not appreciate the wake up. Housekeeping was hit or miss.... soap was not replenished, face cloths were not replaced, we received a different number of towels each day. They do provide turndown service but our room was skipped twice for no particular reason. One day our room was still not cleaned by 2:30 pm.

One night there was a continuous loud noise outside our room. We discovered someone pressure washing the walkway outside our building with a gas powered pressure washer at half past midnight. Another night the alarm clock in the room next door went off at midnight. We called reception to have it shut off. They waited 30 minutes and then called us to see if it was off yet. By this time we had fallen back to sleep so they woke us up. The alarm was still going so THEN they sent someone at 12:35 am to check. It went off and someone from staff then knocked on our door at 12:45 to make sure the noise was gone. This was handled very poorly considering the time of night.

There do not seem to be enough lounge chairs on the beach for the number of guests staying there.

This is not a horrible resort. The grounds are lovely. There are peacocks wandering on site. The spa is wonderful. The jamaican restaurant is very good and the buffet breakfast does a decent job. The rooms are nice but a bit small for suites. The rooms are clean and bug free. There is lots of hot water and the bathrooms are well appointed. The beach area was clean and the pool area offered sun and shade. There is a decent number of umbrellas.

Overall it was a nice holiday but I think they overstate the level of luxury the resort offers and I do not think it is worth the price they charge. They need to learn how to make better use of the tools they have to take the experience of the guests to that next level. They just aren't there yet.

Room Tip: Don't be on the bottom floor...views are marginal.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank A-M197211625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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