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“THE MOST AMAZING WEEK IN MARCH 2014”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 64 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Where do you start when you had such an amazing time. First off I need to send a shout out to the staff at the Secrets St James and Wild Orchid, these people were kind-hearted, smiled 24/7, and made you feel so welcomed. I had the joy of dancing with Genius (girl thanks for the good times), had the joy of having a special drink made by Morlando (if you meet him ask for a Morland #2 drink MY FAVE), Happy feet when you meet him you'll know it, he makes your pool side fun more exciting and full of laughter. He is such an energetic character and I enjoyed meeting him (thanks for the volleyball game!!! Also every morning at breakfast make sure you get to sit close to the waiter Oraldo Mullings, he loves to sings and it makes the mornings so much brighter!!!

Onto the resort itself, very clean, luxurious, and breath-taking. The maid-service really do take care of you and make you feel at home.

The FOOD, well where do I start... how about 5 pounds heavier :). The food was amazing, I highly recommend trying the jerk chicken at the cart, and having dinner one night at their Jamaican restaurant.

As for myself being a runner, I read the reviews and agree there is not much beach to run, but the resort itself has plenty of room for running, the gym wasn't very busy and I had the opportunity often to use the treadmill. For all my runner friends if your taking a break from running while your on vacation the morning yoga is WONDERFUL!!

I have no complaints about this experience, only complaint was having to come home after having such an amazing time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: Staying at Secrets St James is a little cheaper and honestly there was no difference really between...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank ButterflyRunner85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,432 - 3,438 of 6,485 reviews

Reviewed 23 March 2014

We've just returned from our second vacation at Secrets St James. We were there not even 6 months ago, and my husband surprised me with a return trip to celebrate my birthday. Trip number two was just as wonderful as our first. Check in was a breeze, and thank you to the lovely Shanique who checked us in. We decided to upgrade to preferred club this time and were SO GLAD we did! If you get offered this option, we strongly recommend it. Having had two trips to this resort, both with and without the upgrade, we definately can offer the perspective of both. We don't care about the free wifi, but we know it's important to many others. The BEST perks of being preferred were the private pool and lounge. We REALLY liked the cocoon shaped chairs. So easy to nap in! We don't participate in the games, and we like to chill to peace & quiet.We are not snobs, but the last trip we found the regular pool seemed to attract the loud "party" crowd.
That leads me to my only complaint.
Last time we were non-preferred, there was a group that would reserve 22 lounge chairs early each morning, and even went to far as to reserve the blue pool floaties. There was still chair reservations happening at the preferred pool, but it was not as bad as it had been at the non-preferred pool. Maybe just because there were less people. We still found ourselves wanting to get to the pool early so we could get a good spot. My recommendation to Secrets is to implement some sort of control to prevent people from marking chairs at 7am and not coming to use them until much later (or not at all). Some folks are lazy and don't even remove their towels when they leave without intent of coming back. We've been to some resorts that have a timeframe for unattended towels, after which time the chairs are considered "free". I would say 1 hour would be a reasonable amount of time, because that would allow enough time to go eat and come back.

Rooms: Gorgeous! We were once again on the 4th floor, and we had an awesome view. But we'd much rather walk on the beach rather than look at it from our balcony anyway! Being that we are a couple, the "open" bathroom layout does not bother us. Shower had both a rainfall shower head, and traditional shower head. Hairdryer is good enough for even my thick hair! Toiletries and towels are plentiful. Our chamber maid, Josephine, took very good care of our needs. We tipped her everyday, but I'm sure the service would have been just as good without.
And YES, as others have also mentioned, the beds are extremely comfy. We slept well every night.

Beach: Nice beach. A few rocky parts, but very nice. We enjoyed looking for fish and sea urchins from the large rocks we could walk on. The water is crystal clear and very warm.

Restaurants: Breakfast at the World Cafe offered many choices. We always sat in Stacy Ann's section, and she was so sweet right up to our last morning. Our favourite dinner options were: Blue Mountain (Jamaican), El Patio (Mexican) and Himatsu (Asian). Last time we had not tried El Patio and are so glad we tried it this time. In our 4 dining experiences at Himatsu, we never ate at the teppanaki (sp?) table. Too loud, too hot, and you don't order off the menu. We LOVE sitting outside and enjoyed everything we ate. Nickesha was our server, and she was awesome! Last trip, we had really enjoyed Bordeaux (French), but this trip we felt rushed (we were in & out within 40 minutes). Last visit we didn't try the Saturday surf & turf buffet and thought we really missed out. We did it on this trip and felt cheated. Lobster tails were very chewy and there was no steak to be found. My husband did enjoy the turkey though. We will not bother with this the next time we go back. We tried Oceana (poolside grill) one night, and did not enjoy it. We did not eat at Seaside (the other poolside restaurant). We overheard others saying it was the worst for them. I know some people would like a buffet for dinner, but we are not big buffet people. Our recommendation would be to replace Seaside & Oceana with a nice TRUE steak & fish restaurant.

And now the best part of Secrets... what made us go back and the reason why we'll no doubt return in the not-so-distant future.... THE STAFF.
To the welcoming porters who greeted us with "Welcome Home", the lovely ladies at the reception, the men who work so hard to keep the grounds as immaculate as they are, the chamber maids, the servers in the restaurants, the talented people who entertain us, and the bartenders & servers who poured us drinks..... THANK YOU!! It is because of you that we enjoyed both our stays so much and left with cherished memories.
Oneil English "The Legend". You truly continue to demonstrate the highest caliber of service.
Dr. Phil, Wilton (aka Willy), Movado, and the lovely Karesha round out the best bar team on the planet. (piano bar). We love you all. Honorable mentions to Everett, Joy and Michael who served us drinks poolside at the Marlin bar.
I have already singled out a few, but by no means does that mean the others were not also appreciated.
It was truly a pleasure, and we cannot wait to visit you all once again!!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank travlerCanada
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 26 March 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you so much for you very detailed review. We so appreciate that you have taken the time to detail your experience whilst with us and have shared both the good and the "not so good". This is very important to us as reviews are read by our Management Team with a view to implementing the changes deemed necessary. Rest assured that your recommendations are greatly appreciated and that the respective Department Heads will be phasing in applicable changes over time.

As we have a very active and effective staff recognition program, we are grateful that you have highlighted the team members who impacted your stay in a positive manner and our Human Resources Department will be updating their files so that they can be duly recognized.

Our many thanks once again, and we do look forward to hosting you for your 3rd visit!!!

Warm regards,

Caulette Mornan
Social Networking/eConcierge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2014

Came here for our honeymoon and loved the resort! The resort was nice with a few pools along with its own private beach to swim in the ocean if you want. They had nice hammocks all around the resort to relax and just enjoy the moment. The crowd is mixed so if your single coming here you can still have fun. The reason I didnt give it 5 stars is no top of line drinks at the swim up pool, they do have them in the piano bar area though. The best bartendar is Owayne in the piano bar in building 3. He has great energy and once you come to his bar and spend couple of minutes chatting with him you will be back every night.

One night we decieded to take a walk along the beach and we ran into Renel who is a secruity guard on the site. One of the nicest gentelmen we have met and usually secruity guards are the mean ones. The customer service at this place from top to bottom is great and it is what makes this resort worth coming back to.

Room Tip: Piano bar building 3 has black label, grey goose and other top end drinks.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Tony7979
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 27 March 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

Thanks for having selected our lovely resort for your honeymoon celebration. It was truly our pleasure to have provided you with the great service for which we are known; thank you for your appreciation of this as it means much to our team.

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and we do hope that the next time around will be an even better experience for you.

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 21 March 2014

This is a great resort with great people. We celebrated out anniversary there and the people were very good to us. The restaurants are great, beaches are great, staff was great. Entertainment could probably improve a bit, but that is the only thing that wasn't perfect.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Kim 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 27 March 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

It is always a great to read reviews such as yours as it is our indication that we are doing something right. The pleasure was certainly ours to have been your hosts for your anniversary celebration and I very happy to note that you have a great stay here.

Though entertainment is by nature subjective, your comment about our entertainment has been noted. Our management team is constantly updating our resort services and so this does help us a lot.

Thank you for sharing your feedback and please do come again.

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 21 March 2014

Stayed at resort for 5 days and we had an amazing time

All the staff were most gracious and activities and food were very diverse.

Just want to credit a few staff members in particular

Leo - at Bordeaux restaurant was the best - super friendly and great service

Nikita - at front desk - helped us with our upgrade and room change and always had a smile on eyer face

O'Shane - at world cafe greeted us every morning for breakfast - great buffet!

Vincent - our diving instructor was so friendly and took us on great dives and kept us safe

Stuart - our boat driver for our scuba dives was most helpful on our dives and assisted us always with our equipment

Thank you all for a wonderful holiday!

Room Tip: High Floor - Ocean View - preferably on sunset side of hotel
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Dsqaured
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 27 March 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you for having selected our resort for your recent vacation. Our resort is truly blessed with exceptional team members that add an immeasurable touch to our guest’s experience. Thank you so much for taking the time to remember and publicly commend those persons that impacted on the quality of your stay as this is always appreciated by the team members. Our resort does have a staff recognition program to reward those that do an exceptional job and your review has certainly contributed to this significantly.

I am particularly pleased that you enjoyed our resort very much. Thank you for sharing your feedback and I hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back Home soon.

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 20 March 2014

Easily the best resort I have stayed at in the Caribbean, wonderful staff working there. Garfield the bell boy was great, he had the bus driver wait before we left to get one last beer. Their service was outstanding. The jerk chicken wagon was fantastic, had to have it every day. Great burgers too! I am going to miss the pools and swim up bars. I was amazed how well I slept at night. Very comfy beds. The only negative thing I could think of is that you can hear the doors closing in the hallway quite easily from your bed, that could have been a bit quieter. There were lots of activities every night, some I never got to try. With all that was there I didn't see a reason to upgrade the room. And they have peacocks that will eat nacho chips out of your hand. Definitely going back to this place.

Room Tip: Some rooms have railings for the balcony and some have a knee wall with a short railing on top. Bett...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Brian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2014

When we decided to go to Jamaica we started looking at all the hotels on offer and their reviews. We were going to book another hotel until we saw the reviews were a little hit and miss, so we decided to increase our budget (by £1000) and go to Secrets - St James - as the reviews seemed the best. Upon arriving, after an 11 hour flight, we eventually got to our hotel and checked in, only to be greeted by an extremely moody receptionist who took forever in checking us in. Considering we were exhausted after the long flight, I didn't understand why it took so long to check us in.,

Our bell boy was pretty pleasant so we thought it wase a one off. Oh how wrong were we.
We had booked a sea view room and instead got a view of a massive palm tree instead which blocked our view completely. Our IPOD dock did not work in our room which was annoying as we like to get ready listening to music. Our TV kept playing up.

Following 7 days at the resort, apart from 2 waiters, (Desmond in Bordeaux and Frederick in the Ocean Grill Restaurant), all other personnel were extremely rude and considering we had given over $200 dollars in tips to the hotel staff, I was extremely disappointed in what we received. On one of the days the waitress around the pool came up to me and asked me if I wanted a drink, I asked her for a beer, she kissed her teeth, gave me a filthy look and walked off, she never brought me my beer. This happened on 3 other occassions.

On another occassion I fancied a coffee and went to the coffee bar. The waitress took my order then turned her back on me and proceeded to clean the counter behind her, disappear in to the back room for a few minutes, returned and decided to put some cups away. Finally she decided to make me a coffee. I had asked her to put in cold milk and not steamed milk. She either didnt listen or didnt agree because funny enough, she gave me a coffee with steamed milk. when I told her that I had asked her for cold milk, she proceeded to argue with me as to why I wanted cold milk. I just couldnt believe the cheek of her

I paid for an All Inclusive package and having been to many other 5 * Cariibbean AI holidays was dumbfounded to realise that the whole resort did not offer Savignion Blanc (white wine) by the glass. All they offered was red wine which is diabolical in heat and chardonnay which is a drink I cannot drink. Of course, to pay extra you can order a bottle but the whole idea of All Inclusive was that I shouldn't have to pay extra. Its not like I was asking for Champagne. It was a glass of house white Savignion Blanc. I was disgusted. Every time I mentioned it to the waiters I was again given a dirty look and they walked off.

Every night we would go to the piano bar after dinner for a drink and on one particular night, because of the way we were treated, I decided I was not going to offer a tip to one of the barmen, because of this, I waited over 20 minutes to be served. People where just going up and getting first priority. Again disgusting behaviour to a guest who had paid a lot of money to go there.

I have never been so angry on a holiday, my holiday is meant to be a relaxing and enjoying time but this holiday made me even cry due to how rude the people were and the fact I could not get a drink of choice especially when FIRST CHOICES and SECRETS website mention the unlimited array of wines. A complete and utter lie.

The hotel was a lovely one, clean and airy and I cannot complain about it aesthetically but I have never been treated with such disregard in my life. Our friends were going to book St James - Secrets and I told them not too, they have now booked to go to the Hilton instead.

I will NEVER go back to a Secrets resort again in my life and will strongly advise people I know never to spend a penny at these resorts.

Room Tip: I would check with the hotel once you book that you get what you pay for.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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22  Thank Jackie L
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 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: £300 - £642 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Secrets St. James Montego Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 350
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Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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