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“Amazing”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Simply, the best. We arrived at 11 am far before check in, not an issue at all. The pools were lovely, the food was amazing, from the buffet to the restaurants, the rooms were great, I honestly have discussed this with my husband, and we can't find one thing to complain about. The service was friendly, and amazing, staff was exceptional. I honestly cannot say enough good things, and we were part of a group of over 100+ people with Gold Canyon Candles, an award trip. So from start to finish, and all parts in between, Amazing stay, no complaints.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank angelagoudey
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 4 April 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

I am happy that you and your husband made the decision to visit our resort and took the time to share your review with us and future travellers. Our team is truly appreciative of your kind comments about the food and service provided as well as our resort overall.

It is always our aim to provide exceptional service and I am pleased that you reported receiving just that. Thank you again for visiting and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Best Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant

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3,492 - 3,498 of 6,570 reviews

Reviewed 30 March 2014

First I would like to thank Marlene Dixon and Letisha for their courteous service. First impression is lasting and upon arrival we received such great service. Letisha was very friendly and we were checked in quickly. We told her that a member of our party was celebrating her birthday and she arranged for cake and champagne to be delivered to the room. Thumbs up to Marlene and Letisha.
Rooms were great, staff were very friendly and pleasant. Excellent food! The jerk chicken and jelly coconut from the cart is definitely a must have! We have stayed at many different hotels including Sandals and Beaches and I must say this was the best. We will definitely return and will recommend Secrets to others.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Fay B
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 4 April 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

It is agreeable that first impressions are most lasting. With that said, I am pleased to hear that you had such a great first encounter with our Front Desk Manager, Marlene and Supervisor, Leteisha. Your comments have been added to their file as part of our ongoing staff recognition program; thank you for this.

We are always satisfied when our guests are happy and enjoy their stay and so, your comments about our food, including the jerk chicken and jelly coconut cart are noted. Thank you for taking the time to share your review of your experience here with us and we look forward to facilitating many more memorable 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 30 March 2014 via mobile

Good location on the beach. We only stayed the weekend so we didn't venture off the resort property. The check in process is a slow one. Because the property is so big it can be a little confusing at first so a hand held map would've been a great addition to their check in but it didn't take long to figure it out. Once we did get in our room it did not disappoint. It was very up to date, large relaxing jacuzzi tub, very comfortable bed, pillows were a little awkward but nothing that prevented a good night sleep, sitting room for extra space, and balcony with a decent view.

The pools were nice and refreshing especially with the swim up bar. The outside jacuzzi was anything but a hot tub it was a lukewarm bubble bath, not very relaxing. The food was ok. It wasn't bad but it wasn't outstanding. The buffet was a hit or miss. Some of it was really good and then some things were just ok. The best dinner was at Portifino' s. The food comes out quickly at the restaurants and given the quality you can tell it's a mass produced menu and just reheated or kept under heat lamps. If you adjust something in your order you might have a chance at getting a hotter and fresher meal.

A nice touch the property has is the fresh fruit stand cut in front of you by the pool and the barrels of cold water bottles along the walking path. Although we didn't get a chance to try it but they also had a moving cart of Jerk chicken cut in front of you that smelled delicious and looked very appetizing.

Definitely recommend the free guided snorkel and a guided wind sailing ride. If you don't know how to sail pay $20 to have a guide especially if it's windy like our day was. If you already know what you're doing it's free.

Don't get suckered into the upgrade at check in. You only get a higher floor by one or two floors (if you can get the 3rd floor you'll be fine), champagne breakfast that you have to schedule in advance, and free property wide wifi which you can just pay $15 a day as needed. You do get premium drinks and a "private" pool and beach, but it's not really private since we walked over with no issues and they have the same thing at the non preferred side.

All in all a great trip not sure it's worth the money but we don't have anything in Jamaica to compare it to being this was the first time we stayed on the island and not visiting by cruise.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Jennifer T
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 4 April 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

It was our pleasure to have hosted you for your recent vacation. I am happy to note that you were not disappointed with your room and the amenities included as well as its overall comfort. Our check-in process is usually a thorough one where certain information if given about the resort. This should have included a resort map so please accept our apology for this being missing from your packet and for the inconvenience of the lengthy procedure.

Many of our guests often rave about the fruit and jerk cart. It would have also been great if you had the chance to experience this as they are part of our signature features. Notwithstanding that, you seemed to have enjoyed a lot and we are satisfied to know of this.

It regrettable that you did not quite like our outdoor Jacuzzi, buffet and the quality of our dinners as intended. As we are continuously reviewing our areas of service daily, the comments from your review have already been discussed with the relevant managers.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and I do hope that you will consider giving us another opportunity to host you and yours.

Best Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant

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Reviewed 30 March 2014

We are a couple of youngish seniors who needed an escape from winter, so booked seven days here based on the recommendation of our travel agent.
This resort was a bit over our budget, but we have no regrets.
It is very modern and in pretty immaculate condition. The room was big and well furnished with very comfortable beds. The property itself is beautifully landscaped, with many types of trees and flowering bushes, which was one of the big appeals for my wife.
The food comes in great variety, some of it bona-fide gourmet but all very tasty and appealing.
The beach is a series of smaller beaches and sandy coves separated by limestone berms. So it is not your classic kilometres long sweep of continuous beach, but nevertheless quite pleasant for swimming, or just lounging around sipping the free booze.
The service is generally very good, particularly in the restaurants and bars, slightly less so at the front desk. One of the delights of our stay was the many friendly, confident, often beautiful and sometimes quite intentionally hilarious young Jamaicans who served us our food and drinks.
The cons are: a bit too much pressure to spend more...to me "all inclusive" means I have already paid for everything, so why should I pay more, e.g. for upgrades, spas, etc.? (ok I'm cheap).
Some people might be put off by the location of the resort...it is not the sort of place where you can easily walk out the front gate and just explore the local culture.
Bottom line, a very enjoyable time and definitely recommended.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank oldnerd
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 14 April 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you for booking your stay at our lovely resort. I am very happy that had no regret after having to extend your budget to reserve your stay. We are pleased that you found our food to be both tasty and appealing as well as the variety that was available.

Your appreciation of our service has also been noted and we thank you for taking the time to highlight this. Your feedback has been thoroughly reviewed and areas including the service given by our front desk agents will be examined for further improvement.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and we do look forward to welcoming you back Home for your next vacation.

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 29 March 2014

I just got back from the Secrets St. James, Preferred Club and it was my first time at a Secrets and in Jamaica. First off, I have to agree with all the comments from reviewers who rated this resort as 'Average, Poor & Terrible'. This cannot be a 5-star resort due to the terrible service from the staff, who are either lazy and ungrateful to have a job in this resort. I won't go into detail but here are my observations:

1) Awful restaurants. Even if it's fine dining and no reservations are required for any restaurants, the food from breakfast & lunch are reused for dinner. Just look at the vegetables and you'll see what I am talking about. Bluemountain: over salted coconut shrimp dish that's overcooked. Portofino: bad lasagna (bareful hot and dried cheese crust top) and hard as a shoe osso buco. Bordeaux (French): small lamb dish, probably the better meal was here. House wine were awful. If you are a foodie, don't come here. There's no lobster or fish, I guess because it's expensive. For lobster, you can pay an extra $39US and get on a shuttle to another restaurant outside the restaurant that's 5-min away.

2) the Staff is not here to make you feel great, they are rude, condescending, and have no manners. They act like they have a sense of entitlement because the landed a job at St. James. Don't expect anyone to serve you drinks by the pool, go get it yourself. They either forgot about me or brought me the wrong drink. Please read what others have wrote about this. The servers whom I found to be sincere and genuine are: Sophia and O'Neil at the breakfast buffet, Leonardo (Bordeaux) and Eric (Portofino). I tipped a lot and frankly, management is probably not treating these employees properly or they wouldn't be gathered around gossiping all the time.

3) Cats - they are roaming everywhere, I tripped on one while crossing the bridge from the Preferred Club to the pool. What resort has animals and I am allergic to cats! The peacocks were lovely.

The best part was my room (4305), facing the pool & beach.
It's super clean, you have toothbrushes, Crest toothpaste, SFP 15 lotion, towels and a comfortable bed. There's also a jacuzzi tub inside and outside. Best: no mold smell or insects crawling on the floor. Drinks in the fridge and 3 bottles of alcohol in your room.

However, the maid didn't bother sweeping the floor in my room when it was full of hair. I did tip her but I guess she didn't see all my hair scattered everywhere.

The lounge for Preferred guests is amazing, the snacks and drinks were the best part.

The entire resort is well maintained, no bugs in sight and people walk around barefoot.

Would I return: Probably not as it was expensive and there are other resorts in Montego Bay. And I do hope to have better staff who'll serve me with a smile on my next trip.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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10  Thank Lee_Toronto_528
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 4 April 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

Guests’ feedback is of utmost importance to us because we do use them as a tool to help make improvements. Further your recent stay and review, we disappointed to read the details of your experience here with us. Although majority of our guests comments are positive, we are always concerned when we do receive ones such as yours.

I am happy that you did like the room you were assigned, the amenities included in it, as well as some of our team members with whom you had constant contact. I do regret however, that your stay overall was not as intended for you to experience and not as expected by yourself.

As with other reviews, yours too has been reviewed by our management team so that needed improvements can be made to our service delivery and in-house training with staff.

I must also mention that we do have an ongoing partnership with our local animal shelter, the JSPCA, to conduct the safe removal of cats from the property. While some guests welcome their presence, we do understand your concern about this.

Despite your initial impression of our resort, I can assure you that our usual delivery is nothing but excellence. I hope that you may consider giving us another opportunity to extend to you the kind of service for which we are known. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us.

Best Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant

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Reviewed 29 March 2014

We have just returned from Secrets St James and on the whole had a very enjoyable holiday. This is a big resort combined with Wild Orchid. We stayed in the Preferred Club at St James which is much quieter but it is also furthest away from all the entertainment and restaurants. This didn't bother us as the food was so amazing that we were pleased for the walk several times a day! We loved the breakfast and lunch buffet in the World Cafe, but if you didn't fancy that there were burgers etc near the beach, the jerk chicken cart every day, the coconut man and the fruit stall. All amazing! Dinner was in one of the many restaurants, we ate in all except the Mexican. Can't fault any of them but our favourite was the Seaside Grill on the pool. The resort is beautiful, the beach is lovely but if you like walking for miles along the beach you will be disappointed. It's just smallish beaches and a couple of small bays. The staff are wonderful, so friendly, we loved Oraldo who sang love songs to us at lunchtime! The guys in the piano bar who keep your drinks topped up all the time, they remember you every day and what you like to drink! Also the lovely Sophia in the World Cafe who told me to visit the nurse as I was suffering from conjunctivitis, they looked after me and I was better in a couple of hours. We also loved the coffee bar, you must try the iced coffee and rum coffee - delicious! There are a lot of people at the resort but it doesn't feel over crowded. There were always plenty of sun beds on the beach and by the pools. The evening entertainment was ok. We stayed for 10 days so saw a couple of shows twice! For those who stay more than a week it would be better if they alternated the shows every fortnight. We are from the UK so a bit far to travel for just a few days. All in all we had a lovely time. Now for the worst bit! Montego Bay Airport can be a nightmare! When we arrived we were one of the first off the plane but it still took us a good hour of queuing to get through immigration if you're unlucky enough to arrive with several other planes. We then found our transfer and were told we had to wait for ten other people. Well that could have been another 2 hours as the queues were miles long! So we decided to get a private taxi. We were advised to pay an extra $30 dollars each for a fast track through immigration on the way home and also use of the Mobay lounge with drinks and food etc. We decided to do this and typically when we got to immigration it was empty!! But I guess if it's busy it would be well worth doing this. The lounge was nice anyway! I would definitely recommend this resort, but if I went again I would stay in Preferred Club Wild Orchid in a swim up room, I would just have to eat a bit less as there would be less walking!

Room Tip: We were on 3rd floor which does have the views, but ground floor you could just walk out to pool or...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank fi-hol-sal
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 14 April 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to share your review of our resort. It was certainly a pleasure to have hosted you and I am happy to read that you had an enjoyable stay overall. It is great that you were able to experience the added perks of our preferred club and appreciate your recommendation of this very much. Many guests have also shared similar sentiments and this truly means much to us.

I am very happy also that the quality of food provided met your high standards as much effort is focused on this area of operation. I am particularly pleased about your mention of our team members that positively impacted the quality of your stay. Oraldo and our bartenders are usually quite interactive and attentive to the needs of our guests so I am glad that you experienced this as well. Thank you for your open approval of their good work.

Your recommendation of our resort is most valuable to us and we look forward to welcoming you back Home.

Best Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant

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Reviewed 28 March 2014

We have just returned from the best holiday ever. Everything was pretty good but it was made perfect by the excellent, helpful, happy and hardworking staff. The pools were good and a lovely temperature with plenty of sunloungers & parasols, which were vital if you weren’t going to burn. A word of caution, I saw more burnt people on this holiday than anywhere else I have been, so remember to use a high factor (50 or 70) sunscreen to start with because the breeze makes it very easy to forget the strength of the sun. There was a long stretch of beach with silvery sands and clear seas, which was clean and had lots of loungers & parasols. Waitress service was good at the beach and pools. Thank you to all of you for those lovely cocktails.
This is two hotels side by side but really it just feels like two blocks of accommodation, with two pools. The beach is partially divided, but the whole place feels like one, with shared restaurants, use of both pools and the full stretch of beach.
We were offered the Preferred Club on arrival, but declined particularly as they couldn’t offer a Preferred Club room, but we never missed it. Our room was ground floor, so we had very little sea view, but were happy enough with the view. One drawback of the ground floor was the visits of the peacocks which roam the grounds. They may be stunningly attractive birds, but they sit on the tables & chairs, leaving their mess behind. Not nice.
Food was good but not great. The World Cafe was open for breakfast & lunch and provided an acceptable buffet, but with not a lot of variation, and Saturday night is Lobster Night. There was a French, Italian, Jamaican, Mexican and Asian restaurant, plus two poolside restaurants which specialised in grills and seafood. We never visited the Asian restaurant but visited all the others twice during our stay and found the French to be best. All the restaurants provided excellent service with happy, helpful staff.
There was music everywhere and you often found yourself dancing as you walked around the resort. The staff were always singing and dancing too. The entertainment team were excellent, not too pushy, and happy to just sit and talk to you. The evening entertainment was to a very high standard with live music and shows, and when that was all done we spent many a happy hour in the piano bar singing along with the amazing piano man.
I can honestly say I have never had such a relaxing holiday, and I would like to thank everyone at Secrets St James for making it such a memorable time.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank FlossieShropshire
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 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Romantic 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: £296 - £833 (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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