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“Great food, Beautiful grounds, maybe not so clean room and a little disappointment lurking”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 9 June 2014

First of all, everyone in our group had a fantastic time. The food was amazing, most especially the breakfast buffet. We never had a meal we didn't like. The bell boys, check in staff and entertainment staff seemed to really enjoy their jobs and were exceptionally nice. The grounds were immaculate. They were very well kept and lush. Barrels of water stationed along the paths are a very nice touch. The resort is very nice.
Now on to the downside. I don't know what happened but we went with another couple celebrating their anniversary. Somehow, they got rose petals for their last night and we didn't. Also, I wouldn't say our room was exceptionally clean. I saw a number of hairs in our room upon first entering. One in the bath tub, some around sink, a few on the floor. Don't know if the maid was shedding or floor wasn't swept. Definitely weren't ours, though. Didn't tell husband or he would have been grossed out. Furthermore, there was a serious lack of wait staff around pool, breakfast and lunch buffet, beach, and bar at night. Took us forever to get drinks at beach. And the poor waitress that waited on us acted like she would have preferred to be anywhere other than there waiting on us. Couple of times for lunch and breakfast we didn't have silverware and it took some searching to find someone to get us some. Forget trying to order a drink at the night time bar. As one gentleman said to me, it is hard to get drunk around here. Will say busboys did excellent job keeping water filled and plates cleared.
As for entertainment, I fear we were greatly misled. We picked this resort based on their advertising that they had Vegas style shows in an amphitheater type location. Never once did we see any show advertised except Thor the movie on a big screen at the Coffee shop area. As for the 3 guy boy band that did play one night, yikes! Furthermore, don't be fooled by the night club. It reeks of mildew as does the casino and both are not to be taken seriously. Band stops playing at 10:30pm, be warned. I can't help but think that Secrets had tons advertised on their website for things to do like Eurobungee but once we got there I didn't see or hear one iota about it.
For people looking for a nice expanse of beach, don't come here. Although beautiful, actual beach is quite small and so seating is pretty crammed together.
All this being said, it is a newer resort so everything is nice and new. With a few tweaks, Secrets would definitely be amazing.
*Had some sort of alarm clock in room, never did quite figure out how to use it.
* Daily list of activities was very helpful.

Room Tip: Do get a second floor or higher or you may have Peacocks visiting.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Hope G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 June 2014

From May 6th-May 13th I took a solo trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica. I had always wanted to go and wanted to treat myself for my 40th Birthday. The Secrets St. James was suggested to me by a friend and he loved it. I took a chance, did a little research and hoped for the best. By this being my first solo trip and my first time in Jamaica I didn't know what to expect but I was excited none the less. Upon arrival I was greeted by the airport transfer service paid for through my Delta Airline Vacation Package. I was taken to the hotel where I was greeted by a friendly bellhop by the name of RODERICK who instructed me to leave my bags with him as he escorted me into the hotel where there were beautiful dark hardwood floors, dark wood covering some of the walls, and comfy couches to sit. He asked me if I would like a glass of Champagne while I waited to be checked in. As I sipped my Champagne, check-in was easy but I had to wait a bit because there are only three check in desks. The other two desks were for concierge and booking activities. RODERICK showed me to my room which was just as nice, huge comfy bed, nice view, fully stocked wet bar, and nice bathroom. I thought the curtain separating your bedroom from your bathroom was a little strange but since I was alone, I didn't have a privacy issue. About 3 days into my stay my shower started to leak huge puddles. I reported this to a front desk person who blew it off and gave me a bit of attitude. This could not be tolerated so I asked the concierge ANTONETTE what happened and asked to speak to a Supervisor. After a few calls ANTONETTE located a Supervisor by the name of KEVIN. I explained my great disappointment with what had occurred and he immediately apologized and upgraded my room to a beautiful Ocean View Suite. It was gorgeous!!! The rest of my stay was great! The food was awesome! I especially loved these restaurants; Himitsu, Portofino, Bordeaux, Blue Mountain and World Cafe. The daily itinerary with all the goings on for the day was handy to have. I caught a great cooking class, with CASSIE and learned how to make jerk fish on the grill, and I also make a few bracelets in another class. All this while sipping on a daily drink special..my favorite was the Jamaica Delight! As with all places there were some unpleasant staff members as well as other vacationers but I didn't let them ruin my trip. If you are a woman travelling alone, beware of all the Jamaican men trying to talk to you. I laughed it off most of the time and promised to meet most of them at Margaritaville which I never went LOL! The ladies in Concierge really hassle you about the time share program they had which became annoying after a few days, I had a great time but would probably try another resort during my next visit to Jamaica. CAN'T FORGET!!!LOVED THE JERK CHICKEN CART, FRESH FRUIT CART, COCONUT WATER MAN, AND THE BURGERS AT (SEASIDE GRILL?) YUMMY!!

Room Tip: Go for the corner Ocean Suites on the higher floors.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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4  Thank Cassandra A R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

This is the perfect resort to visit with your partner to celebrate a special occasion. The resort is obviously geared towards couples and makes every effort to enhance romance. From the double loungers and hammocks sprinkled around the grounds to a bonfire and dancing on the beach. You can even arrange for a private dinner complete with candles and torches in you own personal gazebo overlooking the ocean. I would highly recommend this resort to any looking for a romantic getaway with outstanding service. The entire staff makes every effort to make you feel welcomed and comfortable. Even though every employee was exceptional from the maids to wait staff I would like to say a special thank you to Renee at the front desk. She was so warm and caring and it was her " pleasure" to always help with whatever. She truly is a special person.
I would definitely consider returning to this piece of paradise on earth!

Room Tip: All rooms have some ocean view St James side of resort is the quite side
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Toronto1995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

Wonderful hotel. Excellent food and attentive staff. Rooms were of a very high standard. Would definately go back. Congratulations to the entertainment staff who did a great job especially Alex. Look out for Leo round the pool he is full of character and keeps you amused

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Lynne H
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 13 June 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

Thanks for having visited our resort and also, for taking the time to share your kind review. I am happy to note that you enjoyed the resort, especially our entertainment and was well entertained by one of our beloved bartenders, Leo.

Looking forward to welcoming you back Home!

Best Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

We stayed for a full 8 days here and overall had a wonderful experience. We picked this resort because we also love the Secrets resorts and have been to the Secrets Royal Beach in Punta Cana. My BF and I love to snorkel and we enjoyed waking up every morning and snorkeling directly from the hotel- we saw so many different fish. Lots of starfish, balloon fish, etc and this was amazing for us. The width of the beach is skinny and a little more rocky than other beaches in the Caribbean. The pools were on the louder side, lots of music, games etc. It would have been nice to have 1 quiet pool to go to as an option without having to upgrade to the preferred level- which we thought was ridiculous to pay more for. We're mainly beachy people so we spend most days on the lounge chairs under the palm trees, occasionally going on a snorkeling adventure. We thoroughly enjoyed the food and the service. The people in Jamaica were so friendly and they really made this resort. We loved the staff and really felt they cared in making sure we were happy. We did try to plan one excursion but had to cancel b/c I was sick, which they wanted me to see the nurse and get a note, which was $30 and I don't need a nurse to tell me I'm not feeling well. We rescheduled instead for the following day and none the less no one showed up to pick us up- it was a mix-up so we got our money back and returned back to the beach and pool- not complaining because we really enjoyed lounging around all week. It was an effortless wonderful and special week for us. We also have the reggae on repeat back in NYC! :)

Room Tip: We had a ground floor which we liked because of its convenience. We didn't feel it was worth it...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Blondealice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

This is a definite must visit. The property is amazing and worth every cent paid. If you are looking to just relax and take in the sun this is the place to do it. They give you no reason to leave the resort unless you want to visit the various local attractions. The entertainment is just that entertaining, the night life is awesome. Don't forget to make an appointment at the spa: you will not be disappointed. I will definitely visit again in the near future.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

As you know this is my 3rd stay at Secrets St James and I now know this will forever be my home away from home!!!! In my many stays in Jamaica, I only wish I would have discovered Secrets on my first visit to this beautiful country..... I would allow my pictures to do some of the reviewing, but I have yet to figure out how to upload them to this site. This was my first time in my many visits that I decided to come in May and wasn't I in for a surprise. To my surprise it is mating season for the beautiful peacocks and I wish I could share my pics, maybe I'll figure it out later, but I was like a little kid in a candy store, if you've never seen a peacock feathers fully extended, you would be amazed, it was absolutely beautiful...... I like to go to the piano lounge during the afternoon, because it's quite and shaded and beautiful views from each opening, I can relax, mediate and take beautiful pictures, to my amazement I was hearing this sound and I ignored it the first couple of times and them I had to see what it was, well it was the peacock doing his call I guess, but he was standing in front of Bordeaux restaurant with all his feathers gloriously extended and the child in me revealed herself, I just think it's the photographer in me to capture beautiful things and he was beautiful to photograph, I have half a disk to prove it. The staff says he's there every morning just standing his ground, fabulous creature...so this became the focus of this trip outside of relaxing..... This time I didn't even leave the resort, once again every thing I needed or wanted was right there for Me, again the staff was Awesome, Shameika Dalley, (front desk) this young lady was exceptionally beautiful, her smile and bubbly personality was welcoming, she did everything possible to make sure I was taken care of, I usually request my same suite and they do everything possible to accommodate Me but this time it wasn't available, but somehow the suite directly next door was absolutely better, so my location and convenience didn't change, just my views and how wonderful were those views, I upgraded from a great view to a fantastical view!!!!! O'Neil and Hermon, My bellman (yes My Bellman, I felt like he belonged to Me) of course he remembered me from last year and who wouldn't be flattered by that, I tell them either I was the guest from hell or one of the best to visit and of course it's the latter. If you've never been to Jamaica then you will definitely want to venture out, but once you've seen a lot of the grand sites and just want to relax this is the resort to do it at..... Everything you need is right here!!!

The grounds are beautiful and they put pride into the grooming, the ocean views are to live for and I don't even like to swim in the ocean, but it's so inviting it makes me want to get in ( I do walk along the beach though) and the beautiful peacocks are just extra; can't remember if I mentioned the spa, but Kudos to the staff there; all of the restaurants are great Bordeaux, still my favorite (Judita and Wayne (waitress, whom I remembered from Last year and still wonderful & waiter) and Himitsu strong second (Marlon was my chef this time and he was great!! but all of the restaurants are above board, all the way across, service, staff and delicious food.

I will definitely return nit sure if it'll be for my birthday this year or not, maybe for the holidays, but next time I think I'll take my sons. The will love it, they haven't been since they were boys.

Thanks guys for Always making feel like I'm at home and loved... Awesome!!!!!!! Until next visit!!

******(Forgive any typos print is small and I'm too tired to proof read again... Read between the lines...☺️)

Room Tip: It depends on what you like, most rooms are partial/ ocean view.... Because I travel alone, I want g...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank SERITA B
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
#11 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: £304 - £745 (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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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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