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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
New Jersey
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great resort!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2014

Just returned yesterday. Great time. Beautiful resort. Helpful, kind and always courteous staff. Rooms, pools and beaches beautiful. Restaurants and food wonderful. Really no complaints at all! Short ride from airport. Plenty of things to do on resort and off. We did a trip to mayfield falls. Beautiful falls and much less commercialized and less crowded than dunns river. All restaurants were romantic and food excellent. Enjoyed iced coffee every day at Cocos. Did not stay in preferred club but used their beach and pool with no problem. Both st james and wild orchid are on same property and they both use the same restaurants, beaches, pools and entertainment. So really both resorts are the same.Would highly recommend this beautiful resort!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank lsantiago015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,314)
Date | Rating
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English first
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2014

We spent 7 days at Secret St James, Preferred. On our first day we met Nadia at the Concierge desk. She was awesome! Nadia made good recommendations for on site restaurants and helped us plan tours that were exactly what we wanted which was difficult because there were 12 of us with different needs. For the adventurers Nadia set up the River Falls and Zip Lining. For the relaxers, she recommended on site glass bottom boat and and off site a river raft trip. All of us wanted to see "real" Jamaica so she recommended Little Ochie which was a beach festival for locals. Although we seemed to be the only tourists there we were treated graciously and the food was more splendid than anything I had ever eaten. Nadia truly made our trip memorable.

The resort itself is beautifully maintained. Most of the staff are gracious and accommodating. The food and service at the French and Italian restaurants were awesome. The pool side Oceana Grill had a good variety of fresh seafood where the grilled snapper was to die for. The lobby buffet was well maintained with a good variety of food throughout the day if we choose not to go out to a restaurant. All through the resort food is plentiful. Barefoot Grill on the beach had wonderfully moist and delicious burgers and freshly made chips. There is quite a lot to do from early morning to late evening. You can go for a bike ride, nature hike, sailing, snorkeling, cooking classes, dance classes or just relax in one of the many pools or relax on the beach. There is always live entertainment in the evening. There is shopping nearby at the Hip Strip where you can negotiate good deals on souvenirs.

I would have given this resort five stars, but there were a few things that were a bit disappointing.

1. Blue Mountain Jamaican Restaurant - The service at the Blue Mountain restaurant was deplorable both times we visited. Although we could see many empty seats inside, it took at least 30 minutes to seat us. Once inside it service was incredibly slow. The first night we went we could hear the staff having a screaming match in the kitchen.
2. El Patio Mexican restaurant - If you have never eaten Mexican food and would like something with a little spice, you might like this restaurant. However, if you have ever eaten traditional Mexican food you will be sorely disappointed. The salsa was tomato sauce from a jar, the tacos had some kind of messy sauce poured over them. Worst Mexican food ever.
3. Piano Bar - Since I have only been able to find Piano Bars in the Caribbean, I look forward to sitting around the piano singing with a group. In other places, the piano player brings books with lyrics so that everyone can sing. We went three times and there was never a book, so no one sang. I asked a couple of the piano players for books. They both responded that they had none because the guest took them. I was disappointed as were the other guests who showed up, sat around for a bit and then left.

Overall, this was an enjoyable vacation and we would definitely consider returning.

Room Tip: Rooms on the Preferred side have ocean view, in suite Jacuzzi tub as well as a soaking tub on the ba...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Carolyn J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2014

We are overjoyed and so thrilled to share all of our wonderful memories from our honeymoon vacation. Before we arrived, the concierge answered all my questions promptly via email. We cannot get over how perfect everything was.

Property: First off, it is a quick trip from the Montego Bay airport. Everything was stunning. The views were breathtaking from every angle. The buildings were clean and well maintained. The pool was amazing and the beach was crystal clear. It was hard to leave the water!

Water Sports: We did the included activities of snorkeling and kayaking. These were easy to access and we had a great time. Snorkeling was led by a knowledgable staff member and we saw lots of ocean life.

Room: We stayed in a junior suite with an ocean view and were amazed with the quality of the room, the bed, the bathroom, and all of the amenities provided. The secret service door was so cool! Our view was something we loved waking up to each day.

Dining: The restaurants were very classy with a great variety of foods. We were always satisfied with every meal and the service at every restaurant. The buffet had so many options. The various dinner locations were all unique. Definitely make a reservation and try to hibachi table at Himitsu! Room service was also tasty although takes a little but to arrive so time it accordingly. We knew we could get great food at any time of the day.

Special Event: We were lucky enough to be here during the 4th of July and had a better time than we do when at home in the USA! The staff put on a super fun parade complete with free red, white, and blue goodies for the hotel guests to wear- leis, hats, bandannas, and crowns. They were dressed up in red, white, and blue and even had great costumes. There were American themed decorations around the resort, a delicious BBQ, beachside games, a rock-themed concert show by the talented Entertainment team, Elvis impersonator, and a grand finale fireworks show. What a great way to spend the 4th!

Bars: The drinks were always tasty and the employees at all of the bars were so friendly and made great recommendations. My husband got along great with Owayne and Chrisna at the St. James pool bar. What warm and welcoming individuals!

Staff: Everyone was friendly everywhere we went--- the front desk, room service, bars, maintenance, waiters, and everyone!


I may have left something out but basically, I cannot say enough that it was just an amazing time. We definitely hope to return someday. We highly recommend this to all especially those looking for the perfect honeymoon, anniversary, and/or destination wedding trip.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view room
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Kassandra F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

We just returned from the Secrets St. James in Montego Bay. With nine restaurants, several pools, a serene ocean, and great views, the resort is a great getaway.

We stayed for 5 days/4 nights in the Preferred Club. Like many other travelers who have reviewed the resort, the all-inclusive package includes unlimited meals and many activities, but the exclusivity is not worth the extra $250/day per person. You end up paying extra for many of the unique experiences that make the vacation memorable like the private dinner on the beach, the catamaran tour, the spa, and bottles of fine wine. The preferred package claims access to a private beach and pool, a private concierge, and daily appertifs. However, these extras are not well-regulated so any guest can access them.

Our concierge was very nice and welcomed us when we arrived. She was tasked with offering us a 90-minute tour of the property in exchange for extra amenities. With only 5 days away for a much-anticipated vacation, those 90 minutes were too precious to be pressured into investing in a timeshare. After that first welcome, we did not contact her for assistance.

Service is impeccable in many cases - mostly from the chefs and wait staff, many of whom who made us feel welcome and always accommodated my gluten-free diet requirements. Delroy at the Bordeaux Restaurant offered personalized service. The chef at Oceana welcomed us personally and checked on us throughout our meal. Kari-Ann handled our private dinner reservation, and she was fantastic. That dinner was one of our favorite experiences, despite the $400 price tag!

So why is the St. James a paradise for some guests, but not all? We are two women who have been together for 16 years. Thanks to the federal laws changing in the U.S., we were finally able to legally marry in April. This trip to Jamaica was our honeymoon. We notified the hotel of this special occasion before we arrived. However, as soon as we arrived for check-in, our check-in assistant Tasheka seemed confused with our reservation. While pointing at the computer screen, she cryptically called one of her colleagues while she asked us to wait. Then we got the uncomfortable question, "Are you sure you want a king bed?"

We sauntered to our room, where we arrived to the celebratory "Honeymoon" banner across our door. We tore it down immediately and decided to be "best friends" for the rest of our stay. We enjoyed our time any way - as it was a rare occasion to get away from the daily grind. However, we felt uncomfortable either because 1) we were conscious of the lack of staff acceptance or 2) we were consistently "hit on" by men who thought we were single women on a girls getaway.

So Secrets St. James & Wild Orchid (sister properties) are great for straight honeymooners or couples celebrating their anniversary. However, we would not recommend this property for couples like us - who are loyal and in love, but not mainstream.

Room Tip: Room in the 4000 building at the St. James are quieter and more secluded from the evening activities
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Jelayne3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trinidad and Tobago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

My wife and I traveled to Secrets St.James for our honeymoon, and from the first day to the last day it was absolutely AMAZING!! We were greeted with cold towels and mimosas and our luggage was quickly taken up to our room. From the door staff to the front desk staff we were always greeted with warm smiles. Every night a romantic gesture was place in our room, and for honeymooners this was a nice touch that made our stay even more wonderful. Each night we fell in love again with the romantic ambiance of the restaurants of which the food was extremely tasty. I must also add that there were a lot of food options as there were more than seven restaurants to choose from with Portofino being our favorite. The service that we received from the staff was outstanding and to name a few that stood out above the rest are Patrick and Travis our butlers, Jessica the host from world cafe and Chantelle the chef from barefoot grill. We were never bored and did not even leave the property as there was tons to do everyday, they truly catered to everyone's needs. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the general manager Emilio Hun who ensured that we were well taken care of. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this resort to anyone, this was an experience of a lifetime.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nad182
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2014

I returned back yesterday from the Secrets St James after a wonderful honeymoon. The resort itself is beautiful and you constantly see the staff or gardening around the resort to maintain a lovely standard.

We were lucky enough to have lovely weather with any hardly rain, I think literally 2 days we saw rain and that was it! It was scorching which made perfect weather for sunbathing and enjoying cocktails from the pool bar.

The restaurants and the variety were just perfect! We didn't have a bad meal whilst there and didn't have to wait once to be seated on the evenings for a meal. Over the 10 nights I do not recall receiving bad service once. The restaurant and most bar staff really deliver friendly and efficient service, they always have smiles on their faces too!

I would really recommend you pay the extra for the romantic dinner down by the beach if you are there on a special occasion and request Delroy!! He is amazing and really took care of us while we were with him.

On the negative side we would not return back to this resort for a few reasons that to be honest are quite small, but led to us not feeling like valued guests on departing the hotel.

The 'Preferred club' is not worth a penny! Yes you have a nice swimming pool with Orange towels but any other guest can use the pool so actually it's not exclusive to the 'Preffered' guests. The staff did not check once over the 10 nights we were there that we we're suppose to be in the 'Preferred' area. The hotel are also not consistent in the charges they charge to upgrade, they also pick and choose what facilities they want to include in the package, they are then dishonest when you question why you have paid more for the package when other guests have paid less and received more.

When upgrading to the Preferred club you have a private concierge to assist you. The concierge in the St James hotel for me, really let the service and staff down remarkably and to are part of my decision not to return to this hotel or recommend the hotel. They refused my husband to make a phone call to organise some golf as they were bit able to call as the golf was not a the hotel, for a 5 star hotel I find this unbelievable!

The concierge really do not appear to enjoy their positions of work and find it too much trouble to assist their guests. I witnessed this on several occasions with other guests as well as ourselves. Tasheka on the concierge desk repeatedly snapped at us, answered the phone then proceeded to slam it down and made us feel like we were a inconvenience to her on 2 separate occasions. I'm not really sure how the management at this hotel think their staff are good enough to be greeting their guests. The concierge also tended to glare at you as you pass threw the reception, heaven forbid you should want to ask them a question.

An item from our room also went missing on our last week there. The way the manager dealt when reporting the issue was inappropriate and unprofessional. Her attitude was obnoxious and she didn't want to take responsibility for our of our issues.

I love my holidays and I appreciate great service and do not like having to moan, but on this occasion, the poor service from Tasheka and her manager have not left me with a good opinion of the hotel. Whilst working as a senior manager for a tour operator in a customer facing position, I will perhaps not hesitate to recommend Sensatori in Negril instead.

I think some of the staff, not all of them to realise they are lucky to have guests wanting to stay with them at their hotel.

All in all, if you want a hot week away go for it! The jerk chicken is delicious and the beach is small, but lovely. Just don't upgrade your room and hope you need any assistance with anything!

Room Tip: Request a higher floor but do not be tricked in to paying extortionate room upgrades. They will try...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Nad182
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phila. PA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2014

1 first visited Secrets Wild Orchid shortly after it opened in 2010. This time my husband and I stayed on the St. James side and traveled with another couple. Which really is no difference at all if you ask me. The food was great, entertainment the best and this time we were lucky enough to escape the terrible 4th of July weather back home and be here during the holiday. Boy, did they do it up for the 4th!! Day started with a beach BBQ and at night there was a full 2 hour beach concert, concluded with some pretty impressive fireworks. This is a resort where you don't have to leave once you get here. They keep you well entertained, well fed (yes, my husband stalked the jerk cart guy) and the 24 hour room service is an added plus. They think of every detail, down to the toiletries you receive in your room. You can't go wrong with Secrets St. James or Wild Orchid.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank PhillyTraveller_10
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
#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 (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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