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“wonderful family vacation at SWO”

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Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay
Ranked #10 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
central NJ
Level 5 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“wonderful family vacation at SWO”
Reviewed 18 December 2011

My husband and I along with our three daughters ages 22 and 18 year old twins vacationed at SWO from Dec. 11 to the 16th. I was a liitle nervous after reading some of the reviews but I could not have chosen a better resort. The staff at Secrets is top notch. They made all of us feel so welcome and could not do enough for you. We did tip but I never felt that it was expected. We never waited more than five minutes for a drink at the beach or pool and the service at the restaurants was very good.

Check in was fast and our rooms were ready when we arrived. I had emailed Caulette requesting two rooms close to each other and to my surprise we had two ocean front adjoining rooms! Maid service and turn down service was at the perfect time everyday. All the amenities were replaced without asking. The blow dryer in the room is the best I have ever used. I did not find the layout of the room to be awkward. You cannot see through the frosted door.

The first day there we went to the beach on the St. James side after hearing it was the "better" beach. We then switched to the Wild Orchid side and found that although there were more rocky areas, the water was so crystal clear that the rocks were easy to avoid and the view was better. I loved how the pool was so close to the beach that you could lay by the pool and still go in the ocean when you wanted. We never had a problem getting a lounge chair by the beach or the pool. Everyone we met at the hotel including the guest were friendly and courteous. My husband became best friends with Fabien. We will be sure to look for him when we return.

I thought the food was good for an all inclusive. Was it the best I ever had at an AI? No but we still enjoyed all our meals. The breakfast was very good and had a large variety of choices . We ate at all the restaurants except the Italian. Every meal was good and the service was as well. Even being a family of five we never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a table. We did not eat lunch everyday. Most of the time we had the jerk chicken by the pool which was delicious. I never though I would ever eat off of a cart but it was SO good! I think the buffet was open for lunch as well as the pool side restaurant which served wraps and a salad bar. My girls ate there a couple of days and said it was fine. If you are the type of person who likes to eat a nice lunch you might be disappointed. The coffee bar had the best coffee drinks. They also served sandwitches and snacks. I thought the frozen drinks were very good and not watered down at all. The wine selection could be better, but it was not terrible.

The staff at Secrets offered many fun activities. Vollyball, hat making, cooking classes, pool basketball... My girls participated in the beach olympics which was fun for my husband and I to watch. At night there was enough going on to keep you entertained. The shows were all very good. The band and dance team were very talented. The gaming room was small but we all managed to win some money. We never made it to the night club on the property. Secrets also offers a free shuttle to Margaritaville on Wednesday and Thursday nights. They take you at 9,10 or 11pm and bring you back at 1 or 2am. Our last night there we went to the Beach Party which was fun. They had a band playing , open bar, hamburgers, hotdogs and smores. Not enough food to count as dinner so we ended up eating at the french restaurant again. It was almost 10pm but they had no problem seating us.

My daughters and I went to the spa twice for massages. The spa is very well done and relaxing. The treatments were wonderful. All the workers were professional. The prices were comparable to NY prices. The first day they took $50.00 off each 80 minute massage, the second day we used the coupons that came with the room. I don't think anyone pays the price that is on the price list.

I thought that the Wild Orchid side of Secrets had a more relaxing and upscale feel than the St. James side. The view from the WO side is spectacular. The grounds are lush and beautiful. The hotel does not have a grand entrace or lobby.It is not glitzy with marble all over the place. It is more like a small reception area with a zen like vibe. Even though Secrets is a large resort it never felt that way. The layout and the staff make it feel more intimate. We did not do Preferred, I am not sure if it is worth it unless you want a swim up room.

We had a wonderful family vacation at Secrets. I really do not have any complaints. The only thing that can be improved upon is the choices for their lunch menu and room service menu. Oh yes I almost forgot.....the one negative...why would they put a SCALE in the bathroom!!!

Room Tip: Get a room on a higher floor for a better view.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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4 Thank centralNJBeachmom3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Bamberg, Bayern, Germany
1 review
Reviewed 17 December 2011

Secrets Wild Orchid is an amazing resort. Went with my husband and had an amazing time. Spring for the Preferred Club (it was worth it). The entire staff @ the resort was nothing but pleasant. We can't wait to go back...

Room Tip: Preferred (ocean view) 3rd or 4th floor.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Angelita B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2011

I had always gone the Sandals in the past, but decided to try Secrets. The Wild Orchid resort was new and well kept. The rooms were very nice and all had an ocean view. The staff was pleasant and helpful. There was a variety of nightlife from wild parties to quaint piano bars. There needed to be more choices in the restaurants, and the fitness center has limited equipment and some in dis-repair. The beaches were top shelf. They were large, clean and plenty of lounge chairs, with no need to save them. The bar waiters on the beach were superb, and made frequent visits throughout the day and you never had to wait more than 10 minutes for service. The rooms on the Wild orchid side (as apposed to St. James) were closer to the restaurants and most of the action

Room Tip: Did not feel it was necessary to spend the extra money for the "preferred" status rooms
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank Robert K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dover, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2011

We stayed in the Preferred club section and had a swim out room for 2 weeks. We enjoyed a lovely relaxing stay. The room was clean & light with plenty of storage space for clothes. The bed was very comfy with a choice of different pillows available. I was slightly concerned about the bathroom layout, from reading previous reviews, but I needn’t have worried, everything was fine, the toilet and shower were in separate doored rooms from the rest of the open plan bathroom. The staff were all very helpful and friendly. The food was good, with the Blue Mountain & Japanese restaurants being our favourites. We had one rainy day, where we visited the spa. The treatments were slightly pricey, but the well worth it. We both had the hot stone massage and it eased all the stiffness and back ache we had from the 10 hour flight. The views were fantastic and we watched may beautiful sunsets from the soaking tub on the balcony, with a glass of champagne in hand. The pool for the swim out was not heated, which we found nice and refreshing. Where as the main pool which was heated was a bit too warm, but most other people seemed to like it. We would and have already recommend, this hotel to our family and friends. Although we would not stay have again (as there's too many other places in the world I want to see, to be able to go back to anywhere twice, no matter how good), I would stay at another Secrets hotel in a different country.

Room Tip: The activities take place round the main pool and beach, so if you want to aviod these book a Prefer...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rebecca M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviewed 16 December 2011

We got married, had a great time,eventhough we spent more than we wanted to spend. A little advise,stay in the Preferred rooms or you will pay $1200 for a 15 mintue ceremony,bring your own photographer, because the resort's is really pricey,$500 for 50 pictures.

Also stay away from the tourist spots for shopping,"Hip Strip" over priced. Go to the Craft Market and bargin, or if you go to Dunn's river Falls trip, buy from the last Craft Market,before you get to Dunn's River.

Also,eventhough you get credits for Spa Treatments, they are pricey, along with the activities outside the resort are pricey. Best Jerk chicken is downtown,make reservations when you get there for the Japanese place. Overall,staff was GREAT !!!!!!!!!.Resort is really nice,entertainment is GREAT!!!!!!!! Food and drinks are plenty!!!!!!!!!!!!

One more thing, it's best to have a lock on your suitecase, a blouse, a skirt, a pair of pants and 2 brand new pair of undewear came up missing. My bad for taking too many clothes.

Thanks Kemisha and Marci for everything.

Room Tip: 5th floor and Ocan view !
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 931MiMi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2011

Overall, I'd say the stay at Secrets was above average. I wasn't wowed by anything other than the view, though. The property has breathtaking views and sunsets. The water was crystal clear and from the boardwalk area you could see starfish, crabs, and even a stingray swimming at night. There are some very romantic settings for weddings, candlelight dinners, or even just nice walks on the beach.

The property overall is very modern, dark wood, not really a caribbean feel. Some may be ok with this it's just not exactly my taste.

The front desk area is a bit dark and small. I think there were only 2 other couples checking in and it seemed cramped. They had drinks, cool towels and cookies at checkin. A nice touch but they were not consistent in who they gave these items to. It seemed more like self serve based on the experience thru the lobby.

The room we were assinged to was on the 2nd floor not too far from the beach or the pools. Had a nice view. The bed was VERY comfortable. Lots of pillows. The bathroom had an odd layout, there was a large tub in the middle and a curtain that seperated it from the bedroom. This was fine for a couple but if traveling with girlfriends might not be the best layout. There was a small sitting area in the room. Drawer and Cabinet space was fine for us but we were only there 4 days. If on a longer stay this may have been an issue. Closet space was ample. The safe worked fine as did the blow dryer. Amenities were good quality. The shower was a little on the smaller side but had a rain head and a handheld shower head.

The grounds were well maintained. They had jerk chicken carts, fruit carts, shaved ice carts. Very nice and gave the feel of being in a Jamiacan town without leaving the resort. The Jerk Chicken was very good overall. Some days better than others. Also, the create your own wraps at Oceana were good. The restaurants didn't impress me too much but this is subjective. The Japanese was good and so was the Blue Mountain restaurant. Serivce was good there. The italian wasn't anything to write home about but I was in Jamaica so I didnt expect much. The worst options were the Buffet's Surf & Turf night. We actually left and went for Japanese that nihgt. I tried the lobster and hubby tried the steak and neither were edible. We mentioned it to the person cleaning up plates and she laughed. I didnt think that was appropriate but when we mentioned at the Japanese restaurant that we had a bad experience at the Buffet they apologized profusely and even brought out the chef. This is the kind of service I expect at such a highly rated property. Room Service didnt have many options so we skipped it.

The drinks were good, service in the disco was excellent. Pools were nice, complimentary snorkeling was ok. I guess it would have been better if we had gone out earler in the day but the guides stayed with us and made sure everyone was ok even the less experienced snorkerlers.

Overall, it was a good quick get away. Resort was clean, well maintained. not far from the airport.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank newtoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dover, Delaware
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 December 2011

This was my first time to Jamaica and I can say I was pleasantly surprised....literally surprised Tuesday morning with a vacation to Secrets by my boyfriend. We went with 2 other couples and left the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. I never heard really great things about Jamaica so when we got to Secrets I was impressed! Impressed with the layout, friendly staff, great views from the rooms, and food. We went to Punta Cana about 3-4 years ago and it was okay, wouldn’t go back to Punta Cana, but Secrets, I would go back to Secrets Wild Orchid!!

There is too much to say about our vacation but I will try and highlight the important stuff. First, if you are not going and staying in the “Preferred” section, don’t waste your money. You don’t get that much extra to justify spending the $ for Preferred…UNLESS you like a separate quiet beach…we don’t…we like to have fun with other people at the bar & pool. Preferred has a separate pool & beach but not much happens there….but if that is what you want…go for it….if you want to have fun, bar in your pool, then just do Wild Orchid regular, not preferred. You can, however, stay in Wild Orchid regular and just upgrade a little to get the preferred access (black key card). Preferred also has a lounge with drinks and snacks available all day long and free internet access.

So after you get check-in, make friends with the Entertainment Team. The entertainment team is there to make sure you have a great time. We played beach volleyball twice a day with Bruce, Shane, & Cassie- all part of the entertainment team- and other guests. You want Bruce on your team- plus if you need something they can help you get it, such as change for tipping & alcohol to take back home. All the staff at Secrets are awesome and seem to really enjoy their jobs and are laid back and helpful.

We promised to give a shout out to the bartenders Ryan and Harry at the Oceana pool bar, very entertaining and great guys!

Oh- before you leave home make sure you have plenty of $1 dollar bills for tipping- like $100-300 dollars’ worth of $1…..because finding change on the resort or island is close to impossible!!! Actually make sure you have nothing but small bills if you plan on shopping or going off the resort! NO one wants to give you change in Jamaica. It’s like they don’t have banks there where you can break a $50 or $100. And the ATM’s only give you big bills. It’s crazy!

The beach sand is imported from the Bahamas. It is not soft, it is course sand and walking into the ocean…watch out for the rocks! That is the one downfall at this resort, the beach is manmade.

The spa- it is expensive but worth it! My boyfriend got a 50 min Swedish massage and wishes he did the 80 min. Said it was the best massage he has ever had, and he goes regularly. I got an awesome pedicure, facial was okay but it was relaxing. Go about 1.5 hr early for your apt and you can enjoy the spa pool, sauna, etc.

Food- Breakfast, they only have 1 place open for breakfast so that gets old after a while, Lunch- you have the 2 pool bar options (Wild Orchid and St. James) plus the restaurant where breakfast is held. Dinner- you have several options- I loved the Japanese, if you want to sit at a table you don’t need a reservation, if you want to sit at the table where they do all the cooking and singing you need a reservation. All other dinner places you do not need a reservation. The piano bar after dinner or before is a great place to hang out and their night club Desires was fun for a late night dancing.

Excursions- In Punta Cana we had an awful experience with taking the bus with other hotels and people for excursions so this time we opted for a private taxi. It costs more but well worth the $$$. You can get a taxi on the resort; they all wear red vests and stand around the resort entrance. I didn’t hear good things about the ‘Hip Strip’, kind of scary area. We went zip lining at Chukka Zipline Canopy and it was awesome! It was about 30mins from the resort via private taxi, probably shorter if the road you enter to the zip line wasn’t so beat up. This was the second time our friend went to this zip line place and the guy who ran the place- Al- remembered our friend so we got a little special treatment We had Al and Melvin as our guides and they were hilarious and made it that much more fun. You have to go!

Every Tuesday or Wednesday night they have a talent show and the winners of the talent show get a free 4 night stay at Secrets….so if you have talent…sign up! If you don’t have talent, just go and watch.

One of the best things about this resort is that it is ADULTS ONLY!! No kids! AND unless you want to pay for international rates, turn off your cell phones and don't check your email...it is very relaxing and makes all the stress go away!

Hope you have an awesome time at Secrets Wild Orchid! Tell the staff the 2011 Boyfriend of the Year and his Girlfriend sent you and said Hi! Bruce, Cassie, and all the bartenders will know what you’re talking about....LOL

Room Tip: Ask for an Ocean View. We stayed in room 2526 and it was directly over the pool area but it had a s...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank alisonDE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay

Property: Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay
Address: Lot 59A | 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 ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 350
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Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay Hotel Montego Bay

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