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“All-inclusive that doesn't feel massive, crowded” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Secrets St James

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Secrets St James
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Lot A59 Freeport, Montego Bay, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #10 of 63 hotels in Montego Bay
Kingston, Jamaica
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“All-inclusive that doesn't feel massive, crowded”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

We stayed for a couple of days right before Christmas eve and the hotel felt like home. Not at all that crowded feeling that all-inclusive hotels normally have. Good food and nice facilities.
The entertaining team was amazing: we went to the theater night and enjoyed so much the entire show that the staff put together. Great work Delrose Bahadure! Looking forward seeing you again, specially on-stage.
The only down was a funny smell in the room that thankfully was forgotten with their incense candles and the TOO soft bed (which could be considered as a good thing for others!).
It is in the "repeat" list - we will definitely come back again very soon!

Room Tip: The higher the floor, the nicer the view
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,217)
Date | Rating
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English first
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

I stayed in jamaica from the 26/11/11- 6/12/11 most fo the time was spent at the Secrets Resort. I stayed at the Preferred Options part of the building but in truth I did not see much difference in the quality of the accommodation or service recieved if you were not staying at the preferred area of the complex.

When first i stayed, I was greeted with a mistake as I was directed to the wrong reception and then brouhgt over to the preferred reception afterwards. the reception arrangements appeared to me to be somewhat apphazard.

Showing me to our room I was shown a good size room, the porter hung around and appeared to wait fo a tip but on the way up to the room after a ten hour flight I coud of done without the continuous talking and yes he broke out into song!! I think that it was all over the top and not really a five star experience.

The room itself was a good size but the bathroom facilities I considered to lack enough privacy for a room that was being shared with my partner.

The balcony furniture was cheap and the bath on the balcony had no use as again it lacked privacy and was not used during our stay.

I was at the hotel during thanks giving and it was very american I would say that most o the entertainment was therefore geared to the american guests complete with marching bands on the beach. I found the crowd at time raucous- but this is no fault of the resort.

A good tip is to get a room on the top floor as this has the best views, I also went to Kingston and when I returned I was given a room on the first floor no view and more noisy as you could hear people coming and going.

Cost of travel

There was a real lack of feeling of jamaica in this place and if you wanted to leave the complex and use the transport on offer at the resort be warned at the expense that they will charge you- I was asked for $100 us dollars for a trip into Montego Bay- |The same levels of expenditure was on offer for the excursions that were on offer went to Dunns river falls- again I thought that this was again expensive at approximately $100 us dollars per person better off going as four and getting a cab driver that are placed plentiful just outside the gates of the complex can do all these journeys a lot cheaper often less than half price.

Also went to Negril beach again at a lessor price than the trip to Dunn's river but more enjoyable as we stopped at Ricks Cafe to see the people diving off the cliffs - it was a shame we could not have stayed longer as a band struck up and the place had a good buzz.

back to the resort-

Food- This I thought was extremely poor as I thought that it lacked any authenticity especially the Blue Mountain jamaican resturant that failed to impress, I felt on a couple of occassions that I had to leave the resort to eat - try Scotchies jerk chicken centre and you will understand the difference. I complained about the food from day one and eventually i had Jamaican meals prepared for me especially on several occassions.

The drinks were watered down and it was at times difficult to get certain drinks i.e. french Brandy that always seemed to be out and not available. I was able to get Champagne but this you had to pay for ( $95 ). this was nicely chilled. be warned however that if you wish to purchase a bottle of wine with your dinner you will need a book of vouchers in order to get the discounts this I found annoying as I could not see the reason for this as these vouchers are issued at the resort and can only be used on the resort pointless really.

unusual for jamaica certain drinks was not available - Wray and Nephew rum, red stripe and Dragon stout, even sorrell was not available on this resort..

Entertainment on site

As we stayed for two weeks on the resort we experienced most of the entertainment that was on offer some of it very good most of the entertainment was in the theatre - but some of the talent from the audience showed up the professional singers and dancers as some of the audience I would say clearly sang better.

The entertainers i think has a good balance of variety in the performances

Timeshare sales

This they will tell you is not timeshare but they will continuously invite you to a presentation to join the club, please see forum on trip advisor- for me personally I thought that this was a waste of time but you will be offered a voucher for the spa or some other incentive so for some this may be worthwhile.

The spa.

I thought that this was extremely highly priced and not worth the monies charged for this so I did not use it. My partner who went to the spa just thought that it was alright and the staff lack knowledge. The standard according to my partner was not to comparable hotels that we have stayed in.

All in all I would not recommend this hotel for Weddings or couples but for friends to gather and have fun!!







.

Room Tip: I stayed in room 1414 I thought that this was a much better room than room 1216 on the first floor i...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

I should begin with a disclaimer: This trip was for business purposes; therefore, 1) I received a corporate discount so did not pay full price, and 2) I did not have an opportunity to spend a great deal of time at the resort.

That said, I have spent a great deal of time and money at All-Inclusive resorts around Mexico and the Caribbean, and at this point I generally am not a fan of AI... But this property blew me away. A few highlights of what this resort offers that most AI's do not:
-Champagne is included! I know, it's the little things... but this made me so happy.
-Top shelf liquor, that you don't have to beg the bartender to dig up begrudgingly from an elusive back room
-Room service, and a privacy box so you can simply order, and have the food left in a box you can then access from your room. As I was traveling for work this was perfect, as I could order breakfast and get in the shower without worrying about having to get to the door if the food arrived before I was finished.
-Good food. Really good food. All-Inclusives are known for their bland, repetitive food. Coming from Chicago I won't say everything I had was strictly 5-star fare, but there was a good variety and most everything I had was quite tasty. I recommend the french toast brulee from the breakfast buffet... Heavenly.
-Excellent service with a genuine smile. Yes, I did encounter a couple staff members during my stay who seemed underwhelmed to be helping me out, but the vast majority were friendly and helpful and seemed to have a genuine desire to help me have a positive experience there.
-Worthwhile entertainment. Most All-Inclusives employ a group of people who do it all... Poolside entertainment by day, singing and dancing by night... But this location does it right, bringing in actual talent from outside the resort in the form of talented singers, bands and dancers.

The vibe of the resort was somewhat reserved and laid back, and definitely classier than other All-Inclusives I've visited. Though I saw a decent amount of fun and silliness going on by the pool bar, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone looking for a loud party environment. Secrets is a great place for couples or groups of friends looking to get away and enjoy one another's company.

My only criticism/tip is that the first floor off the lobby of the St. James side is quite loud through the night. This might not be as much of an issue for vacationers who don't have an early wake-up call coming, but at about 3am the first night I heard quite a bit of noise coming from carts being pushed up and down the hall, and clanging of things going through the lobby. The acoustics in the hallways are terrible (or great, depending on what you're using them for), so *everything* echos, including other guests headed back to their rooms from one of the bars in the middle of the night. So, if you are a light sleeper, bring ear plugs.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012

I had the pleasure of staying at Secrets over new year's eve/new year's day and had a brilliant experience. The service was second to none. Staff were wonderful and I would like to mention the ones who stood out: Billy Love, Rennea, Keneil, Myra, Garfield and Oldfield. The food was wonderful, the room fantastic and the overall experience was one to remember. Loved the seafood restaurant. The band, Pace, was excellent and did a great job bringing in the new year.
I visited with a good friend but I think the hotel was more suited to couples. Will have a address that next time.
Will definitely recommend this wonderul hotel to relatives and friends.

Room Tip: ground floor provided easy access to the pool & beach.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012

I recently returned home from the best holiday i have ever had. The people there as so Freindly compaired to any other countries i have visited. I went with my brother, we played volley ball every day with Friends and the entertainment team, Bruce, shane, ash the list goes on with Petal providing the drinks on the beach! It was amazing! Night time was also very good, with a good buzz in the piano bar then head down to desires nightclub. New years night was out of this world, they really did make an effort! The fireworks were amazing! I will 100% be booking Secrets for my new years holiday this year! If you don't go here, your missing out trust me.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

Kedeisha is a great waitress! She made our trip amazing!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

This is our 2nd New Years eve spent at Secrets resorts in Montego Bay. We enjoyed it so much in 2011 that we decided to go back in 2012. It was just as wonderful and the staff is so nice.
This year however, we met Relaine at check in. She is a wonderful host and demonstrated what "great" customer service means. From the moment we met her she had us laughing and took great care to find us another room when the air conditioner was not working. Each time we walked through the lobby we looked for Relaine and her wonderful smile and kind words guided us to our next activity. Kudos Secrets for retaining this employee. She is a keeper and should be rewarded.

We also met three other wonderful ladies who worked promoting the preferred club. They were so delightful. (Renee, Shena, and Chandra). The last two ladies spelling of their names is not accurate but they know who they are.

There is also Eric the bartender. We met him last year and this year we saw him as he floated from role to role. He is wonderful and so easy to chat with. Another great hire Secrets.

The New Years Eve activities have been wonderul both years. Last year the food service in the Blue Mountain Restaurant was painfully slow but much better this year. The band "Pace" was right on point and had great selections.

Ricardo - the preparer at the Habachi restaurant is a real show man. He keeps you laughing even if you are not at his station where he makes cooking food so much fun.

The one thing I would change is the curtain between the bathroom and the bedroom. It would be so easy to put up a wall to allow for privacy. It would also prevent you from disturbuing your travel mate in the middle of the night turning on the bathroom light. Really, whose idea was it to put a curtain separating a bathroom from the rest of the living space? Bad idea.

The food, especially the Jamaican food, was delicious. Need I say more.

The pool - yeah for the heated pools. Going in the winter poses the problem of the pool being cold but with the heating of the pool it made it a joy to swim. Why not heat the larger pool as well? Everyone is in the smaller heated pool and it can be a bit crowded.

The coconut, Jerk chicken, snowcone, and fruit carts are such great ideas and provide a taste of Jamaica as you lay out by the pool or the beach. Never seen that before. Great idea.

Keep the ongoing focus on the customer and this hotel will to top notch for years to come!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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

Address: Lot A59 Freeport, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#12 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#13 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets St James 4.5*
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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