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“EXCELLENT RESORT...you cannot go wrong here from a travel agent” 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
Mississauga, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“EXCELLENT RESORT...you cannot go wrong here from a travel agent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

I escorted a group of clients that have travelled all over the world and decided to bring them here in Nov for a week of fun and sun. These clients know what they want and don't want and all of them could not be more happier. The only downside was 7 days was too short so they are planning to come for 10 days next time. The staff were excellent from the people who meet and greet you upon arriving on the bus and they get you in the mood right away by singing...welcome home...because for as long as you are here...this is your home and they want it to be your home away from home and all the staff are truly there for you.

They had all the top shelf drinks you can ask for at all the restaurants and if they did not have something they went and got it for you. As a group we tried out every single restaurant and did not have to eat in the same one for dinner all week but we did go back to a number of them for lunch. The lobster was cooked so well...that we decided to have some extra's and there was plenty of extra to go around. It truly was the best lobster i ever had at a resort and the excutive chef made himself available on a number of days to ensure things were perfect. Not one person in the group did not like the food. Don't forgett to order in room service as it is excellent to have on your balcony. Don't forget to find the jerk chicken cart...it is around everyday and sometimes they even have a couple of them...it truly is the best jerk chicken the group ate...and we even tried the one off the resort that everyone raves about...Scotties...the hotel one was much better.

They have laid out the resort so you never feel crowded even though they were almost full the week we were there and all rooms have oceanview and I don't know of many hotels like this anywhere. There is lots of grass and view of the ocean from your room. When the palm trees die they make things out of them and that was fun watching and you see them all over the resort. The beach area is small but more than anything you will ever need so don't worry about any comments about the beach. Also the sports on the beach are great. Don't forget to make the beach party...it was a high light for many and great dancing too. The talent show was amazing with great prizes too so show your best stuff and win. They put out towels on all the chairs everyday so there was never a rush to try and find a chair...there was always plenty. You never have to sign out towels or pick them up...they do it for you and the towels are nice.

Management is truly and genuine interested in any and all comments from guests so we left them all the positives and the only negative we had...the alarm clock was set by the departing guest the night before and it woke us up too early and other than that there was nothing we could complain about. Patrick, Petrona and Michael the butlers were always looking after your every wish...no request went unattended to. You can upgrade to butler service at the hotel for a reasonable cost so if you have a group try doing this so you have all the wishes of your group looked after including dinner reservations, taxi's, tours, special requests and you name it they will do it.

We did a tour of Wild Orchid and it was equal to Secrets with the only exception that many of the restaurants except those in the middle on the ocean were in the Wild Orchid side...but was this a positive or a negative...we enjoyed the nice walk along the beach to the restaurants at night from Secrets which was only a few minutes. Secrets we found was quieter but both were amazing. We had friends staying at Wild Orchid and visited them so we did get to see both resorts. Whichever resort you book you will be happy.

As a group we can't wait to go back and also we are thinking about taking another vacation that was not planned at another of the great AM Resort properties real soon and visit this one in the next 24 months again. As a group it was by the far the best resort we have been to and we have been to many.

Room Tip: if you are in a group upgrade to butler service and if you are along book preferred and get a hiighe...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets St James, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Dear Guest:

We are happy that you and your group made our resort your destination of choice and we happy to have had the opportunity to host you all. It is great to hear that from the moment you all arrived you were pleased and felt welcomed. Now that you have visited, it is your home too and we hope to see you again.

We value your review of our services including our food and beverage areas and will do our best to ensure that a great standard is maintained in these and other areas. I'm sure Patrick, Petrona and Micheal will be happy to hear that they have been specially mentioned and this will certainly be a plus for them and help them to continue meeting and exceeding all guests expectations.

Can't wait to have you back!!

Warm Regards,
Caulette Mornan
Social Networking E Concierge
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3,770 reviews from our community

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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 (1,441)
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

After traveling to Jamaica for the first time last December and staying at Iberostar Grand, we decided to return this November and try out Secrets based upon some personal recommendations and significant research on TA and the Internet. In short, both are outstanding properties which appeal to slightly different tastes. I will highlight some facts about both and why we preferred Secrets overall.

The biggest thing Secrets has going for it is two heated pools and an actual hot tub. This may sound elementary, but Secrets is the first all inclusive out of four traveled to; (Grand Rose Hall, Excellent Playa Mujeres, Riu Cancun) that has both of these. IB Grand is alleged to have a heated area where their swim up bar is, but frankly it didn't seem any warmer than the rest of the pools. At Secrets, both the St James and Wild Orchid swim up areas are clearly heated and comfortable even when the sun goes down. Their hot tub is actually hot and open all evening rather than the jetted soaking tubs at the other resorts.

Another thing we preferred at Secrets over The Grand was that the resort was built on an outdoor theme. Almost everything at The Grand was indoors including the rooms exiting into hotel hallways, all the restaurants being indoors with no al fresco seating and no real outdoor bar for the evening (lobby bar has an outdoor seating area). At Secrets, all the restaurants and piano bar are located in one strip outdoors and all places have outdoor dining, with the piano bar having significant outdoor seating. They even have an outdoor stage where most of the evening shows and entertainment take place, although they also have an indoor theater in the case of weather. This is strictly personal preference, but we really preferred having the outdoor options at Secrets and something as simply as exiting your room to the outside rather than into a hallway.

Finally, Secrets is set on a fantastic strip of land with amazing views in all directions. The mountain views on both sides are great and they have several seating areas where you can take in the views. The properly really is great in its setup.

Few things I preferred at The Grand; the rooms were much more opulent and luxurious at IB Grand, with nicer furnishings. The beds were very comfortable in both hotels with soft pillow top mattresses. Service was a bit more polished overall at The Grand, and it feels like a more intimate hotel overall. Food was also better at The Grand, no question, with lobster offered at all dinners and only one night a week at the Surf and Turf Friday buffet at Secrets. The dinners at the ala carter were also better at IB Grand, although Secrets was good as well. Those who prefer no reservations will like Secrets although at peak times the waits can be hard to navigate for the more popular restaurants.

Liquor and drink quality is also better at The Grand, with top shelf liquor at all bars including the pool bars. During the day at Secrets they only have the mid range alcohol available for drinks, although their piano, lobby bar and nightclub all had the top shelf.

Secrets seemed to have a more party vibe with louder music, rowdier younger crowd and a lot of action and organized parties throughout the week. Those looking for a more laid back, quiet atmosphere would likely prefer IB Grand.

Finally, the entertainment staff at Secrets is much more subdued, they are available to coordinate activities but not as in your face as the Star Friends at The Grand. I preferred this since they hand out a daily activity sheet at Secrets and several boards clearly marking when and where the activities take place.

Overall, the outdoor theme, views and small touches (jerk chicken cart, nightly entertainment, etc) put Secrets over the top for us as the best all inclusive I have been to.

Room Tip: All have views of the ocean, no need to pay extra for an ocean front. High floors have great views.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets St James, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Dear Guest:

Thank you for having took the time out to share such a detailed review of your stay with us. Many future guests will definitely benefit from your post and we wish to extend much gratitude for this. It is pleasing to know that you had a wonderful time and we look forward to many more visits to come.

Warmest Regards,
Caulette
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St. Neots, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

Just got back from spending a week at this lovely resort and we cannot speak highly enough about this lovely place. Will keep things brief and say the following: All staff were fantastic especially Yvonne at the Seaside Grill and Dwain and Wayne at the Bordeau Restaurant. They just went the extra mile, at the exact time it was required and we shall always be grateful to them. No expense is spared to make your stay enjoyable and the Spa is excellent, with the treatments being expensive but top of the range. Lots of choices about where to eat but our 3 favourites were the French Restaurant, the Italian Restaurant, and the Japanese/Chinese Restaurant. Just a couple of negatives which were: The Spanish house red wine which is given by the glass was much too dry. After we mentioned this we were offered a different one which was more enjoyable. The second thing to mention was that the Mexican Restaurant was not enjoyed by several people we met. Although we didn't eat there, we felt that we should put this information in our review of the resort when we completed it on checking out as we think it important for the management of the resort to get this feedback and hopefully make the changes required to improve this particular restaurant. We certainly hope to go back some day and if you can't enjoy staying at this resort, then you wont enjoy staying anywhere.

Room Tip: We had a room on the 5th floor (3541) and it had an amazing view
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets St James, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
Dear Sandra:

Here at Secrets Resorts Montego Bay we always try to go the extra mile for all our guests. I am happy to know that this was satisfactory for you and made your stay a great one. Your comment on our Mexican restaurant is indeed appreciated and our team will definitely see what improvements can be made. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

Regards,
Caulette
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

My husband and I loved this resort! We were able to relax and have fun. The beach isn't the best. Couldn't walk for very long and was shallow. But we loved the pools. Drink service did take a bit longer, so we started ordering two at a time. That worked. Food at the restaurants was mostly great. We didn't care for the caribbean one. I found many little bones in my food. The spa was fantastic. We went for a couples massage and loved the hydrotherapy circuit. We hired a driver and toured the some of the island. That was a lot of fun. $300 for 6 hours. I'd love to go back! We upgraded to preferred club for a minimal fee, less than what it would be to book it outright. I wouldn't pay full price for it, but for the small fee we found it worth it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets St James, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
Dear Guest:

I am please to know that there were several aspects of our resort that you enjoyed very much. The areas of concern that you have mentioned and duly noted and have been shared with our management team. Please rest assured that your comments will not be taken lightly and will go towards contributing to our resort’s enhancement and overall daily operations.

Thanks for sharing
Caulette
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Iselin, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

My boyfriend and I just came back from a 4 night stay and it was beautiful!! Everyone was super nice and the resort/rooms were very clean. The food was great and there was many options to choose from. At night they had great entertainment. We stayed on the beach all day which was very relaxing and the water was crystal clear and warm.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the upper floors. The first floor is very noisy.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets St James, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear Guest:

It is great to know that you had a wonderful time at our beautiful resort. We are happy to have had the opportunity to have served you and we look forward to welcoming you back Home for many future visits.

Thanks,
Caulette
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Margate City, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

Just returned from Secrets St. James with two other couples after escaping from Sandy in NJ. We've been to many all inclusives in the Caribbean and so far, this was definitely the best. Rooms were great, all with ocean views ( we were on the third floor). Good diversity of restaurants with very good food and drink.Kudos to Darion, Danford, Garfield, Tanisha, Danielle, Beanette, Stephen, Stacy, Marlon and Archibald for fantastic service in all areas from maid service to water sports to bell captains to food service. Service is definitely Secrets' forte. One suggestion - pads on beach lounges would be a great improvement. We will definitely be back next year

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets St James, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Hello Guest

It was certainly a pleasure to have provided you with a warm retreat from Hurricane Sandy and even more pleasing to know that you had a great time. Your praises of our food and entire property are valued very much and your suggestion about the beach lounges is highly considered.

Looking forward to welcoming you back next year!

Regards,
Caulette
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Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

I am writing this a little late, as my boyfriend and I stayed at Secrets St James over the summer, June 2-9 2012. But I was looking at the Facebook page and remembered I never wrote a review for them. We went to celebrate our one year anniversary of just dating and now my standards are extremely high from here on out! This was the BEST vacation we have ever been on! The staff was amazing! So friendly and fun. They remembered us and made us feel comfortable and like family! Kim and Genisis from the entertainment staff had so much fun with us at the St James pool! And I forget his name now, but the bartender at the lobby bar in St James was the man! We went to visit him every night before going to dinner.
And speaking of dinner, there are so many different options, all delicious! I liked that the restaurants all had different types of food, so you could have French one night and Mexican the next, but of course had Jamaican too! They were all delicious but our favorite was Bordeaux, the French one! The steak was amazing! And the service was great too. They tell you when you arrive you do not need reservations to anywhere, but that is not exactly the case. You do need one at the Japanese place, Himhisu, if you want the Teppanyaki, when they cook in front of you. Also, there is usually a wait at all the restaurants, especially if you want to eat inside, so get there a little before you are starving. We always ate outside to enjoy the live entertainment and do a little people watching.
The rooms were really nice and room service was great. We had to go back to the room a few times one day while they were in the middle of cleaning it, but they did not mind. The grounds of the whole resort were beautiful and well kept as they worked on them every day. But what made this vacation the best, really was the staff! They were all so friendly, saying hello to everyone they walked by, and would enjoy having fun and interacting with you. "Boston Chris" was known throughout the resort while we were there and we loved them all! We made great memories as well as met some lifelong friends during our stay. Every time anyone mentions they want to go on vacation, I recommend Secret St James in Jamaica! We sent our friends for their honeymoon who also loved it! I can't wait to some day go back!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets St James, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Dear Guest:

“Better late than never” and this we do appreciate a lot. Reading your review gives us a sense of satisfaction knowing that we were able to exceed your expectations. We always say “Welcome Home” when our guests arrive because it is our aim to make you feel comfortable like being at your own home and happy just from being in our little paradise. It is indeed a joy knowing that we were able to achieve this and helped in creating great memories for you and your boyfriend.
Thanks for taking the time to share with us. Looking forward to the opportunity to welcome you back Home for many more trips to come.

Warm Regards,
Caulette
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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*
Number of rooms: 350
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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