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“Best Customer Service Combined with Complete Luxury” 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 #8 of 63 hotels in Montego Bay
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best Customer Service Combined with Complete Luxury”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

This place was absolutely amazing. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this much luxury and customer service. The rooms were spectacular. Views from every angle. Jerk Chicken came around at 1230 just as promised and better than I imagined. These reviews don't even begin to explain the amount of luxury and relaxation that this trip offers. From Duwayne at the bar by the pool making the most amazing Welcome Home's that really made you feel welcome. To Alistar, Genius, and especially Rainbow by the pool. They made us feel welcome and at home. Rainbow especially. She gave us tips about the resort and really made us feel special. Then there's Andrew at the Piano Bar with his Gateway to Heaven specialty drink. We made sure to visit him every night. Winchester put a smile on our face with his amazing customer service and charisma at restaurant Bordeaux. Just to watch them work is amazing. We really enjoyed ourselves and celebrated my friends 30th birthday. We will be back to celebrate my 30th as well and many more. I have never experienced customer service to this extreme. I also just would like to point out that the room was spotless. No Bugs!!! Room Services was great. A/C worked amazing and we had our own controls. Every rooms had a balcony. I can't even put into words nor remember all of the things that were amazing but basically...Everything was Amazing!! Oh by the way if you are going make sure to make your reservations for the Hibachi (Himitsu) on the first night. They book up quickly. If not just go with no reservation and sit at a regular table. It's still an amazing show. Beats Benihana show any day!

Room Tip: Every room has an amazing view from the entrance to the balcony. First floor has patio by the pool...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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 2
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 (1,276)
Date | Rating
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English first
Minnesota, United States
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

My husband and I just got back from Secrets St. James in Montego Bay and can not say enough about how great it was! We went with a group of eight, and everyone really enjoyed the trip and the resort. This was my husband and I's second time to Jamaica, and this resort was much nicer than the first resort we stayed at.

It started from the minute that you walk into the resort, everyone was very willing to help make sure that you had everything you needed, and gave the bell hops gave you a great tour of the room when they dropped off your stuff. The rooms were amazing, and each room has a great view of the ocean (although you should ask to not be on the first floor, we were on the third and it was great) The bed is the most comfortable bed that I have ever experiences while traveling to various resorts. The rest of the room is great too, nice TV's, nice showers, ect...

The poolside activities and entertainment team is great also! Our favorite entertainer was Alister! He did a great job of getting everyone involved in the activties, as well as socializing with the guests! He was very helpful with everything. The games were fun, and it was easy to get a drink at the swim up bar. There was also plenty of chairs around the pool and the beach, which was nice because in my experiences that is not always the case. The chairs are also very comfy. The beach is beautiful, and just a short walk from the rooms.

The night life was great also! The Sing-a-long piano bar was very fun each night, and they had a good selection of entertainment, some great singers!! The food was great at all of the restaurants (not just dinner), the wraps at one of the lunch grills were great, as well as the jerk chicken cart that came around. Room service was also pretty good...it was nice that no matter what time it was you could find something to eat. The coffee at the coffee shop was nice, and had a good selection of drinks.

Overall I would recommend this resort to everyone, as it had a little bit of something for everyone. All of the staff was willing to go the extra mile, and seemed to truly enjoy their jobs, and interacting with the guests. The resort was also very clean, and well kept.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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 6
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 22, 2012
Dear Valued Guest:

Our many thanks to you for taking the time to post your review to Trip Advisor. Your comments are most welcomed and certainly appreciated as it provides us with an opportunity to review our current practices with a view to making the necessary improvements. More importantly, it allows us to analyze areas where we may be faltering so that the necessary corrective measures can be implemented to ensure that our guests have a most relaxing and enjoyable time with us.

We are so very happy that your group enjoyed their time with us and that the hospitality and level of customer service delivered met with your expectations.

Once again, we thank you for making us your vacation destination of choice and we do look forward to being of service to you once again!!

With warm regards,

Caulette Mornan
Social Networking / eConcierge
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Mississauga, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
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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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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
12 helpful votes 12 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iselin, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 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
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:
#8 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 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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