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“Amazing Holiday!!” 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
London, United Kingdom
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Amazing Holiday!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

My boyfriend and I had an fantastic holiday here!
There was always loads going on, and all the staff that we came in contact with were polite, helpful, happy, and couldn't do enough to help and make our holiday there an amazing experience.
The views were breathtaking, the service was second to none, we can't fault anything about this holiday.
We had a private romantic dinner over looking the sea, with Darius as our waiter, he was brilliant - thank you Darius, that was a great way to finish our holiday.
There was Oraldo, who made himself known by his singing, every morning he would be singing at breakfast. Even serenading people. He was so happy, always made me smile at breakfast.
Everything was awesome about this holiday and i would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, lively, or relaxing holiday, it caters for all.
We can't wait to go back next year already :-)

  • Stayed December 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 6
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 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (1,130)
Date | Rating
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English first
Waterford, Wisconsin, USA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I visited for Christmas 2012. We both felt everything was very average. There just wasn't anything that stands out and makes Secrets a place I'd want to visit again. I know food is very subjective, but the best I had was the room service club sandwich. We read all the earlier reviews and really thought the food was going to be good. The service, as everyone seems to agree, was excellent. Both the pool and the beach were very congested. Every square inch has a lounger of some sort stacked next to another. Also, the loungers were very uncomfortable. The preferred club ones looked nicer though. Bars were very good. Top shelf booze. Beds were comfortable. Lots of included toiletries: big bottles of shampoo, body wash, sunscreen, etc. I guess it just didn't really meet our expectations. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves, it's still Jamaica. But we won't return.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We had the most awesome vacation ever. Gorgeous hotel, clean and beautiful spacious rooms, breathtaking views, food and drinks abundantly, well kept grounds and most importantly the friendly and helpful staff. Marlene at the front desk was very polite and helpful. Thanks to her we had a terrific trip. Can't wait to go back!!!!!

Room Tip: ocean view
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  • Stayed December 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.
Montgomery, Alabama
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We recently returned from our 2nd trip to Secrets St James Resort. The resort and staff are awesome and we plan to return again. One of the highlights of our trip was the last day at the pool with several SEC fans. The pool staff Xavier kept the refreshing beverages coming with a big smile. Others staff members that made a big impact on our stay are: Stanley, Shermain in housekeeping, Shaleene (St James Preferred Club), Shavonna (Jerk Chicken Wagon) and Vanessa on the entertainment staff. The entire staff was great and this resort is AWESOME.

  • Stayed December 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ar
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

I traveled with 2 of my friends from dec 28-jan 2 & had an awesome time! The staff was very friendly, we had an awesome view from rm 3140 & was next door to the bar & a pool & only steps from the beach! I loved the barefoot grill (you have to meet Stanley; he absolutely made our trip worthwhile!!) the chicken patties & veggie platters are yummy, breakfast at world cafe (the sour sop fruit, dried papaya, Jamaican style veggies, & French toast brûlée were incredible), & the best restaurant for dinner was the Bordeaux. The captain water sports guys were great, they really helped us with our impromptu photo shoot when we were goofing off 1 afternoon!

The only issues we had were:
1. Rooms were often not cleaned until very late in the afternoon
2. if staying at the resort over new year's, I would HIGHLY recommend ordering room service early...the food served for New Year's Eve dinner was a horrible 4(or 5) course dinner (on this day the same dinner was being served at every restaurant)
3. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND TANYA (from tour wise) as the person to speak to in regards to how to handle the check out process. Idk if she was new, but she couldn't answer our questions, & the day we were checking out, we could not find her, & the 4 people in the office refused to help us...it was the Bellhops that told us the correct info she failed to do. Even when we spoke to the person who was helping her that day, he basically told us 'it wasn't his fault, if anything happened it would be hers'. Also, tour wise will tell you that you only need to leave 2-2.5hrs before your plane departs...NOT TRUE, make sure to give yourself enough time to get there relax & maybe do some last minute shopping.

Overall, we had an excellent time (excluding Tanya's nonexistent advice about checkout) & are planning on going back dec 2013!

PS...Make sure you bring $ to shop with if you're into sourvenirs & don't spend it all at the commercial stores, wait until you're at the craft market...you can actually see items bein handmade right in front of you.
Also, go to johns hall if you want toget beautiful mountain/country pics of the area!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Québec
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

A few days before we left for our late December vacation, I read a review from a person who wrote that those who do not give AT LEAST a "4" for this Hotel have a problem and I totally agree with that! Secrets St James deserve 5 solid stars in our book. My wife and I will never forget the two beautiful weeks we spent at Secrets St James (12-16/12-30). Wow­. We travel a lot (Mexico, Dominican, Cuba, etc...), always in all inclusive and I have to say this one was one of our bests, probably the number ONE for service, starting with one of the managers we had the pleasure to meet a few years before, Mister Ramirez; Thank you, Oscar, you are so generous with us; we would follow you anywhere you go :-) By the way, our room was, and I will use only one word to describe it: p-e-r-f-e-c-t. And what a VIEW! So clean, also, as I have to say our maid, Marteina, was certainly an A+ employee. Overall, the resort shines; it is clean everywhere.

We also had the privilege to meet Mrs Caulette Mornan, who kindly answered my (many) mails before our arrival... well, what a beautiful (young) lady she is. Her AND the VIP Concierge Manager, Mrs Marcia Smith seemed to consider my wife and I like the Queen and the King. Thank you so much to both of you, ladies. Just to make you realize how sincere they were, Marcia and Caulette made sure to be there at the very end of our vacation. What a nice gesture from you once again, ladies...

We did appreciate almost everything while there. So many options for dinner, including the possibility to eat outside with spectacular views. Our best restaurant was the Italian. Service in all of the restaurants was great; food was good... not great, but good, as I have to admit Mexico offers better food, if I compare, for example, Secrets Capri and Secrets St-James. But then again, I gained 4-5 pounds during my vacation, so it was certainly much better than "edible" (what I read from other reviewers...) Don't miss the Friday evening Surf and Turf dinner, as lobster was very good and well cooked. Ribs night on Tuesdays is also an event we appreciated. As for alcohol. I drink zero and my wife few but she enjoys a glass of champagne before lunch and dinner and it seems all the time, they opened a brand new bottle just for her! Did I write service? lol I drink a lot of coffee and it was delicious, everywhere but I mostly enjoyed their cappucino's, especially the ones prepared by the perfect coffee man himself, Mister Garfield. Another employee we liked was Oraldo; this man seems to LOVE his job... for real! Thanks for your songs, my friend, you have a golden voice, just take care of it... Can't forget the "lovely young lady", Miss Shanell Walker who so good took care of us as soon as she met us for the first time. We felt even more than VIP with her, she gave us gifts, wrote a beautiful letter before we left. WOW! She has been at Secrets for only a couple of months but is already a solid asset. Shanell, I'll say it again, you have a brillant future.

Quicky, for the other aspects: Beach is nice, from our point of view. Not for long walks on it though. But the ocean was so calm and water so clear! We also always had a very nice spot on it, even if the Hotel was 92% full from what we've been told. Pools are beautiful too, for those who prefer... I had the opportunity to play a lot of tennis while there as they have a very nice court and a pro who is there for lessons or to play with. SSJ also offers complimentary tennis clinics twice a week which is a nice touch. My only critic being they have only one tennis court... actually they have two courts but no net for the other! The second one should be multi purpose. Didn't use the Internet, as they told us it was 50 cents per minute, a little expensive. But if Internet is important for you, I would suggest to upgrade to the Prefered Club.

Overall, a very very nice and excellent experience. We had a great time. I hope I will have the privilege to do it again. Many times.

Room Tip: As many others said, upper floors have spectacular views
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  • Stayed December 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grimsby, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Had perfect weeks holiday. Stayed in st james section. Only a few grumbles.....
Hotel beautiful and clean inside and out.
Room 3520 very nice, spacious, well stocked (even razor, suncream spf 15, toothpaste and toothbrush provided). Bed was heavenly....was so soft, we melted into it. Room was a bit dusty throughout stay though it didn't spoil anything.
Food was delicious - ate in all restaurants, buffet and a la carte. Never had a bad meal. Spoilt for choice.
Pool great....get up early if want a decent sunbed. People "reserve" beds with towels from 6am.
Sea and beach beautiful.....enjoyed our first experience snorkelling.
Spa was good, massage fine but pool/showers need good clean and maintenance attention.
95% of staff were really fantastic.
Reception staff were quite abrupt and unapproachable
Entertainment team around pool generally stuck to the same guests.
Server around pool was lovely.
Servers at all meals were wonderful, lovely, friendly, efficient and very welcoming
(Troy at Blue mountain, Alex at ocean sea grill to name a couple that stood out).
Had 3 issues at Himitsu, Japanese restaurant:
1. You have to book which is fine but when we turned up for our meal, we was seated around a hot plate with 4 other couples, and the food cooked in front of you (great fun) but we weren't told this when booking. The food was what you was given (it was great) but not what I would have chosen.
2. One of the couples ate alone as partner refused entry due to not having a collar on his top. 10 minutes later....guy opposite seated in a T-shirt?
3. The lady that seated us/server was very abrupt at end of meal. Once you have eaten the main meal at the hot plate your asked to move to a different table for dessert. Had barely emptied my mouth when she had my plate away and told us to move.....skipped dessert!

Having said all that....we have been on holiday somewhere new, yearly for the past 12 years and this is the only place we would return to.
Top tip - the better you tip the better the service, they deserve every dollar.

Room Tip: 5 floors (1 is ground floor). All rooms face sea but not all sea view due to low level or palm trees...
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  • Stayed December 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 2
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

Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay
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 Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Business 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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