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“Superb Honeymoon Vacation” 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
Bracknell, UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Superb Honeymoon Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

Just returned from a week at the Secrets St James, Montego Bay, Jamaica. Visited the resort for my honeymoon. We stayed 1st to 8th June 2013.
As we were on honeymoon, we treated ourselves to a stay in a suite in the Prefered Club Section of the resort which, I must say, was fantastic.

First time visiting Jamaica, our previous holidays were to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, so we have experienced long haul, all inclusive resorts before. This was up there with the best!

After a ten hour flight (albeit, travelling premium class which really helped) we were still pretty exhausted and that 30 degree heat and himidity really hits you as soon as you get off the plane, we were glad to get to the resort.

I must just say, prepare yourslef for a long queue getting through customs in Jamaica, no air conditioning, loads of people clambering to get through and very few staff to cope. We took over an hour just to get our bags! And you thought the UK border agency had problems!

First arriving at the hotel, we were welcomed by the porter (bell-hop in American English), called Chris Brown. No, I'm not making that up, he even had a name badge to prove it. What a legend. Such a friendly, funny guy who perfectly sums up the Jamaican spirit and mood. Yeah Mon, Take It Easy! We did ask if Rhianna would be making an appearance but sadly she didn't.

Check in at the Preferred section was easy, no awkward time-share selling here. Friendly, informative and made all the more easier with a complimentary drink as we sat down.

We were taken to our room by Chris, a 'Honeymoon' banner attached to our door was a nice touch. As we stepped in to the perfectly air conditioned suite, the room looked fantastic. Eleganltly decorated, marble floors, his 'n' hers sinks, jacuzzi in the bathroom, large flat screen tv on the wall and even another hot tub out on the balcony. Great.

Another superb touch was the three, full bottles of spirits on the table, chocolates, fruit and chocolates. I've NEVER seen complimentary 1 litre bottles of branded alcohol left for you to enjoy. That's in addition to the fully stocked mini bar. Great start.

Staying in the preferred side, we were able to enjoy the private pool and restaurant which was lovely as it was WAY quieter than the two main pools. Perfect for a honeymoon couple.

Food was superb. Loads of restaurants to choose from. No reservations needed at any (unless you wanted to sit at the chefs table in Himitsu, which is an absolute MUST). Bordeaux is the most elegant restaurant and has a much tighter dress code but well worth the experience and the food is sublime there. Try the steak!

The world cafe is the main buffet style restaurant which has a couple of theme nights each week. If you like fish, go for the lobster night. I've never seen lobster that big before and you can eat as much as you like. Also checkout the surf n turf night too.

We also booked a romantic candle lit dinner on the beach which was amazing. A must. Perfect food, service and a setting I will never forget.

If you've done your research, you will have read about the jerk chicken cart and the fruit carts that come around the resort lunch time. The jerk chicken is fantastic. If you like it with a kick, have the sauce but if you can't take the heat, avoid, its got a real kick. A must try though.

Entertainment at night is actually pretty good, mostly taking place on the outdoor stage close to where the restaurants are. My only tip though is, if you want a decent seat, you do need to get there early as there isn't really enough seating after nine when everyone swamps the place. The acts that we did see were good though.

Pools - Preferred club private pool is quiet. The two main pools are busy and much more lively. Whatever floats your boat I guess.

Gym - I used the gym three times during the week and it is very well equipped for a hotel gym. Busy in the morning but empty all afternoon.

Spa - We took a couples massage and facial which were superbly done. The spa is very high spec and the staff there were fantastic. Worth a visit.

Drinks - Plenty of bars to choose from, all serving top shelf spirits, cocktails, wine by the glass, if you ask for it, chances are they stock it.

Trips - We didn't take any external trips so can't comment but we looked at the prices and expect to pay £50 or $100 per person for most of the big trips. Ouch!

Secret tips - Look out for the peacocks and the families of semi-wild cats. Highly entertaining.

Himitsu - Book at reception a chefs table. It's free but you must book. You will get to sit 'ring side' as your chef prepares your dinner. We had a really entertaining chef who put on one heck of a performance. Book at the start of your trip though as reservations full up FAST. It's the only way to properly experience Himitsu.

We travelled with First Choice out of Gatwick UK and had no hicups with the flight whatsoever.

Overall, we had a fantastic time. I loved the size of the resort too, not too big but not so large that you got lost. The buildings are also really low, no nasty high rise towers here.

The resort really does deserve its high Tripadvisor rating, ignore the rare negative comment, accept that the majority are telling the truth and book yourself a really great vacation.

Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Book a suite in the preferred section if your budget will allow it. A better room and lots of extra...
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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
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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 (1,364)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Albany, Ohio, United States
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

My husband and I took our anniversary trip to St. James and it was above our expectations. Clean facility and room, superb service, excellent food. Tips: pay for the upgrade to the preferred buildings. The Wild Orchid side tended to be where the party was, while St. James was quiet and serene. The beauty was that you could party the night away at Wild Orchid and come back to a room of serenity. Overall I would rate our trip as a 5+ and cannot wait to go back!

Room Tip: Oceanfront and oceanview have spectacular views of the ocean.
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

We just returned from our 7-day honeymoon at Secrets St. James. Let me first start by saying that if your reading this than your search is over. We absolutely loved Secrets Montego Bay. If you are looking for an all-inclusive and are traveling as a couple (or in a group of couples) then this is the place for you.

Food - The food was really good. Nothing to write home about, but still very good. We stayed a week and never ate dinner at the same place. The French and Italian restaurants were our favorites. The other were good also, only the Mexican restaurant (El Patio) left something to be desired. The World cafe is a must for dinner on the surf n turf nights. AYCE lobster tails and crab legs that are pre cleaned and cut for you!!! For breakfast you can do room service, world cafe, or preferred club. Lunch is usually something easy. They have an awesome jerk chicken truck that is out by the pool/beach area that is a must have. Each pool has an outside restaurant that is convenient. So really dinner is the only thing we ever planned and got ready for.

Drinks - I'm not sure why people complain about the drinks here. They will pour whatever you ask. They are not mind readers, so tell them what you want and if it is possible they will pour it. The beer selection is limited, they have red stripe/light everywhere (Hooray Beer). Most bars have Miller lite if you ask, and your room is stocked w/ a local beer called Carib which isnt bad. But I told them to put Miller Lite in my room and they did all week. If there is a particular place you will be spending alot of your time (swim up bar, night club, etc..) it would be a good idea to tip that bartender early. I tipped Marlando (St. James pool bar) the first day and the rest of the week he would have my drink ready every time I came back the rest of the week. Well worth the small investment.

Room - Our room 3509 had some of the best views possible. Check out the pics I uploaded to see for yourself. The room itself was nice. We were at the very end of the hall in the corner so it was very quiet and private. If you can get this room you will not be disappointed.

We will be going back!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013 via mobile

No wristbands needed. The staff was extremely friendly and made my stay very pleasurable. I would definitely recommend this resort. No kids, so it was very pleasant! The staff is awesome. I've never been to a resort where the staff is so personable. From check-in to check-out, I was extremely satisfied. The All Inclusive was great! Wonderful food and a great selection to choose from. I will definitely be visiting Secrets St. James again.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jamaica
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

We spent one night ......Fathers Day treat.
The friendly staff and service was exceptional.
We were very pleased with the service from all the staff......the Bell hop Christopher was exceptional.
Our only regret was our length of stay.
We definitely will be back.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

Had the best week in Jamaica for our honeymoon, Great service, friendly staff, excellent food and room service. Spa was worth the $$$, romantic dinner was bought for us by friends, and was very scenic and nice. The free photo shoot had a catch, had to purchase the pictures (5 pics for $65 and various other packages)

We loved it. we got rest, sun, an alcoholics dream.

Room Tip: get a room higher up and not on the ground floor, ocean view is nice. very clean. loved the tub
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Stafford, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

My wife and I turned 50 this year so we decided to run away instead of having two parties. This was our first time in Jamaica and first time staying at an all-inclusive resort. We completely enjoyed our stay at the Secrets, May 2013. The staff is excellent. The beach is clean. The room was wonderful. It is worth the price. We had added fun snorkeling, scuba diving, horseback riding, city tour, swimming with the dolphins, and climbing the falls. We enjoyed the food in all the different restaurants. We will return.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
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, June 18, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

We thank you for providing us with the opportunity to be of service to you and are extremely happy to know you had a ‘perfect birthday vacation’. It was our absolute pleasure hosting you here at Secrets St James and we are anxiously waiting your return visit.

It is indeed great to know that you enjoyed your entire stay here with us and you had the opportunity of leaving the property and engaging in the different excursions across the country. We thank you for sharing your experience with us via Trip Advisor and we look forward to welcoming you back Home soon.

We look forward to welcoming you back Home soon.

Best regards,
Christina Smith
E-concierge Assistant
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 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 On the Beach 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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