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“Amazing Experience” 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 #50 of 63 hotels in Montego Bay
Chicago
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

It's one of the best resorts I have stayed at. We were a group of 20 people and the restaurants would not seat us together. The next morning we talked to the F&B manager and he was able to arrange a group table for the remainder of our stay. They staff is friendly and accommodating. We had several custom requests as a group and they tried to arrange mostly everything for us.

There are several free water activities (Kayak, snorkeling etc) that we enjoyed and recommend. For para-sailing they charge around $65 per person which was a little expensive than what we can find at beaches in the US.

All the restaurants are good but if you are vegetarian you don't have much choice. However, you can talk with the chef and ask them to customize some dishes for you. The Drinks (including high end) are free and the mini-bar in the room is filled up every morning. This is indeed an all inclusive resort. You won't need to worry about signing checks after every meal as you will find in other all inclusive resorts in Mexico.

Look out for the fruit cart, jerk chicken, coconut and the barefoot grill. These are a must on the resort.

Overall we had a fantastic time at this place and highly recommend. Try to go here during the off-season to avoid rush and enjoy to the fullest.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013 via mobile

Loved it so much the first time we decided to return and we had another wonderful time. The great hospitality we saw the first time was not a fluke. My spa buddies: Sandra, Sophia, Diana and Wendy are all so nice and professional. I can't forget my Front Desk and Customer Service folks: Taxi man- Dean Morgan, Jullian Graham, Marcia, Relaine all around beautiful people. The servers like oraldo, Coffee man made eating at the World Cafe enjoyable. We loved it so much we became Preferred Club members for all 33+ resorts under Secrets parent company, Amstar. So come down relax, go on an excursion and have fun. One love!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 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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Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

My hubby and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary at Secrets St James in Montego Bay Jamaica. It was UNBELIEVABLY WONDERFUL!! We had a luxurious and beautifully appointed preferred club master suite which included: a jacuzzi on our balcony (overlooking the beautiful Carribean Ocean), a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom, a heavenly soft king-sized bed, a spacious living and dining area, and, most spectacularly, private BUTLER SERVICE! The butlers - Michael, Petrona and Dalton - were incredibly gracious and hospitable and really made our trip special. Their humor, advice and incredible service was simply unmatched! We haven't experienced this in any other vacation experience (and we've been fortunate to travel to a number of places in the US and globally).

When we first arrived we were escorted to our room by Michael; we walked in the room to find the dining table decorated with rose petals, and a bottle of champagne and delectable treats. We went into the bedroom to find beautiful towel "swans" and roses welcoming us, and a hot bubbly bath with flowers in the jacuzzi. Each night we were escorted to dinner by Petrona, Michael or Dalton, and we found a special table decorated with flower petals and our favorite wine or champagne. We felt like celebrities!!

All of the staff at Secrets were wonderful and the service was outstanding. Our housekeeper, Shummona, was friendly and thorough, and kept our room immaculately clean. She was sure to keep us stocked with fresh towels and supplies for the jacuzzi, and her pleasant demeanor just added to the joy of our stay.

There were a number of things to do at Secrets but we really just wanted a relaxing and special anniversary trip, so we mostly relaxed at the beach, on our balcony or at the Spa. We did have a romantic private dinner on the beach on our anniversary and the meal (like all of the meals) was delectable!

I can't say enough about how wonderful Secrtes St James is and we are definitely planning to return there soon - it was our BEST VACATION EVER!!

Room Tip: It is definitely worth the money to upgrade to the prferred club - private check-in, dedicated prefe...
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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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MS
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

This is my second trip to Secrets St. James in Montego Bay, Jamaica. A girlfriend and I stayed 9 nights. We really enjoy the fact that it is so close to the resort. I actually enjoyed the place even more on this trip because I was already familiar with the layout of the place and how things worked, such as restaurants, entertainment, Preferred Club, spa, etc.

We stayed at the St. James Preferred Club this time and it was worth the extra. The employees from checking in to maid service were all very kind and attentive. I really liked the Preferred Club private pool and beach area, but having access to the rest of the resort also was a bonus.

Our room was on the first floor and very spacious even with two beds. (I went with a girlfriend). We sat out on our back patio almost every morning and drank coffee and usually at some point in the evening just to relax. The views are beautiful and the grounds are very well manicured and have such beautiful foliage all around.

The food is always great and we ate more at the buffets than our previous trip. The lobster night was one of my favorites. Since I have to eat on a gluten free diet, I had no problems and the staff were very well educated on my restrictions.

The Spa....oh the spa....still the best I have ever been too! The water therapy you receive an hour before your appointment is so relaxing and is an added bonus for booking a service. The deep tissue massages are the best I have ever had and I always leave feeling I got my money's worth. I also got a facial this time and it really helped repair the sun damage and revived my skin. I will keep trying the different services on future visits for sure!

We got to meet the general manager, Emilio Huhn, on our trip. He was very friendly and accommodating even though he is a very busy man. He runs a tight ship at Secrets and it shows.

The waters are absolutely beautiful and crystal clear. They seemed more clear in May, than they did on our trip we took in December. Not sure why or if that is normal. May also was a less crowded time, since it is more at the end of their peak season. Weather was still great, although we got at least one rain shower every day. It usually only lasted an hour or two and then cleared back up as if nothing happened. It also cooled the temp down each time it did.

We took a Hobie Cat excursion. It was really nice to be out in the waters and see the place from that angle.

The beds were so comfortable. I usually cannot sleep without my special cervical pillow, but even their pillows did not hurt my neck. They cleaned the room every day and were careful not to disturb you. Being in the Preferred Club, you had free wifi. It was spotty, but always worked best on the beach and at the restaurants.

My biggest complaint is that I wish we could have stayed at least two weeks. Nine nights just wasn't long enough.

Room Tip: If you want a beach/ocean view, then go up above the ground floor. If you want a balcony off your ba...
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bracknell, UK
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Albany, Ohio, United States
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 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.

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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
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Luxury 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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