This was my first trip to Jamaica and I absolutely fell in love with it and the people! Secrets Wild Orchid overall is very (very) nice!!! There were just a few things that happened which I had to deduct a star for. Any questions, please PM me. If you're looking for a tour group / private tour guide use Reggae Tours; they are fab (will submit a review for them as well) and price was the best of all the places I "shopped around" at.
Pros: Close 15-20 minutes to the airport, beautiful and super clean grounds, FABULOUS beach bar/wait staff (shout outs to Nickolov, Karen and Ashlee), fresh fruit cart, Carlton the coconut man (love me some fresh coconut water and it's even better with some coconut rum mixed in), Jerk Chicken Cart (deelish!), modern rooms, fantastic housekeeping (Nicole and Michala you two were the best housekeepers I've ever had the pleasure of cleaning & straightening up my room for me), I never worried about leaving my iPad, cameras, iPhone, money, out in my room as they never touched those things (many places you leave those items out and they are "lost" in the blink of an eye), great food, premium liquors, Nicholas at the spa gave me the best massage of my life (I always go to Bliss Spa or Red Door Spa here in Chicago so that says a lot and it was a fraction of the price), free snorkeling with a guide 3 times a day, many activities (if you are bored it's your own fault), hobie cats for 30-min. with a guide is only $10, free kayaks, super comfy and soft bed (not at all like the beds in Mexico) and gorgeous views from the rooms (stayed in 2310 & 1420), loved the resident peacocks and macaws (I think that's what they were), service at most restaurants was sometimes pretty slow, but the staff very nice and food was some of the best of the all inclusives I've been to and I've been to my fair share (check my reviews). I would not hesitate to return here by myself (I travel solo a lot) as the staff never made me feel weird when I was by myself and there's a great mix of people (age wise and other singles and families). Preferred Club lounge was nice and the light bites they always had out were very good. Their beach area was less cluttered with people, great service, had a hammock in the water and you were very close to all but 1 restaurant. I recommend paying the extra money.
#1 I'm highly allergic to insect bites, so always cover myself with Off even before going to bed. Well the first night I woke up with huge welts covering my body and the second night I woke up with my left eye swollen shut. I went to the front desk and spoke to RaJohn. He was rude to me and pretty much said that hello we're in Jamaica, there is nothing they can do about insects. I reiterated that you could see tons of them in my room (I never keep my sliding door or room door open) and hearing them buzzing about; maybe my room was infested? He laughed at that. I asked for a room change and a bag so I could ice my eye until the nurse arrived at 9am. 30 minutes later I was still sitting there and he hadn't said another word. I asked about the bag for me to put some ice in and he replied curtly, "I'm working on changing your room for you; that's what you want isn't it?!?" I told him that he could call me when he was done as I needed to ice my eye. Maybe he shouldn't be allowed to work the front desk alone. My parents were staying in the Preferred Club and my mother came to find me (I called and told her what happened to my eye and that they were switching my room). Well, they switched my room but didn't update their system. They had my poor mother in a panic as she couldn't find me and they kept on telling her I was in a room I no longer was in. I finally found her down in the lobby of my building. After meeting with the nurse and getting a doctor to arrive, my mom went and spoke with one of the concierges at the Preferred Club, asked for a manager in charge and explained the situation. They said that the front desk manager would call her and that they could fumigate my room for all insects. YAY! Why RaJohn couldn't have told me they do that is beyond me or offered for them to fumigate my room. Employees here were obviously hit or miss with the information they know. The manager called my mother's room, apologized for everything and said that they would like to move me to the Preferred Club, fumigate a room for me and move all of my belongings. I told her and my mother I didn't care what type of room they put me in as long as it was fumigated. All of this nonsense made us miss a half day of our vacation. Given I was only there for 5 nights and an entire day was lost due to my eye being swollen shut, I wasn't the happiest person, but hey they tried to make it right. I have to give them credit for that. **If you suffer any type of allergic reactions to insect bites, ask them to fumigate your room before you arrive** They do not have any floor fans to give you (these also help as the bugs aren't strong enough to get to you in the breeze.
#2 The noise from the events every single night and the fact that they closed the beach bar at 5pm every evening instead of being open until 9pm (each day the sheet would say it was open till 9pm and then right at 5pm a manage would come up and close it immediately) as the events had that area to themselves. You could feel the bass reverberating in my room each and every night from the parties!!! Good thing I like to stay out for a while at night. If you go to bed before 11pm, there is no way you will be able to sleep until the parties are done. At least none went to 2am while I was there.
#3 Service at the World Cafe every morning (only restaurant open for breakfast) was lacking except the one day I sat inside at the first table to your left, then my server was on the ball! Other times, I would have to sit myself as the hostess for the tables outside was usually not there and then the servers wouldn't come to my table. I went to the server stand many times to get water, refill my water cup, put down a dirty plate so as to not clutter our table, etc. That is not right. Oh well, that won't make or break my vacation. Service everywhere else was much better.
#4 There is no air movement at all in the piano bar. How are there no fans in there? I can't imagine how hot it gets in there in the summer months. Everyone is there was sweating. Not so comfortable, however the singers and the piano player were great!!! Please Secrets, get some fans!
#5 Room service...food was never what I ordered, but was edible and only took 20 minutes.
#6 For the price, I was expecting better customer service. Preferred Club concierges were great! The non-preferred ones, not so much.
#7 No privacy in the bathroom area. As I had a room to myself it wasn't an issue for me, but if you're staying in a room with a friend or family member it would be interesting as the curtain that separates the bathroom from the room is transparent so changing will be interesting (there's no way you could change in the toilet area as that is super tiny) and you will be able to hear and smell everything going on in the bathroom.
Overall: Would I stay here again? Absolutely! But I now know to request that my room is fumigated first, who's section to sit in to get the best service and who to go to for my drinks. Every trip there is a learning curve and I am so glad I finally made it to Jamaica and have already planned my return trip. Note: I am a member of their Unlimited Vacation Club and even with these issues, Secrets Wild Orchid is now tied with Dreams Villagmagna as my favorite AMResort! This says a lot, trust me!!! Stop reading and book your vacation now people!!! Peace, love and respect mon!
If you need quiet, stay on the St James side as the parties are all held at Wild Orchid and are LOUD...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.