My wife and I have just returned from 2 weeks at Secrets Wild Orchid in Montego Bay.
Some elements were, without doubt, right up to 5 star standards, some unfortunately fell way short. Starting with the negatives:
The suite had a large comfortable bed, nice balcony and jacuzzi bath tub but the shower and wc were side by side, divided by a glass partition. Whoever painted the magnolia emulsion on the wc walls spread a liberal helping onto the frosted glass. Very shoddy and not what one would expect in a 5 star room. I am average height and weight and found the wc to be rather small. Someone at 6 foot 2 and 18+ stone would have had to had the door open to use the toilet.
Our first 2 nights were spent in a second floor room and sleepless thanks to a constant thump/thump all night long which I believe must have been a generator. The management told us they "had never had such a complaint before----" (unbelievable) but nevertheless changed us to a fifth floor room and we had no further problem.They also gave us a complimentary bottle of wine and a cheese platter as a token gesture. Pity the couple allocated our original room!!
The resort has several "gourmet" restaurants including Italian, French and Asian. We ate in the Asian once only. Very poor, first course luke warm and small portions, second course nice taste but again luke warm. The Italian was similarly disappointing with a very limited menu. One dinner, mediocre. We ate at the French 3 times. The first 2 were OK the third a complete disaster. My main course was "2 kinds of beef" To this day I have no idea what "2 kinds" they might have been but even after I struggled to cut a piece (no steak knife provided) it was impossible to chew. Also luke warm.
The best places to eat dinner were at the two poolside restaurants (Oceana and Seafood) which we used on all other nights. Tasty (albeit with a limited menu) and freshly cooked.
Breakfasts and lunches were fine and in all cases the waiter service was efficient and friendly.
Other negatives?. Well, there were 3 lifts serving our building and only 2 working for the duration. There were ice machines on every floor and none worked until day 8 (after constant complaints)
Finally, the most annoying (and unexpected) negative was the ridiculour "reserving" of sunbeds around the pool and on the beach. I thought it was only the Germans who did this? Apparently the Americans (who made up 85% of the occupancy) are right up there with them. If you ventured down to the pool/beach area anytime after 7 am, there was not a sunbed to be found. I suspect some were even putting there towels down the night before. Quite what the hotel could have done to eliminate this I really don't know, I guess its difficult. But, if you can beat 'em, join 'em and get up early to save your space. Or as some of the Americans were doing, save beds on BOTH pool and beach areas.
Gardens, pool and beach areas all immaculate and kept spotlessly clean. Hardly any flies (due to fumigation every night)
Great service in all areas, very friendly and efficient (apart from the miserable bloke at the coffee bar who looked a bit like Rio Ferdinand)
Quantity and quality of drinks at all times and especially during the day around the pool and beach with constant service from the bar to your sunbed.
In summary, it definatley falls short of five stars due mainly to the food quality but having said that, the food was as good or better than any other "all inclusive" resort we have been to.
A warning however if you expect a quiet and relaxing "couples" type break. Yes, it's adults only but there were a lot of rowdy (often foul mouthed Americans) on corporate trips whose bad behaviour (fuelled by unlimited alcohol) spoilt it for many of the other guests (us included)
A couple we met told us that "Secrets, Jamaica was better than Sandals, Jamaica" I will not therefore be going to Sandals!!
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