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“Almost 5 star but not quite” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay

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Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Montego Bay, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #7 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Kent
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Almost 5 star but not quite”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

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.

The positives:

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!!

Room Tip: Try for levels 4 or 5 facing the sunset
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,220 reviews from our community

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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 (1,587)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We just came back from Secrets Wild Orchid last night. The hotel is gorgeous, rooms clean, food delicious, staff friendly, beach clean and lovely. No complaints it's 5 star all the way. However, if you really are looking for an authentic Jamaican vacation, you will not find it at secrets as unfortunately they have transformed the place to resemble the US instead of being in Jamaica. Yes they have one restaurant serving Jamaican dishes, but they don't serve too much and there is barely any reggae heard on the resort. Mostly American top 40. Kinda disappointed that they feel they have to change themselves to make guests happy.

  • Stayed February 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us via Trip Advisor. It was our utmost pleasure to host you here at our resort and we wish to have the pleasure of being of service to you once again.

Guest satisfaction is of great importance to us and it does our team members well to know that our service delivery as well as amenities and the resort itself were up to par.

We thank you for the observations and comments made as this helps us to review current practices with a view to implementing changes that are necessary.
We certainly appreciate you posting your feedback and we look forward to being of service to you again.

Warm Regards,
CauletteMornan
Social Networking/eConcierge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

The resort is abolutely beautiful. Even the most basic rooms are top luxury with amazing views. It was wonderful to have such a large selection of restaurants all-inclusive, but the food really was not very good at ANY of them. The entire staff was amazing. The coffee man at breakfast was the most annoying thing EVER, but they had a fantastic spread at the breakfast buffet. We had so much fun here it was very easy to forgive the awful food, but I would expect more from a resort of this caliber. I went with a friend and still had a blast, but the resort is definately more appropriate for couples. It was the best option in Montego Bay for adults only, and not hedonist. All in all, I loved the resort...but stay at the resort.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

We thank you for providing us with the opportunity to be of service to you and are pleased that you were generally satisfied with our service delivery.

Guest satisfaction is very important to us and we are happy to hear that all the staff were amazing and you enjoyed your stay with us, despite your dissatisfaction with our fare. Your feedback allows us the opportunity to review our current processes and implement the changes required to ensure that we are consistently delivering the best possible product and service to our guests in all areas of our operations.

We are indeed content that overall you ‘loved our resort’ and we look forward to a return visit and the opportunity to be of service to you once again.

Warm Regards,
CauletteMornan
Social Networking/eConcierge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I just completed a very nice two-week stay at Secrets Wild Orchid in the resort's Preferred Club. We found the staff to be quite charming and attentive, if a bit over the top at times. This was our first all-inclusive experience as a couple, and while the constant immediate availability of drink and food was great, the quality of the sit-down restaurants was not quite up to our standards. The buffet meals were very good, not only in the variety of offerings but in the quality as well.

The resort staff is relentless in keeping everything clean. The pool and beaches are lovely and not crowded. Padded cushions on the beach chairs and towels waiting each day. We made use of the gym area which was small but nice. We liked the Preferred Club experience, as the PC pool is less rowdy than the main pool. Jerk Chicken, any kind of drink you could want, cheeseburgers, delicious fried chips, hot dogs, (and in the Preferred Club a private PC only bar and snack counter) and a really funny and nice strolling Jamaican music trio (ask them to play "Mama Don't Know") are all within short walks.

The resort has managed to create a small town environment, which includes several on-site restaurants, buffets, bars galore, shopping, an outdoor film most nights, a coffee bar, an outdoor games area (table tennis, pool, walk around chess board, etc.). There is outdoor live entertainment most evenings. There is also a 24 hour slots-only casino and a very professional nurse on duty.

We signed up for the Couples Midnight Spa Experience, and it was nice but not great. This program consists of a thirty minute or so sauna and hydrotherapy before heading outside for a massage. The hydrotherapy unfortunately also included maintenance personnel cleaning the area while we were supposed to be relaxing. Our message therapists were a bit heavy-handed. The evening was supposed to include a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered fruits. Our champagne was warm, and we had to wait for two fruit plates to be fetched, sans chocolate.

Over-all we can readily recommend Secrets Wild Orchid for nice restful upscale all-inclusive experience. Maybe not five stars, but a solid four and a half.

Greg & Lori Paine, Puyallup, WA

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, responded to this review, May 31, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

We thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us via Trip Advisor and we look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back Home soon.

We are indeed happy to know that you were able to have a very ‘restful’ two weeks of vacation with us as we do make every effort to provide our guests with a completely relaxing experience. It is great to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and you found our team members to be ‘charming and attentive’ – thank you for recognizing their dedication to you, our guests.

We are happy to know you had a consistent immediate service but it is regrettable that the quality of your dining experience did not meet your expectations. Thank you for your feedback as it will help us to make necessary changes moving forward.

We take pride in creating the right environment for a comfortable vacation and it is thrilling to know that you found the hotel itself to be clean and immaculate and the pool and beaches to be ‘lovely.

We thank you for making us your resort of choice and look forward to being of service to you once again as you plan your next vacation.

Warmest regards,
Caulette Mornan
Social Networking/eConcierge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

This is the best resort ever! I read the reviews prior to leaving. I thought I was prepared for my stay, however my expectations were exceeded. The room was spectaular, we never used the tub, which I regret. I will definitely correct that during my next stay. I didn't have a preferred room and from my conversations it really is not necessary.

The people are absoultely wonderful. They were always smiling, assisting, waiting on you. The service on the beach was phenomenal. The waitresses were there every ten minutes to get or refresh your drink. The jerk chicken cart, oh my goodness, the jerk chicken cart!!!!!

Pace is the night time band, wonderful. They play a variety of music and it is great. Please attend the talent show, it was great. Matter of fact all of the time activities were great.

I want to say thanks to Stewart, hobie cat guide. Stewart took us out on one of the free water activites he was very personable, this is a must do event. We went on the ATV guide, it was wonderful, however we really could have just stayed on the resort the entire time.

I tried to think of suggestions for the property, and could not find any.

Room Tip: You do not need the preferred room, all rooms are great!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 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
    • 4 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.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

Thanks so much for posting your review; it is greatly valued. We are happy that you enjoyed the service provided, the many resort amenities offered, entertainment, rooms and beach bar.

Guests’ satisfaction is of highest importance to us and reading your review does make us feel fulfilled knowing that our aim of exceeding guest expectations was accomplished.

It is great we were able to make you happy throughout the entire time of your stay and at the end you were able to say it is ‘the best resort ever!’as Secrets Resorts and Spa commitment is to ensure our guests feel at Home.

We are also very happy to know you had a great time on the hobie cat and that Stewart was the ultimate guide.

We look forward to welcoming you back Home with open arms and big smiles!

Warmest regards,
CauletteMornan
Social Networking/eConcierge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

I'm so glad that my first trip to Jamaica and to an all inclusive resort was at Wild Orchid! It was fabulous...and too short.

Here's the low down:

Resort design - The decor of the resort was beautiful, tasteful, elegant, contemporary and island style. I'd like to know where you got all the beautiful artwork and fans. I want some for my home. :) Love the warm colors of orange and brown. Even the bathrooms were beautifully decorated.

Activities:

Game room - Great game room with pool tables, ping pong tables. human size connect four, human size chess, etc. Great fun! And the best part is that there is also a soft serve ice cream machine in the room so you can help yourself!

Water sports - snorkeling on the resort beach was available with equipment to borrow for free, in fact there were quite a few water sports you could enjoy for free. We decided to pay $30 pp to have staff take us about 5 minutes away to snorkel. The water was choppy but they did a good job showing us the creatures of the sea. And it was only 5 minutes away. And we were able to see lots more than we would have on the beach. Swim pools were cool with swim up bar.

Casino - This was just a sad, small room with some slot machines. Pretty boring.

Nighttime entertainment: Really impressed with their nightly entertainment. The resort brought in really great groups such as a drum group, circus, couples game show, band. The only flop was a "silent disco" night where people wear headphones and select one of two channels to choose from. To the outsider, we were just watching people dance in silence. Pretty lame.

Beach: Beautiful water, with lots of lounge chairs, towels and umbrellas. Waitress comes around and takes order for drinks. Great set up. I do have a few complaints: some of the chairs were broken, by 9 am most of the lounge chairs were taken...not by people but by people throwing their towels or books on top to reserve their spot. I wish the waitress came around more often to take drink orders.

Food: *sigh*...this was the only disappointment of our trip. Its wonderful that they have many restaurants to choose from but overall the food was mediocre...just edible. Though the presentation of the food gets an "A". The best things were the jerk chicken cart that rolls out in the afternoon, the fresh potato chips from the burger stand on the beach, and the drinks were good. The buffet breakfast was pretty decent too because they had an omelet stand, fruit salad bar, cereals, etc. The barista bar next to the game room and casino was wonderful. And I really enjoyed the self-serve soft serve ice cream machine. Room service was not good either...same yucky food. I didn't think you could mess up french fries but they did.

Staff: The best staff ever!! Everyone is so nice and friendly with superb service. I only encountered one waiter that kept messing up our order. But all the other staff was attentive and went out of their way to make our vacation the best ever. The guy that checked us in also upgraded us to an ocean front room. Awesome!! The concierge was able to get us into a group tour. Best staff.

The housekeeping staff was thorough. Our first night the turndown maid left a swan made from towels on our bed with flower petals. awww...... Though we found that when we put the "do not disturb" sign out in the evening, the turndown maid still came into our room.

wild Orchid has really spoiled me. It was my first relaxing vacation. Loved it! If it weren't for the bland food I would have given it 5 stars.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

My wife and I are travelers that have gone to many different 5* establishments in Europe, Canada, and the USA. We travel at a minimum of 3-5 resorts per year. So far this year, we have traveled to Mauii and now Jamaica for the second time. I have reviewed many of the comments about great service and good food etc. Well, I strongly beg to differ. Im not sure where all this is coming from. There are a few employees that exercise professionalism with a smile. For the most part, they are too loud around the pool speaking in parois and assuming most people wont understand it. Well i understood every word (not always very kind words being said).
I paid $2600/person and I expected top notch food which I can say I did not receive. One night one of the restaurants advised me they were out of potatoes to go with the steak. She offered me instant mashed potatoe mix instead.
The preferred Club Wild Orchid is a waste of money. Those at St. James who figured out that you could just come over use the beach and drink the premium alcohol without any questions asked by the "guardsman" got the best deal. This made it difficult to get seating and we had to come out early to reserve seating with a towel at 7 AM. It brought back memories of when I was in university on spring break on a fixed budget at a 3* resort.
A habit that I dislike seeing, is some of the employees picking over and eating the food set out for the guests in the Preferred Lounge. Have they never heard about tripadvisor? At least have the courtesy to wait until no one can see you.
The pool is not meticulously kept. You can see the dirt line around the pool and around the swim up suites. At the Iberostar Grande Bavarro in the Domincan Republic, the staff had the pool and deck scrubbed daily and drinks served to you in a timely manner.
To sum it up, we should have went to the Iberostar Rose Hall, but we wanted to give another chain a try. Big mistake for the money!
The praise is only worth if you paid a 3* price and you are used to 3* service. Many of the more distinguished guests have said they would never come back to this resort, and I am of the same frame of mind.
My advice to management is to be more visible and to supervise their staff to ensure service excellence. You will see this resort slowly slide down to 3.5* sooner than you think.

As I sit here writing this on the beach, I notice the pool is still closed from yesterday evening.

Positives
-great location
-beautiful grounds
-some good employees (not many)

Negatives
-not luxury as advertised
-loud poolside employees talking amongst themselves
-no real selection of authentic Jamaican cuisine
-rooms not clean in a timely manner
-entertainment is what to expect at an all inclusive - a miss on their target market

If you are a discerning traveler, heed my warnings. The quality of service does not match the price paid. Never saw or met the butler. The concierge told us go make our own reservations at the Japanese restaurant. I could go on ad nauseum but I'm tired and I want to go home.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay

Address: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#13 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay 4.5*
Number of rooms: 350
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay Hotel Montego Bay

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