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“Beautiful Resort, Great Service, but local excursions lacking.” 5 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 #9 of 64 Hotels in Montego Bay
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Kankakee, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Beautiful Resort, Great Service, but local excursions lacking.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2011

We booked this trip through a local travel agent. After booking we decided to upgrade so I contacted the resort for the upgrade. My credit card was charged, but I could not get anyone to confirm that I had the upgrade. After 2 weeks it was suggested here, that I contact the consignoir CAULLETTE on Facebook. She quickly responded and after working with me for a few days she was able to confirm everything. Caullette was the only thing that stopped me from canceling the trip all together. Upon arrival, using Apple Vacations we were upgraded to a private cab to the resort. At the resort we were again surprised and upgraded to the largest swimout suite at the resort. It was beautiful and greatly appriciated. The out side hot tub did not work, but we really didn't plan to use it anyway. Are there construction issues as talked about here? Yes if you look for them. Nothing serious and my wife noticed very few.The resort overall is very beautiful. The beach on the preferred side was great, and we never had a problem finding a chair at whatever time we went.(Pool or Beach) There are 4 heated pools on the property, including St.James. One at Wild Orchid preferred, 1/2 at Wild Orchid main pool, 1/2 of both the St. James and and Preferred pools. The swim outs are not heated, and were pretty cold.
My only complaint with the preferred pool and beach area is the location of the bar. You have to walk a path through the bush's to get to the bar. The servers for the preferred was very hit and miss, and seemed to stand around the bar talking a lot more time then they did serving drinks. We are pretty good tippers, but this made very little difference in the service we got. Everyone really seemed to run on Jamacian time, so don't get in a hurry.
Food was alright, we never went hungry. Room service was the only service that was quick. Their food was good and delivered either when promised or sooner..
Now for our bad experience. We took the shopping excursion. It cost 33 dollars for the two of us and was a total waste. It was pretty obvious the tour guide got kick backs, and took you to her preferred locations. If you did not have the money to buy something she and the owner would agree that she would collect the money back at the resort and bring it back to the owner later. On the middle stop, after keeping us at the store for about 15 minutes, it bacame obvious we were not going to buy anything.,She finally said we could leave if we wanted and walk to the other shops down Hip Strip. We were told to meet the bus a Margaritaville in an hour. I would not recommend this tour to anyone. The next day, we hired a private cab to Negril. It cost us $200 for the cab for the day and we really enjoyed the trip. The 7 mile beach was great and we really loved Margaritaville and Ricks. We even jumped Ricks cliffs. The driver Mr. V. Smith was very curtious and explaind a lot of Jamaican history and customs all the way to Negril and back.
Snorkeling was pretty good at the Preferred side the first 5 days of the trip. The last two the water got pretty rough and seeing not very good. I found several interesting forms of sealife, and had great fun.
Overall we loved the resort if you plan on staying on the resort. You are safe and locked in the compound and outside peddlers are not a problem. We think if you like the cruise ship experince you well really love this resort. It really felt like the cruise ship experience. A great time while there, but expensive to get off the ship.
Will we return to this resort? No,but not because of the resort. As I said the resort is wonderful, but our next trip to Jamaica will be to Negril. This resort would be highly recommended for long weekend but a week was to much for us.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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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4,477 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
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English first
Level Contributor
50 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2011

Went to secrets last April when it opened and there were many many problems. Happy to say most of tem are gone. Service is much improved, rooms are and were beautiful. The food still remains a problem, it is just not very good. The addition of a coffee bar was most welcome . Also, my one other issue is that it is VERY obvious that the staff is expecting a tip for everything . In most all inclusives I have been to (and I have been to many ) the tipping is much less and much less obvious. It is apparent that mangament does not discourage tipping.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2011

We spent 8 days/7 nights for our honeymoon in October 2010. We arrived and were greeted with smiles, cool towels and champagne. A perfect way to start our honeymoon.

Pro: it only took 10 minutes to get from the Montego Bay airport to our hotel!

Our room wasn't ready yet so we grabbed a bite to eat at the restaurant by the pool. The service was prompt and the jerk chicken is incredible. No matter which restaurant you choose at the resort the jerk chicken will not let you down.

About an hour later we checked back and our room was ready. We were whisked upstairs to our honeymoon suite. Our king size bed was amazingly comfortable. When you think about a dream bed should be for a honeymoon -- this was it!

One item some people seem to not mention in their reviews is the Playboy channel is free.

The bathroom is a little awkward with the sheer partition. However the shower, tub and vanity were all nice. Bath proucts and fresh towels are brought in daily. No complaints there.

Quirk #1: Room service. We never knew what time our maid was comnig. Then again, we didn't tip our maid, so that might be why.

Quirk #2: Mini bar in the room really doesn't exist. You get four Red Stripes and four bottles of water a day. And we didn't tip the guy who replenished our mini fridge, so we would go for a day without any bottled water until he "finally could make it" to our room. We just got drinks from downstairs instead.

The beach and buffet are the two constants the resort has to offer. Every morning we woke up, had a huge breakfast at the buffet, then spent our morning on the beach, back to the buffet at lunch, then more beach or an activity.

Quirk #3: wait service at the buffet. I'd reccomend getting your alcoholic beverages at the bar before going to the buffet. While the waiters ask if you want something from the bar, you could be finished with your meal by the time your drink arrives.

All the restaurants on the property are okay. Nothing really blew my mind from the French, Italian, Japanese or Jamaican restaurants. The Mexican restaurant is a joke. It's funny they all try so hard to be different when all the food is coming out of the one central kitchen.

Quirk #4: wait times for meals at the restaurant. Service is unreliable. We had great waiters, average ones and flat out awful guys who just didn't seem to care. Just keep drinking and it's all good.

We loved going to the dessert and coffee bar after our dinners. We'd grab a plate of desserts to take back to our room. A delicious way to end the evening.

A few romantic highlights were our champagne breakfast in bed, the complimentary bottle of champagne on our arrival, and the rose-petal turn down service. The spa is incredible. Go early or stay late after your appointment to enjoy the water treatments, sauna, hot tubs and more.

Also, if you ask nicely and tip, the gentlemen at the bar will give you a bottle of house wine. I had a fun night in our room when our husband fell asleep early and left me to finish the bottle all by myself.

Overall it was the best honeymoon a girl could ask for. I loved Jamaica and enjoyed getting to know the staff of the hotel. Just a few operational inefficiencies the management needs to smooth over and it could be a 5 Star resort.

  • Stayed October 2010, 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Level Contributor
60 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2011

We enjoyed this resort-- our room was beach front with a jacuzzi and direct pool access. Food was decent, definitely never starved. Stayed in preferred section, worth it if you don't want to be around the party.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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new jersey
Level Contributor
44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2011

My husband and I spent 5 days at Secrets Wild Orchid. We've both been to 4 other all-inclusives so we have a pretty good idea of what else is out there.

Check in: Upon checkin - they told us to wait at the bar and they would come get us. 45 minutes later, I checked back in and they had forgotten we were there waiting to check in.

Alcohol: The house wine is terrible! I honestly think they water it down. You can buy bottles (the red wasn't bad) but it's pricey. My guess is they water down the house wine to get people to purchase bottles. The bar in the lobby (at wild orchid) has top shelf alcohol. I had a kettle and tonic upon checking in. I never saw kettle vodka anywhere else on the resort. The pool bars all have watered down alcohol and suspect brands.

Room: The BED is fantastic! As others mentioned, the bathroom is not private. It's seperated by a piece of sheer fabric. Not much privacy for the toilet either.
2 nights they were having issues with the hot water and I had to take a cold shower. They were not able to fix the water temperature in a timely fashion either night. My room was missing a blow dryer. I called 3 times asking if someone could deliver one to my room. Good thing I didnt' hold my breath - one NEVER arrived. I finally just gave up. They are good about stocking the fridge with drinks.

Pool chairs: THIS IS IMPORTANT! Unless you are in the preferred section, you will have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get a chair at the pool or the beach. This alone is why I will never return to this resort. The first day, we got out to the pool at 9am and every single chair at the pool AND on the beach had a towel on it. The hotel allows people to "save" chairs by putting towels on them. I found out later that the staff accepts "tips" to save people's chairs for them each morning. The next morning, I went to the pool at 7am and you guessed it - NO CHAIRS AVAILABLE ON THE BEACH OR THE BY THE POOL! We finally got chairs when my husband woke up at 6am and ran out to the pool to drop our towels. Very poor system.

Spa: The spa is the nicest spa I've ever been to (and I've been to many). The massage was great and the water therapy area is FANTASTIC! Make sure you ask them if you can come early if you book a massage and they will let you use the water therapy area for free. Highly recommended.


French - This restaurant had, quite possibly, the worst service I've ever experienced in my life. The food was cold, and it took almost an hour and a half to get our dinner. Our waiter looked like he was high. He kept asking us the same questions over and over. The portions are small so if you eat there, ask for 2 entrees.

Italian - Not terrible. The ambiance is nice. Had great service.

Japanese - The hibachi was fun but extremely rushed. We were in and out in 45 minutes. Our waiter made a very disturbing joke too saying quote "Let's blow it up like Bin Laden." To say this to a table of New Yorkers is beyond bad taste.

Seaside Grill - Decent meal. Had the steak which was pretty good. Wine at this restaurant was horrendous.

Mexican - Terrible. I would avoid this place at all costs.

Shows - They were ok... I've seen better at other all-inclusives

Mosquitos were at a minimum. They spray the entire resort every night to kill a lot of the bugs.

Overall the place is nice and the staff was great - although they all do expect to be tipped. The rooms are close to the pool and the beach which I liked. All in all, it was little things that added up and added to our frustration. This resort is on the pricier end. I would expect for the cost - they would have worked out some of these kinks by now. The lack of pool and beach chairs was the nail in the coffin for this place. It caused so much stress for us trying to find empty chairs that it just isn't worth returning.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2011

We had a good holiday here overall, but nothing spectacular. We found that the problems cited in the really negative reviews are not as bad as portrayed, but equally we didn't find it as wonderful as the 5 star reviews.
The room was nice (we were non-preferred) - clean on arrival (no problem checking in but we only arrived with one other couple - I saw very lengthy delays for checking-in for large groups arriving together - with no organisation on Reception's part about how to manage this). The quality of the finish on the rooms is less than perfect if you have a really critical eye (the shower leaks on to the bathroom floor a little bit, poor painting, mouldy silicon, loo seat not fixed properly, paint on the tiles, etc ) but nothing that could possibly spoil a holiday, but may risk making the place look run-down in a few years time.
Generally the bar service was good - there was only one occasion our drinks didn't arrive.
The beach is fine - there is a section that I saw that was a bit rocky, but a few metres further down the beach and it was back to lovely sandy beach. The sunloungers with shade (those with parasols) were nearly all reserved by 7am most mornings.
We didn't partake of any of the entertainment so can't pass comment.
Things other reviews have complained about:
Noisy music by the pool - I didn't find this particularly noisy (only when the water aerobics class was on, and that didn't last too long) - it was quieter further down the beach by the volleyball.
Staff- a bit inconsistent - most were friendly and helpful. There were a handful who were not particularly helpful, the worst example being the lady on reception who clearly preferred to ring her friend for a gossip rather than try to help us. The cleaning lady was lovely but was inconsistent in re-stocking the room.
Cleaning - there was one day the room cleaner never turned up, but that wasn't a particular problem for us. One day the bed was changed and we weren't given any pillow cases - no great problem I thought, so I rang down to Reception and asked for some - the problem then being that it took over an hour to get one (involving both a telephone call and a trip down to reception in my nightie to try and aquire this). It eventually arrived courtesy of a very stroppy, rude member of staff who clearly thought I was causing a fuss - I wasn't complaining, I didn't want someone to remake the bed, I just wanted a pillowcase so I thought that was a bit uncalled for.
Spa - the spa is excellent - the staff were pleasant and helpful and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The Food - whilst this is perfectly edible and there is plenty of it, it isn't great. Interestingly, we were dragged into a 'meet the managers' party by a member of entertainment staff (the party was next to the pool table where we were at the time) and as soon as the manager realised we were British, her first question was what we thought of the food, as their general feedback from Europeans about the food is not great. I think the food is geared up for Americans - I estimated that 90% of the guests we saw were American, so gearing the food for them is fair enough. None of the food seemed to have much 'taste' to it - no chillies in the chilli, or any spice in any of the 'Mexican' food - we tried the French restaurant one night and my fish came out stone cold in the centre and luke warm at the edges - I was very glad on that basis that I hadn't ordered the chicken. We managed to find a few good foods at the Buffet - this was hit and miss because some of the buffet food was poor and some was excellent - it was a case of trying tiny little bits of everything and then getting a portion of what was good. What appeared to be reheated deep-fat-fried pepperoni calzone which was 90% dough, served with sweet and sour sauce, was probably the funniest thing I saw all week...
Overall the holiday was fine - we had a nice week in the sun, and mostly are experience was good. We wouldn't go back there though - if we were to go back to the Caribbean we would look for somewhere with a better reputation for food as this is something we enjoy, and probably with more consistent service. I'd only go again if we got a week there at a really bargainous price.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Irvine, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2011

We visited Secrets Wild Orchid and had a blast. The hotel was great, the service was great, the staff were great, the beach and water were wonderful, and the food at all the restaurants was superb.

My wife and I enjoy all inclusives and find Secrets to be a step above the rest.

The Preferred Club was great especially since we had some rain when a tropical storm arrived and it was nice to be able to have a few extras in the room and building.

We are more beach people tha pool people and the beach and the water were perfect. We were able to snorkel right off the beach (we brought our own masks).

All in all we loved Wild Orchid and would return in a minute - unless we go to another Secrets.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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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Additional Information about Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay

Address: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
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:
#7 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Luxury 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
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