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Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

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Charlotte, North...
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Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

Have any of you stayed at one of the two above mentioned properties and wish you stayed at the other after? Curious and why?

Also one thing I have noticed and please post/chime in. All who have posted reviews and pictures of IGRH, two things I have noticed is no one says how much fun they had or I am not really seeing pictures of people in general during shows, activities etc. Is it fun at all or just moreso a relaxing vacation? On the Secrets reviews and FB page, everyone seems to say how much fun they had and it shows in the reviews and pictures. I like the decor and room, balcony appeal overall of IGRH. That's where we are booked.

Charlotte, North...
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1. Re: Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

Also we stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach and boy did we have the most amazing time ever! Food was good top, extreme prompt room service, activities and over the top things they did daily. I did not end up booking St James because I really thought i would compare it to Maroma Beach.

Charlotte, North...
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2. Re: Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

Nevermind to above, I am reading the reviews & pics from the Iberostar Suites (next door) and found my answer! I think we will be back & forth between the 2 properties and be more than satisfied. I like water aerobics, pool activities, shows and the disco sounds fun too.

I only wish their room service had a "box" like Secrets & Excellence properties do.

Chester, United...
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3. Re: Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

Hi

Sorry we have never stayed at the Grand

We have however stayed at several resorts in Jamaica and Secrets was the best so far overall

SWO & SSJ are not for everyone as to be fair with the style they are built in you could be anywhere in the Caribbean but we love the modern style. It is the staff and the location that make it Jamaican. The beach comprises of 4 man made coves rather than a natural beach like Negril but it is still a reasonable beach compared to some I have seen in Jamaica and the snorkeling straight off the beach is awesome

If you check out my review and my online album you should get a good feel for the resorts

community.webshots.com/user/flipflop_man

Please note that some of the room shots are not of standard rooms so please check out the labels. As you will see the main difference between SWO & SSJ is simply decor and position on the peninsula

Like you we have also stayed at other Secrets Resorts and have also stayed at all the Excellence Resorts several times

Happy as always to help further if you need it

San Diego...
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4. Re: Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

I've stayed at both and honestly you'll have a great time at either one. The Grand wins on the food and service front, but Secrets wins on the beach, bars and nightlife. Everything else is nip and tuck. I'm heading back to Secrets rather than to the Grand for my Thanksgiving trip this year for one simple reason, reservations are required for dinner at the Grand, but not at Secrets (except for the teppanyaki tables). When on vacation, I don't want to be held to timelines, or to plans that I had to make days in advance. The only appointment I plan on making/keeping whilst on vacation is the transfer to take me back to the airport at the end of the vacation and there are times when I've been more than tempted to blow that one off!

Charlotte, North...
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5. Re: Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

Thank you for your feedback. We have up to the week before to change our reservation if needed. We are in mid 40's+'s but love to have fun. We are 'young at heart' so nightlife is something we enjoy. At Secrets Maroma Beach we never went to bed before 1am most nights. The disco was still going and even the lobby bar kept busy enough after the shows. I'm still reading reviews on the Suites area of the Iberoster properties to read feedback on activities. I just love the IGRH overall appeal though.

How is the beach better?

San Diego...
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6. Re: Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

The beach at the Grand just seemed a little bit "dirty" to me and by dirty, I'm referring to flotsam and jetsam being washed ashore. It was nothing too bad, mainly vegetation, twigs, branches, etc and although the resort staff were out each day cleaning up the beach, they seemed to be fighting a losing battle.

The beach at Secrets is made up of four smaller coves, though there isn't much separation of the two coves at the St James side and is just more "scenic" in my opinion. There is some nice snorkeling off the cove on the peninsula at the Wild Orchid side (guest are free to walk from resort to resort as they are in actuality one big resort, just with different decor) and the cove at the St James side tends to be a little quieter if you are looking for something more relaxing.

I'm leaving my mid 40's and heading towards the 50s, so the days of lighting the candles at both ends are rapidly diminishing, but we found the nightlife at Secrets to be that bit better than at the Grand. The one main functioning bar in the evening at the Grand is a little small and the acoustics are such, that conversation can be difficult at times depending upon the occupancy, which seemed to be hit or miss some nights. One night the place might be filled to the rafters, yet others it can be deserted. Secrets main bar is the piano bar and although it's open sided, it can be a little stuffy inside, but there are plenty of seats scattered around outside that are cooler and little more comfortable. There are a few smaller bars located in some of the residence buildings, which tend to be a little quieter if that's more your scene. Both hotels offer top shelf liquors, so no need to compromise choosing one resort over the other if you were going to factor that into your decision.

Edited: 6:41 pm, August 13, 2012
Cincinnati, Ohio...
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7. Re: Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

Sounds like both places are awesome.. Sometimes we over think.. I'm just going to stay with Secrets and if I'm not happy, I'll try IBG next time. Thanks!

Chester, United...
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8. Re: Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

I do not think you will be disappointed in your choice

Hartford...
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9. Re: Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

My boyfriend and I stayed at Iberostar Grand last December (I'm in my mid 20s). We had so much fun there- we used both Suites and Grand for entertainment (the "discotech" or the club was pretty good for a resort- we both have been big clubbers- more so in the past, but have high standards)- the lobby bar was great as were the shows, and the staff at the Grand made it so much fun- there are a couple staff members who went out of their way and it was like hanging out with friends we have known for years. So don't let anything fool you- it's still a lot of fun. We are going to Secrets St. James this Friday (so excited!) not because I didn't like the Grand, but because we wanted to do something a little different. I will know which one I like better in a couple weeks- so will try to keep you updated. Based off of my research, it seems like you can't go wrong with either one.

Chester, United...
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10. Re: Iberostar Grand vs. Secrets St. James q's

I look forward to hearing how you feel they compare