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Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

Columbus, Georgia
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Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

We are group of three couples in the 30-40 age range. My husband and I have been to Couples Swept Away in Negril and Excellence Playa Mujeres in Mexico. We loved both for different reasons. We have decided to take a group trip. One couple has never been out of the country and has some general concerns about Mexico (although we have reassured them that it is safe). The other couple is a member of time share community and would prefer to use a resort underneath that umbrella. Secrets is one of the brands underneath the umbrella. We are easy to please and want to make everyone happy since this is a lot of money. Our only request is for an adults only resort. So I have a couple questions regarding SWO and SSJ:

1. The resorts look beautiful, but I'm concerned as to why it isn't ranked higher? Iberostar has great reviews (although it looks cold with too much marble in my opinion). Is there a consensus why?

2. How is the nightlife and entertainment team? Do they have a daily list of activities?

3. Would you recommend another Secrets resort (other than Mexico)? I guess that only leave Royal Beach.

4. Is there anything about Secrets that sets it apart from other resorts in Jamaica?

6. Lastly, what stance has Secrets taken on the nicotine smoking ban?

Thank you for all your help!

United States
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1. Re: Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

"1. The resorts look beautiful"

There is only one Secrets resort in Jamaica. The two names apply to two sections of one hotel.

Columbus, Georgia
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2. Re: Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

Yes I understand it is same resort. I'm not comparing the two...I am speaking of it (orchid and st. James) as compared to other resorts. Sorry if not clear.

Ford City...
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3. Re: Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

We stayed at Secrets St James last May. We loved it! My husband is 53 and I am 49 yrs of age. It was our first time in Jamaica and our second all-inclusive. We stayed at the Riu Palace in Punta Cana several years before. I cannot speak to the smoking policy as we do not smoke. I did not notice smokers but that doesn't mean it is not allowed. There was a daily activity schedule and you received a pamphlet everyday with the activities/restaurant selections listed. We really liked this aspect, similar to a cruise. They had a steel drum band one night, the Silver Birds that was excellent but most nights was a rather drab performance by their entertainment staff or house band. We preferred just sitting around the piano bar or at one of the outdoor chairs looking out at the water.

The resort is really beautiful but not opulent like the Riu we stayed at. I preferred St James because the grounds were well maintained and beautiful with nice vegetation and if you are into seeing things like starfish/urchins and fish, this is the place. The water is so clear that if you walk out onto their jetties or along the seawall at SWO, you will see the sealife up close and personal! There are several peacocks on the premises and two parrots that we loved.

The nightlife was lacking and although they have a group that leads pool games through the daytime and heads their entertainment team, we were not particularly impressed with that portion of the resort.

Food was all very good and there are no reservations required at the a la carte restaurants, a big bonus if you are like us and just like to go through your day as it happens, not pre-plan everything.

Very romantic resort, good food, good drinks, absolutely beautiful to look at and decent entertainment at night. We really enjoyed it but are trying Iberostar Grand Rose Hall this year due to a big jump in fees at Secrets.

Greenville, South...
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4. Re: Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

Good luck planning. What areas are important for your group? Do you like a nice beach, large pool, lots of activities, great spa?

1. I have been to the Secrets in Jamaica and it is nice. There were some areas I felt could be improved (service, cleanliness, food quality) but I would go back if I got a price significantly lower than Iberostar Grand. I didn't think I got much bang for my buck.

2. I didn't notice the entertainment "team." Nightlife was OK- we did enjoy the steel drum show.

3. You are right. If you eliminate Mexico & Jamaica, the only Secrets left is in DR. I think there are also Zoetry and Breathless AM Resorts in Punta Cana.

I can't really answer 4 & 6.

Columbus, Georgia
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5. Re: Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

Thank you so much for answering! I would say activities, pool, and decent food are on the top of our list. Nothing too formal. I really like the "relaxed" atmosphere in Jamaica. I'm a little disappointed to hear there isn't much nightlife...but maybe we could make our own!

We've also looked at Breathless in DR. Since it is so new, the reviews are "so so." I'm not sure if the kinks will be worked out by June.

Greenville, South...
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318 posts
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6. Re: Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

I think you will like the Wild Orchid. The nightlife is light because people have so much fun during the day!

Ford City...
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7. Re: Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

If you decide to go to Secrets St James or Secrets WO, you will not be disappointed. We had a wonderful time. As far as the entertainment, there was something to do, it was just not always something we were interested in. If you are traveling with a group, I'm sure with a few drinks and the beautiful atmosphere, you will enjoy your evenings there.

Columbus, Georgia
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8. Re: Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

Thank you for the replies. I think we are trying to make ourselves love Secrets since we are limited to that brand. I do like the swim out rooms. Oh decisions decisions!

long island, ny
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9. Re: Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

I think you will like Secrets.

The main pools are very lively with activities throughout the day. There is also lots of beach volleyball, if that is your thing. We really liked the cooking classes. There are also crafts as well.

It is a very pretty setting. The water is crystal clear and the sand is very nice. The beaches aren't huge and don't go on for miles but they were very nice for swimming, reading and relaxing. Many people were snorkeling. We took out the kayaks and looked at the fish that way!

We were there in Oct 2012 and Oct 2013. My husband quit smoking in between those 2 dates!!! YEAH!!!

I really didn't notice a difference. There was still an ashtray on the balcony. They were on the outside bar.

No smoking inside. I didn't notice any smoking at outside seating at the restaurants during either trip. You can smoke on the beach and by the pool.

They usually have some type of live show either on the beach or by the piano bar. Never went to the theatre for the shows. There is also a "disco", never went there either. We sometimes gave a small contribution to the casino (just video machines) to get a little air conditioning! They also did a movie outside each night by the coffee shop.

Have fun! It is a great resort!

Chicago
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10. Re: Secrets Wild Orchid and St. James

Willie Tree...We have been to Excellence Playa Mujeres (loved it) and Secrets St James (really loved it) . To avoid repeating myself, I would urge you to read my recent review of Secrets. We would definitely recommend this resort! If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.