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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed September 18, 2011

Decent food, not 5 star by a long shot. Got sick of it after a week and the local KFC made a fortune. Fantastic complex and pool and jacuzzi right by the beach is a great thing to have outside your room. Great range of drinks, Grey Goose , Captain Morgan, whatever we wanted was there to drink(apart from bulmers). Service was great and friendly, although we were treated like criminals when our Maestro cards were not compatible with their outdated machines when it came to pay charges on our room. Escorted to an ATM by head of security.

Absolute disgrace and a manager by the name of Daniel(bald spanish guy) should be ashamed of himself, to treat a honeymoon couple the way he did.

I don't think I would return for the prices they charge.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jules W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,724 - 5,730 of 6,569 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2011

My sister and I spent a week at Secrets St. James just got back yesterday and I have to say it was very disappointing. The hotel room looks lovely at first glance but the floors were dusty and under the bed had not been cleaned for the entire week, the curtain rod had been broken and laid on the side against the wall never to be re attached. The ads for the resort said they had the latest technology but we only had a plasma tv set, the clock was always two hours ahead despite setting it every day I complained it was never replaced. The worst was the restaurant food..they were all bad except the Japanese they were the ony one with tasty food, Bordeaux was mediocre, Portofino apparently uses canned tomato sauces for their pasta, Blue Mountain was a joke. The two lunch only restaurants Seaside Grill and Oceana Grill had nothing grilled on their menu. I regret my vacation there. The only bright spot was the people who worked there they were very friendly and always looked like they loved their jobs. I also found out that the workers were underpaid and I think all the money is going to the owner of the property shame on him for the mediocrity. The spa was grossly over priced $69 bucks for a manicure and they were always trying to sell you things like cheap US6.00 dollar wine for US40.00. The wine they poured for dinner was plain nasty...I was in Cancun three months ago and it was half the price and 300 percent better. I will never go back there.

Room Tip: Make sure you check out the room before you accept it.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank jennifer l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2011

we stayed from sep 9th to 16th.

Pros: room is beautiful. pools and beach were great. staff were friendly. and for those who mentioned there's no premium liquor probably did not go to the st. james bar/lounge 'cause that bar had lots of premium liquor to choose from. Himitsu and Portofino had good food.

Cons: I expected more from the Jamaican restaurant. I expected some goat meat and ox tails.

Overall: Great stay. had a relaxing time with the wife, lots of sex. I can only compare my trip though from my past experiences. I've only been to places such as Poland, Philippines, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and throughout the U.S. Hopefully Aruba (by this November) and Fiji sometime next year. So I haven't really been to lots of places like others. But so far, I like my experience at Secrets St. James. Thanks for a good time.

Room Tip: our room was on the 5th floor. great view.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank jmante2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2011

Overall we were very pleased with our stay here, The Jr. Suite on the St. James side was very well appointed including a mini bar and in room hot tub. The Beach had white powder sand and was spotless. I really enjoyed the infinite pool with the swim up bar. Premium liquor such as Jack Daniels was available. Although gratuities were included we found a dollar or two got us even better service from the attentive staff. We foolishly took a vacation club "tour" which didn't include a tour at all and a rather unimpressive time share presentation. The $100 gift certificate for sitting thru the presentation turned outt to be good at only 1 store in the resort. Entertainment was almost non existent except for a good house band. They did also have a steel band at a the Seaside Grill. We were not pleased with the quality of the food. Nothing was terribly bad but the overall taste of everything seemed quite bland. Definitely not the quality you would expect at this level of resort. My biggest complaint was that several of the restaurants were either closed or non-air conditioned. We ate at the Japanese restaurant where they cooked the meal on a grill in front of you while singing and banging and throwing utensils. While it was mildly amusing to watch the lack of air conditioning and the heat from the grill was stifling. I was sweating right thru my shirt. Overall I would consider going back if I could find a great deal again. We only paid $925 with airfare for 4 night from NY thru JetBlue. After hearing how much more others had paid the resort did not seem worth nearly that price.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Vacationrounder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2011

This was a terribly disappointing vacation and VERY poor value for the money. I have to believe that the resort is paying people to put positive reviews on this site, because I can't fathom how anyone can rate this place 5 stars. My wife and I are 36 years old, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and have had the pleasure of staying at a number of very nice tropical resorts over the past 7 years (Aventura Spa Palace (Mexico) - 5 star - 2004, Breezes Jibacoa (Cuba) - 4 star - 2005, Excellence Riviera - 5 star - (Mexico) 2008, Excellence Playa Mujeres 5- star (2009). To put it simply, Secrets St. James did not measure up. The food was generally terrible, with the exception of the omelette bar at breakfast, the pasta bar at lunch,and the jerk chicken cart (which was decent - but not as outstanding as other reviews would have you believe - the meat is cooked in bulk, stored in tupperware and then thrown on the charcoal grill just before serving). This is nothing to brag about, even in Cuba they can't screw up an omelette. Not to be a jerk, but when you pay premium dollar for an all-inclusive, you expect the food to be good, if not great - here the food is below fast-food standards. The a la carte restaurants were *horrible* - all of them served generally bland, cold food that didn't live up to the standards of North American fast food chains (eg: you could get better Mexican at Taco Bell, better Italian at East Side Marios or The Olive Garden, better steak at the Keg, better seafood at Red Lobster <and speaking of which, there was no lobster unless you paid extra>. The meal at the Japanese restaurant was a joke - the equivalent at Excellence was 100x better. Drinks were inferior - at the other resorts I've been to, there was ample supply of premium brands - at Secrets St. James, the best booze available (and only in the "Preferred Club" lounge) was Grey Goose Vodka. Good luck finding a nice cognac or premium rum. The "Preferred Club" gives you a room with a tub on the terrace - the tub is tiny - and completely visible to your neighbours - eg: completely useless. The "upgraded mini bar" included M&Ms, banana chips and some poor quality rum, vodka and brandy. When we stayed at Aventura (which cost less!) we had Bacardi, Canadian Club and Smirnoff. The Preferred Club area is a 3-5 minute walk to the restaurants on the far end of the resort. The resort was full of young honeymooning couples - which probably explains the undeservedly high reviews as I suspect most of these people never had been to a true luxury 5-star resort before. The beach was relaxing and picturesque, but not very deep. Access to beds on the beach was plentiful. The location is nice, the resort itself was decent - not "top notch" but quite nice - 4 stars, not 5 - in terms of facilities. If you (foolishly) decide to come here (rather than spending less money to go somewhere much nicer) try to avoid the aggressive "Ultimate Vacation" pitch - the efforts of their salespeople were hilarious (I'm in sales and can smell a pitch a mile away...it was quite embarassing.). The coupon offer is a joke - $200 in coupons, but you can only use some of them at certain times (eg: only 1 $10 coupon per bottle of wine). The wine list is atrocious - stick with the house, better to drink mediocre wine for free than absolute swill (like Jacob's Creek) $40-50. The room was decent - very comfortable bed, nice shower and sink. Small hot tub - not up to 5-star standard. Tennis court nets weren't up over our entire stay. Overall, this is a great resort if you have no concept of opportunity cost and enjoy eating cold, bland food and hanging out with tons of crass, tattooed 21-23 year old American honeymooners from the Southern U.S. and older couples who (almost universally) wished they had chosen another resort. We won't be going back - we are not snobs, but if we pay premium dollars for a vacation we expect a premium experience. If we had paid 30-40% less, I wouldn't be complaining, but this place is VERY POOR value for the money (and we got a "deal"). Avoid Preferred Club - it's a complete rip-off - what you get for the money is included standard at any of the previously mentioned resorts.

Room Tip: DO NOT ACCEPT ANY ROOM BELOW THE 3RD FLOOR - otherwise your "ocean view" becomes a "p...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank TheShredBaron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2011

We cames here to stay for a week. My first thought, was wow, this place is gorgeous. And it is. The property is beautiful. There are several choices of restaurants to eat at. The food itself, was so-so. My first issue with the hotel was that our room had no a/c. After two hours the hotel finally agreed to switch our room. Fine, I was happy then. My second issue was the odd sewage smell that seemed to come from the lobby and make it's way up to the rooms. The hotel did have a ton of incense lit to mask it, but it was still noticable. Our cleaning lady was very nice, on the days she actually showed up. If you want to see Montego Bay at all, be preparred to pay $$. A taxi ride alone is $30-$40 USD, for just a 10 minute drive. The location is set apart from everything else that you have to take a taxi anywhere you want to go. We went on several excursions during our stay. I would not recommend the shopping trip. They take you to 3 stores and a craft market. The stores are your typical souvenier shops, where the company has some sort of deal with the owner of the store. An employee follows you around and tries there best to sell you anything. The craft market that you go to is insane. The people that work there are very very pushy. They pull you into there little "shop" and want you to buy everything. Make sure you can barder or you will highly over pay. And be prepared, if you are a female, they have no problem playing with your hair trying to sell you braids. Overall, I liked the room, but I doubt we would stay here again. It is new, so hopefully with time, it will get better.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Veronica R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2011

Just returned from two weeks holiday at this lovely hotel, very friendly staff,
very clean and comfortable, one word of warning, only used my credit card
twice, once at Pharmacy in St James and once at the hotel, beware, my card
had been cloned before I reached home! so do not use your card, use cash.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank iommanxcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secrets St. James Montego Bay

Address: Lot A59, Freeport, 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 ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $392 - $1,068 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Secrets St. James Montego Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 350
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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