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“A realistic review based on fact and not crazy unwarranted opinion! It's a quality Resort, end of ....”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Mansfield - Notts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“A realistic review based on fact and not crazy unwarranted opinion! It's a quality Resort, end of ....”
Reviewed October 11, 2011

If you've booked here, you won't be disappointed! End of story .. If, like my partner and I, your going here and your trawling through reviews on here looking for impartial reassurance you'll have a great holiday, you will!! .. Read on ..

Before arrival: sent a few emails to the resort prior to the holiday and all were answered quickly, and without issue, put us at ease a little before we even left the UK. Full marks there.

Transfer/arrival: airport in Jamaica, pretty good actually, no real complaints. Transfer was a little shoddy to be honest, and was approached by the driver, his 'luggage man' and another random in less than 5 minutes offering me 'some good stuff'! A polite, but firm no and they left you alone. Could be a little intimidating though for some, still, 20 mins later your in resort, transfer was swift, no other complaints.

Check in: Bell Boys immediately sorting your luggage when u step off the transfer, walked into an air-conditioned reception, cold towel offered and a drink in your hand before you know it! Great welcome. Swift check in with front desk staff and off to the room almost immediately. Top drawer.

Room: awesome! We were in 3409 St James Side, standard suite, 4th floor, right at the front of the block overlooking the sea. Suites are exactly as pictured/explained in brochures, clean, spacious, jacuzzi bath, waterfall shower, twin sinks, sofa area and large balcony with furniture. Yes, the air conditioning could have been a couple of degrees cooler, and the mini fridge for that matter, but these are the only issues you'll face! loads of channels on the wall mounted flatscreen tv (look out for channel 115, a little unexpected and could offend and defo doesn't appear in the brochure!) overall, room was fantastic and anyone moaning about them are simply talking rubbish or having a one in million bad experience, if you are one of them then you've simply been incredibly unlucky.

Bars: no complaints at all with any of them. Daytime bars, Marlin and Barracuda Beach Bars, well set out, comfortable to chill at, good service and selection. Swim up bar, again, no issues. Could get a little rowdy in the afternoons with drunk patrons from the U.S, but could be avoided without issue. In the evening the Piano Bar was the most popular with sing along by the piano, and great outside seating and decking overlooking the bay. The lobby bars, St James and Wild Orchid, were quiet, refined and air conditioned and for decent top shelf imported spirits are the place to be, Absolut and Grey Goose Vodka's, Special Reserve Rums, Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire Gins, JW Black Label and Jack Daniels to name a few! Quality. All the bars offered quality, swift, friendly service. Those of you who moan about the odd bit of slower service and a drink maybe being temporarily unavailable due to stock issues need to be a little more realistic, drink something different for a short while and have some respect for the hard working staff!

Restaurants/Food: all excellent! Let's dispel one ridiculous opinion, those people moaning about the 'walk' to the restaurants are just lazy! They are all within 2-3 mins of wherever you are in the resort at the most! A quick stroll down the pathways alongside the sea and beach or through the accommodation and respective lobbys and your there! All the ala carte restaurants are fantastic, and the buffet style meals are also great. Plenty of quality selection and many things cooked fresh in front of you breakfast, lunch and dinner. No complaints. Only other things to mention 'foodwise' are, there's nothing wrong with the room service! Try it! We did, including champagne to the room, no issues. Little snacks can be had from the coffee bar in the shopping area during the day, and late night buffet snacks can be had to out the front of the El Patio restaurant. The help yourself Mr Whippy style ice cream machine was a nice touch to. Overall, the food was quality 24/7, anyone moaning about it is simply overly fussy or just plain wrong!

Staff: we've mentioned the staff that deserved mentioning on the Facebook page so won't repeat them here, to be honest, a few members of staff were a little unapproachable and unfriendly but this was very few and didn't effect our stay. Overall, staff were great, no major issues.

Watersports: all available easily on a daily basis right from the beach. All motorised stuff you paid for, all non motorised (kayaks, Hobbie Kat and guided Snorkelling trips were
part of your all inclusive) we paid for and did banana boat, tubing, parasail, glass bottom boat and snorkel trip out to the Marina on the glass bottom boat - all were awesome! I'm a keen snorkeller, took my own gear, and was out everyday, twice a day including the trip out to the Marina, loads to see, was awesome! Sting Rays, huge jellyfish, huge schools of fish, lobster, starfish to name but a few of the sight! and great coral reefs! Enjoy!

Thanks Secrets, too many staff to praise so if you're reading this management I'll refer you to the Facebook page!

Quick hello to the great friends who we met, you know who you are!

We had a great holiday and on reading some of the negative nitpicking on here we were a little pensive before arriving. That said, as I suspected, all the nitpicking was unwarranted and in the most part just ridiculous. The Resort is beautiful, well equipped, well managed, with a plethera of top quality facilities, bars and food and great staff. Keep an open mind, nobodies perfect! You'll have a great time!

Any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

James and Hazel, Rm 3409, 22nd Sept-7th Oct

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank James2424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Memphis, Tennessee
Level Contributor
51 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2011

I don't usually go to all-inclusive resorts. I find this kind of traveling confining and often a bore. I went to this place because of a family birthday. My wife and I stayed at the "Preferred St.James". I also would not otherwise have travelled to Jamaica (too touristy). We were however pleasantly surprised. I had read some negative things about this resort and Jamaica in general, so I was somewhat skeptical.
We went in late September so the resort was pretty uncrowded. This I think made for a positive experience as usually there are long lines for drinks/food/ excursions or concierge services, etc. The staff was very pleasant and accommodating. The beach was fine. The resort and rooms were clean, the grounds and pools well tended. The four restaurants were decent, nothing spectacular but nothing distasteful either. Overall I would recommend this to someone who has not been to Jamaica and wants a pleasant 3-5 day pampered vacation. Longer than this and your likely to get bored.

Room Tip: Stay in the preferred section. I would choose the "Orchid over St. James" because it is q...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EpicureanDoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2011

It was our first stay in Jamaica and most definitely will Not be our last it was beautiful the amazing surprise when you arrive through those electric gates paradise greets you staff so helpful and happy in their work the staff seemed well looked after and always happy to help we loved our stay the food was great the bars could just do with a little air con but other than that near perfect we will definitely recommend and we will return in the future thankyou to all of you for our 2 week vacation and giving us the beautiful memories to keep forever..<3Kardeisha Andre nicklove ernie marlin roan and many more that's just a few of the wonderful staff that made it all worthwhile xx

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Harleigh99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baton Rouge
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2011

I did tons of research and read plenty of reviews before finally deciding to book Secrets St. James. I am so happy with our decision. We went to secrets to celebrate our first anniversary . They thought of everything...from flowers and champagne upon arrival to a "Happy Anniversary" sign on the door. It was amazing! The grounds were maintained extremely well, the room was beautiful and very clean. The restaurants were also very pretty and I was surprised at how much we enjoyed the food. The staff was the highlight though...always ready to help and assist. They really think of everything and they are so happy to help- always with a SMILE on their face. Room Service was amazing and although they always tell you to give them 45 minutes, sometimes it came faster. The pools are beautiful, the beaches were beautiful! Plenty chairs and loungers - never had to fight for a place to sit.
Highly recommend!

Room Tip: I loved the set up of this resort becuase there are NO bad rooms. Everything is set up practically...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank R L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pittsburgh, pa
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2011

My husband and I stayed for a week 9/27-10/4 with two other couples at the Preferred Club in the St. James. We are in our early 60's and really liked the St James better than the Wild Orchid because it was very quiet and relaxing. It is a bit of a walk to the restaurants and entertainment but I would rather have it that way. Our room was the quietest hotel room I ever stayed in. We never knew anyone was above us in heard any noise from the outside. The room was comfortable with the exception of the AC. When you leave your room there is a sensor and it turns off. Learn from the start of your stay how to turn it down and on. With that said--the room did cool down quickly.
As far as the food is concerned---you need to remember one thing---you are out of the country and many of the tourists come here from all parts of the world. The resort does a nice job of trying to appeal to all tastes. The food was not wonderful but it certainly was not bad. I main concern was with the AC in the restaurants. We left the Japanese one before eating one night because it was SO we were dying in there. Many of the restaurants do not have AC. The service was slow but we enjoyed the leisurely pace. Decaf coffee was always a longer wait. CoCo Cafe which is the coffee bar never had it. I took it from my room and brought it to them to get my Decaf coffee drink---which was delicious.
All in all we thought the resort was one of the most scenic and beautiful we ever stayed at. The people were all so gracious and anxious to please. We felt no pressure to tip. They truly seemed concerned about your enjoyment. We did not take any excursions nor would we recommend taking any. The resort provided everything you would want. We used the fitness center and took advantage of the water sports. The glass bottom boat ride is worth the money. The coral reef was amazing to see.
I think with the right attitude you will be very pleased with your stay.

Room Tip: Top floors offer the best view.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Pamahler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sterling, MA
Level Contributor
86 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2011

We spent 12 days there last October and it was an absolutely wonderful expirience. The food, drinks, grounds, rooms, spa, and staff were absolutely wonderful. We had a couple of minor issues but the manager more than made up for any issues that we encountered. The staff was all very friendly and welcoming. A wonderful place.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tgj777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london uk
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2011

Having stayed at Secret St James early September, the overall experience was ok. It was not worth the cost as the quality of the food was very poor, the beach and pools were nice but that’s as far as it goes.

Food – Overall poor.
Jamican food is amazing and the jamican food on offer at the Blue mountain restaurant was far from Jamican. So many couples staying at the resort at the same time agreed.
No matter what restaurant we went to the food was no better.

Beach – small however, very clean and nice
Beware of the jelly fish, we did not see any signs/flags out during our stay however, I got stung.

Pool– good
A lot of pools to choose from and the pool bars were brilliant. Service was slow but we did not mind.

Room – ok
The finish on the room was poor however, despite the hotel being fairly new things were already coming apart like the shower door. We could hear the room upstars flush their toilet in the night and we could small some odd things via the extractor fans that joined our room.

Excursions – bad
The hotel have made a point of making it hard for you to leave the hotel hence, have provided very expensive trips and taxi services. Not worth the money what so ever - $USD 40 to go 5 minutes down the road to the hip strip!

Overall, we had a good time and despite the issues we put them to the back of our mind and enjoyed ourselves.

Would we recommend this hotel – no, there are better options out there.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank devineelle
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

Property: 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 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Secrets St. James Montego Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 350
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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