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“Beautiful Property”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
St. Louis, MO
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Beautiful Property”
Reviewed March 21, 2012

My husband and I spent a week at Secrets St. James in mid February. This was the third Secrets resort we have been to, the others being Capri and Maroma Beach, both in the Riviera Maya. We love Jamaica and appreciate that nice hotels are coming to the Montego Bay area so you do not have to travel as far. The property was absolutely gorgeous from the buildings, botanicals, beach and ocean.

Staff: The staff was wonderful. Most of the staff was very polite and gracious that you spent your vacation in their country. They are very proud of their country and culture and it is wonderful to see.

Pool area: I was a little disappointed in the pool area. It is nice there are different pools to select from, but it got a little annoying that you had to get out of one pool and into a different one if you wanted a swim up bar to get a drink. The swim up pool bars were located in the heated pools, which were actually too warm. I understand that they do not want the pools connected so they can offer a heated pool and a non-heated pool (just the right temperature for 80 degree weather) at each hotel (Wild Orchid and St. James). To get a good lounge chair you had to get up early to reserve a place. I wish the hotels did not allow you to do this, but most of them do not stop this behavior. It is vacation, and if you prefer to sleep in one day, it was hard to find a chair in a decent location by 9:30 after breakfast.

Beach/Ocean: The beach and ocean were wonderful here! The water is so much prettier here than on the north side of Montego Bay by the Iberostar Hotels. The beach is maintained daily and the sand is like white powder. The water is so clear you can see little fish and star fish. The sand in the water is pure sand and not mushy…which is always a plus. The ocean here is absolutely breath taking!

Restaurants: There are numerous restaurants to choose from with a good variety. However, I did not feel this location offered as large of a menu selection as other Secrets locations or other hotel chains. The food was good and plentiful and of course being an all-inclusive, you can order as much as you would like. The Mexican and Italian were our favorites and visited those two times each. The Breakfast buffet was excellent each morning with numerous items to select from. They even had some Mexican lunch items on the buffet incase you were not interested in breakfast. Drinks were fantastic here and they did not water them down. Sing along bar at night was a lot of fun….but crowded.

Rooms: We had requested a room on a higher floor with an ocean view. But WOW, I think all of the rooms had an ocean view except for the first floor. We were on the top floor, 3rd room from the beach, which was a wonderful view. Each night we could watch the sunset from the balcony or enjoy a peaceful hour on the balcony with a book and the most beautiful view. The rooms were very clean and very nice, but not extravagant. The air conditioner worked perfect and did not have to worry about moisture in the room, unlike some other locations we have stayed recently.

Misc.: The bike tour was fun but don’t expect too much. The bikes are older even though I was lucky to get one of the newer ones. We took a tour within a few miles of the hotel and went to the “Houseboat” restaurant and bar. We were there during the day but would have loved to of gone back at night. It looked like a fun place! If you wanted activities there were plenty to do. If you wanted to lay at the beach or pool they did not bother you to get involved. Entertainment was pretty good. Most of it is held outside under the stars, which is what we prefer vs. inside some building. The funniest was the show where couples from the resort participated; don’t miss that one if you want a good laugh! The “jerk” chicken hut guy was awesome. Some of the best chicken I have ever had. Very moist and fresh. I think we had it 5 days out of the 7 while we were there. Took our own transportation to and from the airport / hotel. I have used Explore Jamaica 4 times and have had wonderful success. They aim to please and have been punctual on each visit. It was odd to see single people at this resort because I always felt Secrets to be more for couples.

It was Mardi Gras while we were there and they even had a special event set up for that evening. The staff and planning staff really do go out of their way to make you enjoy your trip.

Would I go back to SSJ, yes for a long weekend, but not for a week. It is fabulous but we like to try new places. Go and enjoy yourself, it is a beautiful location. We fell absolutely in love with Sandals Whitehouse a few years back and would rate that resort just a little above Secrets St. James. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Ask for a room on a higher floor, it is a gorgeous view from above!
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank island30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2012

The level of hospitality at Secrets was amazing, many small details from the moment you stepped into the hotel lobby such as a glass of champagne and cool towel set a fine tone to the rest of your stay. My best friend and I arrived and were hesitant about it being a couples only resort, but were treated with as much special attention as any couples that guests. I would like to make special mention of the "Wow factor" Manager: Stanley Morris who particularly made our experience so memorable. He was attentive, responsive and anticipated our every need. His events such as the cooking classes made for an unique cultural experience. The only part if my stay that was not enjoyable was sitting through a seminar for timesharing/vacation membership that was supposed to last for 90 mins that turned out to be 3 hours. If you don't really want the $100 gift card to the spa, i would decilne from the start. There are many more surprises and talented staff at secrets just waiting to make your vacation their pleasure!

  • Stayed March 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank Aphrodiziacs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thunder Bay, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2012

First of all, I have to say that this was the best vacation I have ever had. I will try and be as objective as I can but I really don't think there is anything negative to say!

When we first arrived, our first impression was how clean and well kept the whole resort is. It is decorated very upscale but simple, not a lot of colour. When we checked in, the first thing they said was "Welcome home". We checked in quickly after a lengthy time travelling and were taken to our room. There were fresh flowers and it was a beautiful, spacious room with an extremely comfortable bed!!! We had a great view of the ocean, even on the second floor.

Food: Wow, I cannot say enough positive comments about the food. I am somewhat picky as I have had some excellent food in my life and this was top notch. There were 6 or 7 restaurants that weren't buffet (buffet was only offered during breakfast and lunch and you could choose a la carte for lunch as well). We tried each one and every single meal was fabulous, even the buffet. The Mexican restaurant was our favourite! The breakfast buffet was fantastic, especially the french toast brulee...yumm! Needless to say, I gained about 5 pounds from one week's worth of delicious food and it was worth every pound!!!

Drinks: We tried just about everything and they were not stingy with the alcohol, that's forsure! My favourites were the Jamaican Smile, Pineapple Fizz and the Bob Marley. The drink servings are large and I didn't need to bring a mug or anything and even if you are in the pool or on the beach they bring drinks right to you! Excellent drinks!

Entertainment: When I went to Cuba last year, I only went to watch the entertainment the first night because it was so terrible. We went every night here with a big group and enjoyed it every night. They have some very talented individuals working here!!! They had a "Secrets got talent" competition for guests where my fiance won, and we won 4 free nights! Overall, we were never bored, there was always something to do (from dance lessons, to yoga, to free watersports, snorkelling, you name it!)

Room: Room was beautiful. Huge bed, very spacious, has own sitting area with couches, huge soaker tub, double sinks, extremely clean. Perfect room. I felt very comfortable and clean staying in here. Our room would be cleaned in the early afternoon, then there was a "turn-down service" every night where they got our bed ready to sleep in. It was so amazing!!

Staff: This was the highlight of our trip. Everyone was truly amazing. Always singing, asking how you are doing and they seem very genuine. A very upbeat, fun vibe in this resort. We are in our mid 20's and we were loving the staff!! Some special mentions would be Ezekiel, Alister, Damian (Himitsu chef) and Orlando the singing waiter! I could list every staff member here but those people really stuck out in our minds as people that went above and beyond (whether you tipped or not). I cannot give enough credit to the hardworking staff at Secrets. You are all wonderful and make it a paradise for Canadians to visit! The house band was also wonderful. The singer was great, she always got people involved. If I could give the staff a "grade" out of 10 it would be 100. Fantastic, hard working, fun, enthusiastic staff. We will return because of all of you!

Beach: Gorgeous; never had a hard time getting a spot by the beach or pool (even when we slept in late) and it was during March break busy season. There is a coral reef right off of the beach where we saw stingrays, jellyfish, sea urchins and barracuda! Beach isn't rocky or anything like that it was beautiful!

Weddings: We were here for a friend`s wedding and it was gorgeous. Everything went smoothly and they were very satisfied with how everything turned out :)

Overall: DO NOT LET THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS DISCOURAGE YOU FROM GOING! I don`t know what they are thinking. If you are considering it, go, you won`t regret it!!

YEAH MON!

Room Tip: All rooms are excellent
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank TropTravel2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Croydon, Surrey. Uk
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2012

I went to Secrets St James with 2 girlfriends for a girlie holiday. The location was fabulous, only 15-20 mins from Montego Bay airport, which after a 9 hour flight from the UK was perfect. When we arrived we were greeted with a cocktail and a face towel to freshen up with. Checking in was quick and we were taken up to our room with our luggage, there was no waiting around. The room was spacious and clean with a pool and sea view. My only complaint was that the room was booked for 3 guest but had only been set up for 2 guests. We had to ask for extras, i.e cups/bathrobe/towels etc. On one occasion we waited for more than an hour for coffee cups and ended up going for dinner before they arrived! Another small problem was not being able to control your own A/C, it was controlled centrally by the hotel, the only way to switch it off was to open the balcony door! a strange concept! However, that said, overall room and service were good. The highlight for us were the entertainment/pool team staff, namely Tracy, Bon Jovi, Michaela, Alistair and Kingsley...what a great bunch of people, always laughing and joking and doing their upmost to include you in their activities. If any management get to read this...they all deserve a bonus! The Manatees Pool Bar staff were great too,Dr Phillip and Oldfield always remembered what you were drinking and how you liked it...extra rum..not a problem! The choice of food in the restaurants was more than adequate and the staff just as accommodating. The surf 'n' turf night was brilliant a definate must! The outdoor evening shows were great but my favourite was the Piano Bar with Andre and his singalong...what a great atmosphere. My only complaint was that as a 'Baileys' drinker I found that the Piano Bar was only allocated one bottle a night, so once it was gone there was no replacing it, something I found to be very poor for a 5 star hotel. March 17th was St Patrick's Day and being of Irish heritage I was amazed that the hotel celebrated the day with a parade and green drinks! totally unexpected. I used the Spa for a massage and was given money off vouchers which again was a nice bonus. Overall we had a fantastic holiday and met some great Canadians along the way. Would recommend this hotel to anyone. Many Thanks Secrets St James Kind Regards Alicia O'Meara London England UK

Room Tip: Rooms on the 4th and 5th floors have great views and rooms closer to the spa are quieter, far enough...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alicia1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2012

What can I say.. totally amazing, beautiful place and people. The resort was very clean and the staff friendly and the food was mouthwatering. I travelled with 2 other girlfriends and we laughed from the minute we arrived to the minute we left. The Seaside Grill swim up bar is where you will find Dr. Phillip the best bartender in the world, who kept me inundated with Bob Marley's ( a must try) and Jamaica Smile is not too bad either. Bon Jovi, entertainer of the year brap brap brap, Tracey, Kingsley, President and Alistair kept us entertained to the max and there was never a dull moment. A must visit is the Piano Bar at 22.30, where the man with the magic fingers plays a great selection of music that you can sing along to, even if you can't sing lol. Thank you Andre and the bar crew, we had a great time. The room was big and spacious and the jacuzzi bathtub was to die for. Separate toilet and shower room allowed us to share but still have privacy, perfect. Romaine the chef in World Cafe does the best omelette in the world and even remembers your name although he only sees you for probably 5 mins a day lol. I've only been back 30 hours but I'm itching to rebook. We did not use room service often, however we did ask for 3 coffee cups (that should have been in the room anyway) and an hour and a half later still no cups. 6 eventually arrived when we returned from dinner!!!!!! The night time entertainment was good and very interactive with the crowd. All in all an holiday I would recommend to friends and family. Bon Jovi - keep up the good work, you are an absolute asset to Secrets, St. James. Dee

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Deehes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2012

Secrets resort has everything to please their guest. We read so many reviews (good and bad ones) and people mostly complained about the food, but me and my husband thought that the food was REALLY good considering it is an ALL INCLUSIVE hotel. I don't know what people's expectations are when they say that the food is not good in this place, but trust me, IT IS GOOD and there is a lot of variety!! I think people are wayyy too picky sometimes! Overall, the hotel is great. Restaurants and bars are super nice. They offer a lot of entertainment during the day and night. People are very friendly and service is excellent! We had an amazing time! worth the money ;)

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Lucianamarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2012

The resort overall was outstanding. The staff were exceptional and very friendly. Everyone went over the top to ensure we had a good time. The room had a great view and was very modern and clean. There was always something to do. The resort scheduled activities throughout the day and would schedule any watersports or excursions we wanted. The snorkeling and scuba diving were exceptional-some of the best reefs were right outside the resort. The food was great and wait staff were very friendly and professional. We stayed here for our honeymoon/babymoon. Our room had a nice honeymoon banner on the door, along with a nice platter of fresh fruit and a bottle of champagne waiting in the room when we arrived. We will definitely return to this resort and have already recomended it to friends/family. Thanks for an awesome vacation!

  • Stayed March 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank jarichardt
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 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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