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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed May 27, 2012

We just got back from a 7 night stay at the Secrets St James. I chose it because it was part of the amstar network of hotels, not so much out of an interest in Jamaica per se... I have to say I completely fell in love with the people at the resort, and they made me want to know more about the country. My husband and I had an incredible week there- the food is not triple A diamond quality, but it is still far superior than what people seem to complain about in other reviews. It was very good, and though it wasn't "out of this world, to die for, orgasmic" (for that you may want to pay a ton more money and most likely not an all-inclusive), the service and the people working at the hotel really just made it all fine. I am foodie and a world traveller, and I enjoyed it a lot. I am surprised at reading some of the negative reviews about this hotel. I definitely think that the Preferred option is worth the money, I loved the Preferred members- pool and beach area, and the snacks throughout the day in the lounge. It is nice to be in a quiet part of the hotel.

Room Tip: Preferred section definitely (not necessarily at other Secrets or Dreams resort, but definitely at t...
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank yukigumi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,029 - 5,035 of 6,436 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2012

So my review of St. James is plain and simple.... Fantastic!!!! To start with, it was our honeymoon May 20-25 and our first big trip together and it was my part of all the planning to take care of. I tediously searched island after island, resort after resort, trying to find the best one for US. St. James stood out because of the location to airport, as I did not want to spend so much time traveling to and from the resort. I read the reviews daily as they were posted for every 100 positive reviews there were like 3-4 negative. People.... Do not listen to the negative. I wanted this to be the best time and it was!
In the negative reviews you read about :
how the doors squeak when they close; you notice it the first 2 times then pay it no attention. You read there is no wifi; guess what your on vacation; relax enjoy it. I spend way to much time on here anyway, on our 5th day I laughed and said,"we know absolutely nothing about what is happening at home"!
Ohhhh the complaints about the showers leaking simple fix reach up, turn the nozzle a little to the right!! problem solved, or lay one of the 5 towels you have near the shower. :)
Bath room privacy.... people complain, um I dunno why. I am the most private person in the world when it comes to taking care of business. No problem what so ever it's heavy smoked glass, and there is a speaker in there to turn up if you need to hide... :) Your couples for petes sake!!!! We found no problem with it at all.
The noise at night is not electronic, they cannot turn it down as 1 person stated it was annoying, it is crickets and tree frogs. Helloooooooooo pompous people.
the one complaint I really didn't understand, was the walks to the restaurants; we loved it!! As did the other couples we spoke to all week. Walking hand in hand with the wife, enjoying the sounds, and relaxing. Heck it was even raining the first night, each room is equipped with an umbrella so we took it along for our stroll.
The worst part of the stay was the check in where they are slow, and we were tired from traveling, then they try to sell the upgrade. We politely listened, got our invitation, then didn't bother going to the thing as we knew we weren't going to buy it. We just did our thing.
20 Minutes max to and from airport. The one thing we did regret once we arrived at airport and on way to, the driver asked us what we learned about the country and the language, I felt bad saying not much, as I really wanted to explore at some point however we decided laying there in the ocean and at the pool was so relaxing and so nice, we didn't do anything!!! :)
We felt the food was much better at breakfast and lunch than dinner, with El Patio not being very good, but we left and ordered room service and all was well :)
Can anyone say HIBACHI GRILL???? AWESOME!!! the chefs were great, we tried to get in again but it was booked, I suggest making your reservations the the first day as it is so much fun!
The jerk chicken was absolutely amazing, the cart, mmmmmmmm , they also had it at the barefoot 1 day, and then at EL Patio for the 11 PM- 2AM snack. So thankful for that walk to the rooms, as it kept me from going there every night at midnight!! Oceana does wraps in the daytime, where you can get the jerk chicken or pork...mmmmm mmmmmm just add pineapple! Oh I miss it!
The entertainment was great, the steelband, the circus, the singers. We loved it!!!! And I was so worried about the negative things I had read. After talking to the other couples who like me had watched the webcam daily to see the pool, and read the reviews, we all agreed that who ever wrote those, definitely lived a different lifestyle than any of us, and we laughed because they were petty things, that didn't really mean a thing. It's all about attitude, and how you chose to live and enjoy your time there. We are so glad that we made many new friends......
I almost forgot... Iceberg! Iceberg IceBErg!!!!! so tastey I need one now from the bar!!!!
Hope this jibberish was somewhat helpful to someone. Book it!, go , enjoy , and relax and make new friends.

Every time I get done I remember 1 more thing, the staff was great, No we didnt get first name with anyone, but they are great. The grounds crew very tidy, the wait service great. The uniforms are pressed and clean, unlike here at home where servers are dissheveled and dirty clothes. I did not see a spot on anyone except the maintenance men who had some paint.
Also do the spa................ AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH thats all now!

Room Tip: Ask for a high up for view but the folks we talked to with the low rooms liked them as well.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Jeremy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2012

This was my first time to Jamaica, but it definitely won't be my last! It was a very relaxing week and the entire staff was wonderful! We didn't do many activities other than laying on the beach/by the pool and drinking, but we had a fabulous time. The entertainment staff (La-Touch in particular) was very welcoming and definitely entertaining. Patrick at the pool was definitely one of the best bartenders we encountered all week! As for the food, the asian restaurant, Bordeaux and Portofino were excellent! The mexican food was not the best, but being from Texas I might be a little biased. The breakfast buffet always had great options as well. My favorite part of the entire vacation had to be the piano bar. I think we spent some time there every night of our trip. The piano player (Andre) is incredibly talented and also so fun to hangout with. The male bartenders at the piano bar were very attentive and they, along with Andre, made my 27th birthday undoubtedly the best one I've ever had! The entire staff was wonderful...be sure to tip them and they take care of you! I will definitely be returning to Secrets St. James/Wild Orchid in the future!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JG315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2012

Picking this hotel was between Secrets or Iberstar. We chose Secrets and our friend did Iberstar. Comparing our visits I wish we would have done Iberstar.

Pros...staff friendly; rooms clean; resort beautiful; spa excellent.

Cons....food average; fridge in room didn't work and after our complaint was not fixed; ice machine on floor did not work; had wifi but rarely worked; resort controlled ac in room and we felt it was warm.

Friend that stayed at Iberstar had no complaints so that is where I would like to try next time.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank TheTraveler756
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2012

I am very excited to say I had the most Amazinging,Relaxing and fun filled vacation at the Secrets. I stayed in April constantly telling all my family and friends how much I enjoyed my trip. The concierge staff like Ms.Kadiann Pinnock and several others made my stay there fantastic and wonderful. The food,beach and actitivties were great.I enjoyed the live nightly entertainment and poolside painting with Omar and Nadia was fun.I deeply loved the delicous food at the resturant and carts at poolside. My spa treatment was one of the best massages I ever had and believe me girls this guy Michael is a master. I will come back home soon to my peeps in Jamaica there much LOVE & RESPECT!

Charlene Odom

Room Tip: Higher floor and I had a beach front view was awesome.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank CharleneO007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2012

We just returned from a very relaxing 4-night stay. We have been to Negril twice, staying at Couples and Breezes Grand. We wanted to stay in Montego Bay this time because of it’s close proximity to the airport. It took about 15 mins to get to the resort from the airport.

The ROOM:
We booked a preferred suite and upgraded to a master suite during check in. Don’t be afraid to bargain the nightly price for the upgrade, if it’s not busy at the resort your offer will definitely be considered. The master suite is more than twice the size of a regular suite. The bathroom has a huge double shower, soaking tub and double sinks. There is a living room and an extra large balcony with a jetted soaking tub, the size of a small hot tub. I can’t say it’s worth the rate at booking price, but it’s a nice upgrade if you can do it at check-in. We never used the living room, but enjoyed the larger balcony and nicer view. The master suite also included an “upgraded” mini-bar which included vodka, rum, brandy, chips and some M&M’s (all items I did not see in the preferred suite). We had no issue with housekeeping coming to clean our room by 2 pm on most days. Turn down service was offered every night as well. We had no issues with A/C and actually found it too cold on many nights.

The PREFERRED Section:
If you are staying at the St. James the preferred section is not protected from other guest in the resort. The beach is at the farthest end access to it from other guest is not at all limited. Preferred guest have orange towels, others have brown. Really the only benefits would be that you get snacks in your entrance lobby with a full bar, as well as internet service. If you're at the St. James preferred section the breakfast available in the lobby saves you from walk to the main restaurant. The internet service is not the great, but fine for something in the caribbean. You do need to log on if you have not been on it for awhile, and we only received one access code for the two of us. Only one person can use the code at the time. We only had major issues logging on when it was raining and it seemed everyone was indoors trying to log on.

The St. James vs Wild Orchid.
These are the same hotels on the same property as you have read. If you can’t decide here are some differences.
The St. James is furthest from the food, it is also very quiet.
The Wild Orchid preferred section is right next to the food “promenade” and thus a bit more noisy. Also the preferred section is more closed off to other guest. So it does feel more private.

The Food
The food was fine. Not outstanding. Not awful. Just fine. The promenade set-up of the restaurants is fun and there is a bar and outdoor stage in the center of it. Out of all the restaurants we found the French restaurant to be the best. You need to make reservations for the Asian restaurant if you want to sit at the teppenyaki table. Here you only get a choice of soup and everything is served family style from the chef. The chef will make or break your dinner there. Some were more lively than others and will make the meal entertaining. We only had to wait to be seating at the french restaurant on one occasion, the outdoor tables were not set up so seating seemed limited. The wait was less than 10 minutes, they give you a pager, and you can enjoy a drink at the bar as you wait.
They offer you one free champagne breakfast in bed during you stay. You will get a hot breakfast with a bucket of champagne (sparkling wine) but you need to order it 24 hours in advance. Room service was always received in less than 30 minutes time.
The Beach
I found the St. James side to have the nicer beach. it was longer and offered way more seating. We had no issues finding beach chairs and never felt we had to "save a spot" for chairs. But we did see chair saving in the non-preferred sections. There is beach service that is fine, but the bars are at the edge of the resort and easy to get to if you want your drink faster. There is also great snorkelling not far from the St. James beach.

The service at the resort was excellent, yet only the check-in girl knew us by name. Everyone was always smiling and chatty. Everything is done in Jamaica speed, as long as you shift into slow gear as well, you should have no problems. We tipped when we remember to bring money, but never felt we had to. But we did see employees making good-byes a lot longer than they needed to. If you take the time to slow down you will see this resort for it’s beauty. It’s new, clean, peaceful with a great beach, yet a stones throw away from the airport without the airport noise.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the elevators
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank aloricat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2012

All I need to say is that my stay here was awesome, and that for sure I will be returning soon to experience more of this awesomeness.......The food,staff, surroundings etc..........awesome!!!!
I'll be bock (back) ..(In my best Terminator voice)

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Bobo G
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 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Spa 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
#11 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $397 - $799 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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