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“Secrets is improving”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Providence, Rhode Island
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Secrets is improving”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Just returned from a 5 day trip here. After reading some negative reviews during it's first year after opening, it is apparent that Secret's has identified the areas that were shortfalls and made for a great experience as a guest at their St James Resort. A quick review of some categories:

Service : Exceptional. The employees went overboard trying to accomodate us...especially the staff at the pool bar/restaurant (Dwayne, Kadiesha, Joy)

Value: This was my first all-inclusive trip in some time. When traveling in any group, all inclusive is the easiest, most hassle free way to go. No worrying about who picks up which tab, how to split the bill, etc...

Room: Check in smooth. Spacious & clean rooms. Although the resort is pretty expansive, you can walk to anything in 5 minutes. Heads Up! to avoid any awkward moments ~ 3 adult porn stations on TV ;)

Food: I consider myself a pretty good eater. Portions were small, you can choose several courses at every meal. So by the time I had an appetizer, soup, entree, & dessert, I was very content. Everywhere you turn there is an oppurtunity to eat...from the restaurants, room service, poolside, late night snacks, to the famous jerk chicken cart! You could eat 15 time/day if you were so inclined!

Beverages: flowwed FREELY

Entertainment: slightly below average. There was plenty of activities throughout the course of the day/evening. I found the crowd at the resort to be a good mix of all age group, but seemed to retire early for the evening. ( maybe they were tired after sitting in the sun all day long?) So many of the after dinner shows, & nightclub were not well attended. If I had to make a suggestion it would be to start the nightly entertainment 30-60 minutes earlier

Location: 15-20 minute cab ride from airport.

Activities: Plentiful ! horseshoes, tennis, basketball, bocce, billiards, slots, ping pong, snorkling, kayak, mini Cattamaran, poolside games/contests, Monday night football party on the beach !! & many , many more!

Spa: was very disorganized, screwed up our massage appointments twice! But did the right thing & comp'ed them. Facility was really nice though :)

Secrets St James may not be the best at everything, but it had the best combination of value, convienience, service, cleanliness etc....for our group and would recommend it to those looking for pretty high marks in all areas across the board.

Room Tip: ocean view first floor room was a very convienient walkout to the pools/beach
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MisterBling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
North Attleboro, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2012

I absolutely love this resort. The grounds are beautiful, the food was pretty good, and the people were beyond nice. My husband and I had never been to Jamaica before and we were SO glad we went. One strong caution, if you go off the grounds, to either Dunnes Falls or for any other reason, the pestering is NON STOP. Everyone tries to pull you to the side and try to sell you something. It was getting a little relentless and old. Another major drawback was that NOTHING was done for us for our honeymoon. I went in with the expectation that we would get champagne upon arrival and a banner on our door as well as those cute little towel animals on our bed. We didn't get any of that. The only reason we got the banner on our door was because I told the front desk multiple times that it was our honeymoon. No rose petals, no baths, I was VERY disappointed in that area.

The food is pretty good, the Jamaican restaurant was definitely the best. If you enjoy lamb, the French restaurant, Bordeaux is delicious. The breakfast buffet has a huge variety, but after 7 days it gets a little old. Drink a Bob Marley and an if you like beer and tequila, Icebergs are AWESOME. Overall we had a great time, met some great people and enjoyed the sun and beach (but there was kind of a lot of rocks, which I didn't enjoy.) And DON'T forget to eat the jerk chicken from the cart that comes around at around 12 every day. It's incredible.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Stephanie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2012

We recently stayed here for our honeymoon from Oct 29-Nov 4. The resort itself was beautiful with tons to do and great amenities. The room was spacious with a great bed and overall comfort. All of the restaurants were delicious, with something for everyone. In terms of a relaxing, carefree vacation, we were highly satisfied. The only downfalls were the bar staff (not friendly, somewhat pushy) and room staff interruptions (privacy light on, still interrupted). Overall, we loved Secrets and would recommend it to anyone looking for a Jamaican all-inclusive.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Steven R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2012

My wife and I had a nice get away this October.
The resort was very nice and the staff was exceptional.
We had no issues with our room and like I said the staff would bend over backwards to make sure our we did not want for anything.
We were disappointed in the quality of the food. It seemed to be pre packaged and than heated up to be served.
The patties at the bare foot grill were outstanding.
We were expecting more authentic Jamaican food but it seems to be very americanized?
Not sure why this is as we went to Jamaica to experience Jamaican food but were left hanging.
We did try the jerk chicken from the guy with the cart and the magic sauce is spicy but oh so good.
No shortage of drinks and they have top shelf spirits if you need.
Really enjoyed our day at the swim up bar but be carefull- sitting in the water all day you dont realise how hammered you are geting.
All in all we really enjoyed our selves at the Secrets St James.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank godfrey49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois City, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2012

the good,
we stayed in the prefer club, house keeping, pool area and the beach were well maintained, all the restaurants were well above average, and as always the people of Jamaica we find are the best. always with a smile and so appreciative

the bad,
the daily buffet comes short of keeping up with the restaurants.
I would say that the entertainment was poor if there was entertainment.

we will go back to iberostar beach for our next vacation. not as fancy and the restaurant food isn't as good but the buffet is very good and the iberostars are always entertaining night and day

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Joe D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SWO_STJconcierge, Manager at Secrets St. James Montego Bay, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to share the experience of your recent trip to our resort. We do regret that the quality of entertainment and food provided at our resort did not meet your expectations. It is pleasing though to hear that you did enjoy some areas of our resort and appreciate your acknowledgement of this. As is our usual practice, we will continue to use reviews such as yours as improvement aids for less satisfactory areas and reinforcement for those that are good.

I can assure you that if given the chance to be of service to you again in future, you will see marked differences to our overall operation.

Once again, thank you for sharing.

Best Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford Ontario Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Great time by all in our party of 8 , 4 couples . nice layout of pools and facilities . very nice beach areas . service was overall very good and very relaxed . lovely rooms , great bathrooms and very comfortable bed. Breakfast buffets were the best of food programs, the dining restaurant were good , but not great compared to some of the other resorts we have been to in ( Mexico ) ,, , but still good and great value as a inclusive. only other comment was the tipping was sometimes expected and if you did it certainly helped.

ps . best food was the jerk chicken cart that wanders thur the pool areas during the day ! Awesome !!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2012

Hello fellow advisors. Seen some fantastic reviews here that really helped me understand my trip. So, in an attempt to add what I can, will let the other reviews speak to what they are speaking, and will try to add a little different take where I can for you.

Coming back from a whole 10 day trip so lots to say pick the categories you want to read :)

There are noticeably a lot of first time reviewers here (go to the section that says “how many reviews”) on the left and notice that there are mainly first time reviewers. This means that the results may be a little skewed (either too much complaining with high expectations…or too nice), but I think the reviewers were very helpful and for the most part got it right.

Fantastic service, fantastic place. Sandals has got to be about 25-30 years old. In comparison, this place is 2-3 years new and really seems to be earning a great reputation.

Who goes here:

I am pretty sure if you are a couple of Dudes looking to party and a spot to stay, you wouldn’t be on this page :). So I don’t really need to speak to your surprise here.

My breakdown:

75% couples

15% weddings

10% girlfriends trip.

Couples. - I went with my significant other and although it was not for a honeymoon myself, if that is case for you, or if you are a couple just looking to relax this is a place for you. Think two people activities on the resort. Two player sports, two player games, most seats even happen to be in twos. There are places with things to do…and if you want to relax, places with things where there is nothing to do :)

Staff – Did I just read that lol?? - Have you noticed that people are literally name dropping people there? If you dig back, people are literally saying “special thanks to Dancer Boy, this person, that person” etc…. I have never seen that in any other resort reviews…Have you?? :)

I am not about to do this myself, but the reason why they are doing this is that the service is actually pretty good. I have no idea where they got the culture of people at this particular resort but they were able to find people who really seemed to care.

Tipping? Not everybody tips. You don’t have too. But we did, mostly at dinner.

Why did I tip that much? Heck I just ordered delivery while I was writing this, lol I paid the man $4 tip for delivering me a roti dinner. If someone comes to my table, charms everyone they serve, balances a cup on his head, and makes an honest effort to make your dinner perfect…. Why not throw this hard working peson something?? :)

What to wear to dinner - Honestly...Dress how you feel :). What do I mean by that? Well, if you are a relaxed couple, and your wardrobe consists of relaxed attire, you probably won’t mind sitting on a nice patio on a warm summer like night . If you are a couple that wants to fine dine, and wants that same experience? Dress up and enjoy some of the restaurants are nice :)

Air Conditioning – OK big tip as people complained here. I know exactly what they are saying about the air conditioning. Here is your tip: Make sure your balcony door is FULLY closed. Then, go to the little meter and take it off “auto” and put it on the “on” level. Problem solved. If you don’t get it, wait until you run into a cleaning person, door man etc, and ask. They will take the time to come in and explain it to you.

Partying:

Off-resort (Careful!) – There is Pier one and Margarittaville in Montego Bay. I went to both. Friday night at Pier One is really the only real night to party if that is something you like to do. I say be careful, as Jamaica really isn’t a place you want to go getting drunk and stumbling around if you are not an experienced traveller. If you know what you are doing, you know what I am talking about :). If not, travel with a group, and go out with a hotel recommended taxi. Arrange the pick up back. Repeat and do this first until you get a little used to it...

Disco – Excellent alternative to the above. The DJ is actually really freaking good! But it never really picks up and feels like a whole party. My advice? Pick a night, go out with a great attitude and if you enjoy dancing no matter how old you are or how uncoordinated….realize you are on vacation and let loose as much as you would like. You are on vacation!

My biggest and final tip! – How to get the most out of your service? It isn’t always about the tip money. Remember, your resort workers are from Jamaica. A mainly relaxed culture. Be relaxed with them, and they will be super cool with you.

Enjoy!

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank StraightUpRealTalk
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 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 On the Beach 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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