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“What a Beautiful Place!!!”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“What a Beautiful Place!!!”
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Just left and we can't wait to go back! We were greeted off the shuttle bus with cold towels and drinks. Weather was 85-86 in January! Such a great break from the winter weather at home.This all inclusive resort has it all. We never left the property, there is so much to do right there. All of the restaurants were good and we found the Jamaican to be the best.
The water is so clear and blue. We also enjoyed the pool and swim-up bar.
Kayaks are free and the glass bottom boat was a small charge. The resort has their own gift shops, however some things were cheaper at the Montego Bay airport.

Room Tip: All rooms seem to have good views.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lynn K
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, February 8, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

It is quite pleasing to hear that you enjoyed the warm weather, beauty and great atmosphere at our resort recently. Your review of our Jamaican restaurant, the Blue Mountain is indeed treasured and we will certainly continue working to ensure that future guests can enjoy this and all our other restaurants equally.

We do hope that you will visit us again and enjoy more of our resort and perhaps explore locations outside our resort walls.

Warm Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Durham, North Carolina, United States
1 review
Reviewed January 30, 2013

I would definitely recommend Secrets St. James for a completely relaxing and fun girls’ trip. The grounds are absolutely beautiful and well-kept. It is easy to find a chair under a palm umbrella on the beach or relax on a cushioned lounger by the pool, but when you get the urge to move around there are plenty of activities of all varieties. The rooms were kept very clean and the beds were unbelievably comfortable! We enjoyed the food and the drinks, but what really made the trip for us was the incredible staff. Everyone we encountered (as well as all those behind the scenes) went out of his or her way to help make our stay enjoyable. I can’t say enough about Willis from water sports, King Julian from entertainment, or Neville at the Manatee bar (for great drinks and language lessons). From our first meal with Omar at Oceana to our last hors d'oeuvres from Calvin with the banquet group, when we left Secrets St. James we left with new friends that we can’t wait to visit again!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank bsw_13
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, February 7, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to share the experience you had our resort in January. Your commendation of the team members that made your stay great as well as your recommendation of our resort to others is truly invaluable.

Our guests’ total satisfaction is our main priority and so your review does help us to know that we are doing a good job and on the right path to making things even better. We do hope that we will have the pleasure of hosting you here for many more trips.

Warm Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2013

So, I realize that's a horribly corny title for a review of a Montego Bay resort, but it's true! Secrets (a hilarious name that only gets funnier the more you see of the place) is exactly the surrounding I imagined when I pictured myself sitting at the cross section of sun and sea - quiet, gorgeous, luxurious. We had been to the Riu (also Montego Bay) a year earlier but figured we should at least make an effort to try something new in Year 2. (We were bitten by the Jamaica bug - love at first sight - and are already hoping for a third trip in three years.) We chose St. James (connected in all but name to Wild Orchid...there is simply a hotel sign letting you know when you've gone from one to the other, though it is true that the W.O. guests have their own little beach landing and pool, both relatively small and so not particularly a source of jealousy) despite middling comments on Trip Advisor about the food, but I think we both expected a fairly similar experience to the Riu. Maybe a wee bit more upscale.

The place is fantastic. Check-in can take a while, but you're given drinks and fresh towels, and unless you're a cranky traveler or someone who just missed three connections in various awful airports, you can't be cranky when you're starting your vacation. To the left is a cute courtyard with various shops - convenience items, high-end clothing, jewelry, tour information, and faux bakery (faux because it is part of the one-negative, the Secrets food program, and because you don't have to pay to eat there - like all the other food on the resort, it's considered part of the all-inclusive). Next to this is a gaming area - pool tables, table tennis, arcade games - and just the waterside walkway to Restaurant Row - but more on this later. Because the restaurants are on the opposite side from the St. James buildings/rooms, you never have to worry about hearing the noise. At the very far end of the resort strip is Desires, the after-hours night club - and also a source of much humor. (I mean, c'mon. Can anyone take that name seriously?) We didn't spend much time there but strolled through a variety of acts, and they were always well-attended boisterous affairs. Nice to be able to see if you want, and nice to be able to leave behind if you don't....

You can either walk through the hotel portion of the resort or in between the pool and beach on a lovely stretch of walkway, this time passing the poolside dining (casual during day, nicer at night) and various bars with couples swings (yes, it's true) and bar futons with leather mattresses made for TWO. (This place doesn't exactly cater to single people, though it might be different if you went with a group of friends. Not so sure thought.) The bartenders are good, and the selection of drinks is terrific. There are LOTS of beachside chairs (also available in "couples" size) and plenty of umbrellas, so getting a good spot is pretty easy. There are occasional activities/parties on the beach during the day, aerobics and yoga and the like, but it's still peaceful.

I don't normally plan to spend a lot of time in hotel rooms on trips like this, but our room at SECRETS - a basic king-sized bed looking over a pool - was one of the best I've ever seen. It's a huge room with sitting area, sliding glass door to porch (with comfy patio furniture), iPod docking station, terrific TV and cable line-up, and the BEST bathroom ever, hands down. The jacuzzi/hot tub is next to the stand-in shower, and it is a luxurious treat to sit in that tub and chill out with the tv on and refreshments delivered to your fridge.

The service everywhere was great. We made use of all the amenities, essentially, including the exercise room (limited # of each item, but still enough to get you the cardio you might want) and tennis courts. We traveled in August and got hit with some rainy weather, but that's to be expected if you're going during Hurricane SEason. The plus side was that we got to watch the Olympics Track and Field events while Jamaica was sweeping, and we also enjoyed the Independence Day celebrations. We chose not to leave the resort as there was plenty to do, but there are plenty of folks on staff who will help you book tours a bit farther inland, if that's your thing.

There is always a catch, though, and at Secrets the issue is the food. They have 7-8 places to eat, but the quality of food doesn't really differ anywhere you go. The restaurants are identified by cuisine (Mexican, Jamaican, Italian, etc.) but it's all a bit sketchy. Lo mein noodles are spaghetti. Pork fried rice is white rice with too much soy sauce. The Jamaican place had the best stuff. Lunch buffets were disappointing, especially for the limited fresh fruit. They really need to work on their food options!

We are still reminiscing, six months later, about this trip. If we weren't due to have our first baby this spring :), I'd insist on going back to Secrets this summer.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank iguana_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean City, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

I'll keep it simple... If you don't like it here, you won't be happy anywhere. Best of the Secrets Resorts (that I have been to so far). The food is great and so are the people. The beaches are great to wade and swim. I was there for a wedding, it went perfectly. Everyone showed up and they took care of the rest. There is nothing bad to say about this place.

Room Tip: St. James is the better location
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Steven S
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, February 6, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to give us your brief feedback of your recent stay at our resort. Though your words are few, they are very effective and we are very happy to know that you were completely satisfied and happy.

Hope to have you back!

Warm Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kanata
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

The food, the staff, music, and entertainment are amazing! The lack of agressive beach vendors makes this resort very appealing, especially in Jamaica. This is my 5th trip to Jamaica over a period of 30 years and probably the best. I have been to at least 20+ All-Inclusive resorts, (all five and four star) over the past 10 years and this one had the best food by far. We did not have even one mediocre meal. All al carte restaurants are wonderful. The entertainment is fantastic, as I love reggae and R&B, and funk. I would definitely come back, but with a partner. We were a party of three friends, although everyone, couples, etc, were very friendly and included us. The room was okay, but we didn't spend much time in it (everything worked, but could use better lighting). We loved the piano bar with Andre at the piano and he played by ear. Hope this helps.

Room Tip: Stay at Secrets as it is quieter that the sister hotel (better for sleeping), Secrets Wild Orchid, b...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank IlsaSS
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, February 7, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

Our team is most comforted by hearing that you enjoyed so many different aspects of our resort on your most recent visit. It is certainly of great value to us that you have placed your experience at our resort as the best so far. We look forward to your next visit and you have our assurance that the experience will be just as great or perhaps even better. We are continuously making improvements which you will definitely see.

Thanks for taking the time out to share your review with us all.

Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level 6 Contributor
250 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

I have just returned from Secrets and I will try to be as honest as I can with my review. The good points first - The food is fantastic and, bed was the comfiest bed I have ever slept in and the house band were great too.

Bad Points -

(1) Why is it that some American's cannot behave in a civilised manner and respect the fact that there are other people on holiday too? They have to speak loud enough so everyone within 100 yards can hear every word they say ( ruining the peace and quite you want from a Caribbean break ) and they also have to get drunk on fresh air, thus increasing the noise they make even more.

(2) The resort is over-run by large groups of people brought to the island by large American companies who basically get preferrential treatment ahead of us hard working people who have paid for the trip using our own hard earned cash. ( You will notice that your travel agent mentions nothing of this when you are spending thousands of pounds booking your dream holiday!!!!!)

(3) Do not pay extra to go Preferred St James as the extra large amount of cash is not worth it. Yes you get your own pool, but the quietness is spoiled by some loud mouth Americans. Other than that you are actually staying in an inferior place to the main section of the hotel - Wild Orchid - they have a far better lobby and sitting area to relax and enjoy a drink. The staff at the front desk of the Preferred St James are also rude and did nothing to enhance my stay. Other than Joy, Lesley & Xavier. ( None of them work at the front desk )

(4) Do not book a trip though Amstar, because they have an employee called Brian who is the rudest person I have ever had the displeasure to deal with and because of him I would definately never set foot back at a Secrets Hotel again. I cannot believe Secrets allow someone like this to lose them business - losing me as a customer has lost them thousands of pounds worth of business. Yes the Americans can be loud, but having been to Jamaica on numerous occasions it is to be expected, but customer service is the one thing I expect and it is severely lacking here.

(5) As for the entertainment team! The games they get the guests to participate in are not only childish, but down right immature, it obviously appeals to some peoples mentality.

(6) As for the Jerk chicken guy, well its ok until he decides to take his big knife to the chicken and hack it to pieces, in the hope you choke on a chicken bone... its ok but not what its cracked up to be.

(7) The quality of the drink is not what you would expect for the money you pay to stay here for 2 weeks. Kirov vodka just does not cut the mustard and as for the flat juice they use as your mixer it is a disgrace. Yes you can ask for Absolute and if you are there watching it getting poured you will get one, but your vodka needs the back up of fizzy lemonade ( sprite ) and each time it barely had bubbles, so please sort this out.

I would like to thank Natania the St James manager who helped us out with other issues too.

I know there are many very nice American's, but it is the few who spoil things for the many.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank BTDEdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Little Mountain, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2013

We spent five wonderful days at the Secrets Resort and couldn't have been more pleased! The rooms were lovely and the staff extremely accommodating and friendly. The food was delicious, which is not always the case with all inclusive resorts. The grounds were immaculate with beautiful landscaping. I do agree with others that having a room on an upper floor will give you a better view. Overall, we had a wonderful stay and would love to return. Highly recommend it to anyone trying to decide on a resort in Jamaica!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Renny5903
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, February 7, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

We are happy to have had the opportunity to host you at our resort and also that you were pleased with the overall treatment you received during your stay. It is very uplifting when we read reviews such as your s and does help us to reinforce the good things and make needed improvements.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us.

Warm Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 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
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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