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“Honeymoon Dream”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Honeymoon Dream”
Reviewed February 21, 2013

My now husband and I stayed here February 11th-February 17th for our honeymoon, and I cannot say enough good things about this resort. I would tell my best friends and family that they MUST stay here if they decide to go to Montego Bay.

We are a young couple and decided to stay here on our honeymoon. The room was extremely luxurious, and very true to the pictures you see online. We stayed on the St. James side, but there is very little difference between St. James and Wild Orchid (which we didn't realize are connected). The beach was private, so you never have people trying to come up to you & sell things. And there are tons of water activities to fill up your day (glass-bottom boat, snorkeling, para-sailing), so if you want to be active...there are lots of opportunities!

The food I would say was the worst part (but I think that is usually the experience with an all-inclusive). I would give the food an 8/10, and we were usually so hungry at the end of each busy day that it tasted just fine! We only did room service one night for dinner & one morning for breakfast, but we HIGHLY recommend room service. It was timely and was very delicious. The facility itself is VERY well maintained. The staff is extremely friendly and they make you feel so welcome and 'at home.' I love to work out and was pleasantly surprised that the workout room was never too full...there was always a machine open and you don't have to wait forever to claim a spot.

The best part about this resort is the location…It took us less than 10 minutes to arrive at the airport once we left Secrets on our last day. The resort is very close to the “Hip Strip,” but still feels secluded, private and safe. We decided on a rainy day to go on the “Shopping Tour” of Montego Bay, and had a great time. It was nice to get out of the resort with a safe group on a safe bus & we were able to see a little bit of the “real” Montego Bay. I highly recommend this tour & it’s the perfect time to get gifts for family and friends.

Overall, we give this resort a 10/10. We both have traveled a lot outside of the country…and Jamaica truly has it all: friendly people, luxurious resorts, beautiful beaches, and wonderful local food. Go as soon as you can!

Room Tip: I preferred the St. James side over Wild Orchid. St. James is closer to the workout area, spa, tenni...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kaitlin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,175 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,314)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We stayed at Secrets St.James (Preferred Club) in Montego Bay, Jamaica from January 5th -12th 2013. We had an amazing time at the resort.
The Staff:
Very friendly and helpful. Shout out to Nordia, who provided us with excellent service and helped us switch to a room on the 3 floor with an amazing view. Everyone else at the resort was super friendly, laid-back and always ready to help. We must also mention Marlin (the chef at the Japanese restaurant), very entertaining and prepared a great tasting food. Then Michael, the bell man etc.

The resort:
They thought of everything when they built the resort. The layout is very beautiful. The grounds are always in superb conditions. The beach is beautiful. The sun beds were the most comfortable items on the beach which make you enjoy soaking up the sun or watching the sunsets. The Center Stage is incredible under the stars at night and the shows are very entertaining. St, James is in a more quite area of the resort, which we thought was a great feature to have since it gave us the option to relax when we wanted to stay away from all of the entertainment spots. There is always something happening at the resort, and that includes water sports and activities.

Food & Drinks:
We loved every restaurant we tried, but above all the Italian and the Japanese to us were the best. Room service was also great quality and selection for both breakfast and dinner. The fresh fruits and coconuts offered around lunch time were an incredible treat every day. We thought their seafood in general was a little salty, but we loved their pork meat dishes at every place we tried it. Seaside Grill was great for lunch. Drinks were very delicious.

Tours:
We only did one tour to Negril. Overall it was OK. We thought that stopping at Sandals beach for 3 hours and two shopping locations before going to Rick's Cafe was unnecessary time to waste, but since tourism is Jamaica's main source of income, it makes sense that they would plan the trip that way. Ricks cafe is a very crowded place, but worth watching the sunset. Great pics :)

One little complaint:
Although we were in the preferred section of St.James, towards the end of the week, we noticed that the crowd was getting louder in that area as well, which became a little annoying after people started doing tequila shots in groups. Although every person has their own definition of a good time, we felt that the resort could address this issue by respecting others piece and quite time on the beach by putting up signs or smth of that nature.

Overall, it was a wonderful time and we would definitely go back.
Thank you to everyone at Secrets for making our vacation a wonderful time.

Room Tip: Best Ocean views are on the top two floors at St.James (3rd and 4th)
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Niku C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

Having stayed at several all inclusive resorts in the Caribean, I would give kudos to Secrets Montego Bay for a very well trained and friendly staff. They all acted as though they were truly happy we were there, and wanted to make sure we enjoyed our vacation. We loved seeing Ricardo every morning with our continental breakfast perched on his head, and a smile on his face. We also enjoyed Clive with his serene demur as he replenished our coffee at the breakfast buffet. Keep up the good work.

Room Tip: We did not care for the layout of the rooms in the Preferred wing. While the tub between the bath a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Peggy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clevedon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

I make no apologies for the length of this review. I do apologise for my spelling of names. I trust you may find our review reassuring if you are yet to visit a Secrets resort.

Firstly, thank you Secrets for yet another wonderful holiday. We have shared many experiences, warmth, sunshine, rain, hurricane Sandy and now an earthquake! We have now spent a total of nine weeks and five nights of the last two years in your company at Maroma, Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita, Silversands and presently Wild Orchid and St. James. I do apologise to those staff I omit to mention.

Thank you to the un-named, the green overalled wellied gardeners who keep the gardens in picture perfect condition. The army of cleaners relentlessly swishing their mops and poking their dusters into corners and crevices. Thank you to the cooks and kitchen staff for a wonderful array of tasty treats. The food may not be to everyones taste but I defy anyone not to find something to tickle their tastebuds from the wealth of freshly prepared hot and cold food.

Thank you to the staff who so warmly welcomed us back like family members - Vanesse of the Preferred Club St. James, Shaneka of the Wild Orchid reception, Jeffrey of the Preferred Club Wild Orchid. Daphine, our room attendant of last October who spotted us and called out to us, a couple amongst so many at the pool. Ricardo, one of many room service staff, again remembering us from October, who took the time to stop by whenever passing us to say hello. Ruth and Anika/Anita, voices on the other end of the room service button - we forgive you for not always delivering the slices of white toast, cremated as requested. Thank you to Alan, the manager of Portofino for making our Valentine evening meal so so special, treating us as though we were the only guests dining that night. Jamie of the Himitsu and his repertoire of terrible jokes. Lamar of Portofino and his wonderful Thespian Jamaican sunshine service. Stewart in the World Cafe for going the extra mile to provide us with white wine at the correct temperature. Shakena and Simone of the piano bar, two beautiful young ladies providing such a warm and friendly service always checking out we were okay and had received good service throughout the day. Tanesha, the poolside server at Wild Orchid with a wonderfully creative concoction called Bubblegum. Finally, Kerry-Anne, the glue that held so much together, whose bar of personal service is set so high, many others could walk under it without stooping. Kerry-Anne should be the lead poolside server.

Secrets WO and St.J, thank you.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank chrispcaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Stayed Feb 14 to 18 2013 with my wife. The hotel is very nice and staff is friendly. The grounds are well kept and the rooms are large, clean and comfortable. It is only 20 minutes from the airport, though there is no noise from planes overhead. The beach is somewhat narrow and there is an annoying trend of people reserving chairs with beach towels (there is no limit to how many towels one guest can have). Most of the time, empty chairs with towels on them outnumbered chairs with people in them. The water was calm and clear, though the sand was a little rocky. Saw a few stingrays even. Didn't venture much into the pool area, which seemed to be dominated by Snooki and her friends. There are biting insects in the sand but not a ton. Be sure to visit the jerk chicken guy that comes along the walkway near the beach around lunchtime - its very very very good chicken.
For restaurants, they are mostly a la carte and you don't need to make reservations except for the Asian one. However, be prepared to wait about an hour for a table. When it rained or was very windy, it shut down all the outdoor tables, and the wait was even longer. In general, they do they to accomodate you as soon as possible, and give you a pager so you don't have to wait in a line. However, the hostess at the Italian restaurant on Feb 16th and 17th had a real attitude with the guests: made us wait in line about 20 minutes just to be put on the waiting list, refused to give me a pager, turned some guests away well before closing time, and was generally unfriendly. A real blemish among an otherwise good staff. Favorite restaurant was the French one, Italian was good, and I thought the Jamaican and Asian restaurants were so-so.
As for nightlife, there are not a lot of options. There's the stage if you want to see their show (not our thing), and there's the piano bar, which was quite crowded especially when it rained. There was a piano player only one of the four nights we were there. Later on, there is the nightclub though we never went. We were looking for a quieter option, so often we sat on our balcony and drank from the mini-fridge.
People generally did not tip. For us, it is customary to tip so we did so happily and it was *usually* appreciated. I would say it did not affect my level of service though, as it has at other resorts that I've been to.
A few malfunctions: our door key stopped working a few times, and my wife got a serious electric shock from one of the outlets. Had to file an incident report.
Overall, we had a good time. It did rain a lot which sucked big time. From what I could tell, there wasn't a huge difference between "Preferred" and "non-Preferred", though I didn't really like being labelled a "non-preferred" guest. Little difference between Wild Orchid and St James side as well - I wouldn't say one side is noticeably quieter than the other. I guess we didn't have the same awesome experience as some reviewers but who knows, maybe it was just the rain.

Room Tip: Wild Orchid rooms are closer to the shops and restaurants. For an ocean view, try to get a room on t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BeachHeads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
54 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Our room was immaculately clean, very comfortable bed, jacuzzi tub, generous & comfortable patio with a lovely view. The beach was adequate, only on 1 day were we not able to get seats.
The pool was very clean with a generous number of comfortable floats & a fun swim-up bar. 24 hour room service was a nice dining option & arrived quickly. Dirty dishes go into a cupboard for pickup so no unsightly trays outside rooms. The breakfast @ the World Cafe had a great selection, don't miss jerk chicken poolside for lunch! Dinners were excellent, though appetizers were a bit small. From check-in to check-out service was impeccable! Each employee was truly warm, friendly & outgoing. We never felt pressured to tip but employees were genuinely appreciative when we did. We'd like to thank each employee individually, but Wilton, bartender @ the lobby bar was outstanding.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

I stayed here last year Nov 2012. Went as a couple and loved this resort! It is fairly new, clean and very nice staff. The rooms were all amazing, large with jetted tub, seperate shower and sitting area. We had the ground level so a quick walk out and you were at the pool. Room service was included and meals were great. I stayed at a sandals and while the food was better there this resort excels in apperance of resort as well as rooms. We payed about 1600 for a week, compared to 2500 at sandals and the food was the only difference, So I would choose secrets any day, when back in Jamaica would def return to this place.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Julia83Ontario
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
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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