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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
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Reviews (6,845)
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4,352 - 4,357 of 6,845 reviews
Reviewed July 25, 2013

My husband and I recently spent 6 nights at Secrets St. James and could not have been more impressed with our trip. From the moment we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by the exceptional staff. They really live their motto "no worries, mon". Everyone was so laid back and nice. That went for every single person (front desk, bar, restaurant, room service etc) we met who worked there.

We were worried that we would have a lesser vacation experience since we did not opt for the preferred upgrade. We were so happy that we did not spend the extra $$ for this because the pool in the non-preferred area is THE BOMB! The manatee swim up bar RULES and the pool entertainment staff rock. We had seriously the best time. We made friends with so many couples there and spent every day at the pool or beach. If you give a small tip early in the day, you will get top shelf drinks and they keep coming. They are all very appreciative but if you decide not to tip, they do not treat you poorly (as I encountered in other all-inclusives). We tipped because the staff was just so awesome! Pool Olympics was super fun. Also the water aerobics and Zumba was fun especially if you had a few Jamaican Smiles (yummy drink!) The mojitos made by Devonish at the manatee pool bar are SO GOOD> best drink ever!

The jerk chicken cart comes each day around noon and it rules. The Oceana lunch wrap place is amazing! Def. best food there (lunch food). The japanese is also really awesome. We did not do the Hibachi option because we didnt feel like having to do the reservations but you can still eat outside and get delicious food. Each night there is some sort of band/entertainment outdoors while you eat. It is awesome! The piano bar serves up killer martinis.

We saw stingrays right at ankle deep and picked up starfish and also saw cute zebra and angel fish (again, ankle deep right by the rock jetty by the manatee bar area of beach).

There are a lot of free and fun activities and I never felt pressured to spend extra money on excursions like on past resorts. We did kayaks each morning and swam in the ocean early before it got busy.

OK, the BEST part is the coffee. Do you like coffee? We are huge coffee snobs and the Blue Mt. is by far the best coffee EVER! There is a coffee bar and we spent a whole lot of time there! You can get lattes to die for! And jamaican coffee or irish coffees, boozy iced coffees or just good ol' regular. I miss it!!!! We brought some home but we are running out! boo :(

Anyhow -- we really REALLY loved our trip. It was paradise. We have two boys (ages 4 and 5) so the all inclusive ADULTS ONLY was a must. It really was the best trip EVER! Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank jill W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2013

I surprised my boyfriend with this trip for his birthday. The service was great as we entered. Hospitality was great. They have some type of foam bed so the bed sinks in in the middle and gave me no type of sleep. The staff stole 3 items out of my bag, $20 off the dresser and the room wasn't even cleaned yet. Who does that? Overall I don't think I would go back there. I would try there other hotel next door the next time I do go, and yes I will return. The activities were great along with the entertainment. The weather was awesome. We went at the right time!!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank D E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We just got back a few days ago after staying five nights at Secrets St. James. I'll start by staying I could have easily stayed a few more! Secrets was heavenly and I will list the reasons why. First, the people, the stars of this review! The staff at Secrets is exceptional, everyone seems genuinely interested in making sure that the guests love their stay in Jamaica, and at the resort. They are always hard at work. (Let me take this moment to say that if you are going please tip the staff. I was amazed at how many people don't tip and when someone gives you great service is it so hard to give them a few bucks? They deserve it!) Second, the grounds are spectacular. No detail seems to go unnoticed: the beaches, pools, vegetation are all immaculate and beautiful. There is so much beachfront you don't have to worry about being too crowded and the views are breathtaking. Third, our room (and more importantly the view from our room) was awesome. It was clean and spacious and the bed was super comfortable. We loved the balcony and the large jetted tub. Fourth, the food & drinks ---both are plentiful and there is lots of variety. Yummy drinks, just ask the bartender wherever you are to make you a specialty or a favorite, they love to please. The food was really good for an all inclusive, though I will say both my husband, I, and the couple we were with felt that the appetizers at the restaurants were excellent but the entrees are more just good to fair. Fifth, The resort is only a short 10 to 15 minute ride from the airport which to me is another plus. When you land in Montego Bay you are just moments from paradise! Overall, I felt that this resort is really top-notch. It was exactly the fun yet relaxing vacation in a tropical destination that we were looking for with plenty of variety so you don't get bored: four pools (two preferred, two for everyone), seven restaurants, seven bars (I think, could have lost count), lots of beach, and plenty of activities.

Each night when they turn down your room they give you a sheet that lists out all the activities and schedules for the following day which is great. Tons of activities and events in the evening such as a band, movie, or what not. For example, on Thursday night when we were there they had a "Barefoot on the Beach" party with live music, food, and a bar. It was super cool.

The few negatives I would list (and believe me I had to really think about it and they are minimal) would be: the mini fridge in the room doesn't get cold enough, the asian restaurant could use ceiling fans, and the sales pitch for the vacation club they give you (when you go to pick up your $200 in vouchers to use at the resort) is a little annoying. Other than that, enjoy. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone and would definitely go back myself.

Sorry if I gushed but my husband and I both thought that Secrets is a great place to take a vacation. It really doesn't matter if you do the St. James side or the Wild Orchid side. they are pretty equal, the only plus for Wild Orchid being that it's closer to all the restaurants and the shopping village. To me, I didn't mind the walk from St. James because the walk is so pretty!

Room Tip: We stayed in room #3408 and it had a spectacular view
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank TeeFee97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Secrets St. James is a fabulous resort! I'll start with what we loved about Jamaica in general and then get to the resort. In Jamaica we loved that you can drink the water, the airport is a piece of cake-including customs, the people are wonderful, the vibe is so relaxed and happy, they say there are no problems in Jamaica...only situations :) The people speak English so there is a night and day difference from Punta Cana, in the DR. We stayed at Secrets Royal Beach the month before this trip and it is definitely a step or two down from this resort. Not to mention at Secrets Royal Beach everyone was getting sick from the food. If you are torn between the two definitely choose this one! No doubt! Everything was just better.
Now for Secrets St. James...I'll start with the check in. It was silky smooth, when you check in, ask for Phillipa. She was absolutely fabulous! We felt like she was our best friend by the time we left. She even brought us a bag of the local fruits she went to the market to get just for us! They also had jerk chicken and a fresh fruit cart down by the ocean everyday at lunch.
Our room was beautiful. Every room is ocean view and there is not a bad room in the place, except for maybe first floor. We were on the 5th floor and we loved it! Our room tips are to bring a night light so that you can find your way to the bathroom and call maintenance when you get there and have them adjust your ac so that your room will get cold. The beach was beautiful. The water was the clearest we had ever seen. Also we saw a sting ray in the ocean and two jelly fish in the lagoon, as well as starfish. We loved how close the palapas were to the water. They have hammocks stretched under huge palms right by the ocean! The preferred club access really does make a big difference at this place, so if you stay here spend a little more for it. Avoid getting your "coupons" so you won't have a sales pitch. We had read the reviews and said we already got them so we avoided the whole thing. Nobody was pushy about you buying anything on the beach. It was totally different from the DR and Mexico. In the morning make sure to eat on the EL PATIO side of the World Cafe so you can be serenaded by Oraldo. He sang beautifully! When he did a duet with another server there wasn't a dry eye in the place. Food was excellent! Italian was my favorite. It was the best lasagna we ever had! No reservations for anything but hibachi and we never had to wait to be seated. Make sure to get your picture taken at sunset. They have great photographers and they turned out terrific. Plus there was no pushing you to buy anything. You went to dinner, came back and looked at them on the computer screen and then decided what you want. My other huge tip is to book your airport transfers through Reggae tours. www.reggae-tours.com
They were always on time, cool and comfy ride, funny, professional, etc. We were so impressed that we booked them for a private tour of the island for $25 an hour. Our drivers were Derrick, Dwight, and Gregg and they were all great. The best part is you don't have to go meet your representative in your lobby in the middle of the day to confirm your departure! That's the first time we ever did not have to do this and it is such a pain when you have to. This resort is on a peninsula so on one side is the ocean and the other side is the lagoon. It is so beautiful. The entertainment is in front of the lagoon so you get a wonderful breeze. The piano bar is also lots of fun and we loved the bartender Phillip that works there. My husband is already begging me to go there again next year!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank utvolsfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

I enjoyed the resort from the room to the staff. Excellent drinks. The food is overall good. But if you are not afraid to try different food then try their foods instead of American food. You will enjoy it better. Excellent weather. It was a great birthday celebration for me and a Wonderful trip for my friends.

Room Tip: Ask for a corner room on the 3rd, excellent view of the beach and the resort.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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2  Thank Bobbiereino J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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