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“Best holiday / wedding ever from the UK”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Best holiday / wedding ever from the UK”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

My “now” wife and I arrived from Manchester airport to Montego bay on the 15th April 2013 to spend two weeks at the Secrets St James resort where we were going to get married after 27 years together.

We got a very warm welcome when we landed at the airport and led to our small but quaint bus, once we were onboard, the bus driver announced to everybody that they had a engaged couple onboard who were getting married at the resort, everybody knew it was us as we both went scarlet red, after the round of applause it broke the ice with everybody and we got chatting to everybody.

At the hotel our bags were off the bus and stored to one side while we were offered drinks, cold towels and a very warm welcome. Once we were checked in the bell boy took us up to our room on the St James side on the fourth floor, the room was fantastic with stunning views (if you like a spirit drink in your room, get this from the airport as they don’t have any in the room)

The beds are to die for; the most comfortable I have ever slept in while on holiday, they even had a choice of five different pillows to choose from. The photos you see in the broachers and online do look like the room itself unlike some of the rooms you see. We loved the bathroom, the shower was really powerful and the Jacuzzi actually worked, we did not mind that the bathroom was not 100% private to the rest of the room; I know it bothers some people but we had no problem at all.

The pools and beach were very nice and there was always plenty of loungers whatever time we got down there, there was always somebody there to get you a drink from the bar, we tipped them and used to have some great conversations with them and they would tell you the best places to go outside of the resort, treat them well and you will make very good friends.

The day we got married, everything went without a hitch except that two hours before we were to tie the knot the heavens opened up and we had a hell of a down pour. The team were always ready with a contingency plan, we were to be married in the hall which we did not want but fortunately 20 minutes before the deadline the sun came back out and by the time we made it to the gazebo everything was dry. All in all a fantastic day which we will remember for a lifetime.

The food was out of this world, the people I see putting negative comments on TA must be used to something exceptional on a day to day basis, from the burgers at the hut on the seafront to the top restaurants we never had a single bad meal. We did the private meal on the night of our wedding in the same gazebo we were married in which was very nice but very expensive ($240) but you got your own waiter and chef and the food was out of this world.

The ratio here are 90% Americans / Canadians, 5% from the UK and 5% others but we met some lovely people here and were easy to get on with, ending the night at the night club.

I could go on and on about this place but I would just be repeating comments already on TA

Tips
1. Take plenty of $1 & $5 bills for tipping
2. Speak to the servers, waiters and all the other workers, they will tell you the best places to go outside of the resort.
3. Buy your own water shoes if you decide to visit Dunns falls (well worth a visit)
4. If you want to swim with the horses go with Chukka tours and not the one we went with (cant remember the name)
5. We went with Chukka tours on the dune buggies, best thing we have ever did.
6. As everybody else says, try and get a room on the 3rd floor or above to get the best views. We had a fourth floor room and couldn't ask for anything better.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank foss281
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Jomtien Beach, Thailand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Great facility and good choice of restaurants. My first experience at an all inclusive facility. Butler service was wonderful Willingness of the staff to do anything for you was consistent from top to bottom

  • Stayed September 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank Isala1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Prior to coming to Secrets St James, we previously visited Iberostar in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Upon our arrival, we were seated at a desk to check into the resort. They try to ask you if you want an upgrade for additional cost. There is a difference between ocean view and ocean front. Ocean front views are additional $80 per day. The resort advertise unlimited premium drinks. Premium drinks are only given at certain bars, and definitely not by the pool area. You will have to go inside the resort for the drinks. The drinks are watered down. I asked for a sample of a vodka only with no ice and it was weak.
There are cats running all over the resorts especially by the Preferred Members area and dinning areas.
The pool: was cold, there is no heated pool.
It was extremely hot during our stay and a/c in the rooms did not get that cold. The night activities were boring.
The food selection for room service was horrible, compared to the Preferred guest, you can have a better selection of food. Unless you like continental breakfast this was the selection for the regular rooms. Preferred guest can have a full breakfast, with eggs, toast, etc.

Room Tip: if you want to seat directly in front of the ocean, you must ask for the ocean front rooms, Even tho...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank disappointed643
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

My Stay at Secrets was wonderful! I was there July 10-17th and I really don’t have any complaints. This was my third time staying there, my first in July 2011, and 2nd July 2012. Each time I had been it was always something new. I came with a friend. Check in wasn't that long and when I got to the room there was a sign on the door that read” Repeat Guest”. I felt so special. When we got inside the room there was champagne, wine and cheese and crackers on the table. What a welcome! Since I was a return guest every few days we got the wine with cheese and crackers. I also got a complimentary aromatherapy bath inside my room. This time I felt like a celebrity. Every night there was different entertainment. They had a talent show where the guests compete for prizes, which is usually on Friday night in the theatre. Another night there was a circus and another night the guest participate in the entertainment too. Also you can’t forget the piano bar with Andre. The night club called Desires was always fun, they even have a karaoke night. The night club also has a Dj. I almost forgot about the Secrets Entertainment team, they also put on shows and they get the audience to participate. One of the things I like about staying at this resort is you meet people from all around the world and they are always friendly. The resort has pools and of course the beach. We stayed here seven nights which was great because it gave us a chance to eat somewhere different every night. The restaurants were excellent. No complaints about that either. The resort has seven gourmet restaurants. Blue Mountain which is Jamaican cuisine, Bordeaux is the French one, El Patio is the Mexican restaurant, Himitsu is the Asian restaurant. This one your food is cooked right in front of you and requires a reservation. If you don’t want to do that you can eat at a regular table. Oceana has different types of seafood, Portofino is the Italian restaurant, Seaside grill has different foods that are grilled and The World Café is a buffet style restaurant. My favorite restaurant is the French loved it. I felt so special this trip to Secrets. You really feel like this is your home. It’s is really going to be hard going somewhere else on vacation. I was really spoiled here. Also my turn down maid Josephine was really nice and polite. Love her! Being a return guest we also got a free breakfast in bed. They gave us a paper to check off what we wanted and brought it to our room. The breakfast in bed was delicious! I ordered fruit, eggs, a mimosa, and toast. There were also other choices as well. One thing I really love about this resort is it is all inclusive. If you want to come here for a romantic getaway go! If you want to come here with a group of friends go! You Want to get married there go! You won’t be disappointed. Also try to get a room with an ocean view. The sunsets in Jamaica are breath taking!

Room Tip: Make sure to get an Ocean View room. The sunsets are so beautiful!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alicia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

We have just returned from Jamaica this morning following our wedding and honeymoon. Well what can I say. It was the the most exquisite hotel and the staff were brilliant and friendly. Our wedding day was made special and a massive thank you to the wedding team that basically took the brunt of my stress. My husband and I could not have chosen a more idyllic and scenic location. A massive thank you to tony our photographer who captured every single precious moment and our album turned out wonderfully. We stayed in the preferred suite and had great room service especially from ricardo. veronica kept our room emaculate and we received special treatment on the wedding night returning to rose petals all over the room and the jucuzzi filled surrounded by candles. It just seems the hotel will always go the extra mile to make sure their guests are made to feel like they are the only guests. The restaurants are beautiful with such a wide variety of food. I would like to mention carol at the Italian and clive at breakfast who always made us feel so welcome. All bar staff are brilliant, they always gave you a warm welcome and an added touch that they remembered your name and specific drink that always nearly was waiting on the bar as they always saw us coming. This included Andrew at the wild orchids lobby bar and also allando at the secrets st James lobby bar. To merna who always welcomed us at the secret st James bar also that found time to always ask about our family that attended the wedding but left before us. I cannot praise the resort enough and would feel extremely lucky to be able to go back in the near future.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ninaandgarethjones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

The location of this hotel along with the sister hotel wild orchid was the reason we choose and what a great decision! The hotel staff was so friendly and amazing at making sure our trip was a good experience. Anything you want they will get for you. The food was excellent. We have lobster on the buffet on Saturday night, it was good considering we usually pay to upgrade a dinner one night in order to eat it. Well they have a restaurant that offers it every night and real cream brûlée! We did drink from a coconut which was refreshing! The jerk cart was a hit, except its not stomach friendly unless you have a tough gut. The beds were like sleeping on a cloud. The Wild Orchid building is located around the restaurants and night time entertainment. The hotel does not have wrist bands to wear so the staff has no idea which hotel you are with. I would choose the cheaper of the two hotels and not upgrade to preferred club. Save the money for another trip. The drinks were strong and not watered down. Take your own snorkel! They have free mask and fins except you only can use them at their guided times. The fish under water all around are beautiful! Be sure to take $1 bills to tip. These people do not make a lot of money and travel a long way to serve you and make sure you have every thing you need.

Room Tip: Wild Orchid is located closest to restaurants and nigh time entertainment but to save cost stay at S...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank melorr1992
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2013

This was a great resort to stay at, visited te week of 08/26/2013 - 08/31/2013. The resort was gorgeous, just like the pictures, the staff was excellent, friendly, always a smile on their faces, Clarissa, the young lady that checked us in, remembered our names and everytime she saw us, she greeted us by name. The bar staff in the lobby was excellent, Allonda, Darmon, they were very friendly, the food was good, a lot of choices to choose from. The pool nice, clean, not crowded, able to get a spot, ended up in the same spot each day. Ocean, gorgeous. The jerk man cart and fruit lady, yummy, each day on the beach for about three hours. night ent was good, a lot to do, a lot of activities. Room service was excellent, the food was hot when it was delivered. Will definitely go back to Secrets again. Good time was had.

Room Tip: All the rooms are suites, I don't think there is much difference between the Preffered and the s...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank monica h
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, September 26, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you for having selected our resort for your most recent trip. Our team does take much pride in maintain our resort’s impeccable image and creating the right vacation experience for our guests. We are glad that you enjoyed what we had to offer you and found many of our staff to be very friendly as well.

It always gives us a feeling of satisfaction when our guests wish to return and I do hope that you won’t wait too long to come again. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

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.
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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
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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