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“Third time is a charm”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Third time is a charm”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

I was probably too hard on Secrets in Montego Bay on my first, and maybe my second TA review, but this time it all worked out.

I travel to Mo Bay regularly on business, this time my wife joined me and we upgraded to the Preferred Club of St. James and it was indeed worth the upgrade. The pool is much quieter and much less busy. My wife enjoyed a 1/2 day at the spa and reported back that it was as good an experience as she's had in the Caribbean, and we travel often.

The food on the resort is good, not great but on the higher end for an all inclusive property.

I love the fact that the hotel is 15 minutes from the airport - you can be relaxing with a Red Stripe within an hour of landing.

Finally don't miss the Jerk Chicken cart, every day from 12 - 2 pm.

Room Tip: Go for the preferred club - St James
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sandy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2013

Me and my partner, decided to stay at this hotel after reading positive reviews on trip advisor and have to say it lived up to everything we could of asked for.
From the moment we arrived we found the staff very friendly and helpful, after a long 10 hour journey getting to the hotel and getting a rum punch was an amazing way to start. Our rooms were always cleaned and had some amazing towel art done I think there was only 2 days in our 2 week stay that we did not have towel art.
As for the grounds themselves they were amazing the staff were always busy keeping the grounds in great condition, and it showed. Yes I do have to agree there is a few cats around which someone else did mention they can be a little bit annoying at times but it did not bother me.

As for the restaurants our favourite was the Japanese we went there 3 times at the end we have to give a shout out to Nashville who is a waiter there he is amazing and such a funny and great guy. The Mexican and Jamaican were good, I was not to impressed with the Italian first time we went the starter of eggplant was amazing, but the chicken parmesan was awful over cooked chicken and cold spaghetti. We did not try the French restaurant.

If you want a drink at this place this is always plenty on offer, my favs were the Bob Marley and Dirty Banana. But there was so much to choose from!!

Some of our favourite staff there were, Chris Brown, Nashville, Craig from Marlin Bar and Rayan one of the grounds team.

We will be back!!!!

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor room the views are amazing. If you find the food size a bit small just ask nice...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Theacos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2013

Enjoyed every moment of our holiday apart from the thunder storms in the afternoons!! Room was very spacious and clean, but a little disappointed that we only had one towel art during our two week stay. Restaurants very good - favourites being French, Italian and Japanese. Would have liked a buffet available for dinner as sometimes only wanted a salad or light snack/meal. Staff are very friendly and helpful. Special mention to Allendo in the Lounge Bar and Mark at the Pool Bar. Music round the pool a little loud sometimes and very repetitive in choice of songs. Not sure if we were bitten whilst in the room at night or whilst we walked of an evening but seemed to have lots of mosquito bites when we woke in the morning - take plenty of hydrocortisone cream - you will need it. Would definitely return.

Room Tip: Top floor overlooking pool and sea is fantastic. View of sunset from room not to be missed.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Judy_Cross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2013

My husband and I went to Secrets St. James for our 27th Anniversary. We had a great time. Our room was ready when we arrived. We were greeted kindly with a cool towel and a cold drink. Our check-in went smoothly and we were upgraded to the Preferred Club. The Jamaicans are wonderful people. The staff at Secrets st. James were awesome. Special thanks to Jason at Portofino, Orville at Bordeaux (ate there 2 nights) and Karma who served us drinks on the Preferred Club beach. We went in September which seems to be the rainy season. Sunny in the morning but rained every afternoon. If you want all day sun September is not the best time. Overall though a great time at Secrets St. James. Will definitely go back.

Room Tip: 4th or 5th floor
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Debbie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2013

This was my husband and I's 3rd time to Montego Bay. We stayed at the Secrets from Aug 9th-16th (I know my review is late). Secrets please read this review and make changes, this is not a five star and I feel ripped off.

The main issue surrounding this hotel was the cleanliness of the resort. The rooms were dusty, shower leaked, toilet paper holder was disgusting, missing a glass to hold soap in the room and the hallways were hardly or rarely swept and mopped, therefore they were dirty with hair, dead bugs and spilled drinks. To sum up the cleanliness really was on the Saturday when a peacock pooped on the main path from the pool to beach, yet it was never picked up. Some poor person slipped on it, still not cleaned. The whole week that poop stayed smeared, never washed (I felt bad for the poor people who were barefoot walking over it, not knowing what it was). Main Pool with bar was clean at the beginning of the week but toward the end got really murky and quite gross, so we swam in the pool beside it (infinity pool). Overall, we found out that this resort was only 3 years old, I was shocked; to be this worn down is a problem.

The staff was AMAZING !!! SKY, CEELO, FRESH PRINCE, MEGATRON AND ALLISTAR, were amazing!! Thanks for getting to know who were were, it was a pleasure getting to know you all! Also Dermon in the main lobby bar was FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for making all our drinks just right!!

The food was okay, nothing special. French and Japanese were DELICIOUS!

Honestly, I am not one to every complain, like I said I've been to Jamaica twice before and loved it. We were with great company as we travelled with friends but we were really disappointed. We paid good money to come here and do not feel we got our moneys worth. If you want a high class actual 5 star resort stay at the IBEROSTAR ROSE HALL GRAND! That place is absolutely flawless and worth every cent spent!! If you have stayed at the Iberostar you will be disappointed coming here.

Again, I feel that it was important to write this review because Secrets is not a cheap place to stay. Hopefully this review is read and changes can be made!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Stephanie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2013

We have stayed at 4 Sandels and 1 Beaches Resorts in Jamaica...We stayed in St.James preferred Novermber 2012 for 6 days...ServIce WAS GREAT, Preferred gaveyou access to top shelf liquors and a very nice buffett each day i preferred ..plus a great selection of Liquors in your room...Be sure to carry lipstick and nail polish fo the ladies of housekeeping that take care of your room...these things are very expensive in Jamaica; so they really appreciate them.....Great service, food and everything else....We are going back in November this year!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank rxtn41
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 25, 2013
Dear Valued Guest:

Congratulations on your 50th anniversary and thank you for having selected our resort for this special milestone celebration. Our team is very happy that you did enjoy your stay with us and found the preferred club to be of much value and comfort. It is absolutely great to know that you are already planning on returning and we are looking forward to this very much.

Thanks for sharing your review 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.
Shawsburn Village,Scotland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

My wife and I have just returned from 2 weeks at Secrets St James,Montego Bay.
We made this choice after reading glowing reports on this site.(its is only now i read that most of these reports are only done over a few days stay,not 2 weeks)
As we like a quiet holiday with that bit extra we upgraded to Prefered.
The hotel were first class with emails prior to holiday and all requests for upper floor etc were done.
Firstly it was a bit of a shock to be dropped at st james lobby and told you go down that way!
We eventually found the preffered lobby.
Lovely we thought then we saw about 5 cats sitting at the door out to the pool.YUCK!!!!
Check in was done in no time with cold towel and choice of any drink.

Rooms

Really nice decor,tv,fridge, safe,iron and a steamer,my wife loved the powerfull hairdryer(not the usual hotel type)
Bed was really comfy
Not keen on the toilet set up ,no room with the door shut.
Balcony bath was ott,did not see one person use it.
View was great.

Downside,bugs were a nightmare in the room,we seemed to get bitten to bits more in the room than outside(I asked them to spray room but didnt help,if they did it that is)

Pool
Plenty of beds,towels and brollies.
2 pools at prefered area.(well one spit)
one side was warmer,the cooler one seemed to get hotter as the holiday went on,I think this was the Americans complaining about it being to cold.
bar staff at the pool were great,brought drinks to beds or pool,it was never a problem.

Eating out

breakfast great choice and quality ok

French this was my favourite,lobster bisque then lobster and steak,yum!
Italian was great,big plus this was the only restaurant with ceiling fans.
Mexican was ok
Asian
well,where do i start.

Hibachi table,only 4 of us and the other couple we were sat with didnt like any of the food,in and out in 17mins,we went outside and the couple were in the french restaurant.

We went back a few nights later with a couple we met and had to walk out after waiting for nearly 45 mins for a table,then another 45 mins for our starter,no drinks replaced,then the manager laughing at our complaint.
Only after walking out did he run after us to try and sort out,but to late by this time.

This is the big fault of the hotel,we gave the asian another try and it was great,we got a free bottle of lovely wine as an apology and was great again a few days later.

Grounds.

If the hotel was run by the grounds manager,I dont think anybody would have any complaints.
The rain they dealt with and cleaned up straight after,gardens lovely,grass lovely( cutting all the time was a bit noisy though)

Now to the big downer

Cats

They met you at the door to the pool.
If you ate anything they gathered at your bed.
Any food put in the bin,cats would take it in turn to pull food out of the bin.

Guests feeding cats did not help the matter.

We stopped using prefered lounge. We were sitting on the 3rd day after ther daily downpour,2 couples in a row came in ,first couple stroked cat then came in and lifted bottle of wine and took some food from the hot tray.

2nd couple female lifted cat up and came in a did the same with the drink and food.

Plates were taken from prefered area and cats were fed from these and brought back in .

Now bottles lay out for two weeks,how many cat clapped hands had been on them? Disgusting!

I complained several times at reception,they were more concerned about the guest that liked cats,twice i got a story about guests crying when the cats were being removed by pest control officer.

We were offered a move,room wasnt the issue the cats in the grounds were.

If you want a cat holiday go to a cat rescue home or on safari.

No consistency

This is the BIG let down for what could be a teriffic hotel.

Prefered club was used by the whole hotel,not once in 14 days were we aked for out pass,other hotels guests just walked in picked up orange towels and sat down,they also used food and the prefered bar ,again no checks were made.Pool beds were also removed and taken to St james pool daily.

The prefered club is a total waste of money,food area,staff were horrible,you had to constantly ask for wine to be opened,Red stripe was like gold dust,dont try to take food if they were putting any out.You do get a bath on you balcony though in full view of the other rooms!

Staff are either Brilliant and we tipped them well!( some waiters at breakfast, all pool bar staff) or were terible.

Staff at watersports,my dont disturb us ,yet one or two went out of there way to help.

Waiting staff,some nothing was a bother(I has espresso at breakfast,)some got no problem,others gave you the look.

It was yah man,unless you had a problem.I always laugh,they understand you fine when tip involved,but complain and they dont speak English.

Room service, very poor.2 turn downs in 14 nights.no swans,petals,bath run for you,Na da.

room food service,food always cold and takes ages.

All in all ,I can see why it gets great reports over a 2 or 3 day stay but my do the cracks appear when your there for two weeks.

It a real shame,the funny thing is we would go back,It was so relaxing,sea was a joy to swim in,but no prefered club and not for two weeks.

Room Tip: top floor a must,most lower rooms blocked by trees,ground floors for the cat lovers
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Bill E
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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