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“Amazing”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Plumsteadville, Pennsylvania
1 review
“Amazing”
Reviewed October 10, 2013

A group of friends decided to go on a vacation and asked us to b join them at first I was not excited to go to Jamaica but thought I would give it a try. So we had a group of 10 from 24yrs old to 47 yrs old. It was a great trip the food was amazing. The excursions we felt were well priced. The only thing I would recommend is not to forget anything. One couple forgot suntan lotion and it costed him $22.

  • Stayed October 2013
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Helpful?
Thank briand2420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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luv2travel05
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2013

First encounter with the staff at check in was very friendly and accommodating. From there and throughout the week, we never met or passed by a staff member without a smile. They were always friendly, helpful and willing to please. When we made the reservation we had no intention of leaving the resort as we intended it to be a relaxing vacation. Since we did not leave (other than the RCI catamaran cruise), we cannot comment on activities or excursions outside of the resort. Though I have a dfficult time relaxing too much, there were enough onsite activities to keep from getting bored. As for the evening entertainment, every night at the Showtime Theater was a treat and the seating was very comfortable. On the guest talent night we were amazed to see such great entertainment. The grounds were very well kept, even after the almost daily rain showers (always ended by evening) and the downpour upon our arrival. They were right on top of things. We had one small maintenance issue and it was resolved quickly and efficiently. Especially fun at the poolside activiities were Lady Genius and Fresh Prince. As others have commented, the jerk chicken truck is a must try.
Our room was also well maintained and we never saw a bug throughout our stay. Restaurant options are great - we tried a different one each night. Never had more than a 10 minute wait. Favorites were the Hibachi and Portofino and our waitress (Carole) at the Portofino. For the staff, working presumably without tips, they still are most cordial. We did tip as felt they deserved it, but you never felt that they expected it. Super time and would stay there again.

Room Tip: Higher floors (third and fourth) have best unobstructed view.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank lu2travel05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed October 9, 2013

This place is very nice, staff are friendly and very helpful.
Mega Tron is an entertainer at the pool side really cool and funny young man along with Sparks who is so sweet and absolutely gorgeous girl.
When relaxing at the poolside or the beach look for waiter named Romario he is excellent at serving great drinks at the beach! Makes fantastic dirty bananas extra dirty!! Would go there again soon!

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tatyana74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2013

First off I want to say this is our second time staying at this resort and we have stayed at almost all the other Secret's resorts in DR, MX. This resort is the best we have seen for many reasons. The place is big with many things to do or for a quite escape too, it has room for all you want it to be. The food is great, room service never took the 45 minutes they mention, always hot and really good quality. The drinks were made extremely well with plenty of places to get them. The rooms were so well kept and plenty of room. Nice and clean with special items/care taken to make the room make you feel right at home.
The last time we stayed we had a issue with the room ac, so they moved us quickly. I sent an email to a Ms. Mornan, mentioning we would like to return, but didn't want to have any issues, well I have to say she really took care of us! They upgraded us to a unbelievable room, they were at full capacity, but she made it happen! The staff on site knew our names and helped with every little request we had, unbelievable experience, one we will never forget!
Thank you Michael Benneh for also taking such great care of us each day, you are assume! Hope you learn to fly and become the pilot you want to be, I would fly with you! Also at the piano bar Karesha and Simone, outstanding service each and every time, never had to wait for a drink, they were right on it each and every time with a smile and great conversation!
Thank you all again for and OUTSTANDING time, we will be back (as soon as we save enough money :) )!

Room Tip: St. James Preferred club is very quite, even when they were at full capacity, great sleeping at nigh...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rob S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2013

The bellmen, room attendants and grounds crew were outstanding. The front desk attendants were so-so. The restaurants served poorly, unappetizing food slowly. At one restaurant we were told there was a 25 minute wait even though there were ample tables available. We were forced to sit outside on a bench for twenty five minutes. And the reason we were given ----- the kitchen was running behind. Why couldn't we be seated and told that?
The beach is nice, they hauled in white sand and keep it spotless.
Room service is good but the room service menu is limited.
You are not allowed to take food from the restaurants to your room.
If you are a drinker, you can drink all you want which might make this a better value. We are not drinkers and the value was lessened.
The grounds are spotless and make for a good attraction.
Everyone expects a tip.... Although we noticed many Americans didn't tip at all.
It's a beautiful property and an ocean view room is worth the extra fee.
Our bathroom was spectacular. Everything was frosted glass. They used very high end fixtures and we had a 2 person jacuzzi tub. We also had an outdoor hot tub on the balcony overlooking the ocean.
There's no doubt this is a great property, but I was mildly disappointed overall.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Robhankins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midwest
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Just returned from a five-night trip to Secrets St. James with my wife. We enjoyed our stay quite a bit, but I can't give the resort a 5/5 rating. Here's why: uneven service. We found the check-in and check-out staff to be rather unfriendly and unenthusiastic, which gives you a bad taste both coming and going. The vacation "concierge" with whom we met immediately after check-in was considerably more welcoming, but he was also aiming to sign us up for a 90-minute preferred club sales pitch (set for the first morning after our arrival). I believe they spare honeymooners--who represent around 75% of the guests, in my informal poll--from this pitch, so consider labeling yourselves as such. The bartenders and wait staff at the pools and beach were a mixed bag: some were engaging, while an equal number were, frankly, quite awful. I'm a pretty generous tipper, and even this didn't seem to make much of a difference. Perhaps those staying in the preferred club area had a better experience in this regard. Although there were signs advertising an upgrade possibility to the preferred club, we weren't offered that option at check-in.

Now, like I said at the outset, we had a good time. This is because the facilities are really very solid. They're newer and well maintained. The rooms, pools, beaches, bars, and spa were all impressive. Like many other reviewers, I found the food to be just fine (so long as judged by all-inclusive standards). The property is also quite close to the airport, which is a plus.

Some general tips... The beach area to the right (as you face the water) is less rocky, but has fewer seats/umbrellas, so strike early. If you decide to have lunch at one of the pool-area restaurants, check the menus first, as the selections are somewhat limited. (The main lunch restaurant has a broad array of offerings.) The piano bar is a very fun and lively spot, with good service. Be sure to bring your own shampoo, conditioner, and related bath products; those provided in the rooms aren't that swell.

Room Tip: An ocean-front suite with a direct ocean view (specify this) on either the second or third floor str...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank TruthBroker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, OH
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

We had a great time, enjoyed it and will return to this resort when we get the chance to see Jamaica again. I am sure the second time will be better with what we learned.

If you are looking for a great beach resort with a luxury room than this is a great place to choose! The grounds were clean and well maintained, food was great, there are some things keeping it from being a 5. (More on that later).

The beaches were nice, and lots of chairs were available, although it seemed like they may be limited if the resort was full. I liked the St James beach better for swimming strolling the beach. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment. Someone was always ready to take a drink order at the beach, poolside, or while sitting at the outdoor stage. The Pool Bars were lighter on the liquor while the two bars near the beach made them strong.

The room was fantastic and we really enjoyed it. The rain shower is great as was the tub with the jets in the room. The beds are very soft, if you like a firm mattress this is not the hotel for you, however we didn't want to leave them. There was a nice sofa and a small table inside as a sitting area along with a table and chairs on the balcony. They have a "privacy light" next to the bed but I would recommend using the sign on the door as well, as some staff would knock and then see the light. Tip: Resist the temptation to order room service for dinner, go to the dining options as they are better and save the room service for lunch.

The staff is the highlight as they were always friendly and helpful. Always willing to go the extra step to meet your request. This is what will make us want to come back above all else.
The grounds are very well maintained and trimmed greatly. We enjoyed all the wood carvings around the resort. We really enjoyed the watersports team as they were great.

If you stay there I would recommend getting up early for the beach activities, next time we would do this and take an afternoon break in the room so that we can enjoy the evening as well.

Food:
In general any steak item was overcooked. Medium came out with little to no pink every time.
We do not like seafood, so can not speak to that aspect.

Breakfast: World Cafe with a great selection that was enjoyable every day we ate there. You can also order room service, we had a anniversary breakfast card and that was great as well.

Lunch: The Jerk Chicken Carts were great and a must try. If you do the barefoot grill the burgers are excellent, but the patties were small and had too much breading and not enough stuff inside of them. We were disappointed with the seaside grill where you would sit down and eat. The chicken dish was good, the beef was overcooked. We ordered the hero sub that lists two cheeses and 3 meats and only got ham and cheese. Room service was a great lunch option. The lunch buffet had its highlights but did not have a wide variety, except for desserts.

Dinner:
Himitsu (Japanese): was our favorite the best Hibachi table I have ever had, with great entertainment. Make your reservations and go. Going to eat on the side was nice as well.
El Patio (Mexican): The skirt steak was the best steak at the resort, it had wonderful flavor and we really enjoyed it. Not your typical mexican place. The chips were a little stale.
French: I really enjoyed the lamb dinner, my wife's filet steak was good but it was overcooked.
Italian: Was pretty good, the pasta and sauce with the Chicken Parm could use some improvement. The lasagna is the big item there that is supposed to be good but we did not try it.
Blue Mountain (Jamaican): This was quite good as well and I would recommend it. I had the pork. The coffee ice cream was wonderful.

The restaurants would get whatever drink we wanted and would take special requests and adjustments with ease.

The one food option they really need is to get a good pastry chef. Some of the desserts sounded a lot better than they were, and could use some improvement. There were some good desserts but only 1 of 4 really met expectations. The ice creams were always good and beat expectations.

The CoCo coffe bar has some good soft serve ice cream.

Liquor:
Also if you like craft beers, or a good wine selection to be included then this isn't your resort. If you like your typical miller/bud/etc and house wines then you will be pleased with the beer/wine here. Mixed/Frozen drinks are all good with plenty of options. The bartenders do a great job if you are not sure what you want either... (example I want an apricot type drink, or a blackberry drink)

SPA:
The prices seem a bit overpriced but if you factor in the coupons and the water circuit that you do ahead of time then it is a good deal. We decided to get a massage at the same time and it was great. The water circuit could use some repairs and a little love, but it was a great time and we would do it again in a second.

What keeps it from being 5 star, or the little issues:

There was a roof repair with standard shingles on a dimensional roof that just looked out of place.

The walkways between the rooms are slippery when wet.

One of the handrails on the 5th floor walkway only had 4 of 12 screws holding it to the floor, with the slippery floor this could be dangerous.

Some things in the room could use a good deep cleaning (like the clock radio).

Many 'upgrade' (not-inclusive) options are overpriced for what you would get, but with the number of honeymooners, supply likely meets demand and they get the extras. (Examples: Preferred Club, Romantic Dinner on the Beach, Wine prices, Couples massage on the beach, Professional Photos prices, WIFI, Transportation anywhere) Wifi should be free by now, coupon restrictions should be removed completely, and offering a short shuttle into town a few times a day on certain days would be a nice improvement.

Check in was kind of a pain with the time it takes, but we got there before check in and they did let us eat lunch and check out the beach while waiting for a room to be ready. TIP: Save yourself some time and skip the Unlimited Vacation Desk unless you want the SPA / Wine / Romantic Dinner coupons. (The unlimited vacation club will NOT save you money, it may sound good until you get into the details and see the points/restrictions are much more than what they make it out to be, please do not waste your time. I bet you would be better off putting the funds into a market balanced account).


We also did not have any issues with planes or anything of that sort.
Avoid town/excursions when cruise ships are in town!

Room Tip: Higher is better, the corner rooms on the 3rd and 5th floors had a bigger balcony. (3533 was great)
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank famof5inOH
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 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Family 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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