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“Top Notch Resort”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Mt P
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Top Notch Resort”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

We just got back from a 4 night stay at Secrets St James. The resort is amazing build on relaxing and being a romantic paradise. I will give you the highlights and lowlights.

Pros:
French restaurant - went two nights to this place (lobster and filet is to die for). Winchester is a wonderful waiter.
Steel Drum Orchestra - best entertainment at any resort, you don't want to miss this
Lunch at Oceania - better than anywhere else with wraps and salad bar plus an amazing view
Jerk Chicken cart - a little spicy but well worth it
Glass bottom boat tour from St James beach - only $25 for 30 mins and was great
Rooms - rain shower is so nice. Had read where some people thought the rooms were too hot. We even brought a fan just in case, but the temp was so cold in the room. Great snuggling temps.

Cons:
Personal Conciege Ryan - while checking in he was little help, lots of promises but after I turned down the vacation club presentation was no help. If you have a honeymoon, aniverary or birthday package make sure to get the paperwork when you check in. Ryan didn't give us the paperwork and it caused lots of issues later on.

Housekeeping - One day they didn't clean our room, we had to call down at 5pm asking for it to be cleaned and another night didn't get turn down service.

Jacuzzi tub - used it once and got water all over the place, it was a mess (just use the showers)

Checking in - I had sent a note ahead of time asking for one of 8 rooms (based on all of these reviews. Was told that all of the rooms I asked for were a different category. Dexter said he was the man with the plan and would see what he could do. I came back in 2 hours to check if he was able to do anything and he didn't know who I was and we didn't anything near what I requested. We ended up with 2nd floor furthest from the ocean. If you are looking for great rooms in the St James non preferred side ask for any of these rooms (3509, 3409, 3408, 3538). The higher the floor the better. Also the check in area burns incense all the time, it can be overpowering.

World Café lunch buffet - lots of food but not that good. Would go to Oceania instead. Plus don't eat a burger at the something grill on the ocean. I had a fish sandwich and chicken sandwich and didn't know which was which. The burgers were horrible. The home made potato chips were great.

Bottom line: I would recommend this resort to anyone. The ocean is so beautiful, we felt safe the whole time there and we loved relaxing. Wish we could have stayed a week.

Tips: use Island Transfer tours for taxi to and from airport. Amstar (resort recommended) is so expensive. Island transfer has new vehicles, on time and very safe. Also if you like football they do a Monday night football party on the beach. It is the way to watch a game.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MountPLocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Palermo, Italy
Level 6 Contributor
82 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2013

I just came back from a 5 night stay at the Secrets St James Resort Oct 13 - 18, 2013. I was quite skeptical of the reviews that I read prior to our stay - they seemed to GUSH about the staff (particularly individual staff members) to the point that it appears the staff are writing the reviews themselves. So I wanted to give an honest review from an individual who actually stayed at this resort.

We arrived to the hotel on Sunday around 2pm. Upon check in, they asked us if we wanted to upgrade to preferred. We chose not to - we wanted to spend our money in the spa. They watched over our luggage and we grabbed a bite to eat at the Surfside Grill (excellent fish sandwiches by the way). When we got back at 3 - our room was ready. We stayed in ground room 3130. It was a lovely room - it included such amenities as Shampoo, soap/body wash, body lotion, unlimited minibar drinks (soda, water, beer, flavored water). I was disappointed that there was no sunscreen in the room as another reviewer had said there was, so we had to purchase it at one of the shops to the tune of $40 for two bottles :(.

The beaches are beautiful, but not huge. They are in sections that are about 100 yards long, separated by rock jetty's. Not a beach that you can walk endlessly on like in Negril, but beautiful and clean - free of seaweed. There are a few rocks on the beach, and many shells to go hunting for. We sat on the Wild Orchid non-preferred beach which we thought was the most beautiful. Of course the towel game was played at this resort - so we got out at 8:30 each morning in order to get a palapa to sit under.

The restaurants are amazing. We ate at all of them except the Himitsu Pan-Asian one, simply because we ran out of time. Each morning we ate breakfast at the World-Cafe, which is the buffet restaurant. They had bloody mary's and mimosa's every morning, and a HUGE variety of foods. Everything tasted warm and fresh. For lunch, we tried the Surfside grill, which serves fish sandwiches, burgers, and other warm lunch type items, Oceana which serves wraps, the Barefoot grill that services burgers and hot dogs, and the World Cafe, which serves a buffet style lunch with the best selection.

We visited the spa twice on our trip. Our first full day, Monday, we had the hydrotherapy, followed by a deep tissue massage. It was the most intense deep tissue massage I have ever had - if you are not used to these types of massages - opt for the swedish or you will be very sore!! We also visited on our last day and had a swedish massage. Both trips to the spa were very relaxing - I highly recommend it.

The staff at this resort were fantastic. I won't name anyone specifically, but we never received bad service. Check in was smooth and professional, they "welcomed us home." We were always offered drinks while sitting on the beach - never had to get up and go to the bar to get our won. The restaurants were mostly good - there were a few times that we ordered drinks that never came - but everything in Jamaica is so very relaxed. No one is in a hurry - so we went with the flow. We tipped well - but never felt the pressure to do so. We can't wait to go back to this resort and bring friends next time!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank AngelinaCh22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 18, 2013

AMAZING time!!! We were on a 6 day trip to celebrate my 39th birthday. Nordia, our concierge, couldn't have been sweeter from the minute we checked in to the time we left. She sent us a fruit plate, dessert & a bottle of rum one day then a cheese plate, dessert , bottle of rum & bottle of Champagne the next! We were ocean view room (3501) on the St. James side with a "Happy Birthday" banner on the door. We were pitched the whole "Vacation Club" thing & participated in the 90 min speil just to get the $100 gift certificate to the spa. We did not join the vacation club. We did the couples massage which incluced the hydrotherapy circuit & it was totally worth it. You just pay the difference & tip out your masseuse.

We didn't upgrade to the Preferred Club because it just wasn't worth it. The Preferred side looked so quiet & boring. We stayed on the beach on the St.James side all day & then at 3:00 pm went over to the swim up bar. Andrew at the Manatee swim up bar was exactly what a bartender at a resort should be! So much fun & had the drinks flowing!!

The food was just OK. The breakfast buffett & the jerk chicken cart rocked! Everyone says the Hibachi restaurant is the best?? They don't know good food. It was awful however, the waiters & cooks were fantastic. Blue Mountain, the Jamaican restaurant is the best they have there. Really enjoyed it.

We were there to relax, drink & enjoy the pool & beach & that's just what we did. Definitily will go back but with some other couples next time. Loved it!!!

Room Tip: The higher the floor the better the view. We were St. James #3501 ocean veiw & it was perfect fo...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Steph D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

This is truly an experience you will not want to leave. The staff, the food, the drinks, the activities and most of all the weather and the sea!!!!! Let me tell you about some of the staff. Dianna who manages one of the restaurant is someone who gives more than 100%. All you have to do is ask her. Deidre in the preferred was amazing as was Christopher Rose and Christopher Brown. Look for Paul at the craft market!!! Jerk Chicken man was amazing so was coconut man and the fruit lady. This is a resort that you get to put away all your thoughts of home and enjoy. The buffet on Saturday night is breath taking. This complex is for the romantic, the energetic, the lazy, and the sinfull!!! Please listen to this review it is amazing!!!! The beach is lovely and really take the glass bottom boat which will be around 25.00 of the best money spent!!!

Room Tip: you could pay the extra for preferred but honestly not sure if the cost would have to be decided by...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank ribby58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Capitol Heights, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2013

September 12th, 2013, began a vacation unexpected! This was my second visit to Secrets St James and I am so glad I chose to stay here a second time. It really wasn't a hard decision because my 1st stay was Absolutely Wonderful, I found it to be one of the most beautiful well equipped resorts I've stayed; I've been many places and Montego Bay has become one of my favorite places to visit. I was there for 10 wonderful days and I wanted to stay longer, but I had to come home sometime; but I wanted to acknowledge the Most Wonderful, Most Awesome individuals that work on the resort and the extra special Love shown to me during my entire stay from time of arrival, until the very last minute of my departure. First to acknowledge the Bellman, Mr. Hermon Scott was the first to greet me, and with such a smile and attentiveness, he secured my luggage and he personally escorted me inside where I was introduced to the staff on duty, I was asked my drink of preference if any, and given a cool towel to refresh,(one of my favorite parts of check-in, I remembered the Mimosa's) I felt even more special; Ms. Marcia Smith/ Concierge Manager, who greeted me upon arrival and escorted me to my suite, she was apart of the team that made my suite a welcoming oasis for me and I was truly overwhelmed and most grateful. She made sure to tell me that if I needed anything no matter how small to call her, of course there was no need because once again, the attention to detail and the attention given, if It was a need for anything I didn't have a chance to request it because it was already done!!! Absolutely Amazing. Mr. Scott was at my door within minutes after we arrived to my suite with my many pieces of luggage and it was many.

The housekeeping staff was absolutely on point every minute of the day, everything I needed was provided; a special Thanks to the a.m. Supervisor, Ms. Carmena, she continuously checked in on me and an extra special Thanks to Ms. Shernett, the evening supervisor who I found to be very precise and efficient in her way of doing things, she not only checked in on me, but she accompanied her staff to assist in the preparation of my room and they didn't miss a beat, I so appreciated her every effort to ensure I was taken care of every evening and every evening there was a surprise for Me; and there is no way I would forget this young lady Ms. Meleisha Gourzong, this young lady attended to my room everyday, words cannot express how appreciative of her I am, her disposition was amazing, very cheerful, attentive, detailed in her assignments daily, I could have brought her home with me just because of her smile, I adore you sweetie!!! and when she was off I had the pleasure of Ms. Antoinette Bowen, again words can't express, she was awesome as well.

I have to commend all the young ladies that work the front desk, each and everyone of them were amazing, an extra special Thanks to these individuals Ms. Nordia, Ms. Marcia, Ms. Kattyann, Ms. Relaine, and Ms. Tasheika, I talked and laughed with these ladies daily and got to know a little about them and it was certainly my pleasure, they will definitely be some of the reasons I will return!

There were other bellman, waiter and waitresses that were Awesome and I will never forget, the bellman,( Christopher Rose, Owen and Jeffrey, Love these guys) The Bordeaux staff, Wayne (waiter) his presence was known, very attentive and cordial and Ms. Judita (waitress) a smile that lite up a room, they were both so pleasant and efficient, I couldn't have ask for better service.

Ms. Sophia, who is one of the receptionist at the Spa Pevonia, this young lady was a breath of fresh air when we met on my first visit to Secrets St James and she was even more pleasant this time. Michael the masseuse was Awesome, very gentle and respectful, I think he was born to do this.

Lastly, but certainly not least, this young lady, I will never ever forget, she became very special to me before I even met her; my family and friends tell Me often that I'm spoiled and maybe there's some truth to that.... LoL!!! but because I stayed here the last time I visited Montego Bay, celebrating a birthday of course, in which I always celebrate my birthdays like it's my first, but it was my 48th and I decided I really wanted to go the extra, extra mile..... I sent request via email and I am so lucky that Ms. Karla Bowen was the one to respond. I had many request, but none was to big or small for her, she responded to each and every email timely, never kept me waiting for a response and that in itself was a blessing to me, her courtesy and hard work was extended through each email, she fulfilled my request and notified me each time a particular task was done; I expect excellence, which is the reason I returned in the first place and I tend to hold individuals to high standards, well Secret St James met those standards and went in-pressingly above. When I arrived to the resort, It was said to me Ms. Bush, everyone knew you were coming and I knew then that this young lady ensured the red carpet was laid out for me and that put a really big smile on my face! I've worked in customer service for years, so I understand all to well about customer service and what the job entails; but I like to think that I became just as special to Ms. Bowen, she was Most hospitable and More accommodating to me, then she was required, because she went above and beyond her duties to make sure that I would never forget my "48th Birthday"and my stay at Secret St James, I can't say enough about her and I have officially adopted her as my own. A big kudos to her, I Love You Honey!!!!!

Everyone that I came in contact with was Absolutely Wonderful and I will make this my resort of choice each time I visit Montego Bay !!!!!

Love you guys, until next time !!!!!

Peace,
SMBBUSH

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SERITA B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 5 Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2013

And this is from an “old hand” who vacations twice-yearly at all-inclusive resorts down south.

The only downside to my 5-day vacation was my room. When I checked in the front desk clerk cautioned me my room was on the first floor. I had booked an ocean view room in the Secrets St. James (not preferred) section. She said I could upgrade to an upper floor but it would cost more. So I settled for the first floor room. No problem.

My room as next to a path to the pool, and the beach. It’s also a short distance to the main lobby, and the path to the gift shops and the restaurants. That’s the good part.

My room was cold, especially in the evening, no matter how much I fiddled with the temperature gauge. Thank goodness for a thick duvet cover to keep me warm in bed at night. But I wasn’t crazy about the “hotdog” pillows.

And I wasn’t crazy about a sheer curtain separating the bedroom and bathroom, with a Jacuzzi bathtub sitting in the middle of the floor. I showered in a stall during my stay.

What I actually got was a pool view room because the patio was just yards from the pool area. Technically, you could view the ocean, if you can see past the Seaside Grill, one of the seven specialty restaurants in the resorts. (I tried five of them during my stay, and I would go with the Bordeaux as my favourite. It must be the Crème Brûlée.)

Now for the wow part. All the pools have lots of wicker-style lounge chairs with padded cover and large beach umbrellas. Nearby are barrels filled with cold bottled water for guests to grab. There’s always something to do, even making batik shirts or learning how to make jerk chicken. And the wow goes on.

The beach is nice and sandy and the water clean, and filled with all kinds of small fish. However, while snorkelling a hundred yards out, I came across a fair-sized stingray swimming away from me. Stingrays won’t bother you as long as you don’t mess with them.

The resort staff is very friendly, courteous and helpful. I was surprised to find the gift I left for the maid the first morning still sitting on the bed when I returned to my room. Talk about honesty. So next morning I left a note on top of my gift saying it was for her, and she left me a beautiful towel origami. Nice.

Secrets St. James is to me a high-end couples-only resort, specializing in weddings and romance-related event. That’s fine with me because I certainly enjoyed the high-end part of it.

Room Tip: My room was 3115 if that's the sort of thing you go for.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Scarberian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lowell, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed October 17, 2013

My husband and I stayed at this resort for our honeymoon and we were absolutely amazed by the beauty of the resort and the amenities it provided. The resort had plenty of restaurants ranging from Jamaican cuisine all the way to Chinese. Each and every restaurant had outstanding food and drinks. The beach had crystal clear water and the staff is always around to take your drink order. Our vacation was made complete after a romantic candlelight dinner on the beach with our own private waiter. Our waiter's name was Rhoan Graham from the banquet department. Rhoan was an absolute pleasure to have as a waiter. He was very professional and had a wonderful sense of humor. Our dinner was above and beyond our expectations and we owe that to Rhoan. He made our final night in Jamaica one to remember. We highly recommend this resort to any couple, friends, or family that are looking for a relaxing vacation. :)

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tsiklis_s
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 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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Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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