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“Secrets about Secrets Jamaica”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
105 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Secrets about Secrets Jamaica”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2014

I stayed on the St. James side Jan. 25th to Feb. 1st - (regular) not Preferred. I traveled with a girlfriend & guy friend - so I roomed with my gal pal and our male counter-part was in his own room. I only mention this because for the first time ever I noticed a difference of service. I normally travel with my husband, or all girlfriends, read on for details. Overall I liked Secrets St. James/Wild Orchid very much (we had some pretty fabulous weather), and it is a beautiful location. Here's some tips and observations. Tipping is openly acceptable and appreciated (I know it's All Inclusive) but I just believe in tipping. One of our gang said tipping was not allowed or frowned on at Sandals Jamaica and that they could lose their job for accepting tips. That is not the case here, in fact it's customary and I believe the workers look for the tips. Not a problem for me, but some people don't like that. The food: I thought the food was pretty good for A/I although we did experience 1 poor meal at El Patio (the beef fajitas), but the salad and soup was great. So, I have to say, it's not the best I've had, but pretty darn good. The Room Numbers: We stayed in Room 3324, this is confusing at 1st but really easy: It's the third building, the third floor & Room 24. So the first number is the building, then the floor, then the room. We had a fabulous view. I prefer going up as opposed to ground level, so if you like a view, go for the 3rd or 4th floor. I walked over to the Preferred side and I have to say, they had these really cool pool sun shade things you could lay out in and their pool looked very nice, and it was very quiet over there, you also get a tub on your patio and a place where they serve snacks (not sure at what time of day), so if you can afford it, you may want to upgrade. For me I was perfectly fine with the regular side. The Piano Bar: All the fun stuff happens on the Wild Orchid side, the restaurants and the piano bar and entertainment. The Piano Bar was a blast and when we weren't singing around the piano, they had live small music acts outside on a small stage area. They also have a disco type bar and had karaoke 2 nights we were there - it was fun. Kayaks & Sailing: You just have to go to the water sport office, sign a release, they give you a ticket & you go down by the guys by the boats/kayaks. There are shoals or rock, so just use caution, it's not that deep until you get out a ways. That was fun & good exercise (kayaks). My 2 favorite staff members were Richard at the swim-up bar and Erica (pool waitress), they were fun, friendly and did a great job. What didn't I like: No WIFI without a fee, the maid service was not very good, but we did have 3 days that it was great once a younger gal got on our floor, prior to that, it was poor and we tipped. But our mini-bar person was fantastic, we had tons of bottled water, which is good after being in the sun all day. We just left a note as to what we wanted and tipped and there it was. We didn't get turn down service until our 3rd night after I complained. Frankly I don't care about someone turning down my bed, I just like fresh towels and they only gave us enough for 1 shower each a day & then we were out of towels. Our friend who stayed on the 4th floor had turn down service every night, towel art, fresh towels a bottle of wine with cheese his first night (we got fruit), so I guess I got my nose out of joint because he got much better service. But heck, we came to Jamaica to enjoy the outside and that we certainly did. One other peeve, the alcohol did not seem very strong. Did you know Red Stripe Light is only 3.6%, so if you want a little buzz go for the regular Red Stripe. I understand they don't want a bunch of drunks drowning in the pool or acting like imbeciles so the booze is not the strongest. You can ask for call brands by the piano bar or lobby bars. We still had some great drinks and met great people and just hung out and relaxed and read books. The grounds are clean and beautiful, it's a nice place. Would I return? Maybe - there's so many other places I'd like to experience. One thing I noticed that stood out (not with Richard or Erica) but with some of the lobby staff and a few of the wait staff, they seem to defer to men more and ignore women. I hate to say this but it was the women employees I noticed this with (not the men - they were more outgoing and friendly). I've never experienced this before, perhaps its a cultural thing, and it wasn't horrible, just odd. Overall, we had a very good time with some minor glitches.

Room Tip: At St. James all rooms face West (towards the ocean). Views start on the 3rd floor.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
9 Thank bjtours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2014

Went to Jamaica on 26th Dec 2013 for 2 weeks. Originally booked Royalton White Sands which was useless and moved to Secrets St James. Loved everything about it. We upgraded our room and it was great. Restaurants were very good, lots of choice, good food, good service and no waiting more than a couple of mins for a table. The beach was amazing, no shortage of sunbeds either on the beach or by the pool. Drinks served all day. FAB. The staff were all very friendly, Jamaican's have a great sense of humour, lovely people. Have been to Antigua and Barbados but this was better! Have booked to return this New Year but at Secrets Wild Orchid as booked with Virgin and they don't sell Secrets St James. Its just one resort using same restaurants etc, if this NY is a good as last it will be amazing!!!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pam200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2014

For anyone that is trying to decide where to go on their honeymoon, I highly recommend here. They treat you like absolute gold. You get R&R and fun all in one. Food, service, just everything is excellent! The property is absolutely beautiful and very, very well taken care of. The spa is absolutely amazing, highly recommend taking advantage of that. If you can spring the extra few bucks, I would say get a room in the Preferred Club. The amenities that come with it are absolutely worth it. If you can get a Master Suite, you will enjoy the professionalism of some amazing butlers. Dalton and Patrick of St. James are great and tend to everyone of your needs. When everyone says they tend to your needs, they are not kidding. THEY REALLY DO!

The restaurants were absolutely fantastic. The food is great with a wide variety of cuisines to choose from; French, Italian, Japanese/Hibachi, Mexican. You name it they have it.

Overall, this is the best value for anyone willing to spend just a little more. I would definitely recommend booking roundtrip transportation to and from the airport.

In any case, if you decide to go you will not regret it -- prepare to feel at home and like gold!

Room Tip: GO PREFERRED, If you have spring for a master suite, or even the Presidential Suite, DO IT!! you wil...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ilan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2014

This is a very special place in an amazing location run by a fantastic team of people. We celebrated our anniversary on 1 Feb and we were made to feel very special. The restaurants and and standard of food is exceptional. And it's so nice to be able to choose branded alcoholic drinks.Inclusive wine choices are limited but are quite nice.
Some of the extras are expensive particularly wifi and the spa.
I had expected a more relaxed atmosphere at St James. I understood the party part of the hotel was at Wild Orchid but it crosses both hotels so there's no calming pool, experiences unless you choose to stay in the Preferred part of the building.
My only real criticism is that the beach could be kept cleaner - there's always quite a lot of cigarette butts and the beds are a bit sticky with suntan lotion.

Room Tip: If you want a peaceful place to stay at Secrets stay at the Preferred Club part - it's the only...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 52Patsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2014

My husband and I came to Secrets St. James for our honeymoon Jan 5-11 and it was absolutely incredible! The staff went above and beyond to make our week the vacation/honeymoon that it was and we will speak about this trip for many many years to come with every intention on coming home as soon as possible!
The room was gorgeous and all of the special touches that were added for the honeymoon were very much appreciated.
The resort itself was beautiful! We loved all of the dining and entertaining each day And night!
The food was delicious with an assortment of restaurants to choose from! One of our favorites being Blue mountain for a taste of the Jamaican culture!! Along with the jerk chicken truck that comes through during the day!
The excursions were awesome and we did the off shore snorkeling which was beautiful to see what was beneath the clear blue waters. We also took a catamaran trip over to Margharitaville which was great!!
Everything was amazing from start to finish. From baggage check in to the waiters and waitresses to the dining and entertainment to the staff in the shops and to especially the bar staff! The atmosphere everyone provides for you to enjoy is just so laid back, carefree, and fun!!
I can not put into words how much this island, this staff, and this resort has stolen our hearts!! We will be returning hopefully very soon!!
One Love,
The Dawson's

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Megd813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
56 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2014

The resort is clean, the rooms are lovely and the location is fantastic. The staff are, for the most part, attentive and helpful. We did not have a "preferred room", but our 5th floor room was central and had a great view of the ocean and pool.

As a world traveler, I found the food average, the complimentary drink selection (especially the wine) poor and the mini bar useless. It was stocked with soft drinks, water and Miller Lite, and nothing we said could get us any other choices.

Many restaurants and cafe's - so the food is plentiful - but the quality needs some work. Our best meals were buffet food on the beach and at the lunch restaurants. The entree's at the restaurants were very average, including our Fillet Mignon and Lobster at Bordeaux. The fillet was chewy and the lobster flavorless. Our best meal was at Portofino (the Italian Restaurant.)

The front desk was sometimes helpful, and sometimes not, depending on who happened to be there. The spa was wonderful, and we had a couples massage which was luxurious. The hydro therapy room was great, I recommend it. We enjoyed complimentary Hobie Cat sailing, and the beach and pool activities are plentiful.

This is a great "party hotel" with lots of daily group activities and night life. As a quieter more mature guest, my focus would be on more consistent service, upgraded dining and wine selections (included in the cost) and free WiFi.

We had a good time, but we will not return to this particular hotel.

Room Tip: Rooms on the main pool can be noisy during the day, but quiet down at night. Preferred Rooms apparen...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sandy I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jamestown, North Dakota
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2014

St James is a beautiful facility. Wonderful rooms, great food, helpful staff. It is very secluded, if that's what you like, this is the place for you. If you prefer a less private beach with easy access to bars and resturants, you might want to try another resort. We were on Seven Mile Beach for the first part of our trip so the beach at St James seemed claustraphobic in comparison. We've stayed at this Secrets 3 times and I really don't have anything negative to comment.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jane T
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 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Romantic 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
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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