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“Fun Destination Wedding” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secrets St. James Montego Bay

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #10 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Westford, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fun Destination Wedding”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2014

My husband and I chose Secret's St. James as our destination wedding location after we vacationed here in November 2012. We got married in April 2014 and the day/week could not have been more perfect. The wedding coordinators were AMAZING (Annalisa, Rocio, & Simone)! The entire wedding was planned via email and they made my vision a reality. The service, the food, the staff were all fantastic. We had 50 guests travel with us and everyone had just as great an experience. Carson was a ROCK STAR bartender and DJ Blue helped make our wedding reception one to remember. We cannot wait to go back in 2015!!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,097 reviews from our community

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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
Gainesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2014

My wife and I stayed here for our honeymoon in April. I was overall very impressed with the resort and would definitely recommend it. They definitely take great care of you here and pamper you, excellent service and the staff is so polite. We were well taken care of during our check-in and even set up menus and reservations for the week right off the bat. The room/restaurants/beach/property as a whole is clean and well maintained. I was impressed with the food at the restaurants. Even the buffet was well ran, clean and didn't get sloppy like a buffet has the potential to get. We did the preferred club option. This includes free wifi and the lounge w/ food and drink in the preferred lobby area. The preferred section is quieter and more laid back in regards to the pool area as well. A selling point for me was the soaking tub on the balcony. It's not a hot tub, just a normal tub, and the one time I tried to use it, it didn't get warm. So based on my experience, don't let that be your deciding factor on going w/ preferred or not. We also had a honeymoon package which was awesome! Champagne breakfast in bed, romantic candlelight dinner on the beach, a couple hours at the spa. Great stuff! We also returned to the room one night to find a hot bath drawn with candles and rose petals. Strong work by staff! The only other hiccup for us occurred with the romantic candlelight dinner. Our original time was cancelled due to weather so we rebooked for the next day. The new reservation never made it through so we weren't on their schedule but they worked it out and we were able to continue on an hour to an hour and a half later. The couple negatives I mentioned in this review were not enough to bring it below a 5 out of 5 though so that should tell you how awesome the resort is. Our trip was booked through Apple Vacations and one night they did a chef's table dinner for Apple customers, happens once a week and it's a luxurious 4 or so course meal. Food was great! The water is so nice and clear, walk out on the rocks at the end of the resort and you can see plenty of starfish! The peacocks that roam are cool to see as well. The setting of the place is so beautiful with the water and the mountains off to the left. Jerk chicken cart, fruit stand, coconut drinks, barrels of water on the property, nice beaches and pools.....I'm telling you, you get hooked up here! The nightly entertainment that takes place outside is in a beautiful setting and I highly recommend the Silver Birds Steel Drum Band if you get a chance to see them. They were awesome, my favorite. You get a little newsletter every night which shows what all is going on on the property they next day which was fun to look at. Awesome staff, property, setting, food.......5 outta 5, definitely recommend!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JCva13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leesburg, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2014

I stayed at St. James for my honeymoon and I enjoyed every single minute of my stay. The staff was amazing! Did not have a problem at all. I was greeted when we got to the resort by Roderick, who took our bags to our room. Everytime we saw Roderick he had a smile on his face and always asked how we were doing. Met the general manager Emilio Huhn, a tall lanky fella who a great disposition. He took time out to find out how we were enjoying our stay and if there was anything he could do for us. The resort is beautiful. The food is amazing 24/7. Room service was great. My favorite place " World Cafe" for breakfast and lunch. Please take the time out to sign up for the Mobay Club entering and leaving Jamaica will alot easier and worth the price. My husband and I will be back next year!!!!!!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank FrancescaEmilio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freeport, United States
Level Contributor
109 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2014

We recently returned for another trip to the St. James and it was our best one yet. We took advantage of the MoBay Club where we were greeted as soon as we landed and swept through security and provided a private driver (after 15 trips to Jamaica, we are not fans of a chaotic resort bus routine and highly recommend a driver or taxi instead). This time we stayed in the Premiere Club, which was closer to the restaurants. NEVER had to scramble for a beach chair, the staff knew us by name, and we felt exceptionally pampered. The food was very good, the drinks delightful and the views breathtaking. Our rooms were clean and comfortable and quiet - we have many resorts where the noise level was too much (Sunset Beach in Montego Bay for one), and we appreciated the peace and tranquility. I do not recommend the swim up rooms because you are on the ground floor surrounding the pool - however, the balconies have tubs, although when you are in the balcony tub, you cannot see the ocean view. Our only disappointment was with the convenient private bar in the premiere club that only had (top shelf) booze and no coffee or tea. We really enjoyed the spa experience that is under advertised - missed it our first trip. From the Steam room, to the hot tub, to the cool pool, to the crazy variety of whirlpool, everything was fantastic and reasonably priced. We have recommended it to our friends and family - our son chose it for their honeymoon and loved every minute of it!

Room Tip: Since I am in cancer recovery, our travel agent thought to put us in the building that was closest t...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Timothy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2014

I was really hoping that Secrets would exceed my expectations - but alas - it didn't. Room was nice, pools were nice, the beach was AMAZING - but where the resort could have excelled - it didn't. The restaurant "complex" is on the Wild Orchid side - so plan on walking. It's not too far by any stretch - and the pathway borders the beach - so it's nice. Just know you'll walk.

Got VERY lucky on a Riviera Maya trip last year, and for what was, essentially, the same money as I spent to go to Jamaica - I'd go back to Mexico.

Food was average, service was average to below average - save for some of the waitstaff. The Jamaican people are welcoming - but just a little different… They're glad you're there - but they won't go out of their way for you.

Nice thing about this resort, is that it's almost difficult to tip. Unlike other All-Inclusives, where people's hands are out automatically - that's not the case here. We still tipped - and tipped well for the people who deserved it.

Definitely not a 5-star property - more like 3.75 - 4.

Oh yeah - the beds are FANTASTIC! :)

Room Tip: Get a 3rd floor or higher room.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jay M
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, May 21, 2014
Dear Valued Guest:
Thank you for taking the time to post your review to Trip Advisor. Guest feedback is extremely important to us as it provides us with an opportunity to review our current practices with a view to implementing the changes deemed necessary.

We are very happy to note that you were pleased with some aspects of our services delivery and we have noted the areas of concern you have expressed. As we always strive to meet and exceed guest expectations, please be assured that your review has been shared with our management team for their attention and review.

We sincerely hope that as we enhance and improve moving forwards, that you will be encouraged to visit with us once again.

Regards,

Caulette Mornan
Social Networking/eConcierge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centerville, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2014

My wife and I spent a week at Secrets St James. What a wonderful and amazing vacation. The service was great and the resort is very nicely done. The bed is excellent and we enjoyed the morning sun on the balcony. The food was great with a nice variety to choose from. Our favorite restaurant was the Blue Mountain. The food and service was excellent. When you go there make sure you talk with the Jamaican manager who spent time in Nelsonville OH at Hocking Technical College and then Ohio State. He was very personable and just a delight to talk with. For transportation needs from/to the airport and tours, contact Island Transfer. Ask them to send Byron. He is a wonderful person and great tour guide, You can't go wrong with Byron. We usually don't go back to places, but we are already talking about going back to Secrets St James and touring with Byron.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JCS4263
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, May 21, 2014
Dear Valued Guest:

Thank you for making your Secrets St. James your Resort of choice for your vacation. We so appreciate that we were afforded the opportunity to be of service to you and that you were pleased with our overall service delivery.

Your feedback is extremely important to us and we are happy you to the time to share your experience with us.

We are very happy that we will have the opportunity to be of service to you on your next planned vacation.

Regards,

Caulette Mornan
Social Networking/eConcierge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2014

My husband and I visited Montego Bay Jamaica from 5/3/14 to 5/10/14. We were very excited to visit since it was one place neither of us had been before. Last year, we visited Secrets The Vine in Cancun and LOVED it. So this time we chose Secret St. James over Iberostar Grand Rose Hall. I hate to say it, but I was slightly disappointed. Let's start with the good. The hotel and grounds are very clean and manicured. There are several restaurant options and lots of pool and beach space to sit and enjoy the beautiful environment. (If you're not doing the preferred option you do have to get out early to reserve a spot at the pool, but if you're on either of the preferred sides there is plenty of room to come down at your leisure.) The daytime entertainment is fun including poolside games, bracelet making, volleyball, etc. We went kayaking and had lots of fun. The ocean water is clear and warm in May. The evening entertainment was entertaining and being outside provided a view of the island all lit up in the background. The rooms were nice and well described in other posts so I won't go in to detail. If you are looking for a preferred room, it's good to know that the St. James rooms mostly have views of the pools and are farthest away from the restaurants and shops. The Wild Orchid preferred rooms, in my opinion, have better views of the ocean and are more "away" from the majority of people from your balcony. They are however closer to the restaurants and shops which might be louder in the evening. If I had to pick again, I would pick the Wild Orchid side for my tastes.

Unfortunately, there were areas this hotel could improve on for those who are used to the Secrets chain "standard of service". The biggest issue for me was the customer service of most of the staff. Throughout the week, I felt like I was either a nuisance or completely ignored by staff, especially at the bars during the day and the housekeeping and minibar services. While we always had full bottles of gin and rum in our room (which we never touched), we had constant trouble getting water, soda, beer, and snacks restocked in our room daily. I even had to call room service just to bring us water or walk down to the pool to get some from the bin. There were multiple times I went to the St. James preferred pool bar and there would be 3-4 workers that wouldn't even acknowledge I was standing there for 3-4 minutes, even when there were no other customers. It went along with the standard I saw from the minute I arrived in Jamaica in general of no one is going out of their way without a tip FIRST. We also came back to the room one day to find our door open with a maid cart and no maid. She had left it open and walked away, and when she showed back up she tried to blame it being left open on us. Another thing that disappointed me was that there is no separation of smoking and non-smoking rooms, so we could barely sit on our balcony (which was one of my favorite things) because the people next to us constantly sat on their balcony and smoked. Same thing at the restaurants, at least the outside seating. I thought the food was average compared to other all-inclusive resorts in the Caribean and Mexico. The best food in my opinion was Portofino, Blue Mountain, and the fresh fruit and jerk chicken carts.

With all of that, there were definitely some stand outs at the resort. Steven at Portofino and Deron at the Blue Mountain restaurant had a great attitude and really showed perfect customer service. Tadgmi a at the hibachi restaurant made us a great dinner and all the staff provided lots of fun. The best pool bar service by far was Alvin and Dwayne at the Wild Orchid side main pool. They were always attentive, polite, creative with their drinks, and fun, fun, fun! If you want to leave the resort to explore Montego Bay or Negril you MUST use the best driver in Jamaica…Norman! He works directly with the Secrets resorts. He drove us to Negril and was absolutely wonderful. He was born and raised in Jamaica and knows all the fun facts and info he can use to make the drive interesting. He was very easy to communicate with, made me feel safe outside the resort, and was a pleasure to be around. If you need a driver you can request Norman by contacting him directly by phone (1-876-282-4508) or by email (NORVILL16@hotmail.com) for reservations. I highly recommend it. To those of you I mentioned, I truly thank you for your service and for making my hard earned vacation a fun time.

Overall, I feel the resort has great potential, but is still failing in many areas of customer service. In Jamaica, it is probably one of the better resorts to choose from as far as facilities and amenities offered. That's why despite it's needed areas of improvement, I have it a "very good" rating. Personally, I'll try a different island next time.

Room Tip: Wild Orchid rooms are closer to the restaurants and shops and the preferred rooms have more of an oc...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gizmo1980
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
#8 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 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
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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