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“The place to stay in Jamaica”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed June 3, 2014

The Secrets St. James is the perfect place to stay. The beach is so nice. No rocks, stones, the water is clear to see all the way to the bottom. The activities on the beach are great. Roach (entertainment person) did an interactive cooking class on the beach on two different days that was awesome. Great to taste the local fare. The service, the people, everyone is so extremely friendly. Although I didn't get all the names of the servers, they are all so wonderful and kind and welcoming. ESPECIALLY the breakfast servers. All were so sweet and so attentive to every little detail. I was there from May 18-24. If going to Jamaica I would recommend not going in May or June because it is their rainy season. Kind of puts a damper on things.

The shows at night are great and they also have a movie every night. The food at Secrets is fabulous! The Asian and the French places were so good. Breakfast and lunch buffets were really good and had a really huge variety. All good stuff. They even served gluten free bread! The drinks are super especially good at the swim up bar. Those were the best bartenders. Not like a lot of resorts --the alcohol was all good quality and you could taste it in the drinks!

All in all, a great place to stay. Worth it all. Theresa was especially helpful with the check out process and Apple Travel did a great job of a tour to a coffee/pineapple plantation we took. Theresa and Blue also were great company at the Chefs Table dinner. They offer yoga classes every morning on the beach.

I tasted jerk chicken at several different places and what they served on the traveling cart at Secrets was by FAR the best! They have bottled water readily available along the beach in iced barrels, fresh fruit stands, snack bars --all along the beach. Can't beat it.

All in all, I definitely recommend the Secrets St. James for your stay in Jamaica.

Room Tip: Have to upgrade to an ocean view. It is so great to have the water view off the balcony. Definitely...
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MNardozzi2014
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 reviewResponded June 13, 2014

Dear Valued Guest:

It gives us a most fulfilling feeling to read your review. Your recommendation of us as the ideal destination to visit in Jamaica is definitely invaluable as what we do thrives on the feedback received from our guests. Coupled with the beautiful features of our property, our team does make an extra effort to ensure that all guests receive the best service, enjoy the food, and the activities and amenities that are offered. I am very happy to read that you were able to enjoy so much, including the cooking class and jerk chicken which is popular among others guests as well.

Thanks also for making mention of our gluten-free products available; just another way that we try to accommodate the needs of a wider variety of guests.

It certainly was a pleasure to have been your hosts and we look forward to the opportunity to do so again in future.

Best Regards,
Christina Smith
eConcierge Assistant

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,191 - 3,197 of 6,436 reviews

Reviewed June 3, 2014

Came here to celebrate a friends 50th birthday with a group of other lesbian women. So I played with the fact of coming to Jamaica because of their same sex discrimination, but to my surprise no issues what so ever. I enjoyed my time at this resort because the food (mainly jerk man on the beach) was amazing. Words could not express how I looked for this jerk cart every day and was not disappointed. This was the highlight of my trip; the rooms were very nice and the adult atmosphere was a plus.

Room Tip: The rooms that are higher and directly across from the water is simply amazing waking up to.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Kiya T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2014

Just returned from an amazing trip to Secrets St. James. I can honestly say I've never traveled to a resort where the staff was so concerned with making our stay a great one. When I called for room service, the lady on the other end of the line acted like it made her day that I called. While walking on the footpaths, the groundskeepers would stop to ask how my day was going.
I've included pictures of the rooms and of the resort (and of the crazy yummy food). If you're trying to figure out how to choose your room, here's the scoop:
Secrets Wild Orchid - very vibrant, hip and happening. Can be very loud at times. Good spot for people who like to be in the mix of things and party. Same goes for the Preferred section.
Secrets St. James - lots of fun and activities, but not quite as loud as the SWO side.
Secrets St. James Preferred Club - the most relaxing section of the resort. Quieter pool here.
The resort is four-stories tall and doesn't have a huge footprint. It's very easy to walk from one side to the other. However, if you're looking to minimize your footsteps, you'd want to be on the SWO side. That's where most of the restaurants and shops are.
Our favorite restaurants were Blue Mountain (Caribbean fare) and Portofino (Italian fare), but all of the restaurants have high quality food.
The resort was wonderful, but it was the people who really made it. Special shout outs to Fitzroy at Portofino who hustled all over the restaurant anticipating his guests' needs, Carlene at El Patio who not only gave us wonderful service, but made us feel like family, and McNeal at World Cafe who made me this crazy wonderful coffee concoction at breakfast. Great resort - I'll definitely return!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank kmbaker622
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2014

Just returned from secrets st james

Fantastic holiday staff were great food was fantastic many different restaurants to chose from food was excellent in all of them

Jerk chicken supplied along the beech along with fresh fruit and coconut drinks 3 great swimming poos all with swim up bars , fantastic bars any drinks you want are supplied all the best brands
Staff are very friendly and help full service around the pool area was great

Would return for another holiday

Only downside is hassle from street gift shops if you go off site but organised trips are ok

Great holiday

Just a little bit of rain in May late in the afternoon

Room Tip: We had a junior suite with sea view which was great
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wombles52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2014

Fodd excellent slow service but excellent, if you are a diver like Us they have nice facilities snorkeling from the beach lots a conch you can bring back and eat ..Beach Stafff wonderfull
If you are not a diver ask for Sean (rooster) he will guide you for a nice snorkeling, Rooms exclent the secret door wondrfull for privacy in room. they need to have a bus to get you and drive you from airport and downtown.....If you want a relaxing time this is the place. Been there 5 times in 3 years

Room Tip: Most rooms has ocean view ask for at least third floor ocean view
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Wayne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2014

I have visited several of the secrets properties and have enjoyed each of them. The resort in Montego Bay is very nice, but we were surprised with some of the service. Many of the servers were average to poor, with the minority of them being above average. We went with a group of several other couples, and we all had the same experience. Overall we had a good time but the experience was less than expected. This is our 5th all inclusive resort to visit, and by far the worst service. The food was mediocre overall, and at the conclusion of the trip 5 of the 8 of us had travelers diarrhea. I can say I would not recommend this property with so many other great places to visit. Oh, if you are not comfortable using number 2 in the company of your companion you better think twice. The bathroom is see through and open at the top so every sound is enhanced by the tile floors. If you are planning on going, take plenty of tip money so your bar tenders and staff will notice you :)

Room Tip: Dont was money on the pricier rooms, our room was almost identical to couples who spent much more.
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Carribexplor34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2014

Day One - arrived on time on Delta out of Atlanta from Pittsburgh.
I upgraded to an executive private transfer with AmStar Travel whom was recommended by the resort. They didn't suggest as high of a level as I purchased but being it was our first trip there I didn't want to leave anything an the table as "we should have done that." They provided a nice luxury car and the driver (Bert) was nice and professional. Looking back on it I would not spend the extra money on this level of service but would still go for the private transfer. Check in was very nice and quick. We were introduced to Patrick and Micheal which would be our butlers for the next four nights and 5 days. After a quick check in we were out on the beach within 30 minutes. We opted for Blue Mountain at dinner that night requesting something a little more authentic Jamaican. Dinner was nice, service was great. After dinner we went to the piano bar and listened to a drummer play on the steel bottom drums and then to the theater to watch "Secrets Got Talent"

Day Two: Breakfast on the patio of our room. Room Service will take around thirty minutes so you should plan on that. The food quality is on par and eating in the room was nice. In the suite we had the option of a nice dinner room table but always opted to outside looking at the ocean. We then went straight to the beach, Patrick had is a two person bed and two individual chairs already set up for us. The beach was wonderful and the drink service was fast. After the first day I started bringing a water bottle filled with Rum from our in room bar to boost up the drinks, the drinks flavors were always great but a little on the weak side in my opinion. You can always add booze. After a full day at the beach we had a massage scheduled. We were running a little behind so we didn't get the opportunity to go through the spa's "water park". The Spa facilities are nice and above average when comparing to other Caribbean Resort spas. I received a deep tissue and my wife a Swedish. Very relaxing and what I expected. Dinner was at Bordeaux, our server was Manley. Wonderful dinner, I had the lamb and my wife the steak/lobster. This restaurant can get busy so if you are able to eat here on a night that isn't Friday or Saturday it would be best. After dinner drinks at the Piano Bar.

Day Three: We tried World Cafe (buffet). Very nice selection and you should try it while you are there. Beach followed breakfast with the Jerked Chicken cart for lunch. I grabbed us a couple of plates and about the time I finished up Micheal shows up with us some more. We had another 3pm massage but we got Mavalyn and Nadine for our treatments that day. We both commented on how good of a job they did and asked to get them the next day. After our massages I went through the water park.... it isn't for everyone but I can see the benefits. I enjoyed the "fire hose" spray that shoots the water out at great force, enough to move the muscles in my back around and massage them. The cold to hot to cold water plunge is also a must, just do it and don't be a sissy! Dinner was at the Sea Side restaurant which is located at the St. James main pool. Very nice cold bar / salad bar selection with seafood etc... the dinners were excellent. Piano Bar for after dinner drinks.

Day 4: Room service on patio for breakfast - beach all day - lunch at Oceana which is at the Wild Orchid pool area. I highly recommend this place for lunch, the wraps were great and they provided the only Jerked Pork I remember seeing, it was great. Spa at 3pm again. Dinner was Portofino and was another great meal. Micheal got us a table with a view of the Piano Bar stage so we could listen to the concert at the same time. After dinner we just moved closer to the stage and enjoyed the music. Being our last night we took the longer beach walk back to the room after everything was done, very nice walk and we should have done it every evening.

Day 5 (SUNDAY): woke up super early and ordered breakfast in. Hit the beach for a couple hours of sun and then jumped in the pool once just so I could say I used the pools. We got cleaned up and packed. Patrick came and got the bags and got us checked out. Unfortunately we got put in the wrong car so I didn't get the "luxury level" car I was promised but the driver was very nice and got us to the airport without trouble. We got to the airport around 11 am for a 12:40pm flight. There was a line but it didn't look awful. We used the Delta Sky Priority lane so I got through within 5 minutes of arrival, very useful when traveling international. Security checked our passports several times and were a bit grumpy but they all are anymore. Checkpoint went well and took minimal time.

General Comments and Thoughts:
Amstar - get a private transfer but spend the minimum possible

Secrets - Presidential Suite is very nice but you will get almost the same quality of living out of the Preferred Master Suite as the Presidential. The Presidential will add a larger eating area, a small kitchen area, and bar area along with an extended deck (the extra length of the dinning room).
Butlers - use them, they increase the quality of your stay. I don't know how the quality of their service is affected by not being in a Presidential Suite but they are an asset regardless and you should always ask them first and see what they can do.

Drinks - don't expect strong drinks at the beach so carry a little extra rum with you. The drinks were perfect for my wife but I like them with a slight stronger bite than her.

Dinners - We didn't get to eat at the Hibachi type restaurant. All others provided good food and great service. In the end Bordeaux or Portofino were our favorites at dinner

Spa - We bought a package of 6 massages and the price ended up being something like $110.00 ea. USD. That is a very fair price for a 50 minute rub and the spa facilities are nice. You will also get some coupons to use if you pay full price for a service, just don't forget them.

Coupons - We didn't use a single coupon or resort credit while there. The Spa package we purchased was already at a discounted price so we couldn't use there. We also found that the Chardonnay and Cabernet were to our liking. Don't mistake me here as saying these wines are 95+ pointers but we liked them well enough to say "why spend money on bottles". So we didn't use any of the wine coupons. I think a nice thing for people like me would have been to give coupon tips instead of the standard ones. Then I could have given a little added bonus to an especially good server and the hotel could track who is providing the best services etc..

Tips - I wish I would have tipped more as this resort allows it. Some of the other places we have been frown on it and I missed it totally the first full day. I think leaving a couple bucks for each meal would have been appreciated for their hard work. If I get the opportunity to go back I will have a role of 5's with me. I did tip my Butlers although I don't know if it was enough or too much because I had never been part of a shared, paired up system like this. I had two butlers that had days off in the middle of my stay whom also had to cover other rooms.

Wifi - before you go download the Secrets Hotel App. You can use it to call international for free although the call will be of poor quality. You may need to de-activate and then restart the app before trying to make a call as I did. I had to click on "My Stay" and save my information each day before it would work. The Wifi in general is just good enough to download emails and surf a little. My connection strength kept coming and going and it would keep jumping from connection to connection. I would also recommend that you only click on the Secrets Free Wifi and do not try any other available networks as they end up interfering with your signal after a while.

Room Tip: St. James will be quieter than Wild Orchid in general. Wild Orchid is closer to restaurants and oth...
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank BooneOfKY
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

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 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: $397 - $799 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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