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“5 Great Days”

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

This was our 2nd experience at an all-inclusive and we just loved it. The staff was very attentive and flexible. We parked ourselves on the beach and never had to go to the bar to get something to drink. There was a "vibe" at night with plenty of options for dinner. We just felt comfortable and relaxed the entire trip.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank wubby1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,262 - 3,268 of 6,571 reviews

Reviewed July 3, 2014 via mobile

We arrived on Thursday June 26. Paying for the preferred club in advance through Costco Vacations was the way to go - best $$. Check in was faster and the preferred tower was the quietest. A lot of extra charges possible so prepare and bring $$!

Stayed: June 2014
1  Thank CEO1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2014

We went with two other couples for a 6 day, 5 night trip to Secrets. It was all of our first all inclusive experience.

Pro's:
- Rooms were very nice
- gym: small but well equipped
- Spa: hydrotherapy experience was a fun way to wait for our treatments
- drinks were strong
- Food: while not great, it was heads above cruise ship food
- very little wait for restaurants
- staff was welcoming and friendly
- lots of activities and the entertainment staff did a great job getting people involved
- jerk chicken carts were delicious!!
- 3hr catamaran cruise to margaritaville was a great time!

Cons:
- Check in took 1.5 hours... Even with free drinks that seemed excessive
- difficult to find anyone that would make change for large bills in ATM
- only 1 ATM that worked only about 50% of the time
- Service at bars was slow at times. Most bars shut down at 6pm when restaurants are opening

Overall, we would recommend the resort and our friends said they would gladly go again next year. We will bring more cash with us for tips next time :)

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank kmh0008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2014

My husband and I stayed for 7 nights for our 30th anniversary. We loved the VIP treatment through the MOBAY program. The staff at the lounge made us feel like royalty!!! The Secrets St James hotel was very, very beautiful and the staff was great!!!! The food was wonderful and we especially liked the World Cafe. The buffett was very good with all the different varieties of fruits and veggies. The waiters and waitresses were very professional and helpful all the time!! The restaurants were clean and extremely pretty!! I really liked the decor and theme of each one. Our concierge, Therese Rockhead was very nice and professional. She was very knowledgable and extremely helpful with all our needs!! Rod was very friendly, polite and professional. When we arrived there, he made us feel right at home. The staff was well groomed all the times(loved the uniforms) and very polite!! Last but not least, the nightly entertainment was great!! We are going to book another vacation soon with our daughters and their spouses!!

Room Tip: Top floors have a better view of the ocean
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sandra C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2014

My husband had a week-long business trip to Montego Bay in June. He knew it was going to be a long and tiring week, so he extended his trip for an extra week so we could enjoy a vacation together in MoBay. I joined him for the entire two weeks, so I was on my own for the first week.

This was our first time at an all-inclusive resort and we weren't sure what to expect. The entire experience turned out to be just glorious. The property is gorgeous and extremely well maintained. The lush, tropical landscaping is manicured to a tee and simply sumptuous. The resident peacocks, including a stunning male with the longest tail feathers I've ever seen, seem perfectly content to share "their" home with guests and to pose for pictures. The same goes for parrots Bob and Rita. But what really makes the Secrets St. James Resort in Montego Bay special are the superb staff. Hospitality is a people business, and everyone here was not only very well trained, efficient and laser focused on guest satisfaction, but also genuinely warm, welcoming and personable.

The front desk/concierge staff were lovely and efficient. Special thanks to Patricia for the warm "welcome home" and the very welcome cold drink when we arrived, and to Marsha for her kindness and efficiency when we left our keys locked in the room a couple of times. I wish I remembered the name of the wonderful young woman who tried to help me with my wireless connection and then asked A. Money for his help, who came to my rescue with equal parts tech savvy, charm and good humor.

My husband and I absolutely loved our spacious, bright, elegant room, which was actually more of a suite. The spacious bathroom included a huge marble-tiled shower and a long, deep and luxurious tub with Jacuzzi-style water jets. The sitting area featured a couch, coffee table, and a round glass table with two chairs. The room was spotless and the four-poster bed was made up beautifully. There was the requisite TV and a mini-bar fridge stocked with complimentary beverages, so we always had a cold bottle of water within arm's reach. (Sodas, beer, etc. also were provided for those who want them.) Sliding glass doors opened onto our patio, furnished with a round table and two comfortable chairs made of dark woven wicker. (One day I looked out to find that two pea hens (female peacocks) were on the table and patio floor, respectively, and two very small, very young peacocks were hanging out in the chairs, all presumably looking for a shady spot to cool off in. So glad I snapped a picture before they took off!) Our patio was literally just steps from the St. James swimming pool and a few more steps to the beach. A terrific location! The property is well secured and well but discreetly patrolled, and we never worried about staying on the ground level despite the glass patio doors facing the beach.

The varied selection and high quality of the food made meals a pleasure, and the breakfast buffet was the most elaborate and varied I've ever seen. (Don't miss the Brulee French Toast!) I was able to stick to my usual fairly healthy eating plan and my husband was able to indulge in wonderful gourmet dishes, both local and international. Room service was excellent on the two nights we decided to eat in our rooms.

There are plenty of activities to suit a wide range of tastes, from pool games to hat making, carving, jewelry making and dance lessons to outdoor performances by singers, musicians, acrobats, etc., to an indoor dance exhibition that was astounding, and much more. My favorite activities were the combined Jamaican cooking class/Jamaican patois (patwa) lesson and the Jamaican history talk. Xavian Roach is the talented, engaging, charming, very funny and obviously experienced emcee for the cooking class/patois class. He made sure everyone had a great time, as did his assistant Taneica who taught the patois class. Chef Tayan not only did an awesome job with the food preparation and cooking but also shared his personal secrets for making a truly delicious Jamaican jerk sauce. The first time I took the cooking class I watched as other participants coated and stuffed their fresh, whole fish with the jerk seasoning that a volunteer prepared with the help of Roach and Chef Tayan. I mentioned to Taneica afterward that I was planning to come to the session again the following week and asked whether the class always prepared fish, which I don't eat. I was extremely grateful to Taneica and Tayan for arranging for a special portion of jerk beef for me at the next class! Taneica did an amazing job with the Jamaican patois lesson, keeping us all totally engaged, participating and laughing as we learned some of the most common words and phrases. She's a star! She also seems to be extremely detail oriented and well organized, which not doubt makes her a very valuable member of the excellent Secrets Entertainment team. Taneica wasn't available for the cooking and patois class during our second week, but another team member named (or perhaps nicknamed) Bon Jovi was pulled in as a last-minute replacement and did a fine job under the circumstances.

The wait staff in the restaurants was superb - warm, welcoming, attentive but not intrusive, and focused on making sure we were comfortable and had everything we wanted. Since my husband was away during the day and had to work late and have a couple of business dinners with his team the first week, I was on my own for lunch and several dinners. Since this is an adults-only resort, most of the guests are couples and dining as a woman alone could have been very uncomfortable that week, but all the members of the wait staff assigned to my tables were extra attentive and made time to chat with me if the restaurant wasn't busy. And when my husband was able to join me from the first Friday night through the following Saturday when we left, everyone continued to give us wonderful, courteous, friendly and attentive service, especially Stewart, Sophia, Clive, Stacey Ann, Stephanie, Oshane, Shanell, Troy, Knashville and hostess Nicola. We made reservations for the hibachi grill at the Himitsu restaurant and Chef Lorenzo gave quite an entertaining performance, as did the female chef at the grill next to us who sang beautifully to entertain her diners, and Knashville welcomed us warmly with drinks, appetizers and an invitation to finish up with dessert at the dining tables. At the Barefoot Grill Tayan, O'Shane and their colleagues served up freshly prepared burgers, hot dogs and yummy deep-fried dough balls studded with veggies, always with a smile.

During the second week my husband loved the scuba demo and snorkeling tour. I had trouble getting comfortable with the snorkel and mask and urged my husband to continue with the group while I stayed behind. Stewart, a kind and understanding member of the water sports staff, obviously had seen this sort of thing before. He came over and encouraged me to take advantage of the opportunity to get used to the mask and snorkel while just kneeling in the water and showed me the right way to put my mask on. He was friendly, gentle and encouraging, and within a few minutes I was off snorkeling happily on my own.

Last but definitely not least, we were very lucky to have Tanya Clarke as our wonderful housekeeper. Tanya is a warm and beautiful person both inside and out, and she consistently went out of her way to make our stay extra special, day after day. Usually when she came to make up our room it was around noon and I was on the couch with my Kindle, taking a mid-day break from the sun in the cool air conditioning. Tanya was a bit shy at first, probably reluctant to be too familiar with guests, but I loved chatting with her while she worked. She was efficient and thorough, the conversation never slowing her down. Anything I asked about, from extra hangers to a stuck drawer, she took care of immediately. She highly recommended the Jamaican cooking class and patois class, which was my favorite activity during our stay. When I mentioned as an aside that I was having a bad reaction to the sunscreen I had purchased for the trip, she brought me some of Secrets' private label sunscreen. After she got to know us better she even made some wonderful sculptures of swans, hearts, etc. that she fashioned from bath towels and decorated with flower petals! She made us feel like pampered VIPs every day we were there. Tanya has a heart as big and warm as the ocean, and she totally embodies Secrets' promise of "Unlimited Luxury". She's a huge asset to the resort and we are so grateful to have met her. We hope to be able to return to the Secrets St. James Resort for another stay and will be sure to ask for a room in her assigned area.

There were quite a number of other staff members whose names I either didn't catch or don't recall who also helped to make our stay memorable. My hat is off to the recruitment and training folks at Secrets MoBay.

The Secrets St. James Resort and the Secrets Wild Orchid Resort are separate in name only. The Wild Orchid rooms are closer to the restaurants and nighttime entertainment. The St. James rooms appear to attract a mellower, less party oriented crowd and a few lucky business travelers. The Wild Orchid pool was louder, noisier and more crowded and the guests in and around the pool tended to drink and party more than those of us who chose to frequent the somewhat smaller, slightly quieter St. James Pool. But other than the location of the rooms and separate lobbies, everything else including the restaurants, activities and entertainment appear to be open to both Wild Orchid and St. James guests. (There also is a separate Preferred Club area of the resort with its own upgraded rooms, pool(s?), jacuzzi, bar, etc. Preferred Club membership is available for an additional fee.)

There was at least one and usually more wedding and/or honeymoon couple. We were able to see one of the wedding ceremonies from a distance. The ceremony took place at a special gazebo on the glorious beach. Secrets did a truly beautiful job with the flowers and staging the setting, and everything appears to have gone very smoothly. The bride, groom and their guests all appeared very relaxed and happy, and it's fair to assume that Secrets has a seasoned, professional wedding and event staff to make sure every detail is taken care of.

Whether you prefer to party hearty or mellow out in refined elegance, Secrets Resort provides a perfect slice of paradise. My husband and I just enjoyed the best vacation of our lives there and we can't wait to return.

Room Tip: If you'd prefer a quieter room and don't mind a bit of a walk to get to the restaurants and...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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9  Thank MaggieS-Boston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2014

We had the BEST experience here at your property!! We got upgraded to a Master Suite, which came with Butler service. Travis M. made our honeymoon very special. He went above and beyond many times. We cannot thank him enough! Patrick (butler) was also great, he genuinely made our trip memorable and special. Javan, one of the Butlers from Wild Orchids was fantastic, too. He always cheerfully greeted us upon passing. Christof (the chef) was amazing, as well. My wife has Celiac Disease, and he came out to our table on multiple occasions to explain the menu, and make sure there was something my wife wanted to order. Damar from the Romantic Candlelight Dinner treated us like royalty. He provided amazing service, and went above and beyond to reassure us that my wife could safely eat the meal provided. The food was fantastic, too! Another amazing individual I must give praise to is Errol, one of the landscapers. He made my wife a beautiful bouquet in honor of our honeymoon. This was one of the highlights of our trip! There are so many wonderful staff members that made our honeymoon perfect--we were truly blown away by the genuine service that was provided at Secrets Montego Bay, Jamaica! To name a few more... Troy at Blue Mountain was great, we was so friendly and provided excellent service! Floyd, one of the Lifeguards, made us an authentic reggae mixtape--he was awesome! Dwayne at Bordeaux served us a great dinner, he was fantastic. Darious, in the Preferred Lounge (St. James), always greeted us with a smile! Alright, those are the individuals that stood out to Rachel and I. They deserve so much praise and recognition--they were the highlight of our vacation! Thank you all so much!!

Room Tip: Do a Master Suite, you will not regret it!
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Matthew_Rosenstein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2014

Of all the all-inclusive hotels I have stayed at Secrets was the most amazing property. Te restaurants were amazing, the beach is perfect and the in pool bar... well need I say more. I loved this place. Definitely what you need when you are looking for a relaxing vacation. But I have to say the thing that made Secrets stand out was their service! They have the best team. Take a couple days and visits you won't regret it.

Room Tip: Choose a room on the ground floor so your steps away rom the pool
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank K E
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 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $393 - $1,091 (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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