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Reviewed October 13, 2017

The Pro's:

-Beautiful landscaping
-Private lounge (Preferred Club)
-Feeling of seclusion
-Free Wifi is fantastic
-Daily entertainment is like a cruise ship. There is always something to do with energetic hosts.
-Room service menu, timeliness and quality was very good.
-Food choices, there are plenty. Only one place to get snacks really, the Barefoot Grill.
-Bed was comfortable.
-Aside from slamming doors in the morning we could not hear our neighbors.
-No locals on the beach. No harassment!
-Wife loved the quality of the soft serve ice cream. I liked making boozy floats.
-Water sports were easy to book and use.

The Con's:

-Had to wait until 4:35 to get into room. Check in time is 3:00.
-Check in process was FAR too long
-Despite setting up in advance, "front desk" kind of gave away surprise of romantic dinner.
-Not all amenities are in your room. We wanted to watch our wedding video on the DVD in our room. There wasn't one and it took 19 hours and three trips to the "front desk" to get one.
-Only one pair of slippers.
-Battery dead in scale.
-Virtually no privacy when using bathroom facilities.
-Drapes had holes in them and didn't close completely so was bright early in the morning.
-The view. Pool view and partial ocean was okay. Beach isn't pretty by any means compared to other islands in the Caribbean.
-Shower leaked
-Very few power outlets in bathroom (I think only 1 actually)
-Sinks drained slowly
-Staff was unimpressive. Few smiled and even less were friendly. We looked forward to the happiness of Jamaican's. Well, it's not there. They're hustlers and know when to turn it on but from our experience, rarely do. Servers seemed bothered and were mostly unfriendly.
-Craft vendors didn't come two days in a row even though the second day it wasn't raining.

Room tip: Anything above 1st floor. Reports of bugs from people staying on the first floor.
Date of stay: October 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank Craig P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2017

We stayed here on our honeymoon for 5 nights in the beginning of October. Check in was fast and provided beverages as soon as we sat down. When we got to our room we thought there must have been a mistake. It looked like housekeeping had just given a quick wipe down and everything looked and felt dirty. My wife was very upset and did not want to stay in the room or even sit down anywhere. I called the front desk and they sent housekeeping up to re clean. We took a walk and when we came back a honeymoon banner was hung up, rose pedals on the bed, and a bubble bath ready. Obviously they had forgotten to follow through with the honeymoon package with check in.

The pools and beaches were very good but when it came to food and service it was a disappointment waiting around every corner.

The first night we went to the French restaurant for dinner. We were sat at a table hugged up against the wall even though the rest of the dinning room was empty. We asked our server to change tables and he took care of it right away. First we were served bread, it was so hard we are lucky we didn't break a tooth. First course came out almost instantly after ordering. My wife got the nicoise salad and I had a crab dish. The tuna was covered in honey mustard sauce and garnished with what looked like lettuce and onion from a burger set. My crab dish tasted awful and I could not eat it. The server came around a few minutes after we were served and asked how everything was. I started to tell him that we did not enjoy our food but he just said "excellent" and walked away before I could say more than 2 words. Our uneaten appetizers were later cleared and entree served. She had a filet and I had the bouillabaisse. The filet plate was not very good but not bad enough to complain about. The bouillabaisse was inedible. A very generous amount of seafood with half lobster tail sitting in a liquid that tasted like dirty dish water. I took a bite of the lobster and it tasted rotten with the texture of a rubber band. I could not chew or swallow so spit it into my napkin. We waited for about 10 minutes and our server never returned to check on us so we got up and left.

The third night we went to dinner at the Italian restaurant. We asked for red wine they served it to us ice cold. Very hard to drink. The food arrived instantly making me believe they have entrees ready to go and just grab them out of the hot window like a cafeteria. The lasagna and ravioli were not very good but we were able to eat half of it because we were so hungry.

On the last night we made reservations for the habachi grill. We sat down and the chef came out to start cooking. Normally at this type of restaurant the chef puts on a bit of a show (not the case here). He asked everyone what we thought he would cook first. He went around the table for an answer from each person the he said chicken. This was the last thing he said throughout the dinner. I had to flag down a server and ask for a beer. My drink finally came around the end of the meal. No one else at the table were offered a drink at anytime during the dinner.

We ate lunch at one of the outdoor spots, they served ballpark type items. The burgers were strange tasting but edible. By far the best food in the resort is the jerk chicken carts available during lunch time on the boardwalk along the beach. We ate this everyday for lunch.

We ordered room service several times. The only thing that was somewhat okay was the fried provolone. The best part of room service is you are able to order bottles of sparkling wine which get delivered on ice with champagne flutes.

Overall the staff seems sad and do not seem to want to be there. Unless you tip them $1 they do not pay much attention to you. We had the preferred club which comes with a bar in the lobby with a butler. This also had a small offering of food. Small plates of things that sit out all day. Most times when I came to the lobby the butler was playing on her cellphone and did not even look up to acknowledge me. Several times I made my own cocktails with her standing next to me on her phone.

We both had massages in the spa. Checking into the appointment was a strange experience. The front desk just said you go that way and you go that way. I started opening doors to find out where I was supposed to go then she shouted across the lobby from the front desk that it was the door on my left. After I changed into the provided robe I was taken to the relaxation room. This room was extremely hot and I was sweating heavily. One of the employees came over and place a hot neck wrap on me. I really wish she had just given me a glass of water. The massage itself was very good. Afterwords I was changing in the locker room and another guest was trying to get ready for his appointment. No one was there to help him and he asked where I had gotten the robe and slippers and how to work the locker. Luckily I had seen where the locker room employee had gotten the slippers from and was able to help him. Not sure if he was ever able to get a robe.

The overall condition of the resort is very good. Everything is in place to potentially be a fantastic resort. I'ts a shame the food and service takes away from the experience. I strongly advise the management to get more involved with their employees to train them to at least look to be happy to do their jobs. And maybe hire a new chef!

Room tip: preferred club is worth the extra money
Date of stay: October 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
10  Thank Matt Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2017

We had a very nice 5 days at Secrets. I think our experience would lead some people to give the resort a bad review and others to give it a good review. So, first the good: The resort is as beautiful as it looks on the internet. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Our room was quite nice and well appointed. Although we were told that the hotel was fully booked it did not feel crowded. I like to get in a workout so I used the fitness center every day. I would rate it as average. We used the spa one day. The treatments are a bit overpriced, although we had some coupons that gave us a discount. The spa facilities are first rate. You can purchase a day pass for $35.00 which I highly recommend. For some reason we were the only people using the spa.
Like any resort the beach and pool chairs filled up early but with a little effort we were able to find a shaded spot each day. We attended the Resort sales presentation which scored us a free romantic dinner for two. The dinner was fabulous and Davio treated us very well. We may have lucked out as we were seated in the little pavilion (the one in the photo on the internet) while other people were seated in the open on the beach. (Thank you Andrew) At $260.00 we would not have done it, if we had to pay for it. Overall the food was in the restaurants was quite good

The not so good: Long lines for the breakfast buffet. Not much to do at night other than listen to some very average music and drink. This is a very large property and the little maps scattered around the property are confusing.

The bad: We booked an ocean view room and they put us in a garden view room. We immediately went back to the front desk and they moved us to an ocean view room with two queen beds instead of the king bed we booked. Apparently, it was all they had. The clock in our room didn't work. We notified the staff twice and it was never fixed. The third night it rained. That was when we learned that there was supposed to be an umbrella in our room. There wasn't. The light on the balcony was on a timer so when I woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to sit on the balcony and read, I couldn't because the light was off and there was no way to turn it on. The fridge kept things cool but not cold. Our last night we were woken twice in the middle of the night when our hotel phone rang, just once each time but quite loud. We had to ask twice to get our towels replaced.

Overall, despite the little annoyances we had a very nice time. Our goal had been to have a relaxing vacation, which is exactly what we had.

Date of stay: October 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Larry R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Secrets St. James Montego Bay. Our room was clean and comfortable. The staff could not have been more pleasant or helpful. We loved the food, especially the buffet and the Italian restaurant, Portofino. Although we did not do any formal excursions while there, we did go into town to shop for a couple of hours. The shops were fun, but most carried similar items to one another.

Our favorite place to relax for an evening drink or two was The Lounge, which is just off the lobby. Oneal, the bartender in the evenings, was extraordinarily fun and mixed some fine concoctions for us. He made our stay just that much more enjoyable.

The signage could have been a little better, or maybe we could have done our homework before venturing into the preferred pool area. We didn't know that's where we were. Fortunately, we were treated as valuable guests no matter where we were on the property. There is a small flyer posted by the elevator that gives information about entertainment and other items.

We loved our stay and think you will too.

Room tip: Our 3rd floor Ocean View was partially obstructed by giant palms.One more floor up would probably have been the better view.
Date of stay: September 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Styler8599
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2017 via mobile

Our room ground floor garden view was the best, only s few steps away from pool ,bar, beach. The staff the best. Our fav LEO he went far and above to make sure everyone.. Make sure you check him out at the Foam party ... it was epic. The restaurant were super ,, we loved the Italian. Breakfast super every day. Plenty of things to do. Make sure you see the mcCall’s they love taking pics with you
Enjoy

Date of stay: October 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Jim A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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