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“Not Worth You're Money” 2 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
Nixa, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not Worth You're Money”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2010

Not what you expect for the high price they charge. Poor food, Poor room service, Too much waiting for everything you try to do, poor bedding and pillows,Tips- Tips- Tips Etc. We have stayed in Jamiaca before and stayed at alot better resorts, this one is brand new and they have alot of work to do to win you over. Before we left to go home they even tried to get me to write a review (positive) Because they are getting so many complaints about the resort it is hurting business. I did not think that was very professional because when I read a review I want it to be the truth.
The resort has no control over the airport but you need to know it is a mess, so slow that when we arrived it took us 2 hrs to get thru it before we could even board the transportation to the resort.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Randy575
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
Cold Spring, Kentucky
Level Contributor
38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2010

We stayed at Secrets St. James Montego Bay May 18-23, 2010. We got a great deal in February before it opened. We expected there to be a few hiccups because it was so and therefore kept an open mind. The resort is about 15-20 minutes from the airport. Upon arrival we received champage and cool towels. Checked in within 10 minutes and was in our room within 15 minutes. It was about 1 in the afternoon and we were expecting to have to wait for the room but didn't have to. Our escort to our room showed up how to operate all the electronics and showed us around. The safe did not lock but was fixed in approximately two hours. We also requested a bottle opener (I beleive that this should be standard in every room if you have bottles that require an opener) but again it was brought to us promptly. The room was on the warmer side but we constantly made sure that the air was on and fans were moving to keep it cooler. The bed was heaven. If I could have packed it in my suitcase, it would have been gone.

I would rate the food as okay. I am not that picky and I am not a food critic, but when you are feeding an entire resort full of people you have to be realistic about the quality of food that you are going to get. We ordered room service at least once a day and it was almost always there within 45 minutes. We enjoyed Hitmitsu and Portofino. You have to ask for saki at Hitmitsu.

The bartenders are great and will pretty much do anything to make you happy. Just ask! Lesmore at the pool bar is great! The piano bar entertainment was great but you have to sing along! Its so much more fun that way.

We really didn't care for the snorkeling. We were told by some other guests that you had to go out farther and we decided that we really didn't feel like it so we went back to the pool.

We got a couples massage at the Spa. It was pretty good and the other spa facilities were great.

There are only two things that I would complain about and one no one can control. The weather was not so great. In the afternoon it rained from 12-2 until about 5-6. Then it was southern US late August humid. It sucked but there really isn't any reason to complaint about it. The other was the room service personnel barging into the room. We had kept the light on when we wanted privacy and there were three seperate occasions when the resort personnel knocked and then quickly proceded to open the door themselves. It was just rude and uncomfortable. I would suggest using the dead bolt when you really do not want anyone coming into the room.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kvonhoene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2010

Just returned from a 1 week stay with my husband. Check in went smoothly, however, once brought to room with bellman, only to find electronic key doesn't work. Rather than him going down to correctly recode key, he made us go with him. Waited about 1 hour for maintenance to show up and accompany us again back to room - only to realize maintenance thought he was called for "another" reason - the safe! So now the bellman, leaves us standing there while he argues with the maintenance person - finally get in! Room very nice, limited space in shower to put your stuff. Mosquitoes and flies galore! Everywhere - day and night - by poolside and in restaurants - minimal air conditioning in restaurants. Waitresses serving guests drinks at pool and beach are wonderful (Nadine) and housekeeping day and night are wonderful and friendly. But everybody else - not very personable. Trying to get change was ridiculous - all the front desk employees did was apologize saying they had no more. We tip everywhere we go and don't travel with 100's of dollars in small bills - cashing those larger bills was a futile attempt! Anyway on Day 3 the safe didn't work - had to sit in room for 2 hours with 2 hotel employees - one from Lock & Safe dept to try to figure it out . I'm missing my day at the beach - this is my vacation after all. I told them, look I'll just empty safe and you 2 fix the problem - but no - I had to stay. Finally get it fixed and we leave room. That evening just before going out to dinner - guess what? safe doesn't work ! So I called downstairs and told them I want my room changed and they did - but I had to come down and get a new key - check out the new room and let her know if it was satisfactory - this is 7 pm now. So my husband and I moved all our stuff into new room - 3 doors down thank goodness with NO assistance. Restaurants are ridiculously slow service - had our coffee served practically after our breakfast. We are patient people and always tip and are very appreciative of everyone but this is unheard of. We stayed at Excellence Riviera Maya, Cancun in March 2010 and April 2009 and it was superb. Staff and service were definitely worthy of the 4 1/2 stars rated. This place - not worth 3 stars, but apparently given 4 1/2 - I have no idea why. I called my Travel Agent at :Liberty and left a message to "get us outta there". She called next day told us to go see GM of hotel which we did. We met Douglas Anderson - who was listened to us and we told him we had met a couple two days ago who also had problem with their safe and room, and he was like "okay we're not talking about them - we're talking about you". He didn't welcome us and was like "okay so in effect what you want to know is what can I do to make you happy or give you to make you feel better"? He was very condescending and obviously doesn't give a hoot about his guests by the way he spoke to us. He asked us what he could do to make the rest of our stay better. We mentioned we were going to the Spa that day and he asked us for what - when we told him we were getting Swedish Massages - he says "oh you're getting the best". Needless to say he said he'd see what he can do for us - offered us a free "shoulder and neck massage" on Sunday, the day before we checked out - which never happened. By the way, he saw us in passing 2 times since our meeting on Wednesday. He just avoided us.

Monday 7/19 upon checkout we had a torrential rain and a blackout - so all the incoming guests had to sit in a hot lobby, no AC, no computers, no rooms until lights turned back on. My husband and I brought down our own luggage - as no one answered when we called for a Bellman to pick them up. This was right after rainstorm, water everywhere, towels stuffed under every door, hallways soaked like walking on a sheet of ice in the winter. The one and only elevator on the floor was soaked and water coming down the shaft - but we took it and thank GOD it worked ! Those poor incoming guests putting up with the, heat, mosquitoes and no rooms - I feel bad for them.

I've traveled at least once a year for the past 30 years - and I never looked forward to coming home - aside from seeing my family - but this vacation - couldn't wait to come home - and we paid $1575 each for this? This was not a "summer bargain price" It cost us about $3,500 in all. I'm on vacation - I shouldn't have to deal with maintenance people and fixing things that aren't working - we are supposed to be enjoying ourselves !

Secret Box - is for room service without being disturbed - but they never pick up the finished food. We ordered coffee and fruit each night which was delivered when we asked for it - however, when we finished with it we'd put back our empty plates back into the box for them to pick up . They never came. So 2 days they ring our bell and hand me the food on a huge plate that I have to bring into the room. If you walk the halls during the afternoon or on the way to dinner - almost every secret box is open with empty dirty dishes.

Hotel is understaffed and the employees seem overworked. One night in the Asian restaurant we swear the waiter called in sick and made a busboy the waiter that night - he got everything we ordered wrong and the table next to ours too. Not the pool staff though - many lifeguards who have a meeting every morning in the gazebo on the beach - what do they discuss at those meetings? Not personable at all.

Honestly, employees are only as good as the management that manages them. Douglas Anderson and his other head honchos (Emilio Huhn) need to go to the Excellence Hotel & Spa in Cancun and watch how those employees treat the hotel guests. They are kind and can't do enough for people. Every person is treated as if they are a "Preferred" guest. I went there two times and I'm going back - that's our place. Management is on top of things and make sure employees make guests happy. Love that place!

Fitness Center - nice, clean, have bottled water and towels. Could use a little more AC. Also restaurants should have ceiling fans - I mean this is the Caribbean - fans provide great cooling feature.

Bathrooms: Water leaked out of shower onto floor (in our first room), jacuzzi tub took forever for water to drain (2nd room), toilet bowl sometimes wouldn't flush.

Housekeeping employees were wonderful and very nice to guests - more personable than servers and Hotel Lobby employees. Wouldn't return if they gave it to us for free - Honest!
Be forewarned - and listen to the people's reviews. The only people who might be complacent with this place and the less experienced traveler who has nothing to compare this to. Try the Excellence - you won't be disappointed ! And Doug, go see the management there !

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 3village
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perryopolis, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2010

Since we checked in, everyone has been so grateful to have us as guests. We have been pampered beyond what is deserved.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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?
2 Thank lmm3301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baytown, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2010

Loved this place! I thought it was a very relaxing and fun place. If you're looking for a big party scene I don't think this is the place for you. Don't get me wrong you can make it whatever kind of party you want it to be but I thought overall it was pretty quiet. We were there for 5 nights and I wanted to stay longer. We mainly hung out on the beach the whole time. The water is beautiful! I loved trying the different rum drinks although my favorite was the pina coladas with the dark rum. YUM! The food was awesome! The one restaurant they need to work on is Portofino and other couples we talked to felt the same way. Also, they need to definitely keep the restaurants cooler than what they are. I don't think they are air conditioned at all. They are really hot. I think you're better off to sit outside. A little cooler and that's not saying much. Breakfast and lunch buffets are awesome. We ordered room service one night and it took over an hour to get it. Not sure I recommend that. We wanted a steak and it wasn't available. But, for sure there is a lot of choices of food all around you. If you go hungry here it's your own fault. I loved the live entertainment at night but they need to keep the band playing till at least 12:00. But, there is other nightlife after the band although we never went to the other club. We did go to the piano bar after the band quit playing a couple of nights just to have some drinks. And , I enjoyed that if you're just wanting to unwind. The rooms are really nice although I kind of like a little more privacy in the bathrooms. The rooms stay pretty cool but the air conditioning and ! I thought they were all very friendly and more than willing to do what they needed to make your stay very nice. We did a couples swedish massage in the spa and it was awesome! Be sure and go about an hour earlier and take advantage of the other spa amenities that you can use. We went on the shopping excursion. I liked the 1st and 3rd stop that we did. Not the 2nd one. It was pretty uncomfortable. It's like a flea market setup but the vendors bombard you and make you feel very uncomfortable. Maybe you should just hire a driver to take you around. The only thing I didn't do that I wish I would have was one of the catamaran cruises. I thought it was very romantic at this resort and I loved that it was an adults only setting. I had never been to one. It was definitely more couples than singles. You kind of stood out if you were not with someone. I wouldn't recommend here if you're single and looking to meet someone. I would definitely recommend this resort to a friend and I would definitely come back!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank glanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Running Springs, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2010

My husband and I stayed here for our honeymoon and had a great time. The bed was so comfy and the food was amazing, for those who are worried don't be. The drinks and the food were always flowing!!!! I highly recommend the French restaurant for dinner, the meat just melts in your mouth! The only thing that I could see people complaining about would be the quick work they did in the rooms, yes the cocking is a bit different then what you would see in the states, but that didn't bother us. We met some amazing people, and the staff was super friendly. I can't wait to go back!!!!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mitchp87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2010

We were there for 4 days celebrating my wife's birthday. We stayed in St. James Preferred Club in room 4223. In the last section I'll post our experience as it relates to the opening issues that people have been talking about both here and of Facebook.

Rooms - We found the rooms large and comfortable. We liked the bed but we're not very picky in this respect. The bathroom was large and had plenty of counter space. The jets in the tub were nice. Both the shower and tub leaked but not much, we would just throw a used towel on the water when we were done. The lack of privacy didn't bother us. The balcony had a table, chairs, a drying rack, and a soaking tub. There is also a sitting area with a love seat and table. Everything except the internet worked fine. Room 4223 is on the very end and we couldn't get a good signal, we would just take the laptop to the lounge when we needed it. I suspect rooms closer to the middle had better access. The mini bar was restocked daily and they did a good job of cleaning.

Service - We found the service to be excellent. The service at all of the bars and restaurants was timely and with a smile. The servers, bartenders, and housekeepers were all very friendly and seemed happy to help.

Grounds - We found the resort to be very beautiful. Even though a lot of the greenery hasn't grown in yet, we found everything well kept and looking nice. There were always available chairs by the pools and beach. In fact we were quite surprised that no matter what time we decided to go to the pool or beach there were always loungers with umbellas or palapas available. The beach is not very deep but it is very long. While it looks kind of funny it's acually very nice, in most places there's only one row or chairs so you're always right on the water and you don't feel like you're on top of someone else. There are a few rocks in the water but not enough to be annoying. Every few steps you might step on a small rock, certainly not enough to require water shoes. The sunsets are amazing and it's highly recommended that you decide on a late dinner so that you can stay on the beach and take it all in.

Restaurants - We found all of the food to be very good, and some excellent. By far the best restaurant is Bordeaux, I would say what we ate was on par with a $40- $50 a plate French restaurant here in Houston. We also enjoyed Himitsu but chose not to sit at the grill. Portofino was good but had about the same quality as Olive Garden (not great but definitely edible). We ate at the Seaside grill twice for lunch, their sandwiches and steak are very good. Their burgers are generic but good enough to eat. We ate at the World Cafe for breakfast and lunch a couple of times. Each time there was plenty variety and lots of nicer items that you don't normally find at a buffet. Also, there's a Jamaica station in one corner that serves local dishes, it's not very obvious and you may miss it.

Bars - The swim up bars are fun for a roudy time during the day. At night we went to the Piano Bar and Desires. There was usually a show outside the piano bar and was a good place to socialize. They have all of the premium liquor. The service can get a little slow at times when it gets crowded (usually between 9 and 11) but they seemed pretty good at dealing with it. Desires was fun in the evening, it's where all the drunks go after 11 and it's just as much fun to people watch as it is to dance.

Preferred Club - For the higher price you basically get a lounge with snacks and drinks, free internet access, and your own pool. We thought it was worth the price because the lounge had the premium liquor that wasn't at all of the bars and we pretty much had the pool to ourselves. We preferred our pool because it was quieter and you didn't have to deal with smokers sitting at the swim up bar. We spent some time at the regular pool and enjoyed socializing but would always seem to gravitate back to ours. Not having the swim up bar wasn't a problem, a server came by about every 10 minutes and would server you in the pool.

Opening Issues - If you're looking for signs of poor construction, you don't have to look far to find them. It was mostly in the bathroom, the shower and tub leaked, there were small cracks in the drywall, and the silicone looked sloppy. Nothing was bad enough to bother us. The restaurants were warmer than we're used to here in the U.S. but I wasn't sweating or uncomfortable. I noticed a couple of people not dressed properly and get seated, so maybe they haven't addressed this yet. Most people dress properly though, I think I only noticed two or three people violating the dress code. It never really rained while we were there so we can't attest to drainage or leaking problems. They did have a lot of people working on drainage throughout the resort though. I don't know about them policing the Preferred Club because I can't tell who belongs there or not. However, there were never more than 10 people around so it was not an issue.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank TX_Travler0706
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
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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