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“Secrets St. James-Good trip”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #11 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Boston
Level Contributor
86 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Secrets St. James-Good trip”
Reviewed August 3, 2010

We were at St. James from 7/24-7/31.Overall, we had a really good time at Secrets. It did lack the “wow” factor for me in certain areas. I would say that it was a 50/50 split in terms of how the staff treated you. Some of the employees were so eager to help you while others could care less that you were staying at this hotel. I found that if you tipped these nonchalant employees were more apt to treat you just a tad nicer. The location was great even though immigration at the airport could be a little long. I liked staying at the St. James side as it was quieter and the walk to the restaurants was nice after eating and drinking24/7. The “island time” got a little much at this resort. I know I am on vacation and have no where to be but it got a little ridiculous at times waiting for things as simple as a straw. The major issue that I must say got resolved was check in. This is when I thought the vacation was starting of just like all the bad reviews have mentioned. The person we dealt with was not in the mood to be there checking us in, nothing was explained to us at all. If I did not do the research on this hotel myself, I would have been lost. We got to our room, it was immaculate. Gorgeous view and looked just liked the pictures. We soon figured out we were the first ones to stay in this room because it did not have a clock, blow dryer, room service menu, soap dishes or iron. The safe was not working either. When I called the concierge she said we would soon get help for the safe and get us the missing items. After waiting for an hour and half, I started getting anxious and impatient. I walked down to the concierge and dealt with a nice woman who could only offer us a different room in the morning. I told her we would be happy staying in the room if we got what we needed, she said she couldn’t guarantee us that. Finally we got what we needed and unpacked. Then we get a call form the hotel manager advising us that we will need to be moved because they are starting construction in the morning. Why would a 5 star resort put us in a room with no basic amenities while there would be construction? Regardless, we got a new room the next day which had an amazing view. The hotel manager was very professional in this instance and called to check in twice.
There were many pools you could choose from or beach areas. Some were more livelier than others so you could have your choice. They did have waiters at the pool and beach. The bars were so close by you could also get up and get one your self. We chose to sit at the quieter St. james pool and loved relaxing. There were some pool float hoarders which was ridiculous becuase there were not many people at this pool and many floats. Even when they were told the floats need to be in the pool, 5 min later they would go grab it again -go figure.
I would say the food ranged from ok to good. The breakfast buffet you could have whatever you ever wanted for breakfast. Lunch at the buffet was good while I did enjoy seaside grill. We really were not fans of Oceana at lunch as we felt the menu was limited. Dinner was really good at Bordeaux that we repeated it 2x. Himutsu was good as well. We did not do the tepanaki table. In our opinion again, we did not care for El Patio and the service was very slow. What was weird to us was that we were given one room service menu and it had variety, we ordered it one night and then were told that they are changing the menu. We get the new menu and there was barely anything on it to order. The desserts at dinner were like other have said. They are from a box and lack presentation
Entertainment at night was fun. They had good bands and the famous steel drum band was not to miss. The piano bar was a lot of fun and the club was good for the few nights we went in there. As others have said, I can see how the setup at Desires is strange considering there is little dance floor.
Some general comments: Mosquitos were not that bad, I did wear OFF at night and got few bites. It rained one day but we had massages booked and the spa was amazing. Yes, there is shotty construction and the staff is working really hard to repair things I feel it is such a shame because the hotel is so new! The house wines, again in my opinion, were not that good. Regardless, there are a lot of other drinks you can choose to have. Would I go back again….maybe. I did have a good time, defiantly ate and drank well. There are some details the hotel needs to work out but it should soon have that “wow” factor.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank ERCLADY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Janesville, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 2, 2010

The trip was wonderful. This was the first all-inclusive that my husband and I went on and there was nothing to complain about.

Room - Wonderful, well cleaned, fridge well stocked.
Food - Very good, several selection for all tastes. Be careful to see when certain resturants will be open.
Beach - Perfect sand(actually prefered the beach to the pool, plenty of chairs under umbrellas. I would highly recommend doing the snorkling in the morning there was not as much wind.
Drinks - Very strong but they will make them weak if you would like.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank lizzybe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2010

My wife and I just got back from Secret's St James in Jamaica. It was a great week with lots of activities to do. This is a long resort that is based on 2 hotels, but could be considered as 4 hotels. There is St James and St James preferred( more ammenities) and also Wild Orchid and Wild Orchid Preferred. They have different offices and check in so make sure you stress which part you want to go to when you check in. It is a long stretched out resort , rather than a circle like lay-out compared to the other Secret's we have been too. Some staff is not as" nice" as they could be, but no one was rude or unhelpful. Meals and drinks were top notch!!! Use the free watersports and activites , including the entertainment. We snorkled everyday and took a Hobie Cat out sailing FREE everyday. The house band "Pace" at the Showtime theatre is top notch and we saw the most amazing steel drum band. Restaurant are great, with food and service. The house wine is not good and unless you are really into a great wine at no expense for dinner, than drink the water and head to a bar or show for a nice beverage. Rooms are spacious and comfy. I change the toilet/ shower though, it is certainly unique being side by side seperated by a frosted glass wall. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars overall!!!!!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank dumont17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2010

Most amazing resort I've been to! We had a great trip and met the friendliest staff ever. I would especially like to say thank you to Karnel, our waiter at the French Restaurant and Krystal, our bartender at the Piano Bar. I couldn't have asked for better service. Each Staff memeber was there to meet our every need. Thank you Secrets St. James!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank lhaslem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 2, 2010

My wife and I were there July 25 thur Aug 1 .After reading some reviews we were somewhat apprensive about going ( ie..construction,weather,mosiqutioes,flooding )after a week there ..as they say ,no worries mon !.The place is beautiful it is a new property so they are still working on a few things as expected .
To me the best experience was the staff .From the manager to the grounds keepers they always smiled and asked how were doing {even the guys edgeing the lawns with machetties would give us a glad your here feeling .I would here them singing while they worked the not so plesant jobs housekeeping grounds ,bussing tables etc...It made me relize its not where your from or what you have happiness comes from inside .Our waitress at the beach, Simone really took care of us she went out of her way to make us feel at home and enlighten us on there culture .We will miss her and carry her in our hearts .Oh yea the bartenders Alvin and his crew of chipmunks GREAT.If it rains.which it will usually does it wont last long just go to the Marlin bar hop on a swing and enjoy a frozen drink ,Crystal the bartender in the casino is awesome ..if your phone breaks or happens to get wet see her .I forgot the beverage mangers name ,He also did a awesome job checking to see if everyone was takening care of A plus .
We stayed at the non perfered side ,I tryed to upgrade at first but the perfered was full .I could have upgraded later but was so happy with our room 3348 we didnt want to move .The room was always cleaned to perfection by our singing housekeeper beds turned down with mints each night ,we never had poblems with flooding .One word of advise make sure your tub is full of water before turning on jets I didnt once and shot water all over .I also found it helpful to bring a towell from the pool to use as a bath mat .
The food was good small portions ..so if your really hungry its ok to order 2 of whatever .The wait staff in the resturants were awesome.verry careing ,never had a long wait to get seated .My favorite.meals were breakfast ,,esp the omelets and lunch stir fry pasta both at World cafe.
The entertainment was wonderful ,,bands outside and the the theather ..Patty Labell well what can you say,,, encore what a great show .
Even though its not required bring pleanty of ones ,one us dollar is about 80 Jamican so please tip the staff works so hard to make you feel at home they desireve it ! The pay there is little compared to elsewhere .Also your room keeper deservies a tip as well .
We will definetly go back and highly recomend .
Irei St.James we miss you .much love Greg and Amie

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank gregandamie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toms River, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2010

My husband and I traveled to Secrets for our one year anniversary. We were very pleased with our trip. From the first encounter at the airport to the last, we were truly appreciated at the service we received. Everyone was extremely pleasureable to deal with and friendlier than beyond belief. We were greeted with Champagne from Christopher Brown and Owen who made our first impression of the service a great one. I'll start with the food and restaurants. The food and restaurants were all great! We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and not being rushed at any meal and not to mention good food. The breakfast buffet always filled us up with delicious food..there were tons of options to choose from. We found the best place for lunch was the World Cafe, however, it is only open a few days so make sure to check the availability. Our second choice was the Oceana Grill...good burgers and cold apps! For dinner we tried all the places. We especially loved Portofino restaurant..amazing Italian food. The portions are smaller than in the US, but this is a good thing....you have room for appetizers, meal, dessert, and not to metion great drinks to go along with dinner! You can order as many itema as you would like and if there is something you want made specialized it is not a problem. There is nothing I have negative to say! about any aspect of Secrets! We enjoyed every minute of our trip! The nightlife is fabulous! The entertainment team and bartenders are amazing! My husband and I became quite friendly with some of the members of the team and bartenders, (Nakoy, ONeill, Cavela, Atthina, Darren, Krystal, Dane, and Raymond) who took care of us every night! The beaches and pool were beautiful! There is plenty to do during the day from swin up bars to activities..endless fun is to be had! You will not be bored or disappointed with your stay at Secrets! I look forward to going back!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tbreslow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2010

On July 10th we traveled to Jamaica for our Honeymoon. We stayed at Secrets St. James. The hotel is only about 15 minutes from the hotel, so that was nice. Upon arrival we were met with a glass of champagne and checked in. We were taken to a room on the first floor. We walked in and although the room was beautiful, it was right next to the pool and has big windows, not the best for a honeymoon. So we asked to be moved. The person on duty was very kind and moved us to a room with a great balcony. The rooms are very pretty, large, and clean. The bed is really comfy and there's a little sitting room.
The hotel is right on the beach, so it's convenient. It's really big, so you don't have to fight for chairs, drinks, or shade under a hut. There are several poolside bars and places to eat, so that's also convenient.
The food is just mediocre. The restaurants serve the same menu every night, and they are very limited. I will say that they do the best to accommodate special requests, but only if its close to whats on the menu. The resort has a coffee bar, a game room, and a nightly movie. They also have nightly entertainment by the lounge, usually a band. If you want to go dancing-don't count on the "night club". It's another bar with a teeny space for dancing.
The hotel has 24 hour room service, with dining option until 11. We had big problems with the room service. If we ordered food at 8, it showed up around 9:30 and it was cold. We tried a couple nights with the same result.
The resort is also lacking in any kind of culture. It's almost like your not in Jamaica. There's a little reggae playing, but that's about it. There are also limited activities, which include yoga, beach volleyball, snorkeling, etc. They are the same time every day. We were bored by our second day at the resort. In order to leave the resort, you have to pay some pretty hefty prices for activities.
Our biggest complaint was that we had the honeymoon package and we had to ask for our amenities daily. We were supposed to have a banner and flowers upon arrival. We finally got them and our turn down service with chocolates on our last night there. We were supposed to have a breakfast in bed champagne breakfast too. The night before we ordered it for 9 a.m. At 10:30 we gave up and told them to cancel it. They sent it the next morning, but it was cold and an hour late again!
If you are looking for a nice resort, this is it. If you are looking for good food, activities to enjoy (even leisure) and the feel of Jamaica-this is not the place.

One more thing-they had a wedding on the beach while we were there and they were fogging mosquitoes right next to the wedding. The foggers are really loud and smoky. They didn't even care that a wedding was happening. We felt awful for that couple.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank juliasface
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
#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
#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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Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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