My fiancée and I stayed at the Secrets Wild Orchid from August 10-17, 2012. We have stayed at several all-inclusives and we always say we will write a review when we return, but we never do. This time, I had to make writing this review a priority, because our experience was nothing short of exceptional!!
We usually stay at 4 star all-inclusives, so I was very curious to see if the extra money that we paid for this 4 and ½ star resort would be worth it, and if we would notice what the extra ½ star was for. We certainly did notice some differences from all the places we have stayed in the past!
I won’t bore you with the usual things you will read in these reviews (what all inclusive means, the extra cash for tips, how many restaurants the property has-those things are typical whenever you stay at these resorts) Instead, I will tell you some things that made our one week vacation in Jamaica the best vacation we have taken to date!
Upon arrival, we were greeted with the customary drink and speedily checked in. Every room in the Wild Orchid, from the most basic to the most extravagant, has an ocean view. You may have a pool AND ocean view, but you will definitely have an ocean view regardless. You really cannot go wrong with any room here, so don’t waste too much time researching which type of room you will stay in. I did spend some time prior to booking researching the differences between the St. James and the Wild Orchid. From what we can gather, they are both equally as close to the beach, but the rooms on the Wild Orchid property seem to have a more modern décor. This we gathered through talking with other couples. We had a basic Junior Suite, and we had a breathtaking view. The room was modern, equipped with little touches like mood lighting and something called a privacy light (a unique twist to the “Do Not Disturb” sign- simply turn the privacy light on if you do not want to be disturbed, off if you want your room cleaned) The room had a separate compartment where your room service dishes can be placed for pick up at any point through the day, and a doorbell that could be heard from the balcony as you listened to the ocean waves (my fiancee is still making fun of me because I thought that was so cool) Oh, and 3 free porn channels, a very nice surprise…did I mention this resort is for adults only?? Lol
The beach is, as others have stated, gorgeous. There are 3 little areas- two closer to the Wild Orchid, one closer to St. James. One of the sections on the Wild Orchid side had a stingray and the other section had barracudas and a lot of cichlids. Bring your own snorkel gear and you will be able to see them and feed them (they are partial to the jerk chicken.) It’s like swimming in an aquarium! The St. James section is a bit murkier than the other two sections, but sealife free. There is waiter service on the beach and the beaches are strategically placed close to bathrooms, snack bars, and restaurants. And the best thing was- NO VENDORS ON THE BEACH!!
One of the things we enjoyed most about both properties was the layout of the place. My fiancée kept saying both properties were cleverly built, especially the restaurants which were all close to each other, and even though we shared them with the guests from St. James, there was NEVER a wait to be seated anywhere. Which brings me to the topic of food- here is where we noticed the ½ star difference. Every meal we consumed, especially for dinner, was superb. No need to detail every meal, suffice it to say that we were very pleased and definitely noticed an upgrade in the quality of food here as opposed to other all inclusives. Each item on the buffet table at the World Café had its own thermostat displaying the temperature in which the food was kept to ensure fresheness (I have never seen that before.) They DID have top shelf liquor, like Grey Goose, and beer like Heineken, but not in all bars. However, they did in most of the restaurants, and if they didn’t, they will accommodate you and go get it. There were water coolers set up all along the side of the beach along the pathway, so you could just grab one on the way to the gym or as you are going up to your room-no need to find a bar. There was also a coffee bar. Now that was a great touch because if you have done all inclusives in the Caribbean, you may have noticed that a lot of them DO NOT carry or make iced coffee. Beach towels were aplenty and no card was needed. Those were little touches in the service they provided that made us super comfortable and happy.
Now come the shout outs to the staff. I never understood why reviewers recommended this person for this or that, being that I would never remember to ask for a person by name once I get to the property. But in fact, it is the managers who read these reviews and the staff receive accolades and raises based on our comments, so if you can guys, write something for them. Mighty Mike was an awesome yoga instructor (right there on the beach) and make sure you see Darren for any kind of water sports (tell him the big Puerto Rican guy sent you, lol) The ENTIRE breakfast staff at the World Café were super friendly and welcomed us every morning with serenades and jokes.
Now, unfortunately I do have something somewhat negative to say. Our room was not stocked daily with toiletries. In fact, we once had to call down and have soap and shampoo brought up, as well as the daily activity schedule. We also noticed that the floor was not very clean, even though we had our room serviced every day. This was not something we complained about to management, but I felt it would be fair to warn people that we heard several complaints from other couples about this. It did not put a damper on our great experience!
DOs and DON’Ts
DO make sure you try their beef patties and vegetable fritters-YUM!
DON’T do the free snorkeling tour- you will see more fish while swimming
DO go the Desires, their nightclub- best DJ I have ever seen in an all inclusive!
DON’T eat the desserts at the restaurants during dinner. You will find better desserts at the World Café buffet…especially the flan!!!
DO the kayaking and catamaran- sooo fun!
DON’T expect sushi at Himitsu- there is NO SUSHI anywhere. DO NOT expect hot breakfast from the room service menu. Only bagels and stuff, unless it’s your honeymoon or anniversary. Ask for a champagne breakfast if so.
DO join the Secrets talent contest- the top prize was 4 free nights!!
DO take a walk on the beach at sunset..and stop to take pictures at the gazebo..hey, pretend you’re getting married while you’re at it…WHY NOT?? LOL
And the most important DO of all…DO take someone to any of the Secrets in Montego Bay that you love very much…I did, and it made all the difference ;))
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- Also Known As:
- Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay Hotel Montego Bay