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Reviewed September 15, 2011

I have been to Jamaica 5 times and have stayed at a different all-inclusive every time. While I have to say I have always preferred the "Couples" chain, I am completely SOLD on Secrets! The resort was extremely well kept and you feel so far away and secluded even though you are only 20 minutes from the airport.The food, staff, pools, drinks, beaches and rooms were all fantastic. I am surprised at how many friends we made. I loved that it is adult only but you saw more than just couples and people were very social. Everyone was fun without being obnoxiously rowdy like some other resorts (like Riu).

For those who are nervous to go to Jamaica in September - trust me I have been there 4 times in hurricane season and have always had incredible weather while scoring cheaper rates.

We did not opt for preferred and will not next time either - I don't see the value other than the free wifi in your room. Check-in and check-out were flawless and we were moved to another room right away when there was a problem with the bathroom door (we even got a better view out of it!). Even with the room move the entire check-in process was under a half hour. I loved the St. James side and will stay there again next time although nothing is far so don't be fooled by the reviews by lazier folks.

My only criticism would be the lack of night life and the lack of complimentary excursions that I was used to with the "Couples" chain but the criticism is minor because the vacation was nearly perfect. We will definitely be back!!! It was an excellent vacation at an excellent value.

Room Tip: The rooms are crazy dark at night so next time I will bring a flash light or night light so I can find the bathroom. I'll also bring conditioner since it's a shampoo/conditioner combo in the bathroom. The higher floors have the better views and are the quietest. Make sure your balcony door is shut all the way - the AC auto shuts off when the door is not sealed.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank CMT22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 14, 2011

First, my wife and I are seasoned travelers. This was our fifth land vacation to an all inclusive Jamaica Hotel. Our first Secrets Resort. Immigration and customs where a breeze, in and out in fifteen minutes, but, we did hear other not so good stories of 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to the hotel was quick and our driver was a hoot. Expect to tip porter who brought bags to bus and the driver. We where met at the bus by Mr. Chris Brown, bellman. On our way to the private check in of the preferred club, we received a short description of the facility, actually very well done. The check in was private, concise, yet detailed information was given. If you enjoy being spoiled, this is for you. While we where there, Chris brought us cool towels and anything we chose to drink. Upon completion, he escorted us to our room. He gave us a detailed explanation of everything in the room and answered all of my wife's questions. THE ROOM- in a word SPECTACULAR!! I've read the other rooms complaining about leaks A/C lack of housekeeping, not being clean. We did not experience any of this. A/C- your housekeeper WILL shut it off after cleaning the room IF you do not request otherwise !!! The room was as clean as I've ever seen, the housekeeping was timely, turn down service was never missed and had great touches like hearts and flowers on the bed, very nice touches. The mini bar was replenished daily with whatever you requested, no it's not extremely cold, but acceptable. The "rain" shower is a delight, the bed and bedding are the best I've ever had !! The flat screen TV was more than acceptable with plenty of channels from a variety of countries. The room is 5 star. ROOM SERVICE- we had some sort of room service every day. Every waiter was a delight. Smiling, happy, talkative and efficient. When ordering the order taker will give you a time window and they where always within it. {30-45} minutes. There was absoulutely no pressure or hint to tip any employee at this resort at any time in any place....with that being said, we tipped all that where deserving, all inclusive or not, good to excellent service should be rewarded. Observing other guests, some tipped, some didn't. We observed no difference in service either way. THE RESORT- it is immaculate. Period. All areas, lobby, restaurants, grounds, public areas, rest rooms, walk ways, pool areas, beach, top shelf, 5 star.FOOD- well, not so good. They have enough varities, but it's edible, but tasteless. You won't go hungry but you never leave dinner feeling you had a real good meal. They really have to work on food quality if they want patrons to return. Breakfast was the best meal of the day but buffet only. There is no order off menu breakfast. The buffet was ample enough with every breakfast choice available. Service was strangely different every day, some days they where all over you other days, not so much. 2 stars only, sorry. ENTERTAINMENT- for Jamaica, my god, non existent, what a disappointment. You really had to go off property.0 stars.LOGISTICS- awful. If your not staying at the wild orchid be prepared to walk everywhere !!!! Nothing is close to The St James side and it's not a short walk. If it rains your gonna get soaked!!! None of the walk ways are covered, a huge mistake. A shuttle would be the answer, ya listening ?? The beach and pools are 5 star all the way. We have found the Jamaican people to always be a delight and we wer'nt let down here either we had a BLAST WITH ALL OF THEM, A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO SHANEIL AND JASON[WATER SPORTS] AND FABIAN [PORTOFINO] We see many trying to compare Secrets to Sandals, come on folks Sandals has been doing this in Jamaica for 30 years and if you where to get a room like Secrets offers you at Sandals with the same view you would pay at least twice as much !! Secrets has all the ingredients they just have to learn how to stir them. Now our favorite encounter, one evening in the pouring rain, we ducked into a service room for shelter. A housekeeper in the ST. James {Jacqueline} noticed us there and immediately gave us umbrellas and took us the back way through the building to avoid the torrential down pour for as far as she could, at this point we where going to have to venture out in the rain again to get to our room. Jacqueline gets down on her knees and rolls my pants up to my knees and pulls my socks down to help me on my way. Jacqueline you are Jamaica. Your the reason we come and will return. Thank you for caring for the old folks from Florida. Secrets is a "good" resort, it can be great. I hope your listening, and I sure hope you read all the reviews with a grain of salt but do what you have to do to make this a 5 star resort !!

Room Tip: as high as possible center
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank drumma56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 14, 2011

We have stayed at many resorts for the past 8 yrs an this is the first that the bartenders were so RUDE! You could not get them to wait on you, an when they did they acted as if they didn't want to wait on us.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank DonnerNRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 13, 2011

From start to finish the experience was stellar. Drinks, food, entertainment, staff, all were awesome. Did I mention the awesome staff? Everyone was great, I was greeted by Sharol at the front desk, she was extremely nice, and gorgeous. I almost didn't want to go to my room after she finished checking me in.
The room was absolutely amazing! Jacuzzi, balcony, view of the ocean, and a mini fridge stocked with beer, soda, and water.
My advice to people going here or anywhere else is to bring the party with you. What I mean by that is drink and get on the dance floor if there is one, don't just sit around looking depressed. If you're at a show clap and scream as loud as you can. You'll have a much better experience. Last but not least is TIP TIP TIP. This resort allows it so if you can tip a few bucks every once and a while it should be done. These people are super friendly and despite the smiles and kind words i'm sure they put up with a lot of crap.
There's more but its mostly been said by others, this place is great. Everyone I spoke to on the resort was pleased with their stay here. I heard a lot of people talking about various other resorts on the way back and many of them had bad experiences but everyone and I mean everyone at Secrets St. James had a blast. Just want to say again that the front desk staff, motor sports staff, bartenders and all the rest were awesome, and thank you to Sharol and Kamecia at the front desk for taking such good care of me.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Derick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 13, 2011

I took a girls trip from July 20-24, 2011. I have been to many resorts in JA many considered ultra luxury. I thought this was one of the best in MoBay. Overall, it was a nice resort. Check in was not smooth and confusing..I did arrive during a very busy time (Sun Splash). The rooms are very nice. Comfy bed and nice decor, the food was good not great. I was disapponted in the 24 hr service after a certain time its only sandwiches(mediocre at best). Most resorts offer full menu 24hrs... There were a few issues, clogged shower head, problem with sliding door. Nothing big enough to deter me from a great stay.
The pools were very nice. Although, I spent more time at Wild Orchid pool(it was just livelier). I wasn't happy with the food/drink service at either pools/beach...slow and bad service in general. I am talking about while sitting around the pool or at the beach...not at the restaurant tables. Everyday I was there I had to track somebody down for service and when they delivered upI had to get up again for napkins, ketchup or just to tell them it was served cold. The drinks were good if you swam up to the bar, otherwise you had to wait forever for service.
I will add all the pool/bar staff was great and curteous. The concierge folks were fantastic and made sure I had a nice stay. It was easy to overlook my other complaints when you had such wonderful people looking out for you!
The shows, nightclub and entertainment was also fantastic. We all had a good time and would go back in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: I was on the ground floor with a pool view but wish I had stayed higher up with the ocean view.
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank TonyaCareer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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