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“Top Shelf Resort - Absolutely fantastic.” 5 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
Hamilton, On.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Top Shelf Resort - Absolutely fantastic.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2012

My wife and I celebrated our 38th. wedding annversary at Secrets St. James from
February 09 - 16, 2012.
We had an absolulely fabulous time at this Resort.
From the time we arrived to when we left.
As a matter of fact, I am normally ready to leave after seven days of vacationing, however, I must honestly say that I was willing to stay at this Resort for a few more days - I was not ready to leave.
We have travel the Caribbean extensively and have vacationed in Jamaica about eight times, as recently as November, 2011 in Negril.

This Resort is "Top Shelf" - it is among the very best that we have visited in the Caribbean.

The Resort is beautiful, the Restaurants and food are exceptional and the staff and service are second to none.

We had a fantastic Ocean Front room - thanks to Relaine at the Front Desk.

We also had exceptional service from the Director of Operations/Food & Beverage - Mr. Vinod Bajaj and his excellent and well trained staff.
We woudl highly recommend the Secrets Resorts in Jamaica to anyone looking for a relaxing and exceptional vacation in Jamaica.
We can't wait to return to this Resort again.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled 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?
3 Thank jahmon123
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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,284)
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English first
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

Stayed at Secrets St. James from Feb 20th to Feb 27th with 3 friends. It was an amazing week! It started with Marlon at the Bell Desk being extremely welcoming. As we went to lug our overpacked bags from the bus, Marlon jumped in to grab them and told us "your on vacation, your not allowed to touch your luggage till its in your room". We were then welcomed into the lobby where we were given a momosa and a cool moist towel. This was so refreshing after traveling all morning and afternoon from Nova Scotia Canada. We were then taken to our lovely rooms which were in pristine condition.
Then our vacation started. During the week we spent a lot of time at the bar with Alrick at the St. James pool bar, he provided great and friendly service and made great recommendations. We also met some great Entertainment staff that made sure were having a great time wether it was at the pool deck, or at desires night club. Jovane, Fabian, Danette, and Kimouya, from entertainment staff were awesome!!
All the other staff were great, and so friendly, especially one of the cleaning staff, Myrna!
The food was great, my favorite resturant was the Japanese place, entertaining and delicious.
24 hour room service was a great option. One day we went on the Dunns River Falls trip, and didnt get back till 6ish (i think) when we got back we went for a swim, and didnt feel like getting dressed up, so room service was! They say 45 minutes for a wait, but it could have only been 15 or 20!
No reservations at the resturants was AWESOME! You can eat when you want. For the whole week we only had to wait one night for a seat, and it was only for 20 minutes (and we waited with a drink at the piano bar). Every other night we were seated right away.
All in all, it was a great week, and I cant wait to go back!!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Michelle B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, Ontario Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

We spent a week at Secrets St James with our three kids aged 21, 19 and 18. FYI, there is essentially no difference between "St James" and "Wild Orchid"-- the lobbies are about 25 meters apart and the amenities such as pools, restaurants etc are shared. At any rate, we had a great time here. The most striking thing is the genuinely friendly and helpful attitude of the staff--everyone from the housekeeping staff, bartenders and check in people were far beyond what one would expect. Physically, the place is new and still pretty bright and shiny. All of the areas are kept scrupulously clean--ie not just the rooms but the public places as well. The rooms are spacious, well appointed and all have a view of the ocean--some more "direct" than others but all do look out onto the water. We actually were on the second floor initially and our view was a bit obstructed by one of the pool restaurants and we asked to be moved to a higher floor and they did this for us the next day when another room became available. It was done easily and without fuss thanks to Rene at the front desk. Each room has a plasma screen tv with North American channels (if you want to watch tv!)--both Canadian and American. Warning, the Maple Leafs are just as pathetic and frustrating viewed from Jamaica! The pools and beach are fantastic. As part of the all inclusive plan, there is a never-ending supply of all sorts of great drinks. There is absolutely no question of "scrimping" on the quality or quantity. Highly recommend trying a "Bob Marley" drink at the swim up bar. The staff around the beach and pool area are attentive and look after you continuously. The food is very good with a wide variety of restaurants--French, Asian, Italian, Mexican, Seafood, Jamaican. Breakfasts were absolutely fantastic, omelettes etc cooked to order. Beware of the "french toast brulee" as you may never want to leave. Room service is available 24/7 with no extra charge. The only thing you could pay extra for was wine with meals but the prices were very reasonable. For people worried about safety and security, the resort is essentially gated and we never had any concerns during the day or at night walking around for ourselves or our family. If you want to do things off the resort, the staff will arrange transportation for you (we golfed two days, course about 20 minutes away). There is no pressure to tip but you will likely want to for some people. Wifi is available at $15/day or around $60 for the week. You can use multiple devices although it is only supposed to work one at a time. As noted elsewhere, this resort is only 15-20 minutes from the Montego Bay airport and our tour operator (Air Transat) had everything very smoothly planned with a rep to greet you and a bus waiting. In summary, we had a fantastic, relaxing week with perfect weather and were treated superbly. We expect to go back next year. Our kids also loved it.

Room Tip: Ask for room on higher (ie 3 or above) if possible.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 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 DROntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

This is a long review, but hopefully you will find it helpful in your selection.

Booked Westjet vacations via itravel2000. Westjet check in was very prompt.
In flight tv’s on seatbacks, satellite tv shows, credit card pay movies, audio uses headphones with 1 jack. Pop free, pay for food or booze credit card only accepted.

Arrival at airport- all bags were off loaded and beside the luggage belt before we got there- very fast service. After picking up bags- if you booked with a pre paid transfer to hotel, go to back of airport to counter that looks like a tourist trap- they take your voucher and give you a print out for your driver- two parts, one for the trip to the hotel, one for the return trip.
Then a porter will take you to the bus outside the entrance of the airport. Customs also gives you a form you must give them when you leave Jamaica.

St James check in. Prompt, offered cool towels, champagne, rum punch or a beer. Thank you to Dexter to upgrading us to a bigger suite with ocean view.
St James and Wild Orchid are steps away from each other- it is essentially the same resort with approximately 700 rooms combined. (see scan of resort map) The resort did not seem crowded at any time.
We have been to other Secrets in Mexico, and found the service of the staff at this resort to be a higher standard than in Mexico. Every staff member was genuinely friendly and helpful. The only drawback is they are too aggressive pushing their coupons for the spa. (which we avoided) They pester you each morning and lunch while entering the World Café.

Room- We were located in St James 1st floor overlooking the ocean. Very soft pillow top beds (see photo), with nice quality sheets and duvets. No alarm clock in room. Fluffy robes and terry slippers, a pillow menu and lots of towels. Each day you will receive a newsletter with the upcoming events, which restaurants are available etc…24 hour room service, and there is a box by the door, which you can place your dirtydishes in for pick up.
TV defaults to a very loud secrets info channel when you turn it on, lots of channels including CTV and City. Shower had good pressure, fabulous big soaker jetted bathtub. Toiletries did not include hair conditioner, and they were not replaced each day.
We are early risers, and requested early maid service at check in, but it did not happen. Next day asked again at the main concierge, and it still did not happen until we called the maid service extension on the phone to arrange it.
They do evening turn down service. Mini bar red stripe beer and soft drinks restocked daily.

Drinks- Very good and generously sized. Try the Bob Marley, the Frozen Banana and the Hummingbird. Each bar has a menu of the vast selection of drinks they make.

Pools- each section has its own 2 pools. One heated (very warm) with a swim up bar, and one not heated. The Wild orchid pools were the largest. All were cleaned and tested each morning, which was nice to see.

Beaches- We tried each one, snorkeling. Orchid preferred beach is the nicest with a cove like setting. Swim shoes are a must. Lots of rocks, and there are sea urchins, star fish, and fish. A guy had his foot impaled stepping on a sea urchin with bare feet, and spent the week hobbling around forbidden to go in the water- not fun. The Sea was warm. Bring your own mask and snorkel as we had to arrange for extra $ on the side. They do offer a free snorkel tour a few times a day, but we wanted to go out alone.

Restaurants- Make a reservation for the Japanese restaurant at the World Café entrance when you arrive. Marlin the chef, was incredibly entertaining, interacting with the other chefs, one who is his brother. Jamie the waiter was outstanding. Dress code for breakfast and lunch very casual. Most people came in their bathing suits with cover ups. Dinner – we did not see anyone excluded due to shorts or non collared shirts. Do bring mosquito repellant, as they tend to be bite at dusk when you are eating outside.

Breakfast- World Café- Is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast and lunch they combine this space with Le Patio and Blue Mountain restaurants space next door. Mimosas are offered as you enter, Bloody Mary’s are available inside. Breakfast offerings very good- try the crème brule French toast. Yogurt was only offered 2 days, which was strange.
Pick up on your way to breakfast, a cappuccino, latte or espresso at the Coco coffee bar next door. The coffee bar also offers fruit flavoured water- watermelon etc, very refreshing.

For cat lovers-The resort has a few young cats that sit in the bushes beside the world café, and they love a piece of ham etc for breakfast or lunch . The World Cafe has a coffee table at the entrance, with all the restaurant menus available, so you can browse and decide where to go.

Lunch-
• World café, the usual buffet offerings. All the chocolate desserts were divine, try the brownies, and chocolate dipped marshmallows too
• Oceana by the Orchid pool has a board menu which you select wrap or Burger and small salad bar, we had a burger and a jerk pork, grilled pineapple and grilled veggie wrap which were quite good. They also offer takeaway.
• Le Grill by the St James pool, has a la carte menu and small salad bar. We had the Jamaican pizza (so,so) and the chimichuri steak (very spicy and good).
The problem with these two restaurants is they are located beside the pool, and the bar is there, so you get people walking through the restaurant getting their drinks. Barefoot grill at the beach offers hamburgers, hotdogs.
There is also a man with jerk chicken on the walkway in front of the beach (see photo), usually located in front of the Wild Orchid. And a man with fruits and coconuts he will carve for you.

Dinner- No reservations required except at the Japanese for the chef table. The restaurants are located all together and offer outside seating, beautiful at sunset.
If the restaurants are busy, you can await your table at the piano bar or sit outside by the fire pit. House wines are fine, or you can order $ bottle.

• World Café- Friday night is surf and turf with all you can eat lobster.
• Bordeaux (French restaurant)
Very good salad with apricots and goat cheese, lamb chops, steak. Delicious small crème brulle for dessert.
• Himitsu (Japanese)- we had the special reservation chef meal, miso soup or wonton, fried rice, chicken, steak and shrimp- very good. The regular menu offered pad thai etc, but no sushi.
• Portofino (Italian restaurant) Good pasta.
• Le Patio (Mexican) Excellent. Try the salad with the citrus dressing, and the steak, both were delicious.
• Blue Mountain (Jamaican) – we did not try this one.

The internet room is beside the café. They offer internet at .50 UDS per minute, note they do not give you change back if you only use a partial minute.

Entertainment- each evening at movie is show at 6pm in the courtyard by the Coco Café,
And they had a Sopa night for Mardi Gras, and Oscar night during our stay. Live steel drum band at the outside lounge area by the restaurants and the piano bar singer was very good.

Mobay airport lounge- we arranged when we bought our package, but you can also arrange at the resort. Really not worth the extra $. You line up at the information booth beside the security entrance to exchange your voucher for a ticket, then line up to fast track through security (which was not very fast!). The actual lounge offered free drinks, Internet, banana chips, yogurt, little sandwichs and pastries. They also offer a menu for food items ( extra $) that they bring down from a restaurant- strange system. The airport had
a Wendy’s, lots of sit down restaurants, and basic shops.

Room Tip: All rooms are listed as ocean front, but as it is a pennisula, some face the central courtyard/ park...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 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?
12 Thank asjt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 February 2012

Secrets St. James in Montego Bay is a great all-inclusive with great dining options on the property. Favorite place to eat was the Japanese spot. Stayed here for the 2012 Jazz & Blues Festival. Did not spend as much time on the property as I wanted due to the busy schedule of the group I was with, however I will be returning for an extended stay. Rooms were very nice, beds comfy, pleasant staff. And Garfield (from Bell Desk)...that dude was AWESOME!!!! We could not have had a better person to accommodate us.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 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 Tequila M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PEI
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 February 2012

We loved secrets! I honestly can't think of anything bad to say... The staff was friendly, room was beautiful, food was great as well as the drinks. We loved that we could snorkel out to the reef right off the beach.
We liked that the property wasn't huge, we stayed at St James and it was a quick walk to the restaurants on the Wild Orchid side.
I don't think that people should go by the few bad reviews on here, You can't go wrong with Secrets!!!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled 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?
3 Thank Jill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

3 friends and I went on a girls trip to this beautiful for one week (Feb 20 to 27) and had an amazing time! From the moment we arrived we were welcomed to the resort by very friendly and helpful staff. We were given a mamosa and a cool towel as we waited for check-in. We were escorted to our room by the friendly bell staff. Tours of the resort were offered but we opted to wander the grounds. The pools were great and the swim-up bars were wonderful...service was always great. There are many options for food at lunch and dinner. The breakfast buffet was awesome! Room service was also great for those evenings when we just wanted to stay in! Water sports and the pool side entertainment was great and there were waiters always around to serve beverages to you as you lay in your lounge chair. Entertainment was great in the evening too. There was a beach party one night and the "desires" disco was a good place to go dancing too.

This is an adults only resort and it does tend to be a lot of couples that go but the 4 of us girls had a great time!

I can say that I would go back to this resort in a heartbeat! You will not regret your decision to go here.

Special mention to a few staff that made our time at Secrets St. James even better: Marlon (Bell Desk), Jovane aka "Bon Jovi" (Entertainment), Merna (Cleaning Staff), Alrick (Bartender), Danette (Entertainment).

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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?
4 Thank Melissa t
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:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Top resorts 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
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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