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“Magical Week in Montego Bay- Secrets St.James” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secrets St. James Montego Bay

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #8 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
montreal
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Magical Week in Montego Bay- Secrets St.James”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

I am a huge fan of the AMResorts brands, I have stayed at Secrets and Zoetry elsewhere and have always been pleased with their Unlimited Luxury Program and service, but this trip was really over the top. It was my first time to Jamaica, I had brought along my adult daughter and her boyfriend to escape the frigid Great Canadian winter in Montreal and celebrate her 25th birthday. I was not sure that we would all find a great experience at the same spot due to our age differences, but it turned out fabulously. Beyond the clean, modern and comfortable rooms with a superb view and my personal favorite perk- the whirlpool bathtub- we had no problem doing our own thing and then getting together for shared interests like snorkeling and sailing- ask for Service - yes, that is his name- he is the best guide for both- and we all enjoyed the dinners together everywhere. The young adults really got a kick out of the pool bars where you can float in a mat and not even get up to be served a drink and also the cafe where they were always fueling up on amazing iced coffee blends. They also really enjoyed the 24/7 room service as they are not early risers so they had breakfast in bed just about every day! I liked the breakfast buffet where they make your own omelet to order but there are so many different foods to choose from there it boggles the mind. Service throughout the resort was among the best and friendliest and efficient I have ever encountered anywhere, they are truly a happy staff and so many of them sing- all the time! Our favorite hang out was the piano bar- three servers there in particular deserve a HUGE shout out- Danielle, Sue, and Shelly-Ann- but they were all fantastic, like Donovan at the Marlin bar, Gaynor at Oceana and Teneisha at Sunset Grill and bell-hop Christopher Rose always made us smile every day. And the beachside servers were top notch, too, you never had to wait for anything, ever! Was hard to keep up with them! Oh yes, cannot forget the amazing Marlin who cooks your food at the Asian table while performing an entire song and dance, I would pay extra just to see him do it again! On my daughter's birthday, the staff went out of their way to celebrate and also brought her a beautiful gourmet chocolaty pastry plate with her name on it without being asked. Incredible. I loved the fact that you can snorkel the three reefs right off the beach, bring your own snorkel and the folks at water sports are happy to lend you a life jacket if you need.
They also have free nightly shuttle to Margaritaville in Montego bay on the "hip strip" if you want to explore a little local nigthlife and they have guided bike rides into town with shopping stops as well.

My only complaint is that we did not have enough time to truly enjoy all this great resort has to offer, you really need two weeks! Guess we will have to plan a return visit next year. Kudos to all, this is a wonderful place and such a great introduction to Jamaica.

Room Tip: Sorry, clicked children's activities there are none, it is strictly ADULT Exclusive. Best rooms...
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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?
8 Thank suectravel
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 (2,185)
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Newfoundland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

We had a great trip to Jamaica and this resort was excellent. The restaurants were great with a large variety of items - loved the breakfast buffet. The staff was great and very friendly. The tours off the resort we did were well organized - we recommend Martha Brae River Raft. I would definately return. My only complaint was the fact that noise was easliy heard in the room all hours - people talking and doors being slammed - no sound proofing. I heard others complain that the beach was too small - too small for what - to jog up and down all day. Your there to relax - I did not need a huge beach. Do NOT listen to any bad reviews. All secrets and zoetry resorts got a great rep.

Room Tip: Get a high room if possible - with an ocean view. Watch for cheap deals and you may get a preferred...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank RONWICK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

We went to Secrets St James for our Anniversary - it was the best trip ever! The staff was wonderful, we ate at all of the restaurants and they were all wonderful - make sure you start your day with some Jiggy Coffee at the breakfast buffet!!

Room Tip: We stayed in the non-preferred side and it was wonderful and saved some money!
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  • Stayed July 2011, 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 PartegasG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
46 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

Everything was fantastic, and would likely go back to the same resort if I returned. The only minor irritation is that many staff didn't appear to listen, so you have to repeat yourself a lot, but hey, it's Jamaica Man, everything is gonna be alright. :) you won't be disappointed at all.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DMLinford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

We were in Secrets St. James for a 5 night weekend in February. We had a great time and were extremely impressed with this immaculate resort & the entire staff. We chose this resort over the many options in Jamaica due to the recommendation of a friend, the many positive reviews and because we like the fact that it was recently built, fresh and modern. We were not disappointed.

We’d like to thank the General Manager, Emilio Huhn, his assistant, Vinod Bajaj and Oscar Ramirez for coming through for us. We’d also like to thank Food Director, Jack Shapansky. As we had a special restrictive diet, he went out of his way to make sure we were well taken care of and was a true pleasure to deal with. A special shout out to Stanley the fruit guy/comedian and Cassi in the entertainment department.

From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty. We were escorted to our beautiful room in the preferred section on the St. James side. We were given a first floor room with an open balcony. At first we thought we’d rather an upper floor for the view but the convenience of direct access to the pool made it worth it. We travel a lot and frequent many hotels and the bed was as comfortable as any we’ve been in, comparable to the Westin Heavenly beds. There is a 24 hour buffet with drinks in the preferred section. The pool and beach in the preferred section is also a lot quieter. The only drawback was that the Wi-Fi offered for preferred guests did not work well.

There are many bars conveniently located throughout the resort so we never went thirsty ! The Spa is absolutely beautiful. The Gym is a bit small but sufficient and we did not have to wait for any of the machines. There are many other activities offered such as tennis lessons, bike tours, kayaking, sailing and snorkeling to name a few. The nightlife was good and the house band and entertainers did an incredible job.

All in all we will highly recommend Secrets St. James and Wild Orchard and would definitely consider returning.

  • 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?
5 Thank BrooklynCPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coulterville, Illinois, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

We have just returned from Jamaica, having spent a week at Secrets of St. James> What a fabulous place, we loved it! Beautiful!, We ate at a different place each night, loved our room, (it over looked pool area & ocean) the service was out standing! Shelly Ann, our maid, & Beanette, our turndown service were the best!! They really cared for us and took care of our every need! Thank-you so much for them! We liked that you did not need reservations.My only negative, would be when we first arrived in the lobby to check in, it was confusing, no directions, in what to do next or no real order. We will definitely recommend this resort! Loved it! Thanks for making our first time to Jamaica wonderful!

Room Tip: We stayed on the third floor, just high enough from ground level that you did not hear ground traffi...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 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 Ronna J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

My husband and I just returned home from a week at Secrets St James. We had a wonderful time. A few things to know. The entertainment and all but one of the dinner restaurants are at the Wild Orchid and you have to walk there. Lots of ladies walked in sandals and put on their "heels" once they got close to the restaurants. I would be wary of booking at Wild Orchid as it seemed it would be loud. The piano bar and nightly entertainment are at one end and the beach parties and wedding receptions are held at the other. Again, we did not stay there, just a hunch.
I will start with the positives -
Most of the staff is great, even without tipping. We always wait until our last day to "appreciate" great service. Michael at the pool, Desire at the piano bar, Lucianna at Oceana, were all exceptional. If their service, attitude and personalities could be spread to the rest of the staff this place would be over the top. Most other employees were friendly and willing to help when asked. (see front desk under cons)
The rooms were nice, quiet and fairly standard as far as resorts go. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was large and functional. The toilet and shower (large with an overhead rain type fixture as well as a hand held shower wand) are enclosed in opaque/frosted glass. We liked the natural light this provided. If you are VERY private about your business, this is not the bathroom for you.
Drinks were well made, and requests for regular or virgin were respected. The liquors were top shelf and the bartenders were not afraid to pour them! They had a great selection of resort drinks and were versed at making the old stand-by cocktails.
The ocean water was clear and calm. You could snorkel right off the beach with lots of fish and coral to see.
The pools were lovely. Half heated, half not depending on your mood and preference. The heated side had the music and the rowdy crowd. The cooler side was much quieter.
Beautiful views and sunsets with a light breeze most days.
The food was good to very good. I am a foodie, so it is hard to get a great from me. I simply keep in mind this is an all inclusive, not a Michelin Star restaurant. There is not a buffet at dinner. Not an issue for us, but we heard several complaints from other guests about this. Breakfast buffet was large and spread out nicely. Lunch was available at two restaurants and the buffet. The snack bar, fruit snacks and jerk chicken cart were available all afternoon. Dinners were good. We liked Bordeaux the best. (see cons for some others)
The Cons -
First and foremost the front desk staff was just lousy and that is the nicest thing I can say. Check in was deplorable. Renae told us that a room was not available for us just now. We asked about an upgrade as we had considered this while booking. Of course an upgraded room was available. She gave us directions to lunch while our room was finished being cleaned. We ate and strolled around the pool area a little as we did not want to be pushy - this is Jamaica, mon. Upon our arrival back at the front desk we were informed that our room had been given away. So we had a seat. About 30 minutes later, Renae finished with the 2 other couples that she was working with (sending them to have lunch while their rooms were being cleaned) and told us that she would look for a new room. She found one, no someone else just took it. She found a second, nope, that one was taken too. She told us a total of 5 times that our room was "taken" by someone else. Here we are 2.5 hours after arrival (guaranteed early check in, by the way) and no room. We politely expressed our displeasure and mentioned the "early check in guarantee" and suddenly she had a room, but they needed an additional 1 hour 45 minutes to clean it. It told her no way. Forget the upgrade and find us a room. More delays and conferring with other staff and told us to go wait across the room. Finally My husband and I told her that we would not leave her desk until we had a room key in our hand. 5 minutes later a porter was giving us a tour of our room. Later in the trip we asked for change (after being referred to the front desk by all of the shops and the casino) and they were of course, out right now. They did not know if ice cream was on the room service menu. We frequently felt that we were given answers just to get us to go away. Not a good face to put on a resort.
The spa is terrible. We were told to show up 1 hour early to enjoy the hydrotherapy. We did. We filled out our paperwork, were told to sit and then ignored for 45 minutes until my husband walked onto the ladies locker room looking for a bathroom. He was ushered to the other side of the spa. He asked about our treatments and everyone seemed surprised that no one was helping us. I was given a locker with no robe and no slippers. back to the desk, once we were changed we were told to sit. Yes, we felt like dogs! 1At 10:50 (our massage time was 11) we asked about our treatments. We were told we had 10 minutes yet. We waited. 5 minutes later we asked again. We were told we had 10 minutes yet. We waited some more. At 11 am they came and got us, walked us through the spa, up us in an elevator and then walked us to our treatment room. The two therapaists talked to us and let us changed. We laid down at 11:12 (according to the digital clock in the room). We had lack-luster massages. As we were getting dressed they therapists knocked and told us we had to leave. We left the room (massaged and fully dressed) at 11:47 (according to the same digital clock). So much for our 50 minute massage. We complained about the check in process and the treatment and were given a free day of hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is one hot tub, one luke-warm pool with bubble jets, 3 cold pools, 3 cold showers a hot sauna and a steam room.
The room service menu is very limited and I believe that orders are taken by the front desk. One evening we ordered chocolate cake and black forest tort as a late night snack. We were told they were the same thing and we got two pieces of strawberry cheesecake. Our last night there, another late night sweet tooth hit and we ordered Chocolate cake and strawberry cheesecake. We got a black forest tort and a raspberry thing (I am truly at a loss for words as to what it was.....).
We did not care for the mexican restaurant nor the staff that was there in the evening. We asked for an outdoor table and we were told no. Flat out no. There were plenty of tables and I asked again. The hostess again said no. My husband said we would leave. The hostess humpfed and said fine. She lead us to a side patio with no view, no breeze, and very sub-par service. There were ants covering the wall next to our table so we picked it up and moved it away from the wall to keep the ants off as we knew we would not get another table. The food was mediocre and the seafood was overcooked.
One last less that great - the bottled water "Wata" is enriched with sodium, magnesium, and potassium. I understand the electrolytes for hydration, but if you drink a lot of water you may find that you are swollen from the salt and have a loose tummy from the magnesium. The potassium is great for leg cramps.
Over all a very good trip. we did not let the front desk ruin our time. Be an educated traveler. Have a great holiday!

Room Tip: third floor had good views of the pool and ocean. First floor rooms have no privacy. We saw several...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Robin_Birdie
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
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets St. James Montego Bay 4.5*
Number of rooms: 350
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Secrets St James Hotel Montego Bay

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