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Breathless Montego Bay Resort & Spa
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Reviewed 24 February 2018

We just returned from Breathless Montego Bay. We were extremely disappointed with our trip. You might be thinking, "On what basis can you make this judgement?" Last March we went to Breathless in Riviera Cancun and we had an excellent time which is why we booked another Breathless in Jamaica. We also have stayed at 4 different Secrets resorts in Mexico so we know that standards of the AM Resort chain.

Important information :
1. Beach - This resort does not have a beach. It shares a beach with Secrets St James and Secrets Wild Orchid. In order to access the beach you need to walk across a walk way that connects the two resorts. It is not that far but not having a beach connected to the resort was odd. Also, the beaches are not very wide. The beaches are also broken up by rock walls so you are unable to walk along the beach and water very far until you had to climb over a rock wall or exit the beach and walk close to the grass in order to continue your beach walk.
Butler service always reserves the first row of chairs for specific rooms whether or not they come to the beach or pool. I found that frustrating because sometimes no one sat in those chairs all day. Also, the beach loungers were not comfortable. They had no pad on them, you laid directly on the wicker which was not comfortable on your back or neck. We were approached 2 times to purchase marijuana from resort employees which was a bit surprising.

2. Restaurants and Food - Although Breathless Montego Bay does have some restaurants, the majority of the restaurants are over at what we called "city center". City Center was quite a far walk over to the other Secrets Resorts. If you like to dress up and wear heels, the walk becomes extra far and sometime uncomfortable. In my opinion there should be golf carts constantly running back and forth but my husband and I only caught the cart one time. The buffet was small considering 3 resorts were sharing the space. Dinner was the same as we usually had at least an hour pr more wait. Food was average at best.

3. Pool and Entertainment - This Breathless Resort is much smaller than the one in Mexico but my husband and I figured the the vibe would be similar even though the resort was smaller. We NEVER imagined that the vibe would be non-existent. There was usually no music at the pool and the entertainment staff was less than entertaining, no fault of their own as we found out later that the resort is going through rebranding and is currently not sure of its identity. What a HUGE disappointment. This resort vibe was bland and boring. The highly anticipated foam party was only decent 1 day of the 6 we stayed. Other days it seemed as if the foam machine was not working but we found out that they had to be conscious of the amount of foam that traveled by air to the neighboring properties. REALLY??? It's soap for pete's sake!

4. Service at Pool: There was NO pool service unless you belonged to the Xhale Club. You had to physically go to the bar and get your own drink. I am not opposed to doing this but it is a service that is paid for when you go to an all-inclusive. To make matters worse there was usually one bartender at the pool bar and sometimes you had to wait 15-20 minutes to get your drink. Jodi-Kay was awesome at the pool bar though. She normally made your wait a bit easier with her smiling face and good spirits.
Also please note that there is no food to eat at the Breathless Pool. If you are hungry while at the pool you will have to put your clothing or cover up on in order to get food at the sit down outdoor restaurant. The Secrets Resorts have something called Barefoot Grille but the Breathless Resort does not. There were a few times that they brought pizza to the pool bar but it was at random times.

5. Service at Restaurants - For the most part the service was average although we did come across a rather rude host at the Italian restaurant. The service was slow and sometimes you did have to ask several times before they actually remembered to bring you the glass of water or OJ you ordered.

6. Rooms and Accomodations - The rooms were nicely appointed with pretty views of the pools and bay. That was beautiful. However, we were on the 5th floor underneath (5509) the roof top hot tub and pool. Every morning around 8:30 we would hear suction noises above us. We were up anyway so it didn't bother us very much but if you were trying to sleep in, that could be a problem.

7. Nightly Entertainment - BAD!!!! Breathless tried to bring in some sort of entertainment every night or do something on the Secrets borrowed beach but each attempt was less than stellar. Not many people attended. There was entertainment associated with
the Secrets Resorts that Breathless guests were allowed to attend. It was ok. Mostly it was singers at the "City Center". After that ended the Piano bar had awful sing-a-longs, night after night after night. Also, the piano bar had an AWFUL smell to it. I couldn't stomach staying in there. The Desire Night club was fun on some days. The days it wasn't fun was the days they did the Silent Disco (stupid). Everyone wears headphones and dances to the music they hear in the headphones. So if you are not wearing headphone and you walk into the club you see people dancing and singing but you hear no music. The other night at the Desire Club that was bad was the night they had Karaoke. For 90 minutes you listened to awful singer sing terrible songs while the rest of the club was waiting to dance. Take the Karaoke out of the club. That should be for dancing only.

8. The Grounds - The scenery of Jamaica is stunning. The beautiful blue green water and with the mountains in the background was just beautiful. The resort was kept clean with the exception of the old mattresses and beds that were thrown in the corner of the parking lot.

Overall experience : My husband and I were greatly disappointed with our trip. We were so excited thinking that it would be a similar experience to Breathless Riviera Cancun but we were wrong. It wasn't even close. We did have a conversation with an employee and he said that the resort needs to make some changes that will start in March. He wasn't clear as to what they would be however. If you want a fun, sexy vibe in a resort, head to Breathless Mexico. Sadly this resort in Jamaica is just not up to par. Don't waste your money.

Room Tip: Upper level rooms have best views
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank 222MAP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2018

Just like in the pictures! Our maid, Patricia was great. Swim up pool bartenders, Jodie-Kay, Linell and Jethro provide top notch service with a smile and are genuinely nice people. Rushane, Anna-Loy, Roseanne and Shonae ( Culinaria ) went above and beyond and brought us food that was not on the menu. They truly made our vacation an unforgettable one!

Room Tip: Exhale club gets you access to the rooftop pool/hot tub and bar from 10am-6pm.
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Paula D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2018

We had a really great time at this resort. The pool is lovely, the room is really cool and the short walk to the amenities at Secrets is a wonderful bonus. However, I want to mention a few negative experiences that we encountered, not to discourage people from going, but in the hopes that management takes notice and improves.

We arrived to a room (late aft checkin) with a VERY dirty floor (I mean downright nasty… sticky stuff spilled allover, sludge smears, etc.). Not a big deal, but not a good first impression.

Our coffee was never re-stocked one single time during our week stay (BIG disappointment). Our fridge was re-stocked twice.

We had butler service; our butler introduced himself when we were checking in and promised us a cell phone, but then we never heard from him again until our last day when it was time to tip him. No big deal for us (we don’t use butlers) but unfair.

And now, for our biggest gripe (and the reason we won’t be returning): some of the staff are downright rude and every one of them wants you to know that they expect a tip. We have travelled to Jamaica once or twice a year for the last 10 years. We are not rich, in fact we often borrow just to go, and we are very low maintenance people (always a please and thank you, and if we can get something ourselves we certainly will, no problem). We are in the habit of tipping our bellboy, our maid, and any server that takes care of us at an al-a-cart. We don’t usually feel the need to take tips to the beach grill or bar every time we get a drink, nor to tip the server that pours our water for us at the buffet, etc. We love chatting with the staff and at this resort but no matter how lovely any given person was, and no matter how friendly we thought we had become with them during the course of our conversation, not one of them failed to let us know indirectly before walking away that they expected a tip. It made me feel like scum not to tip each one of them and, while I know full well that they work very hard and get paid very little, I don’t ever want to be made to feel that way while on a holiday.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank marleyandmags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2018

We arrived at Breathless Montego Bay early, due to a flight change. Check-in is 3:00pm, we got there at noon. We were given a short tour of the property and guided to the buffet at their sister property, Wild Orchid. As a guest at Breathless, we had access to the amenities at Wild Orchid and Secrets St. James. The buffet at Wild Orchid was very good. It had a nice selection of salads and meats and also offered a pasta station. We made it back to the Breathless lobby around 1:00pm, hoping for an early check in. We were told that it might not even be ready by the 3:00pm check-in time. After an hour we personally walked down to our room, which the housekeeper at an adjacent room said our room had been serviced earlier and was just awaiting inspection. The front desk informed us that it would still be almost an hour wait. After a long day of travel we just wanted to settle in and start relaxing. Our butler introduced himself, and we advised us of the situation. Within five minutes he had us in our room. Our Jr. Swim-Up suite was so much more than we expected. The property is only a year old and our room was very tech savvy. The lighting and draperies can be controlled at wall panels throughout the room. The suite also features a computer tablet which operates everything in the room, except the TV. You can also read newspapers from around the world, view the days scheduled activities and order room service. The lighting controls allow you to adjust the color of the room using LED up lighting. There are plenty of electrical outlets as well as USB wall outlets. The bathroom is separated from the rest of the room by an enclosed floor to ceiling clear glass shower stall. A retractable shade allows privacy if desired, also controlled by the tablet. A clever feature of the room is the room service cabinet. You can request that your room service order be placed in a cabinet in the wall next to the front door. The cabinet has a door on the hall side and the room side. This way you do not have to be “presentable” to receive your order. The swim up includes two lounges on the tanning deck, in shallow water, a chase lounge on the patio and a Jacuzzi style tub, large enough for two. All rooms are non-smoking, but an ashtray is available on the patio.
Smoking is allowed on property, away from bars restaurants. The piano bar has cigars available for purchase and can be smoked inside.
The three properties have multiple small beaches. I have found that Montego Bay beaches in general, are pretty rocky and contain seaweed. Some of these beaches are fairly clear of both. All of them have a nice array of chairs and lounges.
Many dining options are available on the three properties. Fast food/snack options are endless at Secrets and nearly non-existent at Breathless, but room service is 24 hours. Ordering room service on the computer tablet was fun, but two out of three orders were wrong, but still delicious.
On the Breathless side there are only five dining options. There are no snacks or food carts. Fishnets Grill is only open for lunch, and has limited selections. I honestly did not see a single person eat there in five days. The Latin and International restaurants operate as the buffet in the morning. This breakfast buffet is not the best. They have an egg station, which is pretty good. The pancakes and French toast are also good, but the sausage was overcooked, and the bacon was burnt black. On our second visit to this buffet the food was better, but the service was terrible. The server never visited our table. I had to search for ketchup and hot sauce. I also had to track down my own coffee and orange juice. The buffet on the Secrets properties was much better. We did not try the Latin restaurant Sofrito, but enjoyed our bleu cheese sirloin steaks at the international restaurant Culinaria. My crab cake appetizer was supposed to be topped with caviar, unfortunately they ran out. We had an amazing experience at Altitude roof-top restaurant. We sat down and were handed menus. We had no idea this restaurant featured Indian cuisine. This would be our first experience with this fare. The whole experience was delightful. The panoramic view of the bay on one side and the Ocean on the other was stunning. I ordered the Butter Chicken and my wife was served Tandoori Lobster. We enjoyed our entrees and eagerly sampled each other’s plate.
On the Secrets properties we enjoyed the breathtaking views and creative and delicious entrees at the seafood restaurant, Ocaeana and Italian restaurant, Portofino. We did not dine at Blue Mountain a Caribbean themed restaurant or the French restaurant. We did save Himitsu, the Asian restaurant for our last night. Reservations are not required at any restaurant, but are usually a good idea if you plan to sit at the hibachi grill at Himitsu. We had heard nothing but great things about the food and the entertaining hibachi chefs. As we were waiting to be seated we watched the cooks interacting with diners at their grills. It was an entertaining experience with the chef leading a sing along while masterfully twirling and tossing their utensils, juggling eggs and beating the ingredient containers like steel drums. With great anticipation we were lead to our grill-side seats. Our chef was nothing like the upbeat performers we witnessed at the other stations. Ours was a Jamaican version of Steven Wright, whose singing sounded more like the unintelligible mumblings of a stranger on a bus bench. The food itself was just “ok”. I think we would have been more satisfied at a regular table, ordering off of the menu. The Secrets side also has a coffee stand with “Starbuck style” coffee creations, with or without alcohol, along with small tasty sandwiches. Jerk chicken carts were easy enough to find. Barefoot Grill and Seaside grill on Secrets both have an incredible cheeseburger. But, your stay would be incomplete without ordering crab fritters with ghost pepper mayo at the Barefoot Grill.
Bars are plentiful on all properties. The spirit selection isn’t what I would call “top-shelf” but, here are some of the labels that I saw (not available at all bars) Johnny Walker, Chivas Regal, Crown Royal, Grey Goose, Absolut, Tanqueray, Malibu and Bacardi Rum. Beer is limited to Red Stripe and Heineken. Breathless has a bar in the lobby and a swim-up bar at the pool. They also feature a swim-up bar that is on the roof-top, at Altitude which is open until 1am. This bar also shares the same views as the Indian restaurant. Grab a drink at the swim-up or walk up, either way you will enjoy your beverage while you drink in the scenery.
The Secrets side has more swim-up bars than you can count, along with a 2am nightclub called Desires and a sing-along piano bar with entertainment from 10:30 to 12:00.
A Hard Rock Café’ is on property, but is not a part of the all inclusive package. My wife and I checked it out once. I ordered two drinks off of the menu at $4.95 each. After placing the order I asked the bartender to change my drink order, just make me something “different”. He brought our drinks. Apparently, “something different” means expensive. He said my total was $16. Doing the math, my drink was $11. I gave the bartender a $20. He returned after a few moments to tell me he could not get me change because the register wouldn’t open. We have no intention of going back and suggest you bring exact change if you go.
On Sunday evening at Secrets next to the water, they had a very talented solo performer who sang and played guitar. He performed contemporary songs as well as R&B and Motown. It was a moving evening of music that entranced the audience. The music was followed by a couples “Newlywed Game” style of game. Five couples were called up at random to participate. We were not only chosen to participate, we actually won! Our prize was a announced as a free 50 minute couples massage. We collected our certificate and my wife stuck it in her purse. When we booked our massage we were informed that it was a 50 minute massage for ONE or a 25 minute massage for TWO. I asked how much it would cost to upgrade to a fifty minute massage and was told it would be $115. That did not seem unreasonable, so we booked our massage for later that afternoon. We arrived an hour early as requested and checked in at the reception desk. At that time we were told that our room was to be billed $230. Shocked, I asked why it was so much. She told me that the upgrade was $115 per person. This was not stated when we booked our treatment. As to not disappoint my wife, I agreed to the charges. I do not doubt that the misrepresentation was intentional. After the turmoil at the desk we went to our respective locker rooms to change for our spa day. After changing into our swimsuits we met our attendant who led us through the included aqua therapy session which included; steam room, cooling bucket shower, sauna, invigorating arctic plunge, deluxe, oversized Jacuzzi and a foot feature that had us walking through alternating hot and cold baths. Our couples massage was next. Although this was an unexpected expense, this was by far the most decadent and satisfying spa we have ever experienced, first class and luxurious.
Our Jr. suite came with butler service. We have enjoyed this service in the past. If you have experienced this amenity you know what to expect. Our Breathless butlers did not meet our expectations. At one point we got so frustrated trying to get in touch with them that we turned off our butler phone for the entire next day. We are accustomed to butlers contacting us throughout the day to inquire on any needs. Seemed very nice, but we did not see them much.
Live entertainment at Breathless and Secrets varies from solo artists to full bands, playing adult contemporary to reggae and steel drum music. DJs play sporadically throughout all properties.
Secrets has a small shopping mall with a jewelry store, gift shop, cigar store and a “casino” called Jay Vegas. It is open 24 hours. It is limited to about a dozen dated slot machines and a video black jack table.
Breathless offers a daily foam party from 3-5pm.
Even though these properties are connected, and Breathless guests can use all three resorts, a list of activities at Secrets is not available on the Breathless property. We missed two nights worth of entertainment because Breathless does not promote the Secrets entertainment or amenities.
The reviews we read about Breathless prior to booking our trip lead us to believe that Breathless was the party side, so, not true. Everything about Breathless is “chill”. Beautiful, clean, and (except for the foam party) mostly quiet. So, if you want ample peace and solitude, this property will leave you Beathless.

Room Tip: A swim-Up is always best
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
2  Thank Ron L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2018

Breathless is new resort located 20 minutes from Montego Bay Airport. All rooms are suite style with Jacuzzi, modern decor bathroom and furniture. defiantly a romantic feel with different light settings and electronic open and close curtains. Butler services is available. Ask for Orlando and Prince. They was amazing with setting up dinner, pool and beach reservations. I had a great meal at the Bare Bun Grill restaurant near pool."Fried fish with Jasmine rice". Cook and prepared by Chef Shashie. All guest are able to use Secrets and St. James properties next door. Overall great place to visit.

Stayed: January 2018
4  Thank Luvmesomegreg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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