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“20th TIME to Jamaica!! Read THIS Review!”

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Ranked #12 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 14 September 2016

First, let me say that I wanted to write this review back in June, upon return; however, since I had just written a (very belated review) from my last year's trip to Secrets St. James, trip advisor made me wait until August before writing this one.
Now, onto the good stuff: GO HERE. This place is AMAZING! We arrived on 6/3, and stayed until 6/9/16 (our 2nd time here), I traveled with a male friend. There are a lot of couples (honeymooners, etc); however, that never made a difference in the fun and awesomeness of this resort, nor did we feel a bit out of place or awkward, being that we are "just friends". I have read prior reviews of a few people who were not as enthusiastic about Secrets St. James- not sure exactly "what" they are accustomed to, but I have stayed in 5 star resorts, and this one is TOP NOTCH. Nice people, great food, EXCELLENT, friendly service. From the moment we arrived to the moment we departed, nothing, and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING was too much to ask. Ex: our safe in our room battery was 'low', and within less than 30 minutes, it was replaced. Extra towels? NO PROBLEM! Fridge restocked? NO PROBLEM! Jamaican apples? NO PROBLEM! Try them!! Restaurant food was superb! I especially enjoyed the French and Italian fare. My friend enjoyed the Jamaican fare (especially the oxtail). We BOTH thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast at the One World Cafe'. Staff: from the front desk to maintenance, to housekeeping to restaurant servers, water sports, bartenders alike, were nothing less than professional, friendly (A BIG shout out to O'Neill at the lobby bar!). Great team of employees here! We even hired a driver from the resort to take us to the Progressive Market to get a few local items (peppercorns, rum cream, hot sauce, chocolates) I enjoy bringing back to the states. Nice guy! EXCURSIONS: My only disappointment was not being able to take a "reading road trip" excursion this time, as they only do this once weekly, and we were not there on that particular day. This is an excursion through the Sandals Foundation, and it takes visitors to local schools to read to the children. All they ask is to bring a book- no big deal. What a great way to contribute to this wonderful country, children's literacy and education! Definitely want to do this next time. We did go snorkeling at the resort, and this was another wonderful experience. PREFERRED SIDE: we had full access to this side, and I highly recommend this. The level of quiet is just what I wanted; again, great service from the staff. The peacocks were nice to see, as well as the few cute resort kitties. There are 'small bites' of food to enjoy right inside of the lobby from the pool on the Preferred side, all day. However, if I wanted some more 'action', I just walked around to the other side of the resort pool where I engaged in trivia games and fun interaction with guests & staff alike. We also took part in the Jamaican Cooking Class on the beach- very fun and interesting! NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT: pretty good. Met some nice people from the East Coast and ended up at the Disco dancing and hanging out. Great memories!! THE SPA: WOW! WOW! WOW! All I have to say is: this resort is worth going to for the spa alone!! The treatment (I had an 80 minute massage-ahhhh!), and went through the entire hydrotherapy circuit. We stayed for about 3.5 hours enjoying all this spa had to offer. One of favorite parts of this trip was the Chocolate Party on Wednesday night!!! OMG!!! THIS party: crepes, chocolate martini's, toast your own marshmallows, 2 large chocolate (white & dark), fountains flowing, cake pops, brownies, pastries galore!!!! YUM!!!! Total Chocolate Seduction!!! Loved it! They also had a Rum Tasting event going on that evening- great time! COCO CAFE: deliciousness!! My fave drink there is the White Chocolate Satin. Do NOT miss this and the pastries, mini sandwiches and the soft serve ice cream machine. Enough Said. ROOM SERVICE: excellent and timely. I love the little butler door to put our dishes when done with them; Great concept! The beach: very comfortable chairs, and enough trees for shade if you so desire. They are building a new resort across the street called "Breathless"; most likely will be checking this one out. THE ROOM: Noise level? NO PROBLEM! We had a beach view on the 5th floor, so we never heard any construction jackhammers or loudness. The beds were THE MOST comfortable; so much that I wished I could've taken mine home! Nice soaking spa like bathtub. Good closet space. We did ask for extra pillows and clothes hangers. Once again, NO PROBLEM!! Basically, we felt so pampered, it was truly a pleasure to hand out $$ tips to these folks. They work hard, and it shows. These employees are superior representatives of the AMSTAR name and corporation who own Secrets St. James, along with many others; and they should be very proud of each and every one of them. Extremely personable people! I even had the opportunity to speak with the food and beverage director, as well as the GM of this resort; nice down to earth friendly and professional people! This is an adult-only resort, and it is just what we were looking for in a luxury, pampered, fun, relaxing vacation. Keep in mind that your vacation is WHAT YOU make of it! BOTTOM LINE: I cannot say ENOUGH about this resort. I do know that I am already planning my next (yes, my 21st) trip to JA; my 3rd stay at Secrets St. James.

Room Tip: Any room above the 4th floor is GREAT! Spectacular views!
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  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with friends
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
8  Thank Travelcat214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 September 2016

My wife and I stayed at this resort August 6th -13th 2016. I must say we were totally impressed by the resort, food and the excellent customer service. From the time we stepped out of the cab we were treated with white glove service. I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone. The beaches were clean and the servers on the beach and restaurants were hands down the best !!!! I cant wait to go back.

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Charles F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2016

I have been to several Secrets Resorts and this by far was the best! They constantly had activities on the beach and pool area day and night. We went as a group of friends and were never board! The staff was over the top and the resort was spotless. The piano bar was one of our favorite parts. Food was excellent and drinks were top notch.
It was only about 15 minutes from the airport and Montego Bay.

Room Tip: We stayed in the cheapest room and it felt like we were in the most expensive! We still had a view o...
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  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled with friends
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1  Thank KayleeA16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2016

My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon to Jamaica! We stayed at the Secrets St. James - Montego Bay for 8 nights.

First, we have traveled previously to Dominican Republic together and had a very good time, but we absolutely fell in love with Jamaica! The demeanor of the Jamaican people is laid back and very courteous. Nearly all the staff at Secrets and anywhere we went in country would ask how are day was and how are trip was. "Irie" is the Jamaican word "all is good". The native language in Jamaica is English, but they have their own cultural language that is a mix of African dialect and English called "Patwah" (sp?).

Second, the resort. Secrets provides world class service. I would say the attention to detail on the grounds was a 9/10. Few little things here and there but that would totally be me just be nitpicky to say it wasn't 10/10. This place is paradise!

Grounds - Well manicured, high attention to detail

Restaurants - Very, Very Good food. Some of the descriptions we found don't do the actual food justice. Trust me, if something sounds remotely good, try it, because it will be. I tend to be more adventurous and will eat just about anything, my wife is a touch more picky but will still try things at least once. She can get weirded out by the way some of the things were described (like flavors that might not go together, etc) but she would order it anyway because the main dish is what she wanted and she was glad she did.

Staff - The staff is unreal, from the servers in the restaurants to the entertainment department people. Big shout out to SUNSHINE in the entertainment department. She was around the St. James side a few times and my wife and I had a blast talking with her, she's an absolute riot! About 50% of our breakfasts we had the pleasure to have Oshane as our server in the World Cafe (breakfast / lunch buffet), he was one of the sweetest people we could have encountered. Extremely pleasant to talk to, kept telling us we were on our vacation and had us tell him what we wanted from the buffet and he'd run and get it.

Beach - The beach is well manicured and taken care of. They have swimming areas roped off in the different beach sections. They do this because there's coral reefs around the resort so the swimming areas keep guests from getting into the coral too much. They do offer a guided snorkeling tour a few different times of day to check out the reefs if you want. IF you want big waves when you're at the beach you'll be disappointed in lots of areas in Jamaica, not just at Secrets. There's a barrier reef around the north and west side of the island that protects the shoreline from getting crushed by waves....we were told if you want waves you really need to be on the East side of the island.

Bars - Plenty of bars to choose from and all the bartenders err on the side of "extra love" (more alcohol) in the drinks. Watch out for Alvin (GREAT bartender) at the Seaside Grill pool bar area on the St. James side, if you're not paying attention he'll keep feeding you different drinks (guys no straws) and before you know it you may lose an evening....not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

I surprised my wife with the destination of our travel for the honeymoon, she just knew it would be someplace tropical. She was beyond pleased with my choice. We both were. Neither of us would hesitate to visit Jamaica again tomorrow, nor would we hesitate to stay at Secrets again.

When I was originally researching resorts I kept reading about this "Jerk Chicken Cart" at Secrets.... OMG!!! This chicken is amazing! Item of note, in case you're not expecting it, the chicken will have bones in it, not just the jerk chicken but sometimes the chicken entrees, because they'll use like a half chicken breast, wing, thigh combo piece. But on one of our excursions a local was saying, "You ain't had jerk until you've had 'Smoked to the Bone' jerk; those resorts don't know how to do jerk." When i told him we were at Secrets and had the Jerk chicken cart (usually stationed between Wild Orchid and St. James, not far from Barefoot Grill) he said, "Now that there is what I'm talking about, that's good jerk." One other item I'll note that I didn't see in some of the reviews I read that mentioned the jerk cart is a couple nights after the shows the jerk chicken cart would appear again....I of course indulged. I didn't pass the jerk chicken cart all week without getting some jerk.

My last suggestion - TIP! The minimum wage in Jamaica is $60 / WEEK...many of the workers at the resort make a little bit more than that, but NOT much, like $70 / WEEK. My lasting impression is NO ONE expected a tip, but all were extremely APPRECIATIVE. And when you tip you're always going to get a little extra attention. Now I'm not talking a ton of money here....I'd go through maybe $15 / day if I was at the resort all day...I'd typically give the waiter at breakfast $2 (unless you just didn't get much service); another $2 at lunch; $3-5 at dinner depending on restaurant we were at and then a few dollars for bartenders etc. But it was all very worth it and with anyone on the receiving end being so appreciative rather than expecting it just made it that much more enjoyable.

Stayed: September 2016
8  Thank junior315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2016 via mobile

This place was absolutely amazing! I've done all inclusive before but they top it! This was a girls trip (4) and we were treated so nicely by all of the staff. Our check in was super fast, they gave a tour and overview of the room which was unexpected. The food was delicious. The servers and bartenders were fabulous. My favorite was Alvin. He was amazing and very personable and friendly. I will definitely go to another Secrets location!!

Stayed: September 2016, travelled with friends
5  Thank Dana M
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

Address: Lot A59, Freeport, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
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
#9 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#11 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: HK$2,809 - HK$5,579 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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