OK SO I NEVER POST REVIEWS BUT WE JUST RETURNED LAST NIGHT FROM THE RESORT...WE WERE THERE FOR 5 DAYS celebrating my husband 40th birthday..so where and how do I start..from the time you walk on the property you're treated like KING and Queen (whatever applies) of the Town...They never undermine the fact that you are one of thousands at the resort. Your greeted with a smile and very firm handshake.. before you get a chance to sit down and check in your asked if you like a drink.watersports included with the price you pay for the resort..kayaking, sailing, speed boat, glass bottom boat Ride..The food in some restaurants were much better than other..Seaside grill by the pool on St James side was GREAT!!! for dinner as well as the mexican EL Tapito (?) best meal was the pork chop tender and very tasty...for breakfast at the world cafe the server Oraldo (the singing guy) and kerri Ann serenaded my husband and I with a duet for his 40th bday service was EXceptional.. I mean I can go on and on EVERYTHING was top of the line.. entertainment, grounds keeping, lighting at night, room service was even SUPERB
My wife and I went to Jamaica from May 9 – May 16, to celebrate our 37th anniversary and a birthday. We have been to Jamaica over 30 times and visited many of its resorts. I have reviewed several of them on TripAdvisor. This time, we decided we did not want a 2-hour bus ride from the airport to an Ocho Rios venue, so we decided on a hotel in Montego Bay. We took our chances as to which specific hotel, however, and booked through Cheap Caribbean using a promo that Cheap Caribbean calls “Montego Bay Deal of Fortune”. It promised deluxe Ocean View Rooms and all-inclusive service at one of three hotels: The Iberostar Grand Rose Hall, Secrets Wild Orchid, or Secrets St. James. We researched them all and decided that they were all good properties with good reviews, and so we booked it with a request for a room on the second floor, near dining. It was exciting as we waited to be notified (a week before departure) of our destination. I did some more research as we waited, and I was surprised to find that the Secrets Resorts properties are owned by the same company (AMResorts) that owns Cheap Caribbean. Therefore, we were not surprised when we were notified that we had been assigned to Secrets St. James – the less expensive side of the Secrets Montego Bay complex (the two hotels – Secrets Wild Orchid and Secrets St. James - are side by side and totally integrated, using the same restaurants, beaches, pools, and public space. All of the restaurants are on the Wild Orchid side.) This is a case of buyer beware. If you book through Cheap Caribbean’s “Deal of Fortune,” you will likely get assigned to Secrets St. James. We had an easy 10-minute ride from the airport to the Secrets Complex. This is a very large resort. Since both resorts are together, it has over 700 rooms. The grounds are expansive, but that’s a lot of people hitting the buffet line for breakfast at the same time. On arriving, we were assigned to a garden view room on the first floor. I told the hotel rep that that was not what we had paid for, and he said he could upgrade us to VIP Premiere status for $700, which would include an Ocean View room and use of the best beaches and pools, which are reserved for the VIP Premiere members. Eventually, making no headway to get what Cheap Caribbean promised (an Ocean View room), I found that the agent was not averse to bargaining, and after mentioning our Anniversary and birthday we settled for $350 for a VIP Premiere upgrade. Our new room, number 3408, was on the 4th floor (elevator accessible) and had a great view. This turned out to be a good move, as we noticed that the first floor room we were originally assigned to opened to a very public walkway in front, and the patio area in the back was on a main path to the pool. Check-in was easy. We arrived at the resort at 2:10 and were in our room by 3:00. (Later we learned that Preferred beaches are also available to non-Preferred guests, as well.) All in all a disappointing stay and disappointing service from Cheap Caribbean / AMResorts.
My new wife and I stayed here for our honeymoon for 10 days and cannot imagine being in a nicer place. The grounds were immaculate, the staff was excellent, and the food was outstanding. Even though we were there for 10 days, we never felt bored. With the entertainment staff, the watersports, the games, and the casino, there was always something to do. The pools and the beach were beautiful. We decided to upgrade to the preferred club so we could get a nicer room. The regular junior suites were beautiful but since it was our honeymoon, we splurged a bit and upgraded. We had a butler who made all of our dinner reservations and always had our Jacuzzi tubs filled when we came in from dinner. I surprised my wife with the beach side dinner they offer. I'd suggest that everyone take advantage of that. We were so relaxed that we never even felt the need to go to the spa. The adult drinks are plentiful and I found that the more I tipped, the stronger my drinks were. I would come back the this resort in a heatbeat. I would recommend this place for any couple honeymooning or just looking for a romantic getaway. It's a fantastic experience for a fantastic value.
After reading way too many positive and negative reviews about the resort I was unsure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised. The resort is beautiful. Clean and modern. The staff was friendly and quick to accommodate any request. Some people complained in their review that the staff seemed fake. Honestly, although at times that may be true, who cares. Fact is they are working and customer service has its moments.... My personal experience with all the staff I encountered was great. They were always friendly, energetic and smiling. My room was spacious and always clean. The fridge was not cold but there's an ice machine around the corner. The food I got from room service was not very good but not the case in the restaurants. I went to all but the Mexican and had delicious meals very time. Is it 5 star cuisine? No. But it was good enough and the service was great. I only waited for a table once and when you have a drink in hand and good company and an ocean view it really isn't the end of the world. Skip the wine though, Its terrible!! I can see how based on expectations not everyone would have the same experience. But if you go on vacation just looking at the negatives then the problem is you, not the resort . As for the people who complained about tips. I saw very generous tippers and those who did not tip at all , what I didn't see was the staff asking for tips or giving poor service to those who did not. I wont go into every little detail but I spent 6 nights at the resort and did not want to leave. A great big kiss and Thank you to everyone that helped make my vacation everything I needed and more. Cant wait to return to Jamaica and I'd definitely return to Secrets.
I traveled to Jamaica for the first time with my 3 siblings to celebrate their milestone birthdays (30th and 21st). I was very skeptical as this was my first time using CheapCaribbean. We arrived to the hotel 3hrs before check-in and was provided a room with no wait. Every staff that I came across was polite, friendly and accommodating. Our room was clean and very up to date. After an 30 minutes of arriving, we took a few steps outside to the pool and bar. The bar offers ALL drink options. The beach was breathtaking and the water was warm and calm. Plenty of chairs and towels. The resort offers "Jerk chicken cart and fruit cart" that randomly walks around offering guest jerk chicken, coconut water straight out of the coconut and the sweetest mangos. My favorite was breakfast and lunch at the World Cafe (buffet style)! I was not to impressed with the dinner options as me and my family are BIG foodies. Small portions and I was not able to find what I wanted on the menu. The restaurants were beautiful and the servers were prompt and attentive! I love that the resort had endless options as it relates to food. So while you may not like one thing you could easily walk over and get seafood paella off the grill made by a chef right on the beach. The cleaners came every afternoon to clean our room and restock the fridge. We ordered room service a few times - and found the food was better later on in the day. I normally do not eat much meat but while at Secrets - I ate lots of it because it was well seasoned. Secrets is in walking distance of Wild Orchats and Breathless so we were able to visit all the pools and bars. The night scene was fun! The club was a great time and the Dj played all the latest music. I left the resort two times using a taxi service that works for the resort. I was safe but felt it was a bit pricey (35$ - airport, $30- downtown night clubs). I will definitely visit again through Cheap Carribbean. It rained a lot during our 5 days there but it did not put a damper of our fun. I was told by the staff there is normally more outdoor activities that were not available to us due to the rain ( outdoor movie, beach party, yoga on the beach). I can go on ALL DAY when I speak on the quality of service provided by the staff. I befriended so many staff there (Sunshine, Kamstar, Chase, Leo, Sassy) and they were engaging, made sure we were having a great time throughout the day and offered great knowledge on the island. I will say that both siblings the 30yr old and the 21yr old equally had the time of their lives.
Resort was very nice. Was not happy with the pressure to view the presentation to join the Secrets Vacation club. If they want to take you off to the Bar to discuss your stay, "just say no". Also when this says tips included, be leary. Everyone expected a tip. While they wouldn't say it, they would stand around next to you, looking at you until they got something. Case in point,,,luggage delivery to the room. After the person brought the bags to the room, he just stood around in the room looking at us. Once he got a tip, he gladly exited.Room was nice yet a lot of moldy looking stuff around the back side of the shower glass Maid service was very good. We ordered room service late almost every night and on 2 occasions we had to call to track down the delivery. One time it was 1 hour late. Pools and bars were very nice. Lots of resort entertainment going on in these areas to keep everyone engaged. If you get a package with $$$resort credits, these are for specific things like 2 $40 certificates towards spa treatments. They cant be combined so wife could only use 1 at a time.
We stayed for 5 days at Secrets St. James in Montego Bay and had one of the BEST vacations we've ever had! The resort was beautiful and clean, and the service was excellent. Everyone working at the resort was very friendly. Our room was cleaned and restocked frequently, which was nice. However, the room mini bar had a limit of 4 Red Stripe beers per day, which was a little disappointing but overall not a big deal because we spent very little time in our room. The pool bar was our favorite! The water temperature was warm, which I loved. There was always something going on as far as entertainment on the resort.. water aerobics, dance lessons, drum lessons, games, contests, shows, etc. We definitely got our money's worth for the all-inclusive package, and I will say that the drinks were delicious! A little on the sweet side, but still delicious. We had a little bit of a wait for the Mexican restaurant (El Patio), but the food was still very good. We always went to the World Cafe buffet for breakfast - soooo good. They have everything you can think of for breakfast, and it's all fresh. Our favorite dinner spot was Bordeux, a French cuisine restuarant. You have to make a reservation, and even with that we had about a 15 minute wait. The food, however, was excellent. We really had no complains about any of the food. The spa is gorgeous, but we were ushered through their hydrotherapy room before our massage. They instruct you on a specific sequence to follow through different showers and baths in the hydrotherapy room, which I thought was a bit uncomfortable and too rigid. I would have liked to just meandor around and try each thing at my own leisure. The workout room is a little small but it was fine for a morning jog on the treadmill. Aside from a few bug bites, we really had no major complaints. I really appreciated the way they treated their guests and the standards they keep for the resort. I would definitely come back to this resort and would love to go to another Secrets resort in the future!!
Traveled there september 2011. Really one of the best all inclusive vacations ever. Friendly staff, food was great. Plenty to do on the beach. DO NOT MISS THE JERK CART ON THE BEACH. Also icey cart and fresh coconut drinks (how tropical). My trip was six nights of bliss with my husband to celebrate our anniversary. Give the spa a try not cheap but really worth it. Most resorts you will have one or two down points. I have not one complaint. I do think the preferred is worth the additional money.
We stayed at Secrets St. James Montego Bay 15-19 Aug 2013. Not sure if it was because they were really busy but we didn't receive a welcome drink/towel that other guests have mentioned. The resort overall was better than expected. Our favorite restaraunts were the World Cafe/Blue Mountain (especially lobster night on Tue/Sat) and the French restaraunt (try the lamb) which were excellent. We spent most of our time on the beach each day. The Jerk chicken cart was really good; I made return trips to this cart. The fruit cart and coconut carts were also a nice treat. They appeared along the beach/pool walkway each day around 12-12:30 pm and stayed for 2-3 hours. The coconut cart seemed to be the 1st to give out so I would recommend going to that one first. I've read comments on Trip Advisor that the beach was small. However, we thought it was perfect. The only thing we didn't like about the beach was the loungers. They didn't have any type of cushions on them like the ones around the pool. With only a towel between your body and the wicker, you end up with bruises on your skin. Our last day on the beach, I borrowed two cushions from the pool loungers and hid them under our towels; that was wonderful! If you don't book Preferred Club (which we didn't), be prepared to pay for WiFi. This costs us an additional $80 for 5 days. It's nice to have the option if you want to send pics/messages to friends. While we were there, we wanted to do a little shopping in Montego Bay. We opted for the $60 cab ride instead of the 3-hour group trip. To our surprise, the driver escorted us wherever we wanted to go and actually waited for us at each stop (no time limit). We went to Hip Strip to some of the duty-free shops. Our last stop was at the craft market. If you go to the craft market, be prepared for some VERY aggressive vendors. If you have ever gone shopping at the Mexican or Korean markets, they have nothing on the Jamaican markets as far as aggressiveness goes! Most of the vendors have some of the same items so you can bargain quite a bit with them. All said, it was a great experience. On our way back, he drove us through the heart of the town (a huge eye-opener). It was recommended that we NOT go there to shop. We will definitely go back to Secrets but we'll try the Preferred Club next time. No matter which open you choose, all rooms come with an ocean view. We had a fantastic view from our balcony.
Nice gardens, beach and pool areas. Room is okay but at night gets hot and sticky. Disappointed that fruit juice is not provided in room...just water and soda. Lunch options if you are wet limited to burgers..hot dogs..etc. if you want a salad you have to go to the grill...dry clothes required. No buffet options at night if you are looking for a light meal. Restaurants are okay.. 7 restaurants serves the 2 Secrets hotels and 6 are located in one area. Nightly entertainment for us was kind of blah....plaza they show outdoor movies has a fountain in the middle...thus limited seating/ viewing. Most disturbing was staff member approaching us to go to the UVC meeting. She is very rude and obnoxious...talks over you...says there is no cost for membership...but when you talk to guests that did go to the 2 hour plus meeting the cost is $14k or more..online searches give honest costs as well. Then sad to say the same staff member approached us the next day and started her sales pitch and we had to voice fully tell her to leave us alone.. Thus Secrets is not a place we will use again..