My husband I went to Secrets Wild Orchid for our honeymoon last week and we really could not have picked a better place. There are so many good things about this resort that I don't know where to start. -Arrival: when we first got to the resort we were ushered in to one of the front desks to check in. We were given a glass of champagne and a cold washcloth to help cool off. All of the staff made us feel so welcome. It made it seem like they had been waiting all day just for our arrival. It was very nice to have that as a first impression. The bellboy who brought our stuff up to our room was really great, too. He took the time to show us everything about our room such as the safe and how to enter a code, where to put dirty dishes, and just different things. Checking in was a breeze. -Food: Before coming to Jamaica we had heard over and over the food is terrible, but no one we knew had ever stayed at SWO and if they had they would not have said that. Every single meal we enjoyed. I think we both agreed that the meal at the Blue Mountain restaurant was our favorite. I think the least favorite for both of us was the Surf and Turf buffet on Friday nights, but even that was still good. We loved the way the restaurants were laid out and how it felt like you were going somewhere nice every night and didn't have to leave the resort. The breakfast buffet was amazing. I am pretty sure breakfast became my husband's favorite meal because of it. The servers all tried really hard to impress you at every restaurant. They really tried to make sure it was a great dining experience. -Bars/drinks: We didn't spend a lot of time at the bars because we mostly had drinks delivered while at the pool/beach, but all of the drinks we had no matter which bar they came from were all great. My favorite was the Jamaican Smile. I think my husband's was probably a mojito. The club Desires at night is a lot of fun. Also, the nightly entertainment SWO had were all great. They had a lot of variety in the shows we saw. All of the servers at the bars and around the pool/beach were also great. It was like they really did want to make you happy. -Room/resort overall: The rooms were gorgeous. We did the regular rooms, but ocean view. It was so much nicer than what we had pictured. The rooms are trendy and different than the norm, so it felt really special. The shower is awesome and, this may sound strange, but I miss the hair dryer there. The nightly turn down service was unexpected. When we came in after being out at night it was nice to have the bed already turned down and the room felt welcome. The resort overall was definitely a great surprise. We had not expected it to be as big and nice as it was. All the amenities and the layout were above our imagination of what they would be. If you do go I recommend staying on the Wild Orchid side instead of St. James just because of the walk to all the dining options, but since you have run of both areas either resort would work. Overall, this resort and the whole trip were awesome and definitely something we want to go back and do again.
Overall this was a wonderful vacation, we came back relaxed and happy, and though the weather was not perfect every day we were there, it was enough to give our skin and our outlooks a nice glow. The staff at Secrets Wild Orchid was just fabulous. Everyone is so happy-appearing and friendly -- I think that is Jamaica in general. I WOULD go again. Any shortcomings about this resort and any negative reviews I have read, I tend to pass off as just from whiners or malcontents. HOWEVER: Whiners and malcontents aside (I do not think I am one of those), I do want to give an honest review, and it does include some "things I wish were different" and some disappointments, so here goes. (And it turns out to be quite long. Apologies.) We traveled with our 26-year-old daughter. We have not had a vacation in many years, and we were exhausted and all three of us needed full-on pampering. For the cost of this trip, and the words "unlimited luxury" in the ad copy, I certainly expected that. I am not really sure we got it. What we got was nice, but not "unlimited luxury." The beach is lovely and kept pristine by daily raking early in the morning before most guests get up. The pools are cleaned daily, as well. There are plenty of deck and beach chairs (at least there were for the number of people there while we were there) and fresh towels on the beach. The ocean is clean and it was bathwater warm when we were there (last week of December). The rooms were well appointed. We loved the beds (very comfortable and clean, with nice pillows) we loved the cleanliness and newness of the rooms. The setup of the bathroom was concerning to our daughter. The rooms are definitely not set up for anything other than lovers, and mostly I would say honeymooners. There is only a mesh screen between the bathroom and one of the beds. The toilet area is behind a glass door, and the bathroom itself has a sliding glass door for semi-privacy, but anything that happens in that bathroom is visible and audible to anyone else in the room, and is within a couple of inches from one of the beds. When you first see the setup, it looks lovely and chic, but then the first time someone uses the bathroom, you realize it's not practical. I'm not concerned with undressing in front of others, but my daughter is. This is not suitable for anyone other than two people who are extremely intimate with each other -- so two men or women friends (not lovers) traveling together might find it uncomfortable. My daughter had this most valid observation: Logically it makes no sense to have two beds in a room with a bathroom that contains zero privacy. If you're not sleeping with that other person, you certainly don't want to see or hear them doing their thing in the bathroom. I thought that maybe this was only in a certain class of room, but other guests inquired of me whether this was the setup in our room, so that indicated to me that all the rooms are essentially identical, and that we weren't the only ones who found it a bit strange. As I've seen mentioned in many reviews about this resort, the shower leaked all over the floor into the toilet area. We never could figure out why that happened -- it didn't look like the shower should leak. But it made it quite unpleasant to have that wet floor and wet towels on the floor all the time, and the metal parts at the bottom of the glass doors were already showing rust (though this resort is brand new as of March 2010), and so it seems that this problem has been there from the start. There was plenty of food and plenty of alcohol, and we found service to be fast, cheerful and accommodating. But we are not big drinkers, and unfortunately I have to agree with some other reviewers that most of the food was only passably good -- sometimes it was VERY good (the beef filet in the French restaurant was excellent, as was the red snapper in the Italian restaurant, and I would say that the Christmas pudding in the French restaurant was the best Christmas pudding I've ever had -- really unique and delicious. Then again, I know that most of America doesn't even know what Christmas pudding is, so this would be irrelevant to them). But the food was mostly only passable and definitely not excitingly excellent as "unlimited luxury" would connote to me. The room service menu was appalling both in the number of items offered, and the foods on it -- definitely NOT full-on luxury for room service. Our Preferred package included unlimited DVD rentals, but when we asked where they were, we were told they were at the front desk of the main resort. We went over there, and the guy said that yesterday they had three, but they were old movies (Casablanca, Spiderman II, and something else), but that they have a problem with guests returning them, and they didn't have any available. Our Preferred package also included $200 in resort coupons. I used a couple of them in the spa, but honestly I feel that these coupons are a come-on. They are an inducement to get you to go and use services that are far more expensive than the coupons cover (and you can't use them for the less expensive services and can't combine them). Then there are coupons for $10 off wine, the cheapest bottle of which was a shiraz that I can buy at home in the supermarket for about $8, and the price for the bottle in the restaurant was $45. So I ended up drinking a glass of the free house wine with the meals I wanted wine with... and let's just say that the house wine also wasn't something I'd say fits in with "unlimited luxury." I liked the gym, though it was small -- WOW, the view from the elliptical machine, treadmill, or bikes was almost worth the price of the resort! (gorgeous ocean view, and often you could watch a cruise ship coming across the bay -- awesome!) The spa facilities are also lovely, and the massage I had was great. Again, though, not included in the price, and pretty expensive. The best deal in there is the day pass to the hydrotherapy/sauna/steam room: $55 That was quite wonderful, if you like that sort of thing (I do). I've seen some griping in some reviews about "absolutely no entertainment." I don't agree with this. There was something going on -- some of it quite great (wow, the fiddler one night had the most extensive and impressive and entertaining repertoire I might have ever seen before), every night. If you are dying for your Starbucks (or equivalent) fix, there is a wonderful coffee bar (all free and included in the price) for coffee, cappuccinos or lattes and alcoholic coffee drinks in the Wild Orchid shopping arcade (I don't really know what it is called, but that's what I'm calling it) that is very good. The coffee bar is called "Perfect Coffee." There is unlimited and free wifi in the room in the Preferred Club. Being very hooked into the net, my daughter and I really loved that. An unfortunate thing happened to us on checkout, though. Because of the Nor'Easter, we had extended our stay for two days. We inquired if they could accommodate us, and they could (for which we were very grateful), and we asked for the price. We were given a rate, they said it was confirmed, and we booked. But when we went to check out, they told us that that was a mistaken rate -- that it was for two persons, not three -- and they absolutely would not budge. I asked to talk to the manager and HER manager. (supposedly) They would not honor the rate they had quoted us, and I was very disappointed in that. However, it sure as heck beat lying on the floor in an airport somewhere with a mylar blanket over me. I do think it's a very unacceptable business practice to quote a rate, have the guests rely on that, and then not honor it. I also developed a bit of a crisis of conscience about the "tips included" portion of the all-inclusive package. About three days into our stay, I really started to wonder if the staff ever really see any tips, and I started tipping. I just couldn't bear to think that these people who worked so hard and were so cheerful and helpful all the time were not being appropriately compensated. Call me a bleeding heart -- I don't mind.
I will start off by saying that this was an amazing vacation! I think a lot of it comes down to expectations. Do not be turned off by the negative reviews; how someone can honestly think they are getting “5 star” for this price (all inclusive) is absurd. If you are looking for the quality of The Four Seasons, then pay more and go to The Four Seasons. If you want an affordable, beautiful vacation SWO will exceed your expectations. My husband and I traveled to SWO with another couple (all in our late 20s) for 1 week in April. Having done Preferred Club at other properties we did not even consider non-PC, and as always were very happy with our choice. We landed at the airport around 8:30am., and did not expect to be checked into our room prior to the 3pm check-in time. Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by Jeffrey the singing bellhop in SWO PC. The staff brought us mimosas and cold towels and encouraged us to change into our swimsuits and enjoy the property for a few hours until our room was ready. We were on the beach before 10am. Perfect! We returned to the desk around 2:30 and were escorted to our rooms. The rooms are magnificent! Every room in PC has a stunning view (especially at sunset). The rooms are very clean and pretty chic (similar to the style of a W hotel). We had read about people having bathroom privacy issues and what I had in my head (a curtain separating the toilet and the bed) was not at all the case. There was a large Jacuzzi tub which was separated from the bedroom by a nice curtain, but we thought this was a great setup. You could relax in the tub after a long day on the beach and watch TV, have a view of the beach, etc. The toilet and shower were in their own separate rooms with frosted glass (Yes- frosted. As in opaque/ not see-through). The mini-bar was always stocked with whatever we requested, the room service was always hot and fast, and the “secret box” was a great feature. As I mentioned before, we did not expect 5 star dining (we are from NYC and have had plenty of legit 5-star meals). The food here was more than fine. Nothing was ever under-cooked or cold. We never had to do this, but if you are unhappy with your meal you can easily just order another dish. Our reviews of the food and restaurants/ bars and drinks are as follows: - Breakfast buffet- Wonderful. There was nothing I could have possibly wanted that was not offered. We mainly ate made-to-order egg white omelets with fresh veggies and sides of fresh fruit but there were certainly heavier options offered as well. - Lunch- We ate at the poolside restaurant at SWO the first day and were not too impressed with the menu, however the salad bar offered many great lunch options. The next day we tried the poolside restaurant at St James and were much happier. They have standard lunch items that were done well (club sandwiches, salads, burgers, etc). We also ate in the buffet once and were pleased with that, but enjoyed the poolside atmosphere much more. - Snacks- The mini buffet in the PC lobby was great. They offered breakfast in the morning and then an array of snacks throughout the day that were perfect to grab a bite when coming up from the beach for the restroom (finger sandwiches, veggies and dip, chicken, pastries, etc). Around dinner time the options would change again and usually included a variety of sushi rolls. Not bad! And of course who can forget the Jerky Jerky chicken man. Delicious! Some people complain that he was hard to find, but I cannot understand how this is possible. He walks around the property and sings all afternoon! There were also stations set up around the pools with fresh coconuts and fresh fruit. We never had a problem finding delicious snacks when we were hungry. - Dinner- Never had a bad meal, nor did we ever have a problem getting a table. There were times when we had a 30-40 minute wait for a 4 person table but they give you a buzzer and you can head to the open-air martini bar and enjoy live music while you wait. All restaurants at home have a wait so how can you complain about that! Breakdown: o French restaurant- our least favorite, but the food was fine o Hibachi- fantastic! Marlin is a star; you must request to be seated at his table! o Japanese (not at the Hibachi table)- our favorite meal. The pad thai was delicious! o Jamaican- also delicious! Seafood rice and beef stew were great o Italian- being with NY-raised Italian men we were skeptical, but were pleasantly surprised. We were displeased with the sauce upon first bite, but just tossed on a little EVOO, salt and pepper from the table and it was a game changer! Great meal! - Room Service- We called ahead the evening before for breakfast to be delivered on one of our mornings and sure enough there were fresh omlettes delivered the next day. We never ordered the lunch or dinner but the menus were standard. We did order some late-night snacks which were also delivered quickly. I am not sure what people are expecting when they complain about a limited menu; there are club sandwiches, burgers, nachos, etc available 24/7. Did you want a lobster tail at 4am? I mean, really. - Pool Bars- The beach waitresses at SWO PC were a little slow, but you need to remember that they are on island time. Danielle was great! And if you don’t want to wait 15 minutes there is a bar about 50 feet away. The drinks were delicious (especially Bob Marley, Jamaican Smile, and Dirty Banana). In addition to Red Stripe and Red Stripe Light you can get bottles of Heineken and Miller Light if you ask. Also, there is Grey Goose vodka at almost every bar (not just in PC- although Brian makes a great drink) so we couldn’t understand why everyone was not ordering it but we took full advantage. - Piano Bar- Wonderful! Alvin was the best bartender on property and Andre was an amazingly talented musician. There is a nightly piano sing-along where everyone makes requests and sings along with Andre. This is great fun… at one point everyone in the bar (all ages) was down on the ground singing and dancing to “That Loving Feeling” from Top Gun, and getting low with “Shout!” We had the best time here! - Nightclub- Desires had some very current music and a fun dance party scene if you are looking for a little night-cap. Guests of all ages were dancing together and having a great time! We had fun on the banana boat and the hobie cat on the property, and a wonderful excursion on the catamaran cruise (snorkeling and a visit to Margaritaville). This was a wonderful trip at a great value and we cannot wait to go back!
It was my husband and I first time in Jamaica. First time even out of the USA and Secrets Resort treated us with excellent care. Even thou staff are supposed to be nice, they were so genuine and ready to assist you at all times and any times. The whole establishment was clean and cared for. There were plenty of activities to do that was included in your package and plenty that were not. So if you didn't have any extra money to spend, not a problem. All inclusive was truly all inclusive. My FAVORITE was a drink wherever I was at or whenever I wanted it! Rum Punch, Rum Punch! Shane was awesome bartender. It rained one night but that didn't stop the wonderful indoor entertainment. Shopping off the resort with Esan & Brad was so informative and they stayed close by when we were around the city folks in Montego Bay shopping area. Shelly and Jermaine were great by the water sports. Wallisha and Sasha were the warmest ladies ever, Just everybody really. This trip was exactly what I was thinking of an island vacation. The food was of a different taste. this was the only low mark I would give. The Jerk Chicken is a must! But you have to hunt him down to get some. when he's out, he's out! Make a reservation ASAP when you get checked in for the Japanese Hibachi grill, you'll miss out if you don't. Most importantly ...I felt safe on the resort.
I always read reviews before I make a choice so I wanted to give back because they truly do help. Me and my wife stayed for 6 days and 5 nights for our honeymoon. We never wanted to leave! The service is incredible and the room is just as great. I think it was the time of year but there was no way the resort was full. There was maybe max 10 people in the pool at one time. We never had to fight for a seat at the beach or pool and we would not go out till 11 or 12. You get to use both Secret resorts. You cant even tell they were two resorts unless someone told you. We did not do the preferred. They were more secluded. That is the only difference I could tell. But they do not check if you go to there beach or pool. I would recommend saving money and just do the standard. Every room has an awesome ocean view. The food is the only thing I didnt give 5 stars. It is just normal food. But it was still delicious! There is plenty of options so you never have to go to the same place twice. The chicken wraps for lunch were awesome. And dont miss the Jerk Chicken cart! Jerky Jerk Jerk! We can not wait to go back!
Me and my husband have been traveling over 38 years to many different places .We usally visit one place once and move on to the next place for change, but we had to go back to this resort. It is our favorite resort of all the Secrets and Dreams .They took all the good things from each resort and put it all together in this one place.This resort is wonderfull, something for everyone, ocean is great, people very happy and friendly,food excellent, there is not one thing wrong at this resort. Go and have fun and be treated wonderfull!
We were there the last week in September. A great triip. Most impressive was the staff, who all spoke excellent English, no dialect or island patios. Everyone, from the guys cleaning the beach to the dining room staff, to the concierge, were friendly, courteous and made us feel that they were glad to have us visit SWO and their island. The resort is on a private peninsula, so no itenerate vendors or wanderers on the beach. The suites and facilities were very modern and plush with a wow king size bed and a posh bath with a jacuzzi and excellent turn down service including flower petals in the tub and candles for a romantic atmosphere. The restaurants were first class as was the preparation and presentation of the food. The best calemari I have ever had. The only disappointment was the beef, but then we weren't in Argentina. The seafood, chicken and pork were very tasty. After four courses we didn't have room for dessert. We took advantage of the "Preferred" upgrade which was well worth the money, but I would't advise the swim up 1st floor suites lacked privacy. We are looking forward to going back to the resort, and having traveled and vacationed throughout the islands and Mexico this is the first place I want to go back to. We are very happy with the trip and will recommend SWO to everyone.
My husband and I, along with 2 other couples were looking for an adult only all inclusive resort to celebrate our wedding anniversaries. We wanted something that would cater to all of our needs and Secrets Wild Orchid was exactly what we wanted and needed. The hospitality was amazing. I've never seen so many happy employees in one place. Everyone was smiling and singing all day. The staff made everyone feel like VIP's. The room was spacious and beautiful. The food was great. There was a jerk chicken cart that traveled along the beach twice a day and we all ate until we couldn't eat anymore. Drinks were delivered pool and beach side as often as we liked. They even offered discount prices for out of resort excursions which included transportation. Our rooms were cleaned twice a day and rose pedals were laid upon our beds. We also had a couples massage which was out of this world fantastic. We loved this trip so much that we not only plan on returning to Wild Orchid but we will be visiting all of the Secret Resorts to see how they compare with Montego Bay. Our next trip which is schedule for this summer will be to Secrets Punta Cana. I will definitely be writing reviews as we continue our travels through Cheap Caribbean.
We arrived at Sangster on time and processed through customs quickly. Our driver, via AMSTAR was very nice and courteous. When we arrived at the Resort we were greeted promptly although it seemed a little chaotic. We received a nice cool drink and spoke with the front desk to check-in and ask about upgrading from ocean view to ocean front. There was a room available and it was beautiful, no view obstructions and right on the beach! Despite the minor flaw in shower door design, the room was perfect. After a nice check-in, we were directed to meet with the activities coordinator. Mistake! She went over our package, our activities schedule, and attempted to get us to by into the vacation club. We spent more than an hour with this person. We selected the dates for our amenities and instead of just allowing us to check back later, we waited for the AMSTAR rep to contact the vendors, secure the dates, and our payments. All in all, from arrival to seeing our room was and hour and 45 minutes. We had dinner at the French, and Asian restaurants. Wait staff at each were awesome, especially Wayne at Bordeaux. Both were very good although the menu selections were limited. Room service was terrible, 45 minutes to an hour and selection was ridiculous, about 5 items on the menu, no hot breakfast. There was NO place to get fresh seafood! Neither the Seaside Grill or Ocean view restaurants were open for dinner during our entire stay. We booked our dates to ensure lobster was still in season but despite being nearly booked full, Secrets chose to not open these two places for dinner. By contrast, we stayed at the Iberostar Grand on our previous trip and had fresh crab, mussels and numerous fish selections everyday on the buffet. The breakfast buffet was typical, but good. We had lunch at the buffet only one day, it was run of the mill, but OK. Best food during the stay was from the jerk chicken carts on the sidewalk at lunch everyday, excellent. As for drinks, they were light on the alcohol and inconsistent. No wine or spirits in the rooms either, only Caribe lager in cans. The remainder of minibar consisted of water and soft drinks. If you wanted wine, you were subject to a marginal house Spanish Merlot or Cab. Did not try the Whites. If you wanted good wine, you had to shell out 5 times the price you'd pay in the states. We wondered about the $10 bottled wine coupons before our arrival, as this was supposed to be all inclusive, but we quickly discovered why when first sitting at Bordeaux. $52. for a bottle of Bogle Cabernet? Pros. Excellent snorkeling right off the beach - take the free guided snorkel tour offered 3 times per day. Beaches and pools, not crowded, well maintained. Other water sports. Room was great. No reservation dining. Cons. Upcharges for normal inclusives - internet, printer use, wines. Juarez-like vendors hawking their wares. Annoying marketing rep screaming at couples as they departed the breakfast buffet every morning trying to get you to buy a romantic dinner on the beach or something else. No seafood! Spa receptionist - rude and unfriendly.
We had a fantastic time at the Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay. I was very pleased to see the photos on the website were exactly on par with reality. We stayed in a Preferred Club Jr Suite Ocean View and it was absolutely gorgeous. The resort was clean, well attended, and the staff was A+++. There was plenty of seating on the beach, towels were always readily available, drink service was impeccable and it was nice to walk between the two properties and take advantage of the amenities at both resorts. If I had one negative comment, it would be that I wish someone would've have offered a tour upon our arrival and showed us *exactly* what we as Preferred Club members had access to. We were quite disappointed at the quality of alcohol served at the outdoor cabanas. We drank rum punches galore with hardly a buzz the entire trip. We eventually asked for double pours - sometimes we got them, sometimes we didn't. We never saw any premium alcohol as advertised on the website. That is, until the morning we left, we saw a bar *inside* that served premium brands like Grey Goose etc. On the beach - which is were we spent most of our time - the most premium vodka served was Smirnoff. Not exactly what we considered premium. Never saw any premium tequilas, brandies or whiskies either. Maybe they were hidden as well. I would've also liked to have been able to use the coupons we were given ($400 worth!!!!!) towards a broader number of activities. They were in very small increments (ranging from $10-$60 each) and we were only allowed to use them towards a spa service, a private romantic dinner on the beach, or a bottle of wine. That's it! Not towards any motorized water sports or excursions, which is what we would have preferred. We left the resort not having used a single coupon. That aside, we had a wonderful time and were treated royally. We were there for our birthdays, and were given several extra birthday perks like a bottle of Appleton Rum (YUM!!!!), a birthday banner for our door, and a birthday desert. We will absolutely be back!