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Reviewed 17 November 2010

September 20th-25th was THE greatest part of 2010. Myself and two friends traveled to Secrets and were heartbroken to return. I would have written a review earlier, but life happens. Billy Love gave me a personal serenade to celebrate my birthday. Somehow management got wind that I was traveling for my birthday and I was upgraded to "Preferred". We were greeted on the first day with Mimosas, fresh cookies and cool towels. Check-in took all of 15 mins. We were escorted to our room and there was a "Happy Birthday" sash waiting at the door. After being blown away by our view and the room, we noticed I was left with a birthday cake, bottle of champagne and fresh fruit basket. GREAT way to start the trip. My friends and I quickly became the "Birthday Girls Group" and it seemed that the entire staff knew about us. We were treated like royalty on every front. We created the night life and turned the dance floor out each night. The one night we ventured to Margaritaville (BAD idea) we were missed :-) Drinks were amazing, Jerk Chicken outstanding. LOVED every minute on the beach. Breakfast plays angelic singing when you walk through the doors, I'm sure of it. We went on the shopping excursion on the last day and had a time (tip: US dollars are preferred and you can purchase items at the end from different vendors for dirt cheap compared to in stores. the street vendors thrive on tourism, its their only income). The SPA is the greatest thing this side of Heaven. Should have gone more than one day. Tipping the housekeeping was important to us because I sure wouldn't want that job. Never ventured into the pool, was too in love with the beach. Room Service ALWAYS arrived hot and within at most 20 mins. Little things like rain, flooding shower and paint jobs are such trivial, insignificant issues that had NO bearings on the wonderful time we had. We literally were in tears as we left and can't WAIT to go back. Don't forget the "Birthday Girls"

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Poison0918
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Econcierge_Assistant, E-Concierge Administrative Assistant at Secrets St. James Montego Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2010

Good day,

A warm and pleasant greeting from Secrets Resorts & Spas Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Thank you very much for sharing your experience through trip advisor and for selecting our hotel. We have a great team in place and we are working hard day in and day out to exceed our client’s expectations. It is extremely important for us to offer those one-of-a-kind experiences. We really appreciate your time and your comments and we look forward to your return.

All the best,

E-concierge Assistant
Ashleigh – Feel free to contact me at: econcierge1.sesmb@secretsresorts.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2010

We had been planning a girls getaway weekend trip and this made the short list of places due to the fact that everything looked modern, clean, only adults and we secured a great rate through an online promotion. We arrived and were so pleasantly pleased with the resort decor, newness, cleanliness, etc. The rooms were also amazing. I slept wonderful on the bed and they were spacious. We booked the St. James side as no one really mentioned a huge difference between the Wild Orchid and St. James side. Now if you're looking at a preferred option, I would definitely stay at Wild Orchid. You have a great view of the mountain side/bay where as most of the St. James preferred rooms were just overlooking the beach/pool area. So it does make a difference for sunsets if you're at Wild Orchid preferred.

Here's a few pros:
- great staff - Cordiff at the Marlin bar took care of us with great drinks; Germaine at poolside had us cracking up with his dance moves and entertainment, he also went above and beyond to make sure we were having a good time when he spotted us throughout the resort
- World Cafe had a great spread for breakfast and lunch, I'd recommend you hit the buffet for lunch instead of the poolside restaurants. They had made to order pasta, fruit, fresh options, along with many decadent options.
- The free amenities were nice. We took advantage of the Hobie Cat ride the last day and it was a great view of the resort from the water.
- Loved the room service "box" where you could put your dishes in and no one would need to come into your room or even to deliver food if you didn't want them to.
- Felt completely safe leaving my bag of stuff at my beach chair or at the cafe table to get another serving
- Didn't have time to do the spa, but the day pass $55 is worth it - Make sure you ask for a tour - it's beautiful!
- There's plenty of outdoor seating options for romantic dinners on the patio with others at restaurants or secluded options for on the beach dining (you have to book it)

Cons:
- I was not impressed with the food at either of the poolside restaurants
- Some of the staff goes above and beyond, some does not
- I read on another review that I was forced to tip, and that was not the case at all. I tipped when I had great service.
- Room only has 5 Red Stripes in standard room fridge, but that wasn't really a problem, just preparing you for it. :-)
- If you're staying with someone other than your significant other, the room is rather open from the bedroom to the bathroom for the shy types.
- If you go at peak times some of the restaurants are on a long wait, the Japanese hibachi tables require reservations (but regular tables do not)
- Some of the food options were not so great, but with the buffet options at lunch and breakfast we had everything we needed.
- The resort could use more nightlife spots. The piano bar was SUPER packed and also smokey from smokers. Also the Desires night club is arranged very oddly so the dance floor is a small spot behind a circular bar.
- It may get a little loud near the main St. James pool area, but I didn't mind as we were in the middle of the activities and entertainment. Someone wanting a quiet getaway may not like that much music and energy so that's why I mention this.

Suggestions:
- If you're a snorkel fan, make sure you do the $35 snorkel trip. It was well worth it and a short 10 minute boat ride from the hotel.
- When departing, make sure you give yourself time as the lines for some airlines are long and then you're traveling through yet another line for access to security, then another line for security. :-)

Absolutely loved the hotel - great value.

Stayed: November 2010, travelled with friends
4  Thank JodiL607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Econcierge_Assistant, E-Concierge Administrative Assistant at Secrets St. James Montego Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2010

Good day,

Warm and pleasant greetings from Secrets Resorts & Spas Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Thank you for sharing your experience with others through Trip Advisor. It is extremely important for us to offer one-of-a-kind experiences. We have taken your comments into consideration in order to continue to delight our future guests. We hope to have the pleasure to welcome you on a future vacation to our beautiful Secrets St. James!

All the best,

Econcierge Assistant
Ashleigh – Feel free to contact me at: econcierge1.sesmb@secretsresorts.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2010

We just returned from a brief four-day vacation at Secrets St. James and kept wondering how any of the previous reviewers had any complaints about this beautiful resort. Secrets is conviently only a 15 minute ride from the airport . From the moment we arrived with a warm greeting from Dereck who offered us cool towels, glasses of champagne and fresh baked choclate chip cookies, to the last few hours we spent in the heated swimming pool at the swim-up bar drinking the delicious frozen concoction of the day, we had a fabulous time! The beaches, pools, spa amenities and rooms were first rate, not to mention the excellent food choices (no waiting ever!) and coffee bar and beautifully appointed and comfortable rooms. The staff could not be friendlier and accomodating to our every need, and never gave the appearance of expecting a handout. Thanks to Michael who wheeled out the Jerk Chicken cart each day beachside. I miss you already! On Wednesday nights local crafters set up a market on premises, so you have a great shopping opportunity without having to leave the complex. We traveled with another couple and we all want to come back again! By the way, we never saw one mosquito! Don't think twice about booking here- this place is paradise!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Michspar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Econcierge_Assistant, E-Concierge Administrative Assistant at Secrets St. James Montego Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 17 November 2010

Good day,

Warm and pleasant greetings from Secrets Resorts & Spas Montego Bay, Jamaica.

On behalf of the senior management team we do thank you for the positive comments made; this is much appreciated and will certainly help us in our development moving forward..

We do hope that our Resort is in your plans for your future vacations and look forward to bidding you a very warm and heartfelt “Welcome Home”on your next visit.

Many thanks for your taking the time to leave your comments.

All the best,

Econcierge Assistant
Ashleigh – Feel free to contact me at: econcierge1.sesmb@secretsresorts.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2010

We just spent our 1st anniversary here. Our travel agent has been fired, as she recommended this place. If you still decide to go stay at this resort, 1st piece of advice, DO NOT tip. The staff expects more $ from you everyday. Do not expect better service for tipping...won't happen. IF you are planning on peace and quiet, won't happen while you are sleeping...the place sounds hollow. Meaning if someone down the hall, shuts their door, it echoes horribly. However, if you want peace and quiet at sunset, "no worries mon"..the bars close at sunset. We are not party animals, but expected a little more atmosphere from an adult only resort. If you want to go shopping expect a $60 taxi fee...yes American dollars. Wish we would have just stayed home, saved a lot of $ and frustration.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank ashcon4343
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WOconcierge, Manager at Secrets St. James Montego Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 19 November 2010

Good afternoon:

Thank you for posting your review to Trip Advisor. We are truly sorry that your recent stay with us was not as you expected.

We do have in place a "No Tipping Policy" and we are extremely disappointed that you were made to feel obliged to do so. Based on previous comments that we have received regarding this issue, we have in fact incorporated that into our orientation and re-training program.

Both the Oceana and Seaside Grill close at 5pm, but our lobby bars as well as the Piano bar are open until 12:30am and of course there is Desires Club which is open until 2am.

We do realize that we have not created the memories that you would have liked to have had, but do encourage you not to lose faith in our brand as we have every confidence that in the very short term we will be representative of the ideals that have been associated with the Secrets brand over the years.

Caulette Mornan
Social Networking Econcierge
econcierge.sesmb@secretsresorts.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2010

Myself, My Wife & Another Couple-M & V-Just Returned From Secrets,St James--Nothing Could Be Finer!We Had A Great Time--Everything Exceded Our Expectations. The Food -The Staff-The Property--From The Morning Breakfast Buffet-To The Cooked To Order Dinners--Not A Bad Word To Say--The Jerk Chicken Roving Carts--YUMMY-- Thanks Michael!The Beach Was Clean-The Pool-Just Right -And The Staff Could Not Have Been Friendler--It Was A Wonderful Trip--I'm Ammazed How Some People Can Complain About This Property--Thinking Of Our Return Trip Already!!Jay

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank papajayof3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Econcierge_Assistant, E-Concierge Administrative Assistant at Secrets St. James Montego Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2010

Good day,

Warm and pleasant greetings from Secrets Resorts & Spas Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Thank you very much for sharing your experience through trip advisor and for selecting our hotel. We have a great team in place and we are working hard day in and day out to exceed our client’s expectations. We really appreciate your time and your comments and we look forward to your return.

All the best,

Econcierge Assistant
Ashleigh – Feel free to contact me at: econcierge1.sesmb@secretsresorts.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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