Secrets St. James Montego Bay Trip Report

Secrets St. James and Wild Orchid Montego Bay Jamaica

Review by my daughter Brittany after her June 2011 honeymoon to Secrets St. James.

Check in at Columbus airport smooth and uneventful.

Upon arrival in Montego Bay, we easily located the Apple Vacations rep waiting near the airport exit. Because I booked a Secrets Resort using Apple Vacations, we got non-stop transfer, although it was a shared ride with one other couple.

Check in went well. I was pleased that our room was already ready since we arrived relatively early (around 1 pm). We were greeted with cold towels and champagne during check in. I was hoping the front desk might try to “upsell” us to a Preferred Club room. We may have decided to take the upgrade if offered, and it was a reasonable deal. There was one check in issue: We had booked the complimentary Honeymoon Package, which was clearly in the reservation record, but they did not provide the amenities of the package until I specifically asked. The package comes with a flowers upon arrival (which we did not receive), a bottle of champagne (which we requested), a special turn down service (housekeeping filled our tub with bubbles and rose petals and lit tea lights), and a honeymoon banner was placed over our door.

The room was very nice and located on the third floor with a large balcony overlooking the pool and ocean. The Mini bar was stocked with water, fruit juices, and beer (Red Stripe, of course), and was restocked daily.

Restaurants–Service was great at all of the restaurants, but the food and overall ambience of the French restaurant was by far the best. We also very much enjoyed our experience at the Japanese Hibichi-style restaurant. We got lucky with a very entertaining chef – he would sing and dance and make jokes while making the food. This was the only restaurant that required advance reservations, and even that was only required if you wanted to sit at one of the hibachi tables.

Spa–One of the only negatives about the trip. We made a reservation for a few days after arrival, but my husband ended up getting badly sunburned on the first day, so we decided to delay our couples massage for another couple days. We went in person to the spa to reschedule, but the attendant could not locate our reservation in the system, so we made a new reservation. When we got our couples massage, we used a coupon voucher that we had received at check in, and paid the balance while at the spa instead of charging it to the room. Upon check out of the resort on the last day, we found that we had been charged as a “no show” for the cancelled reservation. The front desk staff was very helpful in resolving the issue and said they would remove it from the bill.

Beach–A little disappointed in the beach. Segmented into four small beaches: Secrets St. James Preferred Club beach and “regular” beach, Secrets Wild Orchid preferred beach and regular beach. We were picturing being able to go on long walks on the beach, but we could walk the entire beach in about a minute. It was, however, clean and well maintained.

Drinks–Staff was great about keeping a drink in your hand – it seemed like every five minutes someone was checking if we needing anything. A lot of the daquiri-type drinks seemed weak (I couldn’t taste any alcohol) and the only beer available that we saw was Red Stripe.

Overall, we had a wonderful experience at Secrets St. James. We were very happy with the staff and accommodations and would definitely book another Secrets resort in the future.

Lessons learned:
-If a nice, walkable beach is important to you, go to Negril.
-Take insect repellent (I came home with several mosquito bites)
-Ask for an extra shot in your drinks
-If you have to cancel or reschedule a spa treatment, get documentation and remember specifically who you talked to

Also see:  More Secrets Trip Reports

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