Secrets St. James Montego Bay

5.0 star rating

Exceptional accommodation with superior facilities and services.

    What to expect (based on 8131 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4.5

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4.5

    Service

    Service-4.5

    Value

    Value-4.5

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    Paradise

    Reviewed by McHugh24(Brilliant, Ohio) on Mar 28, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    Recently got back from Secrets St James in Montego Bay. Really awesome place, rooms were very clean, room service was excellent and the all the staff were extremely polite and very happy to help with anything you need. Desmond in particular really enhanced our vacation with his great personality and big smile. Great asset for the resort. Cant wait to return and see him again. Will definitely be back!

    Individual ratings:

    Rooms

    Rooms-5

    Service

    Service-5

    Great people, but property is tired.

    Reviewed by OldAdGuy(Chicago, Illinois) on Mar 28, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    We were here for two weeks at the beginning of the Corona virus, and the staff of the hotel were exceptionally warm and gracious, especially considering that they all knew they would soon be losing their jobs!l We were last here 9 years ago, and it's obvious that during that time, the property has become quite tired. The Spanish owners group really needs a major investment to bring this (otherwise lovely) property up to the standards expected in other Secrets resorts. LESECIA, the pool/towel attendant in the Preferred Club is one of the most gracious people you will ever meet! Awesome young lady who will excel in whatever guest-facing responsibility she is given. And Loraine, ever-present with a smile and comment (and Pinot Grigio, cold water and Red Stripe!) is a delight. Importantly, the hotel manager, Bernard Mazet, worked diligently to provide us with compensation for the inconvenience caused by the closings of sections of the hotel due to the Corona Virus. He's relatively new in this position, but very experienced and I think will do a great job turning this property around.

    Individual ratings:

    Location

    Location-5

    Service

    Service-4

    Mediocre. Sun was great

    Reviewed by sheboo(Wirral, UK) on Mar 28, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    We arrived at Secrets St James with a bit of apprehension after reading the reviews on here. This is what we found. Welcome. This was pleasant and efficient we were greeted with @Welcome home@ and given a glass of champagne. Good start. We were then sent to the other side of the room to be given money off vouchers for spa, wine or meal on the beach for 2. To be honest after a 10-hour journey we could have done without this. We were shown to our room which was right next to the lobby by a gentleman who then hung around for a tip. The room was as the pictures, it was nice enough but no wow factor and was slightly warn. It had a nice big tv opposite the bed. But we really could have done with some notice about the hard-core porn channels which were vile. It was kept clean all the time we were there, by the maids. We didn’t have a sea view. There are 8 restaurants only 7 were open to begin with and by the time we left there were only 2 this was due to the lack of guests. The portions are not very big, presentation is good and food is ok. We preferred Hitsumasi the Oriental restaurant the best. If sat outside at the French restaurant you need a torch to eat your food as it is so dark. This is acknowledged by the hotel as they give you meus which light up. Breakfast was a really good choice and Carol makes the best omlettes ever. Service at the restaurants was a bit hit and miss some servers were better than others. At the end of the beaches is the Hard Rock café it does not have very good reviews so we didn’t use it. As stated by previous people the beaches are not very big, the sun loungers are old and uncomfortable, the beaches are kept clean, the servers for drinks are poor and had to be asked several times before they delivered an order. The pools are big an noisy. Sunbeds are reserved from very early morning and people play their own music through their own speakers even though both of these things are not permitted, they are not enforced by the hotel staff. Daytime entertainment was varied and plentiful, there was plenty of things to do. Big shout out to Soca who made these things fun. Nighttime was a bit boring everything centered around the outdoor stage by the piano bar, but you need to get there early otherwise there are no seats available. There is also a nightly film by Coco coffee bar. A casino and nightclub neither of which we used. The guests are predominantly groups of Americans who like the sound of their own voices, any quizzes are geared towards the Americans. They have no volume control or filter. If your looking for a couple’s romantic getaway this is not the place. We didn’t use the Spa as is was overpriced. We did use the gym in the afternoon when it was empty. The equipment is good. It could do with being a bit cooler in there. We were with TUI, the representative Hyacinthe was as much use as a chocolate teapot unless she wanted to sell a trip out. Every time we asked a question, she didn’t know the answer. There are shops around the courtyard with over inflated prices as it was a captive market. This felt very much like a compound as were told not to go out alone or to get a route taxi. A round trip taxi to the hip strip was $80. The staff were plentiful, some spoke some didn’t. All areas were kept clean and tidy. This is not a 5-star resort. We enjoyed our time there but would not return.

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4

    Rooms

    Rooms-3

    Service

    Service-3

    Great service, "meh" food, awful beach.

    Reviewed by BeachPlease_0(Texas) on Mar 24, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    My husband and I stayed at Secrets St. James in a regular ocean-view room in December 2019. This was our 7th trip to Jamaica and first time staying in Montego Bay. We stayed at SSJ for 3 nights with friends before enjoying the rest of the week in Negril. “Average all-inclusive experience” pretty much sums up our 72-hours at Secrets St. James. This property is the type of property that makes me wish TripAdvisor had half-star increments for reviews. It was a solid 3.5-star experience but since that isn’t an option and service was consistently wonderful, I’ve given it a 4 star. Perhaps we’ve outgrown the days when the AI model kept us happy, or maybe we just know there are better spots in Jamaica, but this will be a “one and done” for us. Check-in was quick and uneventful, the lobby dark and crowded but nothing a drink from the lobby bar wouldn’t fix. We got there about an hour before check-in and were happy to hear our room was ready. I had emailed the resort asking for a more private balcony and they honored it and added an amazing/direct ocean-view that overlooked the main SSJ pool. The room was clean and well stocked with a smart layout and comfortable bed. We enjoyed the iPad for room service orders and the small couch area to enjoy coffee in the morning. Housekeeping came regularly and there were no issues with maintenance or the AC. I will note – our friends were in the last regular building closest to the SSJ preferred room building (which happens to be closest to the Breathless beach party area). We all wanted to book preferred rooms at SSJ but they were sold out. We are SO happy they were, apparently the SSJ Preferred Club rooms are close to a beach party area for Breathless. Breathless had music thumping two of our 3 nights until 1:00 AM – so loud we could hear it from our room but our friends walls were shaking. They recorded a sound clip from inside of their shower and you could clearly hear the entire song. What’s even more ironic is we all walked down to this “party” (because anything that makes your throat tickle because of bass is worth checking out – right?) – and there wasn’t a single person there. No one. No guests, no staff, no lonely birds looking to dance – just 4 gigantic speakers blasting some terrible techno mix and a dance area. We would have demanded to be moved had we paid a premium for the preferred room. Perhaps it was a one-time event but we really lucked out. The resort itself is well manicured and easy to navigate although the whole two resorts on one campus thing is just odd and seemed to cause more confusion than necessary. We thought the walk from our room to the restaurants would be annoying but it was just fine, I could see it getting old in the middle of summer. I will say the grounds were decorated beautifully for Christmas, we took several evening strolls to enjoy the lights. For food we tried the buffet, beach snack area, Mexican, Asian and Italian restaurants. My favorite thing was the jerk chicken cart, my husbands was the hamburger from the beach grill and our friends loved the breakfast buffet. Notice no dinner options are listed – because none of them were memorable. Either the food was average or prepared wrong or the service was slow. We didn’t get stuff we asked for, couldn’t get specific drinks (no margaritas at El Patio???), couldn’t finish stuff because of overly salty sauces drizzled everywhere. We are all fairly simple in our dining expectations so we were a bit miffed at not having a single “wow” dish between all of us. Drinks were about the same, the lobby bar had the best selection and quality of mixed drinks. Other bars it was a complete crapshoot and wildly inconsistent. Beyond mediocre food, our biggest disappointment was the beach. It had several areas to lounge but prime spots had chairs stacked like sardines and unused towels strung over them to reserve them. The sand was like quicksand when getting in and out (and none of us have mobility issues). Not to mention the over-abundance of jelly fish and hidden rocks everywhere. Considering our first 6 trips were all in Negril, it was a bit shocking for us considering other positive remarks we read before visiting. If you are a pool person, you will be just fine here. In our humble opinion, Jamaica isn’t about pools and this resort isn’t about the beach – which is the biggest reason we wouldn’t return. While I’m sure this review seems overly negative, we still had an enjoyable time here. Once you have 20+ international beach trips to compare it to, the small things start to stand out. It wasn’t the right resort for us but it’s certainly not the worst we’ve been to, either. If you have a quick trip planned and don’t want to bother with a long drive to Negril or Ocho Rios, I can see the advantage of this resort. However, if you are visiting Jamaica to experience a nice beach and perhaps some exposure to local vendors, etc. – I urge you to look at Negril.

    Individual ratings:

    Location

    Location-4

    Service

    Service-5

    Value

    Value-3

    How can this be an AMResort

    Reviewed by sunthoshp() on Mar 22, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			2
			 out of 5

    We traveled to Jamaica this year for a new adventure. We are UVC members and do use our membership well and have been to several AMResorts, particularly Mexico. This resort was below par. First off, I can take daily for traveling during the COVID19 pandemic. However, Jamaica had less cases than the US and was improving over time there so therefore it was safer to be there at that time. Anyway, we did our due diligence and called the resort before departure to asses the situation. They told us the entire resort was open, including the preferred buildings and amenities; this was Wednesday. We arrived Thursday and we were told the preferred area was closed since Tuesday. They lied to us to bait us to continue forward with our planned trip. At check in, we did not receive any preferred club member amenities not anything in the room. The UVC host told us we would be receiving a package the next day at noon. We got to our first room and it was a mess. It was filthy. There was dust everywhere and water marks on the walls and a mark that looked like blood as well. We immediately asked for another which was more acceptable but the rooms were in terrible shape for a 4 diamond resort. It looked terrible. After check in, we decided to look and walk around. Half the resort was closed; again, we were lied to. At least the beach grill was still open and we ate there for lunch. For dinner, we went to Blue Mountain, which was there Jamaican restaurant. It was decent but desserts were terrible as they are at all AMResorts we have been to. We got back at 8 to our room as there was really nothing else to do; the entertainment was lacking, especially since the casino and game rooms were also closed. That night was terrible. The room next to us decided to through a rager. We called the front desk several times and eventually it became quiet after midnight. Next morning, we explained all this to the front desk and asked for an upgrade to avoid being next to these people and guests like them; these were people moved from breathless, the party resort, as they closed it. I can understand they also want what they paid for but we came for a relaxing get away. They said they had no other rooms except for the main building as they have closed down other buildings. We moved to similar room but away from this group. After moving to the third room, we experienced similar things but luckily during an afternoon nap. An inebriated girl kept trying to use her key car on our door and then kicked it. I opened it and she said sorry and then she saw a friend and they got into a heated argument for 1 hour; there goes the nap after spending the day at the swim up bar. After that we spent the evening which was nice but again even less restaurants were open then they night before. I felt the front desk and hospitality agents were not very helpful and just did not seem to care. Lastly, we tried to book the spa and it was also closed. The rooms were shoddy and in need of remodeling. The rooms smelled like water. The floors were laminate which felt very cheap. I would not recommend St. James. I cannot speak about the room at the Wild Orchid which is next door but all of the Secrets restaurants and bars and stores were located there and everything there seemed more up to date with the quality they project as AMResorts.