Secrets opens two new resorts in Montego Bay, Secrets Wild Orchid and Secrets St. James
We just returned from a three days stay at Secrets Wild Orchid in Jamaica. There are actually two resorts at this location, Secrets St. James and Wild Orchid. They are located just a short bus trip away (15-20 minutes) from the airport in Montego Bay. Although they are separate resorts, they are right next to each other and you can walk between them, use their pools and beaches as you like. St James beach has all the water sports equipment such as kayaks, hobie cats, etc.
Both resorts have excellent beachfront property and views. They are medium sized resorts and it’s pretty easy to get to anywhere you need to go in a reasonable amount of time. The buildings are five stories tall and each has a bank of three elevators. Most rooms have good views. The rooms had nice four poster beds that were very comfortable, a flat screen TV, and an alarm clock that accepted your iPod, a nice touch. Both pools have swim up bars and an adequate number of lounges and sun umbrellas. If the beach is more to your liking, there are a number of palapas available and it’s pretty easy to find a private spot on both properties. There was an abundance of rocks the first 10-12 feet when entering the water, then it got clear. It was somewhat annoying to have to navigate through this, I hope that eventually they get rid of them. There is a large Jacuzzi between both properties.
Each resort has its own lobby. Compared to other resorts, this space seemed somewhat small and crowded. The hotel property, lobbies, and rooms are modern in design. I liked the crisp detail and modern appointments, although some may prefer a more rustic and colorful approach. I would have combined both properties as one and designed a more substantial lobby.
There is a separate preferred club at each location which offer upgraded rooms, walk out pools, their own private pool, and private check in area. The pool area is a secluded area that’s less noisy than the main pool area. The rooms each have an outdoor tub. They are not whirlpools. They didn’t seem to make much sense.
There are a number of themed restaurants and a large breakfast area for dining. The breakfast fare is good. I was hoping for fish at lunch at their seaside grill, and had to settle for Jamaican jerk chicken which was quite good. Lunchtime choices were burgers and hot dogs, a good salad bar, and I had a good Caesar salad with grilled chicken. There were several sandwich choices to choose from. Another day I had some grilled calamari which was also good. We were there for an industry event, so I can’t speak about the dinner restaurant experiences, but they did present us with a taste of the resort event one evening with items from menus at each of the restaurants. My favorite was the grilled Caribbean lobster.
One of the attractions of an all inclusive resort is the included premium drinks. There is a good choice of premium brands in the lobby bar. There was less choice at the pool bar which is where most people spend a majority of their time, which was disappointing. If pressed, they will get you what you want, but why not stock all the bars the same? The wine choices at most all inclusive resorts are at best disappointing. The red wine couldn’t have been any better than the two buck chuck at the local Trader Joe’s. The basic white was acceptable, not much more.
Sue and Charlie Shimkus are owners of Lake Zurich Travel & Cruise established in 1974. Sue has served on the travel advisory board for Alaska, Hawaii, & Ireland and executive board of the local chapter American Society of Travel Agents. Lake Zurich Travel & Cruise is a member of the Signature Travel Network. Visit Lake Zurich Travel for Expert Travel Advice and resources finding the Right Vacation for you!
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