Secrets St. James and Secrets Wild Orchid
Montego Bay, Jamaica
We visited the Secrets St. James as a brand new resort. We were actually the first people to stay in our room! This massive resort complex sits on about a half mile of private white sand beach and actually has 4 mini resorts, Secrets St. James, Secrets St. James Preferred Club, Secrets Wild Orchid and Secrets Wild Orchid Preferred Club, all with their own pools, bars, concierges, etc.
All rooms have some type of an ocean view. Ours was room 3212, and was located right in front of the beach and was a corner room, so we had views of both the beach and the beautiful pool area. The room was spacious, with a sitting area and a table area for enjoying room service. There was a large flat screen TV with a DVD player, and an IPod docking station on the clock radio. We had a whirlpool tub in the room, which we never did use, but was convenient for laying bathsuits over! The shower had a handheld showerhead and an overhead shower that felt like it was a soft spring shower…nice for sunburned bodies! A nice touch was the complimentary shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes and SPF 15 suntan lotion!
The beach has an abundance of wicker style lounges and palapas. The Caribbean Sea is clear to the bottom, almost bathwater warm, and calm enough to lay on your back and float in! There is complimentary snorkeling, kayaking and Hobie Cat catamarans available on the beach which was located right in front of our building at the St. James. There was also parasailing and scuba diving boats waiting for anyone who was interested. I think the parasailing was $65pp. There were 2 professional photographers who waited to take photos of guests who participated in the various activities so you could have a momento of your adventure. We sat under the same palapa in front of our building every day to watch all of the action as well as talk and meet many of the vacationers and staff.
Beach volleyball was being played at a different location down the beach. For those who chose to participate, many silly games and activities are also available with the entertainment staff. 3 humongous hot tubs are located right on the beach...a nice place to spend an evening after dinner. There is a gazebo for weddings or private beach dinners, and a hut for massages. While it probably sounds like a crowded beach with all of these activities available, it really wasn’t. There was plenty of beach, that if you wanted complete quiet, you could find it!
2 outdoor tennis courts and a tennis pro are available, situated just outside of the beautiful spa and fitness center. Ping pong and pool tables are under a covered, open air area and are lighted for night time enjoyment.
A complimentary shuttle to Margaritaville is offered as well as daytime shopping excursions. There is also a bike tour available, which I believe is complimentary. Additional excursions can be booked through the AM Resorts concierge.
We had some really nice meals in the evening with so many choices of cuisine including Italian, French, Pan-Asian, Jamaican and Mexican restaurants, with no reservations required! It was fun and entertaining to sit at the teppanyaki table at Himitsu...reservations are recommended for this experience.
There was nightly outdoor entertainment with live bands. One night there was a Cirque de Soleil type act at the same outdoor location. A movie on the beach is available every night.
The entire staff at the Secrets St. James and Wild Orchid was friendly and attentive. We were almost always greeted with a smile, and “Ya Mon”.
Mark and I had a wonderful vacation. We would definitely return to this resort and would recommend it to anyone looking for a romantic, laid back respite.