Jamaica has a new all-inclusive luxury resort that’s just opened in Montego Bay promising “Unlimited-Luxury” for their guests. Secrets Wild Orchid and Secrets St. James sit side by side on a lovely stretch of beach just a short journey from the airport. It’s time to let the Secrets out – these are beautiful properties!
I’m just back from the first-ever Travel Bloggers Meet-Up in Jamaica where we were hosted by Secrets Resorts and the Jamaican Tourism Board. You can be sure we took full advantage of all the Unlimited Luxury and tested all the resort amenities – on YOUR behalf of course! Here are some of the delights in store for you when you choose a luxurious Jamaica Holiday.
Resort Amenities: These properties are all about couples and providing romantic landscapes. Both resorts are adults-only with plenty of waterside activities – gorgeous beaches, swim up bars, multiple pool complexes, and seaside restaurants. The beach towels and loungers are plentiful (no need to get up a dawn and claim your lounge chair – I hate that!!) This property has done it right with loads of areas for relaxing by the pools and beachfront. Most loungers face the pool or waterfront – no rows and rows of beach chairs staring at the back of someone else – phew!
For folks who like a chic contemporary decor and a location near all the restaurants and shops, the Wild Orchid is your choice. If you prefer a more traditional British plantation decor, you will love the St. James which is also the most convenient location for spa visits.
Let’s talk about this “Unlimited Luxury”. It means that you receive 3 plated meals or buffets (your choice) plus snacks each day, premium alcohol and non-alcohol beverages, 24 hour room service, nightly entertainment, outdoor jacuzzis, multiple pool complexes, plus resort activities like snorkeling classes, bike touring, yoga, Reggae dance lessons and more.
Rooms My room (on the Wild Orchid side)was large, luxurious and designed for romance. A sheer curtain separates the bedroom from the bath with a strategically placed whirlpool tub for two. The bath amenities were totally upscale with LARGE bottles of shampoo, body wash, moisturizer and accessories. And the special touch… the Secrets Box where meals or messages can be left without disturbing the guests. The swim out rooms with a plunge pool on the deck were the star of the resort – fabulous!
Restaurants and Bars What everyour heart (or apetite) desires is not far away. We took an instant liking to these yummy “Bob Marley” cocktails, the perfect Jamaican pool drink! There are 8 gourmet restaurants serving everything from sushi to Jamaican Jerk, to fresh seafood prepared in French or Italian specialty restaurants. Loved the fact that you didn’t need to make advance reservations at the specialty restaurants – with the exception of the Japanese venue where reservations are required due to the performance nature of the cooking. There are 10 lounges and bars tucked around every corner to keep you refreshed.
Entertainment Nightly musicgets you set to party. Entertainers perform in the piano bar, Desires Lounge, at Show Time or under the stars by the patio.We won’t talk about those of us who ended up in the poolafter a particularly lively Reggae evening! Or if you’d prefer to sample some of the nightlife that Jamaica is famous for, there’s a shuttle bus to the “Hip Strip” (9pm – 2am) every evening. In my mind, this is one of the great advantages of staying at Secrets versus some of the island’s other luxury resorts that are located a considerable distance (45 minutes) from the town of Montego Bay.
And finally The Spa to sooth all those over giggled dancing muscles. It is of course, lovely with all the tranquil waters and invigorating jets you could wish for. Spa treatments are additional, as are beauty services.
Could be improved Every new resort has a few opening issues, and Secrets was not immune. They currently have a few too many mosquitoes hanging around and they are doing late afternoon fumigation. Hopefully that will do the trick – in the meantime you should probably bring along some bug repellent. It’s evident there was a push to complete the resort and my room had paint splatters and smears in unexpected places. I’m assuming they will pick away at correcting small blemishes as they continue operation. And take note about the air-conditioning.. when the green light is lit, that means it’s OFF.
A few words about Jamaica. We had a blast! Everyone we met was friendly, courteous and respectful. No one chased me down to braid my hair when we visited the public beach! Jamaica Tourism has obviously done a great job in curtailing the aggressive vendors we all heard about in the 70’s. We toured all over the island and met wonderful folks at every stop. Some of the highlights were climbing the Falls at Dunns River, visiting the Great House at Rose Hall where we learned about Crazy Annie, Dog Sledding in Ocho Rios (really!), and an unbelievably great catamaran cruise out to Rick’s Cafe in Negril where a few brave Bloggers actually jumped off the cliffs!
I would recommend Jamaica for everyone who enjoys active beach vacations. There are dozens of adventure tours to temp you out of your beach chair and off for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We loved Scotchies, a legend of Jerk BBQ, gobbled up meet patties with cheese, and were never far from another round of Red Stripe. So let the Secret fly – Secrets Jamaica has everything you could wish for an outstanding Caribbean vacation!