Go! Destination Marketing Caribbean Connection

Showcasing Secrets St. James Montego Bay
and Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay
by Mark Rogers

It’s been less than a year since AMResorts opened its dual Secrets resorts in Montego Bay, Jamaica; Secrets St. James Montego Bay and Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay.

The opening of the two resorts coincided with last year’s 2010 JAPEX (Jamaica Product Exchange) event, as well as a concerted mega fam effort on the part of the Jamaica Tourist Board to bring travel agents to the island. Scores of agents filed through the two new Secrets resorts – the brand’s first properties in Jamaica. This exposure had the desired effect, giving travel agents the confidence to book the new properties.

 “I really liked  Secrets St. James, Montego Bay and Secrets Wild Orchid, Montego Bay,’ says Rick Neufeld, owner of Complete Travel Services in Ankeny, Iowa. “I’m not a big note taker. A lot of those specifics I can get off the web. A trip like this gives me a chance to get a feel for a resort, its ambiance.”

Phetamaly Nirandone, a vacation expert at Liberty Travel in Swansea, Massachusetts was also impressed by Secrets St. James, Montego Bay and Secrets Wild Orchid, Montego Bay: “The resort had great sea and mountain views and I loved the room with the Jacuzzi on the balcony.”

The two resorts came in at a hefty cost of $180 million. Both are part of AMResort’s Unlimited Luxury all-inclusive adults-only brand. Guests of the two resorts are able to pass back and forth and enjoy the amenities and features of both properties. Additional amenities include eight gourmet á la carte dining options and one international buffet, and nine bars and lounges including swim-up bars. There are also free-form swimming pools and beachfront Jacuzzi, a Seawind Beach Club with couples cabanas and a 5,000 square foot Secrets Spa by Pevonia with indoor and outdoor spa facilities and hydrotherapy circuit. On-site sports include tennis, beach volleyball, basketball, soccer, non-motorized water sports, and daily yoga, aerobic and introductory SCUBA classes. The two resorts have over 16,000 square-feet of meeting space for business conventions and weddings.

The Promenade, a main plaza shared by the two resorts, is a feature that really sets these two properties apart. Here you can stroll along and indulge in a full meal, a snack or a crisp mojito at a variety of venues. You can also enjoy live entertainment, shop in an array of boutiques, or perhaps even smoke a hand-rolled cigar.

While the two resorts are within hailing distance of each other, there is a difference between them.
Secrets Wild Orchid is the livelier of the two, and can be described as having a warm island style, with interior design elements reflecting Jamaica’s cultural roots and tropical beauty.

Secret St. James is the more tranquil choice. Here you’ll find British Colonial-style architecture and elegant décor in warm tones with dark wood accents.


Both resorts have a total of 350 suites each. Each resort has in-room amenities that include oversized four-poster beds, full entertainment systems complete with LCD flat-screen televisions and CD/DVD players, Jacuzzis for two, private furnished balconies and Secrets’ signature discreet 24-hour room service.

I don’t think any reputable travel agent would rely on TripAdvisor as a primary source of information. Too often The TripAdvisor reports are made by guests who fall into the impossible to please category – these guests don’t want to have a good time and they seem to get a thrill over handing down one-star ratings. At the other end of the spectrum are glowingly positive reports that are almost certainly made by “friends” of the resort in question. But if you skim enough of these reports you can get a feel for what’s working for the resort in question.

If you scroll TripAdvisor reports for Secrets St. James, Montego Bay and Secrets Wild Orchid, Montego Bay, it becomes clear that some elements are scoring big with guests.

Previous guests give the resort high marks for its friendly service, ease of checking in, breakfast buffet and swimming pools.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big impression. What would seem to be a minor amenity is remarked on again and again on TripAdvisor as being a highlight of the trip; this is Lloyd, the “jerky, jerky jerky” man. Lloyd pushes a cart around the resort dispensing spicy Jamaican jerk chicken and coconut water to guests. The combination of Lloyd’s cheerful personality and authentic Jamaican cuisine makes a winning combination.

Guests also like the dual resorts’ proximity to Mobay airport. The 20-minute transfer from the airport to St. James and Wild Orchid is a real plus for weary travelers or those on a short getaway. This is especially so for repeat visitors to Jamaica who are familiar with the long van rides to reach Negril and Ocho Rios resorts, although improved roads have cut these travel times considerably.

Within minutes of the two resorts are attractions such as Montego Bay's Rose Hall Great House, The Hip Strip and The Doctor's Cave Beach Club. Golf enthusiasts will also have five championship golf courses to tee off on; the White Witch Golf Course, Half Moon Bay Golf Links, Tryall Club courses, Three Palms Ocean Course at Wyndham Rose Hall and the Cinnamon Hill Ocean Course.

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Secrets St. James Montego Bay and Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay