Sunday, June 14, 2015

Review: Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay Jamaica

Over Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I headed down to Secrets Wild Orchid, an adults only luxury all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Since it was only a two night trip, we maximized our time at the resort by:
1. Arranging VIP arrival service. A guide met us as we exited the plane and escorted us through immigration and customs. We went to a private lounge while someone went to make sure our transfer was there.

2. Arranging a Private transfer - Transfers to/from the resorts are included in many all-inclusive resort packages. We used Best of Jamaica. 

We arrived at the resort, checked in and headed to lunch. A room wasn't available until after 3 pm. We had our suits with us so we just went to grab lunch. We really liked there was an a la carte option for lunch in addition to the grill and the buffet. The menu was wraps. 

I had a jerk chicken wrap and it was very good. 

We had a great time at this resorts. The highlights were: 

-  The fun pool atmosphere. The bartenders at the pool bars were great. The entertainment staff organized fun games like poolside trivia, a male "beauty" pageant, and water aerobics. 

 - The night time entertainment. Almost all the restaurants are grouped together. They offer lots of outdoor seating plus a stage for live music after the sun goes down.

 The air-conditioned night club or the open-air piano bar keep the party going past 10:00 pm. 

-  The jacuzzi tubs in the rooms. These were the best jacuzzi tubs I have ever seen. 

- The location. The resort is only ten minutes from the airport. You see planes coming in for a landing now and then, but you can't hear them. 

- The snorkeling. I really enjoyed the snorkeling. You swim out to the reef with a guide. He dives down to bring up a couple sea creatures and points out all the different fish. We even saw a sting ray. 

As with any resort, there are some trade-offs 
- The beach. This is a man-made beach so the sand is coarse with broken shells. If you are looking for a beautiful long beach with white powder sand - head to Negril. 

- The time share salespeople. We quickly figured out that claiming your resort credits triggers a time share sales pitch. We weren't bothered at all since we didn't claim them. 

- The Peacocks.

 These birds are near all the restaurants. They are SO LOUD. They woke us up around 5:30 am both mornings. We didn't see them on the Secrets St. James side so maybe we will stay over there next time. 

- The dinner menus - Our experience at two dinners wasn't great. The service was slow and inattentive. The food was average. We were impressed by the breakfast buffet and love the room service continental breakfast. I had a great turkey burger at the beach front grill. 

The Secrets St. James property right next door. It's a mirror image for the main areas of the resort. The St James is closer to the Spa and tennis courts. Wild Orchid is closer to the restaurants and nightlife. 

We investigated the Preferred Club accommodations. The swim up suites looked great - you have an ocean front location and share a pool with the other swim up suites. 

The one thing we didn't like was that the Preferred Club pool didn't have a swim up bar. Instead, there's a regular bar in between the Preferred Club pool and the general swim up pool bar for the resort. But those bars had swings so that's a win!

Overall, I can't wait to go back. 

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