On a recent Jamaica vacation I stayed at several adult only all inclusive resorts and had a great time at Secrets Wild Orchid and St James Club. Having come from a few days at the newly renovated Sandals Grande Riviera and Sandals Royal Plantation I was struck again by the differences in resort styles and inclusions. But overall I give Secrets Wild Orchid very high marks and gladly recommend it for a fun filled, high quality, all inclusive vacation.
Secrets is adult only, not couples only, so this resort is a winner for singles, small groups of friends, families with adult children and romantic honeymoon couples. Tables for 2, 4 and 10 are easy to find at Secrets Wild Orchid and there are as many middle age guests as there are 20 somethings. The ambiance is equally diverse with a mellow beach scene, multiple pool areas, lively oceanfront promenade, casino, shopping area and more.
The beach has soft golden sand, easy access into relatively calm water and numerous chaise lounges and palapas for shade. A wide variety of watersports are offered although most at an extra cost.
- Snorkel mask and fins are free but a trip to the reef is $35 for one hour
- Kayaks and hobicat sailboats are complimentary but Secrets recommends a guide or lesson for $20 because reefs “are tricky” and to reinforce the message, the resort charges $30 for a rescue plus damages.
- Waterskiing is $65 for 30 minutes
- Wakeboarding and tubing $150 an hour
- Parasailing $65 for 10 minutes
- Banana boat $25 for 15 minutes
Important tip – If you are a watersports buff, traveling as a couple and plan to be active on your vacation, you should seriously consider one of the Sandals Resorts where most of these activities including waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, scuba diving, snorkel trips and more are complimentary.
Secrets Wild Orchid has 4 lovely large pool areas each with its own vibe and swim up bar but I was a bit disappointed to find all pools close at 6p… after all the sun was still shining and it was 80 degrees outside! The pool area at St James is livelier and that section of the beach houses watersports and organized activities so is busier than at Wild Orchid. Both beach areas are open to all guests although there is a private section reserved for Preferred Club members.
There are 8 restaurants plus a coffee shop and beach grill offering a wide variety of cuisines and quality ala carte dining experiences. All but one restaurant is located in the Wild Orchid section and most are mingled with bars and entertainment areas along a pedestrian only boulevard. This creates the feeling of a trendy upscale neighborhood at night just perfect for a pre-dinner drink and stroll. No reservations are required or accepted so when you find a menu that appeals, simply ask for a table and enjoy! A few restaurants had a short wait at peak dining times but nothing bothersome. Long pants are required at some restaurants and a number of guests in shorts were turned away, so resort management is serious about enforcing standards.
Rooms at Secrets Wild Orchid are comfortable and spacious with a sitting area, furnished balcony, walk in shower and jetted tub. Every room has a minibar with soft drinks and beer while Preferred Club rooms add a selection of hard liquor. Wine and champagne are not included in your room bar setup but can be ordered by the glass through room service.
The St James layout and decor made guestrooms appear smaller than at Wild Orchid but management assured me the square footage was identical. Secrets Wild Orchid Preferred Club rooms have the best sunset views and WIFI is free to Preferred Club guests only.
Secrets Wild Orchid and St James Club is close to Montego Bay so convenient to the airport, shopping, clubs and restaurants with only the view and none of the noise of arriving airplanes. Prepaid airport transfers are recommended and a good value with taxis running around $80 roundtrip.
Feel free to call or email if you wish help planning an adult only vacation and would like to consider this resort. We have three honeymoon and all inclusive resort specialists on staff and can help you choose the perfect spot!