As with its sister resort the Secrets Wild Orchid right next-door—with which it shares the nine restaurants, spa, the half-mile-long private sugar-sand beach, and some other amenities—the adults-only, all-inclusive Secrets St. James aims for what it calls “unlimited luxury.” Premium drinks at the nine bars (and your in-room minibar) are included, and reservations are not needed at any of the nine restaurants, including Italian, Mexican, Pan-Asian, contemporary French, and Jamaican—though the quality of the cuisine can be a bit uneven. At least the jerk chicken at the grill is reliable.
Like the Wild Orchid, this is really two hotels in one, thanks to the “Preferred Club” level of service, which gets you better room placement, free Internet (and an app that allows you to make free phone calls locally and to the U.S. and Canada), upgraded minibar and bath amenities, a second Preferred-only pool and section of the beach, and a lounge for breakfast, snacks, and desserts. Preferred public spaces are quieter, and poolside lounge chairs easier to come by, but because they are not as well staffed as the non-Preferred sections, service can be slower.
- Reid Bramblett