Rather than simply “all-inclusive,” the adults-only Secrets, on a 2,400-foot private beach, bills itself as an “unlimited luxury” resort—premium drinks at the nine bars (and your in-room minibar) are included; reservations are not needed at any of the nine restaurants, including Italian, Mexican, Pan-Asian, contemporary French, and Jamaican.

The Wild Orchid and its sister, Secret St. James right next-door, share restaurants, spa, the beach, and a few other amenities—really, it’s like one big resort in two halves. (Er, four quarters, really, since there are Preferred and non-Preferred sections at each hotel; more on that in a moment.) The Wild Orchid is the busier, noisier side of the property. Not that it’s wild or chaotic at all; it’s just that more of the entertainment options are here. Perhaps it would be fairer to say that the St. James side is simply the quieter and more sedate half. The style throughout the Wild Orchid is a modern take on British Colonial decor—the same dark woods and canopied beds, but along crisp, contemporary lines, with freestanding Jacuzzi tubs for romantic soaks.


Now, about that “preferred” option. A Preferred Club suite 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 separate lounge for breakfast, snacks, and desserts. Preferred public spaces are quieter, and poolside lounge chairs easier to come by, but since they are not as well staffed as the non-Preferred sections, service can be slower.

The “wow” rooms are the ocean-view swim-out suites, with patios that become steps leading directly into the pool—though these obviously afford a bit less privacy, as anyone can see in when the curtains aren’t closed, plus you don’t get as much ocean view as on higher floors.

 - Reid Bramblett