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Sunday, November 25, 2012

CMDTA on Vacation - Secrets St. James - Day One

Who wouldn't want to be here?
I've never been to an all in inclusive resort but my wife (the anti-Disney spouse) wanted to go.  We ended up booking Secrets in Montego Bay Jamaica.  I didn't do much research I mainly just booked it in Montego Bay because there was a non-stop flight from Boston. 

From what I've been told there is a huge range of all inclusive resorts.  You have the real rat trap, bottom shelf resorts that serve the cheapest booze known to man and have downright scary rooms.  On the other end of the spectrum you have the ultra luxury resorts that cost more than a nice car to stay at.  About a third of the way down from the ultra resorts you get Secrets.

To give a quick standards breakdown I'll do my normal comparison.  The tried and true VS Disney test.

Food - about the same as a signature dining location.

Rooms - better than a Disney Suite at one of the deluxe resorts. 

Atmosphere - about the same as a moderate resort.

Service - amazingly better than a good portion.

These are just first impressions but I should explain the "Service" item.  The service you get at Secrets is the service that Disney used to offer.  It's the service you expected when you went to Disney back in the mid to late 90s.

The location of Secrets in Montego Bay allows for some nice sunsets.  Montego Bay is on the north west side of the island. While you don't get to see the sun dip below the water you still get a great view.

There are a number of places you can watch the sunset.  The resort stretches in a long line down the beach.  Dotted along this line are pools, bars, and restaurants.  Not dining locations but actual restaurants.  They have a large offering from French to Jamaican.  You can go do a different one everyday if you want.

On day one we went to the Blue Mountain which was the Jamaican restaurant.  It was surprisingly good...for the most part.  The service was top notch.  The first round was excellent.  The main course was mixed.  The problem was I ordered the Jamaican Stew.  It was salty.  I mean saltier than beef jerky.  It was nuts.  It turned out just the beef was salty so if you mixed it with everything else it was bad. 

The atmosphere is broken up.   You have the St. James side which is more colonial and you have the wild orchid side which is more Asian. Don't let this fool you.  Both look almost the same.  There are only slight differences.  Don't expect one side to look like the Poly and the other side to look like the Yacht Club.  They don't go that crazy.  Both sides look like you are in your average upscale Caribbean resort.  The real star is what is around the resort.  Like this shot to the right.  You get a nice tropical, mountainous landscape.

The pools are nice.  Some of them include swim up bars.  Most are endless pools which means the dump into an overflow.  At night they all light up with LED lights that change colors every few seconds.

All around the resort there are a lot of trees and vegetation.  It's not quite what you find at the Poly but it's still very nice.

The bars a nice. The fact that you can get anything you want, including top shelf, for free helps.  Even considering that the service is very good.

As you can expect you can find some people who have no self control.  People who are do pie eyed that they have hardly stand up.  Maybe I'll snap a few of them and upload them to Park Wrecks.

I'm not sure if I'll do a post everyday but I will at least a few more times so keep checking back.

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