If traversing the many gaping potholes leading to the hotel gates was any indication of how the trip could go ...I was ready to turn back immediately. Having already driven 2+ hours from Kingston to get there, the added potential of damage to our vehicle's shocks definitely put a sour taste in my mouth. This resort is far too expensive for the road to have been that bad!
Location: Montego Bay, St. James Date Visited: September 2020
Type: All-Inclusive Resort (Adults Only) Cost: ~USD $600+ per night
The resort is located on a private penninsula, which was a good distance away from the Main Road. Once the GPS told us our destination was on the left, the next emotion I felt was confusion. Secrets Wild Orchid shares the property with sister resorts Secrets St. James and Breathless, but the signs were in arbitrary places, and thus pretty useless in offering any sort of direction to the correct parking lot or lobby area. On a separate note, pandemic protocols were strictly observed by all staff, which was an added comfort.
Style/Ambience - 6.5 out of 10
The property has a modern tropical chic decor style, with spanish-style architecture consistent across the three resorts. The dark wood furniture was softened by neutral/earth-toned accent pieces. The decor seemed dated and basic in some areas, but it's a gorgeous property overall.
If you're unfit...be warned! The walking required from one amenity to another may cause you to consider medical attention. No two amenities are truly in walking distance of the rooms. The spa and gym are located on the Breathless side of the property, which felt like an almost 15-minute walk from the Secrets Wild Orchid side. Talk about a pun being intended in a name! There weren't any golf carts available to assist guests with that trek either.
Room - 9 out of 10
The room? NICE BAD! We stayed in a Junior Suite Ocean View King room and I kid you not, it had one of the BEST views of any resort we've been to [pictured]. I wish my picture did it more justice!
The room was decently sized, and maintained the tropical chic decor style, with a mixture of earth tone decor and natural stone accents. The bathroom was equally lovely, featuring double sinks, a standalone jetted tub and a separate glass enclosed rain shower with floor to ceiling marble.
My husband would be up in arms if I didn't tell y'all that one can watch TV from the tub...and that he did. Apparently that's a major selling point! [insert brief cackle here].
Food & Drinks - 7.5 out of 10
The food was really good! [cue chef's kiss]. Room service was super quick and didn't miss the mark on quality. We had dinner at Bordeaux, the french-themed restaurant. BEST lamb I've ever had [pictured]. I highly recommend dining there if you ever decide to go to this resort. The real let down, however, were the drinks. If only they tasted as pretty as they had looked.
At the time of our trip, neither the Breathless nor Secrets St. James resorts were open, so dining options were limited on a daily basis. Nevertheless, that meant that focus was really given to meal quality, and it showed.
Customer Service - 8 out of 10
This trip was actually a surprise birthday gift for my husband. I had called the hotel ahead of time to let them know of the occasion, and they did not disappoint with complementary cake and wine once we got to the room! While the staff didn't always smile, they were always efficient and helpful. What tipped the scale with this rating however was a check-in call from the General Manager. It was completely unexpected, but nice to know how intentional and personal they were about guest comfort!
Amenities & Entertainment - 6 out of 10
Mi nah guh lie (translation: I won't lie), the resort was a tad boring during the day. I'm sure the pandemic had a part to play in that, but even the staff looked bored on the job as we strolled around the property. Things sorta picked up in the evening, and guests got to enjoy an outdoor, under-the-stars movie night on one occasion. The spa is magnificent but the prices? NO SAH. They may as well charge just to go inside and look. The gym wasn't large but it was outfitted with all the state of the art equipment. Seeing as both are so far from the rooms, I'm not sure how much traction they got on a daily basis.
MADD Factor - Secret Box
I wish every resort had this feature! The secret box is a cupboard-like nook inside the room by the door, which staff access from the outside to deliver room service. Once guests are finished, used dishes etc. can be placed in the Secret Box and will be cleared away at a later time. As such, there is no contact with staff in this regard if not wanted! It was such a novel experience besides the room tablet, which controlled all the room's digital features (lights, A/C, etc.) and served as the communication hub between guests and the staff.
Overall Rating: 7.4 out of 10
Our trip happened mere months after the pandemic started, so I know our experience was muted by that fact. While we had a good time, we'd definitely love to go back, especially when all 3 resorts are simultaneously up and running, to see how it'd be different. The overall vybe at Secrets Wild Orchid is very calm, romantic and couple-centric, so I'd definitely recommend it to newlyweds/honeymooners! If you're looking for more of a sexy, youthful vybe with a foam-party or two, then the Breathless side of the resort would be just up your alley.
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Check out Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay: https://www.amrcollection.com/en/resorts-hotels/secrets/jamaica/wild-orchid-montego-bay/
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. This review is not sponsored.