My time spent at Secrets St. James in Jamaica was absolutely wonderful! It was all about our long awaited I Can’t Wait To Travel With Dear Future Wifey group trip, and fellow ICWTT members along with over 100 guests were all vacationing together! Surprisingly, despite being born in Jamaica and living on the island for all my life, it was my first time at the resort. Still, I’m so glad I was able to experience Secrets St James, in all its luxury, along with the other guests.
Written by ICWTT Team Member, Briana Vernon
I arrived at the resort on Thursday, May 4 and I was excited, to say the least. The anticipation had been building up for months since the trip was announced. I was thrilled to meet the guests, followers of the podcast, and the host himself, Laterras Whitfield.
First, I went to the check-in lounge. Upon entry, I noticed how modern and chic the lobby is. Agents occupied each desk and in no time, you’re invited over to have a seat. I arrived rather early, four hours early to be exact, and so I was given a brief overview of ways to enjoy my stay at the hotel, and was advised that I could relax for a while before my room was ready.
I love arriving at resorts before check in time to enjoy the property before I head to my room. So, as I normally do, I decided it was time to get lunch! I made my way to the Oceana restaurant. Before I arrived, I couldn’t help but notice how spacious the resort is, so much so that I had to ask for directions more than once, lol! That’s when I learned how friendly the staff is too. They greet you with a smile and are eager to assist!
In no time, I arrived at Oceana and although this spot mainly offers seafood options, there was a variety of food to choose from. I’m not a seafood lover so I ordered the Jamaican style wrap with chicken fingers and fries.
Now, I have to give it to Secrets; from that moment I knew that the food at the resort would be great! For my drink, I had some orange juice which is actually one of my favorites.
I really enjoyed my time at Oceana. It’s an open view concept, and you’re able to see the pool based on where you sit. The vibe is very relaxed as well and the servers are attentive and polite.
After a delicious lunch, I checked into my room which was a junior suite with an ocean view. As soon as I stepped inside, I was blown away. I’ve seen chic and cozy hotel rooms before but the decor, furniture and fixtures of this room were top tier. Everything was modern, from the large jacuzzi in the bathroom to the fancy shower head.
The shower and toilet are situated in separate areas, closed off by frosted glass doors, while sliding doors separate the jacuzzi from the bedroom so you can step right in if you’d like after waking up.
The bedroom also boasts a contemporary design with a flat screen TV hoisted on the wall, a large, exceptionally cozy bed, couch and dining table for two. The bedroom leads to the balcony where I had a wonderful view of the pool area and the Seaside Grill.
Not long after getting acquainted with my room, I met up with fellow ICWTT members, Marcela and Rafael. It was almost time for the cocktail party that would serve as an introduction for the guests to Laterras Whitfield, so we made our way to the St. James lawn where I met ICWTT co-founders Lisa and Anthony in person for the first time!
Immediately we started to set things up for the cocktail party; organizing the stage, lighting, gift bags and more. Once the area was ready to go, we decided to meet up at 6 to commence the event. We had a DJ who did an awesome job, servers from the hotel who catered some delicious food such as jerk chicken and finger food and fantastic drinks!
I met the guests upon their entry to the venue, and guided them to receive their gift bags which contained cell phone holders, I Can’t Wait To Travel branded shirts, hair products courtesy of Just Curly Cute and personal copies of Todd Procaccini’s daily devotional Dare to Declare.
Soon after, Lisa handed things over to Laterras and he began to speak to the guests. It was an exclusive event and so followers of the podcast were able to go on stage and share how their life was impacted by the podcast. The atmosphere was simply amazing. I could tell based on all the smiles that the guests thought so too.
As the party came to a close, guests gathered to take pictures with Laterras. I made sure to get a few in myself! His personality is just as it is on the podcast! He’s so charismatic and has an inviting presence.
Later that night, Lisa, Anthony, Marcela, Rafael and myself enjoyed dinner together at the Italian restaurant, Portofino. I absolutely loved the food here. I had some tasty chicken with potatoes, done Italian style. I will say that I didn’t enjoy my drink. I ordered a mango daiquiri and it was actually the worst I’ve tasted. Also, the service was rather slow. After waiting maybe 20 minutes to be officially seated (we sat on seats at the side of the restaurant until it was our turn), we waited for a while again to be served.
Besides this wait time at Portofino, my first day at Secrets St. James was lovely! After we ate, we went back to our rooms because we had a full day ahead of us. On day two, we would be sailing on the catamaran and climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios. St. Ann!