This was our 5th visit to the resort (12/07 - 26/07), the last was in 2010 and was disappointing at the time. See our last review here:
After that visit we were reluctant to return and indeed, returned to one of the sister resorts (the Varandah) in 2011.
However, this year we felt St. James needed a return visit as it truly does hold a place in our hearts. And we were glad we gave it another chance.
First off we are a well travelled family of three, our daughter is 13 now. We expect high quality in both accomodation and service.
Once again, we were upgraded to a Reef Suite which are a great. Right on the waters edge, the view across the ocean is truly breathtaking. Room was in an excellent state of repair.
Last time we criticised the lack of resturants open. This year week one, was much better with Docksiders (water front location), Cocos (Elevated location at the end of one beach) and the Rainbow Garden (Main resturant) all being open in the evening.
You also have the option of Picolo Mondos at an additional charge. We did this once this year and were pleased to note that compared to back in 2010, it had raised it's game. Service was fantastic and the food was exceptional (despite the lack of Lobster bein available!!!). Both Coco's and the Rainbow Garden were open for breakfast and both being available for lunch in addition to the Mamora Grill for an easy quick Burger.
Week two was noticably quieter in the resort and we started to witness the closure of some resturants. Only the Rainbow Garden for Breakfast and on occasions, only Cocos for lunch on some days. One of the resturants was shut alternately, in the evening.
Food was overall of a good standard but we feel there are two things need addressing here and the main reason we have marked overall 4/5 as a rating.
Coco's had the same menu lunchtime or evening. This not only becomes monotonous but the evening visit see's nothing more than the same lunchtime style meal which is such a shame considering the superb location.
Rainbow Garden is still the same as our last report. It has zero ambience and lacks any character. This should be the resorts next target. Breakfast was always great mind.
And we truly think they have the menus around the wrong way!!! Docksiders is the classic waterfront Carribean setting. Yet every night? Buffet!!! This resturant deserves to be "a la Carte" and the Rainbow Garden be the buffet where people can go without too much effort and grab something quick off the buffet without taking much notice of the actual location.
Staff in the resturants were great and always courteous.
The Jacaranda bar has seen a well overdue refurb and I've read on here it was a bit basic. We didn't feel this was the case. An excellent job has been done in a modern contemporary style.
Mamora bar is great for a sundowner before returning to your room to repare for the evening.
Bar staff were excellent as they were throughout the resort. A special mention to 3 people here. Shirley and Inez in the main pool bar are excellent and should be recognised by their management. Nothing was too much trouble, always a smile and a friendly chat. And we must not forget Alfred, the man with the drinks buggy on the beach. A true legend and a pleasure to see trundling down the beach with an ice cold beverage for you. We certainly knew when it was his day off as the visits were dramatically reduced.
Pools were clean and good to see the tiered adults pool has had a makeover since the last time.
Beaches were in great shape. Cocos beachwas suffering from a few Jellyfish but the sea breeze was a welcome relief from the heat.
Mamora beach is perfect in the afternoon, maybe a bit hot due to the lack of any breeze.
Sunbeds were always available on either beach and were in a good state of repair.
Car hire was geat. Very helpful, reasonable in cost and a trip out for the day is well worth the effort. Stingray city is well worth doing. A great experience.
And now to the front desk / guest services. We felt a couple of the people were downright rude to be honest. Any queries were treated as though they were insignificant for them to deal with. Not all of them, just a couple.
WiFi is available at various places around the resort with varying levels of connectivity. The lobby area was frustrating to say the least.
So overall, a great holiday in a resort that is relaxing and a lovely experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the All-Inclusive St. James's Club & Villas, Antigua's most famous address. This beautiful resort is ideally located on a private, 100-acre peninsula. You will love our two white sand beaches, water sports, tennis, four restaurants, indoor and outdoor bars, beach bar & grill, luxurious spa & salon, freshwater swimming pools, supervised Kids Club, wide array of water sports, Scuba diving, and so much more. One of the Caribbean's most popular all-inclusive resorts. Excellent for couples, honeymooners, families, and friends. Located just minutes from major attractions like English Harbour, Nelson's Dockyard, and the lively Shirley Heights. Our warm and welcoming staff and management team will make your stay wonderful and memorable. See your favorite travel agent or contact Elite Island Resorts to book your stay. We look forward to seeing you soon! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- St. James`s Club Hotel Mamora Bay
- St James Club Antigua
- St Jamess Hotel
- St Jamess Resort
- St James Antigua
- St Jamess Club Antigua
- St. James's Club Antigua/Mamora Bay