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“A Fine Hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of St. James's Club

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St. James's Club
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Mamora Bay, Mamora Bay, Antigua   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mamora Bay
Eastbourne, UK
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
154 helpful votes 154 helpful votes
“A Fine Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2004

This is a fine hotel with a wonderful understated elegance. Two great beaches, helpful staff and pleasant rooms. Several fabulous restaurants to choose from and a wonderful cocktail bar with adjoining casino. Great views from the pool deck and grounds.
Anyone who writes a bad review about St. James's clearly has never stayed at the Grand Pineapple Hotel on the other side of the island! Go with the pace of life in Antigua and enjoy the casual and old fashioned atmosphere that is St James's.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,182 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (579)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2004

My family & I (2 adults a 2 yr & 4yr old) just returned from a 2 week stay at the St James Beach club with Virgin Holidays. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and have to advise any family or couple on this location.

We had the all inclusive deal staying in a superior room in papaya block. The accommodation was more than satisfactory with excellent AC, which is definitely needed. In general, with one or 2 exceptions, the staff were very friendly, accommodating and over all pleasant. They were particularly good with the kids. (Mr James, Carlene, Pearl & Troy, all from Cocos to name just a few)

The kids club was good & had structured timed activities that meant you can schedule the little ones time away, and even on an evening, open until 2200 if you fancy one dinner alone as we did!

The beach on our side had seaweed on it (it's only nature!), but I have to say, the landscaping staff were cleaning frequently, and the kids loved both the beach & the ocean, which incidentally is a great refreshing temperature in the nice weather.

In summary, as we did, I trust you will make up your own mind on this resort and not be fully taken in by the negative or positive reviews received. However, I am more than happy to offer a glowing testimony to our 2 weeks stay in a very good, sunny, friendly & accommodating atmosphere.

One final tip, take USD $ and don't bother with the ECU (Caribbean $) as everything is priced in USD $, and the calculations on exchange rates made by the vendors varied from a 'finger in the air' point of view!

  • Stayed October 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2004

Nothing much new to add here - the previous comments from other guests pretty much cover the problems we experienced. Funny (well, not literally) to read the comments from others and in my mind constantly thinking, "yep, the exact same thing happened to me!". If you're doing research before booking, let me warn you - the people posting negative experiences here are not exaggerating!! Went for my honeymoon, envisioning a tropical paradise and was terribly disappointed with the result. For the amount of money you're going to spend, I'd highly advise looking elsewhere. Let me put it this way - when you check out, they hand you a guest questionnaire to fill out. They conduct a random drawing of the questionnaires and if you're selected, you win a free week at the resort. My wife and I decided not to fill out the questionnaire for fear that we might win the drawing and have to return.

  • Stayed October 2004
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West London, UK
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2004

October half-term visit to St James' Beach Club proved very satisfactory. The watersports and tennis facilities are good and mostly inclusive (e.g. the HobieCats are free and an initial waterskiing lesson for the inexperienced is also included). One side of the resort is on a lagoon, the other side has a beach out to sea. The lagoon beach is a wee bit 'shingly', but not unpleasantly so.

We found the food to be excellent. There are three restaurants in the AI package, although the choice on any given night is usually from one or two. The fourth restaurant on the resort is available but not included in the AI package. Service generally good and very pleasant.

Downsides? We're in the detail now, but the bathroom looked a bit tired, with leaking (when on) shower taps and poor quality finish generally, but not to the extent that you don't want to go in there. However rest of room spacious and fresh. Cleaning every day to an excellent standard.

By way of comparison, we took a car round to Dickenson Bay (e.g. Halcyon, Sandals) and thought that this was a very poor location by comparison, despite being on the Caribbean side. The only superior beach we came across was the spectacular beach at Jolly Harbour, but we weren't so taken with the hotel there (cursory experience of course).

So yes, we REALLY rated the experience overall. It's great when the actual experience outstrips your expectations. Well done St James'.

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A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2004

We just returned from 5nights at StJames Club and my only complaint was the terrible wine and horrible margaritas I had to go to town to buy my own wine. We stayed in a room on the ocean side which was so nice to just walk out on the beach, alittle seaweed in the water but not a big deal to me. The service was slow but I guess I didn;t expect the best for the price. If you are a runner the roads were fine to run on.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayr, Scotland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2004

I have just returned from two weeks at the St. James Club, and I really enjoyed both the resort and my holiday. We chose to go European plan rather than all inclusive, as we prefer a variety of options as far as food is concerned. We did not find this much more expensive than the price quoted for all inclusive. The resort itself was very attractive with well kept grounds and and good facilities.

On arrival we were upgraded to a Bay View suite with a lovely view of Mamora Bay. This happened without any prompting from us, and we could not believe our luck. The suite was lovely with a separate seating area and bedroom - a few cracked tiles in the bathroom, but powerful hot shower, fridge, iron etc provided. Housekeeping called at wildly varying times for some reason, and although this didn't bother me I can understand that some people wouldn't be happy with this. The a/c was very effective and could maintain a steady 16 deg in the bedroom, although the living area tended to be a bit warmer.

We found Mamora Bay too warm for sunbathing as it is so sheltered. Also the sand here was grainy and hard - it appeared to be a man-made beach, so we mostly sunned ourselves at the ocean side or at one of the pools. The ocean side was very nice with a cool breeze and softer sand. A drinks cart called round, and full bar was nearby. There was some seaweed, but not a big deal - landscape staff cleared it twice daily. I was shocked to see that some guests sailed off leaving drinks bottles, cups and rubbish lying about the sand - I personally feel that it is totally unacceptable to do this anywhere, but especially on a beach. Beach activities were good, and there did not appear to be a shortage of equipment for those wishing to use boats etc.

The breakfast and lunch buffets were good value, and provided a good selection of dishes, served in the attractive Rainbow Restaurant. The BBQ lunch at Mamora Bay was excellent value - the fish burger was delicious!! I do not know how often the menu was varied as we did not eat in the resort every day. We only ate dinner in the resort twice - once in Picolo Mondo and once in Docksider's. Food was reasonable but not great, especially at the prices charged.

All the pools were well maintained and not too busy, the best being the tiered adults only pool next to the villas. Clean beach towels were available daily.

The grounds were lovely, well maintained with nice foliage, although some of the pathways could do with a bit of maintenance.

We found the staff to be consistently helpful and polite. Some were really chatty, some less so, but no-one was rude or unhelpful.

I would really recommend hiring a car (4 wheel drive a must) and getting out to see the rest of the island. The main roads are OK, but some minor roads are very rough, and road signs are really poor. The maps are rubbish, showing only main roads. As the island is small it is difficult to get lost during the day, but we managed to get lost at night if we were further away than English Harbour. There are some beautiful beaches such as Darkwood, Ffryes, Johnson's Point and Half Moon Bay. Devils Bridge and Willoughby Bay worth a visit also. St Johns is fairly small, but bustling town, with plenty of markets and shops. Heritage Quay caters to duty free and jewellry shopping, especially for cruise ship customers. Falmouth and English Harbour area is 10 minutes away by car. Taxi return is 25 dollars US, and there are a few of good restaurants there - particularly Trappa's (should book). Another great restaurant is the Hideout, located at the top of the road leading to St James - the food was fab, run by a lovely couple. All of the restaurants we ate at outwith the resort were excellent and very good value - priced a bit less than home. Feel that the resort catering does not stand up to the competition as they have a captive audience so don't make the same effort.

Shirley Heights on Sundays is a must - great music and mix of people.

We also had the opportunity to visit relatives staying at Jolly Beach (all inclusive). I was not impressed with their accommodation or grounds - did not compare well to St James Club at all. They were really disappointed with the food in particular - felt it was repetitive and uninspiring, and their drinks were served in plastic tumblers, even with dinner!! As they paid far more than we did and still spent a lot on eating out we feel we really got the better deal.

The Antiguans we met were friendly and polite, and seemed to appreicate if people took time to leave their resorts and visit other areas of the island. A surprising number of people seem to go to Antigua and never venture out of the gates of their resort. We never felt unsafe or threatened at any time, and very few locals appeared to be resentful in spite of the fact that much of the income generated from tourism does not seem to be filtering down to the bulk of the community.

All in all we had a great holiday - would like to return to the Caribbean at some point in the future.

  • Stayed October 2004
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford England
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2004

This is an extremely tired hotel with next to no investment over quite a long period of time. The food is uninteresting and bland, the portions are small and the menus do not greatly change. The evening entertainment is very poor, if at all, and rather like Butlins (crab racing and staff talent contests). We were offered 2 very squalid villas and the third was only a little better. Shuttles to the reception and back to the villas are few and far between - be prepared for quite a bit of walking. JCB's on the beach, no life jackets for kids, no ice creams available on the beach for the children, bars closing at the end of the afternoon to herd everyone into the same part of the hotel to keep staff levels down. Grumpy staff working too long hours. I could go on - don't touch with a barge pole!

  • Stayed December 2003
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about St. James's Club

Address: Mamora Bay, Mamora Bay, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Paul Parish > Mamora Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mamora Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — St. James's Club 4*
Number of rooms: 250
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

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