We could only manage a 7 day visit this time and inevitably it was too short.
Previously we have stayed in the Beach Club section fronting the ocean but this year we were in the SJC. Again we travelled on the Virgin Hols all-inclusive deal and once again it didn't let us down. Callie, the local Virgin Rep, - a lively American lady, zany with a great sense of humour but what a star - she does make every effort to make your stay as enjoyable and trouble-free as possible.
The hotel staff are helpful and very friendly and it was nice to see some familiar faces again. The service is generally good, sometimes a little slow if the restaurant is busy but we find they respond positively - not sure about some reviews complaining of rudeness - not our experience at all.
Our usual haunt is on Coco's Beach with the refreshing ocean breeze but a weather system had blown a lot of surface weed into the bay. We saw great strands of it all the way from Barbados and, from several thousand feet up, thought it was oil. Coco's usually gets some weed in off the ocean which a 2 man team normally clears up each early morning but it took a 12-man team the best part of 6 days, working all day,to get on top of the huge amount blown in. They did a fantastic job and we did at least get a couple of days there. However, the great benefit of SJC is having an alternative so we spent most of our time on the Mamora lagoon beach instead. It does get a bit hot in the afternoon lacking the ocean breeze but just a few steps into the water to cool down or several visits by Alfred with the drinks cart hits the spot and you never need to go far to reach some oasis.
Although there are several pools we rarely use them. Not conducive to quiet reading, etc but we prefer the beaches anyway.
The new blocks and their surrounding areas built since our last visit in 2008 are a good and attractive addition to the accommodation available. The water activities are always a big plus for our 2 boys (now 24 and 20) out on the Hobiecats every day. They even tried tennis this time but an admission of rubbish standard restricted that to one session.
The rooms are a good size with huge double beds, a sizeable bathroom and a verandah or balcony and the aircon is efficient, so again we found it very comfortable. Two minor issues which arose were resolved by housekeeping instantly.
Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner and all drinks included - you don't have to think too much - choice of restaurant for dinner, inside or outside in the Rainbow Garden - a la carte menu or buffet . The food and wine perhaps are not Michelin but what are you paying ? It is good; varied daily menus; plenty of it... and, if you feel inclined, opportunity to get very merry. I recommend the Wadadli cocktail Perfect way to wind down.
Perhaps not smooth opulence ( if that is what you want)...been there; done that and all a bit stuffy. We want to relax and enjoy the holiday. The setting is peaceful away from everywhere, with a lovely garden setting.
We think SJC the best on Antigua and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it - we even sent parents here for a 60th anniversary - which they thoroughly enjoyed.
Still a few things to do to keep on top but thanks SJC for a really nice stay.
- 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. 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 & Villas Antigua/Mamora Bay