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“Absolutely Amazing, read this review!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of St. James's Club & Villas

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St. James's Club & Villas
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mamora Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Absolutely Amazing, read this review!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012

just come back from St JAmes Club as part of a family of four, never have we been on a better holiday, and thats coming from a family with two BA staff who have been to practically every place on earth! when we arrived we were greeted by lovely receptionists and given any drink of our choice. we were then upgraded to a luxuary villa and taken there by a gol buggy!! with a family of four, there were 2 single beds and 1 double so perfect allong with a lounge, kitchen, 2 balconys 3 closets and spectacular views! really reccomend any villa to a family looking for a really spectacular and memorable holiday. we went to cocos every morning for the buffet where the was enough food to feed the thousands with a whole selection of juces and if you wish to have an omlette- not a problem they make it up all infront of you!
lunch was varied in location but mostly at rainbows as the meals there are excellent but the oftion of 'a la carte' or buffet is given.
now dinner was just spectacular at the Docksider, live entertainment with a selection of cocktails whilst looking out directly onto the beach and surrounding docks, taste of aradise! if you dont fancy going to bed after, there is a very well soundproofed club with a disco and amazing mustc in, aslo a bar and drinks on tap!
really reccomend this and all the negetive reviews of this place i just cant get my head around!

Room Tip: choose a villa if your a family of say 3 or 4 but rooms if less.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Rhys B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (971)
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English first
Leicestershire,UK
Level Contributor
35 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012

This was our third trip to The Beach Club at St James (we were last there in 2008) there have been some changes (for the better) and although I can see why some reviews don't rate this place I do think it's down to expectations. It isn't (like most Caribbean hotels) 4* in the same way as a UK/US hotel would be. For example the accommodation is fairly basic (although perfectly comfortable) and the drinks not premium band (although very strong!) but it does offer fantastic beaches, a good choice of restaurants & good service. It's a big, sprawling (& hilly!) complex consisting of the original St James Hotel plus a Beach Club complex (our choice of accommodation...the upgrade to ground floor rooms are 3 wooden steps to the sandy beach) and a series of villas (some owned & some time-share) You can now use all restaurants on the all inclusive deals (whereas before you were more limited) I won't repeat the information in the other reviews because it's generally the same but would stress your rating of St James Club will depend on your expectation & attitude (the number of repeat guests shows a lot of people love it) A couple of tips:
-Try the different restaurants (we'd recommend Coco's for breakfast (buffet) & lunch (fish,burgers,ribs etc served at the table) and in the evening enjoyed Rainbow Garden (a la carte) & Docksider (themed buffets)
-Try the different pools & beaches (We used Cocos AM-a fab breeze) then Mamora Bay (PM-it kept the sun longer) There's also a great, and not much used adults only pool off Mamora Bay...you shouldn't have a problem getting sunbeds at any time.
-You'll probably get a leaflet offering a time-share presentation...do it! It's a no pressure 40 minute explanation of the resort (plus you get a certificate for Piccolo Mondo-their excellent a la carte restaurant that's not part of the all inclusive)
-Chat to the bar & waiting staff. The service is good but, as previous reviews say the constant "you're welcome" when serving can be a bit false....talk to them though & you'll find they're not robots!
-Use the free tennis courts. You can book these 48 hours in advance from Guest Services (very helpful) and pick up rackets/balls before you play. I'd recommend an early/late booking to avoid the heat.
-I can see why families with children might feel disappointed. It's an isolated resort to relax in. We had 2 weeks of great weather but may feel differently if we'd had poor weather & not much for kids to do.
As I say we knew what to expect, made the most of the resorts good points, didn't worry about it's bad points and...like a lot of others will be back again!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank IanMoore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2012 via mobile

We absolutely loved our stay at St. James's Club! We totally relaxed in this wonderful little corner of Paradise and enjoyed every minute of our stay. The staff were always pleasant and polite and I can really understand why many people seem to return to this lovely place year after year. I felt totally safe and secure, well looked after and truly delighted that we'd chosen such a wonderful location to spend our holiday.
The food was great and there was not a single meal that we were disappointed with. This is a 4 star hotel that caters perfectly well for its customers varied tastes.
Sailing was great!
The only stressed moments we ever had were on the beach at the end of the day when there seemed to be an unwritten rule that it was fine to disturb everyone who was still relaxing and put them at risk of being knocked out by a tennis ball during games of cricket! I did object - but you know what, it was a big beach, so we just moved. Problem easily solved.
I was glad I'd read reviews about the seaweed issue on Coco's beach or I might have been disappointed, but It really wasn't a major problem while we were there. Plenty of people seemed perfectly happy on that beach. We preferred Marmora Bay as on Coco's Beach it would be hard to tell just how hot it was because of the breeze.
This place has something for everyone. You can have totally relaxed evenings or fun and laughter in the Reef Bar, whatever suits you. We loved the Docksider restaurant and bar and also Coco's for breakfast and lunch as they were quieter than the Rainbow Garden.
A wonderful holiday - I hope we will return!

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Voyage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

We are a family of 4, the hotel expected our 15 year old son and 9 year old daughter to share a small double bed, the management refused to provide another bed or provide two single beds instead of the double, we were made to pay '20 usd per night!' so 260 usd in total to rent a very small poor quality put up bed, the staff refused to compromise on cost, this is outrageous and a blatant rip off, our virgin rep was unable to resolve this.

Having been to most caribeen islands and also to Antigua before I believe st James are the only hotel with this policy. So be warned if you are thinking of coming here as a family!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Martin E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EIR123, Public Relations Manager at St. James's Club & Villas, responded to this review, July 31, 2012
We are sorry to read about your experience. Management and your Tour representative are aware of your situation. The booking you have is for a double bedded room, this consists of 2 double beds, there is not an option to choose single beds on arrival. Any additional beds are charged for as stated on the Tour Operators website and brochure. We do apologise that your room did not meet with expectation and for any distress this has caused and hope that you enjoy the rest of your vacation in Antigua.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2012

We stayed in a villa right on the beach at Mamora Bay. Wow! Just couldn't have asked for anything more from the accommodation. In the mornings we had coffee on the verandah and then walked barefoot onto the beach. In the evenings we had sundowners often lying out on our own sunbeds. We felt so lucky to be staying here.

So was everything perfect? No, it never is and I have to keep it real (as they say) and mention the odd little niggle. I can also appreciate that if our accommodation had not been so great, I might have felt differently about the whole experience. The acid test is, would I go back? Yes ..... in a heartbeat.

So, here goes:
This is a big resort, very nicely landscaped. The hotel cleary invest in the property. Some of the main areas have a package holiday feel to them but having said that you can always find a quiet spot. Stick to Mamora Bay rather than say the main pool if you prefer peace and quiet. There is something for everyone here, it is great for families with children of any age including teenagers. I am not that sure that it is as good for couples (as it is not a deserted Caribbean Idlyll) but plenty of them get married here. I often overheard people talking about the changes the hotel had made and it seems that people come back year after year. The staff are helpful and I was impressed that one of the managers was in reception when we left to wish us a pleasant journey and thank us for staying with them. As always, if you have a problem, mention it to the hotel staff while you are at the resort, there is no point stewing over it and then writing about it on Trip Advisor when you get home. We had a minor issue and the management resolved it, you can't ask for more than that.

Beaches
Mamora Bay - If you are looking for the crystal clear turquoise caribbean sea, you won't find it here. The beach is still lovely and the water calm. Yes, sunbeds can be at a premium but that it is pretty much the case wherever you go.
They rake the sand every morning at about 7.30am, so if your accommodation is on the beach you will probably be woken up by the noise. But this isn't a big deal as you tend to get up earlier in the Caribbean than you would do at home anyway.
Coco Beach - Yes, there is a seaweed problem. I thought Mamora Bay was better.

Accommodation: Beach villa great. High spec, new furnishings. Self catering would probably be limited to barbeques and snacks but the villa was fully equipped with crockery and cutlery. Did have a dishwasher but no washing machine. Lovely big main bedroom and ensuite. The ensuite had a deep corner tub with overhead rainshower. Ok, the bathroom wasn't airconditioned but this was a non-issue - you just have to duck back into the bedroom to cool off.

Food: This is plentiful and there is lots of choice but I wouldn't say that it is great. We found the Rainbow Garden was the best on the all inclusive package. The Docksider is pretty, nice atmosphere, but the buffet style food was not up to scratch. Cocos was really good for breakfast, slightly less choice than the Rainbow Garden but nicer location and ambience. We paid the $35 supplement and ate at Piccolo Mondo one night. My Caprese salad wasn't right, the desert was okay but the lobster was fantastic and we were happy to pay the supplement for this alone.
Entertainment etc: The live bands were middle of the road but still enjoyable. They generally finished at 10pm which was too early. In the main bar area (Jacaranda lounge?) there was music/DJ til late. The main bar was lovely and cool and provided a welcome respite from the heat. But, oh dear, I hated the decor in the main seating area. The cushions on the chairs looked cheap, the carpet just wrong and the lighting in the main seating area was much too harsh. But that is just me being critical, others liked the bar. Gym was great, plenty of machines and weights. There were lots of tennis courts.

We went on a hotel catamaran trip on our last afternoon. This was a lovely end to the holiday but was expensive. We travelled with Virgin Holidays and I would say that their excursions are good but, again, expensive. I think part of the problem is that often these trips include boat trips and fuel isn't cheap. You have to go on at least one boat trip though, just relax and listen to the reggae music as you power over the waves.
Taxis - Yes, these do cost but they are reliable and run to time, in fact they mostly turn up early.

Style notes for the ladies: You know how maxi dresses often look wrong in the UK? They look great in the Caribbean. A beach cover-up is essential, a kaftan looks ok (and covers burnt bits) but a little beach dress can look even better. Hang out wet swimsuits to dry, if you don't they will go mouldy very quickly in this sort of climate. Pack loads of high factor suntan cream, you are going to need it and it is cheaper to bring it with you.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank minniesafrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2012

They downgraded our room to a beach front second floor with access on the road side, when we booked a beachfront access. The room had no view of the beach due to trees directly in front of the balcony. Our room was 80 degrees the entire first night and we asked to be moved and they (Prince) refused and thought that was acceptable. The staff at St. James are 20% friendly and 80% rude and angry most of the time. David at guest services was obviously predjudicial against americans, he spent 20 minutes with non American guests and gave us no time explaining the excursions and other services. They looked the other way when guests did not have proper atire at dinner (non Americans). The beach did have grass constantly being cleaned by workers, a major effort. You might get two drinks a day if you are on the beach side and the bay was imbearably hot and the water was cloudy and stagnet. there are too many faults to keep listing to be a four star resort.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EIR123, Public Relations Manager at St. James's Club & Villas, responded to this review, July 31, 2012
Thank you for your comments. When a Beachfront Room is sold Tour Operators do not always specify that this can be either lower (beach access) or upper floor. We are sorry if this was not clarified to you at the time. We always try to accommodate guests but have to bear in mind occupancy levels and cannot guarantee requests. We are sorry that you felt that Guest Services were prejudice towards your party, this is very disappointing and your comments will be passed onto Management.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McKinney, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2012

Let's start with the positive. The views from the St. James Club are spectacular. On one side you have the roaring ocean (lots of seaweed though); and on the other side, you have the tranquil bay. The pools are clean and well kept; however, everything else is lacking.

The drive from the airport to the hotel takes you through a section that shows the local regions poverty. There are little shanty's and animals grazing in open fields and in front of houses. You pass by several "junky" areas with broken down cars riddled along the side of the road. The ride is very bumpy and the roads narrow.

Upon arriving at the hotel, you are greeted by Guest Services and offered a rum punch. Prince, the Guest Services Manager, overlooked my husband and son who were standing in front of him and came to offer me something. When I asked that he take care of them, he said he was asking me not them. I needed the assistance of Guest Services several more times during our stay (booking dinner reservations, excursions, etc.) and none of the staff there were helpful or courteous. If you call for assistance from Reception, please be prepared to be put on terminal hold and then told they will call you back in 5 minutes. Which does not happen.

Check in is very slow and manual. The porters are not friendly and are slow. It is very apparent they are only there to make a paycheck. The room is not what you would find in your typical 4 or 5 star resort in Mexico. It is very plain and basic and lacks comfort. No comfy duvets or lots of pillows. Just a plain raddy bedspread and 2 pillows for a king size bed. The towels were not fluffy; and while clean, were not able to be used more than once like they ask you to do.

This resort should not mention that they have a Kids Club. It was a little building with a cheap Fisher Price house and little cut outs in the sand. We were at the resort for 5 days and never once saw a child in Kids Club. Needless to say, we didn't leave our 6-year old son here and kept him with us at all times.

There are 4 restaurants on the property. We ate at the Docksider the first night and the food was what is customary in the region. We ate salad and cheese/crackers and cold cuts for dinner that first night. The Rainbow Garden and CoCo's have basically the same buffet for breakfast and we're okay. CoCo's has the same menu for lunch and dinner and was good. Rainbow Garden had a few more items for lunch and we ate there a couple of times since it is right by the main pool. Piccolo Mondo is the nice restaurant on property. It is great food and the service was better than the other restaurants; however, men will need to wear their long pants.

My husband didn't pack any long pants and wore shorts the first time. We were promptly seated and had a great meal. We tried to eat there again and were denied (even though the restaurant was completely empty) since he was wearing shorts.

Customer service is hit or miss. Jermaine in the Rainbow Garden always greeted us with a smile and provided excellent service. It is true that Inez and Super Dave at the main pool are great. All others need a lesson in providing customer service.

The excursions are few and are mainly for adults or older kids. There are no motorized water sports at the property but they do offer kayaks, paddle boats and katamarans.

We spent more time in the evening in our room on this vacation than we ever have on a vacation. Needless to say, we all came back tan, relaxed and hungry as there wasn't enough to do or good food to eat.

We will not be returning to St. James Club anytime soon.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Debra K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EIR123, Public Relations Manager at St. James's Club & Villas, responded to this review, July 30, 2012
Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry that your first impressions of Reception and check-in were disappointing. With regards to dress code, we do stipulate that men wear long pants when dining in Piccolo Mondo, the fact there was an inconsistency on whether this was enforced will be taken up with Management. It is disappointing to read that you did not receive satisfactory customer service, delivering an excellent service to all our guests is of paramount importance and we are always looking at ways to improve, so your comments have been taken on board.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about St. James's Club & Villas

Property: St. James's Club & Villas
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 Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mamora Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — St. James's Club & Villas 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. 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

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