I just got back from a wonderful week in Antigua. I say wonderful because the island is beautiful and the weather was gorgeous. I travelled with my husband and 5 year old. I am also 6 months pregnant.
We selected the St. James Club for the beautiful views and a recommendation from a travel agent who informed us that the resort is more family friendly for our 5 year old.
We travel extensively and I must admit I had high expectations of this resort. Perhaps that is why I was slightly disappointed with the resort overall.
Upon arrival we were greeted in the lobby with lemonade which was nice. The front desk check-in was quick and the lady was mostly pleasant. It did feel like we had to drag information out re: internet, beach towels, how to sign up for meals- rather than that info being offered up. For example, when we asked about towels she said they have them at the desk but there was no offer to actually give any to us, so we had to ask again. Just simple things like that make the difference in overall experience.
Upon arrival to our beachfront room we were elated with the view of the ocean. The room itself was tired looking and lacked any decor. The bathroom was very tired looking as well but met our needs. The biggest disappointment was the beds. They were rock hard and I could feel every spring. We all had sore backs for the duration of the trip. I even asked for a mattress topper but it did little to help. The walls of the room were paper thin and I could literally hear the conversations happening in the room adjacent to ours. It seems like they stick all the families with kids in this one beachfront block that is in need of renovation!
Our room had a walkout right onto Coco beach (Atlantic side) which on first glance looked like heaven until my husband went to jump in the water and found hundreds of jellyfish all washed ashore and floating in the shallow surf. For the duration of the week, we could not swim on that beach.
The other beach option is on a Bay. The water is not as clear as the ocean side and it really feels more like you are swimming in a picturesque lake rather than an ocean. We made it work for us and took advantage of the pools on the resort. 3 of 6 allowed kids which worked for us except 2 of these 3 were too deep for our 5 year old to stand in. The kids pool is in an odd location- nestled amongst the time share villas with no access to bathrooms anywhere around, towels or drinks (no bar/drink stand). Once every 2 hours or so Alfred would drive by in his drink cart... Alfred was fabulous and one of the highlights!
The service has been talked about a lot on trip advisor. It was mostly great in our opinion with the odd glitch here and there. Rainbow buffet had hit and miss service and food. Breakfast was repetitive but just fine for the three of us. Coco's was great for snack food at lunch and we ate Piccolo Mondo ($35 pp) for dinner three nights in a row because the night dining options at the other restaurants were pretty slim and not appealing. Piccolo service was impeccable and the food was great. My 5 year old had lobster three night in a row :)
Our son also enjoyed his time at the Kids Club with Cleo. He spent a few hours there on two occasions. They were all very friendly there.
The resort itself is fairly sleepy at night. Not much in the way of entertainment at all. Sometimes live entertainment but nothing memorable.
We ended up leaving the resort for the last two days of our trip. One day we chartered a sailboat and sailed the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean side of the island. We took a taxi back to that side of the island the following day. Keith was our driver and he works out of the resort. He was quite nice. Turner Beach and Ffryes beach are slices of heaven!
I did try the spa on the very last day of our trip, for a back massage after a week on the hard beds. The spa is beautiful and relaxing. The service was excellent!
Overall, I would probably not return to this resort or recommend it to my friends. While there were certainly some pros, I left feeling a bit disappointed with the beach options and room quality to want to return. These things are important in our choice of resort but might not be for others. We would most definitely return to Antigua and stay on the west coast.
- 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