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“Great value resort”

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St. James's Club & Villas
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mamora Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 11, 2014

Had a week in a junior suite in March 2013. In between watching cricket, we had a lot of fun with our group. Our kids enjoyed all the watersports and activities - a trip to Stingray City was a highlight. The block of suites had their own sundeck on the end of the bay and small pool. The suites were well cleaned each day. Staff were well trained and friendly. As it was All inclusive we mostly ate in the resort. The food was okay with plenty of choice. Perhaps the restaurants could do with a makeover, but all in all it was great value and a good experience which we would be happy to return to.

Room Tip: Worth paying extra for a junior suite at the far end of the bay
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank jeanoNorthampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,476 - 1,482 of 3,402 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2014

I stayed here for a friend’s wedding in mid-May of 2013. Five of my friends and I stayed together in a Villa. The villa was a good size with two floors. The first floor had two bedrooms(one with a king size bed and full bath, the other with two twin beds and a bathroom with a shower). Both bedrooms had sliding doors out to a large patio. The second floor had a full kitchen, dining and living area, which included a full size pull out couch. This floor also had sliding doors out to a large balcony with a table and chairs. The Villa was perfectly air-conditioned! (and it was HOT!) It was a bit far from the resort amenities, the lobby, all restaurants/bars, except for Piccolo Mondo, which isn't included in the resort fee. There was three tiered pool close by the Villa that was pretty quiet the entire time we were there which was very nice. However, if you call the lobby they will send a golf cart to come pick you up and drop you off where you like to go. We used this service almost every night to get to dinner. The staff here is amazing! They are extremely accommodating and friendly, especially the activities staff on the bay area side of the resort. If you play volleyball (they have pick-up games every day at 4pm, all ages) look out for Rodney! Shannon instructs water aerobics every morning at 10am, I believe. I only participated in one session, but thoroughly enjoyed watching! the beaches were very clean and for the most part free of sand. There is a cart that goes around regularly serving drinks so you're never too far from a libation! I enjoyed all of the restaurants, the food was very good, especially for dinner. Loved that the meal portions were on the small side so I could try everything! Breakfast was the only meal I had a bit of an issue with, the eggs are made from powder and I found them inedible. If you're looking to dance the night away Jacaranda Lounge is the spot, however, you'll find the music pretty repetitive after a few nights. The highlight of our trip was the catamaran cruise! The bride’s parents reserved the entire boat for the 26 wedding guests for the majority of the day. They tour around the harbor pointing out sites like Fort Buckley and stopping at secluded beaches which we were able to jump off the boat and swim to. They provided snorkeling gear for everyone and we spent about two hours exploring the tropical waters. They also provided alcoholic refreshments and appetizers such as finger sandwiches and chicken wings. My friends had their wedding ceremony at a small church off the resort but had the reception on the beach of the resort on the bay side at sunset and they set it up beautifully.

Room Tip: If you have five or six people I would definitely recommend a two bedroom villa!
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank JessApel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2014

We went to St. James for our honeymoon and were not disappointed! St. James Club was amazing in every way! The resort was clean, staff was friendly, the food was phenominal! There were many fun things to do. Our room was clean and right on the beach with an amazing ocean view. We had such a great time we are planning a return trip in our near future!

We had read a few reviews that were not complimentary such as the staff were rude, the food was cold, etc. We did not experience any of that, but then again, you get what you give. We treated staff with respect and even though it was all inclusive, we left a tip at every meal and with the bartenders and the staff knew us by name and wanted us to sit in their sections...a little respect and courtesy goes a long way. The staff work long hours and one should show their appreciation.

My husband and I can not say enough good things about our vacation. We can't wait to go back!
Thank you St. James for the perfect honeymoon!

The Vanderwiers

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jodi V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2014

Just returned from a week at St. James's Club on April 3rd and have mostly positive comments. We stayed in a block in the centre of the resort close to the main lobby. We were on the 2nd floor (there were only 2 floors) overlooking the Atlantic side, the view was great and there was always a nice breeze. We never used the air conditioning once as we slept with the patio doors open and enjoyed the lovely breeze. The rooms were a bit dated but very clean, my only comment here would be that the bed linens while clean could probably be updated to something fresher. All rooms have some sort of Ocean view. The Royal Suites looked nice and had lounge chairs on the balcony as did the beachfront rooms, our room had only chairs and a table.
The beaches were lovely. The atlantic side (Coco Beach) had a nice consistent breeze which kept you cool and it was good for snorkelling. There was no need to sign out beach towels and they were plentiful in several locations on the resort. Lunch at the Coco Beach restaurant was good with the usual salads, hot dogs, fish and chips or pretty well what you wanted. It was never crowded as it was at the furthest part of the beach and resort. It did good breakfasts as well and again not crowded as most people went to the Rainbow Room.
Food we found to be plentiful and ate at the Dockside most nights. There was always lots of choice. We did not try the Mondo Piccolo's the week just seemed too short. Every afternoon at 4pm they offered high tea on the lobby deck with scones, cake and sandwiches and of course coffee or tea.
Staff we found to be friendly and courteous. We had no problem with anyone and if anything they were more then happy to help you with something. Some reviews seemed less then kind towards the staff but I can say we found everyone to be great.
The resort does not provide bottled water in the fridges however there is a notice in the rooms that tap water is safe to drink as the resort as they have their own purification system. We drank it all week and had no problems.
All in all this is a wonderful resort. We have been to 12 different resorts all over the Caribbean from Sandals to RIU's and I would honestly say this is one of the few I would definitely return too. There's not the fancy freeform pools or marble lobby but what there is clean grounds, rooms and great staff. The landscaping on the resort is lush and gardens are well taken care of.
For those fitness buffs the trek up the long driveway just inside the resort gates is worth the hike, the view overlooking the resort is stunning. There are a couple of benches there to just sit and take it all in. Up and down this hill provided some great cardio.
Antigua is a safe island and is easy to get around. The resort has a taxi stand with several taxi's to take you anywhere you want to go. We used the taxi's and found the drivers great.
The resort can be a bit challenging for those with mobility issues as there are lots of grades and inclines however saying that the porters will drive you anywhere you need to go.
The spa was excellent. I have never done a spa at a resort but would recommend this one. It is clean and overlooks the Bay.
Overall we have a great week and would not hesitate to return again.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Ruth S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2014

It was two years ago that we stayed here so things may have changed a bit. The food was good but it seems only one evening restaurant was open and two were closed. We were ok with that as we were happy with our room and stay. This resort is in a private secluded area on the island which was nice. We had a car and explored the island which was fun but the roads and driving are a little crazy! Our room was in what I would call the older part but was nice and the bathroom had been updated with a large walk in shower. We had a large balcony as did all the other rooms in our area.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Evette A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

We just got back from a 7 day stay. We traded through RCI and were booked in the Hibiscus Building which the rooms are your traditional hotel rooms. The AC could've been a little stronger and the furnishings were a little dated but other than that the room was fine. It was located right off of Coco Beach (Atlantic Ocean side) and was a few short steps from the front desk.

The food - we paid the all-inclusive price and for us we kept track of our daily food and drink and we feel that we got our $ worth. They have prices on the menus so you can track what you would've spent. The food itself was pretty good and you generally have enough choices to choose from.

The beach and pools were one of the best parts of the resort. Coco beach (Atlantic Ocean side) always had a nice breeze and the snorkeling was pretty good right off the beach. The bay beach was much warmer. We stayed farther down the beach where the breeze was nice. This was the beach many of the families used the water was calm and easy swimming for the smaller kids.

The grounds of the resort were kept up by the staff very nicely.

The staff was great. Some reviews said the staff seemed "distant" but we found most to be very friendly and wanting to help make your stay enjoyable.

Overall we had a great time and will recommend to anyone thinking of visiting Antigua.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ZipsnBucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

A few tips....

On the flight over we were given one immigration form between the two of us and told to fill the second travelers details in on the back. On arrival in Antigua we were told that this was not sufficient and need a separate form for each person, so a bit of a scramble as dozens of people were trying to find leaning space to write on. Then on exiting the airport the guy collecting these forms said he only needed one between two and just removed the returning tear off strip from one and handed it to us. When returning to the airport and the end of our holiday, we were in trouble again as we only had one strip and had to stand to one side and fill another in. So, make sure you get one each from the air steward and make sure you hand them to the official on exiting arrivals individually so that you get one each of the return slips for the way home trip. It'll save you a lot of hassle.

On arrival you get bombarded with info at reception so it's best to have a second pair of ears on hand to take it all in.

If the resort is busy the Cocos Restaurant/Bar is opened for breakfast. I think a combination of not too many people knowing it's open and the fact that it's at the top end of the resort (away from the main restaurant/bar area) means that it remains relatively quiet. Virtually all of the same selections on offer and if your there early enough you'll get the best omelette you'll ever taste, made ('with a little bit of love') by the most cheerful member of staff on resort Yolly.

Take a look at the notice boards on the way in to the Rainbow restaurant. The one furthest away from the entrance is for the following day. You can then decide if you want to book for the waiter service meal (Rainbow) or the Buffet (Docksider). Most days we ended up at the Docksider (no booking required). You'll need to book quite early in the morning for the following evening to get a time of your choice, but if your not to concerned about a specific time then there's no real panic. The best time to turn up at the Docksider is around 7pm. It's a little quieter (no queues at the hot plate) and you get a better seat down by the dock side.
I know it's been mentioned several times but the Piccolo Mondo is worth the extra $35. The Filet Mignon is the best we've ever had. We went mid holiday and as it was so good, again on our last night. At desk services (just past reception) you can book Piccolo well in advance, not just 1 day as with the Rainbow.

There's not a lot of evening entertainment. There's usually a group or singer on at the Docksider until 10pm. There's a huge 100+ seater cinema to the right of the main bar in reception. The first row of which is made up of very comfy sofas. Films are shown at 8:30 every evening. Never saw anyone in there though!
The bar in the reception area was pretty cool (as in air conditioning) whist we were there, but the bar staff were chatty and efficient. It's best to ask for spirits by name (Beefeater and Tonic rather than gin and tonic) as although the local brands were OK they weren't quite as good as 'the real thing'.

Beach towels can be picked up in Cocos bar or any time from reception.

The grill beach bar near Docksider is perfectly fine. Just remember chips are crisps and not fries :). Don't be afraid to ask for something thats not on the menu. We saw them doing chicken salads here, which looked very good.

Tea, coffee and iced water stations at Cocos and Reef Deck. We took bottled water with us from the plane and refilled the bottles each day we were there. Certainly didn't need to buy it from the shop. Plus the fact that Alfred and all bars will serve you perfectly fine iced water.

There's quite a list of activities each day, so check out the board next to the shop. We only did the cookery demo and the rum tasting and would recommend both. don't expect to learn too much at the rum tasting, but expect to have a lot of fun and maybe a little sleep in the afternoon!

There are 3 different choices of beach.
The Ocean side, which as many have stated is very breezy but this can be very welcome when the temperature rises.

Mamora Bay before the jetty, which has a very wide a deep beach area and a great marked off area in the bay for swimming or just lazing in the floating paddling pool type stages out there.

Mamora Bay after the jetty, which was our preferred area. This is gets you away from any screaming ankle biters who in general prefer the other side of the jetty. It also benefits from an occasional breeze as it's a little further out from the shelter of the peninsular. It's also well positioned for the Mamora Bar, which despite the slightly surly staff (and their habit of hiding in the toilet to use their mobile) has the best rum punch mix in the resort. Toilets, either side of the bar and up and behind the bar is the adults only pool if you need to rinse the sea water off or just cool down.

All beaches are served by Alfred who you must be well aware of by now if you've read the reviews. Top man!

Out and about.
Shirley Heights - costs about $10 for the shuttle and then $8 to get in. The hotel runs two shuttles on a Sunday night, the first leaving at 4:00 returning at 7:30 and the second 5:30 until 9:00. You get to see the sun go down on both, but you need to take the later one if you want to see the reggae group (very good) and not just the steel band. You can make your own way back if you want to leave sooner or stay later. A taxi one way is $16.
Island safari - costs about $100. Not too much to see. English Harbor/Nelsons Dockyard was the highlight, closely followed by kayaking in the mangroves. Unfortunately Antigua had been suffering a drought and the waters were too low for us to go too far into the mangroves.
Circumnavigate the Island - costs about $100. A great day on the Excellence catamaran. Great views of the coastline with the added bonus of a visit from a pod of whales. Superstar hid-a-ways pointed out, snorkeling with a guide and of course lost of rum.
Hotel shuttle to St Johns - costs about $15. Best to do on a Friday or Saturday morning when the markets are on and busy. It's well worth a walk down market street. There are duty free malls just out of town, but we didn't bother. Shuttle sets off at 9.00 and leaves St Johns at 12:00, it's a 30 minute journey.

Why not 5 stars. As a totally resort based holiday it's easily comparable with our Mexico holiday (El Dorrado resort) which slightly has the edge and is also a little cheaper. That said I would highly recommend St James (The Beach Club).

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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7  Thank Paul_Lol
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 & 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: $318 - $1,166 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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