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“Fantastic place with spectacular diving”

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St. James's Club & Villas
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mamora Bay
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Fantastic place with spectacular diving”
Reviewed April 26, 2014

Myself and family (including three children aged 14,16,18) stayed at St James's club week of 12th April 2014 and we thought it was excellent.

Peak season but two great beaches that were not at all packed and always easy to get a sun bed on. Coco's Beach open to the east, a bit wilder, but nice and breezy so you don't swealter, the other one (Mamora Bay Beach) is completely still and on a pretty bay so if the wind gets too much (later afternoon) on Coco's beach you just walk a minute across the peninsula and bob's your uncle. Good sundowner bar on the sheltered beach for late afternoon drinks. Great water sports facilities including 6 hobi-cat catermerans that we brilliant and always easy to get on the day via a simple booking rota. Also I should mention 4 very nicely maintained tennis courts which again were easy to get on if you were prepared to go a little of the peak time of day. Very good snorkelling if you keep going around the right hand edge of Coco's beach - I saw sting rays, loads of lobsters, baracuda, octopus. The visibility improves the further you go around and it felt very safe as there was NO current (because if you look there is actually a big reef surrounding this beach about 1 km out).

yes the food is buffet style but it was incredibly good in all of the three resaurants - absolutely tonnes of variety and choice (wife and one daughter are veggie), totally fresh food and changed the whole range changed pretty much every day in each. Service is chilled but good (this is the Caribbean right!) anyone reviewing the service as poor is obviously more used to dining at Claridges and likes it stuffy (no thanks).

DIVING
One thing I must mention is how good the diving is around here. I had heard from friends that the diving in Antigua is nothing special but they obviously didn't go to Mamora Bay to do it. We have dived all over the world including Bali, Borneo and the Maldives and I can honestly say the diving in this part of Antigua is comparable.

The coral isn't quite as spectacular, true (although it's still pretty good), but the other topology is actually more spectacular (massive fissures, caves, etc). The visibility was unbelievable (40m) and whilst we may have got a bit lucky as well as the normal Jacks, barracuda, etc we saw big reef sharks, eagle rays on 3 of 5 dives, and even a really big (8') Lemon Shark - although in fairness this was the first time Linda (the rather excellent instructor) had seen one there and she has been running the shop for years! Myself and my daughter did our Advanced PADI certificate over two days with Linda/Mamora Bay Divers and I honestly cannot recommend them highly enough. Totally safe, incredibly confident and competent, totally patient and approachable (not too cool for school like some diving outfits I have come across).
IN SHORT, WE GIVE MAMORA BAY DIVERS 11 out of 10. Sincerely, if you stay at St James Club and you dive already or are thinking of doing your PADI... DO IT. Can be a little hard to track down their contact details so here is their email address. They are very responsive; mamorabaydivers@candw.ag.

BEST ROOMS
Ground floor rooms in Mango and/or Papaya blocks. Not expensive rooms but central to resort, huge with fantastic beds, and the GROUND floor rooms in these two blocks have their own steps (going from their slightly raised on stilt balconies) straight on to Coco's beach. Absolutely brilliant.

OTHER STUFF
Also if you have ever seen the Kevin Bacon advert for EE and fancied leading a massive conga of hundreds of people to a great reggae band ...then Shirley Heights just near the resort is your place on a Sunday night. I got my chance and it was great - I just wish someone had filmed it!!

Enjoy St James's Club - I would be amazed if you didn't.

Room Tip: Ground floor rooms in Mango and/or Papaya blocks. Not expensive rooms but central to resort, huge wi...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ralphtribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
shropshire
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2014

We had a great family holiday. Although on arrival we were told the hotel was full and we had been upgraded. We were a little dubious having booked 2 beach front rooms as my son & 4 yr old grandson were with us.. It turned out that we were given a beautiful villa on Mamora Bay.This was truly breathtaking.2 large bedrooms both with bathrooms & showers.kitchen/dining room/lounge, patio +BBQ. 4 steps and on the beach. Fully equipped even with children's toys etc. watching the sun set was amazing. the setting was like breathtaking and would recommend anyone asking for an upgrade to a villa. The bay was shallow and calm. Ideal from babies to adults. Had we been in the beach front rooms they are on the Atlantic side where the sea is very rough and not ideal with children. Basically a room with a bathroom small patio or balcony. Would not have liked being in one of those. Not worth the extra money.
The meals were ok and a little repetitive.not much entertainment and everything seemed to close down around 10pm. We all had a lovely holiday but felt that the staff could has been a little less robotic and made an effort to get to know there guests. On leaving I don't think any member of staff except our maid even knew we had stayed there. Would return to the island but not this hotel.Thoroughly recommend the Excellence Catermaran trip with snorkelling that was wonderfull. The staff were friendly great atmosphere lunch was delicious snorkelled on a deserted beach or lazed around for a while before cruising back. A relaxing holiday in a lovely setting but not able to walk anywhere off site and around 40 mins to get anywhere by taxi. Need to know anymore please ask me. We stayed for 8 days before flying on to Barbados to see more Cricket which was lovely my review on the Turtle Beach in Barbados is well worth reading and worth a 5* rating.hope you enjoyed my report and should you go have a lovely time. We have lots of happy memories of our stay.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade to a villa if you have children.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank RO49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oshawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2014

Just want to say "Thank you" for a wonderful week at St James Club the week of Feb 8th, 2014. We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary so we were upgraded to a beautiful Royal Suite overlooking Mamora Bay! It was breathtaking! The entire resort was beautiful, the food was amazing, and the staff were incredible. A special "thanks" to Pearl in the main dining room, she went out of her way to make us feel special. Loved every minute of every day at St James Club. Would love to visit again some day!!!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank conchrepublic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2014

Overall we had a great holiday, but didn't feel that the St James's Club staff did anything to enhance our experience. My wife and I don't consider ourselves to be high maintenance when traveling, but service was average at best. The general staff were friendly and abundant, but did not seem to do much by way of productivity. We stayed for seven days and every single day without failure the resort would run out of clean towels. The beach and pool chairs would be covered in used towels by the end of the day. There was no one cleaning up the towels to make sure that they were being washed and refreshed. Used cups would pile up on the beach and pool deck. Again, no one in sight to help with upkeep. This may explain why the Mamora Bay bar ran out of cups on occasion. The food and drink was very inconsistent around the resort. It seems that there is very little communication between outlets and not much of a proactive approach by staff to make sure that the guests are properly serviced (maybe due to the all-inclusive nature). The overall resort decor, grounds and feel were very nice. The resort covered a large area so it never felt really crowded, and you could always find a quiet place to sit and relax. The drink cart frequenting the resort was a nice touch mainly because of Alfred and his charismatic interaction with guests. Heather was also a gem; very friendly and always made sure that the guests around her were well cared for. I would return to the St. James's Club without the all-inclusive package, if I frequent Antigua again. If service is important to you, stick to resorts in Mexico or St. Maarten.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Dpeck6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestAmbassador01, Guest Relations Manager at St. James's Club & Villas, responded to this review, April 30, 2014
Dear Valued Guests,

Thank you very much for sharing your very positive comments with us about your recent stay at the St. James's Club. We thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback.

We are sorry you were disappointed with the service. The vast majority of our guests acknowledge our friendly, gracious and hospitable staff as one of the hghlights of their visit.

We do hope that we can once again host you and extend a very warm welcome and most of all deliver a memorable and unique vacation experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 21, 2014

Great location. Great resort - terrible food for a good resort - people are really really nice. Not happy with Virgin, awful flight experience, awful transfer. The agent, Tracey, was more interested in selling tours.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Virgin Holidays

Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestAmbassador01, Guest Relations Manager at St. James's Club & Villas, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Dear Valued guests,

Thank you for your recent review of the St. James''s Club. We greatly appreciate your very positive comments and are pleased that you enjoyed the the location and resort.

We are sorry that you were disappointed with the dining options. We have reviewed our guest comment cards and customer service reports, and we received very high marks for our dining and bar service this year. We understand that dining is subjective, and everyone has their preferences, which is why we work so hard to provide excellent menu selections, varied dining venues, and terrific service.

We do hope that when consdiering a sun-filled Caribbean vacation that we may once again host you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2014

We were so excited to be going on holiday, and weren't too worried about our hotel as we felt the only thing that mattered was the weather.... But the St James Club hotel was so fantastic we couldn't not leave a review!!

I was travelling with my brother and mum and first off, we were upgraded to a villa which was a huge treat in itself. The villa was spacious and cool, and although there were areas which 'could do with an upgrade', it really didn't matter. The villa even included a blender so when we went to St Johns we made sure to buy some fruit to make a smoothie!! We ate at the Docksider on the first night which we were apprehensive about considering some bad reviews we had read... No problems here, the food was delicious! We all felt pretty podgy about half way through our holiday as we couldn't stop eating the delicious food! Our routine was usually Rainbow Garden for lunch and breakfast, and Docksider for dinner. All meals were excellent and we couldn't believe the A La Carte menu was included in the cost!

In the day we enjoyed cool Coco's Beach, drinks from Alfred's beach buggy and water aerobics with Norma Lynn, Jackiyma and Super Dave. A great laugh and some good exercise too. We also couldn't believe that all of the water sports were included in the all inclusive cost! Amazing, sea kayaking was fantastic and if we had stayed longer I'm sure we'd have tried more. My mum did power walking every morning which was great for her and got her going for the day.

The staff were fantastic, everyone was so friendly and kind and made us feel great! From waiting on staff to the reception to the bars, everyone was fab. Drinks were fantastic throughout the holiday too, we particularly recommend banana daquiris and banana milkshakes! Everyone we spoke to, from Massachusetts to London to New York, was having a fantastic holiday and agreed they would love to go back. A final note to add is the hotel was apparently 77% full when we were there, and there was no fighting over sunloungers, queuing at restaurants or feeling crowded out at all.

Everybody working at this resort seemed to be striving for the guests to have a wonderful time. I cannot understand the negative comments as this hotel was one of the nicest I have ever been to, and we are not the kind of family who hope to go to the same place twice.

Last things - St Johns is worth a look, Shirley Heights is fabulous so make sure you go on a Sunday for a different kind of evening! I agree you aren't spoiled for choice in terms of entertainment at St James Club, but I'd rather the select items of entertainment be really good rather than shoddy acts you can get in all inclusive hotels... Everything about this holiday was wonderful, all I can say is book it! Say hi to our taxi driver Spencer, and our only area of improvement for the resort is an on-site mini pharmacy would be really useful as the nearest pharmacy is in St Johns. Thanks for a great time and we hope to be back next year!

Room Tip: We were upgraded to a villa and would choose a villa again... the extra space is fab.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank raddlebarn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2014 via mobile

Clean hotel. Dated rooms( the club room)....staff was hot and cold, but that really does not bother me, because nobody tips ( lots of CHeAp Europeans ), so it's hard to blame them. Good pool selection. Food was a pleasant surprise ( breakfast needs an upgrade). Grounds are very clean, but beach has way too much Seaweed and very murky waters, I'm guessing this is due to its close proximity to the bay. Would not go back to Antigua. Nice island, but once you leave the resort, extremely run down. Do Not go to St. John , shopping is terrible and area is sketchy At best.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank charles s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestAmbassador01, Guest Relations Manager at St. James's Club & Villas, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Dear Valued Guests,

Thank you very much for your comments about your recent stay with us at the St. James's Club.

With regard to the seaweed that you experienced, this is a natural phenomena which is effecting many Caribbean islands. The seaweed is sargasso and is being washed down from the Sargasso Sea. We work tirelessly to clear the beach effected and ensure that disruption to guests is kept to a minimum, we are sorry that this impacted on your vacation.

The vast majority of our guests truly enjoy every aspect of the resort including the accomodations. watersports activities, dining options and our genuinely gracious and hospitable staff.

We do hope when consiering a fun-filled Caribbean vacation that we may once again have the pleasure of hosting you.
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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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