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).
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; email@example.com.
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.
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.
- 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