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“AMAZING staff, homely, 5* location”

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St. James's Club & Villas
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mamora Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 9, 2014

This was a honeymoon stay, thoroughly recommend the beach side rooms, stepping from your HUGE room onto the white sand beneath huge palm trees to walk no more than 20ft into the sea is an absolute must have.

What makes this resort is the people. While all Antiguans are beautiful people, the staff at SJC beat even their own high standards and were so lovely, helpful, happy and relaxed.

St James is not a uber modern, gleaming marble resort, but it is an amazing ovation with REALLY GOOD food.

People are too quick to point out something wrong, peeling paint, mould, a cracked paving slab and while I'm not suggesting this is SJC, don't go and then look for the faults (there are some), enjoy the people, the food and the location.

The $25 pp restaurant (when going all inclusive) called Piccolo is really good (and we had just come from Vegas and NYC, so we had eaten well), and shouldn't be missed.

This place was our perfect honeymoon destination. Relaxed, friendly, beautiful and with great staff, we can thoroughly recommend it.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Damian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,442 - 1,448 of 3,402 reviews

Reviewed May 6, 2014

My fiancé and I stayed at SJC from 4/27-5/4 we stayed on Coco's beach side on a ocean front room. The room was alittle tired and could use some updating. The view from the room is breath taking to say the least. The grounds are very well maintained & beautiful. My fiancé & I travel a lot and have been to many All Inclusives, and I have to say that SJC was by far the worse for food! The only decent restaurant to eat at was one you had to pay for!! Even though we had the All Inclusive plan. The Dockside had lousy choices & Rainbow Room was just ok. We ate off the Resort for dinner most nights. We ate sushi at Club Sushi down in English Harbour 2 nights out of the week. It was a shame that we had an All Inclusive plan & had to eat off the resort!! The entertainment wasn't that great. We went off the resort for that also! The beachfront was just ok, a lot of seaweed, but that's really not their fault, as they do try to clean it as the day goes on. The bay side is not my cup of tea! To me, it looked like a pond and I had no desire to swim in it. It looked very picturesque and great for the watersports, but I'll pass on the swimming. If I'm going to the Carribean I want to swim in a turquoise beach! Like I said in the title of the review, Just Average. Ohhhh and my fiancé & I had a couples massage at the spa & chose to have it in the outdoor option, which overlooked the Bay, which was lovely, they had 2 massage tables set up side by side with light draperies around it. It was situated as soon as you walked thru the door at the spa. But to my dismay, in the middle of my massage when I had to turn over to switch positions I noticed they didn't close the curtains around us at all!!!! I sat up to a woman sitting waiting for her appointment staring at my fiancé and I getting our massages!!! Everyone who walked by the spa or walked in we were in full view of everyone! I could not believe it!! But the massage was good. But I didn't care how we were exposed & not private.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank lisa d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2014

I am not going to repeat what most previous reviews already said. The resort is nice, and
I just want to make a suggestion to St James Club management: visit other resorts to benchmark. The major area for improvement is actually SERVICE! Many employees act as if you are bothering them while they are on the phone, or having fun with their co-workers. It would not be a problem if this behavior was sporadic, or if it did not lead to mistakes on the job. The lack of motivation (or training?) seems to affect employees in all restaurants and bars. We did not have one single meal served with a smile, and in many occasions our orders came completely wrong. It would not be a problem for us if we ordered coffee and we're served tea once or twice, but it really became annoying when the mistakes did not stop. On our last dinner at the rainbow garden, my boyfriend ordered Mahi Mahi and was served a hamburger! To me, the frequency and nature of these mistakes is not acceptable. Tourism is the biggest money maker in the island, therefore management has to motivate and train the staff to provide the best service to the guests. This is the nature of the business! I am sure they are all good people who want to do a good job. St James Club is a great place and needs to be able to make their employees proud of their jobs and looking forward to receive positive reviews about their service.

Room Tip: Stayed at the Club Room, near the main pool and restaurant, with a beautiful ocean view. Good size r...
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank Mirmotta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2014

My friend and I went to Antigua to escape the cold winter. We did have the best weather you could ask for. Love the grounds and our room was lovely. We enjoyed the live music nightly. It would be nice if the band played later at Dockside Grill but it was still nice. The water sports were so much fun. The one disappointment was the unfriendly staff as mentioned above. After all you could hardly get a second drank. We would have to flag a wait staff down to get a second one with dinner and it was as if they were bothered to do it. Not a lot of smiles come freely from the wait staff. They do not seem like they enjoy the work at all. To bad because we have traveled a fair amount and other resorts make you feel very special like they want the money you generate. All in all the area was lovely.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank MonicaMarieVt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2014

The only positive of this hotel is its scenic location which is great if you are looking for a peaceful holiday location (no good for anybody seeking nightlife). That is where the positives end.

Overall the resort requires a significant amount of modernisation. The corridors and rooms are dated, in a state of disrepair and quite frequently dead cockroaches can be found lying on the floor (often for days before being removed).

We complained upon arrival as there were what appeared to be blood stains on the internal doors of our room, the doors were greasy to the touch and the patio door curtains were filthy. We were assured that a cleaning team would be sent immediately to rectify the situation but upon our return none of the issues had been rectified.

Some of the staff were friendly (in the shop and at guest relations) but the reception staff were dis-interested and not particularly helpful.

This could be a spectacular 5* resort if the management was changed and money was spent on a full modernisation; however at the moment it should be rated as a 2/3 star and certainly not a 4*.



  • Stayed: May 2014
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3  Thank Pootle1976
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 reviewResponded May 11, 2014

Dear Valued Guests,

We would like to thank you first and foremost & tell you that we do appreciate our guests sending in their comments. We see the gift of feedback as an opportunity to consistently improve our guest's experience while with us.

We’re concerned about the range of problems you experienced at our resort during your visit. We accommodate many guests, and strive to make their stay a most satisfying one.

We pride ourselves on providing guests with accommodation in a genuine, unpretentious environment where they can enjoy a one of a kind Caribbean experience.goal of our resort is to provide dependable service to all of our guests, and we have been able to achieve this over the years. Because our success is measured by how our guests, evaluate our service and facilities, we want you to know that your comments have been taken seriously.

Please be assured that the issues you have mentioned have been reviewed and addressed. We take pride in our hotel, and do our best to prevent problems from reoccurring. Again we are sorry you did not feel you experienced The St. James's Club genuine hospitality which we are known for, and can only hope you give us the opportunity to do a better job in the near future.

We do hope the next time you seek the sun, you will allow St. James's Club genuine staff to create for you a timeless memory.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2014

A lovely secure resort based on two beaches
One side is very upmarket with many well kept luxury villas on a hill and the other more basic but still very nice rooms overlooking Cocos beach .
We were in a sea facing club room which was lovely as a constant breeze which cooled us from the very hot weather .
The other beach was better but very hot bad being fair skinned too much for us
The plants trees and grounds were immaculate .
Buildings very well maintained and never saw one fly
We had a tiny lizard visit us every day as we sunbathed who we called Lenny and we were fascinated by the minor birds and pretty little birds ( mind they were a pest when eating at the resturants .
Our only small criticism was the entertainment which was only at the Dockside resturant as too noisy when eating and too much the same ( either steel band or reggai which is ok but not all the time)
At the up market fantastic resturant there was better background music and the food was really good .
The other resturants were more basic but plenty of food .
Beaches immaculate but a lot of seaweed at cocos beach albeit cleared every day from the beach .
Many palm trees on coco beach and a good coco bar
Drinks were excellent and European quality not cheap stuff.
We were all inclusive which I recommend as good value if you like to drink
It's rather isolated but that adds to security
We went round island but lot of poverty and wreck cars plus shanty towns .which didn't impress us .
Bermuda is a much better Island

Stayed: May 2014
Thank pauljvic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2014

My husband and I along with our toddler have just come back from a weeks stay at SJC Antigua. We stayed All Inclusive and had a great time. I shall now break down my review into sections-

RESORT:
Absolutely stunning grounds, well maintained and everything is accessible by either walking or use of a golf buggy. The resort has two beaches, one is Mamora Bay, a still lagoon with watersports and white sandy beach, the other, Coco Beach is face on with the Atlantic Ocean, more authentic, waves, seaweed and sea life. We enjoyed both beaches, weirdly, the ocean side sea temperature was a lot warmer. The beach on this side is quite rocky, so would advise children to wear sandals. Mamora beach is pure sand. The resort layout is pushchair friendly (only a few steps here and there, but we managed fine). There are plenty of watersports available, we used a pedalo and went on a boat trip during our stay. We witnessed plenty of weddings here too, there are wedding gazebos dotted everywhere in the grounds. My personal favourite one was the one on Mamora Bay over the waters, although the weddings we witnessed were in the garden gazebo just down from our suite with a sea view.

HOTEL ROOM:
We stayed in a Vacation Club Suite which was absolutely fantastic. Complimentary bottle of Antiguan Rum on the table and fresh fruits in the fridge was a nice touch. Massive lounge and dining room with air conditioning and fan, sea facing private balcony with loungers, chairs and table. Fully functioning kitchen with staple kitchen items (fridge, microwave, cooker, utensils). Separate bedroom with air conditioning and fan (with requested cot) and separate bathroom with huge bath and shower, his & hers sinks and his & hers bathrobes. Everything was clean and well maintained. This room was very central to the resort and helped us a lot with a young child. Would absolutely recommend this suite. Our cleaner Renee was very nice and always had a nice smile on her face.

POOLS:
There are 5 pools on the resort. Two are adults only, of which one is absolutely tiny and the other is a decent size. Then there are three others, a general pool for all which is the biggest of them all, a children's pool which is located in 'the village'. And a waterfall pool which was our personal favourite. All of the pools were clean and well maintained. Towels were plentiful (never ran out as a previous reviewer has said) and we were always able to change them when we wanted fresh again. We never had to fight for sun loungers either as there were always plenty available by the pools or on the beach. Would be nice to have proper wooden sun loungers though rather than the plastic cheap ones, some of them wouldn't even adjust as the plastic had warped in the sun/heat, but still they did their job.

SPA:
My husband and I made use of the spa by having a massage each. Beware of the price when booking, the currency is US dollars, not EC dollars and tax is added afterwards (tip optional). The treatments are very expensive in my opinion, but when we go on holiday, a visit to the spa is a always must so we had a treatment each anyway. My husband has a deep tissue massage (1hr £70) and I had a hot stones massage (1hr £85). My husband enjoyed his, and he actually came back from it glowing and very much more relaxed. When I had mine, although it was absolutely blissful, it was interrupted by workmen carrying out maintenance on two occasions. My therapist had to leave the room twice to tell them off which niggled me a bit, especially when paying a lot of money. The treatments are extensive ranging from salon treatments, body treatments, waxing, hair and facials.

KIDZ CLUB:
I was pleased to find a kid's club on the resort, it caters to 4-12 year olds so our daughter was slightly too young, but we were able to take her as long as we stayed with her to play. On first impressions I will be honest, I was not impressed. The staff told us that they had had a very busy week before (as it was Easter) and gave the impression that this week was 'down time' and showed little interest in our daughter while they lay about on their mobile phones. However, the more we went, they started to play with her a bit more and eventually on the last day, Tovia made a bracelet and a jewellery box with my daughter which we have brought home and kept. I think the Kidz Club needs more work, the staff maybe need to be a bit more proactive with the kids that visit and make it more inviting rather than relying on the kids bringing the 'fun' with them. Having said that, in the end my daughter loved it, but this should have been the case from the start.

RESTAURANTS:
There are 4 restaurants on the site. Rainbow Garden, Coco's, Docksider's and Piccolo Mondo.
You have to pay to go to Piccolo Mondo and as we had a small child we chose not to dine here. The Rainbow Garden was where we spent most of our dining time. We had breakfast here everyday. Everything is available at breakfast and this was probably the best of the times of day to eat. We also ate here most nights dining from the a la carte menu which was different every night and had plenty to choose from. The staff here were friendly enough, two ladies in particular (Dorothy and Leandra) were exceptionally lovely to our little girl. I just wish that the staff were a bit friendlier and genuinely interested in making your experience special.
The Docksider restaurant is on Mamora Bay. It is a lovely setting but the plastic chairs and tables give is a slightly cheap look. It is a buffet restaurant. This was my least favourite dining restaurant. The buffet didn't have much choice and although the view was lovely, the service didn't match. We found the staff here the most unfriendly, just going about their jobs doing nothing to enhance our stay or make anyone feel special.
Coco's was where we went for lunch a few times, again the food was good and there is a good choice, the views from the balcony are fantastic. There is a walk up a hill (or golf buggy ride) to get here, but not too far, our daughter managed fine. All the food we ate was plentiful, well presented and tasted good. We didn't have a bad meal anywhere. Although nothing was outstanding, it was fresh and cooked well. The kids menu was great. All drinks are served with ice and were available from any bar throughout the day, (there was no running out of glasses as a previous reviewer has said). We had to ask for the cocktail menu and I would highly recommend the Virgin Colada, Nutty Gem and Island Girl. We were also able to get drinks from the children's pool (via drinks buggy) and on the beaches. So we were never left thirsty.

SERVICE:
Like I have touched on before and like some previous reviewers have said, the service is what lets SJC down a bit. We have been on many Caribbean holidays and have always been made to feel valued, special and welcome. On previous holidays staff have been genuinely interested in our well being and have bent over backwards. Unfortunately, this is not the feeling you get here. Although the two mentioned staff above made an exception with our daughter, the rest seemed to go about their jobs, with no real effort or passion. Although noone was particularly unfriendly or rude, it just seems a shame when all you want to do is feel spoiled, pampered and relaxed. This extends to all staff we encountered from reception and waitresses through to watersports and spa. For example, when booking an evening meal reservation, the lady I booked with didn't finish off her telephone conversation first, but notioned me to speak, wrote it on a piece of tissue and mouthed to me that it was confirmed rather than finishing on the phone and dealing with my request properly afterwards. When checking out, the receptionist didn't ask how our stay was, but took our keys and asked us to settle the bill. Although just small things, these attentions to detail are what matters in the long term.

OVERVIEW
You will have a lovely family holiday here. The resort is well catered for families and there is the Jacarunda bar, two pool areas or Piccolo Mondo's for child free zones. Also Shirley Heights is not too far away for a Sunday night of partying. We really enjoyed our stay here and felt really relaxed at this resort. For anyone's first time to the Antigua this would probably be a great all rounder.

Room Tip: Vacation Suites are fantastic
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Mim186378
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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