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“Be warned this is an airline crew hotel”

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St. James's Club & Villas
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mamora Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 13, 2014

We stayed at this hotel hoping for a quiet week in the sun. Instead we got a room in the "new" crew quarters area of the resort and had to put up with flight crew coming and going until late at night. Be warned if you are unlucky enough to be part of what the general manager politely termed to us the 'gamble' rooms you may end up with either polite or impolite crew from BA, Virgin or other airlines with a new occupant above or to the side of you every different night. By Gamble room these could be anywhere including the elite rooms in the resort depending on where they decide the flight crew need to be that week, day or night. Add to that you'll have to expect cleaning of their rooms which only commences at 8.30pm every night to accommodate the late night flight shift (which can arrive after midnight) and you don't exactly get a quiet vacation. I don't know many resorts where you have someone checking into their room after 12pm every night for a single night. Especially when the buildings and rooms have been made of timber to meet new environmental sustainable guidelines and have little to no sound proofing particularly between floors. Complain and you'll be reminded how much the hotel values it's corporate airline clients over its normal vacationers. We might have been unlucky in that the normal crew quarters where under renovation when we stayed however the attitude of management tells you all you need to know regards what and which clientele this resort's management values. Having experienced it on this vacation this hotel and any other high frequency crew hotel is best avoided. The St. James Club management seem happy enough with Mr Walsh's / Branson's corporate cash to not require anymore from the likes of you and me.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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17  Thank Corporatecrusader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 13, 2014

Just returned from 3 weeks at the heavenly St James's Club. Travelling with my husband and 3 1/2 year old daughter (and even had the surprise of my parents gate-crashing our holiday in the middle for a week).

The resort was excellent. Staff were friendly, helpful and accommodating. They genuinely seem to want you to have a good time and to care about how your holiday is going. (Maybe I am gullible and the George Burns was right "Sincerity is the key. If you can fake that, you've got it made." But I truly believe they care and want you to have a good time.) Certainly the staff all remember names, and smile and have jokes with you and everyone made a super fuss of our little one. The restaurants are all good and the variety of food and al a carte or buffet options was broad and well executed. Piccolo Mondo is that little bit extra special and it is worth going while you are there. Rainbow Garden breakfasts are a legend in their own lifetime and Docksiders buffets offer a delicious array of foods on regularly rotated themes, in a setting with a view that is second to none.

The Seafood Extravaganza (or something similarly named - to my shame the exact name of the event is now eluding me) held one evening on the beach was a fabulous night. The beach was lit magically, with a phenomenal array of gorgeous seafood on offer and music and entertainment creating a great party atmosphere. Really superb fun.

Onto more basic but important details. The resort is managed beautifully. The whole place is fogged twice a day (no mossie bites for us), the gardens are beautifully kept and well manicured. The beaches are raked every morning, and the sand is deliciously beautiful soft white sand. The watersports on offer are included and the kayaking, hobicatting (not a word but it should be), and peddleboating I enjoyed with my daughter were great fun on well maintained and clean kit. The bay side provides a enough breeze and yet plenty of shelter for enjoyable sunbathing, swimming and sandcastle building. The Atlantic side offers more breeze and better snorkelling, and amazing uninterrupted views out to sea, but for us the bay side was our preferred place to set up camp.

The resort is extraordinarily safe with tight security, so that you are confident that the only people on site are people who are allowed to be there. With a security manned entrance and no other way of getting to the resort due to the location on a peninsular one has extreme confidence in letting ones little one run around on the beach.

The pools are super and are well positioned so there are pools all around the resort. Well appointed bars are also dotted around which combined with the Alfred in the drinks buggy along the beach means you are never far from a Rum or Fruit Punch...

Housekeeping staff do a great job and the lovely touch of the beautiful hibiscus flowers in the rooms on arrival adds a special welcome.

I could say so much more but I have already written rather a lot. Suffice to say overall the resort offers everything you want it too and more and makes for a superb family holiday. We highly recommend SJC.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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9  Thank Charlie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2014

An update on my last review in 2012. Having read some of the recent reviews, I wondered what some expect.
This was the 4th time ( 2006/2008 at the Beach Club part) in the last 8 years but the first without our sons( now well into their 20's). It was like visiting an old friend because there are still a number of staff we know and of course we know our way round and what is on offer. The staff are friendly and generally helpful and one has a sense of comfort.
We know it is relatively quiet and "entertainment " is limited but regular ( not everyone wants Ibiza 18-30 party-time till dawn. Young families and older people are entitled to enjoy their holidays too.) and it's why we go back - not something we do usually with holiday destinations.
There are daytime activities on-site, mostly free and off-site trips and tours plus car hire/taxis. There are two varied beaches (what is the point about being man-made ? - one wants a nice beach; Mamora Bay is not stagnant - it is open to the sea - the boats at the dock show that. You have the choice of an ocean beach - (Cocos) for a breeze; or the Mamora for hotter but calmer conditions & water sports. The ocean beach does get weed blown in to a greater or lesser extent - that's why they clear it daily. It's not a significant problem to bathe in the clearer parts and it is shallow extending out toward the reef.
The all-inclusive package provides meals with variety of restaurant and food choice, ( it is not 5-star international or Michelin but you aren't paying that kind of price). If you wish, you can freely eat as often as you like and you can certainly drink similarly. Alfred and his drinks buggy on the beaches is one of the friendly memories one can really enjoy - top man ! You don't have to make decisions too much when you surface - sometimes that is quite nice - if you want to do something - or nothing - you can. If you engage with the staff - they respond. Some even remember me from previous visits - positively, I should say ! I think we are still welcome.
The food was repetitive in the second week but there is a new chef and I understand he is trying to reschedule to get a longer spread. The Rainbow Garden dinner had some very nice choices - red snapper, mahi-mahi, strip loin steak; Thai. The Docksiders had a range of themed buffet food for varied tastes (they did fail once with the carved beef joint having no rare cut - which disappointed me). The best was at Piccolo Mondo - spicy shrimp followed by lobster - ok a $35US surcharge over the AI but what do you pay for lobster ? - it was superb. Coco's is now all-day informal - a change from our early visits - maybe reflecting the increasing influence and numbers of North American visitors. ( there are more than our earlier visits which were substantially UK customers )
The rooms are clean - perhaps some element of updating needed and some very minor maintenance items e.g. a sticking closet door - the maid service is efficient; towels will be changed daily if you wish - leave the old ones in the bath - but surely that isn't necessary and fresh beach towels are available as required.
Yes there were a few points with which I was not entirely satisfied - and the hotel knows them; one has the opportunity to tell them whenever it is needed and a questionnaire is provided before checkout.
We like Antigua and we like it here and while I can't say we will definitely be back for a 5th or 6th visit, I can't rule it out. We worry that repeats don't live up to our experiences but it hasn't stopped us so far with SJC.
We spoke with Antoine Browne the general manager who is a visible operations man and know his ongoing visions. Keep it going and keep it up.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank stanmansurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2014

We just returned from SJC Antigua Monday and we could not have been more pleased. We arrived 6 hours later than scheduled due to Liat Airlines delays. NEVER fly this Airline but that will be my next review. We arrived to find our room upgraded to Royal Suite which was fabulous. The room was next to Docksider and convenient to watersports, Terrace Dining room and 2 private pools. The Front Desk was very professional and when I asked if there was anywhere to get a sandwich since we missed the whole day there, she immediately called Room Service and they made wonderful sandwiches and delivered to our Suite.

The Watersports Gentlemen (Capt Korn) and others were just the BEST! We sailed every day and they taught us to Stand up and paddle as well. They were very gracious every day. No waits for any equipment during our stay.

The Catamaran Trip (snorkel trip) was a real treat. Those guys are wonderful and they make sure everyone has a great experience. Well worth the $92pp fee.

The food at Coco's was good. Docksider Grill Fish Burger was delicious! Terrace not so good for dinner but Breakfast was excellent. Requested Fried Conch and Conch Salad and we received a green salad with chopped up conch. Fried conch had not been pounded prior to frying and the coating was corn meal rather than seasoned flour. They missed it by a mile. Pico Mondola $35pp was really delicious for the most part though my lobster was old (squishy) but service and location were excellent. Docksider had good entertainment but the buffets were not tasty though Troy, the Manager was very nice.

Every Staff person from Bellmen to Housekeepers and Landscape were so friendly. We very pleased with our experience which was a blessing after reading so many "mixed" reviews on TripAdvisor in months prior to arrival. The resort grounds are so beautiful and well maintained.
Alfred, Shirley and Natasha (Dockside Grill) were all a pleasure. Kinesha in Guest Services was so helpful every day. We loved her. Thanks to all of you!

Overall, I would say it was a wonderful trip! Never book Liat Airlines. They delayed us on the incoming and outgoing causing us to miss connection to Jax, Fl and offered no assistance with hotel or next day flight. We had to pay additional Hotel and $200 for next day flight. Choose a different airline and enjoy St. James Club as we did. I have been in the hotel business 37 yrs as has my husband and we were very happy with the resort.

Room Tip: Royal Suite made the experience much better. Some said Beach front rooms were a bit worn.
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank chefnickbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2014

Just got back a couple of days ago with three of us staying in a Villa at the wonderful resort this past week. I wont tell too much about the grounds as most people already wrote about and no need to repeat, except that because of the large spread out property, it just made the overall grounds that much nicer and peaceful. We were on the highest section of the Village, closest to the road, and once we knew the easiest route to the beach, the steps were not a problem at all and a very short walk down. Of course it helps walking right past the Mamora Beach Bar, so that made it even more convenient. As stated, there were always plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas, and mostly quiet during the day, so what else could you ask for?
We only did the AI the last three days of the week, so the first few days we ate out at different restaurants. As mentioned, the food at the restaurants were definitely fine and was nice being able to order al a carte, along with the Thursday buffet at Docksiders was fantastic. Overall, again, the food was just right, nothing super special, but definitely not lacking as some reviews stated.
But the main point of me writing my first ever review, is that I wanted to comment on the people who worked there. There have been many reports of them just going through the motions and not being very friendly or responsive. It is how you make it. A simple smile and hello, they respond great, but most of them even beat me on that. But if you then just ask how their day is or how theyre doing, they light up. Everyone there were the friendliest and most helpful employees that took pride of their work, and did everything they could to help. Of course if you have an attitude and complain (youre on vacation, why would you anyway?), then its human instinct to not show the passion of your job and not go out of your way to help. Its also amazing on what a dollar or two goes for tipping. Yes its not required, but I would never go without sending them a small appreciation, and they appreciated it back.

Overall, a wonder week, wonderful people, and I strongly recommend St James Club!

Room Tip: Stayed in a very large villa, with a wonderful large deck, and easy straight walk down to the beach...
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank AustinAngler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2014

This is the place for a relaxing holiday!! The room overlooked the ocean and the view was lovely. Large clean room with a large comfortable bed. The maid did forget the towels on occasions though. There was no rush for sun beds as there were always plenty. With 6 pools and 2 beaches, sun beds were always available. I don't think it was the busiest time though so that may not always be the case but it certainly was during the last 2 weeks in May. It's not a particularly lively hotel but perfect for a relaxing time. The drinks cart on the beach could have come round a bit more often but there are 2 bars on the Mamora Bay beach anyway. All the water sports were free. One beach is relaxing and calm, the other is a bit windier. Only went on the calm beach but there was still a welcome breeze there. There is food on Mamora beach at one of the bars but we soon got fed up of burgers and hot dogs. There could have been a wider choice of foods. Plus no chips, crisps only!! The restaurant was open for lunch but didn't always feel like coming off the beach for lunch. Ended up taking croissants and pastries from breakfast and had them for lunch on the beach.

The opening times of the restaurants wasn't publicised and some nights the Docksider, where the buffet is, was closed. Found this a bit confusing. By the time we found out there wasn't a buffet it was too late to book the A La Carte restaurant so we had to go to Cocos Bar. This was OK but a bit more like a diner than a restaurant. It was a few minutes walk from reception but you can ask for a buggy to take you there. A weekly rota of when the buffet was available would have been helpful. The buffet food was excellent though with a wide variety to choose from. Loved the tea and cakes in the courtyard in the afternoon.

Recommend the jeep tour of the island with a driver. He knows the places to visit and explains about them and the history. We saw the whole island in one day. Would also recommend the helicopter trip to Montserrat, it was awesome seeing the lava flows.

There is entertainment each night, but nothing too raucous. Usually a steel band, a group or a singer. It did finish at 10pm though and most people seemed to go to bed. The main bar did stay open til late but was never really busy.

All in all it was a good place to stay. Clean and well maintained and in a perfect location but it is a remote complex and there isn't anywhere to walk to outside of the complex. Having said that you do have everything you need within the complex.

Highly recommended if you want a peaceful and relaxing time!!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Love_Friday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2014

This was our 3rd visit and best yet. Now that Coco's is open from 11am-11pm, it is great to grab a bite if you missed a meal or if leaving/returning from an excursion trip. Speaking of great off property trips, we did the catamaran tour on the Verandah and it was the most amazing sail trip we have been on. Capt Joseph and crew are fantastic and loads of fun (not to mention their rum punch)
Our rooms were updated since the last visit and look great. The staff can't be better and Antoine throws one great Manager's cocktail party. We can't wait to come back next June.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SANTA_BARBARA_76
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: $319 - $1,169 (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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