The St. James Club is a clean, modern resort. It has all the basic amenities that you would expect in the Caribbean. It is pretty far from the airport (I know you're thinking, the island isn't that big--how far could it be?But the roads are hilly and narrow, so even the cab drivers can't go too fast. It's at least a half hour drive, probably 40 mins.) The employees are very friendly. It is situated on a peninsula. The bay side has lighter blue, warmer water, but barely a breeze. The ocean side has the trade winds and is much more comfortable. The worst part of the trip was the airport, and only on the way in. There is a snake line working towards customs. It moves slow, but at least it's organized. After that there is no semblance of organization. My hint would be find a guy in a yellow shirt and give him $5 or $10. He'll get you to the front of the line of the 2nd line (where you have to declare what you've brought into the country). It'll save you at least an hour and a whole lot of frustration.
The St. James pools are nice, but it wasn't until half way thru our trip that we discovered the "infinity" pools (adults only). Really nice.
The food is acceptable. Sometimes good, sometimes average. A lot of buffets, even at dinner. Reservations are no problems at all. We went late most of the time, they didn't care. Calling the US is really expensive. I suggest (if you take your laptop), to download Skype and use it to call people video-to-video or laptop-to-landline (for .10 a minute to the eastern US).
The snorkling is fun, hobie sail boats, peddle boats all good. There is a little motorized cart that drives around with drinks. Cabs are pricey. We usually rent cars in the Caribbean, but didn't this time because of reading blogs about driving around the island. It's definitely doable, but there are few street signs and driving on the left on really narrow roads--well we decided to forego it this time.
Took a cab to St. John's ($50 US round trip) to take the boat trip to Barbuta. ($139 per person). After getting up at 6 am and finding out that one of the boat's engines wasn't working, we never got to see the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Oh well.
Dress is really casual. Even when the dress code said collared shirts or no flip flops, they didn't mean it. Met a lot of nice people. The entertainment was light, but it was fine. Not a loud place. Was fun to see goats, sheep and donkeys roaming the streets and bluffs around the resort. Was fortunate to see a mongoose.
Went to the Piccolo Mondo restaurant one night. (it would've been a $35/person surcharge, but we got a free voucher for enduring a bit of construction). The Piccolo Mondo was nicer than the others and it offers lobster, but not the night we were there. (they were out). Many people took the eco-catamaran tour and loved it.
Did hear a funny line during my week there which proved to be true...
Antiguans have 2 ways of doing things slow and slow.
- 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