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“St. James Club--an easy, breezy resort” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of St. James's Club & Villas

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St. James's Club & Villas
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mamora Bay
Certificate of Excellence
New York City
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“St. James Club--an easy, breezy resort”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2009

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.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank dotcalm9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,218 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (971)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2009

My girlfriend and I recently stayed at the St. James Club, and it was a great vacation. Very relaxing, and for the most part, hastle free. When we arrived, we asked if there were any rooms with a better view, and they moved us at no charge. The staff was very helpful and usually cheerful. The food was good, but after 7 days it starts to get old. A little heavy for my taste, as most everything was dripping in some sort of sauce. The beach, while it doesn't ever feel crowded, has a limited number of lounge chairs, so make sure to set your towels out in the morning if you want to ensure you will have a seat. The watersports were very fun, especially the Hobie Cats - highly recommended. The drinks are stiffer than I thought they would be, which was nice, and the specialty drinks were all pretty good. Make sure you make the trip to Shirley Heights on Sunday night, it's only $20 for a round trip ride for two, and the sunset is breathtaking. There isn't much of a nightlife other than a bar, but we were looking for a quietier vacation. All in all this was a great place, but the repetitiveness of the food and the occasional rude/nonchalant employee force me to give it 4.5 stars. While I certainly wouldn't say it's the most luxurious resort, it was very peaceful and beautiful, and just what we were looking for.

On a side note, never book any trip with bookit.com. They booked us a flight to Jamaica for this trip, and it took four weeks of calling and $400 to get it sorted out, even though it was entirely their fault. Their customer service is horrible, and they will beat around the bush and lie until you go away.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GoBengals09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buckinghamshire
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2009

Spent 2 weeks in a friend’s villa at this beautiful resort in early June 2009. Despite what you might read elsewhere here regarding "unfriendliness” of the staff, they where a major contributing factor to us enjoying our stay so much!! In particular Elaine the Rainbow Restaurant Manager who made mealtimes such a laugh, she was an absolute star. Be friendly to them and they’ll beam it back at you multiplied by 10
My wife and I are both highly experienced scuba divers so took our kit with us knowing that the club had it’s own dive boat. Linda Swann who runs the dive shop does a superb job and whilst the coral isn’t much to look at the sea life was excellent and we swum with turtles, and nurse sharks (they’re harmless) on most of the dives.
The scenery in and around the resort is outstanding, grounds staff are always working hard to keep it that way even to the extent of clearing any washed up seaweed on a daily basis. One thing I must say is that the nightlife on the resort sucks! But apart from that all in all a great resort ideal for 2 weeks laid back vacation time – highly recommended

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank andyandkateg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2009

We planned this trip last minute because my wife was about to run out of her maternity-leave time, and we wanted to squeeze in one last getaway before she had to get back at the grind.

When we flew into Antigua, the airport was a bit of a disaster - confused and unorganized, and the taxi service was equally in a state of disarray. The drive to the resort would be pretty quick in any other circumstances, but there had just been an election and the local were partying-down in the streets. So, it took 2.5 hours.

We were excited to be on vacay so none of this initial weirdness irritated us, and driving over the hill in English Bay on the final leg of the taxi trip we saw the resort... WOW - gorgeous. After a lovely reception from "Prince" - the concierge - we were off to our room. It was a beachfront suite on the ground floor. The staff had noticed on our booking that we had a baby on our trip and had set us up with a crib in the room. We were touched, but as we had brought our own travel-crib we thanked them and returned it. On looking the room over, I was a little disappointed. The couch looked like it had a wee bloodstain, and the bathroom facilities were looking a little old - in need of a general overhaul. The terracotta tile floor was very hard on the baby's knees when she crawled (specially if there was a bit of sand on it). The decor was typical Caribbean (dated, eighties, floral and gaudy) but we were fine with it. Then we opened the curtains onto the beach. Stunning, just stunning (see pics). We opened the sliding glass door to heaven and everything that I was complaining about in my head about the room melted away. That couch could have been soaked in pigs blood and I wouldn't care after seeing our view.

The beach was perfect, the water was gorgeous.

Then it was time to eat. All of the restaurants were great - delicious food and very accommodating staffers. The servers would often take a moment to stop by our table and make goo goo faces at our baby girl. Dunno if it's a cultural thing or what, but Antiguans in general seem to be a people over the moon for children.

Speaking of children, there was a kids center just beside our suite and the supervisors there let us go in and play with the blocks and toys etc, even though it was off-hours for them. I can't recommend St. James Club enough if you are looking for a safe, kid-friendly resort where you just want to relax.

One thing I feel like I need to clarify about the "All-Inclusive" policy is this: if they have to open a bottle for you or if you have booze sent to your room, you will have to pay for it (Bigtime). But all draft beer and mixed drinks are included. Wine is included at dinner, but again, if you order bottle service to your room expect to pay for it.

Liked most: paradise-like scenery & gawking at Timothy Daulton's house (in the hills)
Liked least: couch with blood (or whatever) on it and the silly time-share pitch they tried to lob at us.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Toronto_5596865
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london england
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2009

My objective in writring this review is to assist those who might be thinking of getting married in antigua.
St James has been well documented on these pages as being a superb hotel,which it indeed is but little has been voiced by people who have gone out there to get married.
as my daughter did.
We found this an ideal way to get married and at the same time keep expense to a minimum without losing out on any of the importance or magic of the day.
Virgin took all the hard work out of it by handling the main details and just left my daughter the task of going to St Johns for the license and deciding the actual location.

There are numerous locations around the hotel to get married at but as my daughter wanted a more private and intimate ceremony she chose a picturesque but quite spot
at the end of the beach away from the main sun bathing areas.Although the beach was
never crowded at any one time.
The minister was on caribbean time and was late arriving but this turned out to our advantage and allowed the end of the ceremony to coincide with the fantastic sunset.
The small wedding party then retired to the Docksider restruant for the reception.
We had hoped to go to the Picolo Mundo restaurant but it is closed on thursday nights
but yet again this was to our advantage as it was Caribbean night in the docksider which provided the ideal background music for the ocassion.
As this is one of the all inclusive restaurants everyone could eat and drink at no charge
except for the champagne that was extra.
It did mean that speeches were impossible due to the music but this was soon solved
by a short resite of location to the nearby jetty where everybody sat and listened against the perfect backgdrop of the moon and stars.

This hotel only does one wedding a day unlike most of the other hotels who we were told could hold up to 8 weddings a day.This allowed the wedding co-ordinators to give you their full attention which Tammy did.
The only problem we had was with the hotel hairdresser who managed in my daughters own words to make her look like Shirley Temple while at the same time burn the bridesmaids hair with heating tongs.Her attitude was one of not really wanting to be there as she had better things to do.
This caused a few tears but was soon put right by waiving the charge ($250) and an upgrade to a villa suite.

All in all Virgin did a good and caring job although they could have answered some of
our pre-wedding email questions a lot quicker without having to be chased up all the time.Never the less I would have no trouble recomending this way of getting married as it does not in any way lessen the impotance of the ceremony and its vowels and indeed gives a very unusual and original wording to the vowels.
All covered by a really professional photography team with back ground music provided
by a steel drum player,all imortalised on a well choreographed dvd.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AlanLondonEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2009

After reading all the reviews and praises by some travelers I would like to summarize my 7 nights stay at the St James Club:

Lack of choices of warm food and monitoring how long the food was placed in warmers
Have to drink tap water coming from bathroom faucet, would think that since you pay for all-inclusive bottle water would be provided free, or given the choice of bottle water or faucet when dining.
Fatty parts of chicken that includes thighs and drumsticks
Low water level in shower
Mosquitoes in lobby 24x7 and construction noise
Beach filled with weeds
Have to request soap and wash cloth daily
Misleading web site
Over price with tours and service fees
Became ill from drinking the water and had to be treated by the nurse on-site

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank covemanb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RINGWOOD HAMPSHIRE
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2009

My wife and I returned to St.James for our wedding anniversary and if anything we had an even more enjoyable stay this time.
The Hotel has recently been refurbished and is now even better value for money, -especially the all inclusive package.
St.James has two fantastic beaches, water sports facilities , together with tennis courts etc and the whole complex has a lovely relaxed feel about it.
Our room was very comfortable ,spacious and more than adequately fitted out and we had outstanding views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Incidentally our bed was extremely comfortable one of the most important make or break items on a holiday !
We found the food on offer to be excellent and plentiful and the range of drinks on offer superb at each of the three restaurants which fall under the all inclusive banner.
However we both agree that what makes this Hotel special is the attitude of the staff.
The Hotel is obviously very well run but the "management" seem quite unobtrusive.
The staff seem genuinely pleased to serve you in any capacity and some of them were just brilliant .We would like to namecheck all of them but especially Therita on the Tour/Help desk who had a smile that could light up the world,Elaine who looked after us wonderfully together with Alfred and Jermaine.
A truly memorable stay!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank FREDDIE2009
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

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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