I make no apologies for this gushing review. St James Club and Antigua will forever remain in my heart after our holiday here.
We arrived early in the evening and were welcomed with a choice of refreshing drinks and cold towels. Upon check in we were informed that we'd been upgraded to Royal Suites (and I couldn't remember what that meant even though I'd viewed the website a number of times!). We were escorted by golf buggy (always exciting) and shown to our suites. What can I say, we felt so incredibly spoilt, they are phenomenal rooms (see attached pictures) with bathrooms the size of normal hotel rooms.
Our view was of Mamora Bay (the beach that doesn't have the breeze) which is blissful both in the morning and especially in the evening as you can watch the sunset.
Royal suites have a large wardrobe with iron, ironing board, safe and LOTS of coathangers (always a gripe with us); a sleeping area with a huge bed (quite high off the ground), drawers and foot stools; a living area with comfy sofas, kitchenette (including a refrigerator); balcony with very comfortable loungers; finally the bathroom which has a two person size bath, a double shower (large enough for a football team) and double sinks. The rooms are air conditioned and have ceiling fans so you can regulate the temperature quite easily. The only feedback I would have about the rooms is that there is no mirror for shaving (or putting make up on) and whilst the bathroom mirror fills a full wall, it's not quite close enough for this. There's no full length mirror either but that didn't worry us too much.
The resort itself is very big and everthing is spaced out very thoughtfully. I'll work my way from the top back to where our rooms were situated;
1. Coco's - this serves really good quality snack and comfort food from macaroni cheese and burgers to salads. It's a very popular venue at lunchtime so you may have to wait but we could never understand why this annoyed and frustrated some people as the last thing I'd expect to be on a carribean island is in a rush.
2. Coco Beach - the wonder of this beach is the breeze, it's very strong and enables you to sunbathe without melting.
3. Mamora Bar - Right at the top end of Mamora bay with lovely staff serving drinks.
4. Mamora Bay - picture perfect but incredibly stiffling when it's really hot (which it was when we were there). I'd never complain about the heat but this is the beach where you'll feel it. All the watersports take place here and whilst we didn't participate, there's hobi cat, pedalos, scuba etc.
5. Docksiders - buffet restaurant serving really great quality food; highlights were the cream of chicken soup and the tex mex buffet (a great night). The bar at Docksiders is where the entertainment takes place and it's great quality but finishes too early at 10pm. The bar pretty much empties out after this. Elaine's a real treat and adds personality to the bar.
6. Jackaranda bar - just off from reception, this bar is air conditioned and a great place to enjoy a glass of champagne before dinner but in all honesty the bar is a bit soulless. There are no windows or view as such and it's very closed in which is a real shame, some colour and vibrancy would transform this bar.
7. Rainbow grill - breakfast is served here and whilst some reviewers have commented that they had to queue, we only ever waited a minute or two and as the staff become familiar with you, they know where you like to be seated which is lovely first thing in the morning. The choice at breakfast is vast and the food is of good quality. We also took lunch at Rainbow where you have a choice of the snack menu (similar to Coco's) and an extensive buffet. Dinner at Rainbow is a real treat; a la carte food served by wonderful staff with nice wines makes for a very enjoyable evening.
8. Boardwalk and pools at the Royal Suites; as we were staying in the royal suites we were able to enjoy these areas which are very quiet and absolutely blissful. The boardwalk has a number of sunbeds with canopy areas for shade but again as these areas face out onto Mamora Bay there is little or no breeze. Then there's the tiny adult pool which has spectacular views out at the very tip of mamora bay and finally the larger waterfall pool which is where we spent more of our time. This pool enjoys the breeze of Coco beach and has its own bar. It has plenty of sunbeds and shady spots so it's literally perfect!
There is also a pool and bar by Rainbow Grill (Reef pool & bar) but we didn't use that at all so I don't have any feedback to offer.
I haven't reviewed the spa as we didn't make use of it and it's worth mentioning the shop as if you run out of sun lotion or any other basics, they stock pretty much everything. I've just also realised that I haven't reviewed Picolo Mondo as we had planned to eat there but the food was so fabulous at Rainbow Grill and Docksiders we decided not to bother (the $35 surcharge didn't bother us, we just didn't feel the need). I hope this provides some reassurance to some readers as a number of reviewers felt they had to eat there more often.
The staff at St James are for the most part outstanding in the level of service and courtesy they offer. The odd member of staff who didn't really want to be there made us laugh rather than frustrate us though it's an odd contrast when 99% of the team are amazing.
If you're looking for an all inclusive resort with lots to do, lots of space, lots of variety and wonderful service then look no further. I'm hoping that we go back to St James in 2015 when England play cricket in the West Indies (if Antigua get a test) as I'd love to revisit.
- 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