After traveling to many different Caribbean Islands, I have not read reviews before I go because I never want to arrive biased with someone else’s opinions. I stayed at a “grand resort” with a golf course, casino and multiple bars, pools, restaurants, and snack bars and YUCK! I regretted it upon arrival.
The only concern that I had was the ominous Sargasso seaweed blob floating in the Caribbean. The grounds and maintenance people cleared the ocean side early every morning, so the water was clear and clean. I did go in a few times but I’m much happier poolside with my book, a beverage and restroom nearby.
This is a resort where even when full, it seems you are with only a few other guests. People are spread out lounging by anyone of many pools, having a snack or meal, out on an excursion, playing pickle ball, relaxing at one of the two beaches, or enjoying water sports.
St James Club is an incredibly charming Caribbean gem, with some great staff, excellent food, and just a fantastic vibe.
After a seamless taxi ride from the Antigua Airport (ANU) where our cab driver answered my millions of questions about Antigua’s history, politics, the passing of Queen Elizzabeth schools, and a host of other topics we arrived at the resort.
We were greeted with a tall glass of chilled champagne (of course we had a second) by Duty Manager Peter Myers. Check in was smooth and seamless with Rowena and Vaness who provided us with a restaurant schedule for the week as well as activities at “Reef Deck Pool/Bar” and our keys. Peter then drove us (in golfcart) us to our separate rooms in Pineapple Building. We were on the ground floor so we could sit on our patios or the beach area without walking downstairs. Due to my recent hip surgery I realized that I would be better in a room closer to 11-11 pool area. I called the front desk and my new friends Rowena and Vaness immediately moved to the room at the end of the building. I was super close to a pool, bar, restaurant, and the beach. It was a great feeling when the waitstaff and Elvis the bartender (at 11-11) knew our names.
We thoroughly enjoyed every meal, whether buffet or served. The wait staff was awesome, friendly, and always next to us when we needed refills of coffee, ice water or cocktails. It was such a pleasure to have Zamora or Ekela as our servers. It was obvious that Michaelina Auguste was the consummate Food & Beverage Service Manager because she was always there to ensure delicious meals (kudos to the chefs) and stepped in to help her staff anytime it was needed.
I’m an independent person so I don’t need someone to make my bed or fold the t-paper but anytime I did something Dawn from housekeeping was right there to help with whatever I needed.
Douglas who over saw the watersports took us on a Hobi cat ride often. It’s a great way to see Mamora Bay and the beauty of the resort from a different perspective.
Lastly, I must give Ralph Gonsalves a HUGE shout out. Ralph became a constant friend, who knew my name, answered any of my questions and addressed any issue immediately. There weren’t any “issues” except for a loose tile that someone would have tripped on. Within an hour and a half, Ralph found me reading by the pool and let me know that it was repaired. Ralph is top notch!
Terrific resort in a gorgeous location on a peninsula with both ocean and bay beaches. All-inclusive in the most generous way. The staff was super-friendly, warm, and accommodating.
I would be remiss if I did.t thank Travis Beaston at Elite Island Resorts who has answered any questions I have had and is guiding me towards my next Elite Island Resort in January and I can’t wait.
(Bristol, United Kingdom)
Sep 14, 2023
There were many thing this hotel does well - the variety of good food, the coffee shop, the consistent and friendly staff, the facilities, the grounds and the drinks.
But sadly all of this was overshadowed by my feelings of being totally catfished.
The photographs on the hotel website and the photos the hotel has re-uploaded to TripAdvisor in 2023 as “Leonardo” are so far from the reality it has left a strong feeling of bad taste with me.
On the website the beach front apartments lead down steps to a sandy beach scattered with tall palm trees & sun loungers and straight to the shore of the gorgeous turquoise waters…The reality is so far from the photo it is unbelievable, my photos speak for themselves. You step down the steps to the “beach” (which is used as a service road for the hotel buggies), to a row of sun loungers which face a wall which runs the entire length of the beach. When you lie on the sun loungers your view isn’t of the turquoise waters but of the wall! You have to step down the one set of steps (only one in the entire length of the wall), cross the lower beach, which has been entirely munched up by tractor tracks and is filthy dirty, to enter the sea.
The water in the Mamora Bay side is also nothing like on the website photos (see photos). This water didn’t look a safe colour so we didn’t venture in.
The hotel clearly doesn’t consider the lower beach to be a place for sunbathing as not a single sun lounger is on the section of the beach.
The website is extreme misleading and I booked a £4000 holiday based upon these photos, I feel extremely let down and tricked. This is false advertising and I urge the hotel to put up realistic, accurate and up to date photos on their website. The wall was built and completed in 2022 so the hotel has had at least 9 months to update its website.