St. James's Club & Villas Antigua reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

4.0 Very Good

  • Cleanliness 4.5
  • Location 4.5
  • Rooms 4.0
  • Service 4.0
  • Value 4.0

4487 TripAdvisor reviews

TripAdvisor users rated this property 2 out of 5

Don’t do it

Freja3 (Chicago, Illinois) on Sep 23, 2023

Go elsewhere, this resort is operating on a shoestring. In years past, maybe 15, it was properly managed and able to maintain the unfortunate location of one side being a lagoon (now stagnant toxic seaweed) and the other being a rough ocean side known for jellyfish bites, now all smelly sargassum. Uncivilized living conditions and dining. No AC in our villas, very mediocre food, 4 hour wait lines in extreme heat & humidity at evening dining options, a frustrated untrained staff. Its a mess. Owner Barrett is now an old man, living atop the hill while his sons make videos of being environmentally conscious. The property is for sale, but with the majority of timeshare units, it’s lagoon location, and the unfortunate sargassum situation, it’s a tough sell. Unsuspecting travelers beware: precious vacation time and money are just being wasted here. Hate to write this review, I’ve been to this resort many times pre 2012 and know many of the long time staff.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 5 out of 5

Another great Elite Island Resort

Annie M on Sep 15, 2023

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.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 2 out of 5


K8368FIhannahs (Bristol, United Kingdom) on 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.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 3 out of 5

Great hotel but not the Caribbean perfection you would expect. Website pictures are also misleading / old.

SteveEastment (Stoke Gifford, United Kingdom) on Sep 09, 2023

Overall the hotel has great facilities, great staff and delicious food but unfortunately is ruined by the amount of seaweed they get and the smell that comes from it (it really is a very strong gut wrenching stench that all complain about). It’s not the hotels fault obviously but equally, it’s not what you expect when you pay ££££’s to come to the Caribbean. I’ve broken my review down to detail the good, the not so good and the things worth knowing. Things to praise - The gym facilities are by far the best I’ve seen. I’m into my weights and there were a couple of bodybuilders there too and we were able to get a good workout in with plenty of variety. There’s plenty of cardio machines too. The gym is open 06:00-23:00 each day and is air conditioned. - There are always workers repairing faults looking to improve the hotels condition - Tennis courts & pickle ball courts are in very good condition and flood lit for evening games - We do love a coffee and the barista did not disappoint. They also have cakes & danish’s from 07:00 too. The coffee shop also offers almond and soy milk alternatives. - The coffee shop is situated lovely looking over the bay with a chilled ambiance and soft music playing in the background - The air con in the bedroom worked well and with the addition of a ceiling fan in the room too, it was never too hot in the bedroom. - We stayed in the Pineapple block on the ground floor and the room was nice and big. - The bed was comfortable and large and pillows were soft but sturdy too - Great water sport facilities which are included for free (kayak, SUP, pedal SUP’s, wind surf) - Top brand alcohol included (not local equivalents) - The grounds have lots of well kept greenery - Eleven Eleven restaurant is a nice location and has a nice menu - The maintenance team worked hard every morning clearing the seaweed on the East side (although see “to improve” section too) - Great breakfast variety - All staff want you to enjoy your trip, polite & helpful (especially Davena who served us on a few occasions and was happy in her work and singing as she goes) - The hotel offer up a trip to Stingray City which we would recommend. A truly great experience - Food in general was delicious and varied (also see notes section) - Table tennis and other small games are available to play - Kids entertainment is available on site (we didn’t use though as it was just the two of us) - Security guards the only entrance into the resort which allows the resort to feel safe as well as not being bothered by beach vendors - The hotel location benefits from both sunrise and sunset (great sunsets) - No need to wear a wristband confirming your status as all guests are inclusive - Pool table available - The waiting staff are very good at keeping your water glasses topped up at each meal Things for the hotel to improve - The hotel have some improvements to make from an environmental point of view. China mugs could / should be used to reduce disposable cups (although they are compostable, I believe china would not only be better for the environment but also a nicer experience for the guests). Butter in disposable packets could be replaced with butter in china dishes to reduce plastic use too. Recycling bins should replace normal bins (unless they process the waste off site to recycle) - Privacy curtains for the ground floor rooms would be beneficial, especially as you pretty much share a set of steps with your neighbour who can see into the room (there are full blackout curtains but then obviously makes your room dark). - Generally the hotel is worn and signs of multiple repairs are visible. I think they need to start renewing things rather than constant repairs - We love music in the background and expected plenty of Caribbean / reggae music to be on but we found this only at the main pool (and only at times) so the resort lacks atmosphere in our opinion. When music was played, it was “Soca” which is very high tempo carnival music so not that to relax to. - No map of the resort included in the welcome pack so made it hard to settle in (including the various times of the multiple restaurants), although we found a map on a wall eventuality which we took a picture of which helped - Ambience in Jacaranda lounge bar could dramatically be improved by toning down the lighting. It’s very bright and unwelcoming. We only spent 1 night in there and that was a quick visit unfortunately which means that the nightlife is limited and lacking. If you’re looking for a late and lively night, this is probably not the resort for you. - Shower set up (control, noise and temp control) was not clear nor could the temperature be adjusted - No clothes drying rack on the balcony which is a must when in and out of the sea / pools - Tractors clearing the seaweed started at 06:30 which we felt was a bit early as they were 30ft away from our bedroom, running up and down the beach. There’s plenty of manual work that could be done quietly before the need for the tractor and therefore noise. Would suggest 08:00 would be more considerate - The restaurants and entertainment are themed and considering we’ve come to the Caribbean for the Caribbean experience, we were disappointed that there was only one Caribbean night planned per week with Italian, French and Venetian as some of the other themes. If you want more of the Caribbean experience, perhaps consider Shirley Heights on the Sunday night as the hotels night is Thursdays - The entertainment is more of a background than entertainment due to it being in a small area of the restaurant. The guests (and acts) would benefit from a designated room / stage / area away from the dinner table to be able to really enjoy it. On the Caribbean night, there were steel drums which we love but there was no real attention given to them with just an occasional clap between songs. It really didn’t do them justice. - During our break the seaweed got really bad and the smell was sickening. We were not able to use our balcony and kept the doors shut but the smell still got into the room and was very unpleasant so we asked reception for an air freshener and we were told to look in the gift shop to see if we could buy one. Given that they’ve been dealing with this since 2011, I would have expected some form of fumigation within the room to be available. - There’s no bar open 3 nights of the week on the sunset side to enjoy a drink as the sun goes down. - The website needs updating to show how the Coco Bay side has been split to manage the seaweed and to reflect that the rooms are not on the beach as per the current pictures and to seaweed management on the water side of the wall. Things to note - Taxes are applied at $5 (US) per person per night plus $24 per room per night plus they automatically take $2 per room per night for their charity (optional but you have to request it to be removed)(so for our 9 night stay, we paid $324 / £260 in taxes on departure - There was plenty of seaweed which in turn had a very strong smell (some areas were worse than others). This is obviously a natural occurrence which the hotel dealt with as best they could - The rooms are not lockable from then beach side of the door so you have to leave it unlocked or go around from the front so takes away the special feel of being on the beach. - The rooms on the East side (Pineapple, Mango & Papaya) are not exactly on the beach as it is separated but a sanded area which is used as a road for the golf buggies - There were many birds around all food locations so prepare to guard your food (not quite like the seagulls in St Ives but worth a note) - We’d recommend Pineapple or Mango blocks, and not Papaya block due to the seaweed collecting more at the Papaya end of the bay meaning they had the worst smell - There were pockets of perfection but not all the time and all locations - Very many moon jellyfish in the East side, although not harmful to humans apparently but something to be aware of (there were days without them). - Not hotel related but if you hire a car, we’d recommend a 4x4 due to the condition of the roads - The buffet style dinner is only available every other night with “a la carte” being the option for the other nights. - Look at the list of restaurants and note the ones that need booking in advance (although during quiet seasons, it should be fine not to book) - Not hotel related but a general comment would be that it is easy to drive around the island (coming from the UK) as they drive on the left too - Not hotel related but worth noting that not all fuel stations take card payment so make sure you have enough cash on you - Not hotel related but Pigeon point beach is well worth a visit for a few hours. This really is the Caribbean perfection in regards to beach locations and water colour but it does lack amenities (there were toilets to use for $1 but it was closed) so prepare yourself for a few hours - No beachside service at the hotel apart from an occasional visit from a guy with a mobile bar on a golf buggy so you have to go to the bar yourself. This is the first time in a resort where we’ve not had this service available to us so thought it’s worth a note. - There’s lots of little swimming pools but nowhere that you could swim any laps as such - The beach on the East side as described is plagued by seaweed and the bay on the West side remains still and almost stagnant which results in murky water so if you’re hoping for the picture perfect beaches that you come to expect from the Caribbean, this resort is probably not for you. - Whilst we didn’t have children with us, the kids menu seemed very limited so they may struggle if you’re kids are fussy eaters (like our nephews and nieces for example) - The menus include prices which is irrelevant as all guest do not pay anything so order freely from the menu without fear of having to pay. - We didn’t see anyone tipping nor are there any tip jars so it’s definitely not a resort whereby tipping gives you a “better” service, all are treated equally. When we did tip, it seemed to be a surprise by the employee and was very gratefully received. - Big Car Rental were good and delivered & collected the car for free - There are bugs here and you will be bitten so come prepared (we found that Avons “skin so soft” spray worked very well (a military trick apparently) - There is a taxi rank and car hire on site (cash only - no card payments).

TripAdvisor users rated this property 5 out of 5

Another great stay at St James Club

Me_Myself_And_I_13 (London, United Kingdom) on Sep 06, 2023

Day 3 of a week stay at St James. Second visit, same time of year. It's out of season and very quiet but that's perfect for me and my wife. If you want more activity and people then come in season but this is a perfect time of year if you want space to breathe and relax. The weathers great and no fighting for sunbeds. As said, this is our second visit to St James and as per last time (4 years ago), the resort is excellent. My wife has some mobility issues and the front desk staff have bent over backwards to accommodate our requirements, moving us to a ground floor room with a walk I shower. The entire team stood out for their friendliness and not just helping but wanting to help but if I had to name one member it would be Neketia; she is a credit to your front end staff (but that is not to play down the excellent service received by all the other staff). All of the housekeeping, pool, bar and waiting staff have also been wonderfully helpful in accommodating my wife's mobility problems. One other name that has stood out so far is Tony, working in the bar. He is a true barman, listening and engaging with the customers, getting them talking to him and then to other customers thereby making the entire bar area one big friendly, comfortable place to be where you can relax and meet new people. He knows his stuff and has stories to tell, another credit to the St James family. Hoping the rest of my stay continues on this level and already looking forward to my next visit. Keep up the great work and thank you from both my wife and I.

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