15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"We arrived for our friends daughters wedding, shown to our room which was a standard
club room - very sparse looking, fridge stuck in the corner of the room which never got cold for the whole fortnight. Room service was as follows :- towels changed regularly, beds changed regularly, cleaning was non existent. Dressing table was never cleaned, shelf in bathroom never wiped down. The food was acceptable but the only choice was @ 4 main meals and @ 4 veg/rice - there was tuna salad for 4 days in the Rainbow Restaurant at lunch time - the service in the Coco restaurant was not good - the food in the Piccola Mondo was good except the last night when my husband and I decided to book for a last night romantic meal. The starters were ok - it was steak night - we ordered steak and baked potato and steak skewer with baked potato - the potatoes were stone cold - we left it all on our plate until a waitress came along to ask if all ok - we told her it was the worse meal we had had there - she asked if we wanted another meal but we declined - this was all inclusive as the Docksider Restaurant was under refurbishment - no way would we have paid for the meal.
Entertainment was dreadful - 2 nights of Kareoke - 1 night magician - no disco as we were told if no one got up to dance they did not play the music!!!! where was the casino??? - If we had not been in company we would have been bored to tears. The beach was very nice and the drinks buggy kept us topped up thro the day. The evening bar did not even have a menu for cocktails - how could you order a cocktail without one - The Reef bar had the total number of 6 cocktails to choose from!
Antigua is a beautiful island but the St James Club is definately not a 4 star hotel, maybe 3 at a push. We would only give this hotel 4 out of 10 and would definately not recommend it to anyone
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of December 2008
Wow this is the best holiday Iâve ever...
"Wow this is the best holiday Iâve ever been on! A large resort fenced in all round, there's so much to do here. Being all-inclusive means you never have to have that 'pile of valuables' hidden under a towel, you just give your name and room number. A week is over Â£1,000 per adult, but I would definitely go again as it's the only holiday I have been on where I can say a truly relaxed!
From memory there were at least three restaurants on the resort, and many more small bars located around the place, usually next to the swimming pools. they even had a mobile bar (a converted gold buggy) which would drive along the beach and give you drinks without you having to get off the sunlounger! The resort is in a great location, having one side open to the Caribbean, and one side with an enclosed lagoon, much calmer and safe for children. On the lagoon beach they have canoes, Hobie-cats, pedeloâs etc, you just grab one and use it for as long as you like. There's always a good supply of loungers/canoes/pedeloâs etc so you never have to sneak out a 3.am and put your beach towel on one!
As well as watersports, there are tennis courts, a casino, health spa, hairdressers etc, though some of these attract a surcharge. I cannot recommend highly enough the trips round the island. One day we had a tour round the island on a Land Rover, the guy was so laid back and friendly, they took you to some really remote places you'd never have found on your own, and also showed you the 'real' side of the island, where sadly a lot of people do seem to live in poverty. you find out about the sugar history and see the old sugar plantations.
Another day we did the same thing by Catamaran, about 40 people from the resort went out on a crewed Cat - with free bar onboard - , where they sail round the island and show you lots of points of interest. We pulled up on a deserted island for lunch, where the crew made a VERY impressive spread of lots of meats on a BBQ, salads and drinks etc. then we pulled up on another beach somewhere and you had ages to snorkel around a really beautiful reef, I saw loads of things including a small (Nurse?) shark! Sadly when it got developed, my 'waterproof' camera was blank!
The resort had a colonial feel to it, with afternoon (earl grey) tea and cake being served around 4pm. the food was varied, usually with a Caribbean feel to it and often live music was playing as dinner. you can stay flats near to the beach, but behind (and uphill a bit) are detached villas, where we stayed. It's a fair walk to the resort centre (about 500m), but if you're lazy just phone reception and they send a golf buggy + driver for free!
If you're considering going there, just remember a few things.
+It's VERY humid - even the (short-lived) rain was warm
+It's light from exactly 7.am to 7.pm.
+There is an evening meal dress code in some of the restaurants, take lightweight button-up shirts and trousers, and smart shoes
+It's not a budget holiday. But it's worth it if you can part with the dosh!
+Don't bother to explore the island on your own. they don't believe in signposts, and there's miles between each small village."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of January 2008
We stayed here for our honeymoon after g...
"We stayed here for our honeymoon after getting married in Barbados.
They upgraded us to a two bedroom villa, with our own patio and two steps onto the beach, so fantastic views.
The food and staff were fantastic. We did have a small hiccup with the air conditioning leaking and them taking quite a while to fix it, but everything else made up for this.
As this is like a little village, if you don't want to walk around, they take you everywhere in a golf buggy. There are activities for all ages, a few different restaurants to choose from, some you have to book, tennis courts, Internet cafe, shops etc.
Antigua is a beautiful place, as is Barbuda with its pink sands (definitely worth visiting).
If you choose to go, then I doubt you'll be disappointed. Have a great time!"
- Travel date: Mon 8th of January 2007
I found it difficult to rate this holida...
"I found it difficult to rate this holiday because we loved the resort but our wedding there tarnished our stay. If you are planning to get married here you should be made aware that the Gazebo they have on their website has building work going on around it so you cannot use it.
They suggest that you get married on the end of the jetty which most people did but we opted for a more secluded area as we did not want to get married in front of a beach full of people.
A number of other things went wrong for instance they did not decorate the site as they agreed to, our cake disappeared after we had our photos taken (we never saw it again) & other bits & pieces which individually don't matter but collectively make for a very disappointing wedding.
Worst of all we still havenât got our marriage certificate. They omitted to inform us that the one we got on the day is not the legal certificate, we needed to order it! Nice resort - disappointing wedding."
- Travel date: Thu 12th of January 2006
I went to Antigua to get married and sta...
"I went to Antigua to get married and stayed at the St James Club. It was brilliant. The staff, the facilities, there was a good range of all inclusive water sports. The food was great, you had to pay a supplement to eat in the posh ones but the food was great. We were treated like royalty. The kids club is brilliant. It leaves you plenty of time to go off on excursions.
It was fantastic. I would recommend this resort to anyone."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of April 2005
We couldnt have asked for a better holiday
"We have just come back from a 10 day holiday at St. James Club, and after reading some of the negative reviews posted on this site, we were concerned at what we might find. Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised, and each day the holiday just got better - the staff were friendly and courteous, always willing to help (apart from the Watersports staff on the beach who displayed a negative 'don't care' attitide to guests.) The food in Picolo Mondo and Docksiders restaurant was far better than in most all inclusive resorts, being of a good quality and varied menu. The rainbow Garden restaurant is good for buffet breakfasts and luches - we ate in Coco's bar just once, and decided not to repeat the experience - the food wasn't as nice as The Rainbow Rooms for lunches, and the staff were surly in comparison to elsewhere. The rooms were spacious and clean, although sometimes they would not be cleaned until late in the afternoon.
The whole hotel has a relaxed feel about it, and you can really wind down here. Guest services were extremely helpful, even when you ralexed too much and forgot to book your table for dinner for the following evening!
The beaches aren't the best on the island, but there are 4 nice pools, and great beaches just a short drive away. Hiring a car is recommended as you can drive through the rain forests which is an experience not to be missed.
All in all, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this hotel to even my most fastidious friends - it was a great place to spend a holiday.
We have only been back for 5 days, and we are thinking of going back for a week in 6 weeks time! That says it all!"
- Travel date: Wed 24th of September 2003
"Well what a fantastic 2 week holiday at the St. James Club we have just returned from. We really couldn't fault it at all. Read all the negative reports before we left and must admit was a bit worried, but everything that was complained about we found the total opposite. We (2 families) stayed in Club Rooms and they have to be one of the cleanest rooms I've ever stayed in. Beds were extremely comfortable and all bedding/towels changed regularly and were beautifully crisp and clean.
Air conditioning fantastically quiet and wonderfully cooling. If there was a comment to be made about the rooms, they were perhaps a little sparse and bare, but that is the only negative thing I think I can say about them. Beaches lovely, although we did stay mainly on Mamora beach where there was a bar (perfectly walkable) either end, and the little drinks cart drove round hourly from 12 until around 4, so you couldn't possibly get thirsty. None of the pools were overly large, but were perfectly adequate for a dip. Watersports very good indeed, smart hobie cats and sunfishes, you can have a lesson of water skiing as part of the all inclusive package. There are also kayaks and pedalos.
Restaurants wonderful - a wide variety of beautifully presented meals - there must be something for everyone and as for drinks as soon as our glasses were empty they were being refilled - hardly ever had to ask.
Must totally disagree with the people who found the staff rude - we found the total opposite - nothing but wide smiles and friendliness wherever we went. Trips we can recommend - the Jeep Safari with "Elmo" and friends - great fun and lots of laughter. Elmo was a real Eddie Murphy and kept us in great spirits all day. The Wadadli Catamarans also great fun - did a trip to Cades Reef and also a Sunset Cruise. The cruises that leave from St. James do hit the Atlantic for a bit (depending which way you are heading) and there is quite a swell out there - so remember those sickness pills if you're not a good sailor! A trip to Shirley Heights (shuttles from St. James Club) is obligatory - steel bands and reggae bands, a good night out. St. Johns worth a visit (again a shuttle from St. James will get you there) but there isn't really too much to see unless you are after a nice piece of jewellery or a named watch, this is where the cruise ships dock (often on Wednesdays) and the prices are very competitive. We travelled with Virgin Holidays and had a fantastic trip - all the better with their check in chill out on the last day so that your cases are whisked away to the airport and you can sit on the beach until the last possible minute without all that hanging around at the airport. Oh one last tip - St. James Club runs a Vacation Club - go to their presentation if you receive a leaflet - there is absolutely NO hard sell at all and for having a look at the smart accommodations for Â½ an hour you receive a voucher for the St. James Club Shop and a voucher for some free chips in the Casino which gave us at least 2 hours of fun while we managed to loose them!! I wish you a fantastic holiday at the St. James Club and hope that you come away with the lovely memories that we have - all of them good, we certainly wouldn't hesitate to return again."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of August 2003
Good holiday if you can tolerate the attitude.......
"First of all, if you look at just a few of the reviews written about any one hotel, you will find a wide spectrum of opinion. Why do so many people find it difficult to understand that a personal review is a completely subjective account of one person's experience, the "I can't believe someone said x,y,z" quote........
We have just returned from a 2 week stay, and our experience is as follows.......
What was good....... The quality of the food and drink was very good, especially for an all-inclusive hotel, where we have often found food to be v.poor, and the wine undrinkable. We found the 'Docksider' and 'Picolo Mondo' restaurants especially good, with a great choice and variety of food, and the option to pay an extra US$12 for 1/2 lobster, fillet steak, or surf & turf. We alternated between these 2 restaurants for dinner for our entire stay. There were many brand name spirits included in the all-inclusive package, including 'Pimms', 'Jack Daniels', 'Baileys', etc, which is often not the case with all-inclusive. The white and red wines were of a very decent quality and eminently drinkable. The sparkling wine (the hotel referred to it as champagne), was also reasonable, either on it's own or particularly in a 'bellini'!
The beaches and grounds were lovely - the beach on the atlantic side benefitted from a welcome cool breeze, whereas with the Mamora Bay. the heat was intense with no breeze, but the sea was 'lagoon-like', which made for excellent watersports. Both beaches has adequate shelter/shade.
What was ok....... The pool area was 'ok', but tended to be noisy and busy, and was on a peninsula, and didn't lead on to the beach. Most people tended to choose one or the other. The rooms were ok - a premium room's view of the sea was partial at best - small pieces of blue between the huge palms outside the room. Essentially basic, clean and functional, but tired. No frills here.
What was bad.......... Service was generally better in both the Picolo Mondo and Docksider for dinner. Less impressive at Cocos and the Rainbow Restaurant, where insufficient staff seemed to be a problem. On 3 or 4 occasions I asked for a bottle of water (not included - $1.50), and it never arrived, despite asking 3 times over the course of the meal. In the end we gave up. It also wasn't uncommon for your food to be brought out, and be sat around getting cold for 4 or 5 minutes before it was delivered to you. Ordering tea in the morning - often the tea bags would come 5 minutes after the pot of hot water. We would quite often go and get them ourselves. Rudeness.... Most of the time it was polite, if unsmiling. At other times the rudeness and ignorance was beyond belief. We could approach the bar, and with a smile, say "hi", (no response), "may I have (eg) 2 cokes, please". The drinks would be served, and you would either get a terse "room number?", or the person recording all the drinks ordered asked you your room number, in which case not one single word would be uttered by the person serving you.
Ordering a burger at the Mamora Bar, not realising they had stopped cooking 5 minutes previously....
"May we have 2 hamburgers please" "We're finished" was the curt response from an employee mid-sandwich herself without even looking up at us.
If these types of incident were one or two in number, I wouldn't have mentioned them because it happens all over the Carribbean. But they happened with alarming regularity - in fact it's the worst we can remember out of some 15 Carribbean holidays in the last 8 years. We have found that if you want decent service, go East: Mauritius, Thailand, Hong Kong. Also Dubai.
We thought it was a shame that the quality of the grounds and the food and drink were great, but the attitude of some of the staff was too often rude and ignorant. We often felt like an inconvenience when asking for something, a feeling akin to walking on eggshells.
Evidently, a view that was shared by some (more vocal) guests, both around the pool and on the flight home.
Oh, and if you're calling back to the UK from your room - expect to pay US$30 for a 3 minute call. Cheaper to use the mobile!"
- Travel date: Wed 13th of August 2003
"Wow!St. James's Club was really impressive. The Club sits on a secluded peninsula, which is about 110 acres. More palm trees than you've ever seen in one place...the beaches (both of them) are lined with palms! Makes L.A.'s famous palms look like a budding nursery compared to these great beaches.We had a blast! The Resort is a terrific place for families, couples, everyone. As a young professional, I found the resort to be very relaxing and service-oriented, but with plenty of activities like watersports, live bands, full Casino...or just taking some time out to read a book in the shade. What's that worth these days?!!! "Priceless!" (Especially since the kids are kept well entertained with swimming, and having a ball with their new pals.)The food was consistently good, with nice variety. Also, there are some very nice restaurants on the island like Le Bistro (French), Alberto's (Italian), and Life (casual/Caribbean), all of which are worth visiting.St. James's is only 10 minutes from English Harbour, which has lots of fun things to see, like old forts, shops, and Admiral Horatio Nelson's Dockyard. Don't miss the steel band and reggae part at Shirley Heights on Sunday night!Anyways, you can't go wrong. Bottom line: fun, relaxation, good food and drinks, sun, sand, blue water."
- Travel date: Sat 2nd of August 2003
You dont ever want to leave...
"Just come back from a fabulous fortnight at The Beach Club, St James.
The staff were excellent, freindly, courteous and good fun! The Kids Club was so good we had to drag the children away, my daughter celebrated her 7th birthday whislt we were there so one of the staff made her a cake at home, she was thrilled! The rooms were lovely overlooking the beach, just waking up in the morning knowing that you could sit on the balconey before breakfast and chill! The island is beautiful and full of surprises you can even have a beach all to yourself. A great holiday we met lots of people and we have great memories!"
- Travel date: Wed 30th of July 2003
Fantastic Holiday at St. James's Club!
"St. James's Club truly offers a FANTASTIC Caribbean getaway.
We were at the Club last week, and extremely pleased with what we found.
First, St. James's Club boasts not just one, but TWO FABULOUS BEACHES!
Both beaches are white sand, and if you get up early enough you will see them being meticulously raked and cleaned every morning.
Next, the FOOD at the resort is TERRIFIC. Unlike many resorts, St.
James's has a total of FOUR RESTAURANTS. Each restaurant has a distinct ambience, and all are very nice. The Docksider has an upscale marina atmosphere, and lovely watefront views. The Picolo Mondo is a more intimate Italian-themed venue, with a fantastic staff. The Rainbow Garden has a lovely, breezy Caribbean ambience, and Coco's restaurant provides true Caribbean rustic elegance (not to mention great drinks and burgers for lunch!).
As far as activities go, there is always something to do. There are five swimming pools, all kinds of water sports activities, a great KIDS CLUB, and a tour desk that offers lots of fun tours (try the Sunset Cruise!).
If you want to be pampered, the resort has a very nice spa, and a beautiful beachfront reflexology centre called THE SANCTUARY. Heaven!
Many of the resort's room have been recently, and very nicely refurbished. The Beach Club rooms are fabulous, and the Villas have undergone significant, and very effective clean-up and renovation. It is obvious that the Club has spent a lot of time and money in improving its food, services, and accommodation. The grounds are beautiful, and covered with lovely tropical gardens. The beaches are lined with dozens of tall, waving PALM TREES.
The staff at the Club is very FRIENDLY, as with many Caribbean islands.
If you make the effort to smile and start a conversation, you will no doubt make new friends. There are always guest services and property managers on-site...and even golf cart shuttle service if you're feeling too lazy to walk....oh, did I mention the roving bar on wheels (a custom gofl cart/mini bar conversion) that lazily roams the beaches!
You really can't go wrong at St. James's. We travel a lot, and greatly appreciate the fact that the Club caters so well to couples and families. There are so many nice, relaxing places to sit and soak up the sun, or enjoy some shade and read a good book. And in the evening the bars are fun and lively....lots of great conversation with your fellow vacationers...especially after a few rum punches!
Anyone who reports not having a good time at St. James's Club must have really tried hard to be a sourpuss. We were all smiles, all the while...and that is saying a lot considering we have stayed at many of the "nicest" resorts in the Caribbean and around the world.
Go...have fun...and you'll be back again. Take a look at their site: (--) where you'll find some good info."
- Travel date: Wed 30th of July 2003
When can I come back, please???
"I've only been home fortyeight hours and I want to go back to St James Club! Accommodation fine, staff very courteous and friendly (do not believe earlier reports - when folks smile and say hi, do the same back - it works!), food and drink absolutely superb, considering how many people are being catered for. All four restaurants very good, but Piccolo Mondo is quite fantastic. The meal which my wife and I ate there on our Wedding Anniversary last week was the equivalent of anything available in Central London at one hundred pounds per person plus. And we walked away at the end of it without paying a single penny! All Inclusive is undoubtedly the way to go. I've added twelve pounds to my weight in two weeks - this tells it's own story. I cannot remember a more relaxing holiday in my life and I will return as soon as I am able."
- Travel date: Thu 24th of July 2003