LocationAntigua - Beach
General Policies & Fine Print
Check-in Policy - Hotel requires a credit/debit card authorization or cash deposit upon check-in for incidentals; this will place a hold on your funds.
Convention Policy - Individuals attending a convention cannot book this property for their stay. If found attending a convention, guests may be subject to higher room rates upon arrival.
Hotel Spring Break Policy - This hotel cannot guarantee a spring-break-free environment.
Transfer Policy - A price may display when children stay free, if your vacation includes transfer to your hotel.
General Information - Room taxes are included in vacation price. Minimum night stay restrictions may apply. Reservation changes may not be permitted unless authorized by the hotel.
Customer Ratings & Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating4044 reviews
Nice hotel with a lovely location.
We had a week here in February 2020 and we really enjoyed it. The weather was warm with a constant wind and occassional showers. The wind kept us feeling pleasantly cool, and well the showers.... apparently it was unusual that we had so many. They didn't last long and it was sunny in between them. The hotel is really nice. It is located on a little penisula surrounded by sea. There is a lovely sheltered bay on one side of the penisula where you can do water sports which are all included in your holiday package. The other side is the Atlantic facing beach, is quite wild but very pretty. They get a lot of seaweed wash up but you see the hotel staff clearing it away several times per day. The sand on both beaches is beautiful fine white sand and is really pleasant, so much so that we always went to the beach rather than use the pool which was fairly plain and not very inviting. The food is quite good and there is plenty of variety. They serve international menus, e.g Mexican night, Italian night, Chinese night, Steak night There are several restaurants in the resort. The only downside is that there was only one restaurant which served Carribbean food and you needed to make a reservation in advance to use that restaurant. It didn't cost any extra but it only seemed to have one menu so if you went once in the week that was all available unless you wanted to repeat the same menu. Our room was large and comfortable with all the usual features. The decor was a little stark but the bed was enormous. I could do a full starfish and not even touch my husband lying on the other side of the bed. My only reservation about the resort is that it is a little cut off. There is no where that you can go to on foot. When I go on holiday, I like to go places, see the sights and do things and there wasn't that much that I could easily do. Hiring a car is a possibility but it comes at a significant cost $60 per day plus $20 for a driving permit, There is a shuttle to St. Johns, the main town which costs about $14 per person and also a shuttle to Shirley Heights costing $10 per person plus you need to pay the Shirley Heights entrance fee which was $10 per person. These were all worthwhile outings, but if you are happy to just chill out and stay on a sun-lounger then you couldn't find a better place. Also if you wanted to book excursions they were very expensive, at an average of $130 per person, and you were expected to pay a deposit in cash of $25 per person per excursion. We did book a historical tour of the island which lasted all day. Our driver was excellent and we really enjoyed the tour. We brought a minimal amount of cash with us as we were going all inclusive, and we had cards we could use. On arrival we found that the resort did not accept Amex and as we were worried that we would run out of cash we attempted to use a cash machine only to have my UK bank card blocked. It all worked out in the end though but the moral of the story is bring lots of US dollars with you. They will accept EC dollars, the local currency, but everything is priced in dollars, and most things appear more expensive that you expect. The staff were incredibly helpful, and nothing was too much trouble for them. Without exception they were all friendly and pleasant. My only real complaint about the place was that we had to pay $45 or so extra to be able to use WIFI in the room and that wasn't secured by password. There was free WIFI in the public areas but it didn't work very well.
This was our third trip to Antigua and the St James Club, we said we would not return but we managed to pick up a great deal we decided to give it another go. On the whole we did see some improvements, staff seemed happier although lots of trainee staff around and management were notably absent. We were amazed to see that the menus had barely changed at all in any of the restaurants, same old boring themed buffets at the docksider, surely they can be a bit more inventitve?? The food at 11/11 was good on the whole particularly in the evening when they had a few extra specials. Rainbow Garden breakfast was good and nice to see a smoothie station, the evening service was ok, same menus and same slow service, such a shame as its a lovely place for dinner. We didnt try picollo mondo but even that menu looked unchanged. Now to the alchohol, we dont drink alot but we like a decent beer and a good glass of wine, sadly neither were on offer here, the Skol botled beer is the worse I have ever tasted, cheap and nasty!, why cant they serve a decent local beer like Wadadli?? the draft wasn't bad when it was cold! The white sauvignon was drinkable, but the rose and red were both below standard, for what people pay to stay here there should be a decent selection of wines and beer available not just the cheapest they can find! They advertise champagne but really it is just cheap sparkling wine, again not the best quality by any means. Water sports seemed to have had a change of staff and the new ones didnt seem as helpful or friendly as the old team, a few new additions to their equipement though. The nightly entertainment hadnt changed much, although the Jackaranda bar seemed a little more llively on the few nights we bothered going in. The daily activities team were great, fantastic choice of classes and excellent gym. We had a good holiday but had expected more, dare I say we wont return!
Enjoyable family holiday
I have to confess when we arrived in this resort I was pretty underwhelmed. We were dropped off and there was no welcome, no-one at reception and we were basically dumped with our bags. Comparing this to St James in St Lucia where we were met with a cold towel and rum punch this was not a good start. This lack of welcome continued to the villa, we couldn’t find the key or door in the pitch dark and were basically left there too. As the first 24 hours were quite rainy all in all it was not a great start. However I am pleased to say everything looked a bit brighter as the sun came out. Firstly the hotel itself is beautiful - set on the most glorious beach with a beach bar at each end and the wonderful Alfred patrolling up to provide drinks. There is no shortage of sun beds or space and the hotel despite being pretty full never felt crowded. The beach is really the best bit of the hotel, the sheltered bay is great for swimming and water-sports (although the staff here were patchy in terms of friendliness and seemed to be happy to stop boats going out at the hint of a breeze), the lady serving at the beach bar was so friendly and helpful and the setting is idyllic. The pools were small and spread out which did not bother us as we didn’t use them. There were 4 restaurants and food was fine, nothing special but not bad for an AI, unlike the wine which is dire. The beach party was a bit of a disappointment after the amazing spread and show St James St Lucia puts on. On that note, there is no central evening space with more than 3 tables and no evening entertainment to speak of. Strange for such a sizeable hotel. Generally we found the staff very friendly with most greeting you in passing. There was a complete absence of any management and at no point did any manager ask us how our holiday was going - this despite attending the ‘manager’s cocktail party’ and being repeat guests to Elite. I do wonder why such complacency... Our villa was kept pretty clean , it was basic although had been recently repainted. Beds were comfortable and it was a good space for a family. We had a really relaxing time and on the basis that all we wanted to do was lie on the beach then it suited us just fine.
What keeps us coming back
We come here every year so obviously we like it! There are lots of reviews covering the basics so I thought I’d just mention what makes us repeat visitors. I would describe the standard of the resort as a high 3* rating. The plot is spacious and beautifully kept with mature trees, attractive plants and birdlife (including hummingbirds). Due to fogging it is not buggy and I am rarely bitten on the premises. Everything is clean and shipshape and ticks along like a big well-oiled machine. It is quiet here, with a lot of older repeat guests from the UK and North America. There is fairly sedate entertainment in the evening and all music noise stops at about 10pm. Perfect for us as we come here to completely relax and decompress. This is not the place for you if you want to party all night long. Activities: The sporting activities are very good and we try to get up for the morning walk. If we miss it, we walk up to the top of the hill and enjoy the views over the resort on the way down. Yoga with Lynn is an absolute highlight of my holiday (and I’m so glad it’s back in the ‘teen club’, thank you Mr Barrett). Pilates with Simonetta is another great addition in the last couple of years. The gym is well equipped, there are several tennis courts and the latest addition is the pickleball courts. Great if you want an active holiday. Food.: I do not like buffets but my husband does so we compromise and eat in Docksider every few nights. I choose whatever is freshly cooked to order in the central block and have this with a plateful of salad. Everything else is too reminiscent of school dinners. The puddings were better this year – in fact all the baked goods at SJC are excellent, especially the banana bread. I prefer to have food freshly cooked for me so my choice for dinner is 11/11, which has a special every evening of fresh fish cooked to order and it’s always good. Cocos Island has generous portions so this is one for you if you’re a big eater. Rainbow Garden can have slow service in the evening but it’s very pleasant if you can get a table on the terrace and sit out there with the twinkling candles.The coffee shop is a fantastic addition and very popular at all hours. Beaches: We never have trouble getting the loungers we like in our favourite spot. We like Cocos Beach for pelican watching in the morning and Marmora Bay for snoozing in the afternoon. The Marmora Bay bar is run by a lovely lady with a beautiful smile, she has been there for many years now and it’s always a pleasure to catch up with her. I wish I could remember her name. Rooms: We stay in the Royal Suites. Standards of cleanliness are very good and we particularly enjoy sitting on the balcony watching the sun set. Decor is a bit frumpy everywhere in the hotel - it would look much more expensive and upmarket if they went for a more classic plantation feel with white-painted wood, shutters, rattan blinds, etc. Staff: I get the feeling there has been a campaign to improve the general attitude of the staff in recent years and this has definitely paid off. Having said that, a few old faces seem to have gone and there are many new young members of staff who need some training. This is especially noticeable at breakfast where you get a few young wait staff wandering around gazing into the distance and filling up water glasses but not wanting to clear the tables. The more mature ladies who run breakfast have been here for many years and work so hard to really hold this place together and offer excellent service at breakfast and at 11/11 and Cocos. I hope Mr Barrett realizes how hard these ladies work and what an asset they are to the hotel. It's a pleasure to see them all again every January. Location: It’s so worth getting in a taxi and leaving the hotel to explore beautiful Antigua. St James is well located for English Harbour and the pretty beaches at Galleon Bay and Pigeon Beach. We eat out every other night in English Harbour. If it’s your first trip, I would suggest doing a tour of the island – we very highly recommend Sean at Antigua VIP tours. I would also recommend hiring a car for a day and exploring the stunning beaches on the Caribbean coast – Turners, Ffryes and Valley Church Beach.
First Time in Antigua
Hotel was clean, rooms were good size with comfortable king size bed. Limited al la carts. Coffee shop and bars are good but poorly staffed. Pools spread out to far from each other. Beautiful grounds.
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