ST JAMES CLUB AND VILLAS | ANTIGUA

REVIEWED ON 22 OCTOBER 2007

“We had a great time at the Beach Club at St James.”

*****

We arrived at St James' reception to be handed a welcome drink, much needed in the heat, and a quick check in. However, we had to wait til 4.40pm, about 90 minutes, before our room key was handed over. They are very laid back and I believe the room wasn't ready. It is a short walk beyond some of the St James villas to the three blocks which comprise the Beach Club. We were upstairs with an enormous balcony, while the ground floor rooms allowed you to step out onto the lovely beach. The accommodation was excellent. Spacious, clean and more than adequate. There was a ceiling fan and air conditioning and free use of a safe and a huge bed..

There are two parts to this complex. St James customers can use both lots of facilities while the Beach Club people are restricted to where they can eat and drink. However, this made no difference to us. We ate at Coco's, the best restaurant on the complex. We got to use the Rainbow Garden and Docsiders restaurants at St James on occasions but didn't rate them that much. We were allowed our all inclusive privileges (10am-1am) on the two nights we used those facilities.

You could have lunch at Coco's or on the beach on the 'lagoon' side as we called it. Drinks were also available from that bar, but a drinks cart passed through frequently during the day. You just had to stop the driver and get what you want.

Watersports were free, just book up, and sunbeds and free beach towels were in plentiful supply. The atmosphere was first class throughout. The staff were superb and chilled, there really is no rush and you should follow their example. Entertainment was low key, but very good, a singer while you had lunch or your evening meal. . . .and crab racing.

food was good, plenty of choices, once or twice a week they will serve you, other times it was buffet. Drinks were brand labels, if you wanted pernod you got pernod...and there was plenty of champagne to be had.

One side of the complex is on the atlantic and offers a lovely beach and a welcome breeze. 100 yards on the other side is a calm sea, bizarrely no wind, very hot and where you can find the watersports, Round and about there are several swimming pools, one adult only- so something for everyone. There is nothing close by, so if you do not want to go on trips or hire a car, you are going to have a lazy vacation.

It takes about 30 minutes to get to the Beach club from the airport, and if you go with Virgin, you can check in at the complex allowing you to go the airport, not laden with bags, much later. By the way, the Virgin rep was top class. Elequent, helpful and to the point,.I should also mention the Jacaranda bar at St James, where sports fans will enjoy a host of premier league football or other major sports events whenever it is on.

Finally, although the local currency is caribbean dollars everything is charged in US dollars, or they convert US to their own at 2.68 caribbean to the US. You choose, I think next time I would go for US dollars. Remember they charge 20 US dollars OR 50 EC dollars departure tax on departure. This cannot be paid with a credit card- cash only. We had a memorable time in paradise...I will be happy to answer any queries.

See the review on Tripadvisor.


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