We visited the Caribbean island of Antigua in the first week of November 2007. We stayed at two all inclusive resorts on the island: the Grand Pineapple Beach Resort
and the St James Club. Antigua is a small island a bit east of the Virgin Islands. It is about 14 miles long and 10 miles wide. St Johns, at the western end of the island, is the island’s major town. The island boasts 365 beaches – a different one for every day of the year. The St James Club has both a European plan and an all inclusive plan. European plan guests pay extra for food, drinks, water sports, and so forth. We stayed on the all inclusive plan - much better deal.
St James Club sits on a narrow peninsula in the southeast corner of the island with the Caribbean Sea on one side of the resort and a small harbor or bay on the other side. The harbor has a dock where yachts can tie up.
Both the cove and the ocean side of the peninsula at St James Club have beaches. The cove beach has no waves and is great for small children. There is plenty of sun with palapas and trees for shade. The villas at the resort are on the cove side and some are beach front, while others are on the hillside rising behind the beach and have views of the cove. There are souvenir stalls on the cove’s beach.
The cove side of the St James Club resort is where the water sports are located. There are Hobie Cat sailboats, kayaks, and paddle boats. The beach also has a grill and a bar. There is a game room right at the edge of the sand.
The ocean side of the St James Club has a nice beach. The beach is a couple hundred yards long and goes a bit past the resort’s property. There is plenty of sun along with palapas and trees for shade. There’s a bar near one end of the resort’s beach front up two flights of stairs. There’s also a traveling bar that comes around every hour or two. There are reefs off the beach and you can snorkel right in. We saw small fish without the snorkels.
There are several pools at the St James Club. The main pool has a large deck, palapas, and a bar. On the cove side of the resort built into the hillside, there is an adults-only pool with several levels. There are also a couple of smaller pools scattered about the resort. Most of the pools are convenient to a bar.
There are four restaurants at the St James Club. Only three are included in the all inclusive package. Breakfast and lunch are a combination of buffet and sit-down service; in addition to the buffet there is a menu available as well. Dinner is generally sit-down service. All of the restaurants are open to the outdoors, so don’t forget the bug spray if you’re eating after dark. All of the restaurants require dinner reservations. Each has a bar nearby if you’re early and need to wait. There is afternoon tea – Antigua was a British colony until 1981 – served in one of the gardens every afternoon.
Our room at the St James Club was quite pleasant. Pretty much every room, suite, or villa has a porch. Some have ocean views, some cove views, and some (like ours) would have had a beach and ocean view if the vegetation obstructing the view were removed. Our room had a refrigerator and coffee maker and sink. Suites and villas come with living room areas. Beach front rooms are available both on the cove and ocean sides of the resort. The villas are on the cove side and individual rooms on the ocean side.
In addition to the water sports and game room at the St James Club, there are tennis courts – both clay and grass. Some can be lit for night play. There is also a salon and spa. DVD rentals are available and wireless internet connection is available free. Live musical entertainment is provided during dinner and some evenings there is a live band in the main bar.
The St James Club is a family resort. There is a kids club with a host of activities for the children.
One side of the St James Club overlooks a cove.
The adults only pool provides a view of the cove.
The resort has a dock where yachts can dock and watersports board.
Many of the guest rooms overlook the cove.
Nearly all of the guest rooms have a porch with great views.
The cove beach has lounge chairs with palapas and trees for shade.
First floor beach front rooms are available on the cove at the St James Club.
The cove beach has some souvenir shops.
Beach volleyball is available on the cove beach.
A beach grill is available on the cove beach.
Paddle boats, kayaks, and hobie cats are among the water sports in the all inclusive package at the St James Club.
A bar overlooks the cove beach.
Billiards and table tennis are available in the game room next to the cove beach.
The beach on the ocean side of the resort has vegetation for shade.
The ocean side beach has lounge chairs and palapas.
The resort provides a mobile bar for drink service on the beach - part of the all inclusive package.
The ocean side beach at St James Club is beautiful.
There are several pools at the St James Club.
The adults only pool has several levels.
The main pool has a large deck, palapas, and a bar.
One of the pools overlooks the ocean side beach.
One of the more elegant bars has a great view of the cove.
The Piccolo Mondo restaurant also enjoys both a superb view and superior dining.
The Docksider restaurant is right at the edge of the water and we had a wonderful dinner there.
There's a small lounge at the Docksider if you need to wait for your table.
Antigua being a former British colony, afternoon tea at the St James Club is served in this garden,
The Rainbow Garden serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Both a la carte and buffet are available.
Nearly every room at the St James Club has a porch.
Our room had a king sized bed with a small living area.
Our room had a kitchenette with a frig.
There are beachfront rooms on the cove side.
There are also beachfront rooms on the ocean side.
Suites and villas come with living room areas.
There is daytime entertainment at some of the restaurants.
There's a grass tennis court at the St James Club.
A full service spa is available, but not part of the all inclusive resort package.
There's a little store and wifi is available free in some areas of the resort.
A ping pong table is available near the main pool.
The St James Club is a family all inclusive resort. It has a Kids Club.
The Kids Club is fully staffed and outfitted so the adults can have quality alone time.
The bellmen use golf carts to assist guests around the resort.