Hortense des Dorides
French expat, Hortense des Dorides is an Ottawa based travel and lifestyle writer. Iceland, Utah, Hawaii or the Canadian Arctic are amongst her recent adventures. In her spare time, she likes to hike and camp.
This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of PAX magazine.
Nestled on a narrow peninsula in the south of Antigua, between the Atlantic Ocean and Mamora Bay, St. James’s Club and Villas is set on a 40-acre private estate teeming with mature palm trees.
After landing and disembarking in Antigua via Sunwing’s direct flight from Montreal, we left the airport – located in the north of the island – and began a 40-minute journey by car (driving on the left-hand side of the road), heading southwards.
The drive was a nervous experience thanks to the steep terrain, but finally, we turned a corner and saw it in the distance: a length of land surrounded by resplendent blue water. We had arrived; from the top of the hill, we could make out the entire property of St. James’s Club and Villas below, a former private club now recognized as one of the best all-inclusives on the island.
Two pristine beaches
The all-inclusive is home to two beaches, the first of which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and offers spectacular views from rooms in three buildings. The other stretch of sand looks out onto Mamora Bay, with villas located on a lofty hilltop.
The property features a total of 247 rooms, suites and villas, divided into six categories. The most modest of these are the Club Rooms, for two people; the three-bedroom villas, meanwhile, can accommodate up to six people and are ideal for families or groups of friends. Finally, couples can settle in one of the 48 Royal suites.
Six pools – some for children and others adults-only – are located across the resort, meaning that you’ll never have a long search for a place to cool off in the heat. The property also features tennis courts and a brand-new state-of-the-art gym, located at the very heart of the resort.
A peaceful atmosphere
One of the most striking aspects of our stay was the calmness of the place; St. James’s Club and Villas is the wrong venue for lovers of loud and hectic nightlife.
Families, though, will find themselves at home thanks to the children’s club and the idyllic beach on the bay, which provides a safe and peaceful location for swimming and all kinds of nautical activities. The hotel offers kayaks, small sailing boats, and paddleboards.
From the dock at Mamora Bay, meanwhile, sailing and motor boats allow fishing and scuba diving enthusiasts to venture out into the sea.
Guests can partake in excursions to the four corners of the island from the hotel. English Harbour, with its colonial past and small, cozy restaurants, is only 10 minutes away from the hotel by car, while the capital, St. John’s, is accessible via a 40-minute drive.
Why not advise adventurous customers, who aren’t daunted by the prospect of driving on the left-hand side, to rent a car? This will allow them greater independence to make the most of discovering this small, friendly island, with its rich history and smiling inhabitants.
Did you know?
Antigua holds the distinction of being the sunniest of the Eastern Caribbean Islands. The destination experiences constant northeast trade winds, guaranteeing low humidity almost year-round.
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