A couple weeks ago, my sister, my mom and I played hookie from day to day living and went on a day pass at St. James's Club. It was only this year that I discovered the lovely experience called the day pass. For a fraction of the regular price of a room and for about $100 EC each, we got to take advantage of all the resort had to offer and a very nice room. The only concern we had was how to get there.
As you can see from the google map below, St. James is nowhere near a bus stop. The closest bus stop is in Cobbs Cross.
View St. James By Bus in a larger map
We knew that when we hopped on a #17 bus, Bus #87 and we figured that we would find our way to St. James's somehow. The bus didn't have much people and the atmosphere was light and jovial. We travelled through All Saints, Liberta and Falmouth.
As we approached the Cobbs Cross bus stop, we called out the stop and prepared ourselves to work out how we were going to make it to the resort. As I paid the fare, I asked the bus driver if he knew how to get to St. James's from Cobbs Cross. He told us he could take us, if we paid a little extra. He went on to tell us to name the price and in the end we paid him $27 EC for the entire ride from the center of the island to St. James for 3 people. Sounded good to us.
..most bus drivers are willing to take passengers wherever they want for a little more money.
On the drive to the resort, the bus driver informed us that most bus drivers are willing to take passengers wherever they want for a little more money. If you ask nicely they will do you the favour. This is not the first time I've heard this, in fact one bus driver told me that some buses would act as taxis if the price is right.
Because they were not expecting us in a bus, we had to enter St. James at the gate. The only problem with this is we had to walk the full length of the property to reach the reception desk. Trust me this was not the Front Desk.
After checking in, we had breakfast. In my case, a huge breakfast - pancake, sausages, an omellette with almost everything in it, fruits. Yum. This was followed with going to the room and letting the sleepiness of eating to much run it's course.
It wasn't long before I was itching to leave the indoors and have a bit of fun. With sister in tow, I went to the bar by the pool. We ordered the drink of the day, Blue Horizon, which was mixed to perfection. And although we ate, we still got a bit tipsy so we took a walk around the property to sober up.
On our walk, we were offered a few pieces of coconut from a little blonde boy with blue eyes. We walked along the coast and found what I believe is Antigua's smallest beach. We found ourselves at watersports, so we decided to go out on the paddleboat. Let's just say we are not in shape and we found ourselves taking breaks every few minutes. All in all good fun, we even took pictures of the resort from the water.
Back on land, we sought out the bar and got a couple of beers. We then went and played pool, which was a smart move because it was hot, even the sand under our feet was hot. Not only did we play pool, we played our version of ping pong which meant we spent more time running after the ball than hitting it.
Having had our fun out of the water, we decided it was time to get wet. We went back to the room and threw on our swim suits. We continued to explore the property by going in the other direction. We found a small pool near to a restaurant and we set up camp.
It was an hour or so later that we started to get hungry. We gathered up our things and went to the restaurant. We ordered a late, boozy lunch and ate while being entertained by the staff bantering with each other.
By the time we were finished, we were relaxed by being in the water and having a big lunch. We made our way to the room, taking a different route from the one we took before. When we got to the room, we crashed in the bed. The unfortunate thing was I was too tired to sleep.
In the end, we watched a crazy zombie movie which ended just when we were to check out. We gathered up our things and made our way to reception. The only concern: How are we going to get off the property?
Luck would have it that my sister someone she knew who was leaving at that moment. She asked her if she could give us a ride to the bus stop and she said sure. In fact she gave us a ride to Liberta.
We did have to wait a while before a bus arrived, but we were just happy that we were somewhere where we could get a bus. In less than 10 minutes, we were in walking distance to home.
Although I had heard of day passes, I never thought to go on one. A few of the bigger hotels have them, St. James's, Verandah, Sandals. To find out, ask someone who works at a major hotel or call the hotel and ask. Not only are they great for locals, visitors can take advantage of them. You can stay at one property and go on a day pass at another.
To see more pics of our adventure at St. James's visit the Facebook page and the St. James's album.