We stayed at the Jolly Beach from 7th Nov-14th Nov and can honestly say it is the worst resort in the Caribbean we have been too. I will try to be fair with everything I write as to give a realistic view of what to expect.
Firstly the rooms. Our room was OK. Tired and very 70's ish in decor, but the bed was very comfy & huge and there is an aray of pillows for all you choice. There is a TV, it's an old one but lots of channels so no biggy. It was kept clean and tidy, the maid service was good. The bathrooms are VERY dated in decor but again kept clean. However on 3 occassions we had NO WATER. When we checked in after 16 hours of travelling all we wanted was a shower. We headed to our room but once there we had no water, I phoned reception who said it had been off 'for a while' (not having mentioned it on check in) but would be 'back on soon' therefore we had no choice but to head to dinner without a shower - not good. It was back on when we returned an hour and a half later. This happened 2 more times throughout our stay. Also the towels were removed by housekeeping one day and not replaced. When we phoned reception at 18.00 and asked for more we were kept waiting an hour and 15 minutes resulting in us missing our dinner reservations in the Italian Restuarant!! We only got them once we phoned the resort Duty Manager to complain. Appalling.
When you leave you can use a 'supersaver' room to shower in before departure (after you have checked out of your room), this gave us a view of this type of room. DO NOT BOOK IT! It was TINY beyond belief, had I booked this room I would not have stayed in it! The aircon was nonexsistant, no storage....truly awful.
The beach - STUNNING! We have visited the Caribbean 6 times and this was the best beach we have seen. White sand, bright blue sea and facing right in to the sunset....it was amazing. However there are SO many beach vendors it was difficult to find shade (there are a fair few umbrella huts but you have to get up about 7am if you want to get these!) they take up so much room with clothes lines of goods hung everywhere! You are also asked to buy goods, take trips or use the beach sports at least 20+ times a day.....kinda boring having to say 'No thanks' that many times, that said they are all very polite and don't keep pestering you when you have said no, there are just so many of them!
The Food - The buffet resturant Hemespheres - the food was OK, some nights better than others for dinner, the BBQ night was awesome, the other nights were hit and miss. The resturant itself is massive but the choices are very limited. Maybe 3 or 4 choices of mains with 2 accompaniments, that's it. Breakfast was nice, but lack of selection. Fresh omelettes & eggs etc. The Bacon and Sausages are quite poor quality, not very appetising. The fruit selection was awful! Only Melon.....your in the Caribbean for goodness sake, I've never been to a resort that doesn't offer, Pineapple / Bananas etc. We only ate here 1 lunchtime, it was ok, nothing to write home about. The buffet was closed on Tuesday / Thursday so you had to book the other restuarants, great however by the time we could book on the Thursday the only time slot left was 21.30! Far too late, we weren't happy at all. We didn't try the Indian as we don't like it, but Lydia's was nice. Quality was good but portion size was tiny. As above we missed our reservations at the Italian due to poor service. The beach grill was good. We ate here all bar 1 lunchtime, the food tasted good and was served fresh, we enjoyed it. Staff were very slow here and overall at Hemispheres quite surly, don't talk much and we had to get our own drinks from the bar whilst some other guests had their brought to the table. This was very hit and miss.
The Pools - 2 availiable, The Fantasy pool and the quiet pool. Both are good, all clean and tidy. no alot of shade around either so get up early if you need to get some, that said at different tmes of the day when the sun moves over there is more shade about. The pool bar was kinda working, you ring a bell for service but service was slow and you were definitley made to feel like it was a problem. Also the Fantasy pool is VERY loud, lots of music and whilst we were there is was full of Americans who were so loud, rude and obnoxious it was unreal. We did not stay around this pool due to their lack of respect for other guests.
The resort overall - Very poor. It needs a facelift as it's very dated. As stated before we have visited the Caribbean 6 times before and this resort has the potential to be the best, when in reality it is the worst. The reason behind this is the staff. We did not find one member of staff polite, friendly or approachable. When visiting resorts before that have been alittle tired, we have still had a great time as the staff were great - we remember the names of staff from other resorts from 8 years ago! They made that sort of impression on us. This was the opposite, I will forever remember being made to feel like a pain when asking for a drink at the bar, also being treated like an incovinence when waiting to be seated for dinner.This is the only resort we have been to where tipping is actively encouraged! There are tip jars everywhere! I can pretty much guarentee that the reviews on here from people saying the staff were amazing, are from people who tipped for EVERYTHING. We saw it ourselves, if you tip everytime you get a drink or ask for something you get great service. We ourselves like to tip at the end of the holiday as that way we can base our tip amount on the service provided to us, we did not tip anyone at the end of this holiday. Previous resort have said no tipping day to day but if you would like to reward the staff at the end of your stay please do so, that would sort the staff out here.
Well that's our review, I hope people find it helpful. I also hope that the Mangement take on board what people are saying as Antigua is a beautiful Island which deserves much better than this. We would return to Antigua for a 3rd time but never to this resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Antigua's best all-inclusive value, the 464-room Jolly Beach Resort & Spa is an exciting Caribbean experience. The resort offers great year-round value for destination weddings, honeymooners and families. Rates include accommodations, government taxes and service charges, all meals, snacks and afternoon tea, house brand beverages, non-motorized water-sports, activities, Jolly Kidz and Teenz Clubs, use of the gym and entertainment. All rooms are air-conditioned and face the ocean; each has a patio or balcony, direct-dial phone, TV and hair-dryer. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Jolly Beach Hotel Bolans
- Jolly Beach Resort And Spa
- Jolly Beach Resort Antigua
- Jolly Beach Resort All Inclusive
- Jolly Beach Antigua
- Jolly Beach Resort & Spa Antigua, Antigua And Barbuda