TripAdvisor Ratings & Reviews for this hotel.
DHR Ratings & Reviews for this hotel.
"Loved every minute of it"
We stayed at the Jolly Beach Resort from 18 Aug - 1 Sept 06 and can honestly say that we havn't got a bad word to say about the place. We read all the reviews we could before we left (after we booked as well) and some did cause us to have 2nd thoughts but we take places at face value and at the end of the day its a tropical island where you can make your own fun.
We arrived and were dealt with quickly and efficiently by Margot, the First Choice rep, our taxi transfer was without hassle and we checked in within 10 minutes of arrival at the hotel. We had a standard sea facing room and were glad of the extra space. You can get lost in the bed! Aircon/Fan were in good working order and we had cause to complain only once when the maid forgot to lock the patio door. We always had clean towels and the room got serviced daily.
The resort itself is beautiful. The white sandy beach is the best on the island, very clean and far bigger and even better than Sandals. We went on the Wadadli Cats circum-navigation (fully recommend this trip) and saw the other resorts and were well pleased with our choice - it was the envy of all the other people on the Cat. Yes the beach vendors ask questions about jet ski's or horses etc.... but a polite no and theyre on their way. Linden ran one side and John the other - both really approachable and easy going (preferred Johns jet ski's though - a lot quicker).
Food wise you are spoilt for choice. Hemispheres catered for everyone and menus for futures days are available at the welcome desk in the restaurant, so you can decide if you wish to book Bocciolos, Utsavs or Lydias instead. Our favourite was Utsavs but fully recommend Bocciolos (need trousers/shirt/shoes) and Lydias for Sunday brunch (steel band playing whilst you gaze out towards the Carribean) its priceless.
The entertainment staff were second to none, they work over 12 hour days. Ann Marie worked tirelessly in an effort to keep everybody happy. You will love Juniors singing - he more or less joins every band that play there. Janice behind the bar is a brilliant character. If you treat them with respect they are genuinely pleased to help. Some guests were rude and disrespecful so obviously this just gets met with a similar response from the staff.
The trip to shirley heights is well worth it, even if we did pick a cloudy night. Our taxi driver became a tour guide on the trip up there and when you arrive you get a free drink and theres a steel band playing with a fantastic party atmosphere. You would be well advised to put mosquito repellant on before you go.
Overall the weather was fantastic and although there were periods of cloud you will learn to love them given the heat. There was rain on most nights for 10-15 mins but you just get out of the way. We had only 2 days of persistent rain for about 2 hours each time - we just used this time to get souveniers from Jolly Harbour. The Casino in the harbour is excellent value for a dining treat in the gladiator sports bar. Just dont play the rainbow game - despite being given a free $5 go - just walk away after your free shot!
Pack plenty of suncream (high factor) its expensive in the local shop and insect repellants, we bought a plug in mosquito repellant but still found them in the room.
I would recommend this resort to couples, families with kids or even the older generation - there is something for everyone and you will want to come back - I know we do. We met lovely people over there and had a fantastic time.
All I can say is enjoy it !
"Definitely worth a 2nd visit"
It was quite sometime ago that we returned from the Jolly Beach, June 3rd actually. As we have used tripadvisor for our trip to Antigua and subsequently our family holiday to Egypt and even the booking of next years’ hols we felt it only right to give our thoughts for you to consider.
We flew Virgin and did the twighlight check-in which is so convenient when flying early 'ish in the morning. The flight was as scheduled and; as we managed to get seating back in the 2 seater rows, we were quite comfortable and content with the flight in general.
The transfer to the hotel, booked online with the holiday, was organised pretty quickly considering the chaos of reps, small mini bus taxi drivers and tourists trying to get in the right queue for their hotel - But standing in that heat 35C's with no shade was probably the only lament I could have had about things upto that point. The transfer was about 30mins and quite an eye opener to what's on the island (inland), many churches and mainly wooden huts built and balancing on breeze blocks.
On arrival, we were ushered to the reception area and luckily were only amongst a group of 3 or 4 couples - check-in was quick and painless. This is the best time to pay your refundable deposit $10 for the towels and also the safe key which I think was $15 dollars (refundable) with a cost of another $10 for the use of the safe - recommended.
We were accompanied to the room on a golf cart and it seemed to be miles away but once having found our way around, was only 2/3 mins from the beach bar, hemispheres and reception.
The rooms are basic and dated but hey........who's planning on staying in their room while in the Caribbean? the little insects or ants would find their way into your room 1) if you left the doors open, 2) if you spilt any sugary or alcoholic drinks......we did leave a cup on the bedside table one night and the next morning there must have been a million ants feeding on it!!!!!!!!!! once having disposed of this cup and cleaned the table the ants were gone in 5 mins..........so its down to being sensible about these things.
The view from our room was fantastic - see above. We were at the end of the resort room 3004, so it was just 40 sec's to the beach and the views were incredible and the distance we were from the bars etc was just right to get away from the entertainment noise when tired enough to need to. The mongoose are quite a sight to see running around in the early morning sun.
The Resort is huge and spacious, when we were there the West Indian and Indian cricket teams 3 or 4 days into our stay there; seems to be their local haunt - having read a couple of more recent reviews. During our time on the resort it was never crowded, even though it was full, at the end where Lydias was; the beach was bare, but if you didn't get yourself a parasol you couldn't sit in the sun that long. To claim your parasol 6.00am to 6.45am was the best time to claim you place - and no there were no germans around - only English!!!!! so be warned - but as you can see by the pics it was worth it. Further up the beach towards the main pool and grill there was more shade and therefore more people but still nothing like the british beaches on the hottest day this year!!!!.
The first morning there, 25th May, it was like a monsoon for 2 –3 hours and we thought oh no what have we done coming at this time of year……well that, as well as a 10 minute shower 3 & 6 days later, was the only rain we had in all the 10 day stay we were there. The sea itself looks ab-fab, it is very warm and relaxing but is very salty and cloudy, you can’t see your feet or your hands come to think of it. The salt can irritate eyes and lips for those of a more sensitive nature. 50 SPF is advisable (I normally use anything between 2 and 8), no I didn’t think it necessary either as it didn’t feel excrutiatingly hot – but after 20 mins in the sea I soon realised that I did need it and I turned black without having to do any sunbathing. That was after having suffered with a burnt back for 3 days!!!! Protect, as you will burn whatever colour you are.
Oh by the way, if you want to get yourself one of those free blue lylows (however you spell it) then you need to walk right to the opposite end (from Lydia’s) of the beach (towards the catamarans and canoes) to sign for however many you need. Don’t go til 9.30 though as they won’t get them out til then.
Breakfast was great - even with the birds - just don't leave any food unattended (you're just asking for trouble). I didn't actually realise you had to be seated by the staff but we soon got that sorted by lunctime. Good choice of Bacon, thin sausages, scrambled - poached egg along with omlettes. corned beef and BAKED BEANS!!!!. Fruit assortment, danish, croissants, yoghurts, cereals .........enough to entertain the most demanding of clients. Lunch at hemispheres was good but a bit repetitive, however, I'd much rather have good food rather than a variety of non edibles.
We did try Lydia's and Bocciolos (a bit of a challenge to find) and they were both pretty good in the evenings - a change from the buffets. (we went all incl so no extra charges here apart from the wine) gotta get to Utsav's to make your booking for any of these restaurants and you can only book 2 out of 3 days in advance. I would suggest to be there from 9.30 - after breaky is just right.........otherwise you'll be at the back of a queue!!!! And while waiting for the young lady to turn up you’ll be approached to go on a visit to see the Jolly suites, if they haven’t sold them all yet. Now we didn't try Utsav's but everyone we talked to said that it was different but very nice.
The drinks at the bars were not premium but Martini & Bacardi were on offer as well as Wadadli beer (try it with fresh lime – it takes the edge off it and is quite pleasant), whiskey, non branded Irish cream, Hennessy brandy, self-serve pina colada’s, vodka and any form of cocktail were gladly prepared as well as coke, sprite and orangeade etc.
The traders on the beach do seem to keep bugging you but with a big smile and a firm no thanks the second time round they normally leave you alone. Just be polite cos you'll realise that if you want to go Deep Sea fishing, or on the Wadadli Cat (which beaches and picks up & drops off there) you'll need to speak to the traders as they are employed as agents I suppose; to sell these services. We did the Cat trip which was great - Sheldon (capt) and the other staff, especially ONE LOVE - yes that was his name, were great. The trip itself was worthwhile and also proved to us that we did actually have one of the best beaches in Antigua - yes better, in my opinion, than Sandals!!!!, we also did the jet skis 3 times during our stay – even though you are advised by your reps not to engage in any activity that hasn’t been booked through them. Just be sensible if you do book the ski’s, you treat them well and there’ll be no probs but if you damage them you’ll have a hefty bill to pay………..then again as I’ve said before….sensibility prevails. Oh and don’t forget to barter for whatever you do decide to do.
We also did the horse riding to the edge of the rainforest and along several beaches. The beaches were great but I didn’t see a rainforest!!!!……so I would suggest that this is really a trip for real horse lovers who are interested in riding in the sea etc rather than sightseeing on horseback – being my second time on a horse in my life it wasn’t for me…. just keeping my other half happy. We did go on a deep sea fishing trip and thoroughly enjoyed the experience – not many fish caught but well worth it especially getting close to Montserrat. Not for the fainthearted as the boat can rock so much you’ll be staring more at the sea coming towards the back of the boat rather than the sky. Good videoing moment, don’t forget to use the straps around your neck or wrists. Don’t forget to cover up or cream up here as well – knees, arms and forehead – even with a cap on, were well burnt!!!!!!
We also went to Shirley heights which was, in my opinion, a complete waste of time and money. Crowds to get in, queues for drinks, food, toilets wherever they were and enough mosquito’s to keep you occupied all night!!! This was a 40min or so transfer either way. The views were good but with clouds over the points infront of us meant no view of the sunset. Lack of seating and space meant standing for a couple of hours before the adventurous trial of leaving the venue. The music started up about 9.00 and created a real party atmosphere, this was geared up to 18 – 25 year olds and those who wished to over indulge in the very expensive beverages.
There were no end of weddings on the resort during our stay, there were several in one week and at one point 2 in one day – mainly Brits. All the groups were pretty calm, apart from the evening celebrations which were held far away in what seemed to be a hall near Bocciolo’s. so no real disturbance for anyone. We met so many Brits, a massive contingent of Bling, Bling West Indians – we had such a laugh together through the night – some Americans and only a couple of French and Italians. The entertainment was very good and the beach bar was packed for the duration, steel drums, fire limbo dancing etc etc kept the monotony of relaxing at bay. The resort itself caters for all ages, families and couples and a mainly British customer base.
The pool bar was a welcome respite from the heat of midday, Charlie – barman, was a complete mad man his poems and raps will have you crying with laughter at the pool bar.
The grill, just by the pool bar, was pretty busy around lunchtimes, the food was great and cooked to order, the chicken was hot and I mean very hot (and we eat Vindaloos at home)!!! The burgers, chips, chicken, hot dogs etc kept everyone going til the next meal time. The longest we had to wait was 15 mins in a queue, so really the best time to get a drink and appreciate the shade.
Some of the staff at the resort could seem to have an attitude problem and one or two did, but when you realise how the heat can affect you, you soon have to take on the Caribbean stroll as they do. Most of them have the biggest smiles I’ve seen around, they work from 7am to midnight and are back in the following day cleaning the beach, emptying the rubbish etc. Just chill out, don’t rush and be polite and they’ll treat you the same. This isn’t a 5 star hotel, it’s as Virgin quoted a 3.5 star. All in all I would go back here, I would like to see other islands too but having met so many other West Indians (barbados, st kitts, st lucia to name a few) actually holidaying here and having a great time, put me off going elsewhere. It was our first visit to the Caribbean and was a fantastic experience and hopefully won’t be our last. Though many have said don’t go here on your first trip otherwise you’ll be disappointed if you go elsewhere……….we’ll just have to wait and see.
One thing to take advantage of is the check-in chill out service from Virgin if you’re flying with them. It makes so much difference not having to rush back to the airport for 3 hours!!! And even though you have to check out at 11.00 – 12.00 we didn’t find any problems in getting something to eat or drink.
"Great hotel with a great enviroment"
Just got back from jolly beach after 10 days food was great a real variety dont miss wedneday night bbq night!!all the staff are very friendly ignore the reviews about them being moody say hello and they become the most friendly people you will meet the entertainment staff are great if you wont to relax they will leave you alone if not theres plenty of things to get involved in.If your looking for a day out make sure you go on the waddadli trip around the island(the yellow catermeran that comes to the beach) you wont regret it.So the italian is not up to much who cares you came to the caribbean not italy.This is not a biased review we have stayed in some nice hotels around the world and this is a very relaxing family resort,we dont have kids but if you do they will love it.If you are couple theres plenty of room to find a quiet space.Have a graet time
We landed in Antigua on the 30th Aug 2006. When we stepped off the plane it was like stepping into paradise. My boyriend Russ wanted to take me (tina) away on a one in a lifetime holiday. Well i wasn't disappointed.
We stayed at the Jollly Beach Resort. From the first day, we had the time of our lives. I have never been so relaxed and have never laughed so much. The staff was so helpful and friendly i've made some friends that i will never forget, Ann-maire, Maria, Janice, Theo, Ivan, Robin, Lionel, Charlie and of course Terry, who can ever forget our Terry. You knew when Terry was around without even seeing him.
The Resort was kept really clean and tidy. Our room was kept fresh and clean every day. The food was lovely, Russ now loves jerk chicken which I cook once a week for him. I still enjoy my BBC cocktails at the weekends and even got my friends on to them.
We loved it so much we are really looking forward to going back asap. If anyone was thinking where to go on holiday i recommend the JBR. I'd give it 100/100.