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“A mixed experience and a great beach!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Jolly Beach Resort & Spa

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Jolly Beach Resort & Spa
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Bolans Village, Bolans, Saint Mary's, Antigua   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 4 hotels in Bolans
new york city
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“A mixed experience and a great beach!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

So we just spent 5 days here...

1. The food is actually disgusting. Possible the worst I have had at a resort. We settled for breakfast daily and went out for all other meals. The Italian dinner we had hear made us both sick. Almost inedible. The drinks are fine and yes served in sippy cups but you can bring your own if you are a big drinker.

2. The room is tiny but hot water and a/c- for the price it felt fine. We asked for a renovated quiet room and paid $50 for the week and got a fridge.

3. The concierge- wasn't always so helpful. The bus leaves right from outside the resort for $1 we went everywhere on it- great way to see the island/ totally safe- instead they tried to push us to take inflated cabs. They suggested activities we didn't want to do and seemed to hesitate when it was our choices we wanted help with. In general the hotel staff was nice but pretty slow.

4. The staff- the housekeepers, bell hops and bartenders were so nice.

5. The beach is awesome for the price- we got such a cheap package and were really in awe of how nice it was. The hawkers were pretty mellow on the beaches.

6. Daily you only get one beach towel and they are a bit warn (as are the sheets.)
The quiet pool was nice- we were not so into the family/ loud pool.
In general there is a lack of beach/ pool chairs. People seem to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve. We always found some but it wasn't easy.

7. The resort must have been built in the 70's or 80's with little updating we were fine with it. It felt clean but if you are looking for shiny and new this is not the place for you.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (508)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Just returned from 8 nite stay here . Didn't do all inclusive, great idea as food was below average. (We tried one meal at the Italian restaurant on arrival day=poisonous). Had a jr suite..plenty of room.no drawer space, but closet had shelves, very adequate storage overall. A/C wasn't working up to par, someone came immediately, cool enough to sleep, but it was a struggle. Bathroom small, but great shower..definitely needs updating. Adrian on beach guy to see for umbrellas, $10US/day. People get out there by 5:30am to get huts..DON'T BOTHER , umbrellas are fine. Jason best guy at reception. Had a massage at the spa, HEAVENLY. some days problems with towels, speak to reception in person! Main pool always crowded, never went there, as I am a beach girl. Worse part, NO INTERNET in rooms..but for last minute trip during high season..not so bad overall. Heard other people complaining about major plumbing and bug issues..reception handled it well. Overall, C+

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Rochelle, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Look...don't beat up on these guys. Jolly Beach never claimed to be anything but a decent 3-star resort. That's what you pay for and that's what you get...straight up! The beach is great, the buikldings aren't falling into the sea yet, the food won't kill you and there's pleanty of it, and the rum is the same they pour at Jumby Bay! Fact is it's a decent value....just expect what you pay for! 3 straight up stars for services and accommodations and 5 stars for value!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We visited Jolly Harbour at the end of January and after reading the reviews we had mixed feelings about what we would receive. It certainly isn't 5 star but everything you would want from a holiday is there. We had a standard room and it was clean, comfortable, a good sized bathroom with hot water every day and a more than adequate shower. No bath but we never use one anyway so no problem for us. There was also plenty of storage space. We were on the ground floor overlooking the pool so away from any noise from the evening entertainment.
The food was ok, nothing brilliant , but we never went hungry. Everything was there at the buffet breakfast.....cereals, freshly cooked omelettes of your choice, eggs cooked to your liking, sausages, bacon , breads, etc. We found all of the waitresses really friendly and helpful and they constantly asked us if everything was ok and did we need refills while we were having our meals.
The evening meals in Hemispheres tended to be a bit 'samey'.......Chicken done in various ways...... but we also tried the themed restaurants on a few occasions, the Italian being our favourite.
The best feature of this hotel has to be the beach!! After going on the circumnavigation trip on the Catamaran and picking up tourists at other hotels along the coastline, I have to agree with some of the other reviews and say that Jolly Harbour is the best beach on the island.
There is so much room you can be 20 feet away from other sunbathers.
What let it down for me was the evening entertainment The local dancers, although very good, seemed to do the same thing most nights but with different costumes on and you either love Karaoke or you hate it.
It was nice to have the Harbour within easy walking distance as it broke up the monotony of staying on the hotel premises. We sometimes, after evening meal, walked to the Harbour and had a coffee or a glass wine.
This was the first time we had done an all inclusive holiday in the Caribbean...we usually go on Cruises...but we both thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Although the hotel does not live up to the same standards of a cruise with regards the food and entertainment, you have to remember that you are in the Caribbean, where the standard of living is not as good as what we are used to back home. Go with an open mind and don't expect 5 star when you have only paid for 3 star!!
We loved Jolly Beach and would certainly go again.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking or around the main pool are the best positioned as they are near to reception and...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PEFFERLAW
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Absolutely loved this trip and highly recommend it to others. The county, beaches, water, people...everything absolutely incredible. I would go back again and again. We went for 2 weeks and thank goodness, 1 week is definitely not enough. I would actually go for longer than 2 weeks if possible.
The only reason that this hotel is classified as a 3 star is because the rooms are quite small and dated. We were not concerned by this as we don't spend time there.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Berwick, Maine
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

The bad first. We were shocked at the size and bare bones nature of our room. We tried to change rooms and were told that the cost would be a lot. The reservationist was quite rude and I told her that the best thing was that we had only six more nights to be at this resort. We decided to not let the room spoil our vacation and it didn't. The hotel is very old and shows a lot wear. It just needs a good maintenance overhaul. Now the good - we found all of the rest of the staff wonderful, warm, helpful and friendly. The food was excellent, although not a lot of choices. Good basic food and plenty of it. The beach is beautiful, however the surf was so rough that we couldn't swim in it. The red flag was up most of the time that we were there. The pools are very nice and clean. All in all we had a wonderful vacation and probably would return to this resort.

Room Tip: I would not choose the standard oceanview room again. I would upgrade to the next level.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilder, Vermont, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Won't belabor the good and bad points. Everyone is pretty much on the money. We were at Jolly Beach ten years ago and other then the small casino and the Greek restaurant is now Indian, not a lot has changed. I think my wife summed it up best, the resort is tired. The paint is fresh, the resort is spotless but the inner workings are in need of a facelift. During the course of our stay the resort lost power (2x), water, plumbing (2x), and assorted drink mixes, OJ, soda, etc. Antigua is a wonderful island and people and if you go to Jolly Beach for the weather, beach, ocean, friendly staff and relaxation, you won't be disappointed. If you're going to be pampered and get 5 star restaurants at a 3 star price, don't. We will be back.

Room Tip: Leave notes for the room service staff as to what exactly you expect. What we say and what they hea...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Jolly Beach Resort & Spa

Also Known As:
Jolly Beach Resort And Spa
Jolly Beach Hotel Bolans
Jolly Beach Hotel
Jolly Beach Resort
Jolly Beach Resort Antigua
Jolly Beach Resort All Inclusive
Jolly Beach Antigua
Jolly Beach
Jolly Beach Resort & Spa Antigua/Bolans
Address: Bolans Village, Bolans, Saint Mary's, Antigua
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary's > Bolans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 hotels in Bolans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Jolly Beach Resort & Spa 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The all-inclusive, 464-room Jolly Beach is an exceptional Caribbean experience. 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 watersports, activities, Jolly Kidz and Teenz Clubs, Think Jolly Family Program, 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 
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