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“Had a great time” 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 website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Bolans
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Had a great time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

Just returned from jolly beach
The hotel was very quiet as the busy season did not start yet.
Room was a little small and dated but I only sleep there anyway , most of time spent on beach. No problem getting a beach chair. Keno thanks for the tequila, had a great time. Took the island tour with Marcus, learned a lot about the island and the black pineapple he got for us was excellant, thanks. Not a large variety of food but more than enough, never went hungry. Overall a very peaceful vacation just wish it lasted longer

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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2,655 reviews from our community

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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 (564)
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Faversham, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We travelled to Jolly Beach in October 2013 with our four children, two teenage boys and two under 7 girls. One of the drivers for choosing this resort was the promise of a kids club for the girls, and a teens club for the boys.
We booked the hotel via Virgin Holidays 6 months in advance, and at that time requested interconnecting rooms.
Two weeks before travelling I contacted the Virgin Concierge asking for confirmation of the interconnectivity, only to be told that this wasn't possible. I then contacted the hotel directly with the same results. I did not give up, and send many replies to all of their emails almost begging for the interconnectivity, they continued to insist that they couldn't accommodate our request.
Imagine my surprise when we turned up to be told that we had connecting rooms. Without them it would have been awful frankly. However as the hotel didn't even appear to be 50% occupied I am surprised it was so difficult.
Paying a $10 deposit for towels is no hardship, the towels are fine, you can take them on excursions with you, and you can swap them for clean fresh ones whenever you like.
Paying $3 per day for a lock for the safe seems a bit harsh, especially as the staff forget to lock you room when they leave, and anyone really can break in through the sliding doors if you are on the ground floor. the sliding door locks don't work.
Staff in Hemispheres failed to inform us on day 1 that we could order children's meals, so my girls were eating bread rolls and desert for 6 days until one of the staff accidentally let slip that we could order nuggets and chips for them.
By this time luckily Miss 5 had befriended Bradley, one of the managers, and she also scored some chocolate ice-cream for the both of them. He should be commended, if you go and need anything, find Bradley, he will help, and remember your name, and the names of all the staff as well, as far as we could tell.
We stayed in a room in the furthest block from the resort, in itself not an issue but quite a walk for the girls after dinner when they were tired. the room was fine, the aircon worked, and there was a fridge. bathroom dated but functional, we didn't need more than that.
Buy your own water from the supermarket at the Jolly Harbour.
The buffet dinners were a little like school dinners, our teen boys ate for England!
The teen club was non-existent, and my girls were the only ones to go to Kids club all week, they went on three afternoons and then didn't want to go again. I didn't blame them. Sharon who runs it was very nice, but it must get hard for her when no one goes, it is also tucked away at the back of the resort, not easy to find.
The daily 'what's on' notice on the board promised water sports / sailing lessons that didn't happen.
The staff at the poolside grill were amazing, always ready with a smile, and served everyone in turn, patiently and calmly, despite the rudeness of some of the patrons! It doesn't cost anything to say please and thank you people!
Non-resort people using the facilities and pool etc were annoying, putting towels on all the best poolside spots and then disappearing for hours on end. Not enough pool side umbrellas.
Getting a coffee or juice at breakfast took ages, goodness knows what it would be like if it was full, we ended up just going and finding our own.
Careful as you walk around the pool, it is slippery! ice rink when it rains, and just slippery other times.
Your all -inclusive stops at 12.00 on the day you leave regardless of the time you arrive, and of the time you are actually leaving, however you can keep your towels, and the resort will give you a room to shower and change before you go, and a complimentary buffet lunch in the restaurant.
It is a budget resort, it doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't, the pool is great, and the beach is fantastic. You just have to manage your expectations. We probably would go back if the opportunity presented itself, however next time we would know exactly what to ask for.

Room Tip: Ask for interconnecting rooms well in advance Go for the superior room, larger, and you'll get...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We have just arrived back from jolly beach. Yeas we read the reviews before going too. But i do have to say we had agreat time. The beach was fabulous, the sea wonderful and the people great. The hotel is dated but the room was clean and the shower fine. The air con unit was old but worked but the ceiling fan did not work at all. The hotel is 3* the gardens are beautiful i loved the mongoose running around but hated the birds at the hemispheres restaurant. the food on the whole was good but the italian restaurant was awful. My husband had to wear long trousers but the meal was far from italian too much garlic. the indian was ok as was the meal at Lydias. The resort was so quiet we had no problem getting sunbeds and we were the only ones on the beach. The beach vendors did not anoy us at all in fact crystal was very good for gifts.
The staff were excellent especially Jennifer at the concierge desk and neil at the bar. we thought we got our money's worth. just disappointed that at check out 12 noon we lost our wrist bands and could not have a drink . we left at 3.30pm my advice is find some friends with wrist bands or load up with drinks. We would go back. It was worth the money.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stafford, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

Read all the reviews both good and bad prior to going to the JBR on 26th October 2013. To the point... if you want 4 or 5 star then dig deeper and pay for it. Don't go to the JBR and expect to get 4 or 5 star..simple. We are a family with 2 daughters aged 12 and 14. We stopped in a superior room which worked fine for us. Toilet broke and TV remote packed up, both fixed within 2 hours. Air con was fine and no more noisy than any other Caribbean room we have stopped in. The buffet restaurant worked ok for us for breakfast, but we found it drab at night. Lydia's, Ustavs and the Italian restaurant all worked well for us with a high level of service, good wines, and a general feeling of being well looked after. The local beer ( lager ) is more than acceptable. There are birds flying around at breakfast time as there are at many Caribbean hotels, just don't leave your food unattended....not difficult really.
The beach and sea are fantastic. Yes there are some shells on the beach...and yes there can be a small drop in to the sea when walking in, this is standard on all of the beaches throughout the Caribbean we have been to. Water Sports were accommodating, and yes, the local beach vendors will ask you to part with your dollars, but a polite no thank you always does the job and we never felt threatened. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who has a genuine grasp on Caribbean hospitality.

Room Tip: Request a room away from main bar and reception.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
St. Helier, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013 via mobile

This is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in we had to check out at noon and our flight was not till 7pm if you wanted any food or drink you had to pay more money the hotel food was worst I have ever tasted it was cheap and nasty if you wanted a kettle or fridge in your room you had to pay extra no shuttle bus to st johns the capital if this is classed as three star hotel the people who revied it must be blind it could do with a make over it is more like a motel James lennie jresey channel islands

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
JollyManager, General Manager at Jolly Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 28, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent visit to Jolly Beach Resort and Spa. We are very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay with us and that your experience was less than pleasurable.

Our check-out time is 12:00 pm each day, at which time All-Inclusive bands will be removed. That being said, a later stay can always be arranged with the Front Desk or Concierge at a small cost.

We offer extensive menus in all our restaurants which cater to the needs of our guests. For persons with special requests and dietary needs, arrangements can be made with our servers and hostesses to have special meals prepared at your convenience - once you are willing to appreciate the extra time it would take to have these done to order. This option is even available in our buffet restaurant. Special requests can also be made through our Reservations Department when booking your vacation.

We also acknowledge that our standard room category does not provide a kettle or fridge. However, these items are available at a small cost and are free when booking our Superior Room and Junior Suite categories.

We do offer a personalized shuttle service to St. John’s for US$12.00 per person, return. This is arranged by the Front Desk and leaves the property everyday at 9 am and returns at 12:30 pm.

Thank you once again for your review of our services. Feedback from our guests is essential to our success and we view each review as a means to improve our future guest experiences.

General Manager
Jolly Beach Resort & Spa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dibden Purlieu, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

The holiday of a lifetime,absolutely fantastic,if we could afford it we would go back tomorrow.the people of Antigua are amazing.we spent most or our time on the beach getting to know the locals. Went on a cat trip round the island which was just amazing a really good way to see the island.we made loads of friends as everyone is so chilled out. We spent loads of time walking on the mile long beach,which was really clean, the water is cristal clear and so blue. The food at the hotel was plentiful and very good the staff all get to know you so quickly, they put hospitality in the uk to shame. The pools are cleaned daily,the gardens are immaculate and the gardeners are really friendly and will explain anything to you. You do need to take some sort of antiseptic cream or bug spray we took a 50% deet spray and we had next to no bites!we also gave loads away?we had a 5 hour delay going home and had to have extra time on the beach what a shame,

Room Tip: Get an upgrade as you have more room,even though we only slept in it as you are always out
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  • Stayed June 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Hamilton, Canada
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

This is a bit scattered since it's been 9 months since we went, but I wanted to share anyway, because we're planning to return in January:
If you are familiar with the Caribbean, this is a typical 3* resort. It's fairly basic and quite dated. We found the room clean, the staff pleasant. The shower was really crappy, but not dirty - just cramped and the shower head was disastrous. The bathroom got drenched every time we showered. Our A/C had no shut-off so we left the patio door open most of the time or else the room became a refrigerator. The food is nothing special, but there is plenty and we didn't get sick. Avoid the pool/beach bar - we found the service there was not great. The swim-up bar was not in use when we were there. The bar outside the main restaurant was best. Bar staff was very entertaining and the drinks were good. Of the a la carte restaurants, we only tried two...Indian was amazing. Italian was good but the night we were there, there was a large group of really obnoxious Americans who kind of spoiled it. When they left the whole rest of the diners applauded. Seriously. There's a reason American tourists get their bad reputation...There were lots of Canadians and Brits at the resort. We met a lot of great people. The entertainment was decent. The beach bonfire night was wonderful. We loved it.
THE BEACH IS 10 STARS. Really. It's extraordinary. There are some vendors on the beach, but if you are polite but firm, they are respectful. The pools are also really gorgeous.
Don't bother paying for airport transfers. When you arrive at the airport, you go outside and ask at the taxi stand for Jolly Beach. Taxi fares are standardized in Antigua so they won't rip you off. They load you into a van along with anyone else going there or to the resort nearby and for 30 USD (for two) you get a ride to the resort.
We took the bus (the REAL public bus) into St. John's one day and got a real taste for how Antiguans get around. It was very memorable and ridiculously cheap. Under 5$ US for TWO people. If you're lost or unsure of anything, locals are very friendly and willing to help. There is fancy, touristy cruise-ship type shopping right down by the docks. It was nice to browse, but pricey and geared towards the 50+ cruise ship tourists. We wandered all throughout St.John's and had a more authentic experience. Cheaper things and more local flair. There's also a farmers market that was fun to visit. The island is beautiful, the people are friendly. We felt very safe.
There is a bit of shopping a couple of restaurants and a grocery store just outside the resort main gate. That's where we got on the bus into town. There are taxis or a shuttle if you're not feeling adventurous, but we honestly thought riding the bus was one of the most fun, memorable things we did on our trip.
We did one day of sightseeing in a rental car. DO THIS. It was awesome. Just don't expect to get anywhere in a hurry and beware the somewhat fuzzy tourist maps that are missing roads...again, an adventure. Go to Shirley Heights, Falmouth Harbour, Nelson's Dockyard, Devil's Bridge, Half Moon Bay. Swimming was lovely at Half Moon Bay, but the best part was walking along the cliffs with the waves crashing and then having a secluded swim in the next bay over. There was a security guard for the nearby resort there but he didn't mind us swimming.
The little roadside restaurant at Half Moon Bay served great local fare for a low price. We got to Devil's Bridge near sunset and the view was just gorgeous.
BOTTOM LINE: If you want to get to Antigua on a budget, this is the right place for you. We'll go back. I'd love to go to Sandals, obviously, but at our price-point, we would still rather return to Antigua and stay at the Jolly Beach than go to Mexico or the Dominican and get a much fancier resort for the same price. Keep your expectations for the resort in check. It puts food in your belly and drinks in your cup and it's a clean place to lay your head at the end of every incredible day. We're counting the days until we go back.

  • Stayed January 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 11
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

Address: Bolans Village, Bolans, Saint Mary's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary's > Bolans
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Bolans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Jolly Beach Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 464
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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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/Bolans

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