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“OK But Some Downsides” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Jolly Harbour Villas

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Jolly Harbour Villas
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 1793, St. John's, Antigua   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 20 hotels in St. John's
Crewe, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
“OK But Some Downsides”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

We stayed in a private rental on the North Finger.
The resort feels safe and many of the private villas are well kept.The supermarket on site is definitely a bonus - and with careful attention to pricing you need not pay the earth to eat - though that said its almost as cheap to eat out for a main meal, as to to cook one yourself...and definitely avoid the familiar branded makes of pizzas and other pre-packed foods etc.
However, in all honesty I would not stay here again mainly due to; firstly the mossies - we were never able to enjoy sitting out in an evening due to begining bitten intensively. Thinking about it possibly the worst place for mossies is to be near an area of still water....on which most of the development is based ! Possibly if the villa was located beach front (VERY expensive) or on the open harbour area we might of faired better ? We will never chose a harbour development again when selecting a villa.
Second, we did get fed up with the intensity of the beach sellers and hawkers on the south beach. The North beach is much smaller and quiet, but we were somewhat put off by the native tarantula like spiders.
Would recommend the Italian on the North Finger - lovely hospitality and great food.

Room Tip: Beach front or open harbour facing to try to avoid the mossies which are intense in the evenings.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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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158 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

A purpose built Marina complex with a range of properties set in beautiful surroundings. Spacious apartments line the marina and some face directly onto a stunning beach.

Tips.

make sure your bedrooms have blackout blinds or shutters as the sun is bright from 6. 30 am.

Recommended are properties on the "South Finger" as they are nearer the main beach and shops. But it's no great hardship if you hire a buggy to get around.

Lots of tour guides will organise you if you let them. Sales techniques are entertaining rather than intimidating. We used "Lennox fun tours" as our guide.

Buses are cheap and frequent and stop anywhere. They are quite basic so don't be surprised if the seats are a little tatty. Lots of small restaurants sit on or overlooking spectacular beaches.

Watch out for hurricane season which officially ends on 1 Nov. we had unbroken good weather from late October.


All in all a wonderfully relaxing place with lovely people and thoroughly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

If you're an Interval International member, I hope you've read MiLowe 35's comprehensive and very detailed review. He stayed in villa 232c in June, I stayed in that villa during September.

I agree, wholeheartedly, with all he said about the location; Jolly Harbour is a superbly kept gated community with a beautiful quiet beach and excellent facilities (tennis, swimming pool, shops, etc). I also echo his enthusiastic comments about Antigua and its people. Absolutely right.

However, I can't quite recognise his description of the villa, provide by OPBM for Interval International. Overall it was OK, but appliances (like the TV, fridge-freezer and cooker) were well past their useful life, and had features that were no longer working. Some of the fixtures and furnishings were in the same state (eg, slats missing from the blinds). Just not up to the standard you'd expect for Interval International.

We had the unplanned opportunity to sample another of the Interval International units operated by OPBM. We were moved from 232c to another unit half-way through our two weeks. The reason given was the need to refurbish 232c (that made sense). Unfortunately, the unit we were moved to was even more in need of refurbishment!

But don't be put off a holiday at Jolly Harbour. This was our second visit to the resort, having previously stayed at the all-inclusive beach-side complex - and we'll be back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Pasadena, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Stayed via Interval International in 247B on the South Finger of the island in a villa that would have been really nice if just a little bit of attention and effort had been paid by the management company, OPMI. As it is, the bed linen was old and ropey, the blinds in the second bedroom were filthy, the furniture was dated and old/broken, light bulbs were missing and upon arrival, we had to call to get the bathroom sink plug fixed. The kitchen was very poorly equipped and lacked the essentials for self-catering. Most surprisingly, in a place that was infested with mosquitoes, the screen door to the deck was screw-fixed to the door itself, rendering it utterly useless and I was bitten over 40 times in my first night there (before conducting chemical warfare on the little ******s.)

On the plus side, the beach was superb and the harbour beautiful. There are a couple of really great places to eat and drinkat a reasonable cost, in particular The Crow's Nest bar in the sports club and the Akropolis Greek restaurant, just outside the Jolly Harbour compound. Sadly though, there wasn't much in the way of Caribbean food on offer. The onside-supermarket can lack certain staples which most people take for granted- including fresh milk, but from what I've seen that tends to be an island-wide problem.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Loved staying here. The villa was right on the water with a deck out the back with moorings for a boat. It also came with a resident cat who liked to visit. Really chilled out place to come and go as you please. There's a shop where you can buy all your groceries. Would love to go back. Totally recommend it. Was there for a friend's wedding.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

We had our taxi driver drop us at Jolly Harbour / Castaway Beach for a couple of hours. The beach is stunningly beautiful. Great beach combing abounds with so many shells washed up on shore. Umbrellas and beach chairs for rent - they were wiling to haggle the price since we were only there for a couple of hours. It is cheaper to buy a beer or soda from the umbrella "guy" than at the restaurant. There were several vendors walking up & down the beach offering everything from hair braiding to massage, but they weren't too pushy. A simple "no thank you" sufficed for them to move on. The snorkeling wasn't as good as we'd had in other locations, but the wide view of the sea was enough to keep my eyes happy. Bathrooms were really gross. There was an outdoor fresh water shower.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Monticello, Virginia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

This review is for Interval Int'l or RCI time share exchanges. Jolly Harbour is a gated (w/ security guards) Resort Community. It has houses and villas located on Jolly harbour. The houses are privately owned as are the Villas. The villas have 3 categories, privately owned by individual or owned by HBK or OPBM. OPBM handles all Interval and RCI vacation exchanges. O.P.B.M. South Beach Vacation Villas http://www.opbmvillasantigua.com/reservations.html This was all VERY confusing to investigate before I left, so after having vacation - upon my return from my vacation, I came back to explain it to others. OPBM vacation villas are OUTSTANDING!!!! I cannot say enough nice things. I stayed in 232C on the south finger. I had rented a car at the airport and had my own parking space in front on my villa. The walk to the beach was a couple hundred feet away. The Villa is equipped with A/C unit on the 1st floor and in each bedroom. There is a master bed with a beautiful queen bed (4 poster teak) 2 teak nightstands and full dresser with mirror. Lots of closet and addit'l storage space. 2nd bedroom has 2 twin beds, rattan dresser and nightstands. Each bedroom has own bath w/ shower (no tub). There is an addt'l 1/2 bath on first floor. Living room couch pulls out into full bed. Kitchen has marble countertops, microwave, full oven and stove, side by side fridge. Only TV is in Living Room. US Cable service about 100 channels including movies. No game system or DVD/VCR. They are available for rent from office. Unit came with two bikes. If you do not rent a car you may want to rent golf cart to get back and forth to shopping area 1/2 mile away. if you rent a car, navigation in Antigua is unique and is for the adventurous with a sense of humor. Ask Directions frequently of locals - maps do not help as most roads only have street signs at major intersections (if you're lucky). The locals are OUTSTANDINGLY friendly and helpful. They are always in a good mood and want to help out the curious or the lost. Biggest suggestion - BRING FOOD!!!! The UK and USA food is shipped in to Island - this is represented in price. Bring all staples to fill pantry, aluminum foil, ziploc storage, condiments, coffee, sugar, cooking spices, canned, bagged or boxed ANYTHING!!! You will save yourself a fortune!. When possible shop in the locals grocery store instead of the tourist grocery store. The local bread is outstanding, do not feel the need to buy name brand bread. Bring a collapsable cooler and freezer blocks. This will help keep your drinks, sandwiches, snacks from frying in the tropical heat. If you shop the local stands or are arranging with locals for activites. Bartering is acceptable, be ready to walk away and ask the next local for accommodation. I loved loved loved my stay in my Interval World time share exchange - I would do again in a heartbeat!!!! ~~Tips~~ Bring powerstrip to plug in multiple electronics 1/2 outlets European 1/2 outlets US volts. Bring your own Beach towels for extra. if you rent a car, you need a temp license $25 US. OPBM charges $120 for maid service and Air Conditioning (this covers beach towels and daily maid service). Maid service was EXCELLENT. Bugs were almost non-existent in units. 1 ant, 1 beetle and 1 temporary fly. OPBM parking pass is $25 ($20 is refundable with parking sticker return). There is a tax to "leave" the country $25 per person over 12 years. If you rent a car, I found Hertz was cheapest (look for coupon on site) for one week $275 (incl'g taxes). Otherwise golf cart was $20 per day (rented at Jolly Harbour) or Scooter rental $40 per day. I was able to negotiate with locals for umbrella (normally $10 US) per day chair ($5 US) per person per day. I neg Umbrella for $5 and was happy to lay on towel in sand. 3 hours snorkeling $65 per person to Cades Reef. 2 jet skiis for 1 hour $120. This is because June is not tourist season so beach was not crowded in the slightest. 10 people at any given time. Dining out is extremely expensive. I recommend eating in for most meals and out on special occassions. Dress is casual at all times!!! Jolly Bay is protected from southern waves. It has gently lapping waves on beach and is crystline light tourquoise for as far as you can see. Not good for snorkeling (hazy from sand) but excellent for goofing off in every other way. inflatable water floats can very easily be used on this calm lagoon water. Don't forget the sun screen and lotion to moisturize burns!!! I traveled as a single parent with two teenagers and we didn't want to leave. Have fun - we did :)

Room Tip: I stayed in 232C - it was wonderful. Zero problems - all furntiure, appliances and extras in great c...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Jolly Harbour Villas

Address: PO Box 1793, St. John's, Antigua
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in St. John's
#10 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Jolly Harbour Villas 3*
Also Known As:
Jolly Harbour Villas Hotel St. John`s
Jolly Harbour Resort
Jolly Harbour Hotel
Jolly Harbour Antigua
Jolly Harbour Marina
Jolly Harbor
Jolly Harbour Villas Antigua/Saint John Parish

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