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“Budget paradise!”

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Jolly Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Milford on Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
145 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Budget paradise!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2012

Have just returned from 2 weeks at The Jolly Beach - 24th Dec '11 - 7th Jan '12. Feel compelled to write a review as many complaints are exaggerated in our opinion. When you book a 3 star resort, you don't get 5 star accommodation or food; the Jolly Beach delivers exactly what it says on the tin.
Yes the accommodation is a little tired but we upgraded to a king superior and on arrival were given a junior suite. 2 balconies overlooking the ocean, a sitting room, decent bedroom, good storage space but the bathroom needed updating. AC exceptionally good and you could rent a safe which was invaluable.

Great variety of food on offer - Italian restaurant (our favourite) where there is a dress code.....an Indian.....a seafood restaurant set on the beachfront and finally the buffet restaurant serving breakfast (banana bread was exceptional but unfortunately for us, not served ever single day!), lunch and dinner. At the pool, you also have the beach grill where you can pick up a toastie or hamburger type of snack. Plenty of food on offer - even afternoon tea at 4.30pm daily so what more can you ask for? The all inclusive option was great value for money when you consider the amount of meals and drinks on offer plus the range of watersports.

I was expecting cheap and nasty wine being offered but instead we have good quality wines and sparkling wine too...and endless replenishments! Drinks at the bar - well you could have anything you wanted but obviously house brands.

The beach is to die for - beautiful white sand....shells at the edge of the water but sandy floor once in. Clean and tidy and the vendors don't hassle at all. They are all very polite and once you say no thank you, they leave you alone. But if you wish to look at what they are selling, you can, but you don't have to buy.

There's a gym and spa too - we didn't use the spa but were in the gym each morning (except Xmas Day and NY day) at 7.15am! Good range of equipment and weights in a reasonably cool environment.

What makes this resort really stand out are the staff. All the staff, in all areas, are wonderful people; genuine and hospitable and nothing too much trouble. I'd like to mention a number of them in particular, as they really made our two weeks:
Ruth Xavier - a truly superb employee (wine server & waitress) who we loved to bits.
Chantelle, 'tall Sharon', Sharon W, Tenesha & Claudette - all brilliant waitresses.
Clovis, Joice and Neil - great bar tenders with personality and "cheeky chappie Rowan" who collected bar glasses on the beach and at the bars.
Tracy - supervisor at Lydia's seafood restaurant and Louis - supervisor at the Italian.
Finally, Lisa who you booked the restaurants through - an absolute gem of a lady.
Thanks to all of you for making our holiday so memorable - we loved you all and would return in a heartbeat!

So finally, if you are looking for a great value for money holiday, in a superb location, then
The Jolly Beach Resort ticks the boxes. So stop complaining about such small points and experience an excellent 3 star resort!!
Tracy & Colin.

Room Tip: Would advise to upgrade from standard rooms. King superior has bath tub and shower, junior suite has...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
41 Thank TracyH791
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,214 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,030)
Date | Rating
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2012

Our stay at this resort was very ernjoyable. The rooms were kept clean and the utilities (A/C, TV, Bathroom facilities, Bedding, etc.) services were of normal acceptance and very well maintained. However, our room (standard) was somewhat cramped (not much space to move around in). The resort and its facilities are somewhat of an ancient nature. The room contents (furniture and utilities) were somewhat old and worn but operable. The restaurants were average in terms of menu selection and savoriness of the meals. The opening days of the restaurants requiring reservations we felt were too limited. Also not a great deal of variety in the buffet restaurant (adequate at best), however, the food was well prepared. The staff was very pleasant, responsive, and very professional throughout the resort. The resort grounds were well kept. The beach was excellent and the ocean was very calm on most days (the beach and ocean conditions are a high priority for us). We would consider going back to this resort; however, I would definitely seek to get a larger room.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CjtBjt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue Point, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2012

We stayed at Jolly Beach Resort December 24-31, 2011. It is a good, solid 3-3 1/2 star resort, definitely worth the money.

Beaches & Sandals is isn't, but we weren't looking for that nor did we want to pay that kind of money.

The beach is in great shape, they are keeping the grounds nice, and were repainting several areas that were in need of it. The staff is as friendly and pleasant as any we have met in the Caribbean over the past 18 years. The guys at the water sports were really helpful.

Beach vendors are not as intrusive as some places and are pretty good at taking "no" for an answer

Food is good, though not great in the buffet--but breakfast in the buffet was very good. Restaurants are pretty good, but you have to make reservations for them. Really enjoyed both the food and atmosphere at Lydia's on the beach. Drinks are about the same as any all-inclusive, but the cups are small so you have to make the effort to go get a refill.

For a diversion, it was a nice walk over to Jolly Harbour.

First time in Antigua. We will probably try another island next, but would return to Jolly Beach Resort.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mk H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2012

The beach was spectacular. The wedding we attended there was great – their wedding setup seemed top-notch, including the rehearsal dinner and the reception. Everything else had a lot of negatives. The rooms are cheap-hotel quality. The food is almost all buffet, with very little variation. There are two restaurants with premiums but it wasn’t easy to book them, and it seemed like the same food as the buffet, just served fancier. For example, in the premium Italian restaurant, the Caprese salad had a slice of pressed sandwich-type mozzarella on it, even though the menu said it was fresh mozzarella. Getting a chair or umbrella on the beach is mysterious – I couldn’t tell if the people who helped with setup were part of the resort or “independent.” There are a lot of people walking up and down the beach selling things, such as jewelry, as well as jet-skis and activities. Having said all of that, if you are a young adult who is looking to drink, party on the beach, and spend time with your friends, and you want it to be inexpensive, this is the place for you. We went for a wedding and had a perfectly nice time; but it helped that we moved onto a fancier resort for a few days before leaving the island.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank julieAskimagine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Bolans hotels

London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2012

Have stayed at Jolly on more than one occasion, within a large group, (120+ this time) playing in an annual football tournament. Majority of Our party are airline staff (and much travelled). Returned from this trip with a very very sick 3 year old child,he suffered sickness, diarrhoea, etc. Along with many others within our party. Since returning to UK, and numerous visits to GP's and E mails back and forth between, us and The Jolly,to resolve situation have been basically called liars by Jolly Management. This after 5 consecutive years staying at Resort!!!!!! Hotel has dropped off the Barometre in OUR opinion, NEVER AGAIN

Room Tip: yeah easy, just move approx 20kms East, to the Verranda Hotel
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Martin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2012

I was a little worried booking this place because of some of the bad reviews I looked at before we left. I was well aware of ALL the previous complaints and made note of all of them. Well, me and my boyfriend just got back (1224-12/31) from one of the most amazing trips ever. If you're snobble and think you are high class and think you need to be treated like royalty, then this is not the place for you. I've come to realize some people are never happy. The worst thing about our trip was the rude vacationers that think they are high class. People on here are complainging about the sand flies on the beach? Are you serious? They are on EVERY beach. Why is that the hotels fault? This place is very typical for a Caribbean resort and hotel. It's all stecko with nice arches and yes you can hear your neighbors from time to time if you liston really hard. We never had a problem and we went to bed at 10 every night. The beds are the only complaint. They are very hard. We stayed in a standard room (good size) facing the pool and ocean away from the lobby and entertainment so it was quiet for us. Everything worked great in our room. There was always more then enough food every day. Seafood was good, Indian food was good and the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner filled my belly every day, so obviosly it was good. When it comes to buffet, you must be willing to try new things or you won't appreciate the effort they went through trying to feed such large amounts of people. They always had food and deserts. I did see people complaining and I just didn't get it, but then again they just looked like miserable people to begin with. The free drinks where great. Of coarse it wasn't your top shelf rums and vodkas, but it was all you can drink and included. Charles and Robin worked there butts off trying to keep up with the 10 people that would walk up for a drink at a time and this one women was rude and crabby cause he didn't know how to make some fancy drink I never even heard of. Give me a break. He tried and she was snotty and rude. Maybe she should have spent more money and went else where. The beach was amazing too! Like I said before, the other people where the only problem. They would go down to the beach somewhere before 7am, throw a beach towel on a lawn chair under shade and leave it unattended for HOURS while they went back up stair, got ready, went and ate breakfast, maybe refresh in there hotel room again or tour the island, then decided to show up at their "I'm special" reserved lawn chair just for place to sit their butts on for the day spot. It was horribly rude of them all and annoying. By 7:30am every morning, you couln't find a chair without a towel on it and the beach was empty. I recommend this trip to everyone except them rude people. I guess I'm justa little bit more down to earth then them. For the price we paid (which I thought was real cheap) we got a lot.

Room Tip: Room away from entertainment are quieter.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Laura1laura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

After reading reviews about Jolly Beach, we felt quite anxious however we enjoyed our holiday enormously. We stayed in a Superior room with two queen beds which was quite large enough for 2 grandparents and grandaughter. Room was spotlessly clean, bathroom was dated but had a good shower and other facilities were clean and in working order. Plenty of food, lots of choice. As we were staying with three young children we ate mostly in Hemisphere restaurant, we had one very nice meal in the Italian restaurant. Grounds, swimming pools and beach all brilliant. Staff couldn't do enough to make our holiday one to remember, good entertainment. Entertainment staff worked all hours and were always happy and making sure everyone had a good time. Plenty of sunbeds.
Cannot understand negative reviews.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TheKings123
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

Property: Jolly Beach Resort & Spa
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 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 #2 of 3 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):
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 
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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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