I have waited 2 weeks to write my review, simply because I was so disappointed I wanted to wait and give myself sometime to get over the disappointment and try to review this resort fairly.
My wife and I traveled June 27th thru July 5th. To characterize the type of travelers we are....we have expectations but not unrealistic expectations. First and foremost we are looking for fun and relaxation. We prefer all inclusive travel for the ease. We are not hard to please. We are not luxury travelers and look for value in everything that we purchase. We have been traveling to the Caribbean for 10 years and with exception of 1 year have been very successful in choosing the perfect place for vacation. We have traveled to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Barbados and now Antigua. All resorts have been excellent!!!! WITH EXCELLENT BEACHES
This resort was the exception to that. Usually disappointment happens when expectations are not met!!!! Before choosing Jolly Beach, we did our homework. We read reviews for the better part of 2 years on this resort. We read the good and bad reviews and were a little alarmed at the number of negative reviews. After several discussions between my wife and I we came to decision that maybe some of the bad reviews WERE FROM HARD TO PLEASE TRAVELERS. That their expectations were unattainable. So fully aware of what we were getting into....we lowered our expectation and felt like if we knew what to expect going in we would have no SURPRISES!!!! Besides nearly all reviews raved about the BEACH...WHICH IS WHAT WE LOVE!!! So let's start the review...
RESORT - TIRED, OUTDATED you hear that a lot in the reviews You also hear its a 3 star resort...3 STAR RESORTS ARE NOT THIS RUN DOWN. They may not have as many features and amenities as 4 or 5 star RESORTS...BUT THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT AMENITIES YOU OFFER YOUR GUEST AND THE UPKEEP AND THE OVERALL CONDITION OF THE PROPERTY. Literally, when we walked up to the front desk you understand how outdated and tired it is. It will take your breath away. Everything is run down.
LOCATION - PERECT
ROOMS - We had an ocean view king superior room, GRENADA 3008. The room was small and had no Furniture... not one drawer to put away your stuff...THE ONLY PLACE TO STORE YOUR CLOTHES WAS IN THE CLOSET ON CONCRETE SHELVES... We joked it must have been designed and built by CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA ( A PRISON CONTRACTOR) because everything was formed out of concrete...yes even the nightstands besides the bed. When you are staying for 10 days this is not enough space to store your clothes... So we lived out of OUR suitcase for our time here. Beds were hard and pillows were flat... bathrooms were small as well. UNACCEPTABLE...THIS ROOM COMPARED TO A $55.00 A NIGHT HOTEL IN THE UNITED STATES. But it had good water pressure and plenty of warm water
FOOD - AVERAGE TO BELOW AVERAGE at the buffet. Yes, you could always find something to eat... BUT THIS VACATION where we have paid for food. I want to eat something good not just FIND SOMETHING. The beach bbq was BETTER THAN THE REST and was the best meal of the week. But lets face it.....the bar is not that high!!!! The a la carte resturants were good. We ate at Lydias and the Italian resturants . The birds are ridiculous...I know it's the Caribbean and open and breezy--- we have been to other resorts where there were birds...but you can't leave your plate or they will get it. AT Hemispheres ( the buffet) they have chicken wire over the windows...which still does not work because birds still get in. At the grill by the pool, the sea gulls will knock the plate right out of hand. Once its out of your hand and on the ground they swarm. It happened almost everyday.
SERVICE - OUTSTANDING...the staff was great and very friendly.
BEACH - OUTSTANDING...BEAUTIFUL BEACH AND BEAUTIFUL WATER...we enjoyed our beach time and our walks up and down the beach
POOLS - NICE
POOL BAR - NOT FUNCTIONING...GREAT SET UP...BUT ONLY THE TOP PART OF THE BAR IS OPERATIONAL. THE BOTTOM PART WHERE YOU SWIM UP TO NOT WORKING.
VALUE - I KNOW THERE ARE DIFFERING VIEWS ON VALUE BUT THIS IS MY OPINION ON VALUE. VALUE TO ME IS WHEN YOU BUY 4 TIRES FOR $150.00 BUT THEY NORMALLY COST $400.00. THAT IS A VALUE.
BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW WHAT EVERYONE SPENT ON THEIR VACATION, I CAN NOT EVALUATE WHETHER IT WAS VALUE OR NOT....IN MY CASE THIS IS NOT A VALUE...I PURCHASED THE TRIP THRU CHEAPCARIBBEAN.COM AND PURCHASED IT IN MARCH 2014. THIS WAS THE MOST WE HAD EVER SPENT ON ANY VACATION WE HAVE EVER TAKEN TO THE CARIBBEAN...YET WAS THE MOST DISAPPOINTING...SO NO...IT WAS NOT A VALUE IN MY EYES.
MAYBE IF HAD PAID $1000.00 PER PERSON I WOULD SEE THE VALUE...BUT THAT WAS NOT THE CASE!!!!
TO WRAP THIS UP ------I WOULD NOT RECCOMEND THIS RESORT IN ITS CURRENT STATE...IF THEY EVER DECIDED TO SPEND ABOUT 1.5 MILLION DOLLARS TO UPDATE...THEN I WOULD ENTERTAIN THE IDEA OF RETURNING....BUT THERE ARE TOO MANY 3,4,OR 5 STAR RESORTS IN OTHER PLACES WITH BETTER AMENITIES IN BETTER SHAPE FOR FAR LESS MONEY..THAT I WOULD CHOOSE.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set among 40 acres of tropical paradise, Starfish Jolly Beach Resort is Antigua’s largest all-inclusive resort, featuring 464 rooms with private balconies or terraces surrounded by the stunning white sand and turquoise waters of Jolly Harbour, and lush tropical gardens. Enjoy the warm sun and the Caribbean Sea breeze, sail along the stunning waters, or explore the nearby golf courses and marina for an unforgettable stay in paradise. ... 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
- Starfish Jolly Beach Resort Antigua/Bolans