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“absolutely fabulous!”

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Starfish Jolly Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Reviewed April 30, 2009

Well my husband and I returned today from a two-week trip to this amazing place - i can tell you the holiday depression is bad! I have never been anywhere so beautiul with those vibrant blue waters and white sands, and comfortable hotel. The staff are fun and friendly and the food was of good quality and delicious.

We were over there to get married and I would not have had my day any other way, Beverley the wedding coordinator and her fantastic team (Isha and Elvis) went out of their way for us, making us feel at ease and offering us everything we could have asked for. The wedding venues were all beautiful and there is a fabulous choice of places to enjoy how you celebrate. We are awaiting our official photos and can't wait!

The only minus was the entertainment - fortunately for us they just happened to be hosting a disco for the guests the evening we got married. Also good fun was karoke night, and the dance troupe of young girls were excellent. They do a movie night by the pool which we enyoyed....but a few of the other nights were a bit hard on the ears!

Our room was amazing - we got upgraded as soon as we got there to a two - roomed apartment with two balconys, very clean, the house keepers keep a good ship. We made a lot of friends and everyone is so relaxed and laid back. And the location is perfect. Jolly Harbour is a 2 minute walk and there are taxis on hand all the time and a bus stop just outside - which I highly reccomend! Definately go to Shirley Heights and a boat cruise around the island...it is beautiful. We are saving to go back for our anniversary next year, i feel attached to OUR wedding gazebo! its awful saying goodbye to it!
The pools were beautiful and well managed and the cheeriest bar staff, big selection of drinks and I'm a big drinker!!

I dont know who gives this place such bad reviews but it really disheartened us - turns out we should've just ignored the bad comments because its all a load of rubbish.

Oh i highly reccomend to eat in Lydia's restaurant.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank want-to-go-back-NOW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,265 - 3,271 of 4,495 reviews

Reviewed April 29, 2009

I absolutely loved this resort, as did my husband and 2 teenage boys!
I read the reviews before going, and was a bit unsettled. I have to say I do not agree with the bad reviews..We found the food in the buffet very good, as was the food in the a la carte restaurants. The beach is stunning, and the resort and grounds were lovely. The staff was very friendly, and always wanted to help out! You have to remember these people work very hard, and barely make a buck! The two swimming pools were amazing! The rooms were a bit on the small side, but who cares? They were clean and had a huge balcony..which I loved! The watersports hut was awesome! Anything you wanted, you got! Plus lessons! The evening entertainment was fun...we were down every evening, and really enjoyed it! The island is so pretty...take a trip into town, you will really love it! I really enjoyed our time there, and wouldn't hesitate to return!....

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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5  Thank ANNVICTORIA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2009

It is a 3.5 star hotel, it is that and more. The food is great in all resturants, the staff can not do enough to make your holiday wonderful, the rooms are typically caribbean, but clean and lots of hot water, everyone of them faces the ocean, their is entertainment, but don't excpect to be clubbing to 3am, it is a beautiful, relaxing holiday. the sailing trip around the island!!! is a must!!!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank staffybath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2009

Wasn't sure what to expect based on reviews. We were pleasantly surprised. The place is big and pretty and clean. The staff was fine. They did their jobs in a professional manner what more could you want. The AI was fine. Drinks were not watered down at all. The rooms were fine. They weren't the Ritz but they were clean.

We did the copter ride to the volcano, worth every penny. The wadadli cat around the island was awesome. We did Elmo's drive tour of the island and loved it. He is very informative and the lunch at the end at turner's beach was great. Would highly recommend this tour.

GREAT BEACH!!!!!

All in all, we went in not knowing what we were getting into and had a really good time. I would go back to the JBR and to the lovely island of Antigua.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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5  Thank beithnewjersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2009

I stayed at the Jolly Beach for "business' . The rooms were small but you only go there to sleep anyways..there is so much to do that you will not being spending time in there anyways. The staff were friendly...and entertaining...the food was good...always a variety...The cups were small but it was still great not to have to pay for every little thing...i played beach volleyball, water volleyball, ping pong, jet skiing, snorkling at the reef...sunning...met lots of people...great night life...it is really what you make of your expirience.....I would go back again...you walk out your room and the beach is there with the clear blue waters and awesome sunsets!!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled on business
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4  Thank swampdonkey71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2009

I just got back from a week at JBR travelling as a woman on my own. I as others did, read reviews and was warey about what I was going to get..... I had absolutely no need to worry! I am unsure what people are looking for.. its three stars...

I was in a standard sea view room, fantastic view of the sea, beach and gardens, whilst the bathroom was tired, the room was fine, how much wardrobe space do you want? - there was double hanging space, plenty of hangers, shelves - side ledges and dressing table(no drawers in the room) made of painted white concrete... but what a slick idea rather than wood - easy to paint!

Food ... I only ate in Hemspheres one evening- this is the basic buffet restaurant - choice is limited and it feels like a cafeteria - however - get booked in to the Inidan, Lydias and the Italian - and you have table service and its a whole different experience. Don't expect Michelin star standard food... you will be disappointed.... but it is absolutely fine - and Ive done plenty of the Michelin!!
The birds at breakfast - so what... if you saw what went on at home in hotel restaurants and kitchens it would put you off food for ever at least you can watch the birds!

To be honest can't comment too much on the entertainment - by the time I ate and got to the bar, chatting to people - it was always background stuff, until you wanted to join in, dance... again - you are not in Las Vegas.. Others seem to enjoy the disco night, and the "Ideal Couple night" ( its about the company you are with and having a laugh with or at people in a nice way) I did catch the bonfire and dancing on the beach - so effective and different!

Staff - I believe people expect it all to be one way when they say staff were rude - if you go out of your way to ask the staff how they are doing, and smile rather than just waiting for them "to be nice to you" it goes a long way - yes there was the odd miserable one...so what - if you let that spoil your holiday you have not got enough going on in your head.

The beach is fantastic ,- always a lounger and always your own space - agree that vendors leave you alone with a polite no thanks - is the odd cheeky one who will sit on your lounger and ask you to get a drink - if you just say no its fine. The sea is milky - hard to explain - although snorklers say its not good for that, the colours are the best I have seen anywhere including Maldives, other Caribbean islands..

Went to Shirley Heights(Sunday), not on hotel shuttle bus as that returned at 8:30pm and I'd heard after the tourist head off, the local people are out dancing - so got a taxi with a couple - $US80 - whether 4 or one in the taxi - return - you tell the guy when you want to come back - he sits and waits - you get up there for the sunset - from around 4:30pm - but to be honest nothing beats the sunset on Jolly Beach - fantastic!!

I would not hesitate to return - felt safe and everything to hand, 5 minute walk to the harbour, or up along the beach to beach bars near the villas - all you need!!

Did helipcopter tour of Island, at $US 165 I would say try ot stipulate you want window or front seat with pilot - it got middle seat - and feel I shoul have had a discount - I could see, but taking photos etc - I was leaning across another passenger - fine if you are with then - but when they don't offer to lean back and let you get some pics you feel a little cheated! However glad I did it for the experience and would be a little wiser on where I sit next time - although I believe weight distribution is taken into account as well in seating.

Enjoy this hotel and this lovely island!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled solo
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5  Thank Angraf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2009

After reading several reviews on this Hotel, I was apprehensive to say the least. However my fears were unfounded.
We stayed in a King Superior room, and it was basic but clean, included were coffee maker and fridge which were handy. There was a small safe in the wardrobe which cost $3 us per day, not too expensive.
We mainly used the Hemisphere restaurant for our meals and found that the choice was very good, the staff were really attentive and friendly. Evening times the wine flowed freely, constantly glasses topped up with the red/white of your choice. Only once did we use Lydia's beachside restaurant for a sunday brunch, which was buffet style but again really good choices.
Evening entertainment was really first class for this standard of hotel, something going on every night.
The Jolly Harbour next door had a few bars and a big supermarket if you needed it for anything that you had forgotten.
Beach....wonderful .......beach vendors were not a problem and took no for an answer with a smile on their face.
All in all couldnt really fault the hotel, except it would have been nice to have glass drinking vessels in the evenings rather than plastic beakers (which is understandable during the day around the pools)

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with friends
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8  Thank Jethro49er
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Starfish Jolly Beach Resort

Address: Bolans Village, Bolans, Saint Mary's, Antigua (Formerly Jolly Beach Resort & Spa)
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: $167 - $543 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Starfish Jolly Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 464
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

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