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“not worth it!”

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Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“not worth it!”
Reviewed July 16, 2006

My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon at Jumby Bay. When we first arrived we were impressed at the room size and amenities. We had a huge one bedroom suite that was really charming. That's pretty much where the charm ended. The service and food at this resort are truly substandard. I'll start with the food. They advertise that there are 3 different restaurants, however when you arrive you realize that the beach bar and the verandah are basically the same restaurant, one open during the day, the other at night. Also, their supposed upscale restaurant "The Estate House" gets boring fast as the menu does not change much from evening to evening. In addition it is closed 2 days out of the week at which time you are forced to eat at the Verandah. On top of that, there are nights that the Verandah does not serve menu style rather it has a buffet which is stocked with mostly inedible food. There were times where I looked at the buffet and started to wonder why i was paying $1300 a night to eat at a waterfront Sizzler (calling it a sizzler is a compliment, by the way). In their defense the breakfast and menu style lunch at the verandah and beach bar are pretty ok; what you would expect from a 3 star all inclusive - NOT A 5 STAR, AND NOT AT THIS PRICE.
This hotel advertises itself as a 5 star. It is truly a 2-3 star at best. The next gripe is with the service. You must appreciate that this is a VERY small resort. Meaning that the staff to guest ratio is pretty good. When we were there, there were probably 50 guests in the entire resort and 20 guests on the beach at any given time. There were 2 bar men at the bar at all times but not at any time did anyone come up to us or any other guest and ask us if we would like a drink. If you wanted a drink you had to walk up to the bar and ask for it. At any other 5 star, there are waitstaff coming up to you constantly to see if you would like a drink. The service at the restaurants was average.

Like another review said, this place would be acceptable at $500/night, but at this price the service and food quality leave much to be desired. We were supposed to stay for 12 nights, but after 4 days of the awful service and awful food the thought of staying any lonnger was unbearable so we decided to take our business elsewhere.

In short there is nothing unique about Jumby Bay to justify the outrageous price

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Colroado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2006

We went to Jumby Bay to celebrate our ten year anniversary and chose it because of it's website boasting pampering, gourmet food, relaxation and luxery accommodations. What a disappointment and rip off!!!!! The rondeval room was ok; really enjoyed the garden shower. As for service & pampering, there really wasn't much of it outside of the restaurants and even that was below standards of a five star resort. Our food orders were forgotten a few times at breakfast and lunch. Dinner was ok, not alot of choice since it was the same menu each week with just a few specials and quite frankly some of the meals were prepared quite poorly. My husband was sick one day from his meal the night before along with a couple of other guests we spoke with. The front desk/concierge service was very rude and dispalyed an attitude of not really wanting to help us. And then there was housekeeping.What a disaster that was! We actually had to call twice to get our room taken care of, get fresh towels and restock the mini bar. We finally laid out $20 in hopes that it would improve and it did for one night at turndown but then they forgot us again the next day. The snorkeling they boast about is non existent. So if you're a snorkel lover like I am you can forget doing that. The final bill was definatley the grand finale. They tried to charge us for our airport transfers even though they were included in our vacation package, overcharged us for a day trip , and the kicker was that even though we received one night's free stay (which was their promotion with rondeval rooms) they tried to charge us for our meals on that free day. They stated that the lodging was free but not the food. We had to actually pull out our contract/itinerary from our tour company to prove that it was an all-inclusive stay. We had to state several times that we were not going to pay for meals before they finally deleted the charge. On the bus to the airport we discovered that they tried to overcharge several other guests also.
I have never experienced such a level greed as I did at Jumby Bay. It is very obvious that they cater to the owners/renters of the multi-million dollar villas on the island, as we witnessed, and really don't care for the first time guests. Not only did we experience the greed at Jumby Bay but the Island of Atigua as a whole. We will never go back! We did make the most of our vacation by enjoying the beautiful beach and the beach bar but were very glad to leave.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank dnwilliams24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2006

I am honestly a bit perplexed by some of the negative reviews of Jumby Bay. We spent the first four days of our honeymoon here at the very end of May. It was wonderful. We booked a Rondavel and were very pleased--it felt like we were in our own villa--great bed, hammocks, continuously stocked mini bar, double sinks, and a refreshing outdoor shower in its own court yard complete with palm trees. What's not to like?!! Actually, the AC was subpar and the birds start chirping about 4 am and don't stop--that's the price of seclusion.

The food. When I read complaints of the food here I feel like folks must have been at completely different resorts. We pick destinations specifically for the food and the cuisine at Jumby Bay is excellent. The estate house is beautiful. The only caveat is that the menu only changes slightly so if you are there for more than just a few nights, I could see it getting old. Breakfasts had all the staples plus wonderfully fresh fruit and some things you've never tried. I recommend trying everything because it is all good. Lunch is great, too. Bottom line is that you can very easily eat and drink the price of admission (which is admittedly hefty).

The staff. The staff was super friendly but at times less than helpful. That being said, most will know your names and your story (honeymoon, etc.) within two days. The staff considers the island a special place and most try to make you feel the same way. But, the Caribbean is the Caribbean so don't expect US or UK type service all the time becuase it just isn't going to happen.

The scenery. The island is dry. But, that's because Antigua is not as lush as the Grenadines or some of the other islands. The water here, however, is spectacular and teeming with life. They give you bikes to ride around and I reccommend checking out Pasteur Bay beach--you will likely be the only ones there and the water and coral formations are beautiful. Take the free snorkel trip.

The planes. Much has been made about the planes on different reviews. There are only a few jets a day and it's far from disruptive. In fact, it adds charm because you know that 99% of the passengers on that departing flight sat at average hotels for their Saturday to Saturday stay while you are lounging away in true paradise. The sound of a prop plane in the distance late in the afternoon while you're sitting on a secluded beach is quintessentially Caribbean.

One other point--we did not pay any type of transfer fee and did not touch our bags from the second we got off the the plane until we arrived at our next destination--St. Martin.

Those who take themselves very seriously will not fare well here. And, the price tag is hefty. I'd suggest just a few days because it's a small island and there are very few people. But, if you are looking for a relaxing, beautiful place to truly get away than this is for you.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank BostonLegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 20, 2006

When my fiance and I decided to have a destination wedding, we spent weeks looking for a place that would be special and accomodating to both our families. After a lot of research, we finally settled on Jumby Bay off the coast of Antigua. We visited the Jumby Bay website countless times and prayed the actual resort would somewhat resemble the fantastic pictures.

I can say, from the moment we arrived to catch the ferry over to Jumby Bay to our last minute on the island, this was the best vacation any of us have ever been on. The staff was friendlier and attentive, the rooms were unbelievable and the food was delicious. Like many of you, I read a lot of reviews before going and I can't understand how anyone could say a bad thing about this place.

Because we had 7 couples on the trip, we stayed in the 3 bedroom Hummingbird Villa and the 4 bedroom Alamanda villa. These villas are amazing. We've all stayed at other 5 star hotels (Grand Wailea in Maui, The Breakers, Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Four Seasons in Nevis) but these rooms were by far the best. We had giant open air common areas, our own kitchens, enourmous bedrooms with amazing outdoor showers surrounded by a garden wall. Jumby Bay provided us with 2 golf carts to get around the island when we didn't feel like riding the countless number of bikes. We had a private pool and private beach 100 feet out the back door. The summer is not the peak season, so it could get warm during the day (around 90 degrees) but that is to be expected and the water in the pool and ocean was refreshing. I also read that the bugs could be bad but none of us ever got a single bite and we never used the bug spray. Finally, we were all worried about the "inadequate" air conditioning but we were surprised to find that our rooms would get so cold that extra blankets were needed. I turn my thermostat down to 66 degrees at home and this was colder than that.

The food at Jumby Bay was much better than anticipated. I have found that all-inclusive resorts usually have a lot of food but not much of it is very good. That is definitely not the case here. After each meal, you would usually hear someone say they didn't eat one thing the didn't love. The buffet breakfasts and lunches were great and different each day and the dinners in the Estate House were fantastic. The house wines were good but we also ordered and paid for other bottles.

Finally, I was truly amazed at the level of service we received. From prior trips to the islands, I was prepared for the laid back island style but I can honestly say that I have never been waited on this well in any Ritz or Four Seasons. We never had to ask for anything and if we did, they would say "You can have anything you want." As I mentioned, we had our wedding there and a Jumby Bay representative was with us thru the entire process. When we went over to Antigua to get our marriage license she went, when we needed a ferry or taxi it was already arranged, when we needed to change spa appointment times or logistics of the wedding she said I'll take care of it, don't stress before your wedding. They were amazing.

I know it must sound like I'm a paid employee of Jumby Bay but I'm just a guy in Alabama who just returned from the best trip of his life. I would highly recommend Jumby Bay to anyone considering a Carribean vacation.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 18, 2006

Everyone claims this is such a beautiful island. Whether the island was going thru a draught or something I don't know but the entire grounds/grass were brown. The only exception were the plants around the immediate buildings. It wasn't lush & tropical but depressing looking off our patio to look out at acres of brown - desert like areas. We were surprised they didn't water the grounds.
For the most part this is a great resort as far as all inclusives go. If you want a tranquil,
elegant experience it is well worth the extra expense to go with Jumby Bay over another all inclusive property.
The rooms were beautiful and well tended and stocked. The beds are heaven. I would book at least a Rondival - for the outdoor shower experience and the porch. The food is great - it is not your typical all inclusive fare. For breakfast & lunch there is a small buffet and can then order entrees off the menu. The staff is friendly and helpful. The clientele
more upscale than most all inclusive properties.
Two Complaints:
Room service supposedly goes til 10pm but when we called at 945 were told it was already closed. Secondly, they charge you $100.00 for airport transfers yet you have
no other means to get to the hotel. Somehow, I'ld rather see that hidden in the room rates
and not spelled out. Once we had checked out, we were somewhat on our own for
baggage handeling and confusion to get us to the airport.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2006

Awful food (menu never changes), shambolic service (sluggish and rude), sub-standard rooms (no AC), too noisy (right opposite the airport) and full of mosquitos (pools of water collect when it rains and it's simply intolerable). Worst of all, for the money you're paying this place is a rip off!! It needs a complete change of management.......

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank NJD1_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 16, 2006

We went because one of my friends was getting married, we just quickly booked somewhere where there were tickets available. But once we got there, we didn't want to leave. It was paradise! Just paradise! The food was the best food I have ever had; the rooms were 5-Star; the beach was ... an aquarium! There were tropical fish, quecumber fish, tadpoles (I think) amazing. The people there are very friendly, the staff and the guests. You can travel around the hotel by bike or buggy. Oh yes I forgot to mention that it is on it's own a private island and you get to Antigua by a boat. It was the most beatuful place I've been.

A 5-Star paradise. Fantastic.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort

Property: Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort
Address: Jumby Bay Island | P.O. Box 243, St. John's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#1 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#1 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#2 Family Hotel in St. John's
#2 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#4 Business Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A 300-acre private island located just two miles off the coast of Antigua, Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort casts a spell of serene enchantment. A naturalist's haven that plays host to a variety of wildlife a midst the tropical foliage and pristine, white sand beaches, this all-inclusive hideaway is recognized world-wide as a private island resort paradise. With 40 luxurious resort rooms and suites, and a host of privately owned residences, Jumby Bay's exemplary hospitality is something that has long been lauded by the Caribbean's most discerning travelers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Hotel St. John`s
Jumby Bay Antigua
Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort Antigua/Saint John Parish

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