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“Two major dealbreakers”
Review of Jumby Bay Island

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Jumby Bay Island
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 1, 2010

It's a gorgeous property. Not just the locale - which is stunning on its own, but the level of service and attention to detail elevate this resort to truly admirable heights. There are two major reasons, however, why we would not be returning.

1. The beach is barely swimable. I've been so diligent about reading the reviews posted here, and not even one bothered to mention this: the water on the beach is full of seaweed, which makes it a huge dealbreaker for anyone who, like us, list swimming in the ocean as No. 1 activity of any beach vacation. Eventually, we found a spot where we could make a few steps without getting into all the grass, but it's literally several steps and a tiny spot of entry & exit. Yes, it's a pretty beach, but what's the use if you can't really enjoy swimming in the water?

2. Bugs! And I'm not talking mosquitos. Some tiny creatures that you don't even see - and got covered in red welts by the time we left the island. Yes, they provide Off! in every room - and, even better, I brought a very sophisticated portable bugs-defense system with me - all to no avail. Our first clue should have been the lush vegetation of the island -- wherever it's that green, they must get a lot of rain, and a lot of rain means bugs! Of course, bugs is something you have to deal with in every tropical climate, but some islands are better in this regard because they are relatively bare (Aruba, Turks & Caicos), and some are worse - and this one is probably the worst I've seen in my lifetime.

If these two points don't bother you too much, however, I will provide some other details, all of which are good. All the three restaurants serve up amasing cuisine (we liked Pool Grille the best for lunch, as it gets a little hot and humd at lunch time at the Veranda; as for dinner, we actually preferred the Veranda, since the Estate House dinners take forever and are not always consistent in their quality). The drinks are strong and plentiful -- there is alsways someone around willing to bring you another. They have a regular shuttle running to Antigua every hour like clockwork -- we made it to Antigua for dinner once (went to Sheer - not bad, but not as spectacular as the reviews would have you believe), and the hotel arranged all the transportation and went all out to make sure everything was as comfortable as could be.

We stayed at the courtside suites. They have stunning ocean views, but the terraces are not that private yet (you can see people staying next to you on their terrace), which, I guess, with time would get better once the vegetation kicks in. Just to show you the level of service -- once we complained about lack of privacy, we were offered a more expensive pool villa (which we did not take b/c it lacked the stunning ocean views we had in the courtyard suite), and the resort manager also offered to put some potted plants to get us some privacy. The rooms are well furnished, if not a little stark in the all white-decor. The fridge was always stocked with sodas. The walk to the beach is literally a couple of steps through the Pool Grille and its stunning infinity-pool-enhanced views. There are always golf carts available to drive you around the island, so getting tired is never an issue.

All and all, my bottom line is this: if you take this resort, and put it somewhere with a better beach & fewer bugs, I'd never leave.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank LAgirl5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JumbyBay, Manager at Jumby Bay Island, responded to this reviewResponded June 10, 2010

Dear LAgirl5,

We’re glad you enjoyed the new courtyard suites and dining experiences, all part of our recent renovations that launched this past year. We take great pride in our private island locale and are constantly working to preserve our destination. The seaweed you speak of is actually sea grass that grows offshore and works to protect the environment surrounding the beaches of Jumby Bay. While we typically enjoy 300 days of sunshine, there was a storm before your stay which may have contributed to an unusual amount of sea grass in the water and on the sand. To further that point, we’re a flat and dry island that rarely has any issue with bugs, which the recent rain may have also contributed to. Again we thank you for your feedback and four star review and hope to welcome you back soon.

Best Regards,

Andrew Hedley
Managing Director, Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort

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492 - 498 of 645 reviews

Reviewed April 27, 2010

Jumby Bay isn't perfect, but it's not far off. The all-inclusive deal means that you just relax and wander about, having great food, hanging out wherever you fancy (except for the private bits of the island).

The airport is close by, and you hear a few planes now and then, but it's not that intrusive. The view from the beach (which some have criticised) is fine. Overall the service is fantastic - attentive (almost too attentive!), friendly, helpful.

The facilities are great - a good lap pool, great beach, watersports and tennis, internet (PCs available and wifi throughout), bars, bikes. The suite we stayed in was one of the best I have ever seen.

The island itself is great to run around in the morning before it's too hot, and quite spreadout.

One final thing - we thought we were going to be stuck in Antigua due to the volcanic ash, but we were told we might be able to get a seat on a BA flight at the last minute. Jumby Bay staff were amazing. It was above and beyond what you normally expect from a hotel. The calm and professional way that they helped us get to the airport and got us on the flight, and even whisked over the things we had forgotten in the room before we left, was superb. In what was a mad rush, they exuded calm and good sense. I was totally impressed. For that, they get 10/10.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rjsm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JumbyBay, Manager at Jumby Bay Island, responded to this reviewResponded April 28, 2010

Thank you for your review! We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. We are continuously striving to provide the best service possible on our private island paradise. We look forward to your return visit and we hope to welcome you back soon to Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort!

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Reviewed April 26, 2010

'Welcome to Paradise' is what they say when you first arrive at Jumby Bay. And, after 11 nights with my wife in a Beachside Courtyard Suite, we have to agree. Jumby is really a very special place. Our suite was as good as any we've stayed in (with possible exception of La Residence in South Africa). The main beach, where we spent most of our days, is just about perfect - creamy white sand and warm, clear turquoise sea (with an amazing number of starfish). We loved hearing the laughing gulls and watching the pelicans fishing. The Verandah, overlooking the beach, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and is good. The Estate House is the better of the two restaurants for dinner and is sublime, and certainly up there with The Cliff in Barbados - consistently excellent food and top notch service. The Pool Grill is new and offers lunchtime snacks, it is also the best place to view the beautiful sunset (although strangely the bar closes at 6pm so you're left without a drink!) There are no cars on Jumby so transport around the pathways is by golf buggy or, far more fun, bicycle (provided for all guests) - every day before sunset we rode around the island, peeking at the fabulous private houses and enjoying the calm, the birds, the views, the smells - we really felt like it was our own private island. To be picky, occasionally service can be a little slow, but you have to remember that a) this is the Caribbean and b) you're on holiday so why be stressed ? All in all Jumby Bay is a fabulous place to be and we were very sad to leave.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank New2Jersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JumbyBay, Manager at Jumby Bay Island, responded to this reviewResponded May 3, 2010

We thank you for your review and your feedback. We are glad to read that you enjoyed your stay with us, and we hope to improve our guest's experience even further. We look forward to welcoming you again and again on your return to Jumby Bay, A Rosewod Resort!

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Reviewed April 5, 2010

My wife and I went to Jumby Bay for our Anniversary. We did exhausting research on the Internet and it came down to Jumby Bay, Little Dix Bay and Cap Juluca, we could not be happier that we chose Jumby Bay.

We arrived in Antigua via San Juan and were met immediately by the Jumby Bay crew. We were taken by transport to the ferry dock and enjoyed a quick ride across the sea to the private Island that Jumby Bay is on. We enjoyed a cold rum punch on the ride.......We arrived early and our room was just being finished, so we had lunch and sat on one of the lounges for a few minutes until ready. We were taken by golf cart to our room and were blown away on the spot. The grounds were beautiful and we felt as if the island was our own private get-a-way. The main beach on Jumby Bay is what you dream about and exactly what we were looking for. Brilliant soft white sand with the clearest blue water without a ripple in sight. We spent our days laying in the beach chairs and floating in the sea. The beach chairs were amazing. Big wooden chaise lounges with the softest "bedding" out there, these were no cheap beach chairs. A beach butler came by often offering drinks or ice gelato. The second beach is a little bit more choppy with rocks upon entrance but the beauty was in the privacy. We did the picnic lunch drop off one day and were all alone on the beach for a fantastic lunch.

We were anxious to see how the "all inclusive" played out, but the food was wonderful and always available. I can not say how nice it was to not touch my wallet once during our stay. The pool was fantastic although we spent very little time, the beach is just to nice to be sitting at the pool.

A highlight of our trip was being woken at 2:00 AM (yes, it was planned) and we were taken to the beach to see the turtles nesting and even watched as the eggs hatched and the babies made there way to the sea....just amazing to be witness to.

if you are looking for steel drum bands, para sailing, jet skis and loud rowdy crowds, this is not the place for you. If you are looking for solitude, romance, drop dead scenery, and 5 star service and accommodations, please don not hesitate to try Jumby Bay, I can't imagine you would be disappointed.

All in all, this place was a complete dream, and we are somewhat picky in regards to our accommodations while on vacation. We are already planning our 5 year anniversary to return......I would be happy to answer any questions readers may have, because Trip Advisor has helped us out so many times.....

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank gibby80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2010

Jumby Bay has just reopened after a $20,000,000+ update and it is fabulous. We stayed in one of the new rooms. It has a good sized bedroom, lovely bath, including outdoor tub. There is a living room with flat screen TV. And the verandah is large with nice lounging furniture. Some even have plunge pools. There is a new Pool Grille with great food and an even better view. The Verandah Resaurant has been classed up-a display kichen, new china and better food. The island still has the ambience of laziness if you want or activity if that is you thing. The new spa is lovely. I had an excellent massage, they do lots of different ones. The staff is willing, if not always trained as well as they could be. Another problem is the cost in the gift shop-too high, so bring what you need from home. We have gone to Jumby Bay for years, so we have seen lots of incarnations, but this is best.

Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Cathyc7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2010

Location,Location, Location. Temp and climate is warm and friendly.
Great service started at the airport and did not stop all the way through.
Villa with personal pool was the best, not to mention the outdoor shower, the veranda, and room service. Two great restaurants and the patio grill were top shelf.
Enjoyed the daily bike ride on our own bikes;
The best: Crazy Jumby cocktail everyday at 12:30
The least: Going home.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank acebutcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2010

My big family and I have been going to Jumby Bay for over 4 years and a row. We have never had such a great experience anywhere in the world. We have been many places but none of them keep making us come back and back each year besides Jumby Bay. There are activities for everyone in the family and the service there is great! We have met and became friends with so many of the staff there and we still keep in touch to this day. It is an experience of a lifetime.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank alishhacap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jumby Bay Island

Address: Jumby Bay Island | P.O. Box 243, St. John's, Antigua (Formerly Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort)
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 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#1 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#2 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#4 Business Hotel in St. John's
Price Range: $1,720 - $4,068 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Jumby Bay Island 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 Island casts a spell of serene enchantment. A naturalist's haven that plays host to a variety of wildlife amidst 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 Island Antigua/Saint John Parish

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