Jolly Beach Resort Reviews – Antigua and Barbuda Hotels – Jolly Beach Resort

During the first week we were there the hotel was fully booked up. Many of the guests were from a Canadian company. We were told by allot of those guests (this was their first time at JBR) that they were very disappointed with the small rooms and the noise, and said that they would not return again.

Rooms: We visited Jolly Beach Resort for two weeks Jan. 24 thru Feb. 11, 2005 and here is my personal review of JBR. Rooms: The room that we had to spend the first night in had no ceiling fan but it did have an air-conditioner. Also there was a cockroach in the corner of the room. This was the very first time I had discovered cockroaches in any room. Others have written about bugs in the room at JBR but on our other trips to JBR we had never seen any bugs.

– The second room provided for us was just what we had expected and it was lovely. We only book a Standard room as there is only the two of us and a Standard room is fine for us as we only use our room to sleep in. I did kill a 1” spider in the bathroom and it was four days before the housekeeping cleaned it away.

Food: JBR is only a 3 star resort. But the food is wonderful. There is such a variety to meet everyone’s tastes. If one wants a “Nouveau Cuisine” meal placed before them then all of the ingredients are available for that type of meal in the buffet – assemble your own plate. For breakfast the buffet had available hot omelettes, boiled eggs, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, fried potatoes, cereal, fruits of all types, cheese, yoghurt, breads, croissants, buns, and cakes. (We disliked the fried potatoes as they were all soft and soggy.)

For lunch there was a different soup each day (love their soups!), BBQ’ed meat and fish, hot food dishes, cold meat slices, tuna and egg salads, salads of very variety, a pasta hot plate with sauce, desserts of all types, buns. At dinner there was a different type of meat – turkey, ham, steaks, lamb, etc. and all types of salads, rice, potatoes, lasagne, stew, desserts, veggies. I think I ate so many varieties of fish: tuna, mahi, red snapper, swordfish, sole, grouper, salmon – and the list goes on and on. They were all fabulous. I cannot understand why anyone would ever complain about the food at any meal.

There are three additional restaurants in addition to the buffet. An Italian; an Indian (Uvsak); and a Seafood (Lydia’s). Suggested clothing at these restaurants is long pants and shirts for men and appropriate dressing for women. We always eat at the buffet as it is more laid-back and easy. At the buffet you can wear shorts and t-shirts or cut-offs.

Ahh.. the beach at JBR is so wonderful. At the north end of the beach is Jolly Harbour and the Marina and at the south end is Coco’s. The beach faces the Caribbean and the water was rough this year. Watershoes were needed in the Ocean as the shells are very sharp on bare feet. (There are lots of nice shells to collect on the beach).

Very noisy: We never use pools but the visiting young children enjoyed it. The pool is where the very noisy “Entertainment” group is. Music blasts out and loud speakers yell all day long – there is no peace and quiet in this area – and unfortunately it is so loud that the noise covers all of the JBR beach area. Allot of people lay on the beach either to the far left or far right of the pool. I assume that like ourselves, they are trying to get away from the noise without leaving the JBR grounds. Only a small percentage of guests hang around the noisy pool/splash bar area. But the Splash Bar and Grill are very crowded with guests getting their drinks and burgers/fries. There is another pool and that is the old pool. But it is still noisy.

There used to be a very convenient free Library (situated in a small closet next to the Cyber-room). People would just leave books and pick up new books to read. We always take extra books to stock the Library with. Now the Entertainment group were told to keep the books in their office and that office is always locked so access to the books is now very hard. The sign over the old Library was painted over but people still left books there. What a shame to lose the Library

It is because of the staff at JBR and in all of the resorts in Antigua that make Antigua so special. It is the Antiguan people. They are always smiling and so very happy and friendly. They will help you with any request. So many special people at JBR: Vellie, Sylvie, Chefs, Cooks, Housecleaning, Bar Staff, Security, and Watersport staff.

Beach Hawkers:
We love ‘em! They are proud Antiguans and we are their guests. Treat them with respect as they will always be respectful to you. Talk with them, get to know them – buy a bracelet or t-shirt. We have met so many nice locals this way.

As others have mentioned the weather this January and early February 2005 in Antigua had more rain than normal. Usually the higher winds come on the Atlantic east and north sides of the Island. But this time the high winds came from the Caribbean west side of the Island which is what JBR faces. Many days it rained and was dark and cloudy but always warm. Only one evening was it really cold. My husband sails most days but on this trip he couldn’t sail on many days as the waves and winds were too high.

There is a room safe in each room and the rental fee for the lock is $15US each week. Security personnel patrol the grounds on a 24 hour basis. We feel very safe at JBR and we have not heard of any problems.

Summation: Will we return again to JBR? If we decide not to it will be because of the noise. The staff work so hard to please the guests and in talking to many other guests it is peace and quiet that is wanted. The image of the Caribbean is one of sunshine, palm trees and sand – i.e. peace and tranquility. This resort lacks that peace now. We will miss our friends who work at JBR that we have made over these years. Again – this is no reflection on the Restaurant/Kitchen/Bar/Housekeeping/Watersports/Groundskeepers/Security staff – they are doing what they are instructed to do.

During the first week we were there the hotel was fully booked up. Many of the guests were from a Canadian company. We were told by allot of those guests (this was their first time at JBR) that they were very disappointed with the small rooms and the noise, and said that they would not return again.


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