We were shown to our standard room (3rd Floor) and found we had the most breathtaking views - this made up for the room being in need of a little TLC. It was clean, we had clean towels every day if we left the dirty ones in the shower as asked and the bedding was changed regular, although I don't know quite know how often as I didn't check! Generally we were happy with our room after all we only slept in it, the rest of the time was spent out and about apart from early evenings when we sat on the balcony with a little tipple watching the sun go down - heaven!
The beach is one of the best beaches I have seen although I was disappointed in the sea because it wasn't clear blue like other places I have visited but that didn't stop me swimming every day. The first day we pitched on the beach near the pool and found it to be a little too noisy with the music from the pool bar but further down it was bliss! Hubby took advantage of the Hobie Cats every day and now thinks he is 'Sinbad'.
I only went in one of the pools once - I am not really a pool person - but wanted to experience the pool bar. There was fun and games at the pool every day and it looked like people were having a great time.
Restaurants - four in all and each one different - we tried them all on a rota basis. Three to choose from each evening as Lydias, the Indian and Italian are not open every night.
Hemispheres - buffet restaurant - no booking required - where we ate breakfast and lunch everyday and dinner on a couple of occasions. The food we found to be varied and perfectly acceptable. The only gripe I have here is that once the restaurant has finished serving food and you go to the bar for your own drinks you get them in plastic glasses. In fact anytime you visit the bar alongside Hemispheres you receive it in plastic glasses but if you order drinks whilst eating then you do get proper glasses.
Bocciolo (Italian)- booking required and very strict on dress code. We ate here probably four times. Although I wouldn't really call it Italian the food and service were excellent.
Lydia's (Seafood) - booking required - two evenings were spent here and again the food was excellent and plentiful. Sunday brunch was enjoyable with a steel band playing alongside the restaurant. The waitress I mentioned earlier worked here and your glass was never empty. I feel quite tipsy just thinking about it!
Utsav - Indian - booking required - two/three meals here and again no complaints. We always used Utsavs bar on an evening and sat in the courtyard.
Coconut Grill - cannot comment on the food - we only used the bar for drinks whilst sunning ourselves on the beach. Alongside the pool and serves burgers, chips etc until about 5/6 pm.
Afternoon tea/coffe (including sandwiches and cake) is served in the courtyard every afternoon between 4.30/5.30 (think I have times right).
Entertainment - They did cater for families - lots of competitions, limbo dancers, fire eaters etc - not really our cup of tea (oldies!). Another reason being that the entertainment area is alongside the Hemisphere bar where you get the plastic glasses. Each to their own and everybody seemed to be having a good time.
All in all we enjoyed our holiday at Jolly Beach although it was a bit too big for our liking, 462 rooms - we usually only go to smaller resorts (150 rooms). Yes the rooms need updating as other guests have said but ours was clean. The beach is fantastic and the weather whilst we were there glorious! What more can you want?
Travel operator: Virgin
Saw lots of weddings but the wedding area overlooked the main pool and barbecue/pool bar area so would have been noisy.
Food good in all restaurants but beware the Italian which is run by a Basil Fawlty type who cannot decide from day to day the dress code, so what is permissible one day will get you refused entry the next. All other restaurants far more relaxed with excellent food and hygiene.
Entertainment great if you have teenagers as they involve them in sports during the day. Evening tends to be repetitive but laid back.
Staff, apart from attitude problems at the Italian are all willing to help to make your stay comfortable.
Perhaps not as intimate as other caribbean hotels because of the size but beach wonderful, sea warm, watersports great. Suit more active types.
Travel operator: Virgin
Even though the hotel was built late 70`s and in need of a bit of t.l.c you could not fault the cleanliness of hotel,rooms,grounds.
Don`t go for a supersaver room unless you are single as they are very small, we upgraded to a deluxe oceanview room which was right size for couple/small family.
Food was very good at Hemispheres the buffet restaurant good choice and proper carribean food(jerk chicken,curried goat,black eyed peas etc).
The beach is stunning and water warm and safe. definately go back the staff are fantastic and always had a warm carribean welcome.
Travel operator: Hayes and Jarvis
It was fine for me, but couldn't see how 2 people could stay in here. Limited room around the bed, a tiny bathroom and not even enough room for all my toiletries and I travel light (22kgs for 17 days).
The food was ok. Beach grill was good. I didn't try the Italian/Seafood/Indian but heard that they were also very good.
The beach was great, not overcrowded, no hassle from locals. Watersports were cheaper than other caribbean islands.
Location was perfect. Next door to the Harbour, so within easy reach of the casino, nightclub, restaurants, bars and shops. For this it couldn't be faulted.
I didn't appreciate the entertainment. It was very 'holiday camp-ish, Costa del Sol' and just not what I've ever experienced in the Caribbean.
Although I'd visit the hotel again. I would skip the evening entertainment and take the 5 minute walk to Jolly Harbour - the BBR on a Tuesday night is not to be missed.
Travel operator: Kuoni
We found our stay to be excellent!The staff were very friendly and couldn't do enough for us.
Our room, which was of standard grade, was cleaned every day throughout. It was ample for us, as we spent practically all our time out and about, enjoying the resort's amenities.
You could either join in the resort's entertainment during the day, or do as we did, and just take it easy and do your own thing.
We spent quite a lot of time on the beach. Even if we returned to the complex for some lunch or a drink at one of the many bars, when we returned to our sun loungers, our belongings remained untouched!
The food was excellent!
For breakfast, lunch and dinner there was umpteen choices, and all eating times flexible.
The complex is very well situated with shops, casino and marina for tour excursions etc. within 5 minutes walking distance. There is also an onsite shop, although we found the nearby supermarket to be slightly cheaper, especially for "Bug Off" insect spray, which I found essential to protect me from sand flies!
We also found the taxi service to be inexpensive and very informant for local sights, island politics and of tourism importance for the island.
Our taxi driver, "George Baptiste," took us to the capital "St. John's" on ashopping trip. Agreed to pick us up at 12 noon. We eventually arrived back at 12.45pm approx. not expecting George to be there, but surprisingly, he was waiting for us. We apologised for our lateness, his attitude was unexpected!
"If you are spending money on my island, you are helping the island economy."
As we had agreed the price before the return trip, we were surprised to find there was no additional charge for our tardiness. This was the norm on the island.
Just one more thing to add, be sure to meet Anne Marie! The most charming and beautiful, not only in looks, but also in personality, hostess we have ever met! Anne Marie really could not have done any more to make sure that our stay was perfect in every way! And my husband loves her for her wonderful aptitude, professionalism and caring nature to ensure our holiday was the best ever!
Wadadli Cats Triple destination EXCELLENT!
Eco tour with the Antiguan Olympian, (must do)!
Dolphin Discovery- swim adventure, American CRAP do not waste your money! Worst dolphin experience you will ever have! Money orientated, poor value in no way an "Antiguan" experience!
From our experience we will defnitely be going back there again, and we cannot recommend it highly enough!
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
The standard rooms are very basic,the shower only worked well when it felt like it.
The food was quite good ,although this was tempered by some variable service,sometimes good sometimes bad, due to too few staff or so it seemed.The location was good ,nice beach ,plenty of sun beds, and close to jolly harbour marina, golf course & casino.
The staff were friendly enough in general, the bar staff were good.
Entertainment was carribean Butlins, alright for family fun.
The water sports were pretty good sailing lessons ect
We felt that in general the holiday was overpriced .
Travel operator: thompson
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