Reviewers Rating: Fair
We recently stayed at the Jolly Beach back in May. The way the resort was advertised and what was deliverd was not close. We booked a Superior Ocean View Room (though all rooms are oceanview) that was "recently remodeled". The room they initially put us in almost cost me our marriage (w/o blame). The bed took 98% of the room up, the toilet was broken, seat and all, and the room was not clean. There was water in front of the door that the bell boy managed to drop the one bag we had in. There were no AC controls in the room, just a fan blower with 3 speeds. There was a shower stall and the sink was outside the bathroom on the wall as you walked in the room. I enquired about the room at the front desk (mind you the room booked was supposed to have 2 double beds) and that was what we had paid for and they would gladly upgrade us for $500 to another room. Not wanting to ruin a vacation we checked out the next category from what we booked and the difference was night and day. There were two beds, a much bigger room where you could walk around the room and it had a full bath. So we upgraded even questioning the big difference in rooms, but was assured the initial room was what we booked. The new room was maybe remodeled 4-5 years ago. The door on the patio looked like it had been broken into at least 5 times. Hair seemed to grow in the corner of the bathroom as we stayed, and that was scary since it was long black hair, and my wife is blond, and I have short hair. Its pretty bad when you have to wear sandals inside.
The food was ok, the best way to describe it is consistent. You will consistently see rice, potatoes a fish. The food got repetive and old fast. Lunch was by far the best, though some of the restuarants were good as well. Nothing fancy, but we were not expecting anything fancy for the price we paid to stay. We were very disappointed in the fact that if you wanted steak, lobster or shrimp you had to pay a $15-20 US dollar charge as well as 25% in taxes on a resort that advertises as "All-Inclusive". If you want water you could not get a glass at any of the bars, they told you to go buy it at the Gift shop. Another all-inclusive false advertisement.
The island is a very nice island and would love to go back, but would hesitate to stay at Jolly Beach. The beach is long and beautiful but the water is not clear anymore (and there are 365 beaches at Antigua). Jolly Harbor decided to put a cananl in to fill a swamp to make more boat slips and in the process has messed the eco-system up in the harbor area so the water as blue as it was, was not clear. You could not see your foot in the water at Jolly Harbor. On a boat trip and tour we saw other resorts and harbors and all were that clear water you expect and can see 20+ feet deep.
We were expecting Club Med quality at Jolly beach, and were disappointed. The place could be great if they could change the attitude of some of the people and clean the place up. If you dont expect much you wont be disapointed, if you expect a clean good room you might be pushing it. We have stayed at several resorts in the carribean, and this was the worst. We have stayed at Club Meds and Sandals, as well as other resorts so we would say that this is not even in a Club Med class. Too bad Club Med does not exist in Antigua....
Beautiful Island otherwise...