48 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
WHAT A DUMP
"OMG what a TOTAL TOTAL DUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This place should not be allowed to operate under it current conditionâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦. The rooms are (well to be honest I donât know how to describe them, never seen rooms like it in our lives. The bathroom is a joke plus your towels are not always replaced, you get back from a day out and want a shower only to discover there are no towels so you have to walk all the way back to reception to get them, and we mean all the way back as this is a big complex plus, it has one toilet by reception and one at the end of the beach on the right-hand side where you have to ask a man for a key (what a joke) you will find it quicker to go back to your room if you need the loo. This hotel appears to have no or hardly any housekeeping, there are workmen everywhere because apparently they are doing big improvements, the only improvement they need to do is to knock it down it really is that bad. We had problems with the water, one day we would have hot water then next 3 days we did not and some times when you turn the water on it runs out BROWN, yes I said BROWN!
As for the food well yet again never in all our years of going 3* all-inclusive have we see such disgusting food. The choice is very very small plus very cold and, they do not replenish either even thou they say they do. You are told by staff if you want choice come earlier (How rude), we decided not to go earlier as we ate out for the rest of our stay as the food was inedible, we heard that in June they shut the hemisphere restaurant down (this is the main restaurant) and, to tell you the truth they should have kept it shut.
If we were holidaying in England and we got to our hotel and it was like the Jolly Beach we would have got back into our cars and gone home but we couldnât because we were tied to our flights. Tour Operators should take this hotel off their books because it is not a 3* nor a 1* it is a DUMP!!!! We worked hard all year to save for this holiday and it is nothing but a right RIP OFF!!!!!!!!!!!
So our advise to you is, if you have time pay the extra and move hotels it will be cheaper in the long run because we paid a fortune on eating out. If it is too late for you to move hotels take pictures of your room, the disgusting food, empty food trays where they do not replenish and keep all receipts of the food you had when you have eaten out. Make sure you have noted your complaint to your holiday rep and complete a form of complaint while you are on your holiday. You will need all this to make an official complaint when you get home, without this information you are done for. We only know this because our rep at the hotel told us to do it because, she said many holiday makers had complained to her but they did not do this so, they had no proof of evidence of what their holiday was like and therefore did not get any refund for their awful holiday. Even our rep said she would not stay at this hotel, now that just about says it allâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦.
When we got home for which we were so happy for, we put in our complaint to our tour operator and the hotel came back and said âwhy did we not report our concerns while we where on holiday and they would have resolved them there and thenâ. This place is unrealâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦
Tour Operators if you look on this website please take this hotel off your website and stop taking hard working peoples money to stay at this DUMP!!!
- Travel date: Sun 14th of August 2016
"This is not a hotel!! It's more like a hostel. Really rude staff and the food is disgusting. You have to fight the staff for food because they will take it all before you've had a chance!
Will never return to this hotel and recommend you choose another hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 29th of June 2016
"Thank you Jolly Beach for coming to our rescue, we were transferred from another hotel which was a disaster. You gave us a truly memorable Caribbean holiday for ourselves and two grandsons.
The reception was friendly and efficient.
The rooms were clean and comfortable.
We enjoyed the food in all the restaurants (unusual for our fussy grand kids) and not one upset tummy!!
A beautiful beach with free water sports and no queues and plenty of sunbeds around the two pools and on the beach.
Entertainment every night.
The entertainment staff get 11 out of 10 especially Anna Marie,Charm and Terry who had the kids in stitches, they worked so hard they made me feel tired watching them.
Well done Jolly beach and the rep from tropical sky.
- Travel date: Mon 4th of April 2016
jolly rip off
"this has to be the worst hotel I have ever stayed in....check in was a nightmare(surely they know when the plane lands!)..the rooms are concrete..yes you read it right..concrete furniture, wardrobe,and no draws!
the food is dreadful, the local tramps eat better!the staff are rude and lazy, and the management are useless..i can only assume the good reviews are written by the management....I have been here its rubbish..stay away!!"
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of November 2015
Get what you pay for
"I have read the negative reviews on here about the Jolly Beach Resort . And I would like to give my own. We went there February 2015 and knew it was a budget way to enjoy the Island of Antigua. And knowing that it was the cheapest resort we didn't go with major expectations. Although while we were there for two weeks my fiance and I were treated very well by all the staff and the locals. The place is a bit in need of some tlc but that reflects on the price. The staff however were superb and I think that if like us you go there not thinking your royalty and can treat people like slaves they will look after you. Myself and my now (proposed to on the beach at Jolly Beach Resort fiance were treated really well. Served drinks in front of other rude people and made friends with most of the staff. While we were there we realized that a lot of the people who go there in the winter months are year after year regulars. So that says a lot. I can understand that the package holidays that some people book from the big travel agents are overpriced and they expect to be treated like rich foreigners but guess what most Antiguans that work at the jolly beach have traveled to the U.S. or England as well. They are not stupid islanders that should be grateful. The Island, beach and whole holiday was brilliant. My advice, go in English winter treat people the way you expect to be treated and accept the accommodation as what you have paid for. "
- Travel date: Wed 6th of May 2015
Return to the jolly beach
"We travelled Virgin 28th June. Lovely flight only spoilt by arriving at Antigua's old airport and slow service 2hrs before we got to our taxi very hot but Virgin rep brought us ice cold water. Thank you. Arrived at Jolly Beach Resort, check in a matter of minutes, cold drinks provided. Shown to our 3 rooms between 5 adults. No complaints, rooms clean and maid Service daily although we never saw them. Five days in our shower handle broke went to reception at 7.30pm, straight away they said they would move us to a superior room, we did not want to be moved away from the rest of the family so they moved us along the corridor at 2pm the next day, the staff seemed concerned that we would not take the suite.
Yes I agree Jolly Beach needs some money spent on it. The hotel was built in 1979 but it is a three star hotel. The food in the restaurant is very good in all the places we ate at but did not try the Indian. Extra thanks to the Italian for catering for myself who is garlic intolerant. The outside bars the staff were at all times fun and within a couple of orders knew what we wanted but always asked first.
A special thank you to Marlene who was very happy and helpful Virgin rep, also Jango our best Taxi driver the others were helpful but he went the extra mile. I heard people complaining about the taxi prices but the taxi prices are for return trips.
We did a few trips 2 on Excellence cannot thank the wonderful crew enough for who are not sailors the lobster cruise is a lot calmer and great fun. We visited the stingray city, it is really not to be missed even the wife was kissed by one stingray and the granddaughter who was nervous was tempted to hold one she was very pleased they spent the time with her.
The Jolly Beach is three star but with five star service and we hope to go back again.
This is the first holiday report I have written because I feel some of the complaints I have read are not the holiday experience we had.
Thank you to all the staff we met at all levels during our holiday.
- Travel date: Mon 14th of July 2014
Lets be honest..
"I read many reviews before I decided to book my trip at Jolly Beach. I am beyond disappointed that people would say it was good. So I'm going to keep it real for all those who want an honest review. The hotel was average. Nothing spectacular, but all u need the room for is sleeping so that wasn't much of my concern. However, the air conditioner was leaking, which left a puddle in the room. I came along on the trip with a large group of 18 people and each room had that problem. The bar was another story. Correct me if I'm wrong, if the hours of operations are 10-6 or whatever then by 10 everything should be up for operation. But every morning for EIGHT days I'd ask for beer around 1130/12 and nothing to be shocked by after the fourth day .. the pipe was always broken.. surprise. So by 1pm they would start serving. I had told the servers to plug in all the pipes few minutes prior to opening up because if the bar says 10 am that it's open then I should get my beer then. But nothing was solved so dont waste your time trying to get a drink during opening operation hours. You are better off going four hours later. Then I asked for a solo cup rather then the blue plastic one. Just so you are aware, the solo cups were in front of my eyes and they lied to me and told me they have none. When I brought it up to their attention they pretended they don't see it. Very mature may I add. After long minutes of arguing they told me they can't serve it and rolled their eyes at me and complained. The service was horrendous. Not only at the bar, the retardants too. They forgot all orders. You had to wait forever to get a glass of soda and they were beyond rude with they way they presented themselves by complaining outloud. There were about only two servers who were kind. We had asked to put tables together for a birthday party, they told us no problem and when we got to the resturant they told us we aren't allowed to because they need to hand out food and won't do it with us at one table. So we had to have TWO people sit apart. I myself am a server, having two extra people at the table isint that hard to serve. That to me is laziness. Lydia's resturant.. DONT GO. It's a very nice resturant overall because the decorations fit the theme but I went twice and the group with me went other nights.. and let me say... Lobseter season is never around for this place. Not once did they have lobster, which takes away about five meals. Along with no catch of the day either. Ice cream is about all you can get. To add, this should no be considered an all inclusive resort at all ! Half the meals are to be paid for. If I'm paying for an all inclusive resort, I shouldn't have I pay 25$ for a meal, it should be all included. Hence the all inclusiveness. The liquor is cheap. No name bottles. All house stuff but the wine is what I took advantage of. It was phenomenal. The club was taken away and the entertainment was HORRIBLE. One guy on a guitar and one girl singing all night each night. That's not entertainment at all. Which lead everyone to bed at 10pm. Only good night was karaoke. When I asked when shows are. They told me once a year only on the new year.. so book ur trip then. The swim up bar isint around anymore so no point to spend time in the pool and casino isint all working. Only a few machines. The other 10 are down everyday. They also have a step by step schedule about arobics, races and etc. and um.. none of it ever occurs. Is like they write it so it seams like soemthings going on. Quite frankly to finish off. I wouldn't wate my money and I would have wished someone had told me. The best thing around is the beach.. but you can get that off any other hotel. Look elsewhere. "
- Travel date: Sun 21st of July 2013
This place has crashed and burned
"Oh dear oh dear! Whatâs happened to the Jolly Beach Resort? Having just returned (3rd Nov), itâs gone seriously downhill.
We are repeat customers to Jolly Beach Resort, this being our 8th time (although not acknowledged by the Front Desk during check in). JBR has never been a âluxuryâ resort but there has always been a reasonable level of customer service. Unfortunately this year, the service has fallen well below the reasonable level we have come to expect over the years.
I could list pages of issues, but essentially the headlines are:-
1). there just didnât seem to be enough staff on the floor and it was obvious those that were there seemed so demotivated â itâs was as though they just couldnât be bothered. Not great for customer satisfaction.
2). the buffet restaurant, Hemispheres used to have a good choice of hot food and good service for drinks. Last week, the choice was minimal - more often than not the food was only just warm and the daily wait for a coffee became tiresome. Running out of plates was commonplace.
3). toilets dirty with no Sanipro and no soap or paper towels for days on end despite often seeing staff sat around doing not that much.
4). endless queues for lunchtime snacks and bar drinks due to lack of staff (unless of course you were from the American cruise ship group that arrived Wednesday whereon I counted FIVE behind the makeshift beach front bar). Running out of drinks by mid-morning was also a frequent occurrence.
5). Lydiaâs overlooking the beach in what is the most beautiful of settings in the daytime is still not opening for Sunday Brunch â what a waste of a beautiful asset in the name of cutting costs. Itâs only open in the evenings when itâs dark and you get eaten alive by sand flees.
6). Mr Izaacs, the former General Manager has gone and a new GM has been in place since springtime; didnât see him walking the floor once. Clearly, whatever he is doing isnât working from the customer perspective!
Did we pass on our thoughts? Yes, midweek to a supervisor who told us heâd raise our issues at the meeting that day. Did we get any feedback? No, of course not!
I wonât recommend this resort to you and itâs almost certainly our last holiday at this resort.
- Travel date: Wed 14th of November 2012
Not even a one star!
"I normally do not complain, but if I can save one person from staying here, I will feel a lot better! Jolly Beach is advertised as a 3 Â½ star resort. While I am aware that 3 Â½ star resorts do not have all of the "bells and whistles" that 5 star resorts have, I would still expect certain things from a 3 1/2 star resort, such as a clean room, edible food, towels and a bathroom that does not flood. We arrived to the resort and it did not take long to become aware of issues. We were brought to our room, which was as far from the front desk and main area as possible. Once we got to the room, we immediately noticed red ants in the bathroom sink and all over the bathroom counter. Also, the water pressure in the bathroom was basically non-existent. It was also very apparent that the air conditioning in the room was not working. We went and sat down on the bed, and it was like sitting down on a slab of cement; literally hard as a rock. The overall condition of the room was old and dingy. We went down and spoke with the front desk who said that they would send maintenance up to the room. After a long day of traveling, we asked where we could get something to eat, being that it was an all-inclusive deal. We were told that sandwiches were being served in one area. The so called "sandwiches" were small pieces of bread with unidentifiable food items on them; hardly a sandwich. Not to mention, the birds that were on the table trying to steal the food. Thank God for the grill by the bar; which made burgers. After eating and looking around the resort for a bit, we went back to the room and noticed that it did not appear as though maintenance had been there yet. We proceeded to get dressed and went to the beach for a few hours. We came back to the room again, and maintenance had still not been there. We then proceeded to get ready for dinner and stopped by the front desk again and asked about the status of our maintenance request. The front desk put in another request with maintenance. We then went to the buffet for dinner. The food at the buffet was far from superior. Most of the food was canned; mushrooms, fruit (Fruit?! Antigua is an island! How do they not have fresh fruit?!). Dinner was far from good. After a long day, we went back to the room to get some rest. Again, maintenance had still not been there. We tried to sleep, but between the extremely hot and humid room and the hard as a rock bed, neither of us slept well. The next morning we proceeded to breakfast at the buffet. Breakfast was not any better than dinner. The so called scrambled eggs were cold, runny and stringy. Again, the fruit was not fresh. The bacon and sausage were dry and shriveled up. You could not even chew the bacon; it was like rubber. Thankfully they had cereal and toast, which managed to somehow get us through the week. While trying to eat, there were birds inside the buffet area trying to steal food off of your plate, as well as off of the buffet platters. Also, the birds were leaving their droppings around and on the tables!!! That is very sanitary. After breakfast we proceeded to the beach; which is by far the only good thing about the resort (actually, the beach is public, so we canât even give the resort credit for the natural beauty of the island). After the beach, we went back to the room, which was still in the same condition. The maid service had not been there, nor had the issues been fixed. We proceeded to take showers and the bathroom floor flooded. The shower was a stand-up shower in the shape of a triangle. A normal-sized person could barely even fit in the shower. There was an old flimsy shower curtain and a lip on the shower (to contain water) of about one inch. Once you were in the shower longer for 60 seconds, there was no way that water was not getting on the floor. Once the floor was wet and flooded, it remained that way until the next day. So, you could not go to the bathroom without walking through a swamp. The towels were so old that they ripped from drying ourselves off. We later proceeded to another dinner at the buffet, which was just as bad as the first night. On the way to the buffet, we stopped by the front desk and again asked about the maintenance issue. The front desk staff called maintenance who stated that they would send someone up to the room. After dinner we went back to the room and noticed that the water pressure was better, and the air conditioning seemed to be working; however, only marginally. We woke up the next morning and saw that the now fixed air conditioner had began leaking. The rest of the trip was much of the same; non edible food, besides bread, rice and cereal. There were other restaurants which we could not get into because they were "booked," even though we were told the resort was only around 40% capacity. The bathroom flooded daily, causing us to have to put our used bath towels on the floor to soak up the inch of water on the floor. Some days we were not given clean towels after the maid had serviced the room, other days we were only given one towel. The towels were so old that they ripped on numerous occasions, just from drying ourselves off. There was also an occasion where we were not provided with toilet paper. The sheets on the bed were so old that you could see through them and contained brown stains. There were constant red ants in the bathroom and in two different locations close to the bed. On another occasion, there was a toilet that ran over in the main women's bathroom by the lobby causing there to be urine and feces strewn all over the floor. The bathroom was not closed off; instead there was only a yellow triangle sign by the feces. Completely disgusting! On another occasion, we tried to get coffee, only to have the milk curdle, as it was spoiled. The pool closed at 6pm daily, which is extremely early for a resort. The "casino" was "open"â¦however, none of the table games were open. Instead there was an attendant sleeping on the casino table, who told us that the games were not open because it was "slow season." We were not notified that it was slow season beforehand. "
- Travel date: Wed 27th of June 2012
Vacation on a Budget
" I think the Resort Needed a little paint and fixing up. Overall, the staff were pleasant,food was normal, rooms not large but were clean and neat, activities were pleasantly delightful. We had a great week and was really economical. "
- Travel date: Wed 4th of May 2011
A wonderful affordable carribean vacation
"My husband and I stayed at the Jolly Beach Resort, and I cannot say enough how great it was. The staff was so friendly, the rooms and hotel were clean. The beach was close and beautiful. Food was great, lots of activities and entertainment. Cannot wait to go back!"
- Travel date: Mon 27th of September 2010
wedding in paradise
"This is our review and the opinions of the other guests (various ages) in our wedding party please note that This was our 2nd holiday here ( so it was good enough for us to return), we did a twin centre holiday in 2005 / 06, we spent xmas on barbados then flew over to antigua for new year, my hubby proposed to me here and we saw many weddings and later decided it would be a gorgous place to marry so dispite us being slightly disapointed upon our first arrival here, for the money we paid we did expect a little more of an upto date decor and a better suite as wed paid a Â£400 supplement for this, although it was basic, it was clean had a tv, air con & daily maid service and had a breattaking view so overall the holiday ie the fantastic beach, pool, staff & reasturants encouraged us to return.....
the beach - the ocean is blue, shallow & calm & the beach is very clean
the staff are soooooo friendly & the wedding co-ordinators do an amazing job
the rooms are basic but clean, have tv, radio, air con & daily maid service
the reception 24 hour and very helpful
the reasturants - wine is constantly being topped up... lush !
the italian -Boccoloios our favourite!!! is gorgous and you can pre order spag bol its not on the menu but they will make it at no extra charge and its lovely.
the Indian - utsav offer a great starter platter it Lush! the warm bread and wine is contantly being offered... yummy!
the seafood - Lydias is on the beach and an evening meal here is so calm hearing the waves lapping & sunday brunch here was so tranquil we made our way along the beach around mid day and sipped cocktails whilst helping ourselves to a buffett of fresh salad, chicken and rice, beef strogonoff, seafood, and amazing desserts ! I really though i was dreaming & that i couldnt really be in such paradise on a sunday afternoon!!
the main buffett area - we only ate breakfast & lunch here as we like to enjoy a ralxing meal and be waited on for our evening meal, but it offers a great range of buffett food and steaks / chops cooked while you watch, and this is ideal for famailes as the enterianment is here !
The pool / grill bar offer toasties, steak or chicken baguetts, burgers, hotdogs and salad, its naughty but very nice!! and the pool / swim up bar here serves all drinks in plastic cups for safety!
The wedding co-ordinator organised everything for us, all we had to do was visit the courthouse via taxi with her and other couples, simply confirm our names & be congratulated on our forthcoming wedding by the licence officer! We set a date / time when booking the wedding but this can be changed due to weather but this is all very laid back. All i can say is that Isha the co - ordinator was amazing she called me on the morning of our wedding to ask if i wanted to view my flowers they were beatiful, she escorted my hubby and his best man to the arbour, she helped me to the waiting horse & carriage where my mum & my maid of honour came on a 10 minute journey and to pose for pics, the cerempony was wonderful, the champange and cake was gorgous, the photogrpaher every part of our wedding was fantastic ! I would reccomend a jolly beach wedding to anyone !
This is a 3 to 3 and a 1/2 star hotel and i would say that is about right, the location is 10 out of 10 and i would return here again ! Everyone of our wedding party would say the same, its value for money if you want sandles then you pay 4 x times more than what we paid our wedding cost us Â£2700 total for 2 weeks all inclusive with virgin atlantic flights, the wedding package was free and we spent Â£1000 on extras as in the photo, horse & carriage extra flowers, hair ect. Unfortunatly crime had increased on Antigua since our last holiday there, but its the same as anywhere else.. poverty = crime and it shouldnt put you off travelling there, We retruned home 4 days before the murders of the honeymoon couple at coco's which is in the backdrop of our wedding pics, it was a very easily accessable hotel and when we walked up to have a drink and take in the views from up there one afternoon we were shocked that no one stopped us to check we were guests there and my hubby & I both said we wouldnt fancy staying there it would be too dark and secluded for us to feel safe at night. RIP and our thoughts are with their famailes x x
- Travel date: Tue 14th of April 2009