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Home > Destinations > Antigua and Barbuda > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Antigua and Barbuda - Trip Reports

Jolly Beach

Just back from spending 11 days at Jolly Beach.

Anyone who is thinking about booking at this resort, I can definitely recommend it.

The food was excellent, the staff very friendly and the accommodations were nice and clean. My husband and I had a standard oceanview room. A lot of people said the rooms were small, but I found it adequate. I definitely would recommend asking for a high floor - we had the 4th floor. The view from our room was incredible - not that your in it much.

When we checked in they ask for your credit card for a towel deposit $10.00 per person - as long as you return it, it doesn't get charged. This was something they didn't tell us ahead of time.

The restaurants were great - guys definitely bring long pants and a collared shirt for the Greek and Italian Restaurants - no way around it! All of the food was delicious - no complaints. At the Greek, Italian and Lydia's the seafood restaurant there was about 3-5 main dishes to choose from, not a big selection. I heard this was because we went during the slower season. The resort is currently only 30% full - its the same way everywhere else and many resorts were closed. At Lydias if you select the lobster, shrimp or beef there is a $12.00 charge - well worth it, although we didn't try the beef. Tipping is at your own discretion, we left a tip at the greek, italian and seafood restaurants. We didn't tip at the buffet (Hemispheres) Hemispheres served breakfast, lunch and dinner. They had a great selection of fruit, salads, different barbequed meat lamb, pork, beef and chicken was rotated each night. Of couse a big selection of desserts. Most people didn't seem to tip at all. There is always a bar open. Although the glasses are small so it is good to ask for 2-3 drinks at one time. Drinks to try BBC and the Hummingbird - very good.

The entertainment was pretty good, they had some live bands and a guy that did the limbo and ate fire. Wednesday nights there is always a beach party. There is a disco, but my husband and I didn't go. We were so exhausted from doing stuff during the day. One trip I can definitely recommend is the triple destination on the Wadadli Cat, one of the best things we did on our vacation. The staff was great and it was fun being out on the catermaran. It took you to Green Island to snorkle and Nelson's Dockyard. In the evening it takes you to shirley heights were a steel band played, the view was incredible.

My husband didn't get a chance to scuba dive, but we did snorkle. The water isn't very clear at Jolly Beach so I would recommend a trip. The triple destination was the best snorkling trip. We did take a trip out to Cades Reef the water was rough. My husband and I were the only ones that snorkled for the whole time. Many people got back in the boat because they didn't see much and because of the water. You do have to swim away from the boat to see anything - This was the Franco's Boat Cruise - a 3 hour snorkling trip. It takes about 45 mins to get to the spot. The snorkling wasn't the best I've seen, but definitely worth doing. The resort offers hobie cats, windsurfs and kayaks which are fun to take out after a one time 20 minute session. There was always lot's of stuff to do, the hotel kept you entertained.

The hotel cashes travelers checks, but only in caribbean dollars. If you want american dollars you need to go to the bank 5 min walk. The bank is in the harbor next door and it's worth taking a look at. They will only cash in US travelers checks for US cash. If you have sterling or something else they will only give you eastern caribbean dollars. For the price you can't go wrong with Jolly Beach.

The pool is awesome - 8000 sq feet, you have to see it. Also, the white sand beach is long so it is nice to take a walk after dinner. Since it's not too busy right now, you can also go for a skinny dip at night! No one is nude on the beach, but you will see a few women topless. Most covered up when kids were around. There are vendors at one end of the beach and you can visit there little shacks, they don't come down the beach and bother you. If you say no, they respect that. We did most of our shopping at the Jolly Harbor next door, you can go into town, but not worth it if thats all your doing. The prices and selection were about the same.

My only complaint is I had to come back. The ocean is a beautiful 78 degrees and is an incredible turquoise color. There is a large trampoline in the ocean to play on which was quite fun. Anyone thinking of going, I can definitely recommend it!

Thanks to Victoria for this trip report ...
August 2001

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