Almost a year ago, the fabulous Jolly Beach Resort in Antigua reopened to much fanfare after some light renovations. With 464 ocean-facing rooms available in 40 acres of tropical splendour, Jolly Beach remains a favourite amongst Canadians visiting Antigua and Barbuda: the two-island destination with both man-made luxury and natural beauty to spare. This all-inclusive resort is the largest on the island of Antigua and, notably, boasts the longest beach. Most say that the stunning expanse of this powdery, white-sand beach is the best in Antigua, though such a claim is hard to verify on an island which claims 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. What is much easier to verify is Jolly Beach’s incredible appeal, which we delve into just below.
The Facts, First
Rooms at Jolly Beach are available in five categories to suit every traveller’s needs and every tourist’s budget. All rooms have private balconies or terraces and come fully equipped with single, double, queen- or king-sized beds, television, internet and all the amenities you’d expect. Packages are either all-inclusive or room-only. Primarily an adult resort, children over 12 years old are nonetheless welcome at Jolly Beach. The first 200 rooms have been refurbished, with bathroom renovations continuing during the off-season. All-inclusive packages include breakfast, lunch, dinner and unlimited house-brand alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages by the glass. An array of dining options are available for guests with a variety of excellent restaurants, a beachfront grill and several tropical-themed bars.
The Coconut Grill is situated under the palms between the beach and the Fantasy Pool. It’s an open-air bar and grill serving from noon to 4:45 p.m., perfect for lunch or a quiet bite. The adjacent Pool Bar Cool Bar is a great spot to hang out and relax beside the pool, where skilled mixologists will conjure up colourful Caribbean cocktails. Further down the beach, the signature outdoor Sand Bar offers more tropical drinks, served with flair. Both are open between 10:30 am and 5:00 pm.
Two other dining and snack spots are centrally located. The Coffee Shop is open between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm for those who need a caffeine fix of specialty coffees and teas. The adjacent open-air Pizza Factory is beautifully located in a courtyard set in tropical gardens beside the quiet pool, offering casual Italian cuisine for lunch between noon and 3:00 p.m. and dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The Palms Restaurant offers a casual buffet with both indoor and outdoor seating. Breakfast is available from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., while an international dinner menu is offered from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Once guests have finished lazing in the lounge chair pool or swimming in either of the two pools or the warm sea waters off the beach, they can indulge in a number of sporting activities. From tennis on the resort’s courts, to beach volleyball for the energetic, or peaceful watersports ranging from paddleboarding to kayaking, there’s something for every level of activity. On those rare high-season days when a rain shower interrupts outdoor activities, there’s always the games room to entertain. However, from mid-December through April, Antigua has pleasant temperatures and relatively little rainfall, so at Jolly Beach expect the fun in the sun to continue. Don’t forget the suntan lotion.
Off-site, the nearby community of Jolly Harbour offers golf, boating, shopping and even more exciting dining options. Other exciting excursion options are available for guests at Jolly Harbour. The spacious Calypso Cat catamaran is available for cruises with an excellent crew and fun snorkelling opportunities. Pink Panther Safaris offers island tours in their signature pink Land Rovers and an all-female team of guides. Deep sea fishing is a thrilling option for fishers. A trip to Stingray City enables guests to swim with these gentle exotic creatures. A tour of the restored, UNESCO-recognized Nelson’s Dockyard puts the island into a compelling historical perspective. A visit to Shirley Heights offers the best panoramic view of the island. Make your next getaway to Antigua and Barbuda a Jolly one. You can learn more about Jolly Beach Resort at https://jollybeachantigua.com/.