We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

7 posts
Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

Coming for spring break with 14 and 16 year old. After looking online and reading reviews I have two resorts that look like good fits but can’t decide which way to go. Jolly Beach and St James.

We probably won’t get a car, will do a couple excursions but mostly like to walk the beach ( long walks) and kids like to have beach daysand paddle boarding.

Any insight would be helpful!

Thanks!

15 replies to this topic
St. John's, Antigua
Destination Expert
for St. John's, Antigua
Level Contributor
1,202 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

Would suggest JBR as more tours leave from that beach, the beach is longer, and it's more accessible for the bus since you won't have a car.

York, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
219 posts
25 reviews
2. Re: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

I agree with DTG, perfect points.

Plus you won't be sorry there.

7 posts
3. Re: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

The reviews are not as great at JBR, I know sometimes people complain about anything. Is it a good place? We will probably spend 3 full days just at resort. Also know one of tours we want to do is Shirley Heights does anyone know if the resort will have help out with tours?

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
169 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

Me and my wife have stayed at both - SJC a lot of times, JBR once.

SJC has a relaxed atmosphere and not as exciting for children and though there are activities. The two beaches are also practically private which all suits us but for kids, they look relatively bored.

Relative to JBR, which has a lot going on where the atmosphere is fun but has relaxed areas too. The actual beach and water is more beautiful in my opinion and is much, much longer - about a mile in total I understand, which is not a boring walk no matter how many times you do it with a different scene as you progress through it.

If you're not renting a car and want experiences other than being on a resort then JBR would be a better choice as mentioned above, it's the base for many excursions. You also have many restaurants and the whole Jolly harbour area so it's an experience.

Buffalo
Level Contributor
1,700 posts
31 reviews
5. Re: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

OnAir

It sounds like your looking for something different.

Which ever resort you choose don't expect resorts similar to Mayan Riviera resorts or Punta Cana resorts. or even Florida. The "Spring Break" style of resorts really don't exist in Antigua. JBR would be the closest to that style with the big pool, activities and nice beach. Don't expect long walks in most cases the beaches can be walked end to end in 20-30 min or less. Where JBR falls flat is in its dated rooms and many reviews say in its food and drinks. SJC is a nicer place better rooms but multiple smaller pools, beaches nice but not as nice as JBR.

When it comes to tours you can do the entire island tour in one day Shirley Heights included. The other time to go to Shirley Heights is for Sunday night's party.

When it comes to resorts in the Caribbean most have been around a long time The 2 your looking at i remember being offered in the 1980's. So when you see "Dated" in the reviews that's why. Granted they have been refurbished

The only other islands that have AI resorts that are more modern "Spring Break style" is Aruba or Jamaica. In Aruba's case the cost will be Expensive.

In Jamaica's case you'll find plenty of the "Newer chain resorts" like you find in Mexico or the DR with the big pools activities and better food and drinks What the chain resorts did there is either built from scratch or flatted an old resort and built from scratch. Either way there more modern, You'll need to do some research on where you want to stay. theres plenty of those resorts.

One other place in the DR that's also out there is Bayahibe/ Dominicus resorts which are on the Caribbean side of the DR.

As someone whos traveled many years with and without kids/teens during the "Spring Break" time we still enjoy going at that time of the year. Mexico was always the craziest Punta Cana was a notch or 2 down depending on which resort we stayed at 3rd would be Dominicus in the DR. These days I'm sure Jamaica is on par with the DR but we haven't been there in awhile.

March 2019 will be our 1st Spring Break vacation in Antigua (We did a check it out vacation in July 2018) If I were to guess Antigua would rank at the bottom when it comes to teens

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
169 posts
5 reviews
6. Re: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

I think the OP's reference to Spring Break leaned more towards only indicating the time period she plans to come as opposed to seeking the American college age party culture.

Though I have to admit your post is very insightful and I could be wrong.

Edited: 31 October 2018, 19:53
Buffalo
Level Contributor
1,700 posts
31 reviews
7. Re: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

Thebugtravels heres is some more insight..

When I think of Spring Break I think of time period as well.

These days there's multiple styles of "Spring Break" Its not just a one group.

The first is the Traditional College partiers Most go to Mexico some to the DR or Jamaica.

The Second is High School aged kids in large groups on there "Senior Class Trip" with very little in the way of Chaperones Mostly in Mexico Most of the time drunk most of the time They travel in packs-40-50 (No Kidding)

The Third group is what the original poster i think fits into. This is Mom and Dad with the 2 kids who are off either in March (Politically correct March Break) or Easter (Old school break) looking for more of a family place where the teens can make other friends hang out on the beach for the week while Mom and Dad sip Pina Colada's (or whatever the drink of the day is) Usually the resort there looking for is Budget to a Moderate AI. . You have to remember with teens Dad is paying for 4 adult rates can't go too expensive.

The Fourth is the one the Wife and I fall into these days that's the Spring Break where couples look to get away from the Cold Snow/Rain bad weather up north. Usually this group end up at an Adults Only resort because there not interested in kids and teens running around.also looking for better food and drinks then standard resort food. Antigua I'm sure does get a lot people from this group of "Spring Breakers There's plenty of resorts that work for this group (We'll be at PBC)

The Fifth and last group is the absolute worst group I call them "Corporate Spring Breakers" We ran into multiple groups of these people last March 2018. They consist mostly of head office people salesmen/women and distributors. There usually at the bigger fancier , newer resorts. They don't pay a dime for there 4-5 night stay. They takeover the pool, They usually get drunker then the High School Kids and 10 times as rude as college kids can get. "Who's got the bigger {bleep}, Who sold this or that, and list goes on usually in the middle of the pool. Resorts cater to them there big big money, and they usually travel in packs of 100-200 (No kidding).

JBR, SJC and PBC are older resorts We liked going back to this type of smaller resort similar to places we visited in the 80's-90's

My thought on the original poster is that they've been to Mexico and or the DR and are looking for someplace different. The problem is different is very limited .

This is a link I just got with reguards too "new resorts" This place opens end of 2019 in the DR for both families and AO's How do you go up against this?

https:/…CapCana-Intro.html

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
169 posts
5 reviews
8. Re: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

I love it - I really do - that was very informative.

7 posts
9. Re: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

Very informative but yes was referring to time of year. My teens are pretty mellow they enjoy beach time, swimming and paddle boarding. They love the scenery and taking pictures. I am sure they will love Antigua I just wasn’t sure which resort to go with.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
169 posts
5 reviews
10. Re: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club

Which resort did you end up picking, if so?

Also, thank you for the clarification on spring break.

Edited: 07 November 2018, 21:11
Reply to: Jolly Beach Resort vs St. James Club
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted