August 29th, 2013
The pressure of a pretty picture: Such high expectations are placed on professional photographers. And rightly so: It’s your wedding day. It’s your proposal. It’s your family portrait. It’s your memories and there’s only one chance to get it right. That’s why the photographer we recommend to our guests here at Jolly Beach Resort & Spa is Abena Barnes.
Always artistically inclined, Barnes fell in love with the art of photography in high school working on her School Based Assessment project studying the architecture of Antigua’s famous St. John’s Cathedral. She followed her passion and began her hands on experience and enrolled in the Antigua International Institute of Technology where she studied photography and computer graphics. In 2005 Barnes began her career as a photographer working with local professionals and honing her craft taking pictures every day.
Today, Barnes enjoys what she says is a challenging profession and at the same time the best job in the world. She has been there to get the once-in-a-lifetime shot of a nervous groom-to-be popping the question; and there to take a portrait of four family generations together for a wedding. The sky’s the limit and every day is different.
When you are based in the Caribbean’s “Romance Island,” there are a lot of memorable wedding stories to tell, but Abena says that a growing trend for vacationers is to hire professional photographers like her to capture a family vacation memory. This may seem counter intuitive with everyone taking pictures on-the-go with their phones, but she says as fun as those images are for sharing in the moment, they’re not the professional quality that her clients now want as a keepsake or album of their vacation getaway together. And with a professional photographer, everyone in the family gets in the picture! She has done family shoots on the beach as well as memorable sites including Shirley Heights Lookout and Devils Bridge.
For families hiring a photographer on vacation, Abena says to remember three things.
- Spontaneous outdoor shoots work best both for the kids and adults.
- Let kids be themselves, relax and let them show their personalities, otherwise no one will be happy and that shows in the photo.
- Think about dressing up a little for your family vacation photo shoot, those cut-offs may be comfy but might not be very photogenic.
May 6th, 2013
There was climbing, hiking, dancing, swerving, kicking, sweating and more — and it all added up to a rousing fitness success as we wrapped up the first Beach Body Boot Camp last weekend at JBR. Our Boot Campers embraced the aches and pains and came back for more – like 5:00 a.m. crazy more! Those early calls were tough but we were back and relaxing on the beach as everyone else was having their first cup of coffee. What’s more, everyone made the top on the uphill hikes to Shirley Heights and Mount Obama for those beautiful views of the coast, harbor, capital and rolling hills. We’re looking forward to the next Beach Body Boot Camp, August 2-8 and crossed our hearts to keep up the workouts till then. The only huffing and puffing should be the tropical breeze. We hope you’ll join us. Congratulations to all the Boot Campers! We did it, and here are all your smiling faces!
April 18th, 2013
Talented young Antiguans celebrate their graduation from the inaugural Jolly Beach Resort & Spa Trainee Program. (Left to Right) Malisa Warreb, Kisha Richardson, T’Amo Samuel, Eliese Pryce, Jamekia Josiah, Renelle Samuel, Cortisha Graham, Bertha Sanquintin, Ariel Lloyd, Abney Mussington, Natasha Piggott, Shermaine Reifer, Tanisha Francis, Regino Nicholas, Latisha Phillip, Rocquelle Edwards, Asheca Lyne, Kareem White, Keva Dean, Denesha Thompson, Trevaughn Warner, Lauri-Lee George, Kareem Frederick, Brian St. John, William Rolle, Adela Joseph.
We are very pleased to announce the graduation of forty-five young Antiguans from our Trainee Program on April 12, 2013. They have much to be proud of. The new, three-month program is rigorous, incorporating practical, on-the -job training with organized classroom Customer Service and Standard Operating Procedures sessions.
The trainees received Certificates of Achievements in their areas of training and Asheca Lyne, was one of the “Most Outstanding” awardees at the graduation ceremony and credits her achievement to the encouragement that she received from the staff. She was attached to the resort’s Guest Services Department where she had the opportunity to interact with the guests first-hand saying that although it was nerve racking at first she is now more confident having been exposed to persons from so many different cultures.
William Rolle, one of the students attached to the Food Production and Quality Department, worked alongside the kitchen staff responsible for putting out meals for our 700-plus guests on a daily basis. Having studied the Sciences and Art in school William says he has found a new appreciation for the culinary arts. He is now considering his career options in the field having been motivated by the guests who clearly appreciated the work that he had done, making made him strive to offer great service each and every day. William’s excellent work ethic earned him an extended stay here and us is now working in our Banquet and Conferencing Department.
The goal of creating this program is to give young Antiguan’s an appreciation and understanding of our hospitality industry. These smart, young people are enthusiastic partners and the bright future of tourism here.
March 12th, 2013
At Jolly Beach Resort & Spa we’re all about casual fun-in-the-sun, a relaxed beach getaway. But even the most laid back of our guests appreciate a fine dining experience and our Ristorante Bocciolo delivers. It’s not unusual to see a bride and groom toasting their nuptials, or anniversary and birthday celebrations at dinner.
The Food. The menu is Italian inspired with a dollop of Antiguan flavor. You start with a savory and abundant antipasti bar of grilled marinated vegetables, cured meats, mozzarella and tomato with basil pesto, an olive medley, crispy squid, rosemary and parmesan polenta chips, and butterbeans with sundried tomato and fried sage leaves. First course choices include prawn linguini, ricotta ravioli, risotto with Italian sausage and angel hair with scallops. Have some pizza topped with three cheeses and roast vegetables, smoky bacon and pepperoni or a medley of olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and anchovies. Then, for your main course the menu includes veal osso buco, grilled chicken served with a tomato, olive, chili and caper compote, baked fresh-caught fish with mussels and clams, and pork chop in Marsala sauce.
The Fun. And at Jolly Beach you know that fine dining doesn’t equal boring. Maître d’ Bradley Meade and his staff execute synchronized service, an elegant technique used in five-star restaurants. What does all the time spent training and drilling the staff mean to our diners? Showtime! As each course is served, one waitperson per guest circles your table. The lead waiter signals and voilà, all the plates are set on the table simultaneously; an efficient and fun performance at every course.
Bocciolo also stands out as our à la carte restaurant with a dress code. Think casual elegance, trousers and collared shirts for gentlemen and no sandals, slippers, sneakers or jeans. And not to worry, it’s air-conditioned.
Ristorante Bocciolo staff Bradley, Evelyn, Geraldine, Isha and Tiesha are part of a winning team making fine dining at Jolly Beach Resort & Spa a synchronized event.
Maître d’ Bradley Meade and his staff execute a dance of synchronized service in Ristorante Bocciolo, an elegant technique used in five-star restaurants and a serving of wow for our guests.
It’s not unusual to see a bride and groom toasting their nuptials in our festive Ristorante Bocciolo.