November 21st, 2013
We’re very happy to share information about a new daily, non-stop flight to our beautiful Antigua. American Airlines non-stop service from New York’s JFK begins today and will have you relaxing on our best beach by a mile at lunchtime. Flight number AA978 departs JFK at 7:15 am and arrives here at V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU) at 12:30 pm. The return flight, still AA978, departs ANU at 1:30 pm and arrives at JFK at 5:25 pm. This daily non-stop will continue until March 31, 2014, so plan your Winter Escape now and you’ll be sipping our Wadadli Cuddle on the beach before you know it.
November 15th, 2013
Spend the Holidays and ring in the New Year in white sand instead of snow. Book with us by November 22, 2013 and you’ll save 60% on all-inclusive rates starting at US$98 per person, per night, double occupancy for travel December 21-February 15, 2014. We have a full schedule of Christmas and New Year’s activities and celebrations from choirs, live bands and beach bonfires to Santa and an “Animalistic” New Year’s Eve party that welcomes in 2014. Make you winter escape and we’ll see you on the beach!
November 5th, 2013
For whatever reason, so many of us don’t take all of our yearly vacation days. If you’re in this column, why not plan a Caribbean getaway right now, and get the best rates of the year while you’re at it. Make a direct booking with us by November 15, 2013 and you’ll save 60% on travel now through December 20, 2013 with all-inclusive rates starting at US$88 per person, per night, double occupancy. If you prefer a winter escape in the New Year, you’ll save 60% on high-season rates if you travel January 6-February 14, 2014 or March 10-April 15, 2014, US$97.50 per person, per night, double occupancy. The clock is ticking; count up your vacation days and have some fun on Antigua’s best beach by a mile.
October 22nd, 2013
Aaliyah (left) with her mom and younger sister Eden.
Summer is at an end, but thank goodness, memories of “summer with my family” stay with us forever. Eight-year-old Aaliyah Cannon shares her poignant memories of a vacation on the beach and the fun she had with her family, the last they would have together, in her prize-winning essay. As the winner of our Jolly Kidz Essay Contest, Aaliyah and her family will enjoy an all-inclusive stay here at Jolly Beach Resort & Spa. Thanks to all the children who took the time to submit entries, each and every one reminded us how wonderful it is to have precious time with our loved ones, new experiences, and being able to share them with family and friends.
My summer with my Family
By Aaliyah Cannon – Age 8
I had a lovely time when I was 3. It was the last summer I spent with my daddy and my mummy, my brother and my new baby sister. We spent it at Jolly Beach. I had my 3rd birthday there and it was brilliant because I could go to the Kidz Club where Sandra looked after me and we played every day. We spent lovely times on the beautiful beach and my new baby sister went into the sea with mummy and daddy. It turned out to be the best summer ever because it was the last time I went on holiday with my whole family as we lost my daddy and brother the next year. I will always remember that summer as it was my last and my sister’s only one with our daddy. But I am happy that we spent it at Jolly Beach because it was wonderful and my baby sister was named Eden because we were also there when my mum was pregnant and mummy said it was paradise.
August 30th, 2013
Photographer Abena Barnes believes the popularity of photos from phones and other devices we use to document from moment to moment has created more of an awareness and appreciation of beautiful images. She has even had clients ask for photos specifically to post on their Facebook profile.
It can be challenging working so closely with new people every day, but Abena is very much a people person a trait that puts her clients at ease no matter what kind of wedding day or other butterflies may be on the scene.
One of her most challenging photo shoots was a wedding. After the ceremony the couple wanted to pose at water’s edge, a pretty popular setting for destination weddings pictures. But this time out an uncharacteristically large wave came in, soaking the newlyweds. Of course Abena got the shot and luckily the couple took it in stride and enjoyed the moment. According to Abena this was before “trash the dress” became popular and she says now you can’t keep couples from diving in!
What is it about weddings parties and water? Another couple – and their whole wedding party – made an unplanned jump into the resort pool. Again Abena got the shot remind us you have to keep an open mind as well as open eyes, anything can happen so you have to be in the moment and ready to get the shot.
With Antigua being such a popular beach vacation destination, Abena loves getting to work with people from all around the world. She has a fondness for Scottsmen, after one particular wedding. Scotts, kilts, full moons. You get the picture. She did!
For couples planning their destination wedding, Abena has three tips to make sure they get their perfect wedding album.
- For a warm weather, beach destination wedding Abena advises the wedding party to be very careful of exposure to the sun prior to the ceremony so there are no nasty sunburns or tell-tale bathing suit marks (even for a graphic artist like Abena, there is only so much help you can give a photo).
- Abena says couples need to relax and leave everything to the photographer. Let your photographer worry about the when, where and how of getting the shots. The best pictures are of everyone just enjoying the moment.
- The wedding album should tell a story and should say we had a wonderful time at our wedding. And while Abena says she tries to mix it up she recommends that couples tell their photographer what kind of pictures they like. Whether it’s more traditional posed portraits, or more spontaneous and natural, even fashion inclusive. No matter what, tell the photographer to ensure your album will be one you’ll treasure.
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.
July 12th, 2013
Sipping colorful frozen cocktails while you relax on the beach. Now that’s vacation. Here are a few frosty recipes from our award-winning bartenders to help you through the dog days of summer until you arrive. See you on the beach!
June 14th, 2013
Your summer dining choices are as delicious and varied as ever, we’re just doing a little sprucing up which means new seating arrangements that we want to share.
Lydia’s will be briefly closed for renovations through June 21, 2013, but you will still enjoy its complete Antiguan-inspired menu. You’ll be seated alfresco on the patio and lawn of Bocciolo’s restaurant to dine on local favorites like Hot Gingered Prawns and Flying Fish Fillet.
Beginning on June 22nd, à la carte dinner service will begin at Hemispheres from Monday to Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays. The popular Carvery Buffet will continue on Sunday nights as well as the finger lickin’ Barbeque Buffet on Thursday evenings. Please note that all à la carte dining is by reservation and our Concierge Services Desk is happy to make all of your arrangements.
The full breakfast and lunch buffets at Hemisphere’s remain unchanged, as does you’re à la carte dinner options at Bocciolo’s and Utsav. Don’t forget the Splash Grill for grab-and-go burgers, fries, chicken and more when you just want to stay on the beach.
June 11th, 2013
“What makes your family special?” Ajarie Blucher, a student at Mary E. Pigott Primary in Grade 4S, reminded us what is truly important in his prize-winning essay. We received many entries from Primary School children in grades 4 through 6 for our Jolly Kidz Essay Contest, and all the youngsters had something special to say. Ajarie’s was chosen as our winner as he really captured many of the ideas and presented them in a strong, and loving text. Ajarie and his family will enjoy an all-inclusive stay here at Jolly Beach Resort & Spa. In addition, congratulations go out to his educators who work tirelessly to instill knowledge and values to all youngsters. His teacher, Mrs. Donmarie Gerald-Simon, has been awarded a Day Pass for two, and Ms. Gayle Samuel, Principal of Mary E. Pigott Primary, receives a complimentary dinner for two. Congratulations to Ajarie, his family and his school and thanks to all of the children who took the time to share what makes their family special.
Mary E. Pigott Primary
What makes my family special
Some people believe that having lots of clothes and money, and living in a big house a nice car, makes a family special, but I do not think so.
First of all, I believe that what makes my family special is our good relationship with each other. When my Grandparents and my Mommy bring us together for Bible Study and prayer and we learn about God, to love and share, to help each other, that makes my family special. When my Grandparents, Mommy, Uncle and Aunts help me to understand my homework and show me how to do it neat and tidy, that makes my family special. We all work together so that we can be better people to help our world and make it a better place.
Secondly, my parents train me to do right things and this makes my family special. They teach me that I am not to tell lies, but to tell the truth at all times. They also teach me that I am to listen to them and listen to others who are leading me in the right way. I am to obey the right things because God says so. I am not to follow others and do the wrong because this is to disobey and God does not like when we are disobedient. They also help me to choose good friends.
Thirdly, when we communicate with each other, this makes us special. When I, and my brother and sister share about our times at school each day as we eat dinner around the table, that makes us special. Then after we share we will know if we did the right thing or not, from what we told them, because they want us to be wise and grow to be good children. We do not eat with cell phones at the table, or watch television when we eat, because that is family time and we love to share. Some other families spend this time watching television, but this is cool, and it does not show that they believe that their family is special. Mine is, because my parents take the time to communicate, so I know they love me.
Finally, being together as a family makes a family. We do everything together. We go to church, cook, clean the house, wash the dishes, go shopping at the supermarket, wash clothes, have family parties and go on family picnics together. We sometimes get upset and fuss with each other, but not for long, because Mommy says that we should learn to get along, even though we are different.
We take the time to visit our Aunts and Uncles together. We pray for each other, especially when someone is ill. We get together for Christmas, birthday, weddings and even funerals, because we are a special family; and we take care of each other. We do all these nice things. Sometimes I think that we are crazy, but I enjoy it all because we are special. We are a family.
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!