Jolly Harbour gave a big boom to Antigua tourism reclaiming swamp land in the community just outside of its neighbouring Bolans village. It was designed as the only gated community and marina in Antigua. It is now a major tourism hub and sailing destination for the island. The services to the marine community form an almost siloed revenue next to the tourism boost from holiday homes and travel-related services within.
Despite its start on swampland, it's still developing and so are businesses in the area and indeed JH.
About Jolly Harbour
Jolly Harbour is roughly divided into what they term 'fingers' called north and south respectively. The fingers are causeways with properties laid out on the land. There is also a developing island off of the north finger. In some ways, you might liken Jolly Harbour to the palm in Dubai- though not at all in scale. The point is that almost every property has a sea-facing dock for boats. This is a very Caribbean and Florida style of living- taking the boat out for the weekend is supremely easy and convenient.
It wasn't all about the residential side of things- it was planned with a good-sized supermarket, golf course gym and spa. Along with the package were what already existed some of the most beautiful of Antigua a few minutes away by car and some simply walking like South Beach and Jolly Beach. Today stands a disused casino which does feel a little strange to everyone. It might be good if they convert or get something happening there again.
Jolly Harbour provide the gated community with electricity and as such sets the rates and tariffs - it's more reliable and more expensive than living in normal Antigua.
Jolly Harbour is the last place to have some activity in the low season as opposed to the south Falmouth and English Harbour for example seems to be very quiet in the summer. You could walk from some of the further villas to the beach or centre of the marina in 12 minutes which might get a little boring. The solution is golf cart rental mostly but renting a car can be an alternative that you use in the complex too.
Jolly Harbor has a great many units that are available to rent. I have myself lived in Jolly Harbour and have fond memories of such units. They often have 2 bedrooms and accommodate average-sized families well. You might need to consider a golf cart rental or car to get around. I recommend the former or both. Car Rental with Best Antigua >>
Rent the perfect villa for your vacation. With villas for all budgets, Jolly Harbour caters to your dream Antigua Vacation.
Rentals do come in all shapes and sizes however so do check around the various opportunities for this kind of stay in Antigua.
There are some shops like a pharmacy and a small art shop but not really anything approaching what you might think. The Epicurean supermarket is good and you will hopefully find the inside ATM or others near the shops working (at least one). Jolly Harbour does Bars and Restaurants a little better.
The bars and restaurants of Jolly Harbour that I recommend are Al Portos for a restaurant and just outside Jolly Harbour is De Underdog. You can have a good time inside at West Point but the owner has been unwell for a while now and Castaways and Underdog get the people. Melinis is also a good restaurant that I recommend. Please try the others and let us know how you find them.
Epicurean Supermarket, Shops, Banking and ATM, Golf, Gym, Estate Agents (Realtors), Marina, Swimming Pool, Tennis Club, Yacht Clubs and training, Scuba diving and many other tours operate from Jolly Harbour.
Restaurants and nightlife in Jolly Harbour
Recommended places to eat in JH are Al Portos and for a great local sports bar step just outside and turn right from the main entrance heading back towards the beach or Jolly Harbour Resort - you are looking for the underdog bar serving great food and ambience (popular with locals and expats alike).
Marina Berths, Boatyard Storage, Superyachts, Fuel Dock, Moorings, Travel Lift, Port of Entry, Provisioning
Located near Bolans in southwest Antigua Jolly Harbour is the next major right after Bolans if you are coming from St Johns, on this right travel a short while and you will see the barrier for Jolly Harbour on the right side- just drive straight in and find ample park spaces. Be warned it can be hard to find the right road out of St Johns to take so take some extra directions.
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