We spent 2 weeks at Cocobay in Jan/Feb this year and were very happy there. After a very long flight (the stop off in Barbados is a real pain) it was very pleasant to be met with friendly smiles and rum punch. The manager, O’Neil was there to meet us and proved to be “The Man”. He is very much an impressively ‘hands on’ manager and also makes it clear how much he appreciates his staff, they well deserve the praise. I think Antiguans must be the happiest people on earth, they certainly gave that impression. They were so friendly and concerned for us to have a good time that, when they asked us at breakfast if we’d had a good evening, we had to say ‘oh yes, very’ and not confess that we were in bed shortly after nine o’clock (our excuse is that it took a lot of energy to lie on the beach and lift rum and coke to our lips). I can’t mention rum and coke without also mentioning Robert who hands out the beach towels, rescues distressed yachtsmen, and (most importantly) brings drinks to all us lazy folk on the beach. He takes his job very seriously and regards the people on the beach as ‘his’ people’ to be looked after. Our first full day there we were late going to the beach so, no beach beds left. Undeterred we lay down on the sand but Robert wasn’t having that; he rushed off and reappeared with two helpers and two beach beds for us. We just loved him.
The beach was very good although the sea was quite rough at times and had carved out quite a steep step down into the water. You definitely need mozzie spray and the sand flies are even more vicious; we sprayed ourselves before going to the beach and made sure to be away before 5pm when it was apparently tea time for all biting bugs; it seemed to work because we got very few bites. There are teatime snacks behind the main bar at 4pm so it was an incentive to leave the beach anyway.
On arrival, O’Neil very kindly upgraded us to a seafront room for our first four days. It was very pleasant with extras such as his and hers wash basins, a plunge pool, free water, and towelling robes. We then moved to a sea view cottage that we absolutely loved although we did miss the towelling robes. They are very well designed and scattered around the spacious and very well maintained grounds so that most have private verandas where you can fall out of the hammock without amusing the neighbours. Add to that a kingsize comfy bed and soft pillows, mozzie nets and a sea view, and I can’t think of anywhere better. Although simple it really was quite stylish. Only one complaint - no drawers. I am used to throwing everything into drawers out of sight so the maid doesn’t realise what a messy person I am.
There was a generous supply of toiletries (soap, shampoo and body lotion – no shower cream) and everywhere was very clean. I don’t know what the problem was with the shower for some people but you would have to be of considerable size to get water outside the tray.
Don’t forget to bring a torch, not all the cottages have outside lights. Don't bother looking for the wellness centre, it's gone, but do look at the courtesy room where you can shower and change before leaving - it's amazing. Keep a lookout for the info board in reception, it tells you when the manager's cocktail party is and also the days they will be 'fogging'.
We had very pleasant neighbours, namely birds and lizards. We would take some sandwiches from the teatime selection back to the cabin (plus rum and coke of course) and they soon got to know the routine and would be waiting for us on the veranda for the crumbs. The tree frogs were very subdued here so they didn’t keep us awake. We decided O’Neal had spoken to them firmly. You may be lucky and spot a mongoose but they are very fast and well camouflaged.
A definite plus is the lack of children. Sorry but we’ve had our children and grandchildren and don’t really want to suffer anyone else’s.
Now for a whinge. I can’t eat very spicy food and I know it’s the Caribbean and I should expect it, but I didn’t expect quite so much. On a previous visit to Antigua, our hotel served a much larger assortment so I didn’t have a problem; of course it was a larger hotel but I was looking forward to meals and a bit disappointed especially in the evening. The food then was beautifully presented but with a lack of choice for me. You have to book a specific time for dinner so do so at reception at breakfast time. I had better luck food-wise at breakfast and lunch with the buffets, the omelettes were delicious and the fresh local fish equally so. The wine, served by the glass, was pretty good and the staff were very good at topping up, they soon got to know the winos. They were all wonderful and it doesn’t seem fair to pick out anyone in particular but special thanks to Denise, Vincia, Kerry, Darwen and Jermaine (and Robert of course).
Just writing about it makes me want to be back there so we have just booked for next February. I do hope we can get the same cottage. A whole year to wait!!!! See you there!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Antigua's most romantic all-inclusive resort - Cocobay is a colorful collection of pastel cottages crowning a breezy hillside undulating down to two white-sand beaches and miles of turquoise Caribbean Sea. Blessed with some of the most dramatic ocean views on the island, we cater to couples seeking a romantic getaway in a quaint, natural setting. Guests can choose from 57 private, authentic, Caribbean cottages and 4 plantation houses each enjoying a private verandah with striking sea views and custom designed wooden furniture. The premium pool cottages provide the very best oceanfront locations, and other amenities such as: private plunge pool, more spacious interior including extra seating area, air conditioning, bathrobes and other extra bathroom amenities, private balcony with adirondack chairs and hammock, ceiling fan, mini fridge, shower, hair dryer, espresso coffee machine, iron & ironing board, king size bed with pillowtop mattresses and high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, in-room safe. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cocobay Hotel Bolans
- Coco Bay Antigua
- Cocobay Antigua
- Cocobay Hotel Antigua
- Cocobay Resort Antigua, Antigua And Barbuda