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“Simple but Stylish”
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Bournemouth
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Simple but Stylish”
Reviewed 2 March 2013

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!

Room Tip: We chose a seaview room and were very happy with it.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Boudicca_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (678)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
98 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2013

We were immediately struck by the authenticity and friendlness of the staff. They make the hotel work. The hotel is beautifully placed in a stunning location, there are multiple different places to sit, lounge in the sun, be alone, walk, and generally relax. Multiple pools and the beach separate the guests so it never seems crowded and remains intimate. The rooms are basic, but well done, the maintenaance on our room could have been better, loose latches on doors, broken vent windows, etc. Those items did not detract from our stay, but coupled with inconsistent maid service they make this beautiful place very good rather than excellent as it seems more worn in many small respects than it should with basis consistent maintenance. It was very clean.

The food is plesant and I found the consistency of the dining services relaxing and enjoyable. Frankly, I see no reason to leave the resort for food (we ate out one night to an "excellent restaurant" based on reviews and it was no better than the chef's work at the hotel and it cost $200.)

This was our first trip to an all inclusiive. When you go you should know what you are entitled to. It was not clear to us. On arrival we were offered a bottle of liquor for our room; tired from our flight we said we just wanted to get to our room, When I asked for a bottle the following day it was never delivered. In addition, the mini bar was not restocked consistently. One day it would be restocked, the next we were told it would be extra for water. The next day more water appeared. We ran out of coffee for two days then it was restocked. Not a problem, but these items differentiate five stars from fewer. I should note that our meal plan included the entire menu, even the appetizers and entrees that had a significant "supplment" for many guests. This would have added significant cost to the trip $50-100 per night if it were not included. The supplemental items were our favorites, of course.

The bar service was good, I just hated the pool side plastic cups, they were like the ones we used when I was a child for cool-aide, I just think they could be nicer, perhaps reusable.

Finally, as a gay couple traveling with other known homosexuals we were concerned about Antigua's anti-gay laws, but we wanted to see the island and decided to go. This resort was nonetheless welcoming and kind as were the people we met wherever we went. We met other gay couples and had no issues, that said, I would not have been comfortable with any PDA's and that can be uncomfortable on vacation.

Room Tip: Know if you are directly on the water or not, the "seafront" are one row back and would ha...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ralph R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ocean Grove, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2013

As the manager of a 150 year old inn in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, I am more accustomed to being on the receiving side of TripAdvisor reviews. But the time I spent at Cocobay with my sisters last week is very worthy of this effort. We had a wonderful time. The grounds of the resort were incredibly beautiful and well maintained. Our cottage, while simple, was perfectly adequate and enjoyable. We loved the beach and the pools and the restaurant and the bars.

The resort certainly caters to couples. But as three sisters and best friends seeking a much needed reward for getting through a rough year, we were not looked upon as unusual by other guests or staff and we never felt out of place.

The staff here, overall, was very very good, probably the best I have every encountered at a resort - friendly, accommodating, sincere. Two stood out for us - Craig and Melissa - I only wish I could work with people half as good as them. They were friendly, intelligent, helpful and funny - not at all typical. I would hire either in an instant.

If you are looking for a place to party until all hours of the night, this might not be the best resort for you. But if you excel at simply relaxing, this is the right choice.

I highly recommend this resort. We began discussing our trip back before we even left.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Heather S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sussex
Level Contributor
38 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2013

Don't come here if you like crowds, clinically clean rooms or fast food. However, if you are happy to have space, authentic furnishings and beautifully prepared food, then this is the place for you. Rooms ARE basic, but what more do you need - it is clean and maintained? Bed is comfortable, only tiny complaint is the mosquito net that could do with being larger so you don't get caught up in it. (piece of advice, take a couple of clothes pegs with you to make sure it stays together in the night). Food is amazing, breakfast and lunch are freshly prepared and cooked in front of you by the wonderful Sonya. Staff can't do enough for you, Melissa and other staff on the front desk make you feel like an old friend and the staff in the restaurant are attentive whilst not intruding. A very well-run and maintained hotel.
Tips for Antigua:
Don't ever leave a taxi until the last minute as they never seemed to turn up on time
Takes lots of mosquito repellant
Supermarkets stock British food and essentials

Room Tip: Get the best you can afford - sea view can be a little limited but whole setting is beautiful
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank megsussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shreveport, Louisiana
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2013

My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon at the beautiful CoCo Bay Resort. We wanted to go somewhere that was a little more secluded and quiet than a Sandals. CoCo Bay was the perfect place to relax after our wedding... O'Neil (the manger) took very good care of us to make sure that we had a good experience. The views from the room were unreal. The staff was extremely personable and the island is absolutely beautiful. We didnt really know what to expect, and Coco bay exceeded every expectation that we had. Memories that will last forever.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank carterdhopkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CT
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2013

Just back from a week at Cocobay. My review will be short and I can't possibly list all the wonderful staff that took care of us, and made this vacation one we will repeat next year. Our room was amazing, the food excellent at every meal, and the beach and water the best. We loved the casual atmosphere, no glitz, quiet evenings spent with wonderful people we met during our stay, and a couple of fun excursions. I can't say enough good things about Cocobay, thank you all, and see you next year.

Room Tip: The walk up the hill is worth the views.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank traveler14Ct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hatfield Peverel, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
94 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2013

My wife and I have just returned from Cocobay and thoroughly enjoyed our ten days there. The resort is beautifully located and overall most of the staff were excellent really taking an interest in the guests.

For an all inclusive the food is pretty good with a reasonable amount of variation and choice apart from one lunchtime.

The rooms can best be described as shabby chic but are comfortable and reasonably spacious. The bathroom in our room was bit tired and some areas of tiling could do with a clean. However, there was always plenty of hot water.

While we enjoyed our stay there are a few areas which could be worked on to make it even better:

- the Wellness Centre still listed on their website has been closed and is being converted into another bedroom. While this didn't worry us it might mislead some.

- you're not informed of what is going on and not provided with listing of events and entertainment. We found out from other guests about a nature walk we could have gone on and turned up for dinner one night to find their had been a manager's evening for guests which was just finishing.

- you have to pay $10 a day for wi-fi access which is usually free in at least the communal areas of most hotels at this level.

- the beach is pretty but you need to be careful swimming as it is very rocky in places. It's unfortunate that it is marred by some ugly containers used for storage.

Overall as a chill out location it's great.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank essexspursfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cocobay Resort

Property: Cocobay Resort
Address: Valley Church, Bolans, Saint Mary's 431, Antigua
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary's > Bolans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Cocobay Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 65
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

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