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“Very Nice Experience Overall!”
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 November 2013

Just returned from Cocobay resort with my wife for our anniversary and I was very pleased overall. We arrived at the airport on time however customs can be slow and we waited for nearly an hour trying to get through as it is a small airport.
The drive to Cocobay is 30-40 minutes depending on traffic and will set you back around $28US (which is paid for by the hotel if you book through their website.
You are treated to a cold towel and rum punch on arrival as mentioned by other reviews. The reception staff is very polite and had our room ready immediately. They did schedule a short tour of the resort which we took later on because we were tired from travel.
We reserved the premium oceanfront suite after reading other reviews and seeing pictures. I would not consider booking a different room. These rooms really are magnificent and were the absolute best part of the stay. The bathrooms are newer and much nicer than the rest of the villas with black marble countertops and dual vanity. The showers open up like the rest of the rooms however have a glass partition so the floors do not get wet. The beds and linens are very soft and comfortable. The plunge pools are nice but are pretty chilly so we did not spend much time in it. Since we booked through the hotel, our mini fridge was always stocked with beer, water, soda, tonic water, and rum punch. Maid service is prompt and they do a good job.
The hotel itself is in good shape with nice landscaping. There is no TV or internet in the rooms but you can rent a wifi hookup for $10 for 24 hours.
There are ocean kayaks and hobi cat sailboat free to use from the hotel. The beaches are lovely and water is crystal blue. The only complaint I have about my experience is the solicitation on the beach. There are several locals who stay on the beach all day trying to sell jet ski rides. They ask several times throughout the day unless you are short/rude to them and tell them to leave you alone. I am not a fan of being a jerk on my vacation but had to towards the end of the trip. They also ride the jet skis around the bay/cove attempting tricks in order to show you how much fun you could be having. It is very obnoxious and the resort should make an effort to get control of these guys. There is a private beach you can walk to that is desolate and much nicer but without chairs or drinks.
The food is pretty good for an all inclusive. Buffet for breakfast and lunch and a menu with 4 courses for dinner. Steak, lobster, and shrimp is on the supplemental menu at no extra charge if you book through the hotel so another incentive to book through their website. Their is live music several nights per week which is actually not bad although no one really dances.
O'neal (the property manager) runs a tight ship and the staff are excellent at their jobs from the groundskeeper to the barmen. We received a bottle of aged rum our first night, candles and rose petals our third night, and rum punch and toasted coconut our last night compliments of the manager. Clearly he does an excellent job and responds to his guests.
We rented a jeep and toured part of the island including Half Moon Bay, Shirley Heights and Nelsons Dockyard. The country itself is beautiful and this is a nice alternative if you get bored on the beach after a few days. We also did the zipline/kayak/snorkel tour which cost $145 and lasted from 9am to 2pm and included a good lunch on the beach. It is a short excursion but still a good bit of fun. I was told not drive to St. Johns because of traffic and the crowds so I cannot comment on the town but everyone we talked to was not impressed.
I would bring cash and change. You are not required to tip but everyone is so good at their job you would be remiss not to. The hotel does not have change at least the few times we asked unless you buy something from the gift shop which charges $16 for a small bottle of bugspray.
And by the way, the bugs can be bad. Not mosquitoes but tiny biting flies. They are worse after the rain.
I had a great time and would recommend this resort. We chose this resort over Hermitage Bay due to cost, however had to contend with solicitation on the beach which is not present there for some reason. Otherwise this place is fantastic but again, I would book through the hotel and upgrade to a premium oceanfront suite which is right on the water.

Room Tip: Opt for the premium oceanfront suite and you will not be disappointed.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 November 2013

We have been back home for a month now and miss Cocobay, the staff and our new friends so much. We were celebrating our Ruby Wedding Anniversary and it was made so special for us from the start. Opening our balcony doors for the first time was breathtaking with the most amazing view of the Caribbean. The rooms were rustic which added to the charm and the air conditioning was an absolute godsend as with out it we would have struggled to sleep. The gardens are so lush and green and the walk to our bungalow from the reception was really tropical as you meander among tall coconut trees with the sounds of birds and wildlife making such a relaxed atmosphere. Sonia and her wonderful omelettes start the day and the choices for breakfast was excellent. From 10am (ish) to 6pm (ish) the beach bar opens and the main bar stays open up to 11pm (sharp) Drinking Cocktails for all that time is a real hardship but hey what the heck. The lunch and evening meals were fantastic again with so much choice and you will get back home with a few extra pounds added to your physique. The staff are an absolute delight and nothing is too much trouble for them. Mr Gores dry sense of humor and the crazy Sasha are just two of the stars that light up our days. Robert risked his life teaching us to sail and Oriel kept the drinks and the wit flowing. Wherever you walk around the resort a member of staff would always smile and ask how you are which is so important and makes the holiday so special. One night we came back to our bungalow after a lovely evening with our friends and when we opened the door we were greeted with our floor covered in flower petals and candle lights flickering away. That was a lovely touch from some lovely people who really care and take pride in looking after and spoiling you. We were at Cocobay for just one week and would have loved to have stayed longer but having to return to work got in the way. We took a couple of days out for trips around the island and we would highly recommend the Pelican tour which collects you from the hotel in an air conditioned 4 track and takes you out and about and the catamaran circumnavigation of Antigua which picks you up from the beach. We even did a jet ski belt across to the five Islands at rapid speed which we should know better at our age but we were on holiday and it was exhilarating. The last night we went up to our necks into the warm Caribbean sea and watched the sun set over the horizon. Romantic and magical. Please please go to Cocobay if you are getting married, going on honeymoon or like us celebrating a wedding anniversary you will absolutely love the place.

Room Tip: The Sea View Rooms are amazing with Stunning Views
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tonymac2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

We have just returned from a 2 week holiday at this amazing hotel. The pace was relaxing, staff friendly and atmosphere welcoming. The hotel is a perfect size, big enough to be international but small enough to retain a friendly boutique vibe.
The food is amazing, buffet breakfast with Sonia cooking fresh eggs - your style - cooked to order, lunch buffet was varied and despite our party of four having very different tastes, we always found something amazing. Dinners were something special, the attention to detail in the meal presentation deserves a mention, five courses each evening beautifully placed and designed on the plate but not at the expense of the taste, the food was just simply perfect. I should say that there are a couple of things I don't like, waiting staff always went out of their way to ensure that I had something I liked - in fact on the last day the lunch pudding was... "fruit salad, pistachio ice cream or pineapple crumble, and I'll find something for you" This attention to detail is second to none.
The bedrooms are bungalow style in the grounds, the views from the balcony very special - make sure you get a room with air conditioning, I can't imagine how we would have coped without it. The ensuite shower room is designed to have the doors open straight onto the balcony so you get the sense that you are showering in the open air - however strategically placed natural screening meant that you were assured of privacy - this was really special.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone, it is though, not the place for you if you want to party all night or are bowled over by marble towers, this hotel is exactly as it should be, in keeping with the location.

Room Tip: the sea view rooms are lovely. You will need to have a room with air conditioning, it gets very hot...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank linda m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

Just returned from a fortnights holiday here and did not want to leave. The hotel is quite small which for us was great and is made up of individual wooden chalets. There are various types of chalet, we had a seaview cottage which comes with aircon and you will need it(some of the other chalets do not). The hotel has 2 infinity pools, both are of a good size with plenty of sunbeds around them, though they could do with putting in some more parasols around. The beach is where we spent most of our time, although public it is quiet, though at weekends the locals do come there and it can get a little noisy, as with other carribean resorts there are beach sellers but not many and they are friendly and will not bother you if you say no politely. Now to my favourite part, food and drink, food to start is excellent with many choices and all of excellent quality, breakfast was buffet style and were great with eggs cooked to order, Sonia normally worked the egg station and was always cheery and efficient. Lunch again was buffet style with plenty of choice. Dinner was a la carte, with enough choices that I was never stuck, food was presented in a nouvelle cuisine style and again of excellent quality. Drink wise there was plenty of choice of locally produced spirits but only 1 type of lager(Piton)! There is a cocktail list but these are a bit hit and ,miss dependent on who was mixing, we stuck mainly to the "champagne" or Mimosa(champagne and orange).
I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone though if you are looking for late nights and partying, this is perhaps not the place for you. We cannot wait to return.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank jdm333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

We've been home from Cocobay for almost 2 weeks and we're still missing it like we left a vital organ behind!

From the minute you arrive you are welcomed in to the resort like you're joining a very big, very happy family. The staff really do make this place as special as it is...that and the stunning views of course. Oriel, Cyeon, Mr Gore, Tony, Kerry, Sonia and Sasha (to name just a few!!) really go above and beyond to make sure the guests are happy and well catered for...we still wake up wishing Sonia would be waiting in the kitchen to cook us an omlette before work!

Being all inclusive, we were slightly worried before we got there that the food would be the usual low standard, mass produced affair but could not have been more wrong. The evening reservations and a la carte menu was a great touch and added to the relaxed, chilled feel of the place. To read reviews that the portion sizes werent big enough doesn't make any sense to me. You have an all you can eat breakfast (with just about anything you would want for breakfast!), all you can eat lunch with a good selection to cater for all tastes, grilled sandwiches and crisps down by the beach, afternoon tea of sandwiches and cakes/biscuits and then a four course a la carte dinner menu. Really?? That's not enough to eat in a day?! The other great thing about the food was the menu changed every night and the vegetarian selections were superb. I ate some of the best veggie meals I have ever tasted...please Cocobay let me have the receipe for the baked tomato stuffed with sweetcorn and mushrooms!

Yes the rooms may be a litte tired and could possibly do with a lick of paint here or there but if you're spending your time staring at paintwork instead of the stunning scenery then this probably isn't the holiday for you!

You will get bitten, the frogs are noisy at night but that's what happens when you book a holiday on a tropical island. This is not the fault of the hotel and there are limits even to these guys as to what they can do to make your stay more comfortable.

Cocobay, we thank you all for the most amazing holiday and can't wait to see you again...hopefully next year if I get my way!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MrsCrump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

If you are after ultimate relaxation, with friendly people, delicious food and cocktails then this is the place for you. The Hotel - Peaceful, very well kept with a very laid back vibe. The Rooms - Rustic charm and back to basics. No TV's but why would you spend your holiday watching TV anyway? Bathrooms and the odd piece of furniture are a little dated and could do with a revamp but not a major issue. The Staff - All very friendly and will make the effort to chat with you, but will leave you alone if you just want to relax. The Food - 4 course a la carte menu for dinner that changes every night. If there is nothing you fancy they will cook something extra. Breakfast there is a an excellent choice with Omelettes, scrambled eggs, fried eggs cooked by the excellent Sonia as well as freshly picked fruit. Lunch is a bit hit and miss but also panini's available by the lower pool all afternoon. The Views - Breathtaking. The Beach - All Antigun beaches are public so you get locals selling you jet ski rides, they are not pushy and are unusually polite for beach vendors. Sundays there are Antigun family's having beach parties with steel drums and BBQ's but are very friendly and welcoming of Tourists. Overall - If you have booked here you will not be disappointed.
Tips - Don't worry about weather in Oct/Nov. Weather forecast says rain everyday but it's only because they cannot forecast accurately. It rained 2 days out of the 10 we stayed.
They don't restock the mini bar with water but keep hold of the bottles and they will gladly fill them up for you at the bar with perfectly drinkable water. If you don't fancy anything on the menu, they will cook you something else.If you fancy the panini for lunch head down for midday and Cicely will reserve one for you as they go pretty quick! Get your name down for the Shirley Heights party every Sunday. Shuttle bus will run from Cocobay. Bar closes at 10:45 each evening but if you want to stay longer the barman will make you a few cocktails before he clocks off.
Only negative was that we are 99% sure the barman at the top bar stole a pair of Ray Bans we left on the bar by mistake but we were unable to prove so nothing came of it. Shame, as all the other staff are so wonderful

Room Tip: Go for a Seafront or Seaview if possible.The views from the Garden view rooms aren't by any mean...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

Just back from spending 2 weeks there. The relaxed low rise cabin style rooms blended into the scenery and complemented by fabulous food. It is not in your face luxury, just private, quiet and relaxed mixed with sunny days and killer sunsets. Can not recommend this hotel enough . The singing frogs at night are loud but you get used to them and the wildlife and humming birds off your balcony only add to the experience as you swing in your hammock. The staff are great and helpful with Sonia the breakfast egg cook and joy to see each morning and again at lunch. We booked with Virgin holidays, while the flight and transfers worked a treat, selecting their trips proved to be a far from satisfactory/professional experience, but this was not the hotels responsibility. After the first day we were all relaxed into the Caribbean place of life in this place and even the odd shower of rain could not move us from the beach or pool side. A superb location, great staff and first rate food.

Room Tip: Aircon a must!!!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank RuperttArmes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cocobay Resort

Address: Ffreyes Beach, 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: £310 - £540 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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