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“Great location”
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great location”
Reviewed 20 February 2014 via mobile

We spent ten days at Cocobay and met some really nice people from Britain and the US. We booked an Ocean View Cottage with plunge pool and although the cottage was very clean with a super view it was both very noisy and lacked privacy due to its proximity to the bar and staff rest area. We spent most of our time on the beach which was fabulous. The only downside was that you had to reserve a bed by 7.15am otherwise all of the decent positions had gone.

Breakfast was OK. We had a sandwich for lunch every day at the beach bar which was more than adequate and we met some great people there. Dinner however was a bit hit and miss. Portions at times were extremely small and did not live up to their description. The wine was drinkable.

The resort was far from perfect but had real character. Despite a few irritations we had a great time, would we go back? Debatable!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NeilandChrisHartigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (684)
Date | Rating
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English first
windsor, united kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Here we go

Check in -

Met by Mellisa who was great, quick and efficient just what we wanted after a long flight

The Room-

We stayed in a Waterfront Pool Cottage (Rm 10)
The room was clean and tidy and basic but good, It did however have this big TV sat in it with no live tv feed by pay per view, we tried once but it didnt work. There is no free wifi in the hotel at all. I find this a shock. we have stayed at some remote hotels in the Maldives all 5* who had tv and free wifi. If you wanted to have WIFI you had to Hire a digicell adapter at USD 20 per day! or pay 50c a min at reception for use of a old pc! The pool in the room was cold to cold to get in which was a shame as it was in a perfect place. Again as previous comments show it was never cleaned while we where there. Simply cholrine blocks and pump on every day but no one took out the leaves at the bottom. The room had a mini bar and gave you a nexpresso machine however only two capsules where left a day, The room was cleaned and serviced by a great bunch of people to name one in particular was Dena who was great.

The Bar

This is where I was angry and upset. We both found that the bar staff where not interested in anyone apart from if you gave them a tip then they did. We found one to be on her phone and would ignore you if she had a call. I even when you had ordered she just put it there and gave you a look and the feeling if you asked for anything else you would get it thrown at you.

The Restaurant

The main best part was breakfast great selection and team. Lunch was a selection of salads and fish or burgers. I lived of salad as I am shell fish allergic and found that most dishes contained fish or shell fish mixed in with them. Dinner was hit and miss due to the selection on shell fished based products. And was either fast or slow at points. We made are way down to the nest beach bar on valley beach if there was nothing i could eat. On the evening buffet night they had a selection of salads all lined up and labels. I picked up one that had the label vegetable + seasoning great i thought until i got back to the label and noted my hands had gone bright red and where swelling. I found out that they had put the label the wrong way round and the one i had picked up had crab flakes mixed in the dressing so I had a minor reaction. This put me off the salad again! However the servers where polite and friendly and location and views from the restaurant was good. We mainly had steak every night!

The Pools: Again where really nice but cold to get into.

The hotel is clean and has a great standard apart from a birds nest in the shell light shade in the bar.


Overall this is in a great location. it needs work to be done from all fronts to pull it up to the price ticket they demand. We are unsure if we will return but if we do it will be for the location not the hotel.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Welikehols80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CocobayGM, General Manager at Cocobay Resort, responded to this review, 18 February 2014
Thank you for sharing feedback on your recent Cocobay visit. We are truly sorry that you did not enjoy all aspects of your experience while at Cocobay. Your constructive criticisms serve as useful guidelines in prioritizing areas of needed improvement and training. This, by no means is an excuse for you not having a good holiday with us.

We trust that you would consider returning for another visit some time in the future.

Respectfully,

O'Neal
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montréal
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2014

Went for a two week honeymoon in October 2013 and everything was amazing. All the positives written in other reviews are accurate. I read some negative comments about the food, but I loved it. Everything was tasty, portion sizes were perfect, and there was a good variety. If you are used to American style huge buffets with portions sizes that can feed a family - this place is not for you!

Do splurge on a oceanfront room with plunge pool. The ocean view bungalows are up a hill and close together giving you no real privacy.

As for the sand flies, I had read about them and I had brought bug spray but it didn't help. The worst times are dawn and dusk, so avoid bring out, during the rest of the day there were not problems.

Room Tip: Ocean front with plunge pool is a must!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ciurka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hemingford Grey, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2014

We have just returned from our three week stay at Cocobay where we have had a wonderful relaxing time. Before travelling we were somewhat concerned in view of numerous negative posts on TA, but being aware that everyone's opinion differs and that some people have hidden agendas, we were delighted to find it a most delightful resort. It is in the most beautiful location, with probably the best views in Antigua, close to three good beaches with two more within walking distance. The two infinity pools are lovely, with plenty of sunbeds available - but sadly too many people have started reserving a bed in the early morning for the day and only using them briefly.

The cottages are rustic, a little bit basic but certainly not anything to complain about. The bed was extremely comfortable and we slept very well. Even though we were there for quite a time we found the storage space to be adequate, although we did take a few spare coat-hangers with us just in case, and it would have been nice to have a chest of drawers. The shower area in the bathroom is a bit different, but very practical, and if you didn't have the shower on full it didn't flood the bathroom as others have mentioned.

The gardens are beautiful, a mass of colour everywhere, and have been lovingly planted and propagated by the Head Gardener and his team, They work very had to ensure all is well maintained. The gardens are sprayed for bugs on alternate evenings around dusk, and the smell is not good, so it's best to try and be inside with doors and windows closed whilst this is going on. A lot has been written about the problems with insect bites and we took everything with us including Vitamin B1 tablets (we take these before we go and whilst there), Deet Spray, non-Deet Spray, Lavender Oil, Avon Skin So Soft, Aloe Vera amongst other things - but we still got bitten!! Most bites were either from the beach or pool/bar areas in the late afternoon so advice would be to keep spraying the Deet all day and not just at night. We found the mosquito net in the room plus keeping the doors and windows closed helped keep us mozzie free in there.

Food is always very much down to personal taste, but we found it to be very good indeed. Breakfast selection was good, there was plenty of local fruit as well as usual cooked items. Sonya cooks the most wonderful omelettes or eggs "how you like 'em". Lunch buffet was also varied with plenty of salad choices, something on the grill or a hot dish. Dinner on six nights of the week was served as a four course meal and for us the menu was sufficient and only once chose to pay extra for the Lobster. Those who have complained about food being tasteless have obviously made wrong choices from the menu as we certainly found everything to be well-balanced as well as very attractive on the plate. The only dinner we didn't enjoy as much was the BBQ on the night of the Manager's Cocktail Party. Starters and desserts were excellent, but sadly the barbecue offerings were poor and the alternative hot dishes slightly disappointing. We tried it twice, but on the third week we ate out at Dennis's at the end of Frryes Beach.
The meal-time booking system is a bit of a pain, as you had to get up early in the morning to put your name on the sheet for your preferred time for dinner that night.

The staff at Cocobay are all really friendly - they all do their utmost to make you feel welcome and most of them will have a laugh and a joke with you. Cannot agree with earlier posts regarding poor staff attitude.

All in all, we have had an excellent, relaxing holiday in a stunning location. We have met some really lovely people too - fellow guests were a mixture of Americans, Canadians, Italians and fellow-Brits of different ages from honeymooners to retired people like us. If this is what you are looking for in a holiday location, then give it a try - you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: Make sure you have a room with air-conditioning - essential!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank roamingroto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2014

We went to the Cocobay last week and had a restful holiday. The weather wasn't brilliant with quite a bit of wind and rain but thought it would be helpful to outline the pros and cons.
Pros: A beautiful location with glorious views of the turquoise bay. The hotel is set within pretty landscaped gardens which are abundant with colourful birds and lizards and with pelicans and frigate birds cruising overhead. The staff are friendly but not particularly professional. Our room was pretty and had a great view over a small plunge pool and towards the bay.
Cons: The food is very unimaginative (I can't comment on desert as I didn't eat any) - the fish on the grill always seemed to be frozen not fresh and local. The fruit was the same every day and never allowed to get ripe, so tasteless. It would have been nice to see the barbecue by the beach pool used and to have proper barbecued meat.
The main gripe with the restaurant was the fact that you had to book to eat at a specific time every day and if you didn't book by 8.30 am all the slots before 8.30 pm had been taken. When you arrive to eat you always had to "wait to be seated" - quite often for 5-10 minutes, even though you can see staff just laying the tables - very annoying. Why can't you just go and sit down?
The sand flies are a real problem - possibly just the wrong time of year but I woke every day with 5 or 10 bites and by the end of the week looked like a leopard!
I have to give a special mention to the ladies who cook the eggs for breakfast - absolutely superb! Any type of egg you like they cook to perfection, quite often cooking 2 different omelettes, scrambled and poached eggs while chatting politely the whole time. Magnificent. I think O'Neal the manager was very charming but needed to get out and about the resort more to see what is actually happening. I didn't see him in the restaurant once - perhaps if he had seen the queues of people waiting to be seated he might have seen it wasn't an ideal system.
I'm afraid the cons outweighed the pros so we won't be going back.

Room Tip: Push the boat out and get a seaview cottage with plunge pool and view of the bay if you can but bear...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DSLTunbridgeWells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CocobayGM, General Manager at Cocobay Resort, responded to this review, 24 February 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share a review of your recent Cocobay stay. We are truly sorry to learn that you did not enjoy all aspects of your experience and we sincerely apologise for not meeting your expectations. We realized that it was unusually rainy over the period of your stay and we understand how disappointed you must have been. After all, you did come to the Caribbean for sunshine. We are also sorry that we were unable to assign you a closer room due to limited availability.

We have noted some of your useful suggestions and will continue to work towards ensuring that all of our guests depart having had a good holiday. We hope that you will consider staying with us again.

Respectfully,

O'Neal
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014

As others have noted this is not a large, luxury hotel. It is a small, friendly slice of heaven. Our cottage was very clean , comfortable bed, with fantastic views. The bathroom is a bit funky
with a twig wall that allow little birds to fly in and out. This is not a problem as there is a screen door into the bedroom. Just one of the little quirks that make Cocobay a special place. The beach is so relaxing and both pools have nice chairs and floats. I suggest the sea view room with the plunge pool. It's really fun to have your own pool. One of the nicest things was the wonderful people we met. Most were from England and other European countries and were so friendly.
Thank you to all!

Room Tip: Sea view with pool.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dorothy131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Augusta, Georgia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2014

My wife and I went here for our 11 year anniversary in August 2013 and I can say it was just as advertised. The staff was really excellent and attended to all of our needs. I took some advice from Tripadvisor reviews and I am going to pass it on: Get a Premium Oceanfront Suite. Right now you are staring at the pictures and saying "I could jump from the plunge pool right into the ocean" I'm here to tell you you can and I did...several times.

We took one tour of the island which I recommend you do and went to Jolly Harbor a couple of times to the grocery store but other than that you don't need to leave the resort.

Also I don't care how tan you think you are get some sunscreen because I was already nice and bronzed before we landed in Antigua and I got cooked on day 1.

I could rave more but the other reviews covered most everything already. I can say it was the best vacation of both of our lives and we will go back. We really really got our money's worth and then some. Quit reading reviews and looking at the pictures and book your vacation NOW!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Scott S
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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