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“Excellent for its class” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Excellent for its class”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2014

I’m afraid I’m old(ish) and cynical, and lots of new TA members doing 5* rave reviews, especially if the reviews are formulaic, tend to frighten me away from a hotel. (Much hyperbole can also be a problem, but let’s not go there).
So it was, at first, that Cocobay Resort was not on my shortlist.. However, when I checked again local experts and some senior reviewers provided much reassurance, so I didn’t miss out on what transpired to be an excellent holiday.

On arrival, after an 18 hour trip, half on a long haul flight, the traditional W’Indies welcome of a cold towel and rum punch was appreciated. Check-in was efficient, although much of the verbal information about mealtimes and a tour of the resort the following morning didn’t fully register. A helpful and friendly member of staff (they all seemed to fit that description) showed us to our room, pointed out the phone and reeled of a list of contact numbers before leaving us to change for dinner.

Many reviewers have mentioned the food. Remember T.A. lists Cocobay as 3½* and as such the food is generally excellent, the buffet lunch is better than some 4* resort main meals I’ve had. Although usually excellent the last night was a disaster, a Rack of Lamb barely warm, let alone cooked. Staff cottoned onto the problem and offered a replacement but by then we were well in to the second hour of our meal (service that night was appallingly slow) so we didn’t accept. By the time we had a desert two hours had passed, and other diners were leaving without desert. Hopefully this is unusual, and I’ll measure the catering accordingly.
Some reviewers refer to the lack of early evening “slots” for dinner. This seemed to be because the resort always give priority to guests expected to arrive that day, which I considered a thoughtful service.

In British holiday parlance the rooms would be described as chalets or cabins, but none the worse for that. A great surprise was that our room was semi-detached. The bedroom seemed small at first glance, but this was mainly because a large bed was pushed forward to the centre of the room. (The wardrobe area was behind the bead head). The room had a mini-fridge, one chair, and a slatted coffee table. Neither the bedroom nor the (very large) bathroom was well lit. Overall the bathroom was OK but the bath/shower corner would have been a disgrace even in a cheap 2* hotel. (It wasn’t one of the semi-exterior bathrooms).
The balcony was quite small, but the views great.
The mini-fridge was stocked (and refilled daily) with water, bottled beer and premium canned drinks (Coke, Schweppes etc.). However, drinking glasses and a bottle opener would be useful additions.

The resort grounds, bar, pools and adjacent beaches were excellent, although Valley Church Beach wasn’t readily accessible from the resort, probably for good security reasons.

One final anomaly. In several decades of travel I’ve never before been in a hotel with absolutely no information in the room (or other rooms, I asked guests). Not a word, pictogram or phone number. So pay attention at check-in (I didn’t) or if you need a resort guide, room service, a massage, a doctor or a fire engine – no chance!

Room Tip: Check satellite imagery and you find sea facing normally = North facing = cool balconies. The H sha...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Grumbleweed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,208 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (656)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Southport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2014

My husband and I traveled to Cocobay a couple of weekends ago. We were trying to find a laid-back, relaxing Carribean hotel that delivered more in personality than it did in high rises and multiple pools, but we didn't want to spend most of our time travelling to an out of the way destination. Cocobay delivered on everything we were looking for- It was an easy direct flight from Newark, NJ and then a quick transfer from the airport in Antigua- both necessities since we only had a long weekend to spare for vacation!

All in all, I would absolutely return to Cocobay, and I am not one to visit the same place twice. Every picture you see of the resort on the website is actually exactly how it looks in person. The views were impeccable, and the landscaping was very well maintained. We loved the fact that there were all types of birds, including hummingbirds, everywhere. The staff was warm and friendly, and while this is an all-inclusive you will feel compelled to tip just because there are so many great people who work here.

The rooms are great- people complain on here about storage space but really, how can you complain about that when you have a private balcony with a comfortable hammock and a view of the Caribbean to wake up to? For our 4 day stay, we were able to fit all of our clothing with plenty of room to spare.

I am usually much more of a beach person than a pool person, but the pools at this resort were awesome. Both were situated so close to the water you really didn't have to choose between one or the other. The lower pool has amazing sunset views. The beach was great too- we never had a problem finding chairs or an umbrella.

The bartenders were all pleasant and were willing to go to great lengths to find proper cocktail ingredients (we had some memorable mojitos here!). Due to our short stay, we didn't leave the resort for any excursions or tours but we did wander off to explore some of the neighboring beaches and grab a beer at the Nest.

There were bugs, but they were selective in choosing their targets. I got attacked while others were fine. Just don't forget to pack bug spray and apply it liberally- you will not be able to avoid them anywhere... youre on a tropical island! So I wouldn't count this against the resort at all.

Overall- if you are looking to escape and relax in complete tranquility and beauty, Cocobay is definitely the place to go. I am so glad we found it. We will definitely be back in the future, and I am recommending it to anyone who asks!

Room Tip: Almost all of the bungalows had water views, but we saw a couple that didn't. Just make sure you...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DeuxLoves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2014

Plus points: Beautiful gardens, bar area pools and restaurant, very nice cabin which was new (called Sugar Apple) with absolutely no complaints about it all (and I am fussy!) very comfy large bed, super clean, excellent shower room, good food in evening but needs a bit more variety as there are only a couple of new things on the menu each night and starter portions very small. Breakfast good but could be improved with more fresh tropical fruit provided. Lunches were poor really - reminded me of school food - we had hamburgers and chips one day and sausages another - what about some nice salads? Majority of the staff were very nice but a few grumpy ones. They were certainly happier than a lot of the guests who looked as they were enjoying it as much as a trip round Tesco's, rather than on holiday in a beautiful place! Could do with some loos near the lower swimming pool area. The changing room offered on the last day I thought was really nice - don't know what the last person was complaining about! It was a bit open but I don't suppose anybody would be trying to look in for too long - well not with me in there anyway!

The weather was not the greatest - plenty of heavy showers and there's not much to do except lie on the beach (what about a nice tennis court Cocobay?) We toured the island a couple of times in our rented car and there really isn't a huge amount to see - whatever you do, bring a decent map if you do want to explore as the hotel and car hire maps are really basic!

There is a serious problem with stray dogs and dogs tied up outside people's houses all day every day which is really upsetting if you are an animal lover. We found a very sick and pitifully thin puppy at Half Moon Bay and took her to Antigua Animals who do a brilliant job rescuing some of these animals.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank fiona g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cliffside Park, New Jersey
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2014

I am writing this review during our return flight from paradise. Anything less would be an understatement. The beautiful island of Antigua and specially the wonderful Cocobay Resort. Upon our arrival we were greeted by Tamika, who not only welcomed us with cool towels and rum punch, but with the wonderful news that we were given an upgrade from a sea view to a deluxe ocean front cottage with a plunge pool. wow! And one of the most private ones. They were nicely appointed and decorated with typical island decor. They came with a small fridge, which was stoked daily with water, soda, etc. This was only the beginning. The views were absolutely amazing and unobstructed. You would wake up every morning to the most stunning blue ocean surrounded by mountains, it just doesn't get better than this. The entire property was beautifully maintained and the service was impeccable. From Melissa and Akila at the front desk who helped us daily with internet service and calls, Kevin, who helped us with our luggage and tended to our needs, wonderful Denise, who made sure there was Papaya ready for us at breakfast, Kathy who packed us sandwiches for our trip back home and the very professional O'Neal, the resort manager who personally greeted and welcomed us to the property. This guy really runs a tight ship. If you are looking for a place to relax and unwind this is definitely the one. Make sure you book directly with Cocobay, you will get a much better rate.
There are some mosquitoes and sand flies as other guests have mentioned but come on, this is the Caribbean make sure you bring insect repellent and get a room with AC that will take care of the mosquitoes. We haven't arrived home yet and are already planing a return trip. See you soon Cocobay!

Room Tip: Beachfront cottage #10 very private
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank VivianAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
March, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014

We have been to cocobay twice, and are really looking forward to returning again this year. Why? Becuase we don't like the usual large concrete buildings, multi storey boxed room hotels. We like something that is unique, different, and has a life of its own. Cocobay is not scared to be different. And what tells us that it is successful, is when we meet people like us, who return again and again. Or, people who go becuase it has been recommended by family and friends, and then become regulars themselves.

We LOVE the bamboo shower that everyone uses before leaving. Where else can you watch the sea on a sheer cliff whilst showering! Unique.

We love the staff. Oriel, Robert, Sonia and the brilliant Mr Gore. Each one remembered our names and made us feel immediately at home again. Unique.

At Cocobay you feel like family, not a holiday guest.

So, to everyone that says in their reviews that the rooms are basic, the site is small, not enough entertainment etc, think about where you are staying. This is what makes Cocobay Unque.

On our travels around the island, we would compare all of the hotels to Cocobay, nothing ever came close. And every year, we book again.

Thank you O'Neil, don't change anything becuase, by being different, you will always have us all back.

Room Tip: Monserrat rooms get a beautiful breeze. Sleeping Indian mountain is very special
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tabby c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairmont, Minnesota
Level Contributor
64 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2014

My husband and I recently stayed at this unique resort. It consists of only 40 individual lodging units very similar to a cottage. The units are quaint with mosquito netting over the beds and individual decks. Some of the units have their own plunge pools but we choose the less expensive unit. A large conch shell is mounted on the outside of each unit by the door. A smaller shell is attached with a chain which is to be taken out to show the cottage has been vacated. This shows you how unique this all inclusive resort is.
All meals are served in the same dining room overlooking the ocean with beautiful sunsets. The evening meal portions were small but very delicious. They were more gourmet than other all inclusive resorts. There were limited choices at the lunch buffets. In fact two of the lunches served hamburgers and maybe another meat choice. Breakfasts offered personally cooked eggs,bacon,beans, fruit, yogurt, toast & muffins. Remember there are generally only 80 guests to serve.
The beaches had beautiful white sand. The water dropped off 18" making it difficult to get out of the ocean. You aren't harassed by local vendors at the beach. Winston sells shells from the area and someone offered tshirts and jewelry. They did not approach you so it was always easy to relax under a tree and enjoy the sounds of the ocean. Robert was available to assist you with any of your water needs such as kayaks, hobie cat, etc. I would highly recommend the Extreme Circumnavigate Excursion. It was a full day excursion where you go around the whole island and swim with the stingrays. It was excellent.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BeachyJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2014

My husband and I stayed for a week and it couldn't have been a better vacation! The hotel has great rooms, great location and excellent food. The manager is the best and very accommodating. I would return in a heartbeat. The staff is what will bring me back over and over again:)

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank StinaMac
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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