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!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Cocobay Hotel Bolans
- Coco Bay Antigua
- Cocobay Antigua
- Cocobay Hotel Antigua
- Cocobay Resort Antigua, Antigua And Barbuda