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“Perfect for a Wedding”
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Perfect for a Wedding”
Reviewed 3 December 2008

We just returned from a fabulous week at Cocobay to host our daughter's wedding. We have the highest praise for this paradise resort. The staff is warm, welcoming, and accomodating. Monique helped us plan every detail of the wedding ceremony and party afterwards. Tameka made sure that each of our guests had the right accomodations. Mr. Richards was personally involved in making sure all of our needs were met. We have no complaints. It is a relaxing place, clean, and beautiful.

  • Liked — relaxing atmosphere
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank SuzBethesda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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england
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2008

I am a person who bores easily and find it hard to unwind when on holiday, usually distracting myself with activities and excursions. But i have to say this is the only holiday that has left me totally chilled out both during and after my stay. The food is good but not great, but the hospitality and atmosphere more than make up for it. The wellness cottage is worth experiencing and looks out to sea It has an open front to increase the impact of the experience (I treated myself to a manicure and pedicure)
I have been on a few holidays since but would still rate this as the best ever. The entertainment is subtle but entertaining. The steel band added to the atmosphere, and the comedy singers were great. I will definately return in the future.

Stayed November 2006
Helpful?
4 Thank judgejulesEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
35 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2008

We had an amazing holiday in Antigua, and although there are a couple of improvements which could be made, we loved the Cocobay resort.

We booked and flew on a good value last minute deal with Virgin, who were excellent, apart from in terms of the 'free transfer' to the resort. We were left waiting for 45 minutes in the heat for our transfer, after being told we had to wait for another couple who were going to our hotel. This was not, in fact, the case, and our cab was instead hijacked by another couple who did not have a transfer arranged and were paying, and made the driver stop at various locations to collect things before they eventually got out at Jolly Beach. This was very annoying and delayed our arrival in the resort (we were desperate to get in the pool!), albeit we understand that the drivers want to maximise their income.

On arrival at Cocobay, the reception staff were excellent, really helpful and friendly. We were intially allocated room 51, which although nice enough, had no air con and faced the sun as it went down. As a result the room was unbearably hot and I barely slept the first night, due to the heat as well as what sounded like ambulance sirens directly outside our room the minute the sun went down. I understand from other reviews that this noise was actually coming from a combination of crickets and tree frogs! I honestly could not believe how noisy they were, but that's nature I guess and not down to the hotel! The following day we asked to be moved to a room with aircon, which the lady on reception organised for us without fuss, albeit for an additional charge of $8 per night (worth every penny!). Our new room, 39, was lovely and cool and had the most stunning view over the bay. We couldn't believe the colour of the sea! There didn't seem to be as much creature noise near this room either! The room was perfectly comfortable and the shower was good, I loved showering with the doors open, looking out to sea.

Unfortunately the infinity pool was closed for the first 3 days of our stay, but when it reopened, it was stunning. Truly the best view from a pool you could want. There were no beach towels available on the day we arrived (late afternoon), but other than that we had no problem. Everyone seems to get up for breakfast at 7.30 every day, probably due to jet lag, and you do tend to get the annoying 'reserving sunbeds with towels at the crack of dawn' malarkey, which I can't stand. One person doing this just forces others to do the same, and I wish more hotels would do something about it.

The beaches around the hotel were all stunning (yes one of the three was tiny), though the sand was not soft, it was very 'shelly'- the one just across the road into the hotel was our favourite, usually deserted. The only downside was having to trek back to the hotel to get a drink. We bought a trip - on the Wadadli Cat - from Elvis on the beach and he was entirely trustworthy! We also arranged cheap car hire through him.

We were in Antigua from end of October to beginning of November for a week and the weather was generally great. It rained at night when we were in bed, and all day on our last day, but other than that only very short showers every few days.

Oriel at the bar was funny when you got him talking, but he did appear surly at first - you do have to make the effort with him - talking about sport helps. The bar also often ran out of certain drinks. I'd say overall the one main improvement the hotel needs to make is on service. Some of the staff didn't seem to want to be there, and one even admitted as much. Overall in the Caribbean we found the service questionable, as it's just so relaxed and slow-paced, everything is late, and we weren't too bothered by it as we were also relaxed, but I can see why some people would be. We usually holiday in Asia and the service there is always second to none, so it just took some getting used to. Overally we found the people of Antigua so friendly, and most importantly, we always felt safe. The shooting at the hotel down the road was a one-off and I hope it doesn't put people off Antigua.

In terms of food, breakfast was good - I don't know how one reviewer can complain that it was the same every day? You could easily have something different every day from the selection. What more could you possibly want than a choice of cereal, fruit, eggs/omelettes how you like them, toast, bagels, pastries, fry-up, cold meats...

Lunch was good quality but the choice wasn't huge. Dinner was very good. We are foodies and admittedly it wasn't exactly gourmet but for an all-inclusive, we were very happy with it. It made a refreshing change to have a 4-course menu rather than a buffet, and there was always plenty of choice for each course. We did find it weird though that if you wanted the soup course (there was only one option for this one), you did actually have to ask for it or they didn't bring it out. Service could be better - there was a lady called Anya who was lovely and a camp waiter who we liked, but some of the others were a little surly. At lunch time, when you just walked in and sat down, it was often hard to get noticed so we often had to wait for cutlery or drinks. Yes the other restaurant 'Sheer' was closed, but it wasn't included anyway so big deal, there were plenty of other places to go if you really wanted to eat out, though only one within walking distance. (Dennis')

Speaking of which, hire a car! There is not much near the resort, and you would be missing out if you didn't see the rest of Antigua. We got a car for 3 days at $45 per day, plus $20 for the driving licence. We drove all round the island and went to so many deserted and beautiful beaches, though be warned, get a good map as there are barely any road signs on the island! I highly recommend a trip to Half Moon Bay - we were the only people on it, on a Saturday! We also went to Nelson's dockyard, which was interesting, and to Shirley's Heights on the Sunday, which was brilliant. We were fortunate enough to be able to see the England legends beach cricket and also the 20-20 match between England and the West Indies Allstars and I have to say the atmosphere was just fantastic. I'm not into cricket but I loved it! We also did the Wadadli Cat tour which was good but overpriced in our opinion - we thought we'd spend more time snorkelling rather than just sitting on the boat.

From visiting numerous beaches on the island, most of which contained various hotels, we got a good idea of what it would be like to stay in other resorts, and I have to say that we felt Cocobay was by far the best location. A number of the other hotels, such as Sandals & the Rex resorts, share beaches and they seemed so busy and therefore not exactly idyllic. Ours seemed so much more intimate. Although all beaches are public in Antigua, some of the smarter hotels clearly don't like non-guests using their beach - we spent a morning at Galley Bay and were watched like a hawk by their security guard until we left!

Overall we had an extremely relaxing getaway, which was just what we needed. There are no televisions and no telephones in the rooms, we didn't see a newspaper all week or use the internet, we just relaxed and had a fantastic time. We do normally stay in 5* resorts but decided to go for something simpler this time (as we have had enough of being ripped off for drinks etc) and didn't regret it as the hotel didn't feel like a bog-standard all inclusive resort, it felt much more romantic than that. The views are absolutely stunning. The hotel would be perfect if it just worked a little on its service aspects - making sure things don't run out, and ensuring the staff are happy in their work. I also think that all rooms should have air con as standard. For the price we paid though, we felt we got great value for money.

One last thing - I was eaten alive by mozzies! I tried using the OFF repellant that the reps recommend but nothing worked for me! Just one of those things I suppose, though I have been to other hotels that manage to control the problem by spraying the beach areas, so not sure whether this is something that can be looked at.

  • Liked — The location & views
  • Disliked — Initial lack of air con and some aspects of the service
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Holiday_Obsessive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2008

Wow, there are some terrible reviews of this place and I just don't understand it! We had a fantastic two weeks, just check out my photos and you will see this place is paradise. Absolutely beautiful scenery, fantastic food breakfast lunch and dinner, weather scorching - what more do you want? OK, the staff, especially some of those on reception and behind the bar could do with a few more customer service skills, sometimes it felt like you were pulling teeth to get something done. But overall any issues we had were resolved. One thing I will warn you of though - MOSQUITOS!!! We came prepared with everything, 100% deet, Avin skin so soft - nothing works on these. I think there were sand flies biting as well. But I will stop focusing on the negatives because really you MUST come and see this place! If you want to chill out and soak up the scenery there is nowhere better. And we have been to Mauritius, St Lucia, Dominican Republic - they don't compare.

  • Liked — Beautiful surroundings, amazing plants and animals
  • Disliked — The mosquitos!
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank clairejacek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
worcester
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2008

Having booked our dream holiday at cocobay we looked forward to great service, happy staff, a clean hotel-cabin and a safe secure hotel. OH MY GOD, how wrong can one be! I do not have enough time to explain all the faults and problems we encountered at cocobay.Here is a brief synopsis.......
* Unhelpful, terse and ignorant staff(apart from Oriel)
* Fleas in the bed
* Total lack of security i.e. Following and DURING hurricane Omar, NO staff on site, NO telephones, 500 yds. from Cocosbeach resort, where English couple were shot in July.
You are not safe in this resort!
Sheer restaurant...... CLOSED
* Do NOT book any excursions from the beach as we were ripped off for 90 dollars for a riding trip that failed to matierialise (Sean) We waited for an hour... He didn't show!
* Having to wait 45 mins to be served at the bar some eves. 1 barman to serve the entire resort (Oriel was efficient but hugely overworked)
* Failure to provide beach towels on a daily basis
* None of the watersports allegedly available were forthcoming....
* No drinks available on the beach during our entire 2nd week
All in all, there was a general feeling of total disappointment amongst the guests.

Stayed October 2008
Helpful?
10 Thank crapholWorcester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norfolk
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2008

We stayed at the beautiful cocobay resort at the end of september and celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary there. The hotels location is outstanding, the service we received was nothing short of first class. The food was wonderful, don't believe those who write that its rubbish it was delicious and plentiful. You started the day with a buffet breakfast with a wonderful choice. Lunch was also buffet and again a very wide choice was available. Afternoon tea is available if you can drag yourself away from the gorgous deserted beach. Dinner was amazing, waiter service and lovely presentation. Kenroy the restaurant manager is a lovely chap and very accommadating to requests. The reception staff were extremely helpful especially Leondred, who personally brought us fresh towels down to the beach when they turned up late. The cottages are very pretty and have delightful views from the balconies. Watch out for the humming birds and the little ones that steal your sugar! The swimming pool has an amazing view across the bay, just right for watching the sun go down. The whole resort is clean and the gardens are beautiful and exotic. We can recommend the helicopter trip to Monserratt. It was an amazing experience. The vibrant capital St Johns is also worth a visit. Make sure you take 100% deet mossie spray with you. We also took garlic tablets a week before and it definately helped as we only suffered the odd bite. We fell in love with this place and will be going back.

  • Liked — very pretty cottages,large room with a large kingsize bed, lovely seaviews.
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank BartieNorfolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Uk
Level Contributor
161 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2008

We went with realistic expectations about the resort, we had booked it following a recommendation, we were looking for somewhere not big hotely with great food (no buffet at night!)

First impressions were good, welcoming at reception, although the person showing us to our room didn't offer to help with bags and I am 6 months pregnant! We were in room 42 which is a long way from reception.

We loved the rooms, not luxurious, but balcony and hammock great, bathroom fine, only 2 things which could be improved would be the addition of a mini bar (there is a fridge running but nothing in it- maybe some soft drinks free of charge would be an option? and chargeable food would have come in handy- see later!), and maybe an indoor seat- when you don't want to sit on balcony only option is under mozzie net on bed- no greaat shakes but a seat would just make it nicer..

Food great, absolutely loved dinner, high quality food, presented well, breakfast also good although the same every day so by day 7 a bit repetitive. Lunch not great, didn't seem to be brilliant quality and again a bit repetitive.Kenny (f&b Manager) stood out, he was fantastic, but shame the same couldn't be said for all of the waiters/waitresses some of who were surly and unfriendly, we regularly had to ask for wine/water to be topped up, and despite trying to be friendly and engage in conversation, got nowhere.

The 2(?) beaches at the property are not amazing- one is minute and can hardly be caled a beach, the other is ok, but I've been to much better- I know not Cocobay's fault, but something to think about when choosing to stay here. Pool nice, but lots and lots of sandflies which are vicious! Despite deet everyone we met was bitten to death.

The main issue we had was that there was a tropical storm during our stay, and I have to say I was not impressed with the way this was managed- the hotel didn't tell any existing guests that it was due ( we knew only because we were thinking of hiring a car the following day and the Manager said a tropical storm was approaching so we may want to leave it for a day- he gave no indication of the seriousness of the storm). There was a storm in the evening and I have to say I was really impressed at the fact the staff served dinner in the bar due to the restaurant being flooded, service was the best we had and it went really well. We got the storm overhead early the following morning and it was horrendous. Newspapers reported the worst rain in Antigua since 1970, at one point there were lightning flashes every minute, you could feel the cottage moving in the wind, it was awful. Lightning struck some cottages, some were flooded badly, trees were struck and one fell on a cottage etc.
When it finally calmed down, we made our way to get breakfast and were shocked to find only 1 Security Guard on the property (despite the management knowing the storm was approaching), we were told that staff couldn't get in, and there was no breakfast. Everybody was hungry ~(see earlier comment re mini bar!) and we finally convinced the guy to allow a few of us to make toast for everybody. Staff started coming in at 9, they had horrendous journeys in and were really grateful we had sorted ourselves out. Roads were damaged, but luckily nobody was hurt.
The owners came to check everybody was ok, which was a nice touch, but when we raised the fact that there had been nobody on the property we were assured by the Manager that 5 people had been there- I would like to know where they were....

To be fair, the clear up was amazing staff worked really hard to get everything up and running which was great, but I think there should have been more of a presence during the storm. We spoke to people whose bed had been soaked, they had asked only that the bedding be changed and had stripped the bed ready, When they returned, the dirty, wet bedding had been put back on the bed!!!!

On check out the questionnaire advised we could request a concierge to pick up our luggage which we did, but nobody turned up! We questioned this with reception, she shrugged and advised she'd asked them, again not a biggy but this was an indication of the service we received all week......

The last thing I will say is that the toilets by the bar are disgusting, and really need more regular cleaning, given they are the only option other than your room, this is quite a big deal!!

Overall, this could be a fantastic small hotel, but the staff, the lunches and the toilets let it down. Would I go back to the resort? Absolutely not, and I probably wouldn't return to Antigua. As I said, we went with realistic expectations, we weren't expecting luxury but we did hope to get friendly service and be looked after- we didn't feel we were......We have stayed in a variety of different hotels from backpacker to more luxurious in many places across the world, so we don't expect 5 star luxury however we do expect a ceratin level of service and friendliness and we didn't get either at Cocobay unfortunately...

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bruisyard
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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