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Reviewed 11 December 2008

We Stayed at the Cocobay resort for one week from Nov 26th to the 3rd of Dec.
We loved the experience.
The rooms were lovely. Yes basic and rustic but the beds were so large and comfortable . I found the rooms to be very clean and loved my time spent here. I did worry that the mosquito nets would be a bit appressive but i did not find this to be the case. I loved the wooden floor and the view from our room was unbeatable.
The beaches ( choice of three ) were very different but truly stunning.
Quiet and peaceful.
We found the staff to be very helpful and accommadating and a friendly smile and a hello goes a long way !
The food was very good . Breakfast was excellant with a very wide choice. lunch was ok with a choice of fish or meat with salad and pata or rice. The evening meal was again very, very good with a choice of 3 or 4 dishes for each course. Smallish portions but plenty . We never felt hungry.
We ate in the sheer which we enjoyed. Stunning location. Very good food.
The only down side to this holiday was the party held on a beach across the bay. It started Saturday night, fair enough, we thought it would stop around midnight, but No. It went on all night untill 7 in the morning . Nobody got much sleep. It then started up again all day till 6- 30 in the evening. I am not joking when i say absolutley everybody had had enough !! I really do not like to moan and i do realise there was nothing the hotel could do about it. The hotel did say it was not a regular thing and hopefully this is the case !
The wildlife here was fantastic and we loved to watch the humming birds and lizards. Often getting up early to have a wander and to watch the sun appear over the mountains! breath taking.
I do feel if you do your research really well then you will know there are no tv's in the rooms, no phones etc. There is a tv room and an indoor seating area if this is what you want. Also my mobile had a good reception , so no worries here.
We really had a very peaceful, relaxing time at cocobay and would recommend to all that want nothing more than to spend time together and to rest.
LOVED IT !!!!

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank nand1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank SuzBethesda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
4  Thank judgejulesEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Holiday_Obsessive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank clairejacek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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