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Reviewed 24 February 2009

Booked here for 7 nights but only stayed for 3 - food is really not good, service is patchy and is overpriced. Is on an all inclusive basis but the food and wine are of poor quality - If you want better then you need to eat in their other restaurant called Sheer which is good but eye wateringly expensive.
Overall I was disappointed with this hotel - I would not return.
If you are looking for all inclusive in a good location and you are not bother by the food then this is a good choice, the pool area and beach are both beautiful.
Rooms are basic but on the whole pretty good - nice views, could do with a bit more maintenance and cleaning though.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank hotelguru1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2009

Just the facts here.

READ THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPERTY! Don't complain that there is no phone, radio or TV in your room because the property description makes this clear. It's a 25 -35 minute taxi ride to the property from the airport. Expect to pay $25 -$30 U.S. for two people, before tip. Small winding streets bring you there and keep an eye out for Jolly Harbor as you can walk or take a short taxi ride there for anything you may need at the grocery store, souvenir and gift shops, cafes or just to check out the harbor marina.

We were greeted by the manager carrying a cool towel and much needed rum punch, very nice. Off to the cottage (Nevis #2) which was at the top of the hillside and had a stunning view, most cottages have an ocean view. Our cottage had two separate rooms. You walk into a room with two sofas, a mini refrigerator, coffee pot and some greenery. You exit through french doors outside onto a wood deck and then turn left to the doors that open to the bedroom and bathroom. A king sized bed draped with a mosquito net, a small coffee table and a decent size closet that was on the back side of the headboard were the extent of the bedroom. The mattresses are extra firm, typical of hotels and resorts everywhere south of the US, and the floors are wooden which was a welcomed sight from the typical stone floors in the tropic climates. Another set of french doors leads to a deck / veranda complete with two wooden chairs and a hammock. The bathroom was huge and the shower had good water pressure. Thank heaven this property is very quiet as the windows are wooden shutters that allow for a lot of exterior noise to filter in, this is what makes the biggest impression as to why the property is described as rustic. It's like camping with a roof over your head. The last detail of the room is that there are ceiling fans, no air conditioning. The only time air conditioning would have been nice was after spending the day in the sun and showering before heading out for dinner. However, it's almost always breezy and the fan did help a lot.

Let's head down to the infinity pool which was definitely big enough because it was rarely used. The pool lounge chairs were wooden and they had some very old canvas cushions that were extremely uncomfortable. It was a rarity that they played any music on this property so bring an iPod. Lots of shade to be had and not really difficult to get a chair at most times during the day.

In contrast, the beach had the most comfortable lounge chairs I have ever been on. Yes, they were just the white plastic chairs, but the supports weren't pushing on your back and the blue fabric that covered them was stretchable. There were about 12 huts and some trees to provide shade and getting a lounge chair is not a problem, there's plenty to go around. The beach sand is white and there are a few small rocks in the water, but all and all it's a good beach. They have two kayaks and a Hobie Cat that is no charge to take out on the water. Some locals have a couple of Jet Ski's for rent, I believe it' was $50 for 20 minutes and they also offered horseback riding.

The bar was small and had about 8 stools to sit on. There is another nice open air room in the building the bar is in and there are a lot of soft cushioned sofas and loveseats. Also, there were about 5 wooden tables and chairs in front of the bar for seating as well. The bar was stocked with a good variety, but they frequently ran out of strawberries, mango, passion fruit or and just about every other fruit concentrate to make your typical tropical drink. They even ran out of keg beer early one evening and were serving bottled beer the following day because they were still out. No complaints there, just odd they would buy bottles instead of kegs. The drinks are strong, four fingers, and the bartenders were great. Oriel and Jahmorlie were a lot of fun if you make the effort to converse with them.

The food was probably the best in my experiences with all inclusives of this price category and for a small property the variety was decent. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style. Breakfast had all the standard American items including bagels, muffins, toast, cereal, fruit, eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc. Lunch had several green or pasta salads, fried fish, pasta, rice, fruit, etc. Lunch also included dessert choices served by the wait staff. Dinner requires a reservation time and you should get to the front desk by 7:30am to choose your preferred time, if not you'll be seated at 9:00pm or 9:30pm. Dinner requires collared shirts and slacks for men and women should be dressed elegant casual. Each person chooses from an appetizer (three choices), intermediate (always soup) and main course (three choices) or pasta of the day. Of course dessert is the fourth course. This meal is much more upscale than your typical resort buffet and was great on 6 of 7 nights. If you can't find an entree you would like, you can pay $18.95 for jumbo shrimp scampi or a steak. I didn't see anyone go off the standard selection menu. On 2 nights of the 7 we were there it was buffet style for dinner, but the food was great and there were many choices. Again, this was above average food and the best I have experienced in my resort experiences at this price range.

As far as entertainment goes, you will get almost none and it will be amateur night at best. Sunday and Thursday night they brought out some musicians who played about an hour.

There is a gift shop with bottled water (you can get a bottle and get if refilled at the dining room), necessities and many souvenirs. There is also another sitting room next to the gift shop with a TV, comfortable seating and many books for reading.

Internet service is $.50 a minute and offered in the lobby.

The small complaints I would have are it's a little too quiet and they need to turn on music at the pool area during the day, lack of nightly entertainment, the out-of-stock problems at the bar, no washcloths in your room (you may or may not get some if you ask everyday at the front desk) and lack of air conditioning.

In summary, the service was pretty good, the drinks are stiff, the food was above average, the room is rustic, the grounds and views are beautiful and I would rate this a 3 out of 5. With a cottage of this style, no air conditioning, almost no entertainment and one bar and restaurant, you can't rate this any higher. I would go back here again.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank MOTTS17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2009

My husband and I spent 10 days of our honeymoon in Cocobay in November and I couldnt recommend it highly enough. Having read some of the less positive reviews I can only argue suggest that those who arent impressed by it weren't realistic about what they were booking in the first place. Compared to a lot of all inclusive Antiguan resorts it is excellent value for money and clearly pitches itself as a relaxed, authentically caribbean hotel - if you want a Sandals style holiday then you should probably think twice, if you want a completely relaxed 'get away' in paradise with friendly service and no worries about breaking the bank then go for it and take in the views!
When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by Monique and her awesome rum punch and took a good 10 minutes just staring out to sea.
We were taken to our room - a gorgeous little pastel pink cabin that looked like it was from a post card - and found it had been decorated with flowers and a bottle of champagne congratulating us on our marriage.
The food was lovely. It doesnt pander to fussy tastes (we heard a good few American guests complaining at the lack of burgers) but we have never eaten so much amazing fish and everything was well cooked and nicely presented. Breakfast is buffet style (the egg lady is a wizz) as is lunch, but both are varied, fresh and tasty.
Oriel the barman is a star when you get to know him, but dont expect any OTT 'have a nice day now' service from him, it isnt his style!
The beach is incredible, although it can get busy on weekends as it isnt private (there are 365 beaches in Antigua though, you can usually find a quiet one) and take plenty of bug spray!
We have nothing but wonderful memories of the place and everything about Cocobay encourages you to relax, slow down and make the most of a stunning part of the world.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank torikate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2009

From the moment we arrived to the second we left we were looked after amazingly well, greeted with a rum punch cocktail and a cold towel by the resort manager! The rooms were perfect and the bathroom had double doors that opened onto the huge balcony. We had a huge bed and a fridge and places to put your clothes and that was all we needed. Every morning we were greeted by humming birds and a couple of other rascles who lifed to steal the sugar sachets from the coffee maker! The food was always good and the evening meal was off a menu with great wine and puddings too! BBQ on sunday with steal band and a managers cocktail party on the Thursday. All the staff were charming and helpful and everything was clean and orderly. Just relax and go with the flow and you will never feel so relaxed in your life.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Virgin Holidays
4  Thank mrselder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2009

We stayed for 4 nights from Christmas day 2008 till the 29th.

The initial impressions were very good and the check-in staff were very friendly and had some nice juice and wet towels to refresh ourselves on arrival. The room was nicely prepared and clean and we had very nice views of the bay (we had a Seaview Cottage). The remaining areas of the hotel are well presented, the restaurant, bar and pool areas are clean and also have great views of the bay. The bar toilettes were clean with one exception, where we notified staff and they were sorted out within half an hour.

The food is generally good with lots of options and of good to very good quality. We never had something that we thought was bad, but then we never had something we though was extraordinary either.

The nearby beach was a bit too rough when we were there as it was fairly windy to try out although it had plenty of deck chairs for people to soak the sun. The space around the pool can be limited though depending on the time of day.

Overall we had a very good time and didn't encounter any "shortages" in the food or bar, although we must say that we were lucky that the hotel was about half full during our stay. On the last night it seemed to jump to full capacity though and the bar seemed to run out of juices for some cocktails (although spirits were available). The staff were also always very friendly and courteous.

I think some people might mistake them for being surly or unhelpful as they probably expect the US/Western service standard of "thank you please". Just look beyond that and they can actually be very friendly if you make an effort to start a conversation. Also, this is not a Hilton-type place where you can shut the door and expect to isolate yourself from everything else. The cottages are in tropical vegetation so do expect to find lizards and birds on your balcony (and room if you don't close the doors at sunset time). We didn't have much mosquito problems although the windy weather must have helped. We did get a few sandfly bites around the pool though.

Also, the first night might be a bit of a shock as the noise from the frogs, crickets and other animals around you might be a bit too loud. After that they disappear in the background with the waves and make for a pleasant hum. Also, if you are having difficulty walking you should go somewhere else as it can be a long walk from your room to the beach and restaurant and there are steps everywhere.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank panos.v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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