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“Honeymoon @ Cocobay”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Honeymoon @ Cocobay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2007

My husband and I stayed here in mid June for our 2nd week of our honeymoon and it was wonderful. The views are more beautiful than the candid pictures, the entire staff was welcoming and we hope to come here again. The different dinners each night was delicious and our only complaint was that dinner service was a little slow but who cares, you're on vacation!!
Highlights-We loved the hammock on our balcony, the comfy chairs and our bath opened up to the balcony. The private beach was secluded with great views. It was breathtaking and memorable. I recommend anyone to come stay at this friendly resort.

  • Liked — The stunning views and our private balcony overlooking the ocean
  • Disliked — That we had to leave paradise
  • Stayed June 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Char17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 (661)
Date | Rating
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English first
Stafford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2007

All I can say is that this was a wonderful hotel in a beautiful friendly island. I do not see how people who have written negative reviews can say the things they say- clearly they were seeking a different type of holiday.

We had the added bonus of being invitied to a lovely wedding (Craig and Lisa) during our stay- thanks it made our holiday!

You must go there, we will be back.

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
4 Thank better2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
67 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2007

This hotel is definitely a case of what might have been!

it sits on a fantastic bay with gentle waves, friendly bar staff, relaxed and friendly restaurant staff who don't rush because there is no rush (you are on holiday not on the tube!!) etc but it seems most people leave with a view that it could all have been so much better.........

the sand flies are beatable if you take 50% deet with you - if you don't you will be bitten very badly - it would appear this is common in Antigua. for the sake of a fiver don't let them ruin your hoilday.the beach is a far nicer than the pool area and there are less midges there.

we had a great room with a sea view, no air con which is great, no tv which even better, and no phone - fantastic!! this should be a simple old fashioned caribean relaxed romantic type resort. many of the rooms though are in much need of refurbishment.

we also chose this resort as it was supposed to be child free and having someones kids screaming around you when you are on the beach is really annoying - if you want that go to a family type resort.

it is unfortunate that the reception staff who are key to so many of the activities you can do/ booking restaurants, etc, clearly don't give a monkeys and it amazing that they are still employed - they have ATTITUDE - that's if you can get them off their mobiles to talk to you.

do go to the party on the hill on sunday night - recommended here by many others and a great evening. TIP - if you hook up with others and take a cab for four of you it will cost $80 whereas you get charged $22 ea by the hotel for the shuttle bus. you can then go later and stay later as the hotel shuttle brings guests back so they can have dinner when the party is only really just starting. the rum punch is absolutely leathal so take it steady but what a great night out it is - the bands are excellent and everyone is in party mood.

the spa is great and good value.

the bar is small and friendly with nice guys running it. the band that comes in during the week are very funny - be prepared for them to give you a ribbing - if you have no sense of humour HIDE!!!

yes the birds will buzz around you during breakfast and lunch but that's hardly a hardship for not being at work is it.

Dennis's bar at the far end of the beach is great place to go for a beer at sunset and the food was great to. it also overlooks freyes beach which is deserted during the week if you want to chill out and feel like you are the only people on the island.

we also did the boat tour of the island with the same guys that run eco tours and went up to stingray city which is really cool - it is expensive but definitely worth it.

St John's seems to be a place to avoid - the big cruise ships pull up here 4 or 5 at a time and just swamp the place - but if you need to buy a t-shirt then get yourself down there.

we had a great time overall but given the way the staff on reception behaved you could see that we a small amount of effort and minimal investment this could could be one of those best kept secret resorts that are worth going back to time again.

sheer the restaurant next door does really great food, but they pulled the old change the year on the bottle of wine ordered at the same price trick ie a 2004 instead of 2001.

also, if you go from mid dec to early january beware as the resort allows familes with children/ babies. whlst the restaurant staff bend over backwards to help the mums it really affects the others who are there as this really a couples only type resort. throw in the fact that most british mums think their kids are the most important people in the world and massively inconsiderate of others then this really changes the place - litteraly a dozen couples sitting down having romantic dinners seated around a table for six including stroppy over tired brats behaving badly - it does not work and yes this did have a big effect on the enjoyment of our holiday (and for many others) as you could never have a quiet meal to relax and enjoy. kids and couples do not mix!!

  • Liked — the location and setting.
  • Disliked — reception staff and other peoples kids!
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank Bluetax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BRISTOL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2007

we cant add much more than the last review but what wonderful , kind , friendly people and a very safe beautiful island. Cant beat O'Jays for lunch(lobster or sea bass recommended) and Dennis's bar on the headland for chicken, conche or goat curry.
We cant wait to go back.
Fond memories of all the lovely people we had the privelage of sharing our holiday with. You know who you are!!!!!


Gary and Rose

Stayed November 2006
Helpful?
6 Thank GARY-ROSE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshire
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2007

I couldn't agree more with the review from mavii125, uk on Jan 11th this year. In fact I only have a few comments to add to her spot on descriptions of this beautiful place!

My new husband and I have just returned from our 2 week honeymoon in Antigua, the first of which we spent at Cocobay. The second week we were over at the Admirals Inn at English Harbour. Not because of the reviews we had read prior to our visit but just that we are not "resort" kind of people and prefer to explore where we are staying and experience different places.

Cocobay is stunning. The location is probably the prettiest on the whole island and after doing the circumnavigation catamaran tour (a must) you will probably agree.

We stayed in room 9, again a sea front location just a short stroll from the main resort area. The rooms are just as I had imagined. Pretty painted, individual cottages with enough space around each so that you don't feel like you're crammed in. The decor is simple, rustic charm. A huge comfortable bed with mosquito net (I went armed with clothes pegs for the holes, there was one!), a small fridge to keep drinks cool, coffee making facilities, ample hanging space for clothes plus a cupbard with shelves for your folded things. A safe for your valuables, a fantastic balcony complete with two lounging chairs and a hammock. There is a quiet ceiling fan above the bed and the breeze from the ocean does keep you cool at night. The only thing I found was that when trying to dry my hair with the hairdryer in the bathroom I did get rather hot so I suggest you get in the chilled out relaxed way of life and go au natural and don't bother with hair dryers and straighteners! The rooms were cleaned and towels replaced on a daily basis so there really should be no need to complain about your accommodation. We did over hear one conversation though where a gentleman was asking why there was no TV in his room!

A few things to remember -

* Take Vit B1, 100% Deet, Bite cream etc. They will help and I only got a couple of bites at Cocobay (my husband got none!). In fact I got more bites at English Harbour but armed myself with a can of OFF and it worked a treat and smells nice too!

* Bottled water is not free at Cocobay. You can buy it very cheaply at reception and keep it cool in your room fridge.

* Stay away from the grassy areas on the beach to avoid the sand flies.

* Make friends with the bar staff, Carlton and Dave and they will look after you.

* Grab your beach towels before breakfast and don't forget to sign in for dinner in the evening.

* Cover your food at breakfast time if you need to leave it. It's only nature for the birds to want to sample a taste and if you don't want to experience the natural way of life, stay somewhere where you can eat in an air conditioned sealed room!

* Enjoy the local bird and wildlife too. We saw Pelicans, Frigate Birds, Osprey, lizards and the cutest tiny frogs!

* Explore the island. We spoke to some people who just sat by the pool for two weeks and didn't move! The Antigua people are so friendly and are more than happy to share their experiences of the island with you.

* If you are a light sleeper then take your ear plugs. Not because of noise from the bar or anything but the sound of the sea and the frogs may keep you awake.

Places to visit and things to do-

* St Johns, great fun for experiencing the real Antigua, shopping and watching the huge cruise liners in the dock. Lunch at Hemmingways opposite Heritage Quay.

* Hire a car and explore with a map (you'll need it as there are no road signs!).

* English Harbour and Nelsons Dockyard.

* A circumnavigation Catamaran Cruise.

* Half Moon Bay, one of the best beaches in the world. Go to the far left hand side of the beach for calm, crystal clear waters or stay to the right if you want to do a spot of surfing in the Atlantic waves.

* Smilin Harry's at Half Moon Bay. He'll charm the socks off you with his stories of the rich and famous he has met and cook you up a fab Roti Curry too!

* Devils Bridge, go on a windy day to experience the blow holes at their most spectacular.

* Lunch at Harmony Hall for a little bit of Tuscan charm and shopping in the gorgeous art gallery.

* Shirley Heights. An absolute must on a Sunday afternoon/evening. The atmosphere is fantastic with a steel band concert followed by a reggae band. Get there for about 4ish to get the photos in before the crowds descend.

I hope this review helps anyone when choosing a holiday in Antigua and for those who have already booked Cocobay just go prepared by reading all the reviews so you no what to expect and you'll have an amazing time.

We met some fabulous people and made some great friends. Newly weds, Darren and Natalie and Claire and Blain and not forgetting the lovely Tanya and Dave.

Incidentally, I can also highly recommend The Admirals Inn too!

Enjoy!

  • Liked — The Rustic Charm of the place. No glitz and chintz here!
  • Disliked — The fact I had to come home!
  • Tips/Secrets — Read the reviews and go prepared. If you like glitzy, chintzy, marble floor kind of resorts then book somewhere else.
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
31 Thank Jugaloonie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
preston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2007

we loved coco bay i took garlic caps and b1 vitamins 3 weeks before i went and i had no bites. we also took 100 deet .the food was wonderful and david the barman was fantastic made wonderful cocktails.there is a wonderful beach just round the headland that john and i used to go to never so anyone else there only downside tree frogs kept you awake at night but we will still be going back this year. karen and john from preston

Stayed December 2006
Helpful?
3 Thank lionelfan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2007

We spent the end of December and early part of January at Cocobay and had a fabulous holiday. As we had booked this 10 months in advance, we had plenty of time to read the reviews so were fairly certain of what to expect and what to take.

We're uncertain why some reviews have complained about the staff and poor service, because we didn't experience any of this. Quite the contrary. All staff were extremely friendly and eager to oblige and the service was always fast in the restaurant. Yes, there is a diary system for the evening meal, kept on the reception desk, but it was no hardship to sign our name each morning on the way to breakfast for one of the many time slots available.

We had a beach side hut which was incredible. Small, but ample and always very clean. Some reviews have stated that accomodation is tired and basic. Perhaps it depends on your expectations. We stayed in Oleander which is between the Wellness Centre and the restaurant/lounge. Oleander appeared almost new to us, with fresh paint, screens on the windows, a silent fan and a huge incredibly comfortable bed. Perhaps it's those huts further away that are in need of a refurb. We had asked for quiet accomodation and so we were away from all the other huts. However, being so close to the restaurant/lounge we were concerned about that noise, but we had no problems at all and went to sleep to the sound of the ocean waves and nightlife....oh, and the wind at night! Extremely strong and wild whilst we were there. The social life in the evening doesn't continue in to the early hours (except for new year's eve!) and by 11.00pm, if there was any, we certainly didn't hear it.

As already mentioned in other reviews, breakfast and lunch are buffets. Adequate and varied. We didn't experience any problems with flies. There are screens covering all food and if everyone is courteous and replaces them after serving, there is no problem. There are birds, but we didn't see a plague of them and those that are present don't dive your plate and take food from under your noses! Just be practical and don't walk away leaving your plate tantalizingly exposed. Cover with a napkin. The management make every effort to keep the birds to a minimum with netting on some exposed parts of the restaurants and wires across the railings to prevent them from perching. By the evening, they have retired to their nests for the night.

The evening meal is a la carte, but not necessarily to everyone's taste. My husband enjoyed these meals very much and from watching others, there were no problems. For myself however, I found them over complicated and spicy. There is a choice of starter and main and whilst the menu describes the food very simply, when it arrives, it could be anything! Our only description of it is bordering on nouveau cuisine and most of the time spicy. Delicious according to my husband and substantial, but sadly not to my tastes so we spent a few evenings at nearby Jolly Harbour and enjoyed some excellent and reasonably priced meals. We discovered on the last day of our holiday that the resort is more than happy to cater for guests with food allergies, dislikes etc with the evening meal, so if you are like me, notify them in advance.

If you fancy dining at Sheers, book well in advance as it's very popular. We decided to dine there towards the end of our stay and understandably, we couldn't get a table.

There were 7 weddings during our 10 day stay, but these were not intrusive and kept away from the main area of Cocobay.

Jolly Harbour has a good choice of restaurants, a pleasant environment for a stroll, beer or coffee and an excellent supermarket that is well stocked and sells freshly fried chicken everyday. Perfect for a picnic if you are going out and about.

The beach closest to Cocobay is clean and raked every morning. There are static wooden parasols, but limited numbers. The sunloungers are very comfortable and there is ample supply. The main area of the beach is not particularly large and on most occasions we felt a bit too cramped. Walk down this beach away from Cocobay, across some minor shrubland and you will come to another beach which is larger, virtually deserted and beautiful for swimming, but there are no parasols or sunloungers.

When you arrive you are given a towel card. Simply exchange this at reception for towels. We did ask for 4 on our first morning, but were advised that only 1 per guest was allowed. However, the towels are extra large. It's a good idea to pick up your towels either first thing in the morning on the way to breakfast, or exchange for cleans ones at the end of the day as occasionally we found they were still being cleaned at 9.00am and had to wait an hour for them to be returned.

Sandflies and mossies: we were expecting to be eaten alive from reading all the other reviews so went prepared as if going to war! 100% deet spray, spray for the room, plug in insect repellent which we left on the entire time, patches and bracelets with deet and even took vitamin B1 prior to and during our stay. We came home with no more than 3 bites between us. We're not sure if this was because of our precautions or pure luck, or because it was quite windy with several downpours during our stay. Having said that, we certainly saw many other guests with their legs covered in dozens of bites.

We would recommend using Benji for car/jeep hire. Ask at reception and they will phone him immediately. He was the cheapest at $155 for a two day hire that including insurance and local Antigua licence which you have to buy. It was great to have the freedom of getting around the island, but also to find some amazing beaches on the south side of the island where the rain just didn't seem to fall. Morris Bay was our favourite.

St John's is not a cosmopolitan place, nor is it large so it's easy enough to get around in a couple of hours. It appears to be sold on the idea of buying goods duty free. Some things are definately cheaper such a jewellry, but St John's is there for the vast cruise ships that arrive. When they do, the place is heaving.

Would we go again? Yes, absolutely. We had a wonderful time and can highly recommend it. Cocobay is a beautiful resort, peaceful with wonderful views. Our only tip is to thoroughly research so you go prepared.

  • Liked — Rustic charm and the views
  • Tips/Secrets — Please review thoroughly so you know what to expect.
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
19 Thank mavii125
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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