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“Fantastic!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Valley Church, Bolans, Saint Mary's 431, Antigua   |  
Hotel amenities
Special Price
20% off room rate
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Bolans
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2011

We stayed at Cocobay for a week in June. It was absolutely beautiful and amazing. Gorgeous resort. Gorgeous beaches. Gorgeous island. Any complaints listed below are nitpicky.

We were greeted at the front desk by a clerk who knew our names and had a cold towel and glasses of rum punch ready for us. The bell hop took us directly to our room. Very classy.

We selected an oceanfront bungalow with a private plunge pool. Our bungalow, No. 5, was so cute. Everything in the room was clean and comfortable. The bathroom is basic. The shower has a door on it so you can open it up for more light. Since you have your own private deck, no one can see you if you do. The plunge pool was awesome. Enough water to splash around, probably about five feet deep, refreshingly cool. The deck has two chairs for sitting, a hammock and a fantastic view of the ocean and a small slice of beach. If you put a sugar packet from your coffee set on the deck railing, the most adorable black and yellow birds will visit you and gobble up all the sugar. We also had a little green lizard who lived on our deck. The bed was comfortable and the linens were clean. There is a mosquito netting around the bed. We used it each night and never had an issue with bugs in the room. We had A/C, however, and slept with the doors and windows closed. The room also has a small safe, a hair dryer, two robes, coffee pot and fixings, and a fridge, which was stocked with alcohol and pop because we booked online. They also left a chilled bottle of champagne in the room. No TV and only a phone to call the front desk.

This is a beautiful place with all of the wonderful little features you might not find in larger resorts. There is a computer with sporadic internet service that you can use for 50 cents a minute. You can also place long distance calls here for $2 a minute (I believe) if you don't have cell phone service, which we didn't. There is a small library of books available for guests, but, as the week wore on, most of the novels were in German. The resort pool is small and all of the chairs are typically filled. The bar area is lovely and, as it is all-inclusive, the drinks are plentiful. Try the rum punch. The daquiris are great for a hot day at the beach, as well. There is a small gift shop with snacks, gifts, T-shirts and other clothing items, but it is only open during the day. They sell medicine here as well if you have an allergy attack because of the incessant weedwhacking around the resort. This is probably my largest complaint. They didn't use a lawn mower the entire time we were there, but, instead, weedwhacked all of the grass. The weedwhacking started at like 8 in the morning and went all day. Very loud, very annoying and allergy-inducing.

I love food so I was very excited about the all-inclusive aspect of Cocobay. Breakfast is served from maybe 7 to 10 a.m., lunch is from 12:30 p.m. to 2 or so, and dinner reservations start at 6:30 and run until 9 or 10 p.m. There is also a mid-afternoon tea. There is no food otherwise which stunk. I would've liked to see a snack bar open all day and night. There is no food available at the bar to snack on, so, once you eat dinner, you are out of luck. Even if they would put a few bowls of chips and pretzels at the bar, that would be a plus. I would've even gratefully paid for snacks.

Breakfast and lunch are buffets. Breakfast has a nice selection of cereal, made-to-order eggs, toast, pastries, etc. The fruit in Antigua is like the fruit in the U.S., not absolutely delicious like it is in Aruba and Mexico. There is fresh OJ, another type of juice and milk. Rations tend to dwindle as breakfast nears an end, particularly with the milk, for some reason. Lunch is sort of weird. Don't get me wrong, the food was always well cooked and delicious, but it was odd, you will see. Typical lunch selections might include fish, mashed potatoes, soup, tomatoes, and a salad. There is only one type of salad dressing, which I was afraid to try, so most of the week I used mustard and balsalmic on my salad. Sometimes I felt like we were eating the Caribbean version of Thanksgiving dinner for lunch. The one day they had French fries, they could hardly keep the pan full because everyone wanted them. There was never normal American lunch options like pizza or hamburgers. I would've been happy with pasta salads, etc. After lunch, you are offered a choice of three desserts, usually an ice cream, a pie or cake, and a fruit cup. The desserts ranged from awesome (berry custard pie) to OK (sort of dry carrot cake).

For dinner, you need to sign up at the front desk with your choice of time. Get there early or you will be stuck with 9 p.m. dinner, which is way too late when you've had nothing to eat since lunch. I would suggest adding slots earlier than the first slot at 6:30 p.m. Some of us eat like senior citizens and want our dinner at 5 p.m. At dinner in the all-inclusive restaurant (the pay restaurant is only open in high season), you have a choice of a fish entree, a meat entree, a vegetarian option, and a pasta dish (which was sometimes vegetarian). You also get to choose from a few appetizers, one of which is also always vegetarian. You get soup and a choice of dessert as well. My husband eats meat, but I don't. The food is a little foufy. I like big portions, don't expect that here. The vegetarian options are sometimes strange. They like to put things in dough packages. I ate vegetables I have never heard of or seen before. One night I had a dough package of peas served on a bed of beets. It still haunts my nightmares. Other nights, however, I had delicious pasta or this odd stew that I reluctantly admitted I liked despite first turning my nose up at it. They also have the option to pay $20 or $30 and get lobster, etc.

They try to be fancy at dinner and men are required to wear long pants and a collared shirt. This, however, meant entirely different things to different people. Some people went to dinner in jeans and a casual button-up. Some wore khakis. I don't know why shorts weren't acceptable. It is stinking hot out! A couple of nights the dinner was buffet, which was very good each time. They had live entertainment a couple times we were there. Would be nice if they did that every night because the steel drum bands were really cool, especially the bad that played Caribbean versions of bad (but awesome!) 80s tunes like Africa.

Also, the restaurant runs on island time, so expect meals to start late.

The resort is all inclusive so you don't have to tip. We did not see anyone else tipping while we were there, but we tipped. Maybe a couple bucks for a meal and a $1 for a drink. These people work very hard for probably not much money. A few dollars in tips goes a long way! People remember you and, as a result, you get much better service. The service was still efficient and friendly for those who didn't tip, but, trust me, you will see a difference if you do. Everyone appreciates good service so tip a little :)

I loved, loved, LOVED the beach. In front of the oceanfront bungalows, there is a tiny strip of beach which no one ever used. Really it is useless, but I suppose you could put a chair there. If you don't mind the stingrays that try to eat the schools of little fish. There are large strips of beach on each side of the hotel. Facing the ocean, the beach to the left is the best. Walk through reception and you can access it through there. There is also another hidden stretch of beach beyond that side. If you want to get to the beach on the right side (on the way to Cocos and Jolly Harbour), you either have to wind around and find a way to get to it or scale over rocks and go through the water. We chose the water route and saw two sting rays which scared the crap out of me. I don't think anyone from our resort really used that beach although there are a TON of shells there. On the beach to the left, there are plenty of beach chairs, you just have to set them up yourself or take the ones closest to everyone else. Folks who want a bit of privacy will force their husbands to drag chairs down the beach a ways. It feels so much more private and lovely down there. Some locals come down to the beach, but it is not at all bothersome. People do politely sell jewelry and excursions, but if you tell them no, they leave you alone. You can also rent a jet ski right there for $50, I think. The beach is so beautiful. Just breathtaking, really. And the water is clear and the warmest water I've ever experienced. There is none of that cold shock you get when you get in the ocean other places. The view is amazing. Just move your chairs down the beach to get away from everyone else if you like quiet and unobstructed views.

The only place you can easily walk from Cocobay is Dennis' Bar and Grill, the large house-like structure on top of the hill with flags flying. Good food up there, although there is no A/C outside so it is a wee bit sticky. I would recommend checking it out just for the view. Take your camera!

We took a taxi to Jolly Harbour, which was a giant waste of time except for the grocery store. It was cool to see some of the different items there for sale. Jolly Harbour has a few shops but it looks like a tumbleweed should blow through. The casino is closed. Boo!

We also took a cab into St. John, the capital. It was like maybe 4:30 p.m. when we got there and everything was closing because there were no cruise ships in. The capital was the only place in Antigua where we didn't feel absolutely safe. There were only maybe six other tourists there. I'll be honest, it was a tad shady. The casino is small, but nice and clean, but we made sure to get out of there before dark. Plenty of shops to look around in, but take a buddy ... or 12.

Room Tip: Get the oceanfront bungalow with the private plunge pool and A/C.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,505 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (416)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Inverness, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2011

if you fish and want some fun, contact Masta. He sells shells on the beach each day from an old white toyota van. Ask Kenya on the beach towel stand--he comes from the same local village. Masta is very reasonably priced for his excusions so don't haggle too hard. All you need bring is footwear (sand shoe type) to use when wading the lagoons and standing on coral.He supplies gear and bait .We were spinning but I think I missed an opportunity to use my traveling fly rod, not having or being able to find suitable artificial flies.
wife and I also had a half day deep sea fishing with Capn Leroy which was good but a little more expensive---caught biggish barracuda and yellow fin tuna

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2011

We were a bit worried as to what we would be getting...but what we got was great service (with smiles!), the food was very good and the accomodation great! Everything worked and the whole place had a nice rustic feel to it. Not 5* but just about 4*. It enabled us to relax in a beautiful setting - sipping generous rum cocktails - and falling into our plunge pool from time to time to cool off!
Lovely place, can recommend it for couples who want to get away from it all!

Room Tip: Best rooms are the front row ones, they have the a/c and the plunge pools.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

Check-in was a breeze and Phyllis was awesome. She signed us up for dinner at 6:30 but it is up to you after that. You are able to sign up for dinner the day of; however, the time slots do fill up quickly and there is only one restaurant. The resort is very nice and the villas are awesome especially the ones with a plunge pool (and the pools aren't that cold). The views from Cocobay of the beach and mountains are gorgeous and there are little creatures everywhere....lizards, birds, spiders, hermit crabs, crickets, frogs and mongoose roam the resort. Breakfast and lunch are buffets and dinner is a four course meal: appetizer, soup, entree, and dessert. Breakfast is from 7:30-9:30am, lunch 12:30-2:30pm, tea/snack time 4-5pm and dinner 6:30-9pm; however, the resort runs on island time so they never open when they are supposed to-- which is okay because you’re on vacation! There is only one restaurant as I mentioned and that is Rafters, Sheer Rocks is also on the property but that is an extra cost and it was closed while we were there.

Most villas include waking up to the ocean, birds and crickets every morning with your windows open or closed (the villas are not open air but you can chose to open the window slats so you can hear the ocean), mini fridge & coffee maker, plunge pool, TV's but it doesn’t have cable (just information about the resort--beware of fees when you turn on the TV..see notes below), phones, bed with a mosquito net, porch with hammock, in room safe, and large bathroom with shower that you can open the doors to see the ocean (bathrooms also have hair dryers).

Around the resort there is one restaurant, Rafters and a bar. As I mentioned for extra you can eat at Sheer Rocks. Also on the resort there is a gift shop, TV room, and an infinity pool that has beautiful views of the ocean. For extra cost, Cocobay offers dinner on the beach and massages--both are very inexpensive compared to other resorts we've stayed at and taxi service for shopping in St Johns for $10pp and the Sunday trip to Shirley Heights $22pp. You can also book tours/excursions through them but there are also people on the beach that sell trips (not sure if it was safe or not so we didn't try it). Cocobay does have their own beach; however, there are locals that try to sell rides on jet skis, horses, excursions, and souvenirs all day long.

Off of the property there are two public beaches within walking distance, a restaurant called Dennis (which was yummy food), and Jolly Harbor is about a 20 minute walk from the resort but doesn’t have too much going on except for a couple eating places, a few souvenir shops, grocery store, and ATM. I would recommend renting a car because their is so much to see and do on the island.

-beautiful views from resort
-resort that nature lovers would love
-great pool/plunge pools
-able to book tours/excursions through the resort
-entertainment 3 nights out of the week at dinner time
-dinner was filling and good, also had enough options even though only 4 main entrees to choose from
-villas are spread out enough and have enough privacy
-bar was not too busy..but you may have to wait a minute or two for one. Beer, house wine, and non premium liquor is included in your all-inclusive package but you can purchase champagne and other wines. The resort also provides a menu of the drinks they can make instead of you having to think of something.

-beach that was right outside our villa was public so the people and activities going on there were definitely not for relaxing or quiet time
-not much variety for the buffets at breakfast and lunch
-time slots for dinner filled up quickly
-mosquitoes beware...take bug spray
-some of the staff was exceptional (Phyllis, Sasha, Janelle, Anonette) but others we felt like didn't want to help or be there working
-only one restaurant included in your all-inclusive package
-not a problem for us but not a lot of lighting walking to and from your villa night
-if you have a TV in your room do not turn it on because supposedly there is a charge for just looking at the information
-as I mentioned food is only available at certain times of the day so if you miss breakfast or lunch you have to wait. It would have been nice to have a 11am-6pm snack bar with burgers, fries, nachos, fruit, etc so if you do like to snack or get hungry that is an option

Room Tip: plunge pool, ocean view, porch and hammock
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

We came back two weeks ago from a fortnight stay at cocobay. From the moment we got there we were completely overwhelmed with the ambience of the place. We got married there and nothing was too much trouble for Tameka and the staff. It was better than we imagined. We went with 7 other family members and each one was struck by how beautiful cocobay is. Well lookied after beautiful gardens and cottages. Perfect place for a wedding and to relax. Most people we met were people that had been before which says alot!! Definately worth getting the sea front cottage with plunge pool, but if thats out of your budget make sure you request air con in alternative cottages. On arrival the rooms are covered with flowers petals. And when you open the double doors and see the amazing view its unbelievable. Swinging in the hammock provides many a tranquil moment.
Really miss all the birds and the little lizards that adore all the sachets of sugar and will come in and help themselves from the basket!

Not loads of entertainment but we didnt miss it. Good steel bands on a couple of nights in a week. Staff were all helpful and great. The only hiccup was the bar was unattended a couple of times which is very frustrating when you're in a rush to get back to the pool!! Awesome infinity pool.

Shirley Heights on a sunday night is an absolute must. Steel Band, barbeque and a sunset!! Get pp the taxi driver to take you there and other trips you go on. Feeding the sting ray is a brilliant experince.
Take mozzie repellant, Bit of a pain but not a real issue.

Room Tip: As before, always request aircon!
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

We are a couple from Sweden that spent our honeymoon on Cocobay Resort in Antigua. We had two weeks and it was the perfect honeymoon resort. All inclusive with breakfast and lunch buffé, afternoon tea, an outstandig a la carte for dinner and of course a free bar. The staff was excelent and friendly. Snorkling at the beach was good, we saw a sea turtle, a couple of stingrays and lots of beautiful fish. The prices in Antigua are sort of the same as in Sweden, so it´s not cheap as it is in for example Thailand. But with the excelent hotel food and the reef outside the beach you could almost stay at the hotel for the whole vacation. No need for expensive snorkling trips on boat or having dinner elsewhere. The tourists of Antigua are mainly from UK, US and Italy. Not many scandinavian which we felt was kind of nice. It's not like when in Gran Canaria or Thailand where you here swedish more than the native language.

We had the best honeymoon!

/Linda & Anders

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2011

Beautiful little beach if you face the water, don't look behind you. The front desk likes to hold all of the beach towels hostage. We got sick of the breakfast and lunch buffet after day two. The pool is gorgeous, but you better get there early and save yourself a spot before the pool hogs claim them all. The chaise lounge chairs by the pool are covered in bird excrement. But, the cute little single cottages are nice, though the bathrooms are a bit dated.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cocobay Resort

Address: Valley Church, Bolans, Saint Mary's 431, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary's > Bolans
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Bolans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Cocobay Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 57
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A colorful collection of quaint wooden cottages set on a breezy hillside bordered by three white sand beaches, Cocobay offers quiet relaxation and privacy in a rustic, romantic setting. The 49 cottages and 4 plantation houses each boast large verandahs with easy chairs, hammocks and striking sea views. Rooms include hand made wooden furniture, ceiling fans, mini fridge, shower, hair dryer, coffee maker and in-room safe. Seafront rooms include air- conditioning and private plunge pools. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cocobay Hotel Bolans
Coco Bay Antigua
Cocobay Antigua
Cocobay Hotel Antigua
Cocobay Resort Antigua/Bolans

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