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

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Cocobay Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Valley Church, Bolans, Saint Mary's 431, Antigua   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
25% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Interlaken NJ
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Loved!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We loved our vacation here. What a lovely, charming friendly resort. The staff is the friendliest I have ever experienced. I have no doubt it is not easy to train a staff to be so warm and genuine but to the GM kudos because it really was so noticealbe how amazing your entire staff was. Some to mention...Katheleen, Phyllis,Kenroy ,Saskia, Jowles.....and many more...
Rooms were adorable-very quaint, local flavor and charming....
Food and drinks......were all good....and what a beautiful island....
Gorgeous location, beautiful vista's...It was truly relaxing and lovely. We will be back and we cant wait.

Room Tip: Rm 38 was nice and quiet...set a little back but nice view....
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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1,639 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 (479)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

My husband and I visited CocoBay for our one-year wedding anniversary from November 4th until November 11th. Let me start off by saying that we could not have chosen a more relaxing resort to spend our one-year wedding anniversary. Having previously visited the larger resorts (i.e. Sandals) in Cuba, Mexico and Dominican we were looking for something different, quieter and peaceful and boy did we find it. The staff at the resort are amazing! O'Neil, the manager, has hired an incredible team. Tamika & Melissa were incredible and catered to our every need with a smile and "it's a pleasure" while Kerry, Craig and Kenroy ensure our dining experiences were fun, informative and enjoyable :)

Food was excellent, drinks were great, pools were beautiful and refreshing. In terms of our room, it was more rustic than we're used to BUT beautiful view and a comfortable bed, you don't need much more than that. Our only suggestion to the hotel would be to update the bathrooms, the showers are open concept which is great but you end up soaking the entire bathroom floor which isn't ideal. A little extra comfort in the bathroom will go a long way :)

We did two day trips:
1. Creole Lobster Lunch Cruise - AMAZING, highly suggest, worth every penny.
2. Wadali Cats Circumnavigation Cruise - Also AMAZING, more relaxing and BEAUTIFUL way to circle the whole island

The only thing we maybe didn't expect were the amount of mosquitoes and sand flies (so after a couple of days with no bug spray we were covered in bites) Our own fault though and a quick trip to the resort's shop for spray and calamine lotion fixed it up. Definitely pack some and watch out for sand flies on the beach, that's where we were eaten alive.

All in all the perfect way to enjoy eachother and shut out the outside world. Highly recommend Antigua as a country and Cocobay is an excellent choice for a quiet, relaxing vacation.

Enjoy!

Room Tip: We had a seaview cottage, room 36 has a GREAT view. It's a bit of a hike up to the rooms the fur...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We just celebrated our wedding and honeymoon at Cocobay Resort. One word to describe our experience: perfection. The moment we checked in to the moment we checked out, the staff took marvelous care of us. We had quite the group of 20 people and the staff handled everyones need with brilliant care.
I was quite worried planning a wedding from so far away but Tameka Ferris was so assuring and did her best to make sure everything would go brilliantly which it did. O'Neil was also amazing as the general manager of the resort and made us feel like home every time we saw him. I was always addressed by my name or " the bride."
I can't wait to go back and celebrate our anniversary!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Hertfordshire, UK
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

After a week at the Cocobay it felt very hard for us to leave. The staff make you feel very welcome and the atmosphere is all about relaxation. Two fantastic infinity pools, delicious food at breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner and a cocktail list as long as a white sand Antiguian beach. The wildlife around the rustic cottages is vibrant and diverse (lizards, tropical birds and mongoose for example) and will keep all but the most seasoned traveller awake for a couple of nights. Sleeping under mosquito nets was also a first for us, but just added to the colonial feel of the whole experience. This is a remote location so getting around is not easy, but if you want to find your own slice of paradise, with relaxation as the priority, this is a must visit location.

Room Tip: Air on not needed, basic rooms have ceiling fans, which add to the rustic charm, are more economical...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

My wife and I visited Cocobay from October 19-27 and had a fantastic honeymoon.

We noticed a lot of standing water on the roads on our ride from the airport so apparently we had just missed the tropical storm that other recent reviewers seemed to have suffered through. It's too bad to read the recent negative reviews by others who describe Cocobay as some derelict resort because their vacation was rained out. Just as others did, we took a risk by visiting the Caribbean during hurricane season, luckily the weather was perfect our week.

Weather aside, here is our review of Cocobay. As we exited the cab at Cocobay, Oneal greeted us both by name. It was a great first impression. I thought the check-in process was seamless and they did a great job with an introduction to the resort. We booked a Seaview Room and had exactly that. The view from the room was beautiful and there was plenty of privacy.

Believe it or not, we went the entire week with no air conditioning and lived to tell about it! It cools down enough at night that the ceiling fan is adequate for sleeping. We didn't spend much time in the room during the day, except for the occasional afternoon nap. Even then, it wasn't too bad. I'm not sure why people would want to be in their rooms so much that they need a/c or tv. You are in a beautiful place and you spent a lot of money to be there...go out and enjoy it.

Overall, the food was great. I think most of the other reviews have pretty much agreed. I had an omelette cooked to order every morning and there was plenty of fresh fruit. We had most lunches down at the bar by the beach. They have a panini press down there and everyday there is a different grilled sandwich served with chips. Most of them were delicious. The presentation of the food at dinner was very nice and most of the dishes were great. I would advise to stay away from the potted ham appetizer, which was atrocious.

Drinks were decent for the most part. The beer is served draught style and was decent. The only problem is that all of the cups/glasses were tiny. They were fine for mixed drinks, but didn't really cut it when you were in the mood to have more than an 8 oz. sip of beer. Luckily we brought some larger insulated plastic glasses so I could stay in the pool and watch the sunset without having to get a refill every 10 minutes.

The 2 pools were both amazing and never super crowded. Overall, the staff was great and always seemed to be in a good mood. The size place is perfect in the sense that you are able spend as much private time with your spouse as you want, but you also get to know other guests and have fun hanging out after dinner.

I think that it comes down to your level of expectations when you come to Cocobay. Some people should skip Cocobay and go directly to Sandals. If you are going to nitpick about every little detail, do everyone a favor and skip this place. However, if you are the type of person that can just roll with it and enjoy the fact that you are in a beautiful, tropical, and care-free place, then you will love Cocobay. We certainly did and will definitely be returning in the future.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

The entire staff at Cocobay is absolutely amazing. O'Neil, the hotel manager, is a true gentleman and professional. He leads an outstanding staff that is extremely personable and service oriented. The concierge, Melissa, and Bartender, Oriel, were our favorite. They were always very friendly and knew us by name.

The facilities have recently undergone a renovation. Everything was very clean and well kept. The insects were no more than to be expected on a tropical island. I recommend packing plenty of 'OFF' and 'Benadril' (to releive the bug itch).

The grounds were always kept neat and the pools were beautiful. The food was delicous and the portions were generous. All of the tropical cocktails were delicious and the bartenders were not stingy with their pour's.

I would recommend Cocobay to anyone!

Room Tip: Get the plunge pool, equipped with air conditioning.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

Coco Bay was meant to mark the start of our marriage in a way any honeymoon should. We expected much from the reviews we read and our holiday rep at TrailFinders who was of the opinion that this would be our best option. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a crashing disappointment, punctuated by monotony, resort management ineptitude and lack of communication and ultimately, fear. Ferocious storms, tarantula spiders, a flooding chalet, upset stomachs, and hundreds of sand flea bites made this a honeymoon resort on a par with Fawlty Towers.

This will not be a positive review for CocoBay, but in the interests of fairness, I will outline the highlights. The food selection, supplied as part of the all inclusive package, was very good. Buffet breakfast and lunch catered for all tastes and while it was not of a five star standard always, you never went hungry. The quantity of food available was huge and you could have as much as you wanted. Dinner was also of a very high standard and again all tastes were catered for though the general consensus was the potted ham looked and tasted like spam and jelly. The house wine was low grade but not unpleasant. When the weather was fine, the view from the infinity pool out to the bay was incredible and the atmosphere relaxing. A walk along the beach was glorious with the warm sea rolling over your feet and the ferocious sun beating down relentlessly. However that is the sum total of positives.

We got off the plane at Antigua airport to be greeted by one of the Caribbean’s infamous “tropical rainstorms”. I now baulk at this description of Antiguan weather as it falls far short of reality. I have never seen rain like it. Having spent a short period in equally hot if not hotter countries that have thunderstorms (like Africa) I can safely say that the torrent of rain witnessed on arrival was bordering on frightening. Within 30 seconds of getting off the plane, my wife and I were drenched through to the skin. Walking into the entrance of the airport we were greeted with the bizarre sight of a local man, wearing a white suit, singing ‘This is my island in the sun’ into a microphone, all the while, water gushed through the airport ceiling as staff hurriedly warned holiday makers to be careful of slipping in the puddles.

While I appreciate that neither CocoBay or Trailfinders can do anything about the weather, I am sure they could do something about what happens to holiday makers while such weather is prevalent. We were shocked when airport staff took us outside where we had to wade through dirty rainwater coming above our ankles in order to get to the shuttle bus supplied by Coco Bay, which rather than a bus, was an ancient van with a sliding door, bench seats and unusable seat belts. We were made to sit in this ‘shuttle’ for fifteen minutes, choking on the petrol fumes of the van in front while the driver disappeared. On his return, we were treated to some of the most appalling and dangerous driving I have witnessed on holiday. We were very relieved to get to Coco Bay.

On arrival the rain had stopped, we could feel the comforting heat begin to dry us and we were met by a pleasant concierge who offered us ‘complimentary’ rum punch, which was strange as we had paid for all inclusive and it was the very same rum punch served to me at the bar all week. Soaked through to the skin, tired and a little wary of our surroundings, we were handed two ‘moist’ towelettes to freshen up with. It was like trying to dry up the Nile with a napkin. We were then introduced to Dwayne, a quiet pleasant porter who brought us to our ‘chalet’ showed us how it worked and promptly disappeared. We received no introductory tour of the resort, the bar or any other facility, unlike many other new arrivals we saw that week.

When we entered chalet 52, we discovered we had a bed with a mosquito net, a cupboard, and a curtained area with a rod to hang our clothes. The windows were wire mesh with wooden slats for blinds controlled by a lever. Within two days, one of those broke and fell forward to be trapped beneath the wire mesh. It was never mended.

We opened the veranda to discover that we did indeed have the sea view we asked for, however the sea was a dozen miles away and you needed binoculars to see it. Our main view was a building site, turned over soil, workmen and a large new pipe which was being dug into the ground.

On night one, as we approached the main building to go for dinner, an ear-piercing alarm was sounding. It seemed to have three different sounds constantly rotating into what I can only describe as a cacophony of screeches blending together to make an unsettling aural cocktail that made every dinnertime feel like torture. We guessed that perhaps a burglar alarm or fire alarm had tripped unexpectedly due to the severe weather. But this alarm continued all night, right throughout the resort, until 5am. We then learned that this was not a fire alarm, but a sound that replicated the male tree frog, and a few other unwanted creatures, played all through the night, every night in an effort to keep them at bay. This interrupted sleep, and after a few days became very unsettling. However, we had to put up with it. We would have preferred the frogs.

Then, the rain came. Seven days and nights out of a ten day trip, we suffered quite unbelievable storms. Rain so heavy that we thought our chalet – essentially a wooden hut so basic that without the bed it could have been a large tool shed with a bathroom – would be washed away. The roof was made of metal, and the sound of the raindrops crashing onto it was amplified ten fold. The storms were dramatic, incredible to watch at night with great forks of lightning scything through the black sky like giant electric ropes whipping back and forward, snapping their tips at the sea. One night would have been fine, perhaps even two. But seventy percent of our holiday was made up of storms like this. We were advised by Trailfinders that this weather tapers off at the end of September. We stayed at Coco Bay after Oct 7. The bar staff – who I must say, were incredibly pleasant and funny and a joy to be with - told us that the weather could continue like that up until December.

Bizarrely one evening when the manager O’Niell was walking towards us, he and his assistant advised us that dinner was being brought forward by half an hour as a massive rainstorm was expected. There had been a massive rainstorm the previous three nights and it was not brought forward, but I wonder if Antigua’s World Cup qualifying game being played that night was a contributing factor? It is also fair to say, and certainly is the experience of my wife and I, that as the week rolled on, the restaurant staff became less interested in you and more interested in newly arriving guests.

Again, weather is not under the control of mere mortals; however Coco Bay management could have done much more to ensure that guests could be occupied whenever the rains came. There was one television which was difficult to operate, and a shelf of books, many of which were in German. One one occasion a band, who I must say were excellent, played reggae numbers for an hour or so during the storms. But just as everyone was beginning to enjoy themselves which was around two hours before the bar stopped serving, they decided to stop and go home, citing the rain as an excuse, which was odd as they were playing inside the bar.

And then our chalet leaked. Puddles of water surrounded the bed, one of which covered the thin electrical cord of the bedside table. The towels we were given for showering had to be used to mop up. However we soon found out that practically every other chalet leaked too.

There was no laundry facility for guests, rather you had to pay US$8 to have one item washed then another US$8 to have it ironed. I must say, washing one’s smalls with shower gel in lukewarm water in a small sink is not an ingredient of a romantic honeymoon.

There was a ‘manager’s night’ one evening where jewellery was put on display for purchase, prizes were won, and everyone turned up in fancy frocks. We would have done that too, only we seemed to be the only couple in the entire resort who weren’t told about it, and we felt rather embarrassed and under dressed when we entered the bar.

One morning while walking along the path from our chalet we spotted a dead – possibly crushed – tarantula spider. My wife has a genuine phobia of spiders, and coming from Ireland she had never been up close to one. She immediately started to shake and was very afraid. I did my best to assure her that this must have been a one-off and that I was sure that the resort had put measures in place to ensure that any dangerous insect or animal would be kept at bay.

A few nights later, during a break between the storms, I went outside to the veranda in our chalet and looked up at the outside corner of the roof where I thought I saw a very large dark hand perched, unmoving. I waited and stared, and the ‘hand’ raised, its ‘fingers’ staying perfectly still. It was at that point I realised I was watching the silhouette of a very large tarantula. Next day I heard a number of guests say they saw something similar. Fearing my wife’s reaction I did not tell her about this until we were on the plane home. However that was all academic, as on one visit to the bathroom next to the main reception area, she saw a ‘creature’ she could not identify, larger than her hand, sitting close to the sink. I can’t imagine how she felt at that moment. Large insects put the fear of God into her. Couldn’t anyone have advised us that they might be so prevalent in this resort? We would have happily found more money to stay somewhere less ‘wild’.

One moment of comedy came when I turned the shower on and an army of ants – and I mean at least 100 –marched out of the showerhead where it was fixed to the wall, made their way up until the found a dry spot, waited until I was finished and then marched back home behind the shower head again.

At the beach bar, which is a fine place to kill some time if the weather is good, I and a number of other guests were plagued by what we were told was sand flies, but looked – and acted – much more like cat fleas. They were everywhere, and if you are prone to insect bites on holiday, these insects would feast on you. At one time, we counted over 130 bites on my legs before we had to stop. And yes I did wear insect repellent. The only thing that stopped them biting me was smothering my legs in sun cream so that they drowned.

I have written a thousand words and I could write a thousand more, but I will sum up. Ten days in Coco Bay were spent dodging thunderstorms, suffering agonisingly itchy insect bites, my wife and I doubled up in bed with crushing stomach pains and diahorrea (we have no idea how this happened, the only food we ate was from Coco Bay) dodging tarantulas, suffering leaks in the roof, fighting off the monotony and boredom which grew with the lack of entertainment to fill the hours swallowed by the bad weather, putting up with the insect alarm in the middle of the night. By day eight my wife lay crying in bed because she just wanted to go home.

However to cap this all off, while talking to other guests at the resort, I was told that one member of staff took time to go through feedback sheets which are filled in at the end of your stay. It was alleged to me that this staff member would destroy any feedback sheet that had negative comments about him or the resort. If true, this is reprehensible behaviour, and I invite Coco Bay to address this allegation.

Please go to Antigua. It is a beautiful exotic place. It caters for all who came from the UK, central Europe, and the US eastern sea board. But don’t stay at CocoBay. For us it was hell.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CocobayGM, General Manager at Cocobay Resort, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Thank you for sharing a review of your recent Cocobay visit. We are truly sorry to hear that your experience with us was not a positive one. When you were with us, during the passage of Tropical Storm Rafael it was undeniably a challenge due to the severe weather conditions. Your constructive criticisms were duly noted.
We would be delighted to welcome you back under much different circumstances. Hopefully you will reconsider and visit some time again.

At your service and with respect,

O'Neal
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
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: 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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