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“Perfect Vacation” 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
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Perfect Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013 via mobile

We absolutely enjoyed our recent stay at Cocobay! The views are stunning, staff is so gracious, property is impeccable, and our memories are priceless!  If you are searching for a small, exclusive, intimate, boutique style resort...this is the place! 

Cocobay staff are extremely attentive and always so accommodating. From day one, they know and remember your names, remember your food/drink preferences, recognize the special occasions, and always ensure that you are enjoying every moment of your vacation.

We stayed in the new Premium Waterfront Suites and they are spectacular! Stunning waterfront views, outdoor seating area, bathtub under the stars, hammock, plunge pool...etc. Very private, so no concerns there. We did have concerns about the bugs before the trip, but we used 'OFF' bug spray during the day and were able to close the glass doors and use the air condition at night. They also provide windows with screens so you can still hear the waves crashing on shore while the doors are closed. Yes, the shower does open up to the outside, what an amazing view and sensation, nothing like it! The bed is king size and very comfortable. It was absolutely worth the price we paid, again, the views were priceless!

There are two separate infinity pools with loungers to relax poolside, in addition to a beach to swim in the ocean. Premium cocktails are available throughout the day, and the food options were great too. The dinner menu was a nice touch with different items available each night. 

Keep in mind, with only 50 cottages, there are only about 100 folks vacationing at the same time, so there is always plenty of seating at the pools, restaurant and bars. The resort is very quiet, but does have a band come and play on a few evenings for those who want to enjoy some nice Caribbean tunes via steel drums!

For those interested in an excursion, we selected Creole Cruises - lobster lunch. The boat picked us up on the beach and provided a tour around the island, snorkeling in two locations, and a grilled lobster lunch on a remote island/beach. There were only a few couples on the tour, which also made for a unique and intimate boating experience. Our hosts were extremely accommodating and made us feel like old friends! 

Thanks to Oneil, Melissa and Sonia to name a few! You and the entire staff made our vacation so special and we are grateful for your hospitality! 

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1,637 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 (478)
Date | Rating
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English first
Leicester, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

I have just returned from a wonderful holiday at Cocobay. The resort is stunning - rustic with full of charm. It reminded me of little treehouses and cottages. Just perfect as I don't like high rise or large resorts. We had a sea view cottage with an amazing view. The cottages are just like in the photos. Really lovely. And there were double doors in the bathroom next to the shower so that you could shower al fresco looking out to the bay and sea. Our cottage was not overlooked so the outside shower was a treat. The staff were so friendly. O'neal the manager came to greet us when we arrived and was always present for a chat. I would like to mention some of the lovely staff - Saskia (with her fab eyelash extensions!), Cyeon (who I hope will soon get his name tag), Jermaine, Denise, Sonia (cooking up eggs with a smile and a dance), Davern, and my list could go on.
The food was really good. Breakfasts and lunch buffet style. Paninis served in the lower bar at lunch too. Dinner mostly a la carte. The all inclusive drinks were good too - particularly banana dacquiris made by Saskia.
The lower sunbathing/pool area I believe is a new addition. Both the upper pool area and lower are wonderful. Both have infinity pools. The sunloungers have very comfy green cushions. There were always beds available so no need to worry. Also there were more sun loungers on the beach (the more typical blue kind). I would like to add that, although the sea was lovely on the beach near the hotel, there was a little path round to the next beach and the sea there was even better.
We got the 22 bus (minibuses with a yellow number plate saying bus on front) along the coast road, which was really cheap. $4 EC's for two of us to go a few stops to Jolly Beach. It's easy to do and I would say give it a go rather than a more expensive taxi. The bus will stop almost anywhere on the roadside for you. We also went in the other direction to Darkwood Beach.
As with last year we went to Shirley Heights on a Sunday evening. My partner got ten people together at the Virgin welcome meeting and we went by taxi. The driver stayed as late as we wanted him to (taxi driver called Benji who works from the hotel). This allowed us to party into the night with the live music later on.
Vaughan the medicine man also gives a nature walk from the hotel. Bring some trainers if you can. I went in flip flops which was just about ok. Vaughan takes you round local areas to look at the plants, which is very interesting. Free with the hotel, but we all tipped him or his little nephews who showed us round their garden.
As Cocobay is a small hotel, it is very friendly. Most guests get to know eachother which means you can have a chat round the pool or at the bar. We met some lovely people and will have good memories of all the fun times we had with them.
I could go on with so many positives, but I will just say a little about the mozzies and sand flies. Do come prepared with Deet, or they will get you. We burned a citronella coil on our porch in the evenings so that we could sit out and look at the amazing view.
Don't get a private transfer with Virgin as they charge per person. If you dont fancy waiting for everyone to arrive for the minibus transfer, just go to the taxi dispatchers desk next to the Virgin desk and you will be charged $US 28 per car from airport to Cocobay. We did this on way to hotel as there was a bit of a delay with us all getting out. There were no landing cards on the flight so we all had to manically fill them out when the plane landed in Antigua.
All in all, a brilliant holiday. I can't wait to return.

Room Tip: We had sea view room. Alot of people said the plunge pools were cold, so we were very happy with our...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

We spent 2 weeks at Cocobay in Jan/Feb this year and were very happy there. After a very long flight (the stop off in Barbados is a real pain) it was very pleasant to be met with friendly smiles and rum punch. The manager, O’Neil was there to meet us and proved to be “The Man”. He is very much an impressively ‘hands on’ manager and also makes it clear how much he appreciates his staff, they well deserve the praise. I think Antiguans must be the happiest people on earth, they certainly gave that impression. They were so friendly and concerned for us to have a good time that, when they asked us at breakfast if we’d had a good evening, we had to say ‘oh yes, very’ and not confess that we were in bed shortly after nine o’clock (our excuse is that it took a lot of energy to lie on the beach and lift rum and coke to our lips). I can’t mention rum and coke without also mentioning Robert who hands out the beach towels, rescues distressed yachtsmen, and (most importantly) brings drinks to all us lazy folk on the beach. He takes his job very seriously and regards the people on the beach as ‘his’ people’ to be looked after. Our first full day there we were late going to the beach so, no beach beds left. Undeterred we lay down on the sand but Robert wasn’t having that; he rushed off and reappeared with two helpers and two beach beds for us. We just loved him.

The beach was very good although the sea was quite rough at times and had carved out quite a steep step down into the water. You definitely need mozzie spray and the sand flies are even more vicious; we sprayed ourselves before going to the beach and made sure to be away before 5pm when it was apparently tea time for all biting bugs; it seemed to work because we got very few bites. There are teatime snacks behind the main bar at 4pm so it was an incentive to leave the beach anyway.

On arrival, O’Neil very kindly upgraded us to a seafront room for our first four days. It was very pleasant with extras such as his and hers wash basins, a plunge pool, free water, and towelling robes. We then moved to a sea view cottage that we absolutely loved although we did miss the towelling robes. They are very well designed and scattered around the spacious and very well maintained grounds so that most have private verandas where you can fall out of the hammock without amusing the neighbours. Add to that a kingsize comfy bed and soft pillows, mozzie nets and a sea view, and I can’t think of anywhere better. Although simple it really was quite stylish. Only one complaint - no drawers. I am used to throwing everything into drawers out of sight so the maid doesn’t realise what a messy person I am.
There was a generous supply of toiletries (soap, shampoo and body lotion – no shower cream) and everywhere was very clean. I don’t know what the problem was with the shower for some people but you would have to be of considerable size to get water outside the tray.

Don’t forget to bring a torch, not all the cottages have outside lights. Don't bother looking for the wellness centre, it's gone, but do look at the courtesy room where you can shower and change before leaving - it's amazing. Keep a lookout for the info board in reception, it tells you when the manager's cocktail party is and also the days they will be 'fogging'.

We had very pleasant neighbours, namely birds and lizards. We would take some sandwiches from the teatime selection back to the cabin (plus rum and coke of course) and they soon got to know the routine and would be waiting for us on the veranda for the crumbs. The tree frogs were very subdued here so they didn’t keep us awake. We decided O’Neal had spoken to them firmly. You may be lucky and spot a mongoose but they are very fast and well camouflaged.

A definite plus is the lack of children. Sorry but we’ve had our children and grandchildren and don’t really want to suffer anyone else’s.

Now for a whinge. I can’t eat very spicy food and I know it’s the Caribbean and I should expect it, but I didn’t expect quite so much. On a previous visit to Antigua, our hotel served a much larger assortment so I didn’t have a problem; of course it was a larger hotel but I was looking forward to meals and a bit disappointed especially in the evening. The food then was beautifully presented but with a lack of choice for me. You have to book a specific time for dinner so do so at reception at breakfast time. I had better luck food-wise at breakfast and lunch with the buffets, the omelettes were delicious and the fresh local fish equally so. The wine, served by the glass, was pretty good and the staff were very good at topping up, they soon got to know the winos. They were all wonderful and it doesn’t seem fair to pick out anyone in particular but special thanks to Denise, Vincia, Kerry, Darwen and Jermaine (and Robert of course).

Just writing about it makes me want to be back there so we have just booked for next February. I do hope we can get the same cottage. A whole year to wait!!!! See you there!

Room Tip: We chose a seaview room and were very happy with it.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

We were immediately struck by the authenticity and friendlness of the staff. They make the hotel work. The hotel is beautifully placed in a stunning location, there are multiple different places to sit, lounge in the sun, be alone, walk, and generally relax. Multiple pools and the beach separate the guests so it never seems crowded and remains intimate. The rooms are basic, but well done, the maintenaance on our room could have been better, loose latches on doors, broken vent windows, etc. Those items did not detract from our stay, but coupled with inconsistent maid service they make this beautiful place very good rather than excellent as it seems more worn in many small respects than it should with basis consistent maintenance. It was very clean.

The food is plesant and I found the consistency of the dining services relaxing and enjoyable. Frankly, I see no reason to leave the resort for food (we ate out one night to an "excellent restaurant" based on reviews and it was no better than the chef's work at the hotel and it cost $200.)

This was our first trip to an all inclusiive. When you go you should know what you are entitled to. It was not clear to us. On arrival we were offered a bottle of liquor for our room; tired from our flight we said we just wanted to get to our room, When I asked for a bottle the following day it was never delivered. In addition, the mini bar was not restocked consistently. One day it would be restocked, the next we were told it would be extra for water. The next day more water appeared. We ran out of coffee for two days then it was restocked. Not a problem, but these items differentiate five stars from fewer. I should note that our meal plan included the entire menu, even the appetizers and entrees that had a significant "supplment" for many guests. This would have added significant cost to the trip $50-100 per night if it were not included. The supplemental items were our favorites, of course.

The bar service was good, I just hated the pool side plastic cups, they were like the ones we used when I was a child for cool-aide, I just think they could be nicer, perhaps reusable.

Finally, as a gay couple traveling with other known homosexuals we were concerned about Antigua's anti-gay laws, but we wanted to see the island and decided to go. This resort was nonetheless welcoming and kind as were the people we met wherever we went. We met other gay couples and had no issues, that said, I would not have been comfortable with any PDA's and that can be uncomfortable on vacation.

Room Tip: Know if you are directly on the water or not, the "seafront" are one row back and would ha...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ocean Grove, New Jersey
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

As the manager of a 150 year old inn in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, I am more accustomed to being on the receiving side of TripAdvisor reviews. But the time I spent at Cocobay with my sisters last week is very worthy of this effort. We had a wonderful time. The grounds of the resort were incredibly beautiful and well maintained. Our cottage, while simple, was perfectly adequate and enjoyable. We loved the beach and the pools and the restaurant and the bars.

The resort certainly caters to couples. But as three sisters and best friends seeking a much needed reward for getting through a rough year, we were not looked upon as unusual by other guests or staff and we never felt out of place.

The staff here, overall, was very very good, probably the best I have every encountered at a resort - friendly, accommodating, sincere. Two stood out for us - Craig and Melissa - I only wish I could work with people half as good as them. They were friendly, intelligent, helpful and funny - not at all typical. I would hire either in an instant.

If you are looking for a place to party until all hours of the night, this might not be the best resort for you. But if you excel at simply relaxing, this is the right choice.

I highly recommend this resort. We began discussing our trip back before we even left.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sussex
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Don't come here if you like crowds, clinically clean rooms or fast food. However, if you are happy to have space, authentic furnishings and beautifully prepared food, then this is the place for you. Rooms ARE basic, but what more do you need - it is clean and maintained? Bed is comfortable, only tiny complaint is the mosquito net that could do with being larger so you don't get caught up in it. (piece of advice, take a couple of clothes pegs with you to make sure it stays together in the night). Food is amazing, breakfast and lunch are freshly prepared and cooked in front of you by the wonderful Sonya. Staff can't do enough for you, Melissa and other staff on the front desk make you feel like an old friend and the staff in the restaurant are attentive whilst not intruding. A very well-run and maintained hotel.
Tips for Antigua:
Don't ever leave a taxi until the last minute as they never seemed to turn up on time
Takes lots of mosquito repellant
Supermarkets stock British food and essentials

Room Tip: Get the best you can afford - sea view can be a little limited but whole setting is beautiful
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shreveport, Louisiana
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon at the beautiful CoCo Bay Resort. We wanted to go somewhere that was a little more secluded and quiet than a Sandals. CoCo Bay was the perfect place to relax after our wedding... O'Neil (the manger) took very good care of us to make sure that we had a good experience. The views from the room were unreal. The staff was extremely personable and the island is absolutely beautiful. We didnt really know what to expect, and Coco bay exceeded every expectation that we had. Memories that will last forever.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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 5
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
Amenities:
Beach 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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