For travellers who are reliant on taxis from the airport to their hotel: the ‘adventure’ begins there! The only taxis available at the airport are old rusty mini-buses where you are herded in a chaotic way by a rude ‘taxi manager’. You have no option to take a taxi as a couple but must wait until these bone-shakers are ‘loaded’ and full before it will set off. In many respects it sets the whole tone for the Antigua island experience.
We arrived at the Cocobay after the taxi driver’s political rants (and a patriotic song on the local radio) and appalling roads. First impression was one of relief. The reception was simple and pleasant.
The resort, however, was disappointing in almost every other way. It is comprised of a series of simple one-room chalets with very basic bathrooms. The plus points were that our chalet had a veranda and a superb sea view. There was no air-conditioning and ventilation was poor. Mosquitoes and even a large cockroach made this uncomfortably hot room accommodation even more miserable.
Generally, we found the service appalling from no one to help with luggage to the chalet to being told where to sit in the restaurant. Overall, expect sullen indifference at best.
Our package included full board catering. The breakfast buffet and lunches were very disappointing and made worse by the plague of birds constantly landing on tables to dip into drinks and food. Dinner was better, mostly overcooked, but generally nicely presented and reasonable variety but let down by the whole lack of service.
The resort swimming pool is small and needs renovation. It is situated on a terrace with a bar with spectacular views. This could be a really special place but it is not. We can hardly describe some of the barman's overtly sexist jokes and comments as 'witty' or 'funny'.
The beach below the hotel was ok but busy.
Whilst in Antigua we took a couple of boat trips, one to Barbuda that simply wasn’t worth the money, and the other - an ‘EcoTour’: excellent value, good variety of attractions, including snorkelling, a visit to uninhabited island and a boat crew with some real passion for what they do. Highly recommended.
The biggest highlight of our trip though was just a few hundred meters away from Cocobay: an absolutely deserted stretch of beach.
It is fair to say that we did not enjoy Cocobay and can find little to recommend it. Like the taxi ride at the beginning of our visit, it summed up Antigua – the beaches might be beautiful but there is more to the dream holiday than that. For the same money we have had some exceptional quality hotels with impeccable service in places like Thailand or Indonesia that leaves Antigua (with its ‘relaxed’ pace of life and generally loose standards of service) wanting in every respect.
- 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