Cocobay Resort is low-key, beautifullly landscaped, and right on the Caribbean. They offer accommodations in a range of price-points and I can't speak to the cottages that were further up the hill: we stayed in a waterfront bungalow with fabulous view, AirCon and a plunge pool. It was lovely! The bed was comfortable with very soft bedding. The bathroom fixtures were luxurious: double sink, black quartz vanity, "rain shower" shower head with door opening from the shower onto the deck so you can look out at the Caribbean from the shower. There is also a refrigerator restocked with cold drinks daily, and an "instant" espresso maker. Like a Keurig but for espresso. The housekeepers kept the room immaculately clean. There was a safe in the closet. The best thing is ... No TV. However, you can rent a wireless device for US$10/day. Visiting Cocobay feels like staying at a beautiful private estate in a guest cottage. If you are drawn to large, rowdy chain resorts such as Club Med or Sandals, this may not appeal to you. It is quiet and peaceful except for the Thursday evening manager's reception which features a combo, some jewelry vendors and a buffet dinner that it livelier than the other nights.
The all-inclusive menus varied for the 10 days we were there. The Breakfast buffet always included eggs cooked to order, bagels, pastries and a variety of sausage or bacon. Lunch included a buffet including a variety of fresh salads (lots of greens and tomatoes) and often a pasta and a fish dish. The dinner menu varied and always offered 4 courses: appetizer, delicious soup, an entree and dessert. We live in California and eat out often and found portion size to be just right - not large but definitely not small. Since we booked directly with the hotel and not through a reservation service the steaks and lobsters were included in our room rate: some other folks paid a surcharge for steak or lobster. We found the staff gracious: I suppose that very sophisticated folks are willing to work in hospitality industry there in order to live on beautiful Antigua rather than moving to the mainland for more job choice. Housekeepers, waiters, gardeners, front desk staff were all polished and professional.
While my husband did get lots of bug bites and got itchy I think it was because he doesn't like to wear insect repellent. I wore a natural herbal repellent on my arms and shoulders and a deet spray on my feet and ankles when I was outside at dawn or dusk and got only a few bites.
The Fryes Beach looks like one in a travel magazine: powdery white sand, beautiful turquoise water and small gentle waves. The Little Ffyes Beach which is closer to the hotel has palapas and chaises and is closer to the lower pool bar. The pools! So beautiful. We rarely used them because we had our own plunge pool. The water temp felt cold for the first moment because the air was so hot. After a minute or two the plunge pool water felt refreshing not cold. Not sure whether other reviewers gave it a chance. My husband thought it was too cold the first day then gave it a chance and then spent lots of time floating in our little pool, sipping rum drinks and looking out at the Caribbean through palm fronds.
Best beach vacation in 25 years. Oh yes, we are middle aged and there were lots of youngish honeymooners there as well as an assortment of middle aged folks. Americans, Italians, Brits all added to the relaxed good spirits of the resort. Lots of lovely conversation at the bar and then retreat to our porch with sunbed and Adirondack chairs when we wanted to read quietly.
It is a ways from town so not the best location for "party animals" that want to go bar hopping at night.