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“Can't believe two previous reviews” 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
England
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Can't believe two previous reviews”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014 via mobile

Highlights of our stay (returned today) were the food, staff and of course the beach and views. Agreed that free wi-fi for all guests would be good but we managed to get access via the "dongle" without an issue and at the end of the day we didn't go on holiday to Antigua for the wi-fi !
All the staff we came across including the front desk were excellent, very friendly and helpful.
The food was very good and you should consider the price against that charged by similar rated hotels eg Galley Bay (where we have also stayed).
In any resort more money can be spent on improving the place but I can't believe we stayed in the same hotel as the last two reviewers. All I can say is they must have been very unlucky.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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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
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

-They have a beautiful venue. The rooms are nice. We had a seaside room with a private pool, which unfortunately never got used becuase it was shaded all day and very cold. The rooms are very open, private enough from the other guests, but no so private if you are sharing the room with anyone. We were situated near the entrance and got all the noise from the workers prepping in the morning and the comers and goers at the hotel. If situated near the bar or the tv room, parties can go well on into the night. Don't plan on sleeping in much as the light comes right in at sunrise, and everyone bustles about starting at about 6am.
-The food is nothing to write home about. They are very much so geared towards europeans and the food reflects this. I found the dinner food to be less than filling or appetizing. The food was very bland all day long (breakfast, lunch and dinner), not terrible or inedible, but nothing exciting. But after paying for the all inclusive, you feel as though you don't need to go out to pay $50/person plus for a meal.
-After being there for a week, we had our daughter join us and was suppose to be moved to a larger (double room) suite. The morning of our move, we were told that they had "inventory problems". They had overbooked, and now it was my problem. As this was Christmas holiday, all the hotels in the area were booked solid, so we had no choice but to take their offer to move to a smaller room than the one we started with, and now we have 3 guests staying rather than 2. I was highly disappointed with the way they handled this.
-They didn't even give us full credit to our account for the lesser room. It would have been nice if they would have offered us more what we deserved, as this is not what we booked. One of the reasons we booked here was so that had the flexibility of the two room suite. No extra consolation was made towards us.
-Add ons are terrible. I would definately try to book things on your own rather than using their services, as they will double any spa/salon service/outing you book with them to make their "service fee". I can understand a 10% service fee but adding $135 to a $25 service is absolutely rediculous!

Room Tip: Any of the rooms farther away from the main entrance are probably better, but then you will have a h...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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, January 17, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share feedback of your recent Cocobay experience. We are truly sorry to learn that we did not meet all of your expectations and that we have missed an opportunity to make your stay the magical one you expected.

We hope that you would consider returning to Cocobay sometime in the future.

Respectfully,

O'Neal
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

Lovely place for a honeymoon. Very chilled out and easy to get into the Caribbean way of life! My only gripe would be that they seem to cater for Americans more than rest of nationalities possibly due to tipping. Also watch out for the room because ours was sole as 'garden view' but looked out over the road!

Great place if you want to get away from it all!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

We had the pleasure of staying in Cocobay in December 2013 and had a wonderful time. The resort is exactly as expected, the staff are incredibly friendly and the views are simply stunning (being able to shower in privacy whilst looking out on to an aqua sea is pretty magical!)
There was an issue with sand flies while we stayed here, however this is not a fault of the resort, who were doing what they could to treat the issue (we could simply have stayed away form the beach and lower pool if we desired.)
Our only gripe with the resort was the food... As Londoners who regularly eat a wide variety of cuisines, we were incredibly excited to experience authentic Caribbean food at its best. Unfortunately we were very disappointed.
Breakfast was adequate, if a little unimaginative (none of the in-season fresh pineapple we were expecting from the island), and there was always a large queue for the eggs, but being in the 'laid back' mood, we could excuse this.
Lunch, unfortunately, was particularly bland. Having had no flavour from any of our food fro a couple of days, I was very excited to see 'Jerk Eggplant' on our third day, however not only did this not taste of Jerk, it tasted of absolutely nothing. There is tilapia fish available every day, but this is fried, making it both greasy and tasteless - far from the fresh, vibrant flavours we were expecting from the Caribbean! We ended up having to add hot sauce to a lot of food to try and inject some flavour, however this too was not up to scratch!
The Thursday buffet evening had been hyped up, but again the food tasted of very little, and we remained disappointed and hungry for flavour!
Dinner portions were, whilst pleasantly presented, very small, and also lacked any flavour.

We had two delightful meals whilst in Antigua, and one was the surprise 'Beach dinner' my partner had organised for my birthday. Having paid extra, we had steak and lobster served to us on the beach. Both meals were beautiful and the brilliant service and idyllic, private setting made it a perfect evening.

Our other great meal was at Dennis's restaurant, down the other end of the beach. We ended our trip with extra spicy creole chicken and curried goat, wonderfully flavoured, delightfully authentic and cooked to perfection. Exactly what we'd hoped we'd get all week

It's such a shame that such a beautiful place was so lacking in such a major area! I'm not sure if our European palates are too developed (another British couple we spoke to had the same thoughts as us), or if a mass catering approach is taken to try to vaguely please everyone? Our lasting memory is that we would love to recommend Cocobay to our friends, but as they're all foodies too, we just can't.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014 via mobile

We stayed for 10 nights in November. Really excellent from reception to departure. The bungalows are lovely with wonderful sea views. Beds and pillows are so comfortable. The bathroom spacious and so private that you can open the doors to the balcony and shower with the view. On the balcony colourful birds will visit and take food from your hand. There are two lovely beaches to soak up the sun. The sun beds could do with new covers. Mealtimes are leisurely with good to excellent food. Two nights a week a buffet is presented, personally I preferred the served dinners. Wine is a good variety, very drinkable as are all beverages. Staff could not be more helpful they are very well trained and highly motivated in all areas of the hotel. I enjoyed it so much that another booking for next November is already made.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

We sent our 20th anniversary at cocobay November 2nd thru the 7th. We could not have planned a better trip. We stayed in the premium waterfront suite (warri). Beautiful views great room worth the a/c. The staff could not do enough for us all you need to do is ask and you got it. Kathleen and kerry from the restaurant was the best, they catered to our every need made us feel special every time we ate there. Saskia, the bartender was great very attentive to our needs our drinks we're already on the bar as we walked up.the pools were so beautiful and relaxing. We highly recommend the catamaran cruise it's a long day but we'll worth it. We met some great couples who made our time there even better. Can't wait to get back next year.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

This review is separated into categories.
FOOD
1. Real all-inclusive resorts do not charge for food
When will management at All Inclusive resorts learn that the reason people chose all-inclusive resorts is because they do not want to have to think about money or taking out their wallet whilst on vacation. They believe (falsely in this case) that the price paid includes everything. Cocobay bills itself as an all-inclusive so I was shocked when, on the first night, at the (only) dinner restaurant on the grounds the menu had two additional options which incurred a cost. This happened EVERY NIGHT. Every dinner menu had additional paid options. It wasn't that much- however it really showed the DIVIDE between what is INCLUDED and what you can PAY ADDITIONAL FOR. Included was a chicken, fish and veg. Lobster and beef was extra. This should NOT happen at an all inclusive. I've stayed at many, many all inclusive and have never before been confronted with paying for better food at dinner. The website states "The main all-inclusive restaurant Rafters provides an intimate setting for breakfast, lunch and dinner with spectacular sea views." No where does it say there is an extra fee for the good stuff. I honestly, would have rather paid an extra $100 upfront and had the good stuff included instead of having this system which made me angry.

2. There was no water at the breakfast buffet. I don't understand why it is so hard to have a pitcher of water. You had to track down a water to get water. This is a basic need in a hot country. I am perfectly fine with getting it myself and do not understand why there was no water jug.

3. Snack Bar was pre-made
All the snack bar food was pre-made which means that if you wanted anything to be vegetarians you were completely out of luck. There was no effort to accomodate and modify any of the sandwiches for vegetarians. You were simply told "sorry we only have one options and its pre-made". This happened every day.

NOISE/ Crowds
4. There is a paid restaurant on the premises.
This is not a big deal but it was very odd to have a stream of snobby people traipsing through the resort to go the the very expensive restaurant that is below the pool. They also use the pool bar and don't seem to pay for it although the bar is supposedly part of the resort

5. Weddings are disrupted by boats dropping/ picking people up
We were thinking about having a wedding there. After witnessing a wedding continuously interrupted by noisy boats dropping of and picking up people and loads of bikini wearing guests we decided against it (SEE PICTURES)

6. UPP's Annual "Huge Party" at Ffryes Beach- It starts early all and goes on all night.
The first Monday is Antiguan Labour Day Holiday. The United Progressive Party (UPP) hosts a HUGE party every year - with tents, radio stations, races- on the neighboring beach. This happens every year. There is a race that ends (or starts) at the nearby beach. There is an all night party that ends around 4am. The race starts early to avoid the heat. (I'm not sure of the precise sequence). The bass is so loud it permeates the resort. This is NOT the hotel's fault- however, the hotel clearly knows about this but does not tell guests and acts surprised when guests ask about it. It is impossible to sleep that one night or function that whole day as the noise is absolutely deafening. Yes- it is only one night. No- it did not ruin our vacation but it would be good if there were some notice on the website as this is an annual occurrence or something at the resort to counter act this.

7. Staff routinely talked poorly about guests.
Staff openly gossiped about guests- particularly at the pool bar. Repeat guests were treated much better than those there for the first time. HOWEVER, the front desk staff were AMAZING, helpful and kind. The staff at the bar was not as great and seemed to be resentful to be working there. It was often overstaffed (2 bar tenders and no guests) or understaffed (1-2 bartenders after dinner and 20 guests + overspill from the paid restaurant Sheer Rocks). They seemed annoyed to work.

ROOMS:
In generally the rooms were fine- simple which is what we wanted. Without TV which is what we wanted. Airy bathrooms that were opened to the porch. The bad is below:

8. Air con worked sporadically.
When we asked for help, we were often left waiting for hours.

9. Mosquito net had many holes in it.
Our net in our room was shabby with holes in it.

BEACH:
10. The beach is narrow but nice. However, you have to go down a very steep set of stairs to get to the beach. One the side of the steps is a woman who has decided this small, dangerous area is the best place to sell her junk bracelets. I cannot understand this. It is unclear if she is on private or public property.

General:
11. It was clear that some people tipped. They clearly got better, faster service. I resent this.

The Good:
1. Front desk staff is AMAZING. Totally accommodating and truly wanting you to have a good time. They did not make excuses for others and instead really and honestly tried to listen to your concerns and rectify any problems you had. The manager O'niell is VERY proactive and tries to fix things immediately.

2. The buffets were good and in general there food was plentiful and good enough quality.

3. Pool chairs were easy to come by which was fantastic. There was none of the 6am reserving nonsense you find at other resorts.

4. Good variety of ages and nationally. There were youngish couples, older couples, Americans and Europeans. IT was not dominated by any one group.

5. Flexibility on Dinner: Twice was messed up our dinner reservation and the staff were totally accommodating and welcomed us in at a new time.

6. Beach was not shared with other resorts

In General:
The resort needs to decide if it is in fact an all inclusive or not.
If not, then charging for food is fine as is having non-guests drinking at the bar and traipsing through the resort.
If it is an all inclusive than it needs to find another way to get Sheer Rocks customers to Sheer Rocks without going the the resort. All Inclusive should NOT have any extra charges. Charge the extra $15 a day and do away with the stupid extra charges!!!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, January 6, 2014
Thank you for sharing feedback on your Cocobay stay of early 2013. We are truly sorry to learn that you did not enjoy all aspects of your experience while staying with us. Your review however, was received with humility and your constructive criticisms actually form the basis of our ongoing efforts to ensure guest satisfaction. We have noted some useful suggestions from your review as we have always been committed to listening to the people who matters - YOU, our past, present and prospective guests.

We do hope that you will consider visiting us again sometime in the future.


Respectfully,

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:
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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