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“Hidden Gem - July 2014” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Valley Church, Bolans, Saint Mary's 431, Antigua   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
10% Honeymooner Discount
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Bolans
New York City, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem - July 2014”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

I almost didn't want to write this review so I could keep Cocobay my own little secret. I spent hours upon hours searching for the perfect getaway location to propose to my fiance. I read wonderful reviews about this resort and felt overly confident in my selection. Let me tell you, this resort went above and beyond my expectations. Words can't express how incredible, romantic and gorgeous the setting was. We stayed in the Fungee (premium waterfront suite) and the view/room were breathtaking. Tub outside, privacy from neighboring rooms, day bed, infinity pool, shower with doors that open up to the outside...it literally felt like we were the only people at the resort. I highly recommend anyone traveling here to spend the extra few dollars to stay in a premium room - I promise you it is worth it. The food was excellent and there was a variety to choose from to satisfy any pallet. My fiance has stomach issues and they were always extremely accommodating to her needs. Book thru the website so you can have steak/lobster at not extra charge. I ate Lobster 4 out of the 5 nights (yes, it was wonderful). Both pools were amazing, we absolutely loved the lower level pool. Day bed are always available and it never felt crowded, maybe 3-4 other couples aside from us max. I'm extremely critical about customer service. The staff were SUPERB. Always had fun, genuine conversations with them and they go out of your way to make your stay special (bottle of champagne in your room, rum punch deliveries, flowers/candles). For me, the little stuff speaks volumes. I was worried about the mosquito comments from previous travelers. Disregard, honestly I did not get one bite my entire stay (we did apply bug spray daily). There are flies, specially at dinner but they do not bite. I could go on and on about this resort, I've traveled to a variety of islands and I've never experienced anything like this. If you are traveling as a couple and looking for an intimate, remote, romantic, rustic-refined resort than this is your spot. Quick couple shout-outs:

O'Neal (manager): what a gentleman, extremely attentive to your needs
Kathleen & Dwayne: Kathleen assisted me with my elaborate proposal plan - she went above and beyond and specifically said "don't worry darling I'll make this happen". Dwayne assisted her and took numerous pictures for us. He was a delight and a joy to be a part of my special moment that I will never forget.
Tarifa: Works at the front desk and is AWESOME. So sweet, funny and just always happy. She would help us with anything immediately.
Blaine: escorted us to our room and would help us with any requests. One of the most genuine guys I have ever met.
Sonia: makes thee best omelets and is a pleasure to chat with in the mornings.

I could go on and on about our stay. Look no further, Cocobay Resort is worth every single penny. My fiance and I are struggling to figure out our honeymoon destination after this trip and we are considering Cocobay. If not, there's no doubt we would return in the next few years. Enjoy!!

27 years old
Resides in New York City
Traveled in July 2014 as a couple

Room Tip: Fungee (premium waterfront suite) is well worth it.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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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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
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

Very late review as we travelled in November 2013 but better late than never as they say. All i will say is ignore all bad comments about this gorgoeus hotel. On arrivsl you are greeted with a well needed rum punch and cold towel. It is ideally a couples resort. The rooms are rustic carribean i would say nice large bed with a balcony and hammock. Shower has doors that open up to see the incredible views.
Weather was hot everyday with odd showers here and there but they very quickly went away.
Excursions- you must visit sting ray city amazing experience swimming with these beautiful creatures you get to feed them swim with them and have ur pictures taken with them. We also did the Jabberwocky yacht excursion which was equally amazing.
Food here was very good Sonias pancakes are the best and to this day i go on about them!! Lunch was buffet and dinner is a sit down meal. Men have to wear polo shirts. It never seemed crowded. Food quality was very good and portion sizes were perfect i dont understand how people can complain about the food portions it was more than enough considering you get a starter main and dessert! You also have to reserve your seating time fot dinner at the main reception.
Staff were superb the best iv ever come across so genuine and friendly and would really go out their way for you. When we got engaged they were so happy for us and got us a bottle of champagne they made an announcement for us and we even had a message from the owner O'Neil which was lovely. We came back to the room one night to see candles and rose petals all over the floor very romantic.
Antiguan people are so lovely.
The guys trying to get you on the jet skis were abit annoying because they came over everyday but if you told them know they would leave you alone. Its their job and way of life and we accepted that.
Be warned if you travel in novmeber the sand flies are everywhere!! Some people got bit very badly i did get some but no where near as some people did so bring lots of creams sprays etc!! They did fumigate the hotel but this is unfortunatly out of their control.
I dont want this review to sound negatuve at all because i loved Antigua and is one of the best holidays iv ever been on!! We were meeting couples there who go regularly and one couple in particular go to Cocobay every year for the past 7 years!! That speaks volumes. Even the people staying at the resort were all so friendly and polite making conversation and saying hello. You are really made to feel at home.
Enyertainment there wasnt much but then we are not really in to all that we like to have dinner and go back and chill in our room so i suppose it depends on you and what you like. If you like nightly entertainment then mayne you should consider a different hotel although they do have shirley heights on a sunday evening where theres good steel band dancing in to the night and at cocobay we did have a steel band one night with cocktail drinks which was nice.
There are about 3 beaches you can access from cocobay one is directly next to the resort the other you have to walk out of the hotel and take a short 5 minute walk to get to it and the other we never really went to. We particularly like the one we had to walk to again its personal preference.
All in all fantastic holiday if you are thinking or considering cocobay and you are a couple looking for a romatic getaway cocbay is 100% the resort to book!! Would make a lovely honeymoon destination also.
Enjoy!!

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

We travelled to Cocobay early July for our honeymoon.

On arrival - transfer from the airport to the hotel was approx 30 mins. When we arrived our luggage was taken while we checked in. Once we were checked in they presented us with a cold towel and run punch. The reception staff then gave us a breakdown of the rules for dinner etc that you usually find in an information booklet in your room. This was fine but would have preferred to have information in the rooms especially after a long flight from the UK.

Rooms - rooms are what I would describe as rustic Caribbean. We had a seafront plunge pool room and although the room was nice we didn't have much of a seaview. We had a palm tree in the way of the sea but seeing as there was a path going along the front of our room the palm tree was needed for privacy. We used the plunge pool a handful of times in 10 nights but I would still recommend this type of room. Air con is a must. The beds are large and very comfy and the pillows are soooo comfy!! My husband asked if we could take them home but no luck. The rain does wake you up at night but you don't really mind seeing as you're in paradise. You do get lizards and birds in your room if doors left open. The only thing I'd change is to have an extra mirror in the bedroom because the bathroom gets so hot and being a female with hair dryer, hair straighteners etc it gets a bit annoying...and hot!!

Beach/pools - you get towels every day. There are 2 pools and we spent majority of the time by the bottom pool or the beach. The bottom pool was often quieter which we liked. The beach was fine and water very clear. If you go to the beach near reception (with hammock and bed) you can walk to Valley Church Bay in about 10 mins along the beach. Also, carry on walking past Cocobays beach for about 2 mins and you get to Big Fryes beach which we only discovered on our 2nd last day. I'd recommend going to this beach...it is deserted and it has a restaurant on the beach for lunch, drinks etc.

Food & drink - water is not included but you can get bottles filled for free by bar staff. Food here is AMAZING!! Breakfast - I always had the omelettes made by Sonia, but there were pancakes, fruit, bacon etc. lunch was always different with a fish or meat dish followed by salad, pasta, etc. Dinner was by far the best meal. It was 4 courses and would begin with a starter, either soup or pasta ( don't be afraid to ask for pasta!!) main, and desert. Drinks were very strong and the bar staff will replace your drink without you realising! We paid extra for dinner on the beach which included steak and lobster and it was by far the best night we had...very romantic. We ate out a couple times at Dennis' restaurant which is 2 mins walk from Cocobay. It's good to try local food like curried goat!! Always felt welcomed when we went and would recommend the burgers for lunch.

Weather - every day it was roasting but every day we saw rain, sun, cloud and wind and still came back with a tan.

Extras - had a couples massage which I think would have been better if we weren't sunburnt!!

Shirley heights - did this on a Sunday and booked a taxi with another couple we had met costing 80 US dollars. It was a great night out 5pm - 10pm and very strong drinks!! Bands were awesome and spent the night dancing the night away!

Virgin Dundee - excursion booked with Virgin. Spent the day in a jeep driving around the villages, then had lunch at Betty's sugar plantation followed by kayaking in the mangroves and then snorkelling near bird island.

Entertainment - not often enough for my liking. They should have something most nights even if very little. They have steels bands and bands every other night. We are a couple in our late 20's and felt it needed a bit more. I'm not talking Sandals quality but just a little more would have been nice. On quiet nights we would be in bed for 9-10pm!

I will never forget my experience to Antigua and will always hold it as a special memory and I think that's mostly down to being in a special resort.

Stayed July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

My husband and I have just returned from two weeks in Antigua. We spent our first week at Cocobay Resort where we were joined by 32 of our closest friends and family for our dreamy beach wedding. This was our second time to Cocobay, we vacationed there last March (2013) and instantly decided we had to come back for our wedding. Everything was perfect – and we are still in dreamland from the amazing wedding we had at Cocobay. Tameka was very helpful in setting everything up for the wedding and answering my many questions and concerns leading up to the day. Manuella and Vilma in reservations assisted all our guests in getting their rooms booked. We were a bit of a larger wedding than I think Cocobay is used to, but they handled it all perfectly. All our guests have been raving about how amazing everything was.

We had our ceremony on the beach, on the other side of reception (so not the main beach where it is more public). This location was perfect! It actually torrential down poured rain the day of the wedding – but I didn’t mind because it rarely rains for long extended periods of time there. The rain added an element of calm to everything, and they say it’s good luck! The skies cleared for our ceremony at 4:00pm and we had clear weather all evening.

Because of the size of our group, we opted to have our reception at Sheer Rocks (a restaurant not part of Cocobay but on property). Alex Grimly is amazing to work with, and I highly suggest this option if you have a bigger group because you can rent out the entire restaurant and have the place to yourselves. It was perfect. We hired a Steel Pan and guitarist to play for our cocktail hour, and they also ended up playing our ceremony. This was so beautiful – the band’s name is Paddy (or one of their names is Paddy) and I highly recommend them if you want a steel pan player because it was just beautiful with the guitar. With all the rain that day, I walked down the aisle to The Beatles' “Here comes the sun” – I actually didn’t request any specific songs for the ceremony so this was a perfect surprise!!

After our week at Cocobay we left to go to Galley Bay Resort for our honeymoon. This seemed like such a great idea when we were booking everything, but honestly - DO NOT LEAVE COCOBAY! There is something very special and unique about this resort that you do not truly appreciate until you leave it. And aside from the best beach and food - it’s the people. The staff at Cocobay are incredible. We instantly felt out of place at Galley Bay – the staff was a bit cold, the beach was not the beautiful turquoise we were spoiled with at Cocobay, the food was mediocre compared to the many amazing meals we had at Cocobay, and there was little privacy. We dearly missed our little cottage and plunge pool. We tried to go back to Cocobay from Galley Bay after day 3, but they were booked solid. So instead we left Galley Bay for Sugar Ridge – which is another great property. Because Sugar Ridge is not directly on the beach, they take you to the nearby beaches and one of them is the Cocobay beach. So, for a few more days we got to enjoy that beautiful place. The manager, O’Neil, was also kind enough to give us day passes on our final day on the island where we could enjoy food and drinks at Cocobay. This was so special for us because we got to have dinner at Cocobay one more time before leaving.

Melissa, Tarifa and the girls at the front desk will brighten your day – Sasha (total sweetheart), Toshiba, Mr. Gore, Germaine (who made me hot water and lemon when my throat was sore and always has a smile on his face) and many more are all great staff in the restaurant - Valincia makes great drinks at the lower bar - and Tony, Oriel, and Saskia will hook you up with yummy drinks at the main bar. I know I’m missing people, but there are just too many names to remember!!

A huge thanks to everyone at Cocobay for really making our wedding the most incredible experience we’ve had. Even with 32 guests, it felt dreamy, intimate, and romantic. We will be back again soon, we are already talking about our next trip back.

Our hearts belong to Antigua, and Cocobay is our Antiguan home away from home :) xoxo

Room Tip: Go for the plunge pool rooms - they're worth it!
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
London
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014 via mobile

Amazing hotel with beautiful views.

Hotel was very well managed and all the staff were so friendly and helpful we couldn't have asked for any better.

Food and drinks were a very good standard particularly dinner.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
UK
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

Visited end of May in a Premium Waterfront Suite which was wonderful. Excellent location overlooking the beautiful Caribbean Sea yet near enough to the bar and restaurant if you wanted a drink on your deck. Our plunge pool was lovely and warm and well used as was the bath tub on the balcony. We were provided with a bottle of rum shortly after arrival which was appreciated but the mini bar was empty except for water so there was nothing to mix it with. Asked several times could we have some diet coke but our requests fell on deaf ears and we never did get any which seemed a little petty considering the cost of the holiday.

The food was very good with certainly adequate portion sizes although we felt that a little more choice at dinner would have been an improvement. Drinks and the staff that served them were all excellent with staff soon knowing your drink of choice and you didn't even need to ask for a refill, it was there as you finished your drink. Excellent service.

Ambience at the hotel was very nice and everyone from staff to guests was friendly and sociable.
Entertainment for us was just the right mix from nothing at all some nights so you could interact with other guests, some nights quite lively with dancing and other nights background music.

Hotel is in an excellent location with access to several other beaches, personally was a little disappointed with the hotel beach little Ffryes, the sea was lovely but the sand was very course like crushed shells. You can however walk to Ffryes beach and Valley Church beach easily and we also canoed to Valley Church.

All in all an enjoyable holiday but were a little put off by the fact that there seemed too many discrepancies between what guests were entitled to. Some had upgraded menu without cost and some didn't. Some had mini bar filled and others didn't etc. None of these things mattered greatly but we have never visited anywhere previously with rules like this, they either charge for extras or they don't.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

We did not arrive at Cocobay in the best of spirits having had to endure a 2 and a half hour wait to get through passport control on landing. The journey to Cocobay was pretty depressing...not nice to see starving animals tied up on ropes, a derelict landscape and also the weather was cloudy and grey. None of this was of course Cocobays fault.

Room...... Our sea view hut was rustic but characterful. If you looked for dust you would find it but overall we were happy. The bed and pillows were the best we have ever slept on and the furniture was adequate. My main gripe was there was only one mirror in the bathroom and it was hot, hot hot after the two of you had showers making getting ready ( as a woman with long hair) very uncomfortable.TIP....take a mirror so you can do your hair and make up in comfort in the air conditioned bedroom. You can open the door of the shower but we found this made no difference and people walking past could see us. Note not all the sea view rooms have the idyllic view you see on the photos.....some overlook the other bay which is nowhere near as pretty. There is a list of dinner times and services in the room but it was out of date. The Mangers Thursday cocktail party has now been cancelled due to complaints on this website. A few people we met had insect problems in their rooms such as cockroaches etc but we did not have this. It is a tropical island but if you have insect issues it might be worth noting this. The huts were very noisy at night. They have tin roofs so a shower felt like a torrential storm and the trees would bash against the hut, the crickets were also so loud. All of this, I liked but some people may not. TIP Take earplugs!!

Pool / Beach....... Towels are provided. The pools were lovely and the views fabulous. We went on a trip around the Island and it was apparent that Cocobay was located in one of the best spots. The beach was nice and the water like a warm bath.

Drinks...... Beer not the best but ok, wine terrific for all inc, great cocktails made by Oriel. Only 2 bottles of water when you arrive but you can get them refilled at the bar.

Food...... Brekkie good with most things you could want . For lunch you could grab a grilled sandwich at the lower beach bar ( different filling each day) or buffet in the restaurant and dessert. We thought it was pretty good. Dinner was fantastic.... a four course meal of restaurant quality, we were very impressed. We stayed for 2 weeks and the menu was different every day.

Entertainment.... Just some music on certain nights. This place is very low key and the evenings centre around dinner and most people are in bed by 10. Not the place for partying!

Staff...... 90% are INCREDIBLE and a huge asset to the resort. We have never experienced such wonderful genuine people in our lives. There are some grumpy ones but the others made up for them particularly Vincia, Mr Gore, Ramone, Tarifa ,Sonia Melissa, Oriel.

General... Cocobay is primarily a honeymoon destination and I would say 90% of couples were in their twenties on honeymoon with a sprinkling of older couples. 2 weeks is a long time there as it is really quiet but great for relaxing and chilling if that is what you want.

Room Tip: Do not consider a room without a/c.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Bolans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Cocobay Resort 3.5*
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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