My husband and I just got back from our 7 day stay at Cocobay resort. We booked based on previous trip advisor reviews and a college friend (thru trip advisor) who had written a glowing review of the resort. The long and short is we would both recommend it to any of our friends or future honeymooners....your friends will be green with envy. Now for the long review.....
1st Make sure you book through Cocobay's website you get all sorts of free comps, i.e. airport transfers, bottle of alcohol in the room, all inclusive no-up charge on meals and guarantee the best room in your category at time of booking.
Rooms: We stayed in Yabba house. A large beach front cottage there was lots of sitting room, a small closet, double sinks, walk out shower, plunge pool, tub and hammock. It also has a porch with lots of shade when you need it. I know other people have said it's not worth it to get the pool for us it was. We were the first row of houses on the beach. We'd spend the am over at the beach or pool and after lunch we'd go hang out in our room by the pool. The beds was THE BEST hotel bed we both have ever slept on. The pool was great, the walk out shower was as well. Private but still close to reception/bar etc. We were moved late in our stay due to a bug issue (see the only con) and we were moved to Chattel House. We would request Chattel again it is the room from the brochure, with 2 glass/open walls, double hammock, tub, pool, only a window shower and smaller overall than the first room. This room gets more sun and no porch but has a large palm that shades part of the patio/pool. The views here are unreal it's just you and the Caribbean sea. Also the mini bar was ALWAYS restocked water, sodas, juice, beer everyday no questions asked and when we moved rooms I forgot to pack a granola bar and bottle of aloe from our old fridge and they moved it for us. Also we asked about wifi and were comp'd the wifi (normally a $150 charge) because we were in the premium room....just ask!
Service: Fabulous the best we've ever had. Melissa, Ceyeon, Oriel were all fabulous stand out guests. I loved Ramone, a sweet girl at the front desk who always had the biggest smile and would wave and chat with us every time we were in reception. People here are truly happy and like their job unlike other islands we've traveled to. The asst. manager was also very helpful, but I can't remember her name. We had an issue at night and felt our problem was heard much more clearly/quickly during the following day...it was worth going back and talking to the asst. manager. We also met Oneil a few times each time he introduced himself and shook our hands. Clearly he is very involved in the day to day operation of the resort and it's details.
Food: The food was excellent. We ended up eating a lot of the fish (not big fish eaters normally) and every day it was fabulous. If they have the pineapple donuts at dinner dessert one night GET THEM GET A DOUBLE ORDER! I would have liked a little more variety at breakfast...maybe french toast or waffles, a casserole of some sort, but other than that it was very good. Drinks are also very good, strong and are always being topped off before you can ask a bartender to do it. Ask Ceyeon for his off list drink the "Moonlight" best drink there!
Pools/beach:There are 2 we liked the upper pool better (more breeze) we only used the lower pool once and left to use our own as there was no breeze and it was hot that day. The beach is very nice a little rocky but the water is warm and sand in the water is very sugary. The beach further down at the end of cocobay beach has nicer sand and is probably a 2 min. walk past Dennis' restaurant (we did not eat there). There are few vendors here and go away the very first time you tell them no. We had no issue getting either and umbrella or a pallapa on the beach if we went before breakfast and dropped off towels and returned afterwards.
Spa: We got a couples massage. The relaxation hut is very nice, can hear some pool noise. The pressure was a little much a times but overall very good and same price we'd pay at home. Easy to book and was a nice add on to our vacation.
Price: We looked at Sandals and met a couple visiting from Sandals to plan their next trip to Antigua (NOT at Sandals) and found that comparing notes our resort was much quieter, relaxing and for the price we had the more luxurious room which is the same cost as the base room at Sandals.
Landscaping: Gorgeous, beautiful full sized palms, everything in bloom. The resort itself is small ( 50ish rooms) but with all the landscaping it seems much bigger than it actually is because your eye can not see too far down the path or away from your room which gives the illusion of a bigger resort and ultimate privacy.
Con: The bugs. We are from the Northeast so gnats and mosquitos are not uncommon to us. We only saw gnats and were easy to swat. OFF was available at the gift shop for not an awful resort price. We live near the water at home and we both understand that bugs are part of nature. However we ended up combatting roaches 3 nights while we were there, each time (at night post dinner-mood killer) we told he front desk and they would come spray immediately. Finally we went the next morning and spoke to the asst. manager and was moved right then and had access to our new room within the hour. It was more of an inconvenience and a bit creepy but overall it would not deter us from staying there again. We are already trying to figure out when we can make it back.
Overall the resort is quiet (bring something to read!) and is a place to unwind, recharge the batteries don't expect lots of pool parties, organized group activities, etc. It's about soaking up the sun, rum and the pool....that's all. We would recommend the creole cruise as an excursion (very laid back easy going lunch was yummy, not a "cattle-maran" cruise like the others. We ate at Sheer Rocks one night, the view is unparalleled, the food was good but I'm not sure it was best food we've ever had but we are spoiled living so close to NYC. It was good but I would have been fine if we skipped that night and ate at hotel rest. Alex the owner is incredibly nice and the bar there is wonderful and nice break from the pool bar etc. with some fancier truly hand crafted drinks (we did stop there twice). Other reviews complain about it not being "all inclusive" and being charged an up charge (which is shown on the menu) best I can figure out all those people booked through a travel service (Virgin, etc.) and must not have bough that package. All the American's we were with did not have an issue with an sort of up charges. We only left the resort for the excursion and for a trip in St. John (skip it if you've ever been to any cruise port you've been to St. John). There was no need to leave the resort it was our own oasis and just wonderful.
Wish list: Snacks at tea time (they have cheese sandwiches, it would be nice to have some mini bags of pretzels, crackers, veggies or fruit...just a little something to grab and take back to the room to snack on between meals....I'm a snacker and like my afternoon snack but I was never 'hungry" always received enough at the meals.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Cocobay Hotel Bolans
- Coco Bay Antigua
- Cocobay Antigua
- Cocobay Hotel Antigua
- Cocobay Resort Antigua/Bolans