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“So happy we chose Cocobay” 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
10% Honeymooner Discount
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
alabama
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“So happy we chose Cocobay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2009

To start I just want to say that I had the hardest time deciding to stay here based on the reviews I read. However, I couldn't be happier that my new husband and I ignored all those negative comments and decided to visit Cocobay for our honeymoon. It is so relaxed, which is exactly what we were looking for. It is very small so there aren't a million people running around constantly but there aren't as many choices as there would be at a place like Sandals either (which the reviews for Sandals are even more mixed than they were for Cocobay). We didn't mind that there weren't five different restaurants to choose from. They change their dinner menu nightly so you really have more choices than you think and the lunch buffet changes daily also. Breakfast is the same every day but they have everything you could imagine, from fresh cooked eggs to bagels to cereal. The drinks are good too. I saw so many complaints about the bartenders using bottom shelf liquor...What place DOESN'T use bottom shelf liquor unless you specify otherwise? I had no complaints about the drinks, they had plenty specialty drinks or you could just order whatever you wanted and their wine was good too. The beaches are also very nice. There are a lot of people trying to get you to buy stuff at the beach where the cabanas are but you can give them a firm "no" and they'll back off. You can also take a short walk to a very secluded beach where no one bothers you. The water is beautiful. Keep in mind though that all beaches in Antigua are public, so even on the beach at the resort anyone can come up and swim there. There was only one time a group of locals came and caused a little bit of a disruption, but they were just being loud. We had one of the cottages with the private plunge pool and air conditioning, which I totally recommend. It was very hot during the day and a little warmer than you would expect at night so the air conditioning was good to have. We were there in October though, which I belive is their "hot" season. A lot of people also complained about mosquitos and sand flies...We never had a problem with either. Didn't even have to sleep under the bug net. The rooms are very minimalistic, but nice and clean. The website does a perfect job of describing the whole place. The only complaint I have about the room is the bed wasn't the most comfortable I've ever slept on. Overall though, it was fine. We did lots of stuff while we were there, but the only thing I really could have lived without is going to St. Johns. It is not a very nice city and even the cab drivers try to hustle you. You can't do anything without someone trying to get you to buy something. Everything else was great. We took the Luxury Safari Tour with Elmo and had a great time. It was just the two of us and we went everywhere there is to go on the island..Nelson's Dockyard, Shirley Heights, Devils Bridge... I would suggest letting someone else drive you around that is familiar with the area because there is no way you can find this stuff on your own without very detailed directions and the driving is a little scary. They do drive on the left side of the road and they drive VERY fast and just stop in the middle of the road for whatever reason they feel necessary, so driving yourself might not be such a great idea. I couldn't imagine anyone having a bad time here as long as they came to relax and enjoy a nice vacation, but most people that have a bad time probably are very hard to satisfy and would complain about any place they go. I think Cocobay is a great place for a honeymoon or any vacation where you're just looking to wind down and would definitely recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (497)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sosnowiec, Poland
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2009

Having come back from cocobay we asked ourselves one question-How could anyone have ever faulted his place?
For us and not just for us the place was flawless. Of course, if somebody wants a luxurious holiday they will not find it in Cocobay. But I'm sure that everyone who went to Cocobay, before going there should have found out about it prior to their trip hhehehe!

Upon our arrival Antigua greeted us by cloudy sky what terified us!!! We didn't wanna have weather like that throughout our holiday. But straight away we were reassured by the locals that weather in that part of the Carribean tends to swing and probably the day after sun would be smiling at us the whole day!!! So it was!!!
But coming back to our arrival. The airport stuff and transfer to our hotel went very smoothly. When we got to resort's front desk our check-in was carried out very professionally as well.
But when we got to our room, we realised that it wasn't the one we had paid for. We'd paid for seafront view room with plunge pool but we just got seafront view without the pool. when we were going to our first dinner we ask about our proper room at front desk, and we were told that the issue would be able to be dealt with the day after due to absence of person responsible for handling the matters like ours. So we had to wait another day. Of course we didn't make an big issue of that as we were not gonna use that facility during the night. Day after our representative sorted everything out and to our great suprise we were offered complimentary Spa treatment as a compensation for inconvenience caused. Needless to say that there wasn't any inconveniece for us at all however they came up with such a lovely gesture anyway. We felt so great then.
And at this moment we come to food. Our first dinner and the food blew us away!!! It remained like that to the end of our staying. If hotel is rated as 3 starred one, the food should be rated for 5 star or even more!!! For us every single meal was spot on every single day and I'd like to emphasise that we are very fussy when it comes to food. Especially dinners which were served in a la carte style. 5star dinning- I swear by it.. By the way-You have to try the optional lobster which you can have for as little as 18.50 USD!!! It was so tasty.
The hotel's service. That one was genuinely the icing on the cake for us. Each one of them was so great to us. Smiled , warm and so attentive. I would be hard-pressed to recall even one situation when I would have had to ask for something without being beaten to it by the member of staff. It was incredible -believe me.
Mr Gore, Sonya( our breakfeast and lunch chef), Oriel and Tony(first class bartenders), waiting staff as general ( can't recall all names of theirs, sorry!!!), girls from the reception. Their responsiveness to our needes was quick and acurate.They all made our holiday memorable and indelible experience.
Location. The best possible I suppose. Indescribably beatiful. We went for the catamaran cruise trip around the island and we can say that Cocobay's location was amongst the best ones if not the best!!! With direct access to two stunning beaches, located amongst well maintained gardens, along breathtaking bay with rustic and very comfy wooden cottages scattered on the hillside with your private verandahs and plunge pools going onto pristine Caribbean waters. Paradise on earth!!! Neither pictures nor video footages can do its justice. You have to be there to feel this authentic Caribbean charm of Antigua!!! Perfect place for honeymoon and relaxed and private holiday. Ultimate retreat from hustle and bustle of everyaday life.
As we've mentioned before we went for the catamaran cruise trip which was great. We could see whole island from the perspective of Caribbean See and Atlantic Ocean. It was awesome. We experienced breathtaking lanscapes of Antigua, appreciating every single moment of this. You have to do this trip as it's gonna give you a real picture of Antigua's coastline.
Another trip that is worth recommendation is to get about the island by car. If you drive, you can hire a car and do it by yourself. We don't drive so we were reduced to hiring the taxi. But it proved to be such a great exprience and good value for money as we were able to see whole island with its main attractions in our way having our trip customised from the begining to the end. It took up 7 hours and set us back 160USD. Do it and you're not gonna be disappointed..
Concluding my review we would like to say big thank you to the whole Cocobay crew as we had awesome holiday thanks to thier efforts. They really bent over backwards to make us feel great and comftable. Warm greeting from your Polish guests.
We would like to send our regards to all of our new friends we made staying in Cocobay-John and Karren, Wane and Kerry, Pete and Gabi, Janusz, Darek and theirs Joannas and many more. You made our staying so enjoyable as well.
We spend amazing time in Cocobay with no tiniest of problems at all. For whose who plan on going there, please don't hesitate and go there to exprience the magnificent holiday.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2009

Bring bug spray with a high Deet content and spray the second you get there. I read all the reviews and I saw the ones about mosquitos, so I packed some bug spray. Like most we arrived at the hotel around 5:00 and immediately changed and went to dinner. I didn't even think to use bugspray as we had just gotten there. At dinner my boyfriend remarked that there were mosquitos around my head and I felt a bite or two but I wasn't worried. The next morning we saw that my legs were COVERED in mosquito bites. We tried to count and we counted more than 50 on one leg below my knee. Not only were there hundreds but they were red and swolen. I was very embarrassed until I saw a few other female guests with similar situations. Once we started using the bugspray recommended by the hotel staff (Off! with a high Deet content) nothing new showed up, but Holy Cow was that first night rough! And they itched like the dickens!

Other than that the stay was absolutely heavenly. The food was pretty good, not amazing, but nothing to complain over. The view was stunning, and the drinks did not skimp on rum. We wandered into the part of the gronds where the weddings would be and it was just amazing. So I highly recommend Cocobay, I just also highly recommend Off!

A note about the rooms: they are all on a hill, so your view of the water is pretty much unobstructed regardless of how close to the water you are. We got an ocean view, because we read here that waterfront rooms did not always end up being waterfront, and we were more than happy with our choice. The garden view most likely won't have a view of the ocean, and if you can spring for the ocean view, it was amazing!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenilworth, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2009

The Cocobay Resort Antigua is an amazing resort with amazing food, beatiful location and the staff are equally as amazing. My girlfriend and I spent 2 weeks here and had such a relaxing time, we really got pampered at cocobay. I really have nothing bad to say about the resort. It is not a 5 star, so do not go expecting 5 star. Although the resort has so many good reviews it no 5 star, however, it is the most beautiful resort you could ever wish to stay at. In fact if it were 5 star it would be as good in my opinion. Having taken one of the round the island sailing tours, I can safely say that cocobay has the nicest beach and the far out runs any of its competitors. The rooms are not attached to a main complex, instead a series cottages bustled within the maze of coconut trees and bushes, most with sea views.

The food at cocobay is fantastic, especially the evening meals, which I would consider to be worthy of 5 star. The menu is different each night with the restaurant serving buffets twice a week. Breakfast has almost everything you can imagine, and lunch is always varied, Breakfast & lunch mains are cooked fresh in front of you by the wonderful Staff. As per the previous review, we had the displeasure of sitting close to the loud & young group of british travellers and I would also recommend Jolly Beach (2 bays along from cocobay) if you are looking for burger and chips each night as a menu. However, if you'd like to experience Antigua in all its glory this is most definitely for you. The bar is superb with a wide range of cocktails available with very accomplished bar staff.

We went for the first 2 weeks in October and were worried about the weather, but the 2 weeks turned out to be a scorcher. 31 degrees each day with a few days reaching 36. Which is probably why I spent most of the day in the pool with some wonderful people we met on the report. When it did rain, which was not often during the day & was not for very long - 5 mins tops. I would advise you not to bring any mosquito repellent with you from the UK - it simply doesn;t have any effect. Instead buy from the resort shop 'off' in an orange can $10 (us) we found that this worked best. I would also advise a plug in repellent for your room.

Do:
Virgin Dundee tour - 4X4, Kayaking in the mangroves and snorkelling. (if you go make sure you ride with Kendrick - top guy, he will make your day)
Virgin's Ahoy trip around the island on 'the excellence' catamaran
Make use of the water sports equiptment on the beach - its all free
Shirleys Heights on a Sunday - a complete tourist trap, but wonderful sunset and amazing atmosphere
Upgrade to a room with a/c - it makes such a difference

Don't
go expecting a 5 star resort
miss out on this wonderful resort

NOTE: If you are booking through Virgin be very careful in what you are booking as we were expecting a cottage with a/c and a pluge pool on the beach front. However on arrival we had none of this despite paying extra on the website. The Virgin rep (callie) and the resort staff were very helpful and arranged for us to move to a room (#23) closer to the front with amazing views and with a/c. Alas no plunge pool. The rep advised that this is a common fault with booking the resort on the Virgin website, so be careful when booking. This is no reflection on the Cocobay though. If you're in any doubt on what you're booking, call Virgin direct.

If you book Cocobay - guaranteed you won;t be disappointed.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
London UK
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2009

We have just returned from an amazing relaxing time at Cocobay. I really couldn't fault it and find it shocking that there have been bad reviews. In fact the only bad thing about our stay was a horrible loud group who did nothing but complain about everything, demanding the chef make them chicken and chips because they didn't lke the food! Sometimes it was unbearable if they were say by us in the restaurant.
So here is my advice, if your idea of a holiday is burgers, beer and keeping up with eastenders and corrie, then go to Benidorm, or if you MUST go to Antigua, try the Jolly Beach. If however, you want to experience true, rustic, Antiguan hospitality and are open to new experiences then go to Cocobay, kick off your shoes and relax.
We ate fabuolus food, enjoyed time relaxing on the beach and by that amazing pool, and enjoyed good company by the bar in the evenings. We met a couple who have been going to Cocobay since it opened in 2000 - which says it all really. We are already planning our next visit.
My tips are:
the air con is well worth the extra money
put sugar out on your veranda - we had lovely afternoons realxing in our hammock while watching the birds and lizards enjoying the sugar. By the end of the holiday they would wait for us to put it out for them.
the carribean cooler cocktail is fab
Shirley heights was FAB!! Don't understand people who went there and hated it??
Kerri-ann and Mr Gore in the restaurant are both lovely
Be careful of the sun - its very hot.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
St. Louis, MO, USA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

My husband and I stayed here for eight nights, May 17-25 and were SO glad we made the choice to stay here, rather than at a bigger, more commercialized resort. We got an oceanfront cottage with our own plunge pool and spent a lot of time in it. The room was basic but comfortable. The beach was only a short walk down a path, and although the beach area directly in front of our room was small, it was perfect for two people to lounge on and there was a bigger beach on the other side of the resort.
We went on a lot of excursions... boat tours, Barbuda trip, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, canopy tour... you name it! Everyone was so very friendly and eager to make our stay memorable.
The food at the resort was good, but at Sheer (not included in the AI package) the food and service were AWESOME. Well worth the extra money.
Antigua is a beautiful island, full of beautiful people. Although there are many other places we plan to visit throughout the world, this was one place we will definitely return to.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Scotland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2009

Returned for our 3rd visit to Cocobay end of May - beg of June. We stayed in Loblolly Cay - it was totally wonderful. We had our own decking with loungers (as well as deck chairs on the verandah) so I was able to catch the sun first thing in the morning usually swimsuit on and chilling out by 6.45/7am and then cool off in the plunge pool and down for breakfast by 9.

The water this year was much warmer than last year - it was so lovely and warm and you could spend hours in the water at a time. Visibility some days wasn't fab for snorkelling but other days made up for it.

There were no palm trees infront of our cottage as we were at the watersedge and the view was spectacular.

The food was delicious and the staff were warm and welcoming as always.

Shopping was just as much fun in St. John's and although the dollar wasn't as strong as last year I still made the trip to my fav shop - Longchamp and added to my collection. Hubby also added to his Oakley collection. Looking forward to our 4th trip at the end of the year.

Anyone thinking of travelling to Cocobay - follow your heart and try it for yourself. Its so chilled out and a wonderful magic place to spend precious 'lovetime' with your other half.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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:
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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