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“Fantastic Resort!” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Special Price
25% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Washington, DC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Fantastic Resort!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2006

My wife and I visited Coco Bay from May 24-29, which was the begining of the off-season in Antigua. After already booking the vacation through Luxury Link, we became a little skeptical after reading some of the more negative reviews that cited rats, monstrous spiders, and other various complaints. Although these reviews may have tempered our expectations, we loved the hotel and had a great vacation.

First, Cocobay sits on an eye-popping beach, which is almost reason enough to make the hotel a hit. The beach had white, soft sand, the water was clear and warm, and during the period we were there, the beach was relatively uncrowded (never had issues with getting a thatched umbrella). We never sat by the pool (which had an amazing view), but at least one or two seats were typically available most times (again, could be due to the time at which we visited).

Second, the rooms were clean, simple, and well decorated and the included food was very good. During our five day stay we did not notice repetitive courses and everything that was served was of high quality. Several reviews griped that there were too few dining choices. This was not the case, and moreover, it is unreasonable to expect a smallish all-inclusive resort to offer ten or fifteen choices at each meal.

Sheer, the restaurant open to the public, was fantastic. Although expensive, it is definitely worth a visit. The chef/proprietor deserves a lot of credit for taking risks with the food that turned out remarkably well. The restaurant exceeded our expectations tremendously.

Third, we did not see any rats, squished lizards (some live lizards, but they are small, cute and harmless), or rabid breakfast-thieving birds (the birds are around, but they typically wait for crumbs). The mosquito issue was also minimal, as there are screens on all the windows and a mosquito net around the bed. We also used mosquito repellent and ended up with only a few bites during the entire trip.

There were a few minor things, that although annoying, did little to damper the vacation. There is a rock quarry somewhat near the beach (but you cannot see it if you are facing the water), and at times you can hear machinery scraping for rocks. On a small portion of the beach there was an occasional sewer-like smell from a either a cesspool or a dried-up pond. That said, we did not experience any other issues.

We had an extraordinary time, particularly for the very reasonable price that we paid. We would highly recommend staying at Coco Bay Resort.

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1,639 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 (479)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2006

This is a neurotic review. If I just listed the things that are great about Cocobay you would think CCB is the best place on the planet. And if I just wrote the bad things you’d think we were crazy to go there.
Overall we're glad we went but we won't return.

For reference we were there for nine days in the middle of May.

Here’s the things that made CCB special:

-The setting is great. The views are incredible. The bay is very scenic with shallow water extending out 100 yards. Sort of a green/blue/azure color caused by the combination of ocean and sediment. The cottages are nice. Many cottages built into the hillside, some with excellent views and others not so great. We had an ocean front cottage for the first seven nights, which was basic but fine by us. Flower pedals awaited us on the bed, a hammock and chairs on the porch. We’d get visited by the occasional gecko and went to sleep to the sound of the ocean. Not too bad.
-The food was very good, I thought. There was always a variety of dishes to choose from. And there was plenty to eat. They offered a variety, especially during the breakfast and lunch buffet. Dinner was ordered from a menu.
-I don’t agree with the negative comments about the staff. Like everywhere in the world, there was good staff and challenged staff. But all-in-all I thought the staff was excellent. The front desk staff was exceptionally nice.
-There was water sports equipment for guests to use. Caution, bring water socks as there’s a lot of seagrass and sea shells just off the shoreline.
-The guest’s nationality combination was about 70% British, 20% American and the other ten percent a smattering of European nationalities. Being American I thought it was great.
-The resort had a great shuttle system to town for a lower cost than a cab ride.

On the downside:

-I cannot emphasize enough the bug issue. There was a British gentleman there who had to go to the hospital as the sand fleas bit him so much his legs got infected. We used ‘OFF’ bug repellent and it worked fine. At night each bed has a mosquito net, but this is interesting. In our ocean front cottage the netting was perfect, both at the bed and on the doors and windows. We got ‘stuck’ in Antigua due to plane failure and slept in a ‘resort view’ room for two nights. In that room the netting was challenged. No netting on the front door (French doors) or the bathroom window.
-The sulfur smell at one beach was terrible. There is a dredged out mangrove section next to the beach that’s closest to the ocean (two beaches, on either side of a small peninsula). The smell from the mangrove swamp carried right over the beach and was awful.
-There’s very little to do near the resort, which is both good and bad. We like seclusion but we also like to try different restaurants. There’s nothing close except some bars at Jolly Harbor.
-There’s no kind of other food service, even to pay for. Several times we returned from diving or had been in the water and wanted something after lunch had been served. A pay-for service would have been nice.
--No bar service at the beach. It was hot and once or twice through the course of the day an attendant would bring drinks, but it was real hit and miss. An adequate bar or drink service would have made a big difference.

As I said, both good and bad things about CCB. Some of the bad might be considered minutia but it'son vacation important to us and so maybe to other people.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2006

CocoBay is beautiful. The grounds, rooms, and beach are all lovely. Unfortunantly, the staff are not such a high point. They are generally unfriendly, disinterested in helping guests, and SLOW!!! Wait staff in the restaurant were awful. We waited for half an hour one night at dinner just to get a dessert menu. If you asked for water, it would take an average of 15 minutes, while the wait staff were making up napkins or talking to each other. I got the feeling that they just didn't really want to be there and had better things to do and places to be. We asked for someone to help us with our bags when we were leaving and asked them to be there at 11:45 - we had a taxi to catch to the airport. At 11:55, when the person had still not shown up, we dragged our own bags the long ways down to the reception area, where we were met with "Why are you carrying your bags? The man is on his way up there!" (We met no one on the path). The staff generally made us feel like we were annoyances to them, rather than giving us the good service that would be expected from a 4-star hotel. We did not see any rats, however the bugs were plentiful. TAKE BUGSPRAY AND US IT OFTEN!!!!! We did not have many bites, but there were others that had been eaten alive and were so sick that they had to stay in their rooms in bed. The pool is nice but too small and not enough chairs. If you want a chair by the pool you need to be there by at least 8AM to leave a towel there to reserve your spot. Otherwise you won't have one. A beautiful place, but we won't be back. Service was just too bad.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2006

The setting is lovely, the cottages quaint, comfortable but basic, although the bathrooms need refurbished. Food reasonable - the que for eggs at breakfast got a bit tiresome, Lunch was ok, and dinner was always pretty good so we didnt bother with 'Sheer'. It has to be said that the service was a bit hit or miss. We found that if we dined as a couple the service was fine - if we dined wiith friends it was pretty slow!
David at the bar was pretty good - others not so good.

We experienced nothing that made us wince, and nothing that made us go 'wow'. The people/staff are very nice, and very very laid back by UK standards, so do'nt expect UK standards of service and you'll get on just fine. Saw 1 mossie during the 14 days, but absolutely plagued by sandflies and ants on the beach, so beware! Trips are OK (Eli's eco tour, Shirley Heights, deep sea fishing), and scuba on Cades Reef was probably better than most Carribean islands (thanks to Indigo Divers - would highly recommend them!) . Forget snorkelling at Cocobay - too much sediment in the water.

Would we go back - probably not - other places in the world to see etc etc.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2006

This was AMAZING. i would live here if i could afford it. If you're looking for a real carribean experiance, definitly go here. U can get a cheaper rate through luxury links (i think that's how it's spelled). Anyway, the food was pretty good. not amazing, but there was good variety, and they kept the bugs and birds outta everything. dinner was really nice, candle lite. the beach was really nice, deserted. We did get a lotta bug bites, but that's the price u pay if u'd rather stay in a cute little hut w/ an AMAZING view and total seclusion than a stuffy hotel room. If u want the perfect honeymoon/vacation, u should definitly go here. There's snorkeling right on the beach, u don't have to swim far, and u can c lotsa amazing fish, coral, etc. There are colorful fish that swim around your legs while u stand in the water. the staff is really really nice, and OMG, go into town, the ppl are sooooooo nice. i never felt like i had to worry about crime, everyone said hi, and asked if we liked antigua, that's it. Noone tried to sell me anything and there was no evidence of drugs or anything. I'm in love w/ antigua, and this is definitly the place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2006

We have just returned from our 4th visit to Cocobay which again was a lovely experience.
Lets get the bad points over with first, sometimes there is the odd pongy smell (this time on the beach from the dried up stagnent water behind it on land which does not belong to Cocobay). We did get bitten this year not by mosquitoes due to the new nets at the windows in your room and over your bed, but by sand flies speak to other people at other resorts you'll find the same. There are cheeky birds trying to steal your toast and milk but as you are eating in the open air you'd expect this! there are lots of little gheckos/lizards, never seen a squashed one yet, they are fun to watch and keep the insects at bay, we have never seen a rat or any mice, our major problem was ants in our bathroom which was sorted by a can of bug spray! nothing to panic about you are not staying in air conditioned fridge-like modern rooms but natural rustic cottages!

There is enough good food to eat but if you are not keen on something ask they'll meet dietary requirements whether for health reasons or just personal taste. The staff are all brilliant some just shy compared to others, we now class them as friends and keep in touch, nothing is too much trouble, we just relax and do nothing they make sure you are looked after, shop around at other resorts and their prices!! you may find this is value for money. I could go on about Cocobay tonnes we love it and so do all our friends that we have intrroduced it to (one couple returning to marry there 2007) it will not be a big hit with everyone all i can say is look at the website, read the travel brochures about it and bear an open mind to reviews as everybody has different tastes it is more like a relaxation spa resort than anything else and also boasts the best view from a swimming pool anywhere in Antigua!!

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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west wales
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2006

If you want steralised air-conned rooms don't bother with Cocobay and leave it to us people who want rural rustic perfection. From the moment of arrival after the usual flight boredom and the hot air-port wait through immigration, baggage collection and customs( make sure you have a bottle of water with you) the staff at Cocobay go out of their way to make your stay is comfortable and pleasant.
The rooms maynot be air-conned but the ceiling fan and trade winds through the shutters make up for that (the windows are screened). Befreind your resident lizards as they keep the bugs down, ours were christened Gizzy and Larry!
Get mozzie coils from reception and don't leave lights on in your room when you are out and you won't have a mozzie problem.
Beach towels are available at reception just collect them on the way to breakfast in the morning.
The food was superb and if you can not find something you like out of the multiple selection at each meal then go eat elsewhere! Make friends with Kenroy the bar and restaurant manager he is great.
The complex runs shutle services to various places which works out cheaper than taxis whoes prices are fixed by the government and are quite expensive. The tarif is displayed in reception so you won't get a shock. Benjy was our driver and looked after us with great care.
The beaches are superb and the pool is great if you don't prefer sand in your toes. You can use the kayaks, snorkling gear and sunsail boat from the beach for free and the jet-ski guys will call on the beach if you wish to hire one. We did, great fun for 45 USD for half an hour.
We took the Caribbean helicopter tour to Monserrat well worth doing as was Elis Extereme Cicumnavigation boat trip that included snorkling with sting-rays(I even held one but my husband bottled out!!)
St Johns was worth a visit for a couple of hours to get your duty free goods don't bother getting them in the air-port this side as they are half the price there(20 Marlboro 1.50 USD)but it is very touristy. We only took USD with us and had no problems.
When you arrive please beware of the heat and put lots of sun screen on. It will not seem that hot with the trade winds but you will burn.
Don't buy mozzie spray here go into the well stocked little shop on arrival and get a can of "OFF" for 10 USD this is all you will need and use it from 5pm when the sand flies start to bite. If you are allergic to bites take steroid cream from your GP with you and treat the bites as they appear to prevent infection.
Cocobay is the perfect place for a chill out holiday and after a couple of days you will not be able to resist getting into Caribbean mode and making the most of the wonderful holiday you will be experiencing!!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
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
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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