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“BEST vacation resort we've ever been to...” 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
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“BEST vacation resort we've ever been to...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2010

Needless to say, the title of "BEST" vacation resort we've ever been to says a lot. We've been to several resorts in the Caribbean from Sandals, to Atlantis, to Wyndham but the quality of service & hospitality at Cocobay Resort is unmatched!!
The reason we're so compelled to write this review is because of the friendliness of the staff who went out of their way to make us feel "taken care of." From Phylis at the reception desk to Oriele at the bar, no request was too large or outlandish (and believe me we had many). Tracy from Reservations went out of her way to ensure that we enjoyed the most that the island had to offer. She spent at least an hour explaining and sorting out the various tours including one to Barbuda via the Barbuda Express. It was a surprise that the boat ride to Barbuda was absolutely horrendous (the majority of the folks on this boat vomited as a result of the turbulent ride) BUT when we arrived, OH MY GOODNESS, this 14 mile beach was a slice of heaven! It was a great recommendation! Tracy also shared her first hand "local" experiences with Carnival festivities which definitely came in handy; it was as if we were visiting a friend and were given an inside scoop!
There is no topping the service, however, of the General Manager, Mr. O'Neal Richards! The quality of service at Cocobay is a clear reflection of his vision and direction. When we first arrived, we were taken back by the breathtaking views that the resort was able to offer. Located in the seafront cottage adjacent to the reception area, we sought a bit more privacy though. When O'Neal introduced himself to us, he curiously asked in which cottage we were staying. My wife mentioned that this was "right next to reception" and he took the hint right away. Immediately, he got on his Blackberry and made arrangements for us to see three more rooms for our choosing including his personal favorite! Wow. We felt great! Dinner was no different as many nights, O'Neal could be seen mingling with coupes (and staff) keeping all smiling and in good spirits!
There is one other example of the top notch "taken care of" service that I must mention. My newlywed wife and myself initially chose Cocobay because of it's breathtaking views. From the plunge pool by the cottage, to the infinity pool by the beautiful restaurant, to the particularly STUNNING view from the balcony at Sheer Restaurant which was unfortunately closed until October (Do NOT go to that balcony without your camera..... you'll want to cherish that view for a lifetime)! As we attempted to schedule some honeymoon shots at that balcony, we hit a brick wall. Because of the Carnival festivities, our photographer found himself to be extremely busy... too busy in fact to connect wih us at all! My wife was heartbroken. O'Neal was not going to let this happen. With a smile on his face, he told us to go enjoy the resort as he makes a call to photographer (he assured that he can be rather persuasive). Two hours later, we were located and told be be ready for the shoot at sunset. Again, wow! Our smiles were ear-to-ear.
You just don't get this service anywhere. I often find that anyone can be nice, but it's just not the same as being helpful. The folks at Cocobay resort were both. We felt that as breathtaking as the whole resort is, it's the staff that captures it's beauty!
This is what a vacation should feel like. Thank you!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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 (390)
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English first
Redondo Beach, California
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2010

This is a very old facility - ugly ugly bathrooms and don't get fooled by the existence of pools in the rooms - you seriously wouldn't want to set your feet in them. the view is amazing, but everything else from food to the beach sucks. it is basically a joke for the money we paid. the mosquitos were unbearable, we got like 100 bites during the short walk from our room to the restaurant despite the repellent and we couldn't even stay on the beach for 5 minutes because the flies and mosquitoes are ridiculous. don't waste your time and money, seriousl.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2010

Returned for the fifth time after originally getting married at CocoBay in 2005.
Once again we had a fabulous holiday (despite a few issues with the room allocation). This was mainly due to the staff there who we now regard as 'friends'. From Reception, Phyllis and Melissa, Restaurant - Vincia, Kerry, Sonia,Jermaine, Denise, Kathleen and of course 'Mr Gore', Bar staff - Saskia, Oriel and Craig, Beach staff - Monique and Kenya and even Judy and her cleaning girls, all provide such excellent service and are always happy to help. (apologies to anyone we have missed!)

The rooms are clean and comfortable and the gardens kept beautifully. Some areas and cottages are needing some renovation, especially the bar area but work appeared to have started on this when we left. Towels were changed daily although some could have done with replacing! The free beach towels were always available and the recent new beach service provided initially by Monique, was much welcomed. It was unfortunate that she left during our stay as like all the other staff, she went out of her way to make sure we were comfortable.

We had a couple of treatments in the Wellness Centre and whilst they cost a lttle more than we would pay at home, they were excellent. The restaurant food is good and there was only one night where we struggled to find something we liked but as one previous reviewer reported, you only have to ask and they will try and prepare you something else. We treated ourselves to a meal in Sheer restaurant for our anniversary as it didn't close until the 10 July and the meal and atmosphere were amazing.

Fabulous place, quiet and relaxing. We have looked at other hotels on the island but none compare. If you are looking for a modern, trendy, lively and busy resort this isn't the place for you. Already looking forward to returning next year!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2010

We spent 10 glorious days at the resort and it was everything we imagined it would be. The service from every person at this resort was impeccable. From the reception, to the kitchen, bar, beach area and everywhere in between, everyone was genuine and seemed to really enjoy their jobs. My hubby and I are always interested in tasting new dishes and everything we tried, at every meal, was great. Denise, Jermaine, Jahmorlie and Kerry always took great care of us in the dining room. Our cottage with plunge pool was so wonderful that we didn't even visit the infinity pool. We did have a visitor in our cottage - a big spider. I know it's the tropics so there isn't much you can do about that. Snorkel gear on the beach was great but a few extra paddles for the kayaks would have been convenient. Monique went over and above to deliver refreshments and cold towels to us on the beach. What a trooper!

Our favorite off property excursion was the snorkel trip / lobster lunch with Creole Cruises. Captain Glen and his team showed us a fabulous time! I highly recommend it.

While picking up some wine at the supermarket at Jolly Harbor, we checked out the hotel there. It did not even compare to the atmosphere at Cocobay. I'm thankful we picked this resort and not any other on the island. Very boutiquie and not commercial like the others. Thank you for making our 25th anniversary a memorable one!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kent
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2010

I was recommended Cocobay by my sister who had stayed there a few years ago and she had said that I would love it and she was not wrong.

The hotel itself was helpful and friendly from the moment we arrived, there was no waiting around and when we got to our cottage it was more than what we were hoping for. The views were amazing (cottage 41), the room was beautifully presented and it has everything you need (fridge, enough drawer/cupboard space etc) The showers had a door next to it so you could look out to the sea whilst showering which was lovely. The only thing I would say is that they need to put a mirror in the main bedroom because there was only one in the bathroom, so it got very hot when I was drying my hair. One thing you may want to consider if you have booked to stay here and you have trouble walking any distance, call the hotel to check the location of your cottage you have been allocated as our cottage was a fair walk to the restaurant/ pool etc which was not a problem for us as we are ages 23 and 26 but it could be a problem for older or less able travelers.

The restaurant was lovely, the menu changed on a nightly basis, it was four courses which always included a vegetarian option on each course and as I mainly had them I can say that they were delicious and always full of flavour. One night we went to the Sheer Restaurant and we overlooked the beach, the food here was on another level and I would go as far as saying was one of the best meals I have had in a restaurant, particularly in a hotel restaurant! Highly recommend the cocktails served at the hotel bar, especially the daiquiri’s.

The best part of the hotel was the pool, it was absolutely amazing, it was always very clean and relatively quiet, but even when other guests were there it was always a nice atmosphere there and never too busy. If being at the pool is not your thing then, you can’t get much better than the beach, again it was very clean and the water is crystal clear and very warm, especially if like us you experience a rainy day the sea is like a bath.

There is not much to do at the hotel and it is very quiet especially in the evenings as the entertainment is only twice/ three times a week. For us that is what we wanted as we were more worried about doing activities during the day and having an early night. We generally found that we were so tired by 10pm we didn’t even want to venture anywhere else anyway.

A few things that may be helpful – the internet in the hotel is ridiculous in price, we went on it for an hour and they wanted to charge us $30 (USD) so the equivalent of £25, considering we pay £10 a month at home, we refused to pay what was originally asked they agreed to put it down to $20 which we still thought was too much but we did agree in the end to pay it. The taxis are very expensive, so when possible use the shuttles that are arranged by the hotel or your travel company or try and find some other people going to the same place so you can share the cost.
Take lots of mosquito spray especially if you are a woman, it seemed that all the men in the hotel were not bitten but women were covered.


I completely recommend going to Shirleys Heights on a Sunday night as that was by far our best night there, lovely food, great music and a great atmosphere, if you go using the shuttle service, try to go in a cab with people that agree with your driver to stay later, as leaving at 8pm is far to early as it is just getting going then. Also if you are more adventurous the Rainforest zip line trip is fantastic and a very fun morning away from all the relaxing.

All in all, I could not recommend this hotel enough. We had a wonderful stay and I think it far exceeds the 3.5 star it is given and I would definitely return one day……….. don’t listen to any bad reviews.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
GLASGOW, BONNIE SCOTLAND
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2010

We returned to the UK from Cocobay a couple of weeks ago and can honestly say it was a truly amazing beautiful place, we have been reading reviews on here for the past two years and found people either love it or hate it, this is because it is not a plastic hotel which could be situated in any hot country, it is a taste of the real Caribbean. If you want to sit in a room watching TV and surfing the net this is not the place for you, but if that is what you want from a holiday why go to the Caribbean?! You can relax here away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in private comfortable accommodation.

Whilst staying at Cocobay we got married and found the wedding co-ordinator Carol to be fantastically helpful, in fact all the staff are friendly without sucking up and being fake as you often get in other resorts. When you get married at Cocobay you have a meeting with Carol on your first day to pick your photo package, flower colours and location, we chose to get married on the balcony at the Sheer restaurant as the beaches in Antigua are open to the public. Carol also organises all the paperwork and the trip to the government building. Our wedding day was perfect. The registrar was fantastic and everything was relaxed and very personal which is exactly why we wanted to get married at Cocobay in the first place.

The beach is clean and although there are occasional beach sellers there, this is no worse than other resorts (because the beaches are public) the snorkelling is good when the sea is calm and you can see fish such as Flameback Angelfish, however if it gets choppy the sand makes visibility low. There are always plenty of sun loungers and shades with fresh beach towels being provided free of charge.

Food consists of buffet breakfast and lunch and a four course evening meal there is also tea and cakes served in the afternoon. Food is always to a high standard and very tasty, we have very hearty appetites and never felt hungry in fact we often skipped lunch as we were still full from breakfast - if you require snacks there is a small shop on site and a supermarket is a $10 taxi ride away at Jolly Beach.

The resort is well taken care of with lovely gardens,

We stayed in Beach Front Cottage #2 which had a plunge pool and aircon, it was close to reception although we rarely heard other guests and our pool was very private. The aircon was great; at times we were too cold! The room is basic with a lovely large bed, small fridge and safe, although basic everything you need is there, if you really feel the need for Wifi you can connect in the reception area and a TV room is also available. As per previous reviews we did get eaten alive by bugs however never in our cottage which could be due to our aircon and mosquito plug in, the majority of our bites were gained whilst at the beach possibly due to the ants.

If you are thinking of taking any trips definitely take the Caribbean Helicopters trip to Montserrat but be careful if booking a catamaran trip as the service/standard varies intensely.

The only negative we have is not with the hotel but with Thomas Cook and their contracted representative in Antigua (St James Travel), if you haven’t yet booked your trip book it through Virgin! Thomas Cook were hopeless from start to finish and don’t care once they have taken your deposit, their rep from St James Travel couldn’t care less and lost us £140 by saying he’d cancelled our car hire only for us to find out he hadn’t on our return to the UK, he also forgot to book out seats on the plane home therefore we didn’t get to sit together on the flight home (not nice for newly weds!) once again I stress DO NOT BOOK WITH THOMAS COOK SIGNATURE! It was the staff at Cocobay that made this the honeymoon/wedding/holiday of a lifetime that we had dreamed of and we cannot thank them enough, we will definitely be back for another visit.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
UK
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2010

Having read ALL of the reviews for Cocobay we decided to choose this as our destination for our Honeymoon.
We were not disappointed in the slightest. It really is an amazing place. The views are spectacular, the accommodation was beautiful, the food was top notch and plenty of it and the staff are superb! The negative reviews that I have read about Cocobay appear to be from wingeing Brits or Americans who yet again did not fail to disgust me during our stay. After seeing it for ourselves they do seem rather petty. The resorts website and virgins state clearly what to expect and also many reviews here (of course there are mosquitos and noisey tree frogs, your in the tropics for heavens sake, and yes its hot there too so if you dont like these things then stay at home!)

All of the staff including Oriel, Saskia, Jermain, Mr Gore were amazing without being obtrusive, always smiling and happy to help. I really hope that we can get to go back there someday. As for Sandals, we saw this resort whilst on the Excellence Catamaran tour and it looked dull and costs a whole lot more. The beach looks very busy and built up and the hotel itself has regular hotel accommodation not like Cocobay with your own cabin where you can just relax in your own space.

Thanks for a perfect Honeymoon Cocobay!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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*
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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