We stayed at the Coyaba resort for two weeks in early September. It is a small (86 rooms I think) and peaceful resort in a great location.
The highlights for me are the beach and sea, absolutely stunning. The sea is crystal clear with sand only (i.e. no rocks or seaweed) for the first 20m or so but a little further out and you have some interesting snorkelling.
Room – We were lucky and had what I think was the best room in the resort (243), it is the upstairs room nearest to the beach, stunning views of the sunsets in the evening. I liked the bedroom area, it was light and airy, it would have been great if there were a couple of comfortable chairs to sit on and also a chest of drawers would have been useful. Nice chairs on the balcony though. Everything was nice a clean and the A/C & ceiling fan did their job. The only real problem was the shower, I think the thermostat was on its last legs as temperature control was a bit hit and miss. We didn’t say anything, as we didn’t want to be moved.
The gardens are beautiful, it has been well documented on here, but they really are a nice place to be. As the beach is public, all the sun loungers are within the gardens, which was a bit weird at first but you soon got used to it. You can take the loungers on to the beach if you want to.
Food – during the first couple of days of our stay I was a bit concerned that the menu was going to get a little “samey” by the second week, however on day three or four of our stay they started doing the buffet at lunchtime which was good. I’m not normally a fan of BBQ’s in the Caribbean, but these guys really did a good job (2 nights per week), the ribs were awesome, nothing was bad. The actual buffet area could do with a bit of a refresh as it was quite cramped and a bit dated, I imagine that it would get a bit busy when the resort was full. Breakfast was ok, fresh eggs cooked to your liking and usual buffet items. Fresh fruit was nice but not much choice and levels could get low if you were a late riser.
Food 2 - I must make a special mention of two things, firstly the stuffed tomato (starter) which was quite possibly the smallest stuffed tomato in the world. Which was a shame because it tasted fantastic. Secondly, the strange green/yellow goo stuff used to decorate the plates, what was that? Tasted very strange…
Pool – Didn’t use it much, mainly because the sea was so nice. It is quite small but the swim-up bar was good. A bar nearer to the beach would have been handy, although this might attract more non-residents. Perhaps waiter service is the answer.
Staff were all friendly and helpful and some of the bar staff were good fun, a downside for me was that they were constantly rotated, so each day you would have a different member of staff doing something different. This meant that you didn’t build up as much of a rapport with them.
Entertainment – A bit lacking for me, I’m definitely not looking for a cabaret or anything, but a musician or singer would have made a big difference after dinner. On Saturday evenings there was a steel band who were good, apart from that we had pretty dull music piped through the speakers. This meant that there wasn’t much of an atmosphere in the evenings.
The water sports on offer are provided by a separate business who have an agreement with the resort. You are entitled to an hour a day, but because it is not run by hotel staff, it did feel a bit overly structured. I asked to use the Hobie cat one day which they sorted, but asked me to book at least a day in advance in the future. This doesn’t really work when you need to know there is going to be some wind. I prefer places with a more relaxed “use it when you feel like it” attitude. I didn’t do any diving but the boat was going from right off the beach which is always handy.
Insect bites – A bit of a low for us, we both got bitten pretty badly at first even though we were using plenty of repellent. We even bought some local stuff to see if it was any more effective, but it didn’t make much difference. Housekeeping sprayed the rooms regularly which was great, even the turn-down team would spray on occasion. All other Caribbean resorts that I’ve stayed at previously have “fogged” the grounds a couple of times per week to keep the mosquitos away. Didn’t see them doing it at Coyaba so it might be an idea.
There is a small shopping centre with supermarket across the road from the main entrance, this was very handy for buying some bottles of water etc. for the room (there is a fridge). There are also ice machines dotted around the resort with ice buckets provided in the rooms. Fresh coffee machines in the rooms is also a nice touch.
You can walk to St George’s but it is hard going in the heat, worth doing once just to have a good look at the place, but the buses are great and very cheap. The buses are really people carriers which will give you a beep as they are approaching, if you want them to stop just hold out your hand. All journeys seem to be EC$2.50 (80p).
Checking out - As the resort was pretty quiet they let us keep our room until 3pm, that was really great and enabled us to make the most of the last day, very much appreciated!
I would definitely return to Coyaba, it is a very nice resort, nice staff and beautiful garden, beach and sea. Would recommend for couples who just want to relax, not much for kids to do.
Tip: If traveling independently don’t pay over the top up-front for transfers, you can get a taxi from the airport to Coyaba for about US$15.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.