Antigua is amazingly beautiful. Shockingly, really. Cocobay Resort is an attractive, rustic resort perched on a cliff above the ocean. After reading the disparaging reviews of the hotel on TripAdvistor, I admit, I was nervous about what might await us, especially since this was our first foray into all-inclusive resorts.
Upon our arrival, I was pleasantly surprised. The hotel is set off the road, with a picturesque drive and entry way. If you're looking to glitz and glamor, this is not your spot; the charm is rustic and the vibe is low-key.
Cocobay was built 8 years ago, but has a picturesque feel that makes you think it could have been there for decades. This is the place to stay if you want to unwind, relax, avoid cell phones, TV and radio, but not if you want non-stop action and stimulation.
I had absolutely no problem with the quality of the cabins, and can honestly say the bugs were no worse than anywhere else I've been. Just use bug spray occasionally, and you'll be fine. The bathroom was unusual, as there was no shower curtain or bath enclosure. But, i'm on vacation, and I'm not cleaning the place us, so if water goes on the floor, I'm fine with that.
View from our porch was amazing, and the hammock was a nice touch. There are a good number of animals you'll encounter during your stay, from geckos to goats. But again, it's part of the rustic charm and was never disruptive or disturbing to us. The only slightly irritating part of the stay was the quarry down the road which was mining rocks for construction about 8 hours a day. Not horrible, but there were times where I was relaxing on the porch and and wished the dull hammering wasn't audible in the background.
The food was a mixed bag. Breakfast and lunch were passable. Buffet style, with decent selection and quality. At times, there were items I was apprehensive about eating certain items as they sat our for hours in the warm. Dinner was sit down, and quite nice, with a good number of selections, and most everything we had was certainly acceptable, if not delicious. Wine and drinks were excellent, although at times the mixed drinks were so strong we had to ask them to be watered down.
Staff was friendly, and everyone we encountered was smiling and gracious for the most part. My husband especially liked David the bartender. I agree with other reviewers that guests should not expect the staff to dote on them if they're aloof and rude in return. We were always polite to the staff, and were always treated wonderfully.
Don't miss Sheer, the restaurant attached to the restaurant (although not included in the all-inclusive plan). We ate there the last night, and it was delicious, with a number of unusual, but delicious menu items.
Cocobay is not a prime destination if you want to be out and about constantly. Taxi rides on the island are ridiculously expensive ($40 for about a 6 mile drive!), and bus access is a bit cumbersome, depending on what city you're hoping to visit, so budget some dollars to transportation, or be content with just hanging out at the hotel.
We did take the rain forest zip line tour, which was booked for us by the gracious concierge at Cocobay. It was a little pricey, but a nice experience, although slightly disappointing as they won't let you bring cameras (although some people in our group snuck them in and weren't told off.)
All and all, one of the most relaxing vacations I've had. The negative reviews of this hotel, I'm convinced, must have been made by travelers who enjoy places like Las Vegas, in which case I can see how Cocobay wouldn't be your cup of tea.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Antigua's most romantic all-inclusive resort - Cocobay is a colorful collection of pastel cottages crowning a breezy hillside undulating down to two white-sand beaches and miles of turquoise Caribbean Sea. Blessed with some of the most dramatic ocean views on the island, we cater to couples seeking a romantic getaway in a quaint, natural setting. Guests can choose from 57 private, authentic, Caribbean cottages and 4 plantation houses each enjoying a private verandah with striking sea views and custom designed wooden furniture. The premium pool cottages provide the very best oceanfront locations, and other amenities such as: private plunge pool, more spacious interior including extra seating area, air conditioning, bathrobes and other extra bathroom amenities, private balcony with adirondack chairs and hammock, ceiling fan, mini fridge, shower, hair dryer, espresso coffee machine, iron & ironing board, king size bed with pillowtop mattresses and high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, in-room safe. ... 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