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“A Mecca of Relaxation” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, WA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A Mecca of Relaxation”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2008

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.

  • Liked — Rustic and relaxing
  • Disliked — Location makes travel costs high to see other parts of the island
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank kelsshep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,208 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (656)
Date | Rating
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English first
wales UK
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2008

Well what can we say, having stayed at different hotels around the world this must be the worst.

You don't have a hotel room but a shack with furniture that should have been put on a bonfire years ago, scratched floors, moldy showers.

There was plenty of wildlife around the room Cockroaches, frogs and Rats, Moquitos and sandflies This was encouraged by the way they sweep up (all dirt between the boards). If you decide to go there look at the size of the holes going under the shacks.

Electricity was going on and off all the time and when it rained it poured though the ceiling at the side of the bed.

The reception, bar and restaurant dim and uncared for. Shortage of staff one person in the bar to serve everyone, no music, no atmosphere no nothing.

The swimming pool was closed down two days after we arrived for five days. The second week I slippped over on the slimy decking and damaged my arm, its now January and I am having to undergo Physio. I have just finished my second course of antibiotic's for a sandfly bite.

My husband had so many sandflies on his feet at times the Ghecko's would sit on his feet and eat them.

This is the 1st hotel I have ever had to give a bad report about. The year before we went to Barbados and saw some awful reports on Crystal Cove, which were completely unfounded and I thought the bad reports on Cocobay were probally going to be the same. Wish I had taken notice of the reports on this place.

I have never heard a manager say sorry so many times to so many people.

Please take heed or you will totally waste your hard earned cash.

I believe they smoke at 7pm at night now, God knows what that is doing to your food. Cuba, Barbados etc. smoke before people get up.

Jennie

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Everything
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank JennieP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2008

We stayed in the Cocobay in October last year but i've only just got around to writing the review.

When we got there the view out over the balcony was breath taking along with the rustic room. The bathroom with the door open having a shower was a nice touch aswell.

The food was good not fantastic but very good none the less, we got lucky on the holiday and made some good friends which was lucky as the later part of the holiday it rained ALOT.

I think my view on the hotel itself is a little tainted because of the weather, i've never been in a room with a tin roof when it's rained for 22 hours constant.

If the sun had been out i'd be raving about the hotel, but all in all the hotel is lovely, the staff are great, food is nice and the location is remote.

PS Make sure you go onto the beach and talk to Cloud :)

  • Liked — The Staff, David the barman :)
  • Disliked — the lights in the room so dull you couldnt read at night.
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank WorldWondererUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, Scotland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2008

We stayed here for two weeks in December and had mixed feelings about the place.

By daytime it was great. The Hotel was exactly what we had been expecting, quite, laid back, great views. We had only booked a standard cottage, but were actually allocated ' Redonda', one of the plantaion houses. The views were fantastic. The bedroom was comfy, nice big bed, great tips from previous reviews about taking pegs to close the holes in the Mozzie net... Bath room was huge with twin wash basins and both shower and bath. We didn't really use the large sitting room, but i could see how it would be handy for families traveling together.

The food was great, really can't see how people can complain about the portion size at the evening meals....considering you can have a huge breakfast, three course lunch if you wish and afternoon tea ( sandwiches and cakes )!! .

Pleased to find that they did a vegetarian option each night, although i did find the buffet a bit of a struggle at times. This was mainly due to the fact that things weren't labled, so we had to keep asking what was in them...

Bar was great, again amazed that there have been complaints about the size of the glasses....just how much do people need to drink!!

Pool was stunning looking.......very sad to note that dispite the hotel requesting that guests DO NOT reserve loungers, there were a stream of people running ( yes, actually running... ) down each morning while it was still dark to put out towels etc.. Ashamed to say that these all seemed to be British guests. As i said, the pool area was stunning, but if you are going to sit round a pool all day you don't need to travel all this way to do it. Antigua is a beautiful island, get out and see it.

Lots of cute birds, lizards, gecko's etc. We spent hours watching the pelicans diving for fish....and just as long trying to get the perfect photo of a humming bird! Be sure to feed to cats in the restaurant...they are very clean, and well fed looking, but cats can never have too much food!!

By night....arrgh!! If you don't mind bugs, you can skip this bit!!! Once darkness fell we found the place terrifying, but we are terrified of bugs. I know that is no reflection on the hotel, and i feel a bit guilty writing this, but as a fair review of our experience here i think it only fair. The first night we found the sound of the tree frogs, crickets etc rather pleasant...the second we got earplugs...

We actually did really well, didn't suffer much from bites, but that owed more to the fact that before we went down to dinner each night we spent 30 mins putting on about 4 layers of insect repellant. Great for dealing with the small biting things, not so much for the massive crickets and spiders. We literally dashed from our room to the bar, over to dinner, back to the bar, then back to the room. We usually like to go for a walk along the beach or something at night, but there we too many bugs to permit this.

One thing you have to do at this hotel is get away from it every now and then. Don't pay the extortionate taxi prices from the hotel to St Johns, walk out to the main road and get alocal bus, it costs about £1.50 return, and is much more fun

We also did the circumnavigation cruise, but sadly the sea was too rough for us to go all the way around the island. Still had a great time....from what we can remember!

Hiring a jeep for the day was definitely the highlight of our holiday. It was great to get out and see the real Antigua, not just the tourist bits....

We were a bit disappointed in the beaches. This was out first time in the caribbean, we normally go to the Indian Ocean, so maybe we've been a bit spoilt.

One final note, we were appalled at the rudeness of some of the other guests. If someone removes used plates from your table or pours you more wine it's common manners to say thank you.....we saw far too many people not even acknowledging the girls and guys wokring in the restaurant. They do a great job, the least people can do is be polite..

If you've booked to go here you'll love it.....unless you have a bug phobia that is....

  • Liked — Birds, Views...
  • Disliked — Bugs!!!!
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank Morag4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2008

I can not begin to explain what a nice experience we had while in Antigua. Cocobay Resort was incredible. When we first arrived it was dark and the resort is dimly lit. The only noise we heard were that of nature. It was so calm and relaxing. We were greeted by Elizabeth with a rum drink and kindly escorted to our cottage. Our cottage was simple, rustic and elegant. The decor was very simple- dark wood floors, a large bed with light colored linens and a large netting covering the bed. There was not a television, telephone or clock in sight! (at first this alarmed me, but in the end, it was the only way to truly relax). The bathroom was very basic (white and aqua tiles), it opened up to our balcony where we could look out into the sea. When we awoke the first morning, I truly thought I had died and gone to heaven. Our french doors on our cottage were wide open, we could see our pool seemingly melting into the bluest Sea. Tiny birds flew in and out of our room. It was incredible!!

The staff could not have been more accomodating and pleasant. I did have to learn to debrief and get more on "Antiguan' time. The service is not the fast pace I am accustomed to in the States. It's a much more slow, calm and easy going atmosphere. I know there were some other visitors who complained, but once I realized this is the way of Antigua, I was more than fine with the service. The staff is friendly and so enjoyable to talk to. They have a "second" language- it is a broken English and they speak it very fast. I picked up some of it- but it was fun to hear and try to learn.

We actually were married at the resort. It exceeded my expectations! It was simple, lovely and meaningful. Elizabeth, the wedding planner, did everything for us. It was zero stress. We stayed Saturday to Saturday and were married on Wednesday. We met the nicest people as well. Every afternoon we would come up from the beach and sit around the bar with a group we really enjoyed. David the bartender is a legend. He is intelligent, witty, flirty and makes incredibly strong libations!! It was fun, because we were one of the only Americans, so we heard all different points of views from the British, Scottish, Germans, Austrians, etc.. One of the British couples we met while on "holiday" are planning to come stay with us in September.

O'Neal, the manager, was incredible. He would come up to us and make sure everything was to our liking. He was always accessible and friendly.

I have never stayed at an "all inclusive" and was very worried about the food, etc... My husband and I had already agreed that if the food wasn't good, we would just book our meals at other restaurants. We were more than pleased with the food. Breakfast is wonderful, Blondell, makes the best scrambled eggs I have ever had!!! Lunch was always simple (usually fish) and served buffet style. Dinner was usually ordered from the menu and always good (the dress code at dinner is men in trousers and collared shirts, and most the women wore dresses or slacks- no jeans or shorts).

If I had to have any negatives (which is hard)- the wine selection is not great (although it never stopped me from having quite a few glasses!). I would suggest if you like nice wine, to buy a couple of bottles elsewhere and keep them in your room. Another thing that did not bother me, but did my husband are the sand flies. I never got bit, but he did a few times, but it wasn't anything horrible. My husband works out daily and was slightly disappointed that there was not a work out facility at the resort (although some of the surrounding resorts allow Cocobay patrons to use their facilities). But really, most the guests hiked or ran for excersise- so again, it wasn't that big of a deal. The beach is lovely (although not very large). Those are the only negatives I can think of!!!

The day we left was so sad. I really felt so relaxed and at peace with this wonderful "retreat". When I was packing I looked out over the mountain ridge and saw the largest rainbow I had ever viewed. I had just married the most amazing man, met the most interesting people, stayed at such a tranquil resort and now it was time for realty. "All good things must end!"

In summary, this place was incredible. I hate to say this about myself, but I am a bit of a snob when it comes to hotels. I usually stay at hotels that are at least 4 stars and never "all inclusives". I am so glad, I didn't follow my usualy rules. This is truly the best place I have ever stayed. Again it is rustic, there is no room service (you can not have food in your room because of all the nature that looms about), no television, no clocks, no telephones (my cell phone worked very well in Antigua- I checked with my provider before I left- my husband's "smart phone" did not work at all!!!). I really felt like I was in Heaven. I wish everyone could experience this type of vacation!!!! Highly Recommend!!!!!

  • Liked — The view & setting & staff
  • Disliked — No work out facility and really nice wine
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank CharlotteAdams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromley
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2007

My partner and I spent a lovely Christmas relaxing at Cocobay and it certainly met all our criteria for a memorable holiday.The cottages are simply delightful and the views are to die for with pelicans and humming birds constantly in view.

The food was fresh and imaginitive and unlike most "all inclusive" the evening meal was waiter service which is a welcome change from the normal buffet style.

To be honest Cocobay has an enviable position with fabulous views from all sides and after taking a trip around the island it soon becomes apparent that it dosen't get much better.

If you are looking for a top end hotel with all the trimmings this resort is not for you, however if you require peace, nature and to kick back from your city life - this is chillsville!

By the way Chris and Christine sorry we didn't get to say goodbye - I hope St Lucia was as good as Cocobay!? xx

  • Liked — The rustic cottage style accommodation with great views
  • Disliked — I loved everything
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
21 Thank CharliBromley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2007

We just returned from our week long honeymoon at Cocobay and it was fantastic!! All the negative reviews must be from those people who find fault in anything. We have no complaints! The bugs weren't too bad as long as you were prepared with bug spray. The food was good and plentiful. Although not top shelf, the alcohol was fine and always flowing! The beach and the pool were absolutely beautiful and the staff was superb. The grounds are amazing. I highly recommend a massage in the wellness cottage with views of the ocean! All in all, I will recommend this resort to family and friends and hope to return there myself one day.

  • Liked — The Beauty of the Grounds and Views
  • Disliked — Bugs
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
17 Thank melisathe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cocobay Resort

Property: 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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
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: 65
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 
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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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