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“Honeymoon.”
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Honeymoon.”
Reviewed October 3, 2012

We stayed at the Cocobay Resort for our honeymoon for one week in July 2012. We enjoyed a very relaxing week with stunning views. There were pros and cons of the resort so I will start with the pros...
Pros
-The staff was excellent, friendly and really took pride in their work and their island. The staff is one of their best assets.
-The food was excellent especially if you like seafood. Lots of healthy options. We booked through the hotel so we did not have to pay extra in the dining room for Lobster and Steak.
-The drinks were poured heavy! Very generous with the alcohol. Funny bar staff!
-The views are stunning, the water is clear and warm. Chairs/Palapas always available.
-Pools are beautiful and never crowded and we were at like 85% capacity.
-Airport was easy to maneuver through.
-Great couples place, would not recommend for kids at all. Nothing to do for them.
-Plunge pool was awesome, essential, and private. No air con needed. Always a breeze!



Ok now for the cons...
-Dress code for men in the dining room for dinner and the fact that it is not well advertised on their site. Men have to wear long pants (and its like 95 degrees) and a collar shirt. This is not a fancy dining room, it's open air and weathered wood floors. The fact that you are on vacation 1000s of miles from home and some couples didn't even pack slacks is inconvenient when you are on vacation. The resort staff actually will turn you away from dinner and have you change your clothes. This is not good business at all and not very welcoming.
-Breakfast only lasts until like 9 am. We missed it several times and there really isn't any options until lunch.
-The bugs were very active. I wore Off with deet and still got chewed up. Some people didn't get bit at all. I quickly realized that the bug nets around the beds were not a cute decoration! Bring your own bug spray because it is expensive on the island.
-The resort is very hard to find. We rented a car and drove to the resort and it seems like signs are not a real high priority in Antigua. For fellow US travelers you drive on the left hand side of the road and on the right side of the car.
-Not a lot to do on the resort. No TV in the room, Wii-Fi is 60 dollars US additional charge and there is no fitness center and not a lot of entertainment. The bands they did have were very good but all entertainment ends approx 9 pm and bar closes at approximately 11pm. Pools close before dinner so get a room with a private plunge pool.
( I like to swim at night when I am on vacation, could not understand why pools were closed)
-Lots of critters! I liked some of them and others I didn't! Like the tarantula in our pool! ( the pool guy got it out right away)
-All beaches in Antigua are public. You will have local vendors and locals on the beach with you which was not a problem they were very friendly but this prevents the resort from having a beach bar. They have no beach drink service either. You have to walk to the bar up in the resort.
-Beach Towels are on a swap in and out system. Some couples had a towel card. They would only give you 2 and they were very worn and old.
-Beds are very very hard. Did I mention firm beds?

So overall we did enjoy Cocobay. If you are looking for 5 star amenities then this is not the place for you. They offer 5 star relaxation, privacy and definitely a 5 star staff! I would even give the food a 4.5. Not gourmet but very tasty for an all inclusive. I have stayed at Palace resorts, Club Med and many others and Cocobays food was better. As far as families I saw 2 families and the kids looked bored out of their minds. Definitely a place for couples to enjoy each other. On that note We went to Cocobay as a same sex couple and really didn't have too many issues. We were the only Same sex couple there that week. The other guests were very friendly and accepting. The staff seemed oblivious. Some thought my female partner was a guy and actually told her she had to wear pants in the dining room! Seems like staff need some education in this area. Guy/ girl couples... No problems. Meet some lifelong friends there. No regrets. Have a great vacation!

Room Tip: Get a beach front room with a plunge pool!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank pmlv72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CocobayGM, General Manager at Cocobay Resort, responded to this review, October 11, 2012
Thank you for sharing a review of your Cocobay experience. We are truly sorry that we did not meet all of your expectations while staying with us. Your review has provided some very useful points which we will consider in an effort to improve guest comfort and satisfaction.

O'Neal
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012

We were lucky enough to spend two wonderful weeks in Cocobay resort on honeymoon in August 2012 after reading many positive reviews on trip advisor, none of which were wrong!
This is very special place and could easily be re-visited on more than one occassion, in fact we met several guests during our stay who had done just that. the location is stunning,accommodation excellent (perhaps air con could be included free of charge), although we felt the ceiling fans did the job. Some guests also felt wi-fi should be included but we feel its wonderful to totally un-plug yourself from the constant need to communicate. The courtesy and friendliness of the staff second to none. And the food was too good hence our increased waist lines on our return! The locals on the the beach do try and and sell you excursions but are not too over the top with there selling; we did book the Wadali Catamaran trip which was a great day out, plenty of rum punch and good sounds. We also booked several other trips through Virgin including the Dundee Safari which was great fun; our local driver made it really enjoyable his catch phrase beeing 'nice an' easy! Which sums up our holiday experience! A helicopter trip to Monserrat desribed as a once in a lifetime exursion is although costly not to be missed. Basically if you're looking for a very special romantic, relaxing holiday you would be hard pushed not to be thrilled with this place. And I'm sure as others we will return one day!

Room Tip: 'great views from most rooms'
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicestershire
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Cocobay has the most stunning location , very relaxing nothing at all to do only chill out
Food excellent . we had a garden room but they do need air conditioning , very very hot when we got back around tea time , also if you upgrade to a seaview room you have to pay $15 us dollars per day for the air con ,its only the plantation rooms that have free air con .i would recommend this resort to everyone , cannot fault it (apart from air con) Staff are all great and friendley . Do go on the trip to see the Stingrays its excellent once in a life time experience .
Hotel is being refurbished with 10 new cabins , and upgrade of top pool ,so should be even more amazing

Room Tip: No Air con in Garden rooms
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank HazelLeicestershire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2012

We just got back a couple weeks ago from staying at Cocobay Resort in cabin #1. I can't say enough about how good everything was. The staff was friendly, the food was great, the cabin was clean and comfortable. We went during a week where the hot temperatures were breaking records so we were thankful to have the air conditioner. The TV didn't work but we really didn't need it. Our dip pool was always clean and the perfect temperature (but our cabin got sun so the water was never really cold like other people had said). The locals on the beach do try to offer you a lot but were very friendly and fun to talk to. We purchased the Wadali Catamaran trip and Horseback riding from them and had wonderful experiences with both of them. We didn't have any issues with bugs except the last night we were there we started to get bit a little bit and saw one roach in our bathroom. However, we also left our doors open a lot too. We didn't mind any of this because having the outdoors as part of our room was what we wanted. It's almost like luxury camping in a way. Can't wait to go back, it was so peaceful, relaxed and beautiful there. They are closing for a month to build 10 more cabins, update their oldest pool and build more areas for different food options in between meals. There was also an area to run about a mile long very close to the resort so we didn't need an exercise room. We never wanted for anything except change to leave tips which we tried to do as much as possible. However, they have an option when you check out to leave a lump sum at the desk as an overall donation to all the employees too. Definitely take bug spray, I took OFF wipes so I didn't have to worry about maxing my liquid limit on the plane. The gift shop wasn't always open so you want to make sure to stock up on water, sunscreen etc when they are open. This was our favorite vacation so far in our ten years together. Cocobay feels like home.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
3 Thank akwjac1205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yorkshire
Level Contributor
42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2012

We arrived here down the gentle track from the main road. The sea was the most stunning blue against the white sand. It is comparable to the Maldives. The Azure waters run right out to the Horizon. We booked in and were shown around the complex. The upper infinity pool was closed for a referb which began on 12th September and will be ready for the new season. But because the hotel was getting ready for a short closure to refit there was plenty of room at the new lower infinity pool. It has comfy bed some in pairs like 4 poster beds. The pool bar serves a host of drinks and light lunch snacks if you don't want to miss a minutes tanning. The buffet restaurant has fab views and the service and food were good. The rooms can be a little sparse and away from the main area, if you want a great view and own pool the upgrade is to be suggested. Some of the garden rooms do have views of the sea also. The view from the lounge across to Valley Church Bay is also stunning. If you book here dont look at the odd flake of paint but the once in a lifetime view and friendly staff

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank bobnbex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

First off, this review is long overdue, but I just joined TripAdvisor and thought I needed to revisit and compliment this fantastic resort on one of the most memorable weeks of my life!
4 years ago my husband and I honeymooned at CocoBay and we have nothing but the fondest memories of our time there. I searched out many options all over the Caribbean, but knew that I would want something small and with a bit more solitude than most big resorts offer for my honeymoon. This place was absolutely perfect! We had a lovely bungalow with a plunge pool and ocean views, complete with hammock on the deck and those glorious showers that opened to the deck. So romantic!
The location was ideal for our needs- no neighbouring resorts! We wanted and peace and quiet, and we got it! Made a few friends at the resort, because of it being smaller, and it was summertime, it was less busy. You had your choice of 3 beaches, all gorgeous!
The staff were wonderful, quickly got to know our names, drink preferences and what time we liked to eat dinner. We never found the reservation requests a problem. All of them were super friendly and accommodating.
And the FOOD, oh the food! First class! Especially the fresh soups everyday! We have travelled to a lot of places since our honeymoon, and cannot find the same quality in soup anywhere in the world!
We had massages from a wonderful lady, I wish I could remember her name...but did not avail ourselves of any other spa services. Massages were enough!

As for excursions, the little bar/restaurant on the hilltop was excellent!
We went on a tour of the English Harbour which was lovely, but more $ than it was worth
Did our very first of many scuba dives with a dive shop in Jolly Harbour, and we've been addicted since! Fabulous instructors.
The catamaran snorkel tour was amazing too,, well worth every penny.
We were fortunate enough to have been on the island during Carnivale, and wow, was that an experience! So many colors and speakers! Loved it all.
Perhaps,our most memorable though, was the walk with the "village medicine man" as offered by the resort. He was so much fun, and knowledgeable! We learned so much! And got a good workout on the 2+ hour hike! (and he was barefoot!)
We would go back here in a heartbeat! An excellent choice if you are considering it, do not hesitate!
Many thanks to CocoBay for a perfect honeymoon!

Room Tip: Plunge pool is worth the extra $ for a nice dip late night ;)
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank MMG_1984_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long beach island nj
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2012

We spent months researching different resorts throughout the Caribbean. We read all the reviews and felt that we knew what we were getting into. We were so pleased with our decision! We got more than we expected.

My first advice is to read all the reviews both good and bad. If bugs and the occasional bird, or lizard will ruin your vacation, than stay away!. If you need constant entertainment and nightlife, than stay away! If you need multiple restaurants that serve gourmet food 24 hours a day, than stay away! If you need marble floors and brass fixtures and purified air, then again, look somewhere else! If you want fantastic scenery, a simple and completely relaxing vacation, Friendly and helpful staff, than Cocobay should be on your short list!

Cottages - What you will get with Cocobay is simple accommodations that are rustic and comfortable. Wood floors, a few pieces of furniture and yes a rod to hang your clothes on. There were wide doors and windows that allow the breeze and nature sounds as well as a spectacular view to enter the room and take your breath away. We had a plunge pool and yes it was cool at night. Cool water, never once stopped us from jumping in and completely enjoy the feeling and view. We also had birds and cocloful Lizards that shared the porch of our cabin and sugar on occasion. We read a lot about the mosquitos. We came prepared with lots of bug spray. We did get bit a few times but nothing that stopped us from doing what we wanted. The bathrooms were different than expected. First, they were dated, but that added to the charm of the room. The main feature t this room was the large doors next to the shower that lead to the deck. Privacy was maintained by a wall of flowering vines that flanked the deck. There was no shower curtain so shower water sometime splashed on the floor, but with a view like that while showering, who could care! The only complaint that I had with the bathroom was that the outlet for the hair dryer was 7 foot off the ground. You had to climb to access it. There was AC in the room that we did use on a few nights and a great fan over the bed that kept the room comfortable. We also had a TV and computer terminal that was in the room for an additional charge, but never once used it. Rooms were cleaned and towels refreshed daily. There were around 50 cottages at this resort. All were separate and private. Some were close to each other, but vegetation kept it private. The walk to the dinning areas and pools was a pleasant but did go up and down hills. It was lit at night by walkway lights. If you have trouble walking, than you may need to request a closer cabin. There are several cottage types but all share a fantastic view!

Beaches and Pool - The beach at Cocobay was clearly a focal point. There were plenty of lounge chairs and thatched umbrellas. There were palm trees to find shade and also the crystal clear water of the Caribbean. The beaches were raked and cleaned daily and there was a drink service for those that didn’t want to hike back and forth to the bar. While we were there, they had begun construction of a new pool and beachside bar. I can’t wait to see it in person. We have seen the pictures and it looks spectacular! The beach is a public beach and has locals and vendors that come around. We were not bothered by them. A simple no thank you was enough to keep the moving. We did wind up making friends with some and feel that they actually added to our experiences.

Food and entertainment – Cocobay has one dining room that is all outside and covered. There is no formal indoor areas which suited us just fine. Breakfast was a buffet and had a wonderful omelet station. Lunch and dinner was menu driven with only a few choices. There were always several different selections. We don’t like seafood and had no problems finding something to our liking. Quality was good but not great. Reservations for dinner were made in the morning but seating never seemed a problem. Dining room closed around 10, so if you wanted a midnight snack, you were out of luck. The menu could have had some local specialty dishes. That would have been nice. There is a second restaurant on the property that is not included in the all-inclusive. This is Sheer rocks. We did have a great meal there one night of our stay. We would recommend that you try it while you are there! The bar was small and located just outside the dining area. Drinks were fantastic and free. We spent the entire time trying the local specials and did not miss the top shelf drinks that we were used to. Entertainment was a small band twice during the week that also ended around ten. The bar closes when the customers are gone or around ten. This was not a problem for us since we were always getting up to watch the spectacular sunrise and were eager to start our day early. It seems like we were not alone. I didn’t hear one complaint about the early close while we were there.

Staff – Cocobay is a small resort and has the ability to have extremely personal service. We had no major complaints for them to solve and asked very little of them. They knew us by name and were always eager to help. They went out of their way to make us feel special. Most of the staff that we met and talked with have worked for Cocobay for years and were very happy there. This made us feel comfortable. Even the locals that worked at the beaches added to our enjoyment of this resort. The one thing that we didn’t expect was that while we were there, we met some fantastic people that we will keep in touch with for a long time. It was hard to leave as everyone was so nice!

Overall – Antigua is a beautiful and peaceful Island. There is limited entertainment and unlimited beauty. This is one of the things that pulled us to the Island. Cocobay is for those that want to relax and truly unwind. You can easily book excursions off the property or just relax by the pool or beach. This is not a place for all night parties or round the clock dinning. Nor is this a 5 star gold plated resort with butler service. It is a place of beauty and relaxing and meeting similar people. It is rustic and charming and a perfect place to unwind. We hope to return someday soon.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Lbilander
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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