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“Beautiful location, lovely rooms”
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Cocobay is gifted with a great location on a headland with stunning views. As others have said the individual cottages are rustic, quaint and pretty. We loved their space, privacy and design. The resorts 2 infinity pools are lovely, and the public space inc restaurant make the best of the views.
The things that disappointed us, mainly due to our prior perception based on trip advisor feedback were: the food is good, but limited in choice. 1 meat, 1 fish, 1 pasta and 1 veg option at dinner. No seafood ever, unless you want to pay the £18 supplement to have prawns or lobster, which is excessive for a supplement per person! Lunch is a buffet with a selection of 1 meat and 1 fish again and salad, with may be a hot veg or a hot meat or fish in the above. All more than adequate, and cooked nicely, but not the seafood and choice others have spoken of.
Secondly, the beach is ok, but not stunning, with turquoise water, which of course is beautiful. However, water v cloudy when we were there ( could have been weather related), with no snorkelling potential.
Staff are lovely - a v pleasant stay. The resort is mixed uk, American and Italian generally, with many repeat guests. Good intimate resort for a weeks break.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank juliet h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 19, 2012

There really isn't much I could fault for Cocobay resort if you are after something romantic, unique, quieter, relaxed and a little less informal than some of the major resorts. It was simply stunning and even with some rainy days it was absolutely heaven.

To start with the 98% positives of this trip. The resort. The cottages are stunning. Basic but secure, comfortable, practical and beautiful. We had a seafront room with a plunge pool and for any water baby like me this is well worth the extra money. I woke myself up with a dip in each morning and had a refreshing dip before bed too (it was pretty muggy some nights). It was bliss. Laying on our bed looking out over our decking and pool was heavenly. The bird often flitted in and out of the water too which is magical to watch.

The food was fantastic for a 3star resort. As with many other reviews the breakfasts were an epic start to the day. You do have to queue a little some days when the resort is busier but well worth it for the omelettes. Yummo! Lunch was buffet style and again sometimes you had to queue, which I heard a couple of fellow brits ranting about but to be perfectly honest it was never long and the kind of place I can't see how anyone can complain about. You are on an island..... relaxing.... enjoying a slower pace... who cares if you have to wait a few extra minutes! it gives you a chance to natter to guests and staff and it was worth the wait. Beautiful fresh fish most days as well as a meat choices and lots of salads / vegetables / pasta dishes for vegetarians. The dinners were out of this world and although the portion sizes would look small to some we never ever left hungry. How could you after 4 courses!!! During the day there is also the option of afternoon tea in the main bar and also a sandwich choice down at the sunset pool bar. You will never go hungry, I promise! Drinks are fantastic and we worked our way through the cocktail menu....... simply excellent and the bar staff are a hoot! Especially Tony.

As a water lover the surrounding beach was just breathtaking. Both pools at the hotel were clean, never crowded, towels provided and never far to shuffle to get a drink. It was bliss. Sipping chilled cocktails in the sunset pool in the evening will go down in my memory books!

The staff - pretty much everyone, apart from one or two, could not have done enough to help us. Friendly, helpful, smiley and proative. Even the housekeeping staff were chatty and always said hello. The gardeners too! Robert, who was mostly based down at the beach bar and beach, is excellent. When on the beach he would try and do rounds of drinks to bring you to your lounger and if we needed any help with the watersport facilities he was always around through the day to help. We didn't ASSUME we would get beach service so it was a wonderful bonus as and when he could do it. It might perhaps be an idea for cocobay to hire someone else to help on the beach as it really was delightful to have drinks bought to us.

Now for the bit I don't want to do but as a review feel I must...........

My main complaint was on arrival - My husband and I had booked the new premium waterfront suite for our honeymoon and ON ARRIVAL we were told they were no where near finished and had to be downgraded. Having just got off a long haul flight from the UK and not had any warning of this I was really upset. You don't want to arrive on the trip of a lifetime (I only plan on getting married once!) to be told the room is not complete. Yes I understood weather factors affected the room completions but I had been checking with the resort all the time leading up to our honeymoon and at no point did anyone tell us (call / email to inform us). We would rather have been pre-warned. Also as welcoming as O'Neal (the manager) tried to be he couldn't have got rid of us quick enough and simply walked away to welcome a group of 10 guests who arrived at the same time. Such a shame. We would have liked to have discussed the matter further and to be honest as wonderful as it was being given the romantic dinner on the beach package for free we really do feel for a honeymoon gone wrong we should have been compensated with a free night / better discount for what they put us through. Also these rooms were no where near the completion a week later when we were leaving so if you've booked these room types do check!

Aside from this hiccup we do plan to go back soon. We quite simply loved it and had we known what to expect on arrival there would have been no upset. To leave guests to arrive for their honeymoon (which they knew it was) and give them bad news is bad practice in my experience. Having worked for 15+ years in the hospitality industry I only hope they haven't left this to happen to many others as I can't imagine the suites will be finished for some time.

In summary if you want somewhere away from the huge resorts, busy towns, mod-con maddness then this is the place for you. Switch your phones off, leave your laptops at home, pack your swimmers and suncream and head to Cocobay. Maybe even make sure you have comfy clothes for those expanding waistlines from all the good food and drinks =O)

Room Tip: Pay a little extra for the plunge pools if you are a waterbaby! The aircon was also a saviour at tim...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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9  Thank RobbinsBobbins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CocobayGM, General Manager at Cocobay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 20, 2012

Thank you for sharing feedback of your recent Cocobay visit. We are indeed delighted that for the most part you had a fabulous stay with us. We however, sincerely regret disappointing you by not having the room you were expecting upon arrival. Your concerns and suggestions were useful and we have learnt from this experience. I personally apologize and take responsibility for the breach in expectation and as Resort Manager I look forward to a second opportunity to host you.

In case you might have missed it, your account was in fact adjusted upon arrival. We are grateful that you would consider a return visit and look forward to seeing you again.

At your service,
O'Neal
Resort Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Cocobay could be brilliant but unfortunately there are a few things that let it down and that's why I couldn't rate it higher. As other reviewers have said, the views and location is stunning and the staff are brilliant. The food is plentiful and very good and it is the perfect place to relax. The resort is supposed to be rustic luxury but does lack some finer points which do not make it a luxury resort.

When we arrived our room wasn't ready which, in normal circumstances, would be fine. However the resort had been closed so there weren't actually any guests checking out so there was no reason why our room shouldn't have been ready and we had to wait over an hour in the blazing sunshine in our travel clothes which wasn't ideal.

Despite being booked on the anniversary package we received nothing (other couples that had booked direct got sparkling wine and fruit) and our minibar was empty even though the website stated you had a complimentary minibar in the room. All that we had were two 500ml bottles of water which were never replaced and water was charged for ($2 per bottle) at reception. They woud refill your bottles at the bar which was ok but as it wasn't bottled water it often tasted of chlorine.

On the first night we realised our toilet leaked every time you flushed it and so we reported it the next morning. They promised it would be dealt with immediately but even though we chased a few times it was still leaking when we left! This led to our floor being absolutely soaked every day and after you'd used the shower (which also flooded the floor) we had to use our towels to dry it when we got ready (as the only mirror is in the bathroom) as our clothes got wet if we were wearing trousers or long dresses.

When we checked in we were told of the restaurant dress code which we weren't aware of prior to that point. My husband had only bought jeans to travel in and smart shorts and shirts to wear for dinner. I have got no idea why they have such a strict dress code, especially given the heat and the restaurant is outside, but this made him very uncomfortable so beware future travellers!

Another point that was missing was the lack of information given. We were given towels but not told where to exchange them and had no idea about the water refills, asking for take away drinks/ food and bus trips to St Johns until we heard other guests talking about it. It would have been good to have a welcome/information pack in the room as we often had to call to check meal times etc.

Overall it was a great trip and location but we would not go back.

Room Tip: The lower the room number the closer you are to the facilities and the best views.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank MrsJ230711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CocobayGM, General Manager at Cocobay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 20, 2012

Thank you for your comments following your recent Cocobay visit. Our goal is to meet and exceed every guest's expectation. Somehow we seemed not to have fully met yours. We are truly sorry that this has happened and your constructive criticisms were all positively accepted. For us, guests' satisfaction is paramount.

We do however hope that you will consider visiting us again.

Respectfully,
O'Neal
Resort Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

Omg what a fabulous place. It was so relaxing and idyllic. It needs tiny bit of tweaking ie missing tiles on plunge pool but that is the only negative. Going back again next year because we had such a wonderful time.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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3  Thank T1kkacat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I stayed at the Cocobay resort in July for a short pre-honeymoon.

The location of the resort is perfect. The view is breathtaking. For the first days of our stay we also got upgraded to a hut with a plunge pool what was perfect.

The food also was excellent and while the portions were on the smaller side, the portions were absolutely fulfilling.

The staff was also very helpful, friendly and had always a smile.

Now to the little incident what forced me to only give 3 Stars in the service category. My wife had a little accident during our stay. The staff helped us dearly and recommended a doctor who who also promptly.

He did a great job helping my wife. When it came to paying the doctors bill, he asked for $400 in cash. While I was a little bit hesitant in the beginning I paid him after he promised to send me an invoice so that I could claim the money back from our insurance in the US. Of course, he never send the fax... After not receiving the invoice on time I talked to hotel staff (including front desk manager twice) an they promised me that they send me the invoice (they claimed that they received it) via mail. They never did!

After a couple of reminders I finally gave up. Until now they have not contacted me as promised nor send me the invoice. While I realize that the missing invoice is not the Hotel's fault alone, I recognize a difference between a "true" luxury resort and Cocobay. A "true" luxury resort would have taken care of the issue even after we left, especially as $400 are not a small sum.

Next time when my wife and I visit Antigua we might stay somewhere else because, as explained above, a small hunch to true luxury service is missing.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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7  Thank TKHAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CocobayGM, General Manager at Cocobay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2012

We truly appreciate your feedback after your recent Cocobay visit. For the most part you seemed to have had an enjoyable stay with us. After further investigation, we did receive the Medical provider's email on July 10th 2012. The email was forwarded to you on the same day. It is now eveident that you did not receive our email. We kindly ask that you contact us at toll free # 877 385 6516 or at cocobay@candw.ag with alternative forwarding details.

We truly look forward to seeing again at Cocobay sometime in the future.

O'Neal
Resort Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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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 reviewResponded 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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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5  Thank David P
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: Ffreyes Beach, 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: $443 - $825 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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