This review is separated into categories.
1. Real all-inclusive resorts do not charge for food
When will management at All Inclusive resorts learn that the reason people chose all-inclusive resorts is because they do not want to have to think about money or taking out their wallet whilst on vacation. They believe (falsely in this case) that the price paid includes everything. Cocobay bills itself as an all-inclusive so I was shocked when, on the first night, at the (only) dinner restaurant on the grounds the menu had two additional options which incurred a cost. This happened EVERY NIGHT. Every dinner menu had additional paid options. It wasn't that much- however it really showed the DIVIDE between what is INCLUDED and what you can PAY ADDITIONAL FOR. Included was a chicken, fish and veg. Lobster and beef was extra. This should NOT happen at an all inclusive. I've stayed at many, many all inclusive and have never before been confronted with paying for better food at dinner. The website states "The main all-inclusive restaurant Rafters provides an intimate setting for breakfast, lunch and dinner with spectacular sea views." No where does it say there is an extra fee for the good stuff. I honestly, would have rather paid an extra $100 upfront and had the good stuff included instead of having this system which made me angry.
2. There was no water at the breakfast buffet. I don't understand why it is so hard to have a pitcher of water. You had to track down a water to get water. This is a basic need in a hot country. I am perfectly fine with getting it myself and do not understand why there was no water jug.
3. Snack Bar was pre-made
All the snack bar food was pre-made which means that if you wanted anything to be vegetarians you were completely out of luck. There was no effort to accomodate and modify any of the sandwiches for vegetarians. You were simply told "sorry we only have one options and its pre-made". This happened every day.
4. There is a paid restaurant on the premises.
This is not a big deal but it was very odd to have a stream of snobby people traipsing through the resort to go the the very expensive restaurant that is below the pool. They also use the pool bar and don't seem to pay for it although the bar is supposedly part of the resort
5. Weddings are disrupted by boats dropping/ picking people up
We were thinking about having a wedding there. After witnessing a wedding continuously interrupted by noisy boats dropping of and picking up people and loads of bikini wearing guests we decided against it (SEE PICTURES)
6. UPP's Annual "Huge Party" at Ffryes Beach- It starts early all and goes on all night.
The first Monday is Antiguan Labour Day Holiday. The United Progressive Party (UPP) hosts a HUGE party every year - with tents, radio stations, races- on the neighboring beach. This happens every year. There is a race that ends (or starts) at the nearby beach. There is an all night party that ends around 4am. The race starts early to avoid the heat. (I'm not sure of the precise sequence). The bass is so loud it permeates the resort. This is NOT the hotel's fault- however, the hotel clearly knows about this but does not tell guests and acts surprised when guests ask about it. It is impossible to sleep that one night or function that whole day as the noise is absolutely deafening. Yes- it is only one night. No- it did not ruin our vacation but it would be good if there were some notice on the website as this is an annual occurrence or something at the resort to counter act this.
7. Staff routinely talked poorly about guests.
Staff openly gossiped about guests- particularly at the pool bar. Repeat guests were treated much better than those there for the first time. HOWEVER, the front desk staff were AMAZING, helpful and kind. The staff at the bar was not as great and seemed to be resentful to be working there. It was often overstaffed (2 bar tenders and no guests) or understaffed (1-2 bartenders after dinner and 20 guests + overspill from the paid restaurant Sheer Rocks). They seemed annoyed to work.
In generally the rooms were fine- simple which is what we wanted. Without TV which is what we wanted. Airy bathrooms that were opened to the porch. The bad is below:
8. Air con worked sporadically.
When we asked for help, we were often left waiting for hours.
9. Mosquito net had many holes in it.
Our net in our room was shabby with holes in it.
10. The beach is narrow but nice. However, you have to go down a very steep set of stairs to get to the beach. One the side of the steps is a woman who has decided this small, dangerous area is the best place to sell her junk bracelets. I cannot understand this. It is unclear if she is on private or public property.
11. It was clear that some people tipped. They clearly got better, faster service. I resent this.
1. Front desk staff is AMAZING. Totally accommodating and truly wanting you to have a good time. They did not make excuses for others and instead really and honestly tried to listen to your concerns and rectify any problems you had. The manager O'niell is VERY proactive and tries to fix things immediately.
2. The buffets were good and in general there food was plentiful and good enough quality.
3. Pool chairs were easy to come by which was fantastic. There was none of the 6am reserving nonsense you find at other resorts.
4. Good variety of ages and nationally. There were youngish couples, older couples, Americans and Europeans. IT was not dominated by any one group.
5. Flexibility on Dinner: Twice was messed up our dinner reservation and the staff were totally accommodating and welcomed us in at a new time.
6. Beach was not shared with other resorts
The resort needs to decide if it is in fact an all inclusive or not.
If not, then charging for food is fine as is having non-guests drinking at the bar and traipsing through the resort.
If it is an all inclusive than it needs to find another way to get Sheer Rocks customers to Sheer Rocks without going the the resort. All Inclusive should NOT have any extra charges. Charge the extra $15 a day and do away with the stupid extra charges!!!!
- 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