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“Beautiful setting, shame about the food”
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 11, 2014

We went to the Cocobay last week and had a restful holiday. The weather wasn't brilliant with quite a bit of wind and rain but thought it would be helpful to outline the pros and cons.
Pros: A beautiful location with glorious views of the turquoise bay. The hotel is set within pretty landscaped gardens which are abundant with colourful birds and lizards and with pelicans and frigate birds cruising overhead. The staff are friendly but not particularly professional. Our room was pretty and had a great view over a small plunge pool and towards the bay.
Cons: The food is very unimaginative (I can't comment on desert as I didn't eat any) - the fish on the grill always seemed to be frozen not fresh and local. The fruit was the same every day and never allowed to get ripe, so tasteless. It would have been nice to see the barbecue by the beach pool used and to have proper barbecued meat.
The main gripe with the restaurant was the fact that you had to book to eat at a specific time every day and if you didn't book by 8.30 am all the slots before 8.30 pm had been taken. When you arrive to eat you always had to "wait to be seated" - quite often for 5-10 minutes, even though you can see staff just laying the tables - very annoying. Why can't you just go and sit down?
The sand flies are a real problem - possibly just the wrong time of year but I woke every day with 5 or 10 bites and by the end of the week looked like a leopard!
I have to give a special mention to the ladies who cook the eggs for breakfast - absolutely superb! Any type of egg you like they cook to perfection, quite often cooking 2 different omelettes, scrambled and poached eggs while chatting politely the whole time. Magnificent. I think O'Neal the manager was very charming but needed to get out and about the resort more to see what is actually happening. I didn't see him in the restaurant once - perhaps if he had seen the queues of people waiting to be seated he might have seen it wasn't an ideal system.
I'm afraid the cons outweighed the pros so we won't be going back.

Room Tip: Push the boat out and get a seaview cottage with plunge pool and view of the bay if you can but bear...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank DSLTunbridgeWells
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 February 24, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share a review of your recent Cocobay stay. We are truly sorry to learn that you did not enjoy all aspects of your experience and we sincerely apologise for not meeting your expectations. We realized that it was unusually rainy over the period of your stay and we understand how disappointed you must have been. After all, you did come to the Caribbean for sunshine. We are also sorry that we were unable to assign you a closer room due to limited availability.

We have noted some of your useful suggestions and will continue to work towards ensuring that all of our guests depart having had a good holiday. We hope that you will consider staying with 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.
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929 - 935 of 2,363 reviews

Reviewed February 10, 2014

As others have noted this is not a large, luxury hotel. It is a small, friendly slice of heaven. Our cottage was very clean , comfortable bed, with fantastic views. The bathroom is a bit funky
with a twig wall that allow little birds to fly in and out. This is not a problem as there is a screen door into the bedroom. Just one of the little quirks that make Cocobay a special place. The beach is so relaxing and both pools have nice chairs and floats. I suggest the sea view room with the plunge pool. It's really fun to have your own pool. One of the nicest things was the wonderful people we met. Most were from England and other European countries and were so friendly.
Thank you to all!

Room Tip: Sea view with pool.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Dorothy131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

My wife and I went here for our 11 year anniversary in August 2013 and I can say it was just as advertised. The staff was really excellent and attended to all of our needs. I took some advice from Tripadvisor reviews and I am going to pass it on: Get a Premium Oceanfront Suite. Right now you are staring at the pictures and saying "I could jump from the plunge pool right into the ocean" I'm here to tell you you can and I did...several times.

We took one tour of the island which I recommend you do and went to Jolly Harbor a couple of times to the grocery store but other than that you don't need to leave the resort.

Also I don't care how tan you think you are get some sunscreen because I was already nice and bronzed before we landed in Antigua and I got cooked on day 1.

I could rave more but the other reviews covered most everything already. I can say it was the best vacation of both of our lives and we will go back. We really really got our money's worth and then some. Quit reading reviews and looking at the pictures and book your vacation NOW!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Scott S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

Nothing really prepares you for the beautiful location of this property. Yes the pictures are a good representative, but it's when you arrive and walk through reception and glimpse your first view of that wonderful sea, with all it's differing shades of blue and turquoise. Amazing! This was to be our second week on Antigua from another holiday resort and we were quite early, arriving at about 1.30pm. But this was not a problem, our little cottage was ready and waiting for us, beautifully prepared with fresh hibiscus flowers scattered over our bed and decorating the bathroom.

We had booked a seafront pool cottage and we were given No. 10. We were situated towards the end of the resort overlooking the sea looking towards Valley Church Bay. This turned out to be perfect for us because it was away from the main buildings and the pathway meandered it's way through the beautifully-kept gardens. The cottage itself was charming, and it reminded us of the many local chattel houses to be found throughout the Caribbean. Again, it's all about the view and we couldn't wait to get out onto our own private decking to take in the wonderful surroundings. The pool was a bit cool, but it warmed-up through the week and was great for cooling off. The room was as described, and of course you are very close to nature. We welcomed this and enjoyed the tame and even cheeky nature of the local birds. But we had to take precautions to save our sugar sachets from these clever little thieves, who would fly into our room and, if allowed, make off with their prize. We also had our own resident lizard who moved around the deck watching our activities. Of course it's not always possible to be discriminate about which creepy crawlies you will allow into your environment. But the resort does it's best to keep the less wanted insects at bay by fumigating the cottages between lets and regular 'fogging' to fight the fight against the mossies. It would be useful if management could advise when this was happening, so that doors could be closed beforehand. The hummingbirds were an absolute delight and I think that we enjoyed the environment of the resort as much as anything else. It is not quite the same to be enclosed in a modern concrete block, however beautiful it may be outside.

The bed was extremely comfortable, having a pillow-top mattress and very comfortable pillows. We only used the A/C on a couple of occasions to cool off before going out for our evening meal, otherwise, the ceiling fan seemed to do the job quite well. At night we used the mosquito net and with the fan and cooling breeze we slept really well. There is an area for hanging clothes with a curtain, more coat-hangers would have been appreciated, but we doubled up our clothes and managed. Maybe we should have asked! There was a large wooden cupboard with a shelf, but we would have found a chest of drawers more useful. We were surprised to find a large flat-screen TV and a keyboard on top of the cupboard, but when we tried it there was no reception. Upon enquiring we were told that we could pay extra for movies. We didn't really want a TV, but we felt that management should make a clear decision to either have an available free TV in the room or
stick to the policy of this resort to be TV free in all cottages.We enjoyed the novelty of being able to shower with the doors open, and added to the feeling of being one with nature element of the holiday. Of course it was perfectly private, with a screen strategically positioned.

The resort pools are great and there are plenty of sunbeds with nice cushions. Both infinity pools have great views and the lower pool closest to Ffryes Bay faces West and has the most wonderful sunsets. This is a very popular meeting place for either simply watching the sunset with a 'sun-downer' or for trying to capture that perfect sunset shot. We explored the three beaches close to this resort and enjoyed many walks along the shoreline. A word of warning, as has been reported previously there are some particularly nasty sand flies around and we always covered ourselves in repellent, in fact we bought the local spray 'Off' which seemed to do the trick for us. We were careful not to lie on the sand, but always used a sunbed, don't know if this helped or not. Maybe we were just lucky. But take anti-histamine creams, just in case.

The resort bar is the heart of the place and is usually where people congregate for a drink and a chat. What we like about smaller boutique resorts is the fact that people are much more willing to stop and chat to fellow holiday makers. This is great because there is a good mix of nationalities and makes for a very interesting interaction and conversation. The staff are all friendly and enjoy having a joke and chat and they will make any cocktail you ask for. The wine is OK, and the sparkling wine, I enjoyed particularly as either a peach Bellini or blackcurrant Royal Kir.

Rafters restaurant provides breakfast, lunch and dinner and has spectacular views. Breakfast and lunch are buffet, whereas dinner is a la carte with a timed seating arrangement, and has to be booked at reception with your preferred time. Be aware that popular times become booked quite quickly. The breakfasts were fairly good, with the usual array of foods available. The eggs were always cooked well, but if you arrived at popular, busy time, you could face a long wait. Same for the toast station, of course it could be a good opportunity to have a chat! The birds again were being their usual opportunistic selves, and took every opportunity to drink from the water glasses, so always cover glasses when going up to the buffet. The staff were always on hand to chase them away and would replace water if birds were to be seen drinking from glasses.

The quality of food for us was good for breakfast. Lunch, we enjoyed the buffet, with selections of salads and accompaniments or hot dishes of Caribbean flavour with food from the griddle of fresh fish or meats, usually chicken but sometimes burgers. All tasty food. We didn't try the food from the beach bar. Dinner for us, should have been the highlight of the evening, but although it was OK it was not memorable. Fortunately, booking a frontline pool cottage upgrades your plan to include the added options of beef and shellfish. Without this option included in the all-inclusive, we would have been hard pressed to find variable options without paying extra. The waiting staff were always friendly and helpful.

This is a wonderful resort if you are looking for a peaceful location with breathtaking views, enjoy nature and wildlife. It is very romantic and secluded. The staff go out of their way to ensure that you have a memorable holiday and it is all very low-key. The entertainment is also low-key, but good and we enjoyed some very good evenings listening to various singers and instrumentalists, that is, when we could stay awake long enough! That's how it gets you, a wonderful laid-back Caribbean atmosphere, but with staff who are always on hand when needed. We would have liked to have found a small booklet in our room giving resort information, instead of always having to ask at reception or a member of staff. Overall a memorable, relaxing holiday in a beautiful setting.

Room Tip: Any cottage that does not look over front reception
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

We spent our honeymoon at CocoBay and had the most wonderful experience. The staff were extremely friendly, the food was amazing and the views were incredible. We honeymooned in September so the resort was not overcrowded at all. It was very easy to get a chair at the pool or a reservation for dinner on short notice. There's a beach immediately in front of the resort and then one just a short walk away. We would visit the other beach almost daily and were usually only one of a few people there. Sometimes, it felt like we were on our own island. Make sure you get a room with a view...they are amazing! There's no better feeling than opening the french doors in the AM and enjoying the view from bed or the porch rocking chairs. We also loved our "outdoor shower". Our only regret was not getting the room with the plunge pool although the pools at the resort are also very nice.

For excursions, we did a snorkle cruise through one of the larger group trips. It was fun to see the celebrity homes but the snorkeling was pretty short and the circumnavigation tour was long. We also made a few friends at the resort and rented a private Catamaran through Wiley Cats. I highly recommend this. It was our favorite part of the entire trip! There's a lot to do there at the resort as well...you can rent jet skis from a local, snorkling, etc. Coco Bay is just so beautiful and perfect, you almost hate to leave.

The only complaint we ever heard was about bug bites. We did not experience bites but we packed lots of bug spray and applied every day before we left and at night. Thre's lots of beautiful landscaping around the resort so there are obviously some bugs. Just remember to pack bug spray, cortison (just in case) and a couple bottles of bugspray.

You may also consider packing a portable/wireless radio. There wasn't one in our room.

I promise, you will not regret your stay at Coco Bay.

Room Tip: Make sure you select a cottage with a view. I'd splurge for the room with the plunge pool.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kendall P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Just amazing we got married 21st jan 2014 on the beach we just loved our room an old rustic cottage seafrount room The resort was great for having a quiet and relaxing wedding and honeymoon .The wedding team from cocobay were fantastic . The restaurant did a great job mixing up the food offerings each day so we never had to eat the same thing each day. Between the 2 infinity pools and the beaches there was always space to be close to the water, and it was easy to walk to other beaches. The hotel grounds are amazing with lots and lots of flowers cocnut trees and banana trees . Hummingbirds are a common sight there its simply paradice.Jolly harbour is a great place to buy clothes in rustic old beach huts stay away from st johns the capital i can recomend going to nelson s dockyard also not just for the beautiful buildings and the history but the shopping next to the museam is a graet place much cheaper than st johns and jolly harbour -however the women in the stall leading to the museam charge the same price as st johns try to avoid this . the entry into nelsons dockyard is 8us dollars and worth every bit of it . Cant wait to return .....

Room Tip: we had room 8 on the seafront we had a wonderfull view !!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank ste m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

This was a great place for my wife and I's honeymoon. It met our expectations beautifully! The views there were gorgeous everyday. The staff was very attentive to our needs and making us feel welcome. The cottages are rustic but very private and romantic. The resort was great for having a quiet and relaxing honeymoon after all the stress and work of planning a wedding. The restaurant did a great job mixing up the food offerings each day so we never had to eat the same thing each day. Between the 2 infinity pools and the beaches there was always space to be close to the water, and it was easy to walk or kayak to other beaches.

Room Tip: the sea front rooms will most likely give you the most privacy. The plunge pool is great, though th...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank b0299
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: $429 - $922 (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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