My husband and I stayed at Cocobay from Sept. 21-Sept 29 for our honeymoon and loved every moment of our stay. This was our 1st trip to Antigua and I can promise you it will not be our last to Antigua or Cocobay. We are already in the process of booking a return trip during carnival season. Overall we had a wonderful time and I can only assume that some of the negative reviews exist because people did not properly research the location.
Arriving and getting around:
I highly recommend to anyone traveling to Antigua to rent a car, not just for a day or so but for the entire trip. we booked a car online through hertz and got a really good deal for all 8 days. It was around $300 (USD). The Taxi's in Antigua are very expensive with a trip from the airport to cocobay costing you about $40 (USD). My husband and I are very active people and dont enjoy having to wait on a cab, and we certainly feel limited on traveling around the island when in a cab that is costing you an arm and a leg to get around. we were able to travel at our own speed and whenever/where ever we pleased.
Driving in Antigua is a whole experience of its own as well. Fig tree drive is a must. SO MUCH FUN! Becareful getting around though there are hardly any signs once you get outside of St. Johns. however, if you get lost dont be afraid we found all of the islanders EXTREMELY nice and helpful and never felt threatened or in danger once. Actually getting lost was part of the fun, after all it is only an island and you will get there eventually. One day We even hired a local to be our tour guide and show us around for a day. Thanks Jason! you are awesome.
On arrival the wonderful ladies at the front desk great you with a friendly smile and glass of rum punch. Check-in was quick and easy and our bags were taken as soon as we stepped up to the counter. The rooms were fantastic, and the ice cold bottle of champagne was fantastic as well. Be aware that there are 3 types of rooms at the resort. Seaview, Seafront, and then seafront with plunge pool. We had the pleasure of staying in room #2 which is a seafront with plunge pool. It had one of the best views and was conveniently located right near the resort facilites (ie: reception, bar, etc etc). no worries though as Cocobay is designed for peace and relaxation there is hardly any noise to deal with in the evenings.
Each room is located a good distance away from the ajacent bungalow. Therefore you dont accidentally over hear anything.LOL also the vegitation around each bungalow adds to the seclusion and privacy as well as the beauty of each room. The vegitation also attracted many birds which were wonderful to watch each morning as we sipped our coffee.
Inside the rooms were always kept clean and tidy (and leaving a little something for the maid always helps too). I do agree with a previous review about the shower. It does cause the bathroom to be a bit flooded, however all we had to do was request an extra towel which we used to help solve this issue. Each room comes with a fridge and coffee maker. The coffee maker was a plus for us since the coffee at breakfest could grow hair on your chest.
The plunge pools were a bit cold but felt nice in the hot sun (not good for swimming at night, too cold) and i think the hotel could really make some money if they added a feature to turn it into a hot tub in the evenings. Plunge pool by day and hot tub by night would be the only suggestion. We enjoyed our pool on several occasions after long days of laying on the beach.
Overall the complete dining experience at Cocobay is great. This was our 1st trip to an all inclusive resort however, we have done a number of cruises and I personally found the food to be the same quality you receive on a cruise. With the exception of Breakfast which was by far the best meal of the day. The choices were endless and the ladies cooking eggs to order made it even better.
Lunch was all right. We only found ourselves at the resort for lunch on 2 days out of the 8. (we are very active people and did lots of trips/activities). Hamburger day was great as they have the best french fries EVER! Other than that i found that choices during lunch were rather limited.
Tea time at 4pm was a great mid afternoon snack as well as a mid afternoon alcohol absorber. They had finger sandwhiches and pastries as well as tea and coffee.
Dinner was good. The Matre D was great, since we forgot to sign in for dinner almost everyday. however he always squeezed us in no matter what. (but dont forget to sign up in the morning for your dinner time)As for the restraunt They are certainly a 3 Star restraunt trying to give off a 5 star appearance. Some of thier selections each night were a bit limited but i am kind of a picky eater. However, they make everything fresh and if you request anything special order they are happy to do whatever they can to make your meal enjoyable.
We spent a large amount of our time at the bar with Oriel, who is the greatest bartender on the island. he does get a bit bogged down because management doesnt feel the need to stock the bar accordingly. They had the best pina colada's but kept running out of mix by the end of the afternoon. However, Oriel was willing to come up with a number of beverages to satisfy everyone disappointed by the lack of Pina Coladas. Most part the liquors were decent, nothing top notch or even heard of in the US but still drinkable. The beer was ok but we are not much of beer drinkers so dont take our opinion on the beer.
There is no real comments that i can leave about the beaches or the pool area other than WOW! The views are amazing and the water is always warm and wonderful to swim in. The hotel keeps the beaches nice and clean and the vendors on the beach are on 1 side and will leave you alone with a simple No thanks. There are always enough lounge chairs for everyone and the little cabana huts on the beach add a nice touch as well.
My husband and I did many trips, pretty much all the major trips you can book and enjoyed every single one. here is our list:
Elis Xtreme tour- A must, you see the most beautiful parts of the island and even get off and swim and snorkle at some of the most beautiful beaches i have ever seen. you also swim with the sting rays which was very enjoyable.
Wadaldicats- Good time. They take you around the island much like Eli's tour does but it is a different atmosphere and different experience all together. you sail on the catameran instead of zipping from one spot to the next. Also Wadaldicats is kind of a booze cruize serving alcohol for most of the trip. RUM PUNCH IS GREAT but potent so watch out.
ZipLine Canapy tour- this was so much fun. It is a very physical trip so if you are hear to purely relax i would suggest staying away. however if a little action is what you seek then this is perfect.
Deep Sea Fishing with Nightwing Charters: we caught a ton of fish. We did charter a boat completely by ourselves (rather expensive $450 USD) but very worth it. My husband caught a 50 lb. Wahoo and I caught a 25lb. Black fin tuna. We both caught several more but those were by far the biggest and best of the catch.
Lastly, I would next like to point out that this is a TROPICAL ISLAND which means BUGS! I happen to live in Florida where the state bird is the misquito, so many of the flying bugs and critters didn't phase us too much. However, there were a few evenings where bug spray was a must, particularly after a good rain. Therefore if you find yourself a super bug hater then i suggest you travel north and stay out of the tropics, and if you are going to brave the critters then at least dont blame the hotel. There was a review on here about the crickets and frogs being really noisy. YES they are extremely noisy (on any part of the planet), however what do you really expect the hotel to do about that?? Honestly! They were loud but not overwhelmingly loud, again if you come from a state or country that has any kind of wildlife then you will understand.
Also Sunscreen is a must for your trip. Do not under estimate the power of the sun, we watched countless people ruin their vacations by failure to re-apply their sunscreen, (OUCH!) Also, bring enough from home because sunscreen is expensive there no matter what store on the island you purchase it from. We brought 2 tubes and went through both in a matter of a couple of days.
With all that said. We cannot wait to return to Antigua or Cocobay. I hope you enjoy your trip as much as we enjoyed ours. The staff and the locals really made us feel welcome and special, especially considering it was our honeymoon. Thanks Cocobay!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Cocobay Hotel Bolans
- Coco Bay Antigua
- Cocobay Antigua
- Cocobay Hotel Antigua
- Cocobay Resort Antigua, Antigua And Barbuda