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“Some good, some bad.......”
Review of Cocobay Resort

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Cocobay Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bolans
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 October 2008

We went with realistic expectations about the resort, we had booked it following a recommendation, we were looking for somewhere not big hotely with great food (no buffet at night!)

First impressions were good, welcoming at reception, although the person showing us to our room didn't offer to help with bags and I am 6 months pregnant! We were in room 42 which is a long way from reception.

We loved the rooms, not luxurious, but balcony and hammock great, bathroom fine, only 2 things which could be improved would be the addition of a mini bar (there is a fridge running but nothing in it- maybe some soft drinks free of charge would be an option? and chargeable food would have come in handy- see later!), and maybe an indoor seat- when you don't want to sit on balcony only option is under mozzie net on bed- no greaat shakes but a seat would just make it nicer..

Food great, absolutely loved dinner, high quality food, presented well, breakfast also good although the same every day so by day 7 a bit repetitive. Lunch not great, didn't seem to be brilliant quality and again a bit repetitive.Kenny (f&b Manager) stood out, he was fantastic, but shame the same couldn't be said for all of the waiters/waitresses some of who were surly and unfriendly, we regularly had to ask for wine/water to be topped up, and despite trying to be friendly and engage in conversation, got nowhere.

The 2(?) beaches at the property are not amazing- one is minute and can hardly be caled a beach, the other is ok, but I've been to much better- I know not Cocobay's fault, but something to think about when choosing to stay here. Pool nice, but lots and lots of sandflies which are vicious! Despite deet everyone we met was bitten to death.

The main issue we had was that there was a tropical storm during our stay, and I have to say I was not impressed with the way this was managed- the hotel didn't tell any existing guests that it was due ( we knew only because we were thinking of hiring a car the following day and the Manager said a tropical storm was approaching so we may want to leave it for a day- he gave no indication of the seriousness of the storm). There was a storm in the evening and I have to say I was really impressed at the fact the staff served dinner in the bar due to the restaurant being flooded, service was the best we had and it went really well. We got the storm overhead early the following morning and it was horrendous. Newspapers reported the worst rain in Antigua since 1970, at one point there were lightning flashes every minute, you could feel the cottage moving in the wind, it was awful. Lightning struck some cottages, some were flooded badly, trees were struck and one fell on a cottage etc.
When it finally calmed down, we made our way to get breakfast and were shocked to find only 1 Security Guard on the property (despite the management knowing the storm was approaching), we were told that staff couldn't get in, and there was no breakfast. Everybody was hungry ~(see earlier comment re mini bar!) and we finally convinced the guy to allow a few of us to make toast for everybody. Staff started coming in at 9, they had horrendous journeys in and were really grateful we had sorted ourselves out. Roads were damaged, but luckily nobody was hurt.
The owners came to check everybody was ok, which was a nice touch, but when we raised the fact that there had been nobody on the property we were assured by the Manager that 5 people had been there- I would like to know where they were....

To be fair, the clear up was amazing staff worked really hard to get everything up and running which was great, but I think there should have been more of a presence during the storm. We spoke to people whose bed had been soaked, they had asked only that the bedding be changed and had stripped the bed ready, When they returned, the dirty, wet bedding had been put back on the bed!!!!

On check out the questionnaire advised we could request a concierge to pick up our luggage which we did, but nobody turned up! We questioned this with reception, she shrugged and advised she'd asked them, again not a biggy but this was an indication of the service we received all week......

The last thing I will say is that the toilets by the bar are disgusting, and really need more regular cleaning, given they are the only option other than your room, this is quite a big deal!!

Overall, this could be a fantastic small hotel, but the staff, the lunches and the toilets let it down. Would I go back to the resort? Absolutely not, and I probably wouldn't return to Antigua. As I said, we went with realistic expectations, we weren't expecting luxury but we did hope to get friendly service and be looked after- we didn't feel we were......We have stayed in a variety of different hotels from backpacker to more luxurious in many places across the world, so we don't expect 5 star luxury however we do expect a ceratin level of service and friendliness and we didn't get either at Cocobay unfortunately...

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank bruisyard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 October 2008

Resort was TERRIBLE, some staff were helpful, Oreil the bartender was the best, you needed to drink alot to make it each day. You had no phones, little communication, no air conditioning in room bugs everywhere, you had to stay under a mosquito net the whole time you were in your room. Before Hurricane Omar, we kept asking about the weather and were told that is was just a tropical wave, just rain "NO WORRIES". There were no papers to read or anything posted of the impending storm. The night of the hurricane the resort was not prepared. The resort had sustained major damage and when it was over, there were no staff members to be found. All guests were left on their own. When the owners/managers did get there, no apologies nothing, all cottages had flooding and some with holes in the roofs were lightning had struck and trees down were one guest was trapped. There were no other accommodations offered. As far as the food, if you are used to eating at scheduled times have at it, because you will not get anything else until 4:00 pm for tea. Best bet is to hit Dennis's next to the resort, wonderful food and great people. Also, you will need to make arrangements on your own to get around the island. The resort was rustic, awful and in need of being updated. NEVER AGAIN will we or tell anyone to go there.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank sun22002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2008

I know it,s a lot of times going to one place and its not for everyone but my wife and myself just love it at cocobay i won,t write about the food or rooms that,s been done by others just to say six times at the same place cocobay can,t be all bad like some would have you belive we have been going since 2002 and yes their have been changes some good some bad but look at the prices you can get we have just come back, we had 14 days for around £2400 all in, hard to beat i would say a note on the subject of bugs yes they are there but if you take with you 100% deet and 2 wrist bands each, 1 on your wrist 1 on your ankle put deet on your body and onto your wrist bands then in the evening you can top up your deet by rubbing bands onto yourself this will help to keep the bites down (you can get 100% deet from Blacks camping stores) also take a good fly spray ,spray room when you go for dinner at night also tie a shoe to each corner at the bottom of the net over your bed this will keep the mossie net off you in the night. The nice thing about going to the same place is that you build a bond with the staff and most have been their since it opened they treat you like family (look out for Kenroy he,s the one who will show you to your table at night he is really nice) also i find the manager Mr Richards nice and he is very helpfull just treat all the staff nice and they will be more than willing to help you. so to sum up it,s not the ritz but as people have written you know what you are going to get any way we will be back next year in october.So if your going to cocobay all the best have a good time just say Richard & Christine sent you!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank patontheback
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2008

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.

HOTEL/ROOMS:
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.

FOOD/ DRINKS:
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.

BEACH/POOL
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.

ACTIVITIES:
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!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank gizzmo1116
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2008

My husband and I stayed at Cocobay during the first week of September 2008. We loved it. The ladies at reception were great, our rooms were clean, we loved the plunge pool ! The bartender, Oriel, was fantastic - Although the other two I wasn't particularly fond of. The beach was very clean, and always had lounge chairs available to us. We loved the food - No complains there, not even for portion size (Two meals a day are buffet - How could you complain!)
There were only a couple things that bothered me - One, was the bugs. The small ones manage to get through the mosquito net around the bed, and that really bothered me. Bring lots of bug spray ! I also didn't like how the bathrooms don't have shower curtains, so the bathroom is always a soaking wet disaster except for right after they clean the rooms. There was an issue with the water the last day we were there, and they weren't able to provide us with clean towels - I recommend you bring one or two along just in case.
I also had a pedicure at the spa - The lady there was fantastic.
Highly recommended all around, just know what to expect.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank ChelsieK
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:
Region: 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: €352 - €744 (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, Antigua And Barbuda

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