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“After all, a lovely honeymoon!”
Review of Cocobay Resort

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

My husband and I spent here the second part of our honeymoon (11th-19th june)and first of all I have to say that the place is absolutely excellent! The staff is great, everyone is kind and ready to help, expecially the manager, Mr. O'Neill, who has always been very nice to the both of us. Food is great, from breakfast to dinner, everything was tasty and well cooked. Fresh omelettes and pancakes in the morning were delicious! Lunch was perfect, there was a buffet with a big choice of everything you can fancy! A la carte dinner was lovely too, we have no complains at all about food. The resort is exactly as it looks in their website's pictures, the cottages are romantic and clean. The views are fantastic. I think the way to the cottages from the restaurant and the bar is a bit too dark in the night, though. The beach is something to die for, I still keep on watching all the pictures we took, because they are incredible and I can't still believe we had been in a oh so gorgeous place. Anyway, I feel like warning the next guests about the scary experience my husband and I faced while we were there. I have bitten by a tarantula (probably it was an antiguan horse spider, but the doctor told me it's the same family) in my room at night. We were on our way back to our cottage at 11 pm, probably the spider got on my skirt from our patio, I leant on it for a second while my husband was opening the door. As we sat on the bed next to each other I felt something on my skirt and when I looked down I started to scream and ran away trying to get rid of it, but it jumped from my leg onto my arm where I got bitten. You can't imagine how awful it was. We both thought I could have died. How could we know if it was poisonous or not? deadly or not? to our eyes it was just the scariest thing we've ever seen. My husband tried to kill it with a shoe a couple of times but it didnt die, at the end, horrified, he was able to kill it. then we rushed to the reception, asking for a taxi to the security guard and then we went to Saint John's hospital with the killed spider in a bag. Unfortunately I received no treatment despite we shown our travel insurance documents. I've been just asked to pay 580 us dollars before a treatment that the receptionist couldn't or wouldn't explain. So I decided to wait and see what happened to my arm in the following hours. If my arm had turned swollen or red or more painful, I would have obviously give them even more than the 580 us dollars they asked. The bite looked like two red spots next to each other. I was in a shock but still ok, my arm looked quite fine, even if the bite was still visible, so after spending there those 5 hours with NO ASSISTANCE, we decided to call a taxi and go back to the hotel. SHAME TO ST. JOHN'S HOSPITAL!!! Once Mr. O'Neill knew what happened, he was very supportive, nice and kind to us. We've been upgraded in another cottage, he paid for our taxi fee, he paid for the doctor I asked to come to see me at the resort the day after and I had baygon sprayed all over the room everyday till the end of our stay. Despite of this scary misadventure I have to be honest and tell you all that the Cocobay is an awesome place, and I'd be definetly back tomorrow if I could; you just have to be very careful at night, don't lean on your patio balcony without checking, don't leave the window open while you're out. tarantulas are out there. their holes are all over the garden. I do hope that in the future the management will get rid of those spiders. What if something like that happened to a heart patient? Anyway, I want to thank Mr. O'Neill for everything he did to make our stay pleasant. We really had a nice one! It is nature, after all!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank veronica3612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 July 2012

The cold towels and rum punch uoon arrival were well appreciated. The resort was even more spectacular than the pictures on the website. After being greeted by ONeil, he explained that we would be receiving more perks for booking directly than we knew. Our direct booking of a seafront cottage entitled us to upgrades at dinner at no additional cost. We also received a bottle of our choice of premium liqour and of course, had chilled champagne awaiting us which we were quickly sipping from the plunge pool.
We enjoyed the interesting combinations of flavors with the appetizers and soups at dinner. We did use the upgrades on several occasions to enjoy lobster, tenderloin and coconut shrimp but also thoroughly enjoyed the Wahoo and Coffee Crusted Pork Tenderloin. The ice cream for dessert (lunch and dinner) was superb and though the pacing was quick, we were never made to feel rushed.
The beach is incredible. I hate to swim in bays and ocean but this was so clean and clear that I found myself drawn to it over and over again. When it got too hot or the wind too strong we just headed back to the room with a stop for a drink from the bar and then in to the plunge pool.
Some staff that must be commended are Melissa, who instantly made us feel welcome with her infectious smile and calm demeanor, Sonia who is a true artist with eggs and pancakes, Kerry was always serving with a smile, Oriel the rum magician, and Gelinda (pardon the spelling) who cleaned so efficiently and always with a warm greeting.
I am a type A personality and I learned to relax at Cocobay. I never knew I could be so content to relax and simply enjoy the beauty of this special place without having to "do" anything. TVs, radios, etc would simply spoil the beauty.
My best advice is to book directly.....the upgrades are well worth it.
Thanks again to the whole staff for making our second honeymoon so special .

Room Tip: Must have a seafront room you book directly!
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Nyneve5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2012

My wife and myself have just returned from a wonderfully relaxing two weeks at Cocobay. First of all the location is suberb, we loved our room (once we got what we had booked) and the food and service were excellent. The sea is just the best and we didin'y use either of the hotel poolsat all.

I have visited many Caribbean islands previously, including Barbados, Tobago, St Lucia, Puerto Rico, Grand Bahama and Grand Cayman and this was without doubt the best hotel I have stayed in in the region. The rooms are rustic but comfortable with great beds and views to die for from the Sea View and Sea Front rooms. The grounds are beautifully kept and full of wildlife which all adds to the atmosphere. We found the food to be varied and of excellent quality with friendly and extremely helpful staff. I would like to mention Jermaine and Kerry in the restaurant, Sasha and Tony at the bar, Sonia for her great breakfasts and Robert at the beach.

When we arrived, we were told that we had been 'upgraded' to a Plantation House room, which was not what we had booked - miles away at the top of the resort and up a steep climb. We quoted reviews on Trip Advisor and after O'Neill intervened, we were moved to room 16 the next day.

There are a few things which could be improved upon:
1. A/C should be included in the room rates not an additional extra, even if that means increasing the rates. The ceiling fans and the breeze do a good job, but inclusive A/C would have made the room perfect.
2. There are no toilet facilities anywhere near the beach, we have to go all the way back to the hotel.
3. Robert at the beach is over-worked in my opinion. he manages the watersports, serves drinks at the beach / pool bar and on the beach, sets up the beach dining facilities and climbs trees to fetch coconuts. There were times when myself and others wanted to sail the Hobie Cat and could'nt because Robert was too busy with other stuff.
4. Like other contributors, we were suprised to find families with children staying, especially when both the hotel website and the Virgin brochure say they are not allowed at this time of the year! Not the hotel's fault at all, but the noisy Italian's spoiled things slightly, especially when waking the neighbourhood on the way to their cottages at night!

One word of warning to those tempted to book a romantic dinner on the beach - don't even consider it on a Sunday! The beaches in Antigua are public (and long may that continue) and on Sunday's Little Ffryes beach is a magnet for the locals, who arrives in force with thier 'boogie boxes' and barbeque's etc. We saw one couple on the middle Sunday of our holiday having their romantic dinner no more than 15 yards from about 20 Antiguans enjoying a family Sunday.

The hotel beach is NOT entirely of fine sand but has alot of broken shells and coral in it. My wife and myself both suffered cut feet between our sun beds and the sea.

As regards sightseeing, i would thoroughly recommend Stingray City (superb), Eli's original Eco Tour and shopping in St Johns. Wadali Cats, sold by Sean on the beach, is a very expensive boat trip and unless you have a strong stomach (I am ex Navy) the Atlantic side of the island is quite rough and several people were ill. We were told the boat would call at Nelson's Dockyard - it did'nt!

I would also recommend flying with Virgin form the UK, they are still much better than BA in my humble opinion.

So all in all we had a very very good holiday, but with just a few little things, it could have have been a great one.

Room Tip: Room 16 was a great Sea View room. The hotel is closing for several weeks in Sept for a refurb and t...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Eric W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2012

We just got back from a week vacation at Cocobay. Since I often rely on the reviews on tripadvisor I felt compelled to share our experience at cocobay.

First the pros. The property is beautiful. Their website pictures are real. The resort is peaceful, serene and relaxing. Everything is very clean. The staff are wonderful. They are warm, friendly and more than willing to do anything to make your stay pleasurable. Vorn, the Medicine Man, gives a fabulous tour of his village and taught us about the fruits and vegetables that grow on the island. Also the wellness center, where you can get a massage was nice.

Now for the cons. The food. Breakfast was always good, so long as Sonia was making the omlettes. Lunch was generally passable. However, most nights dinner was horrible, and most everyone we spoke to agreed. Aside from the fact that the portions were miniscule, it didn't matter because you usually couldn't eat them. The resort is trying to boast itself as fine dining, but they'd be better off staying with simpler fare. Another problem is that there is only 1 restaurant for all meals and there is no where to get a snack in the evening. On more than one occasion, we went to bed hungry.

The other thing is that they've got the big picture for being a refined resort, but are missing the details. Management really should be a guest at its own resort. It's little things that make a difference. For example, they provide bathrobes, but there isn't a single hook in the room to hang it. They had champagne in our room upon arrival, but only gave 1 glass. There is no where to hang your wet bathing suits in the room or balcony. They only put 2 towels in the bathroom. If we asked, they'd give additional, if they were clean before the housekeeping shift was over. When we got there, the room was filled with flowers. However, after that first day, you'll see that the room is very plain. A few well placed flowers each day would make a big difference.

To their credit, management were accessible, listened and cared. o'Neill absolutely went out of his way to try to make things better in every way possible.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Roberta P
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 23 July 2012

Thank you for staying with us at Cocobay. Your recent review was well received as constructive criticism. Firstly, please accept our sincerest apologies for not meeting all of your expectations. Additionally, we have found your comments to be useful and we will immediately be guided by them. For example, we are in the process of finalizing plans to add another informal alfresco dining option away from the main restaurant area. Having listened to you, we are even more convinced that "getting the details right" is such an important aspect of expectations at a boutique resort.

We look forward to welcoming you back so that you would be able to experience our commitment to "getting it right".


O'Neal
Resort Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2012

I wake up to the sound of mortar and small arms fire. The Special Forces are having a field day. The demolition range ignites some unexploded ordinance, sending shock-waves across the valley. I make my way from the living quarters to the makeshift office. The Afghan sun beats down relentlessly, reminding me of the hell in which I reside. I enter the office, sit down at my desk and login to my NIPR net computer.

After starting up the network monitoring programs and the ticketing systems, I decide to treat myself. I hurriedly type in my Gmail user name and password and frantically search for the link I have so covetously saved. There it is! I click it and am instantly transported 9,000 miles away to the white sandy beaches, the palm trees and the crystal clear waters of where I have booked my honeymoon; Cocobay.

There were many days like that. All building up, in my mind, to what I had hoped would be pure perfection, relaxation and enjoyment. When that day came, my new bride and I were not disappointed.

Cocobay was EVERYTHING we had hoped it would be...and more.

We arrived late (around 11pm) and were greeted by the beautiful lobby area as well as a very kind security guard. Thoughtfully, we were provided with fresh fruit and sandwiches, as if 'they' knew exactly what we needed after a long day of travel. The kind security guard escorted us along a beautifully lit path to our seaside cabin. He took us around the cabin, showed us where the light switches were, where the minifridge was, etc. He welcomed us to Cocobay and returned to his post in the lobby.

The room absolutely blew us away! It was decorated with flowers and made ready for our arrival. We eagerly explored the cabin, loving everything we saw. Upon exiting to the deck, our jaws dropped. The plunge pool looked so inviting and to see the moonlight shining off the waves of the ocean as they lapped against the shore....it was a dream. We also discovered a bottle of champagne that had been waiting for us. We ate the fruit and sandwiches, drank the champagne and slipped into bed. We had made it. We were finally in paradise.

We were hooked, that night. The rest of our stay convinced us more and more that we were in love....both with each other and Cocobay, haha. The service was astounding and everyone was so happy. And the atmosphere of the resort was so relaxing.

I absolutely need to mention the following people, who made our time at Cocbay the best it could have been:

Melissa and Phyllis, at the front desk. Lovely young ladies who helped us immensely!

Sasha and Tony, the bar tenders. Sasha was a joy and Tony kept my manners in check, haha.

Mr.Gore, our server on many occasions. His jokes and cheerful attitude during breakfast, lunch and dinner made us smile! He is always there (which is awesome!). I hope he finds time to sleep.

And, of course, Mr.O'Neal. His legend is well deserved. He lived up to his reputation and then some; His attention to detail, caring disposition and professionalism absolutely made an impression on us. Surprising us with delicious bottles of adult beverages, delivered to our room not once but twice, was also a nice and very much enjoyed touch!

Needless to say, we fell in love with Cocobay.. We will be back, many times to come.

TLDR; Cocobay is perfect. Go there now!

Room Tip: Get the ocean side cabin with a plunge pool. Totally worth the money, especially since they come wit...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Brian W
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: $544 - $1,005 (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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