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Cocobay Resort 4.0

Bolans, Saint Mary Parish, Antigua

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Picturesque, brightly colored separate cottages arranged like a village
  • Rooms have natural furnishings, updated bathrooms, hammocks, and sweeping views
  • Some rooms have a private plunge pool or claw-foot bathtub
  • Two stylish infinity pools and a lovely white-sand beach
  • Perched on a bluff with great views of the bay and Caribbean Sea
  • More charm and personality than other package all-inclusive resorts
  • Trendy Sheer Rocks restaurant on an oceanside bluff

Cons

  • No TVs in the rooms (a pro for some)
  • Standard Cottages don’t have air-conditioning
  • Many steps and hills to get around the property
  • Extra fee for Wi-Fi
  • No fitness center or tennis facilities

Bottom Line

This charming all-inclusive boutique resort, situated on a bluff overlooking the sea, features 57 separate cottage-style rooms painted in Caribbean pinks and blues. The rooms have a rustic style featuring exposed wood beams, and some have private plunge pools. It is a posh adults-only property catering to couples, wedding parties, and honeymooners -- but it offers a much more intimate atmosphere than massive couples-only resorts like Sandals.

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Scene

A stylish adults-only all-inclusive resort offering an intimate, authentic Caribbean setting and great views

This stylish adults-only all-inclusive provides guests with an authentic Caribbean experience, thanks to simple but chic spaces like the main bar and lounge, which serves specialty cocktails

While some all-inclusive island resorts can feel generic and staged, Cocobay is all about charm and authenticity. It exemplifies a relaxed, low-key Caribbean vibe, but still maintains a super-cool, even hipster edge -- with the stripped-down, rustic room furnishings, specialty cocktail list, and young, trendy guests.

The stylish lobby is furnished with all dark wood, natural materials, and rustic accessories, echoing the resort’s eco-friendly nature. Looking out from the lobby, green grass and swaying palm trees frame a view looking out over the crystal blue waters.

The colonial-style cottages are dotted around the 10-acre property, arranged like a little village with paths weaving between them. Walking along the stone paths winding between the pastel-colored cottages, through lush gardens and down a gently-sloping hill to the water, you may feel like you’re lost in a fairytale land.

The guests are mostly young couples, including wedding parties and many honeymooners, who get some special perks and will almost certainly enjoy the resort’s romantic atmosphere. It’s not a place to party, though -- the bar closes up early, and all is quiet by 11 p.m.

Location

On the west side of the island, perched on a hill that provides lovely sunset views, and a short walk down to the wide, peaceful beach

Map of Cocobay Resort

Near to the lively Jolly Harbour area on the west side of the island, Cocobay is situated on a peninsula with a cove on each side, and many rooms are perched out over a bluff, featuring steep drops down to the ocean below. Accessed by a private gravel road through lush greenery, it feels exclusive, like a stylish secret shared by you and the other guests. There are many steps and steep inclines to climb to get around the property, which may be difficult for older guests.

The wide, white-sand Little Ffryes Beach is located down a path past the pool, off one side of the resort. It is public, like all of the beaches on Antigua, but this one isn't protected by the resort property behind it. It is about a five-minute walk up to the bar or back to your room, but don’t worry -- there is drink service available on the beach. The west coast of Antigua provides calm, smooth Caribbean waters and great views of the sunset. It's about a 20-minute drive into the capital city of St. John's, and about a 30-minute ride to reach the airport.

Rooms

The colonial-style cottages are inspired by nature, with unfinished wood beams and vaulted ceilings. Each has a private deck with a hammock and sweeping views -- and some include a plunge pool or outdoor claw-foot bath tub.

The colonial-style Deluxe Cottage, with unfinished wood beams and vaulted ceilings, has a rustic, stripped-down feel

The rooms are what make Cocobay stand out: Each one is a quaint, private cottage painted in the classic Caribbean hues of pink or pastel blue, as if picked from a sunset. The decor is colonial-style, with vaulted ceilings, exposed wood beams, and a slightly rustic, stripped-down feel. The furnishings are deliberately basic and the walls bare, so as not to take away from the view outside; the picture windows and French doors face out to the turquoise sea.

While the unfinished wood feels very rustic and natural, the ambience remains upscale and romantic, thanks in part to details such as billowy mosquito nets draped over beds. Standard Cottages have only a ceiling fan, while upgraded rooms have air-conditioning. Each room has just a few basic extras, such as a small coffeemaker and mini-fridge, but no television -- there is a no-TV policy here, as guests are meant to relax and and enjoy the natural serenity of their surroundings. (There is a TV with cable in the guest lounge, if something important is on.) Wi-Fi is available, for an extra fee.

All rooms have a private deck overlooking the ocean, with a hammock and a pair of adirondack chairs. Cottages at the top of the hill have exceptional views of the bay. Bathrooms are updated and feature doors that open out onto the deck, taking full advantage of the landscape and letting fresh air and light inside. Some rooms also feature a private plunge pool on the deck, and the highest category of rooms have both a plunge pool and a classic claw-foot bath tub outside, allowing for views of the blue waters while you soak. And since the cottages are perched on a hill surrounded by trees and foliage, and the deck includes a privacy wall made of natural wood branches, there's plenty of privacy to enjoy it.

Some cottages have locally inspired names like Sleeping Indian, White Oleander, or Tamarind Bay. There are other cute details that make it feel special here. For example, instead of hanging a "Do not disturb" sign, you will find a large conch shell on the outside of your door, with a small shell on a chain -- if you place the small shell inside of the big shell it means you’re at home, telling staff not to enter.

Features

Two scenic restaurants, two sleek infinity pools, and an excellent beach, but no fitness center

The property sits on a gorgeous stretch of Little Ffryes Beach

The posh Sheer Rocks restaurant and lounge located on the property, though not included in the all-inclusive package, is a trendy spot for expats and tourists. It’s located on the edge of the bluff, with nothing but the ocean below. The open-air Rafters restaurant provides buffet-style breakfast and lunch, and a la carte dinners overlooking the bay. Guests can also order sandwiches for lunch, for a lighter option, from the bar next to the beachside pool. The chic, modern bar and lounge across from Rafters features a specialty cocktail list, included for all-inclusive guests, and hosts a tea service every afternoon.

There are two sleek infinity pools with many padded lounge chairs, some cabanas, and plenty of room to spread out. Each pool has a bar, and drink service as well. There is an excellent beach down a path past the pool known as Little Ffryes Beach, where several umbrellas and lounge chairs are available. It’s about a five-minute walk down to the beach from the resort. Water sports including kayaking, sailing, and snorkeling are available. There are a few other beaches in the area to explore if guests are feeling adventurous.

Cocobay offers spa services, such as massages, facials and manicures, in an open-air wellness cottage on a private deck overlooking the water. There is a gift shop featuring many local goods and a guest lounge with a TV (the only one on the resort) and a small library. There is no fitness center, tennis courts, or other sports facilities at this resort.

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Address

Valley Church, Bolans, Saint Mary's 431, Caribbean

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