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Old Jan 27th, 2004, 05:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
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servet is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2004, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 82

We are returning to Cocobay in March for our second visit, and can't wait.

The theme with both hotels is relaxed luxury. Do not go to either if your looking for lots of activities in resort, nightclubs, tvs etc....Do go if you want total relaxation.

The food is fantastic, and both resorts are aimed at the European market ( lots of Brits, Italians & Dutch ).

Overall I think Cocobay is better, because it has a spa and is more isolated than Cocos ( Cocos is on Jolly Beach ).
Milliemoo is offline  
Old Feb 26th, 2004, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 452
Hi, Milliemoo. My husband and I are considering Cocobay for our vacation in June. Is Cocobay situated beachfront? How is the beach? Is the sand rocky or powdery fine? Is the water clear or murky? Thanks!
Becca is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2004, 01:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 82

Cocobay has 3 beaches to choose from. The main beach has sunbeds etc, but as the resort only has 41 cottages, it's never crowded. Our favourite beach is about 5 mins walk ( along the main beach ) and is Very secluded. There is another small beach in front of the sea front cottages. The sand is very powdery however the sea bed is very rocky and the water is not clear for's still great though.

If you want to book for June, you better do it ASAP. We got one of the last sea front rooms ( there's only about 8 of them ) when we booked last August !

I'll post a review I did from our last trip ...... also go to:

Lots of great info !
Milliemoo is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2004, 02:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 82
Hello all !

We're just back from Cocobay last night ( boo hoo ). Below is a breakdown of the whole holiday:

British Airways Reservations:
We booked the holiday direct with BA and got a very good price plus free flights down to Gatwick from Edinburgh. The information pack that we were sent with our tickets was excellent. However, BA customer service needs a heck of a lot of improvement. It's not the actual people who man the phones, it's just that there seems to be only 2 of them ! I was once on hold for 45mins before being able to speak to someone. My tip is to call early on a Sunday morning, as they are very quiet then. BA changed our flight times twice, but only told us about the first set of changes, I only noticed the second change when we received the tickets ! This had an impact on our connections to Edinburgh. We tryed to check in 'online' for our outward flights which was a waste of time. We ended up using the telephone check in which was a lot more reassuring, and we managed to get fire exit seats and bulk head seats.

BA Flights:
At Edinburgh Airport the check in girl managed to put a completely different name on my boarding card which caused a bit of a last minute dash around before boarding. The flight from Edinburgh to Gatwick was very good, big seats and lots of leg room. We had bulkhead seats on the flight to Antigua ( the ones with the cots in front of you ) which doesn't give you extra leg room but it does mean that you don't have a seat reclining onto your lap. This made a big difference. We had a peek at the World Traveller Plus seats, and I really don't think they are worth the extra money, I think it's about £400 each way, if you got a good deal tough I'd consider it. We also managed to get bulkhead seats on our return flight.

The minute you arrive at Cocobay, you realise that you have made the right choice. The grounds are beautifully kept, and the location is fantastic. Cocobay is on the next headland along from Cocos and Jolly Beach and has 3 beaches to choose from. The best beach ( in our opinion ) is Fryers Beach which is about a 5 min walk from reception.The nearest and most popular beach was right next to the hotel. A lot of people had put towels out on favourite sunbeds from 06.30 onwards. We preferred to be by the pool which was great. All the beds are in great positions so there was never competion to get the 'best' beds. There was always iced face towels on hand to cool you down and the bar is only a few steps away.
We had a great room ( 27 ) which was classed as 'sea view' in the BA brochure. We could sit on the veranda and watch the sun set each night. The room was clean with basic storage and a great bathroom which you could open the doors to for a sea view while you showered ! The bed was very comfy ( 1 pillow but you can ask for extra ) with a mozzie net. We had fresh towels every day and they will also spray your room in the evening ( for mozzies ) if you request.All rooms have hammocks on the veranda which are fab.
The food, where do I start ? The evening meals would put most UK restaurants ( and other hotel restaurants ) to shame. The food was easily 5* standard. At breakfast, Shirley will make you omelets or eggs how ever you like. There is a choice of fruit, cereals, breads, croissants and bacon and sausages to go with your eggs. Lunch is also a buffet with soup, salads and a choice of hot dishes, usually 1 x meat 1 x fish 1 x rice/pasta & 1 x veg. You can follow this with a choice of sweets. At dinner ( which you need to book a time slot ) you had 4 courses. Starter ( choice of 2 ) Soup, Main course ( choice of 3 ) and sweet ( choice of about a million ! ).
You can wash down all this food with a great selection of drinks from the bar ( my claim to fame is drinking the bar dry of Pina Coladas ! ) They have a good cocktail list, local beer, red/white wine, smoothies, fruit juices, sprite, coke, Rum, Vodka, Gin etc etc. Teon , one of the bar men, is an absolute sweetie !

We were booked to go on Eli's Eco tour but it was cancelled two days running and as we were 7 days into a 10 day trip we didn't bother chasing up Eli a 3rd time to see what had happened. Another couple had booked this trip while we were there and were picked up OK, but they didn't say a lot about the day which makes me a wee bit suspicious. That said, we only booked the trip cause of all the great reviews we heard ????.
A few people had been on the Wadadli cat tour and thought it was great. Also everyone raved about the helicopter trip to Montserrat ( $190 US each for 45mins ). We went to Shirley Heights ( free trip with BA ) which was good for a laugh. We also went into St Johns on the local bus ( $1 US ) which is worth a visit.

Surrounding Area and Hotels:
We went for a neb at Jolly Beach and passed Cocos on the way. We are VERY glad we booked Cocobay ! I'm sure Cocos has a lovely atmosphere, very intimate and friendly, but why have a small intimate hotel aimed at relaxation on a busy beach with a hotel complex the size of Edinburgh, disturbing your peace ??? We could hear music from JBR some nights and we were nearly 2 miles downthe road, so it most have been quite loud at Cocos. We did hear from people staying at Cocos that they are separated from paying customers in the restaurant and therefore don't get as good service. I wouldn't blame the waiting staff for this cause they are always going to spend more attention to people who are going to give them tips.
Jolly Beach is lovely but it is noisey with lots of traders. The Jolly Beach complex is big with a nice pool although the pool area has a DJ shouting and playing very loud music ( not sure if this is always the case ). There was building work going on in different areas of the complex/harbour, but I don't think it was disturbing anyone.

As usual, I jinxed the weather, and we had a few stormy days. That said, the rest were lovely, great for sun bathing although a little too windy. This ment that the nights were quite cool, which was good.

Staff at Cocobay:
The staff are great and the manager O'Neal, is a nice chap. He's always around and makes a point of being there when you leave to wish you farewell. The restaurant staff are a very efficient team lead by Chris. We never had to wait long for a meal ( sometimes it was too quick ) and they are always topping up your glass. The chamber maids are very friendly and do a great job. There was always someone to serve you at the bar, and if you were lucky, it would be Teon, such a sweetie.

Bad points:
Yes there are some. I would not recommend Cocobay to vegetarians. Although most evenings there was a veggie choice this was not always the case. That said, I'm sure if you asked, they would prepare you someting different. Lunches would be the worst for choice for veggies, often only having soup & salad.
A few days into the holiday they stopped doing the lunch specials which were an additonal choice to the buffet. This was apparently because it was not the 'high' season anymore ( even though they are fully booked ??? ) They also increased the dinner specials from $15 US to $20 US.
We had to wait 3 days for an ironing board to be brought to our room after several requests.
We didn't receive telephone messages and only found out about them having spoken to the person who was leaving them.
In windy weather the window shutters rattled and creaked ( they did atempt to fix this ) and in stormy weather, rain would flood in through the doors and shutters.
We heard lots of bad stories about 'Dr Amu'. He is apparently very un 'PC' and can be quite offensive. We didn't meet anyone who recommened going on his nature walk.
The most popular beach has a very steep 'shelf' so you drop about 3 feet after a few steps into the sea and it's also very rocky.

Take one of those plug in mozzie zappers ( we got one from Boots ) and lots of mozzie spray/wipes. We were using Avon Skin-so-Soft and the one night when I forgot to apply it ( even though I had covered myself with Deet wipes ) I got bit a few times.
You'll need a very high factor sun cream, at least factor 25. I was using 45 and have still got a really good tan. There were lots of people with sunburn, so be careful cause that breeze can make it seem cooler but the sun is fierce !
Don't bother paying extra for bottled water, as the filtered water tastes fine ( well it did to us ).

We would say that Cocobay is fantastic for people looking for peace and quite. All we wanted to do on this holiday was relax and drink cocktails, which we did and had a fantastic time. We met some great people and we'd delighted if we bumped into them again on another holiday. If we were the kind of people who went to the same place each year on holiday, we would go back to Cocobay every year. I only wish we could have stayed for longer. If we do go back, we'll be booking via Virgin, as everyone who we spoke to said they were great and we heard some very worrying stories about BA from others.

If anyone has any questions, just shout.

Cath & Duncan xxx
Milliemoo is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 452
I'm a bit concerned about the rocky sea bed and unclear water that Milliemoo mentioned. Is it this way at all three beaches at Cocobay (or on Antigua as a whole for that matter)? I don't mind if one beach at Cocobay is like this - I just want to be sure that all three beaches at Cocobay are not unswimmable or unsnorkable. Thanks!
Becca is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2004, 10:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 82

It's only the main beach which is a bit rocky underfoot. You'll find that most beaches on the west coast are not very suitable for snorkling, but there are plenty more to choose from. We're going out on a boat for the day, so we can visit lots of great reefs.

If you want to stay at a place where you can snorkle off the beach, Pinapple Beach Resort is a good option.

Milliemoo is offline  
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