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Cocobay Resort 4.0

Bolans, Saint Mary Parish, Antigua

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Dramatic clifftop setting with picturesque cottages and jaw-dropping views of Valley Church Bay
  • All-inclusive, adult-only boutique resort with a secluded, romantic atmosphere
  • More local charm than most all-inclusive resorts on the island
  • Upscale suites in picturesque pastel cottages tucked among tropical vegetation, all feature private balconies with hammocks and Adirondack chairs
  • Air-conditioning, minibars, coffeemakers, mosquito nets, and open-air showers come standard
  • Luxurious upgraded rooms feature outdoor clawfoot bathtubs or private plunge pools
  • Three white-sand beaches, plus non-motorized water sports, nature walks, and fitness and yoga classes
  • Two restaurants and three bars, including the trendy cliffside Sheer Rocks Restaurant 
  • Nightly live entertainment
  • Two large and two small infinity pools, all with stunning sea views
  • Tranquil spa featuring open-air treatment rooms, perched on the edge of a bluff
  • Free Wi-Fi and valet parking

Cons

  • Not all restaurants and menu items included in all-inclusive rate
  • No TVs in rooms (a pro for some)
  • Entry-level rooms have mini-fridges, but no minibars
  • Wi-Fi can be spotty around the property 
  • No fitness center

Bottom Line

One of the most charming all-inclusive properties on the island, the upscale Cocobay Resort is a romantic, adult-only clifftop oasis with sweeping views of Valley Church Bay. Colorful cottages offer 65 rustic-chic rooms featuring private balconies with hammocks and Adirondack chairs. Free Wi-Fi, coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and bathrooms with open-air showers come standard, but there are no TVs. Upgraded rooms add luxe perks like private pools or outdoor clawfoot bathtubs. There are two restaurants, including the trendy Sheer Rocks Restaurant (not part of the all-inclusive rate). Certain menu items and wines also cost extra. Other high-end amenities include three bars, four infinity pools, three beautiful white-sand beaches, a tranquil cliffside spa, and non-motorized water sports. Romantic Sugar Ridge offers a similar upscale boutique resort experience with much lower rates, but it’s not on the beach.

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Scene

An intimate, rustic-chic, adult-only property offering authentic local charm and an undeniable air of romance

Cocobay Resort offers a charming collection of pastel pink, blue, and purple cottages perched on a bluff overlooking the turquoise waters of Valley Church Bay. The resort is one of the most romantic, adult-only all-inclusive properties on the island. Not surprisingly, the clientele are almost exclusively couples, ranging from the newly engaged, to honeymooners, to older couples who are still soaking up the romance. Everything about the setting inspires relaxation and intimacy, from the sweeping views of the Caribbean, to the quaintly lit pathways cutting through the cottages, to the dreamy mosquito nets and the outdoor clawfoot bathtubs in some of the suites. While many resorts offer infinity pools and beautiful beaches, something about Cocobay Resort just feels special, because nothing about it seems fake or staged. Even with the fairytale-like setting and a trendy restaurant like Sheer Rocks, the resort still manages to feel completely laid-back. It’s the ideal place to connect with a partner and take in the stunning sunset before falling asleep to the sounds of nature and rustling leaves.

Location

 Atop a rocky bluff on Antigua’s western shore, surrounded by picturesque coves, turquoise waters, and stunning sunsets

Perched on top of a rocky bluff overlooking the turquoise waters of Valley Church Bay, Cocobay Resort on the island’s west coast sits between two picturesque coves with gorgeous sunset views. Guests can only access the resort through a private gravel road, which can be rough and muddy if it rains. Jolly Harbour Marina and Jolly Harbour Golf Club can be reached by car in less than 10 minutes, as can the Orange Valley Historic Sugar Plantation, one of several historic plantations on the island. The capital city of St. John’s is a 25-minute drive away. There, travelers can find several popular restaurants, as well as attractions like the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, the V.C. Bird Monument, and the bustling Saturday market. V.C. Bird International Airport is a 35-minute drive from the resort.

Rooms

Posh rooms with rustic touches and private balconies in quaint and colorful cottages overlooking the sea

The rooms at Cocobay Resort are set in a sea of 57 pastel plantation-style cottages along quaintly lit pathways that wind through the hills overlooking stunning Valley Church Bay. Cocobay The rooms are upscale, yet natural with decor touches like exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, dark hardwood floors, and romantic mosquito nets that create a distinct rustic-chic vibe. The Standard Cottages provide air-conditioning, ceiling fans, king-size beds with Egyptian cotton linens, Cuisinart coffeemakers, mini-fridges stocked with water, and robes. Wi-Fi is free, though reception can be spotty. French doors lead to private balconies that offer padded Adirondack chairs, hammocks, and garden views. Closets come equipped with safes, umbrellas, irons, and ironing boards. The large bathrooms take the connection with nature to the next level -- rainfall showers have colorful wooden doors that open to the balcony. Rustic screens made of twigs and branches create privacy while still allowing in sunlight and fresh air. Hairdryers and posh Damana toiletries also come standard.

Deluxe Cottages have the same layout and amenities, but offer partial sea views from the balconies. The Deluxe Pool Cottages add terraces with private plunge pools and free minibars stocked with premium spirits. The resort’s top-of-the-line rooms are the luxurious Premium Waterfront Suites, which add panoramic views of the sea, Nespresso machines, and outdoor clawfoot bathtubs. In addition to the cottages, the resort features four colorful plantation houses, each of which includes two bedrooms, one with a king-size bed and one with two twin-size beds, as well as a living room and two balconies. Sleeping up to four guests, the plantation houses are ideal for groups of adults. 

Not to detract from the nature, there are no TVs in the rooms (there's one in the bar for important events). Even the do-not-disturb system is charming here -- instead of an ordinary door tag, every room has a large conch shell mounted outside the front door, with a small shell on a chain. When guests don’t want to be disturbed, they place the small shell inside the big shell. It’s just another tiny detail that adds to the overall feeling that a stay at Cocobay Resort is a special, one-of-a-kind experience. 

Features

Two stylish restaurants, four infinity pools, a serene spa, and three beaches, but no fitness center

Cocobay Resort’s prime location on top of a rocky bluff means that the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea can be seen from nearly anywhere on the property. The amenities are perfectly positioned to take in the water and sunset views. At the very top of the property is Rafters Restaurant and Bar, a relaxed, open-air eatery that offers buffets for breakfast and lunch, as well as afternoon tea, and a daily changing four-course dinner menu. The bar serves drinks all day, and features lounge areas that are quiet by day and stir to life in the evening when the nightly live music starts (this is where the resort's TV is, though it's rarely on). A small but lively bar by the beach offers a light lunch. The all-inclusive rate covers all bar drinks and glasses of house wine. Certain dinner menu items and bottles of specialty wines cost extra.

Cocobay Resort is also home to Sheer Rocks Restaurant, one of the trendiest and most popular on the island (not included in the all-inclusive rate). Set on the sunset side of the bluff, the open-air restaurant is a calming oasis of dark woods and dreamy white curtains. It also features chic daybeds and its own plunge pool, as well as a casual bar with stools and small tables lining the bluff’s edge. A tapas lunch is offered until sunset. In the evening, romantic lighting and the sound of crashing waves serve as the backdrop for the Mediterranean-inspired a la carte dinner menu. Since the restaurant is open to the public, reservations are recommended.

The resort’s infinity pools are the epitome of chic. The large clifftop Main Infinity Pool overlooks a large expanse of the turquoise waters of Valley Church Bay, while the aptly named Sunset Infinity Pool overlooks Ffryes Beach and offers stunning sunset views. There are also two small clifftop infinity plunge pools for guests seeking more privacy. 

There are three white-sand beaches to choose from. Ffryes Beach and Valley Church Beach are vast, with the former offering non-motorized water sports including kayaks, sailing catamarans, and snorkeling. Hidden Beach, so named because it sometimes disappears with high tide, is much smaller, providing a sense of seclusion and some of the best views at the resort.

A serene bluff top spa offers massage and wellness treatments (extra fee) in open-air treatment rooms with views of the sea. Free nature walks, yoga, and fitness classes are offered, but there’s no fitness center. Excursions and tours can be arranged for a fee, and there’s an on-site gift shop. Valet parking is included.

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Address

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

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