More about Cocos Antigua
The views are incredible!
We stayed at Cocos at the beginning of December, where the view from our room was one of the most stunning we have ever seen. The rooms could do with furniture to sit down on but apart from that it was fine. Some of the food was a little disappointing, not hot enough with small portions and one steak in particular was inedible but, strangely, some of the meals were delicious and top-class. Breakfast was far too early though, ending at 9.30. Although the 'bugs' were a bit of a problem (mozzies being the worst offenders), we found Cocos to be rather like living in the middle of a nature reserve - over the week we had cats, birds, mongooses, lizards and frogs appear on our balcony and being animal lovers we loved it (although I did not appreciate the giant cricket that made the ceiling above our bed it's home!) It is very quiet at Cocos and we did get a little bored after 3 days and ended up spending the rest of the holiday over in Jolly Harbour. But as we were well aware of how quiet Cocos was going to be we certainly can't complain. All in all we got what we paid for.
We spent a wonderful couple of weeks at Cocos in September and October, the staff are the most friendly and helpful we've ever come across on any holiday. The food was simply INCREDIBLE, we recommend the caesar salads and crab puffs at lunch. The views, both from our room (10) and the restaurant, were breathtaking. We really can't say much more other than this holiday was the experience of a lifetime and we cant wait to do it again sometime (although probably not in September/October, which as we discovered on arrival, are the most humid months of the year).
Many thanks to all the staff, we miss Acaries singing and Tenesha and Jeni-Lee's cocktails, and the smiles and friendliness of all of you! We have never met such a friendly and helpful bunch of people.
Simon & Emma
Peace and Tranquility
We have recently got back from a weeks stay at Cocos and found our holiday to be the most relaxed we've ever had. The view was amazing from our balcony and the outdoor shower was certainly an experience but we loved the rustic cottage, no TV or phone just simple basics. Food was varied each night and the BBQ evening was well worth the wait even though in the evenings it can get quite breezy due to the open nature of the restaurant.
The only problems I could see was that it would be nice if they provided bottles of water at no extra charge since you cannot drink the tap water also the road approaching the hotel needs attention the taxis have a nightmare driving up it our driver nearly lost his exhaust!!
You know your in the tropics when you hear the din from thousands of
Cicadas, crickets and tree frogs all around you and you have to raise your voice ever so slightly just to have a conversation.
We were originally given room 1 which is nearest to the restaurant and the lowest on the hill as they are built on a steep incline around a headland. From the room we could here booming music from the nearby Jolly Beach Resort from 9.30 to 11.30 almost every night. Its ok if you don’t mind echoing heavy percussion and shouting through a PA system before you can eventually concentrate on the tranquillity of waves and jungle noises till dawn. We moved to room 19 after 3 days and really enjoyed the difference, as there was no noise from the resort.
Room 16 to 20 are the best as they are the furthest away and are more cut off.
That said it is still a unique place and I am a being ultra fussy but if you want the most un-interrupted tropical paradise experience then take my advice.
The restaurant and food are fabulous. Real 'Creole' style cuisine with a modern twist. Frankie the chef is top class but also makes you feel like you have eaten a home cooked meal.
The wonderful and friendly local staff help to complement this feeling and with the views and general ambience the combination gives you a great feeling of being in a un commercialised resort.
Cocos main beach is small and fairly shaded although the adjoining Jolly beach is beautiful. There is a great private beach around the headland if you want total seclusion but the only problem with that being Acarie or Peter (Antigua's national football star striker) wont be able to bring you your drinks while you laze away the day.
Overall probably our best holiday, the views and the food at Cocos are truly magnificent and the whole experience will leave you wanting to return. My wife even got use to the outside shower eventually!
My boyfriend and I stayed at Cocos for 10 days from 28th February and we absolutely loved it. The weather was fantastic, sun for the whole ten days and extremly hot. From the second that we arrived at Cocos everyone made a huge effort we were sat down in the bar (which has veiws over the sea like you have never seen) and given a rum punch while we were told all about the hotel and general things about the island.
Our bags were carried up the hill (which is steep but the only form of exercise you have to work off all the fantastic food!) to our beautiful little hut! A lot of people have described the rooms as basic which I think is a little unfair, the beds are huge and comfortable, our balcony was really big with two chairs and a hammock and we even had a fridge that was stocked daily with beer and soft drinks. We stayed in a superior room (number 16)and although I didn't see any of the other rooms I would certainly recommend this one. We had an amazing veiw over little Fyres beach towards Cocobay and on clear days we could see Monserrat. The outdoor shower was great, there is nothing better than having a shower looking out over perfect turquoise water in the morning and under an inky black starry sky at night!
Most days we just lazed on the beautiful white beach where cushioned sunloungers are provided and beach service is provided (this is sporadic but they are building a beach bar so soon you should be able to get a drink any time you chose!). Breakfast was served until 9:00 and consists of a buffet of fruits, pastries, cereal etc followed by either the daily special (eggs florentine, french toast etc) or a cooked breakfast. Lunch was served between 12 and 2 and although the lunch menu stayed the same there was plenty to chose from. The catch of the day is always fantastic! The dinner menu changed every evening allowing selection from three strters and three main courses. The food was delicious, absolutely faultless.
The staff are really friendly and helpful. We organsed Eli's ecotour through them and they sorted that out while we sunbathed (this trip was brilliant I would definitely recommend it, so well organised and we got to see a humpback whale which was so exciting!) When we wanted to go to the other side of the Island to Harmony Hall for lunch (also cannot recommend this enough, gorgeous italian food in a stunning setting and a complimentary boat ride across to the uninhabited Green Island) one member of staff (chysalee) suggested that we get the bus and took lots of time explaining where to change etc. The bus was a real experience but definitely worth it! We also did a bit of diving with the Jolly Dive Company which is just by the Jolly Beach Resort along the beach.
Ignore the bad reveiws on this site, I really can't think how Cocos could be improved, I was credible sad to leave. This place is real paradise.
Honeymoon November 2004
We spent our honeymoon at Cocos in November 2004. When we arrived it was dark and raining so weren't sure what to expect at the end of the dirt track! However don't let the first impression put you off, once you get to the bar and restaurant it is totally different. Whilst we were there, there seemed to be alot of maintenance and painting being done which was good. We had Room 20 which must have been a fairly new room and was right at the top of the hill, a fair old climb but had lovely views over Cocobay and Montserrat.
The room was lovely, the outdoor shower took some getting used to and the water pressure was a bit low although I think this was due to the fact we were so high up.
The food was absolutely brilliant. I spent all day planning what to have for lunch and dinner. It could not be faulted. The only downside was coming back to the normal fare that I provide at home! The service was great especially the drinks service on the beach. The cats were lovely - hope they are all still there!
I had read some reviews about the bugs and was really nervous about that but we had no problems with the mossies, only suffering a few bites and that was because after the first day I used no repellent on myself so it's my own fault. However we were unlucky with spiders. We had two big ones in our room, one was in my dress!! and we spent ages trying to deal with them - both me and my husband are rubbish with insects! One evening on the way down to dinner we also saw a tarantula which surprisingly didn't phase me as it wasn't as bad as the 3" cricket that was jumping around our room for three quarters of an hour whilst we shut ourselves in the bathroom!!!
We met some lovely people and had a brilliant time. We were so glad we didn't stay somewhere like the Jolly Harbour resort which looked/sounded awful compared to Cocos.
The best trip we did was the helicopter trip over Montserrat. It was brilliant. We didn't get around to doing Shirley Heights as I didn't want to miss out on dinner!
Would definitely go back there again if we had the chance although may have to wait until we retire now.
Thanks to everyone who gave me their advice when I was pestering them about the Hotel.
Luxury the simple way.
This review is based on a visit in March 2004. An updated review will be posted in February 2005.
We flew from Gatwick with Virgin, staying overnight at the airport and taking advantage of the Twilight Check-in. This cut out the cattle market check-in in the morning and made the whole trip more civilised. You can't beat walking straight past the check-in queue.
After a flight of about seven hours, there was the usual wait at Immigration, not what you want after a long flight, but unavoidable so just grin and bear it. Once through it's a short step to baggage reclaim, and outside to a taxi.
The taxi ride takes about around twenty minutes, skirting the capital St Johns for a glimpse of island life. On arrival at Cocos we were warmly greeted by the manager and the staff. While we drank our first cocktails and discussed the cricket our bags were taken to our room.
It was soon apparent that the whole resort had been gently updated since our last trip in 2002. There are a lot of new chairs in the open air restaurant, more sun beds with cushions on the beach and around the pool. Everything had a fresh and clean feel to it. We also discovered that three new rooms have just been completed, bringing the total to seventeen.
As before, having asked in advance, we were put in Room 11. Each room has an individual character but we like the feel of room 11 because it is up on the hill, set back among the trees and overlooks the beach. All rooms have a veranda with two wooden recliner chairs and a hammock, which we noticed was brand new. There is a 'wet room' style shower room with al fresco facilities for the daring.
We were eager to compare the quality of food at dinner with that of previous visits and were pleased to find that it was faultless, with a good choice of courses on the all-inclusive package, all freshly prepared and not a buffet in sight! Typical main courses were fish (grouper, snapper and wonderful tuna), duck and steak, with spicy sauces reflecting the Caribbean location, jerk, Creole, Cajun and curry.
Being four hours adrift because of the time zone difference, after another cocktail or two (you can ask for anything you like involving local spirits and there is a nightly "special") we retired early, not to tree frogs, which were noticeably quiet this year, but the sound of waves breaking. I would call the rooms simple rather than basic, with a huge bed under a mosquito net and a ceiling fan which keeps the room from getting too warm and is a lot quieter than many air conditioning units. There is a refrigerator, coffee maker and a wall safe for your valuables.
We were up early and ready for breakfast at 7:30, a choice of fruit, cereal and pastries, followed by a cooked breakfast made to order. Then it was down to the pool and beach to soak up some rays. The pool is not huge, but very pretty and you usually get it to yourself. A few paces through the palm trees there is the sea, warm but as always, cloudy, like turquoise milk, great for swimming but hopeless for snorkelling. The jet ski operation still gets going at about 11 o'clock. They launch from the Cocos end of the beach and can be quite a disturbance, but they soon move off to hunt for custom further along Jolly Beach, which is huge and never crowded.
We had already booked Eli's Eco-Tour on line (you get a 10% discount this way) even though we had done it before. It's like a day out with the family, even though his new boat takes up to twenty five people. We also took advantage of the current excellent exchange rate to get a good price on the helicopter tour of Monserrat, beautiful on a clear blue day, but sobering when you remember the devastation and death brought to so many families.
The weather was great throughout our stay, with rain restricted to a couple of ten minute showers. Sunbathing was good until about four or five o'clock, when we found it best to shower and change into long sleeved shirts and trousers, applying insect repellent. As a result, we stayed bite free, although there didn't seem to be the same number of mosquitoes in March that we'd seen in December. At six thirty, it was on to the veranda for the light show as the sun went down, turning the clouds a deep red. Then to complete the daily cycle, it was back to the bar for cocktails under a starry sky before dinner.
Cocos main attraction to us is its size. We quickly reacquainted ourselves with the staff and made good friends among the guests. The atmosphere is more like a house party than a hotel. After ten days of pampering, our time was up and reluctantly we headed back to the airport.
Steve & Avril CH
We just spent 2 weeks at cocoa Antigua from 15/1/05 to 29/1/05. This place is absolute paradise. Do not come here if you are looking for 5 star luxury. Do come here if you want rustic but comfortablerooms, fantastic food, mind blowing views, wonderful staff and beautiful quiet beaches. we can honestly say it is the most relaxing holiday we have ever had. Our only concern is the rest of the world might find it. Well be back.
Old, Worn, Dirty
We stayed for over a week in Feb 2005. Here's a preview of what you can expect: TOWELS: old, torn, holes, stained. They are clean, but every damn one (for a week!) had holes and stains. SHOWER: our friends had an indoor shower that got the whole tiled floor wet, despite efforts, and were always practically sliding to their deaths. As for us, we had the most expensive "premium" room - and it didn't even HAVE an indoor shower. We had to shower on the deck overlooking the water - and another hotel, and the jetskiers, and the snorkel boats, the helicopter tours, etc. No place to put toiletries or hang a towel! STAFF: day manager Christy Lee and bartender Acory are the only people "with it". Make no mistake, everyone is sweet and nice, but most of the staff is v.young and they are hanging out having a good time as teenagers usually do. Doesn't matter if you nn to make taxi reservations or call a restaurant, they are with their buddies and they'll get to you later. DINING: bkfst supposed to be served starting 7:30. Most mornings we went down at 7:50 or 8 and tables not set, coffee not ready, staff just starting to filter in. Eggs were always cooked NOT to order, menu items were "out", had to ask for things 3 times. Lunch was pretty innocuous - salads and sandwiches that were fine. Dinner saw sighs and rolled eyes when we wanted to dine with our other couple we booked with (?!) and then appetizers came at all different times, mains came at all differeing times, so that there was always 1 or 2 people not eating, while the others did. I'm not talking 2-3 minute delays. I'm talking 15-whole-minutes delays. DRINKS: good. always available, always heavy on the pour. COTTAGES: worn. most in need of new paint, even #19 - the premium "new" on where we stayed, needed some paint. Each cottage has 2 chairs on the deck, some with cushions, some without, some with old platic cushions. Most hammocks we saw were old and stained. Our first room (#14) had a neon purple light as the sole bathroom fixture (?!) and the grout was crumbling as you watched it. But at least it had windows and shutters you could open. Our upgraded room #19 (because all you hear in #14 is the music blaring up the beach from Jolly Harbor from 12-4 (lunch steel drums) and then after dinner disco til 11 pm) didn't have shutters or windows you could close. However, the fan, ocean breeze, repellent smoke coils and OFF from the grocery store kept most bugs away. First mosquito net was filled with holes (Hello!) but second one was fine. Did see very large spider IN the mosq. net which led to much fright, as you can imagine. CLEANING: every day the maids come and change the sheets (also stained, but clean - could they buy some bleach?) and swab the floors. But the toilets are worn and the sink fixtures were never really cleaned - always dirty. This place could have been so great - it failed on so many levels. The website is not truthful, it is misleading. Take a look at CocoBay resort - prices are about the same and it is MUCH nicer! We were looking to re-create out fantastic TiKaye experience in St. Lucia and thought coco's was it (we don't like large, concrete places with people shouting at you to play water polo). we were Wrong. If you are an American who likes to stay in boutique hotels with some character (like me) then keep looking. this place is a dump. WORTHY OF NOTING:
I don't mean to be nationalistic, but the people who really love this resort are British. Seriously - read the reviews, and where they are posted from. I have lots of British friends and leven lived in London a bit & loved it. But I think that Americans on holiday have different standards.
Antigua for the World Cup of Cricket
"Came for the Cricket and discovered Paradise"
Australia played its Super 8 World Cup Cricket 2007 games at the newly-opened Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. We were openly welcomed to the island by locals and officials. Rented a car from the airport, however lack of signage made navigating around the island a little challenging. Superb view from Shirley Heights although the crowds on the Sunday night meant no seats and some jostling for the best pics. Repertoire of the Steel Band is interesting - their version of the Halleluia Chorus was unexpected!
"Cocos Hotel - a little piece of Heaven"
We spent six nights at Cocos Hotel, in Premium view Cottage with 270 degree ocean views. What a delightful place to stay - friendly staff, delicious all-inclusive meals (no buffets - all individual choices from a menu) and drinks included - even the pre-dinner cocktail daily special. Cocos is small and intimate - a walk to our giant, noisy, crowded and impersonal neighbour Jolly Beach Resort convinced us that we had made the best joice. The Beach Bar staff were attentive and keen to discuss cricket . We loved the friendly hospitality and the gentle ambience of Cocos so much that we were reluctant to leave our patch of Paradise to go to the Cricket matches.
Disappointingly, the ticket prices for the World Cup of cricket were excessively expensive, putting them beyond the reach of many locals. Our week in Antigua enabled us to explore most of the island and avoid the throngs of tourists who invaded St Johns from the cruise ships. Antiguans were always ready for a chat about the cricket and clearly proud of their country in hosting World Cup games. Over -zealous administration of cricket crowds (which did not eventuate) meant parking some 4 kms from the ground, then a $15 each way compulsory taxi ride to and from the Oval - where the parking spaces were empty.