Monday, February 13, 2012

Back Trackin' - Cocos Hotel, Antigua

For those of you in the middle of winter, this is for you. Daydream, if you will...

While I've written about the hotel where we stayed in Antigua this past August, Sugar Ridge, I haven't written about the one we stayed in back in 2008 for Husband J's first time in Antigua. Cocos Hotel is actually in the same general area as Sugar Ridge (you can see it from there actually), but it couldn't be a more different resort.

I would say that Cocos is the exact opposite of Sugar Ridge. Sugar Ridge is modern with all of the comforts you could want with opportunities to eat high end food. Cocos is a much smaller resort with rustic rooms, and its own beach, which Sugar Ridge clearly lacks. You could honestly stay there the entire time at Cocoas and never leave, which I know is very common for many people's trips to the Caribbean.

When I say that Cocos' rooms are rustic, I mean it. The rooms are sparsely decorated with a bed with netting, no TVs and just a dresser and a small refrigerator. There is NO air conditioning, which at times even I wanted (I LOVE heat. Give it to me, but even I need to cool off eventually).

The bedroom (I forgot there was a fan.)

My favorite part of the room was the outdoor shower. At first, I was worried that someone might be able to see me, but I usually think "If I can see them, then they can see me."
Since I couldn't see anyone, I figured I was safe.

Cousin C (remember him?) testing out the outdoor shower.

Cocos is beachfront and is actually right next to a larger resort complex and beach called Jolly Harbour. It's nice when the beach is right there.

Cocos' beach area + Husband J's feet

Cocos' best feature though is the views. All of the little bungalow rooms are built into rock and have beautiful views of Ffryes Bay and the Jolly Harbour area. Unfortunately, you have to work to see it all. The walk up and down to the beach and possibly to your room is not for the faint of heart or the out of shape. It's up a cement path that can have steep inclines in some parts. Also note that we got a room with a nice view (you can specify) because that was all they had left. :)

Can you see the incline in the path up from the beach?
Cousin C and Husband J ahead of me on the walk up. It's a crazy incline, and it gets worse at some parts of the path.

When you are rewarded with a view like this, then you realize that the walk up was worth it and a good way to fit in exercise.

The bedrooms open up to a large covered balcony/verandah. I had fun taking this picture from the bed.
If you look closely, you can see the sand on my feet.

As for the food and service, it was fine. I am usually worried about the food at all-inclusives, but the food at Cocos was very good and exceeded expectations. I think because it's a smaller resort, food isn't going to be mass-produced as much. The staff was very friendly.

If Acari, the bartender, is still there, then you are in luck. He arranged this ridiculously delicious lobster lunch that I wrote about here for us and another couple. He made sure that I got some of the local drinks that I like when I visit Antigua, and I appreciated that so much.

Some homemade ginger beer that Acari made for me

Some things you should know:

-Don't come here if you want a happening hotel with a hopping party scene - Cocos is about relaxation, and since it's a smaller resort there really is no bar/party happening. One time there was a steel drum/pan (as we call it in the Caribbean) group, but that was it. The resort is pretty quiet by 9pm (at least it was when we went). If you want a party, go to the neighboring Jolly Harbor or to other spots on the island.

-Don't come here if you want to be totally sequestered away on the beach. Some hotels try to patrol their beach, but Cocos does not. You'll get folks selling their wares and services. That's just how it is.

A necklace I bought on the beach

-Don't come here if you want luxurious rooms - The rooms were clean and comfortable with breathtaking views, but just simple. Honestly, you'll be at the beach most of the time anyway. :)

-Do come here for a quiet (really quiet), relaxing, beach focused vacation. Husband J was looking at these pictures as I was writing this post, and he remembers only good things about Cocos.

Me, too.

If you've been on a beach-y vacation, what types of resorts do you prefer? Large ones with options for dining and entertainment or smaller, quieter places? Weigh in in the comments section!


Lauren said...

We've stayed at both types of resorts. When we were booking our honeymoon we went with an all inclusive with dining and entertainment, but I would say it was smaller than some of the bigger all inclusives out there (like Sandals).

When we stayed in Tobago, it was a smaller resort and was perfect for our trip.

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

I prefer the quiet ones....usually more in the town than the tourist traps.

Love that bed, and the big windows that open up to it. GORGEOUS!

Tiffany said...

Can I PLEASE live your life?! That trip sounds (and looks) amazing, as do all your travels! Jealous!

Try Anything Once Terri said...

@Lauren - I think you're right that there is a time for each type of resort.

@Hannah - I hear you about the quiet ones. I've been mostly to those and prefer them. I also tend to go on tropical beach vacations in off seasons.

@Tiffany - Aww! Thanks!! :)

Passport Stamps said...



Try Anything Once All rights reserved © 2010
I am a HowJoyful Design