While there are many luxury resorts in Antigua that boast all of the bells and whistles that you could wish for, sometimes it’s easier (and not to mention cheaper) to stay in a self-catering accommodation – that’s where Tranquility Bay comes in.
Located on the southwest side of Antigua near the famous Jolly Harbour Marina and Jolly Harbour Beach, Tranquility Bay is perfectly situated for those looking for laid-back accommodation located only a stone’s throw away from the white sand beaches and turquoise waters.
The gorgeous Jolly Harbour Marina, which boasts a bevy of fabulous restaurants and striking sunset views overlooking the boats bobbing on the marina, is only a short walk away, making it the perfect choice for those who don’t want to go far for entertainment.
Antigua’s only all-suite hotel, Tranquility Bay offers 64 spacious accommodations with large bedrooms, separate living rooms, a kitchenette and an expansive balcony, which makes it’s the perfect option for families or for couples who want more space than you’d get in a typical hotel. All of the rooms also have large closets, which is great for guests staying for longer periods of time, who don’t want to live out of a suitcase during their holiday. For those travelling with small children, guests can also hire cribs, playpens and high chairs.
For those who really want to treat themselves on their holiday, there is the option to book a deluxe two-bedroom suite, which has a large, wrap-around balcony with a Jacuzzi. While we didn’t see these suites, they definitely sound like the way to go!
While Tranquilty Bay doesn’t have its own private swimming pool or gym, guests are given a wristband at reception upon check in, which allows them to use the facilities at the neighboringJolly Beach Resort. Here guests will find two large pools, one of which even features a swim up poolside bar, which is a bit of a novelty. Sadly, we didn’t have time to indulge in this, but it looked like great fun!
During our stay, we observed many of our fellow guests zipping around the resort in golf carts, which we discovered can be hired from reception for $28 USD per day (or $145 USD for one week). If you don't wish to hire a golf cart, you can also take advantage of the golf cart courtesy shuttle (available daily from 9 am to 9 pm) to take guests to the Epicurean Supermarket and Jolly Harbour shops and dining venues.
Our suite at Tranquility Bay
Our suite, 203, was larger than most London flats! We had two large bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, kitchenette, utility room and a massive balcony, which overlooked the stunning harbour. The balcony was so large, we could have easily accommodated 20 of our closest friends – not that we had anyone to share it with!
Overall, this a great ‘no frills’ property for a young family or two couples seeking a casual accommodation within easy reach of all of Jolly Harbour Marina and Jolly Harbour Beach.
Prices from $208 USD per night (for a one bedroom suite).
Our arrival at Cocos Hotel
When I first arrived at Cocos Hotel, I was so overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the property and its jaw-dropping location, I nearly wept. Cocos Hotel is the stuff that honeymoons and envy-inducing Instagram pics are made of.
As we strolled through the grounds, we had all we could do to control our giddiness, trying to convince everyone that we always stayed at places this amazing (we don’t), so as not to look uncool in front of fellow guests. Settling in with a piña colada in one hand and an Antigua guide book in the other, I was in pure Heaven.
Cocos Hotel is comprised of 30 cottages perched on the hillside, providing startling views of the ridiculously turquoise waters below, set off by the striking sugar-fine white sand. It’s hard not to fall in love with this property and to fall in love all over again with your partner for taking you to such an amazing destination!
The cottages at Cocos Hotel
The cottages have rustic chic decor, think dark wood floors and 4-poster beds bedecked with mosquito netting. The decor is very similar to that of its sister hotel, Keyonna Beach, for those who may be familiar with the property. All cottages have an outdoor shower, private deck and striking views of the Caribbean. There are also cottages with a private plunge pool for those who wish to truly indulge.
The rooms at Cocos Hotel
Our room (number 26) boasted an amazing view of Jolly Harbour Beach, which could be viewed from our outdoor shower (see above) or our large private deck (complete with a hammock and chairs). It was amazing showering each day looking out to the sea as we scrubbed in the sun! I would have stayed in the shower all day if it didn't mean missing out on precious beach time!
The pool at Cocos Hotel
Cocos Hotel has a small, palm tree fringed pool set in beautifully manicured grounds. Next to the pool, guests can make use of the beachside bar, which serves complimentary cocktails, chilled drinks and small snacks (fruit and biscuits).
Jolly Harbour Beach
The beaches near Cocos Hotel
Straddled between the impossibly beautiful Jolly Harbour Beach and Valley Church Beach, Cocos Hotel is perfectly situated for sun worshipping, water sports and any other beach activity you desire.
Jolly Harbour Beach (the larger of the two beaches), boasts an expanse of bright white sand. The busier of the two beaches, here you’ll find a variety of beach-side restaurants and resorts as well as vendors selling tourist souvenirs (think sarongs and tee shirts). Cocos Hotel provides its guests with complimentary (and comfortable) beach loungers that are perfect for relaxing on as you top up your tan.
Valley Church Beach, the smaller of the two, is a crescent shaped beach, which is quieter than Jolly Harbour Beach. Here you’ll find two beach bars, including the well know The Nest, should you want a cool, refreshing tropical cocktail to sip while you relax in the sun.
Valley Church Beach
Dining at Cocos Hotel
Cocos Hotel operates on an all-inclusive basis, but instead of a buffet menu, they offer an la carte menu with table service. The restaurant provides a contemporary mix of international cuisine, sourcing locally grown vegetables from nearby farmers and freshly caught fish from local fishermen.
All meals are served in the gorgeous, informal multi-tiered open restaurant, which is set on a cliff, affording guests with amazing views. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, guests have several items to choose from, which means there is typically something for everyone to enjoy, however, if you’re a fussy eater or if you suffer from allergies, inform the staff at the time of booking.
The restaurant at Cocos Hotel
Meal options at Cocos Hotel
Breakfast is varied and includes everything from Jack Johnson’s favourite banana pancakes to a traditional English breakfast or scrambled eggs with salmon. You can also order a side of plantain, should you be feeling especially Caribbean!
For lunch you can order everything from sandwiches to fish or salads, depending on what’s on offer for the daily specials. I enjoyed the grilled tuna and the triple decker club, both of which were fab.
During our stay we experienced the BBQ Night, which featured Jerk Chicken, ribs and fish, corn on the cob (which had a lovely honey flavour), Greek salad, and black bean soup (which was a bit salty and not my favourite item, but at least I tried something new).
Beer, Wine & Spirits : The bar offers complimentary red and white wine as well as a wide range of international and Caribbean spirits and beers and daily cocktail specials.There is a also a selection of vintage wines and champagne available at an additional charge.
Entertainment : The hotel offers live music twice per week at dinner time. During our stay they had a man playing the steel drums, which made our time there all the more memorable.
Overall, we had an amazing time indulging in lazy days with nothing on our agenda but sun, sea and sand. So, if you're looking for ridiculously beautiful views and exceptionally friendly service during your next escape to Antigua, Cocos Hotel can't be beat.
Prices start from $519 per night. All prices are based on double occupancy and include all meals and alcoholic beverages per night. For further details on the property or for a breakdown of what's included in the all-inclusive package, visit www.cocoshotel.com.
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Top tips for your visit at Cocos Hotel, Antigua
A summary of our experience at Cocos Hotel, Antigua
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