Monday, October 21, 2019

Review: Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa



Earlier this month, my family and I ventured off to the Caribbean.
We stayed at Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in St. Lucia.
This was my first experience in the Caribbean and at an all inclusive resort.

Despite the inexperience, I opted with this resort due to it's family friendly atmosphere.
St. Lucia is a honeymoon destination with limited family friendly facilities!
We also researched countless testimonies from previous guests and stalked the resort's social media.
After all the research we decided that Coconut Bay would best meet our needs.

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Review of Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa

1.  Free airport shuttle service to and from the UVF airport.

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While I don't have a picture of the shuttle, here we are at the airport in NY.  Close enough?
Keeping a one year old entertained for a 5 hour trip was difficult enough.
It was comforting to know that we had a shuttle waiting to transport us upon arrival.
The best part was, the resort took care of booking the shuttle based on your flight.
It really was a hassle free and convenient service that was much appreciated.

2.  They welcome you with a fruity cocktail and pleasant surprises.

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After exiting the plane into a suffocating, humid heat, the iced cocktail was welcomed.
You were also welcomed with smiling faces and honest inquiries of your travel experience.
The housekeeping staff left us sweet notes and a variety of fresh, tropical flowers daily.

3.  This is truly an all inclusive resort.

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The concept of an all inclusive resort is something that I struggled with.
The entire trip I was waiting for some sort of catch or hidden fee tucked away somewhere.
I am pleased to say that there was absolutely no surprises.  We were notified of everything "extra".
Note:  Offsite excursions, the photographer, and the paintball facility weren't included.
All food, drinks (+alcoholic), tips, taxes, airport shuttle, and even laundry machines were included.
With the exception of the photographer, we didn't have to open our wallets once. 

4.  Every room has a tropical view.

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From our room on the 2nd floor we had a lovely view of the pool, lazy river, and the ocean.
While my personal experience is pictured, the website notes that each room has a tropical view.

5.  The pools are beautiful, family friendly, and meticulous.

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The resort has five pools, but we remained at Splash pool (pictured) most of the trip.
The pool was kept meticulously clean and was geared towards children and adults.
Coming from a woman that's not a fan of pools, swimming, or the water... this is a big compliment.
It resembled a beach with gradual sloping into a deeper (but not too deep) end.
Splash pool had two waterfalls, underwater stools and tables, and a sprinkler fountain.
Every pool was lined with comfortable lounge chairs and big umbrellas for shade.
While there was no lifeguard, the pool was fully staffed with attentive and friendly attendants.

6.  There is a restaurant in a tree house.

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The Jerk Tree House was a fun restaurant located right outside of Splash pool.
It served local foods buffet style and was literally in a tree.
The little kid in me thought this was so freaking cool!
The tables and chairs were made from tree stumps.
Even the utensils were in theme by being made of wood.
The food was delicious, the location was convenient, and the view was spectacular!

7.  There is a lazy river and water slides a quick walk away from Splash pool.

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The lazy river was lots of fun and great for the little kids, babies, or tired adults.
It took about 15 minutes to float through and had a waterfall mid way to wake you up.
There were multiple water slides, some more intense than others but all were fun!

8.  There are multiple dining choices included in your package.

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There are a total of nine different restaurants to dine at during your stay.
Of the nine, six are sit down meals in a pleasant atmosphere with a dress code.
Note - Two of the six come at an additional charge, but it is disclosed from the start.
There is the main eating area that serves a variety of food in buffet style for all three meals.
Flip Flops is a very casual spot located near the pool for a quick bite for lunch, dinner, or snack.
The ninth dining choice is the Jerk Tree House which was already mentioned above.
We only ate at two of the six sit down dining options since reservations were limited.
We dined at Seaside and Silk (pictured) and both were absolutely lovely with delicious food!

9.  There is a very talented photographer onsite.

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Normally I wouldn't splurge on a photographer since I take lots of pictures myself on vacation.
Considering it was 11 years since my MIL has seen her son, I opted to do the photo shoot.
I'm so glad that we did because the photographer did a great job of capturing the special moments.
The photographer was talented, patient, down to earth, and generous!
We definitely weren't in NY.  He viewed the "packages" as guidelines and didn't look at the clock once!
We left with 24 priceless shots and my MIL left with 6 prints that are sure to bring smiles for life.
Coconut Bay also does weddings.  I would be more than pleased with this photographer for mine!

10.  There is daily entertainment for morning, noon, and night.

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Upon arrival you are given a weekly schedule that lists all of the resort's activities and events.
While we didn't participate in all of them, we did indulge in quite a few.
Our favorites were the Caribbean Night party, Country Hoedown (pictured), and Foam Party!
 We also played bingo and had fun dancing while being serenaded throughout the week.
We watched fruit cutting and Caribbean cooking demonstrations.
We almost participated in their Chocolate Obsession night, but fell asleep.
As you can tell, I'm still a little burned about the chocolate night..
There was definitely something to do for everyone!

11.  They serve the most delicious drink ever called Bob Marley.

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I'm not sure what's in it, but it's dangerously delicious.
It's also frozen and very refreshing in the heat of St. Lucia.

12.  There is a swim up bar in Splash pool.

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You had to tread through the sloping waters and make it through the waterfall to find the swim up bar.
It was cool, convenient, and lots of fun.
In addition to lots of adult beverages, the kiddies had a drink menu of their own.
One Bob Marley, one Jack and coke, and one Fairy Godmother, please!!



There is one thing that I didn't list but definitely deserves mentioning.
The entire staff at Coconut Bay is beyond attentive, accommodating, and caring.
They make you feel like you're part of the family and really being catered to.
This means a lot, especially since tips are included in your package and are not expected by staff.
Although we did cheat a little and tip a few star staff members on the last day.

Other Pros-
*Direct beach access down a few stairs from the pool.
*Hammocks, shaded tables, gazebos, and other amenities for comfort.
*There is a bar, lounge chairs, and other comforts along the mile long beach of Coconut Bay.
*There is a shack for water sports on the beach.  (Mostly included in your stay.)
*Gluten free and vegetarian food options automatically displayed.
*Vendors come onsite twice a week to sell Lucian souvenirs.
 *Excursions to be booked directly through the resort.
*The beach was vacuumed (literally) daily.

Cons-
*Limited dining reservations for sit down dinners.
*Unexpected dress codes for sit down dinners.
*The majority of the resort lacked air conditioning.  (Rooms had AC.)

I apologize for this uncommonly long post, but we really did have a fabulous time at St. Lucia!
Not going to lie, I totally cringed at my list of twelve!!
I would highly recommend this resort to anyone.

Have you or will you ever been to St. Lucia?

**Disclosure - This review is completely unbiased.  Coconut Bay had nothing to do with the review and I was not compensated in any means.  I am just a satisfied customer wanting to share.**

20 comments:

  1. Sure sounds like you picked a winner indeed. Especially if you can say the pool isn't bad. Sound like they sure keep things clean too. Eating in a tree house would be neat. Good when there are no hidden charges too. As for AC goes, well you kinda can't get that when outdoors lol

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    1. The resort was very nice and really was a great experience. Now talk to me about the trip and it will be a whole different story. I don't understand the appeal of spending close to $10K to sit in a pool or on a beach!! Then again, I've never been a fan of the heat and beaches and pools so maybe I'm a bad person to ask. :)

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    2. Yep, never ever got the appeal of spending 10K or and K to sit on a beach or at a pool. If I want that, which I don't, can do that for $10 on gas lol if that.

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    3. At least we agree on something lol!

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  2. OMG I would not survive without AC! Is hear more pleasant there than on the continent? How was MIL, given you've never met her before? Good thing there were no storms while you were there!

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    1. The heat was HORRIBLE. I'm from Long Island, so while it gets hot and a little humid in the Summer, it was not even a quarter as bad as St. Lucia. It was HOT! I travel to Florida often and I have to say it was even worse than Florida. I told my MIL that next time we should do somewhere more north. Too bad she isn't able to visit many other countries, although she is able to visit Serbia or Montenegro. Maybe in 10 years that will be the next spot. :)

      The MIL was a sweet lady, but she really focused on her son for the week. The kiddies and I pretty much did our own thing for the week. I also have to familiarize myself with her culture a little more because some things that I would find rude or just plain wrong are totally OK with her. There was a definitely a culture shock on both ends.

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    2. Why isn't she able to visit other countries, she's from sweet brave Cuba? We do ever so love Cuba here :)

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    3. They don’t give out visiting visas for the Cubans. We’ve tried everything! There are very few places she can go without a visa and even less with the means of transportation to get there. Her flight from Cuba to St. Lucia included an 18 hr lay over in Trinidad both ways just because! Maybe we will be coming to meet u in Serbia one day. As much as I loved the resort, St. Lucia wasn’t made for me. Lol

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    4. You can't visit Cuba? I thought Americans could travel over there. Ooh, oh, maybe the hubby cannot... I get it. We used to need visas for everywhere too, especially before NATO bombing, but now we can travel mostly everywhere and even have special benefits in some of the countries from the old Non Aligned Movement which my old Yugoslavia led on the world level. The old Yugoslav passport was one of the most wanted ones in the world, and then we went from that to not being able to leave the country during the civil wars. Hope MIL is OK on her island. Our people often go to Cuba as they have treatments for all the deadly diseases your people die from in USA as your big pharma acts like there are no cures for them :( Cubans cure them like a flu. Cancer mostly.

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    5. I had no idea. This is all very interesting to me. I have heard this about their medicine from many people, but his family haven’t had great experiences. My hubby’s cousin just passed away at age 16 due to a tumor in her lung. His old girlfriend got diagnosed with a stomach tumor and his mother’s description was “cancer in Cuba is a death sentence”. Maybe the treatments are for special paying customers!

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  3. That sounds absolutely wonderful. I'd love to go on a beachy vacation

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  4. We loved our shuttle at the Ramada in Atlanta.

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  5. Sure, rub it in! Whoa that's a place anyone should've have been to at least once in their lifetime. Love that lazy river, that drink.... yes, please! And the entire trip you were waiting for some sort of catch or hidden fee... Poor you!

    Excellent post, Jax. Good to hear you had lots of fun.

    Blue

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Blue! The drink was definitely the highlight. I’ll take two Bob Marleys please, one for both of us. :)

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  6. It's nice to hear all of the pros and cons of a resort. I am sure it wasn't cheap, so this review will definitely help someone make the decision to book here. I have never done an all-inclusive trip as I tend to stray away from the touristy vacations and try to live like a local would when we visit other countries. However, we are probably going to do the Bahamas on our vacation this summer, so one of these all-inclusive resorts will probably be where we stay.

    I am glad you your mil was able to spend some quality time with her son and meet the grandbabies. I'm sure it's a trip you'll all remember for a lifetime. Especially with the wonderful photos you sprang for too!

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    Replies
    1. I’m with you staying away from the touristy destinations. The Caribbean wasn’t my ideal vacation spot, but we were limited. Even with low expectations, the resort really did make up for it. Their service was amazing!

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