I should preface by saying that my wife and I have stayed at numerous all inclusive resorts in Jamaica (2), Mexico(4), St. Lucia(1) and we've been to Hawaii a 4 times albeit not all-inclusive but we know what a hotel and all-inclusive resort in a tropical setting can be like. This is my 2nd negative overall experience all inclusive (the other was in Mexico and it was about 2k cheaper than this place). For the amount of money you will pay to fly to St. Thomas and stay at Sugar bay you will be better off going someplace else for either less money or going somewhere much better for the money you will pay to go here (i.e. Hawaii for 14days Ohau/Maui was cheaper than St.Thomas for 7 days albiet crappy food/drink not included in Hawaii). Dreams Tulum, Sandals Grande St. Lucian, Couples Tower Island Jamaica are a few of the really nice ones.
We read the reviews on this Sugar Bay property before going but since we were attending someone else's wedding we did not get a choice or we wouldn't have gone...this site is usually pretty acurate when you read enough posts to weed out the whiners and weirdos.
The Good: Hotel is on a nice piece of property and walking around the hotel propertly, landscaping, views of water and such is nice. Room was old, beat up but no bed bugs or major issues with our room and the view of the bay from the room was nice. There are a few good people working here that deserve better from the owners/managers as you can tell they are not treated/paid good. We tip a lot and you could tell it makes a difference to them by their reactions. I know they are not paid or treated well as relayed to us by locals that interact with the resort/provide services for Sugar Bay. Apparently the owners are "scum bags" who treat everyone like "slaves" but we couldn't figure out if they were from the middle east as some said spain but they are not Americans. Would be interesting to know where they are from so we can stereotype everyone from that country and avoid any resorts owned by them going forward...just kidding...kind of.
The Bad: They skimp on just about everything possible that you may consider "all inclusive" and obviously do as little upkeep as possible. You may or may not notice this when you walk into the lobby and notice the skuffed up walls and missing reccessed lighting or lack of internet access (you can pay for it though).
The Ugly: You will certainly notice this when you eat the food which includes canned fruit (mandarine oranges, canned peaches/pears fruit cocktail anyone?) for breakfast or when you try to order something from the upstairs cafe for lunch and the first 3 items are "all out" and you are left with a greesy slice of pizza that's college kid edible but far from good. You will notice this when they are out of steak at the restuaraunt and every fish entree was disgusting. I look forward to fresh fish when I travel to tropical locations being from the midwest and have always enjoyed fresh caught fish prepared by someone who knows what they are doing but after the grouper and snapper proved disgusting we stuck to the Steak until of course they ran out of that. Good thing the chicken was edible. They will be out of the deserts you want as well which sucks because you will likely still be hungry by that time. The menus choices were small and the exact same every night, between the poor service and repetitive options someone in our party commented that it was like a cross between the twilight zone and Ground Hogs Day. We had to leave the table (at the resturaunt you get reservations for) to get our own drinks at the bar next door as the waiter barely came by enough to get a water refill.
We didn't believe the posts about theft before we came, figured that was disgruntled people lashing out but someone in our party did have their iphone stolen off the dinner table while we were in the casino bar and we personally came back to our room in time to catch the housekeeper making off with all of our souvenir cups from Duffy's Love Shack (highly recommend that place) in a pillow case getting ready to load them onto her cleaning cart!! She put them back after telling us that they should soak in hot water and that she was going to give them to a school. Nice! Then she sang "praise Jesus" as she finished cleaning our room. Can't make this stuff up. Whether the iphone was "cleaned up" accidently and thrown away or picked up by another guest or really was stolen by staff is debatable, what's not is that it went missing after they decided to clear our table while we were still in the casino/bar area next to buffet style restaraunt and all of our stuff remained at the table along with the wedding cake, purses etc...but hey they had to get ready for breakfast so it had to be done.
I went to the spa for a massage and while the massage wasn't bad, the facilites were not well kept, such as the tiny jacuzzi with crap floating in it. Not really relaxing and not a place you want to hang out after your treatment.
It's hard to mess up drinks but the drinks were not very good, no real fruit put on the glassess like you would find at other places but then again they didn't offer any fresh fruit on the property so this is no suprise. The pool bar was only open for 2 of the 7 days we were there....TWO DAYS!!!! You pay $3 extra for premium drinks so unless you want "rosita" tequila you were paying extra for Don Julio or another drinkable shot. Beer choices were fine but there is no room service so no late night munchies/drinks and there is no entertainment at all (something other resorts seem to do well) and the room service that was ordered for breakfast was so small that we just laughed about how there was more white space in the styrofoam container than eggs or soggy bacon (and you had to pay for that for some odd reason). They seem to keep as little staff on hand as possible which is why I guess the pool bar wouldn't open everyday and service is inconsitent from day to day.
They do not stock your in room fridge with beer but you can spend an afternoon taking two beers at a time back to your room if you want to stock it yourself . We've stayed at Couples, Sandals, Dreams resorts and they just absolutely blow this place out of the water as far as service and food and hotel upkeep and they are cheaper. I've left all of those places feeling like I just lived like a king, this place leaves you feeling like a peasant who just dropped 3k in the toilet. You probably don't need to stay all inclusive in St. Thomas anyway, get a condo, rent a car and enjoy the plentiful restaurants around the island and the other beaches as this resort beach is super small (and rocky except for a 10 foot wide area at the very end).
For those thinking of getting married here I couldn't imagine getting married on the beach there which is how I think they get a lot of their business with the water being so pretty because the ceremoney is crowded next to everyone else...the other bride we saw had to stand right in front of us as part of her "walk down the aisle" as we lounged at the pool chairs having drinks and rubbingt on suntan lotion...not romantic at all. The other option was up on a terrace which was secluded but don't ask any guests to come with you, they will be pissed that you picked this place.
We had fun despite this but mostly because it wasn't a suprise (thanks trip advisor) and we spent ample time off the resort after the wedding was done with. We read comments just like this before we left, the others in our party were not as prepared so it was especially disapointing for some of them.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.