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“Sugar Bay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sugar Bay Resort & Spa

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Sugar Bay Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   6500 Estate Smith Bay, 00802, St. Thomas   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in East End
Strongsville, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Sugar Bay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Sugar Bay while we were in town to get married so we were traveling with 18 other people for 10 days. We chose Sugar Bay because it was the least expensive all inclusive we could find. That being said, for the price we were not disappointed. If this were billed as a 5 star property and we were charged 5 star rates, I would rate them differently. However for what you pay it is well worth the money.

The food is average (except for breakfast. breakfast was awesome) at most places to slightly above average at others (turtle rock for lunch was pretty good too). Dinners most night were ho-hum but either through the hard work of some of the staff (more on that later) or through sheer luck, the dinner the night of our wedding was outstanding. In general nothing to write home about, but when you are cooking for 600 people at every meal it isn't going to be haute cuisine.

Drinks and bar service were tremendous. A few of the drinks I got seemed a bit weak but they were few and far between. Carolyn at the pool bar and Tarcia at the Manor House/Ocean Club bar were fantastic. Extremely attentive, friendly and fast. There were nights when Tarcia would have a vodka tonic ready for me before I even made it up to the bar to order one. Just awesome bar service. The bar service was a definite highlight.

We got married off resort at Smith Bay (5 minutes down the road, worth the drive) so I cannot review the wedding services. I can say that the service received from the "Local Sales Manager" Lorna R. was absolutely phenomenal. Even though we weren't getting married on the resort she bent over backwards to help us whether it was with the gift bags for guests or setting up our reception dinner on the terrace (she may have even had a hand in making dinner a little better for us that night), Lorna came through at every turn. In general the guest service staff was fantastic. Front desk personnel (Clarisse in particular) and everone at the cab stand were great. There were those on the waitstaff however that seemed like they had somewhere they would rather be and that we were a bother to them rather than a customer. I guess you can't win them all.

The facilities themselves did prove to be a little outdated. The rooms could use updating and maybe a fresh coat of paint, but honestly, we were only in our rooms to sleep. If you took one look outside you knew right away that the true draw of Sugar Bay is location and not room modernity. The pool was in great shape. The beach was a little rocky to the right, but the left side was fine. The snorkeling was even pretty good just off the resort.

In general I would rate this as a good property. If I had to go back I would stay at Sugar Bay again but maybe not the entire 10 days. I would probably split it up with a few days in St John and maybe a few days on the other side of St Thomas just to get a little variety.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (590)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

While I agree things were a bit old, but I found the pool beautiful. The staff was very friendly, even if the resturant service was very slow. The bar service, in particular Felix, was excellent beyond words. Super attentive. As far as food quality, I found it mediocre and the drinks deserve and entirely separate review. Although we were told there was rum in them, they tasted so watered down, you could not taste a drop of rum. My guess was that the booze was watered down. The included beer was Coors Light at best when they had it, but mostly Old Milwaukee and Genesee (I think was the name, but tasting, weak New Jersey Beer) instead of the delicious local brews. Frankly, I would expect to see at least one 20-something get drunk during a week at an all-inclusive, but I never did. There was not enough alcohol to get tipsy in a dozen drinks.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George Town, Grand Cayman
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

The Hotel has seen far better days, probably 20 years ago. The service received from arrival to departure was very poor, the food at times was not edible and generally disgusting. The pool area is pretty old, and on 2 days, this "beach resort" had run out of towels. There isnt really much point in going to stay here, they have very little to offer. Our room key didnt work, and it took them 45 minutes to get a maintenance guy to fix it. Dont book this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

My family and i got a good deal for a five day trip to st thomas and we were excited to come. We arrived at the sugar bay resort with disrespect and bad service. When we would have a simple request like an extra towel the people who worked at the hotel with roll their eyes, throw their hands up in the air at other employees. they yelled at my brother for having a bloody nose in the lobby and stopped letting him order alcohol although he was of age and we paid of all inclusive because he ordered two beers in ten minutes and yet they let other people get smashed in the middle of the afternoon. the hotel was not clean. the rooms were repulsive. the front desk wouldn't answer when you call and the employees were rude, to a point where it was funny. dont come to this hotel. they interrogated my younger sister (15) for her brother not being comfortable giving out their room number when the bar tender was screaming at him. we tried to leave several times but would lose several thousand dollars. do not come to this resort. oh and there is no wifi in the rooms. that is inaccurate information and false advertising.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

Generally, the place looks like it's lost its shine. The room was nice - comfortable, good bed, great view, quiet. But it was constantly short on shampoo, soap, etc. The pool was really very cool. The beach was also nice, and it was in a great location, both beach-wise and island-wise. The restaurant was bad. Crazy bad service. Lame food. Windows that were fogged over and desperately need to be replaced. Breakfast - a buffet - was good. Dinner was a nightmare. The casino is small, has very little traffic, and is really just slot machines. If you are planning to go to Coral World, this is a good location for that, because it's right across the bay and just down the street. There are lots of great restaurants on the island, so I'd highly recommend that if you stay here, you rent a car, spend your days around the island on the various gorgeous beaches, and eat elsewhere. It's a good place to sleep.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OH
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

We found the rooms to be very clean and updated. Grounds were kept immaculate. Staff was friendly and accommodating for the most part. Although we were told checkout was at noon but then were made to check out at 11am. Food was decent. Like most all inclusive it's not much to write home about but it was ok. We weren't impressed with the Italian eatery but everything else was fine. They always served you with a huge smile.
The beach is a man made beach. Very small and rocky but still pretty. The rooms with water views are very nice. The pool bar doesn't open til 11am. Later than most resorts we've stayed at before. Not a big deal for us but for some it seemed to be.
Towels seemed to be in abundance.
You are up on a hill and away from downtown. There are 99 steps to go down to get to the pool or beach. We found out the last day that they also had a shuttle to take you down. Iguanas are everywhere and will jump in your chair with you. Haha.
Taxi drivers show up immediately when the front desk calls for them. They were all friendly as well.
We did tour the Ritz which we loved. They definitely treat you like a VIP there. We also toured secret harbor and they were rude. They seemed as if we were interrupting their break time or something. Sugar Bay had them beat for sure.
All in all we would go back. ESP for the price and the all inclusive.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013 via mobile

I just read several scathing reviews of Sugar Bay, and having just visited for the ninth time, I feel compelled to write a counter review. I strongly believe that the success or failure of a vacation depends largely on the mindset of the traveler. If you are miserable, fussy, or high maintenance at home, you are going to be the same way on vacation. If you are impossible to please at home, the people who work at the resort you visit won't stand a chance of pleasing you. As I said, I have been to this resort nine times now, and I have always had a great time. Don't get me wrong. Sugar Bay is a large resort, and no large property will be perfect. There will be times when you will need to be assertive, but if you do so with respect and with manners, then the people who work at Sugar Bay will move mountains to help you. If you approach the staff with an attitude, then you are going to get back what you put out. I have come to the conclusion that many vacationers believe that "all-inclusive" means "the staff is beneath me and needs to kiss my butt because they are lucky I am here."

All of that said, I do think there is a certain crowd to which Sugar Bay has the most appeal. It is not for the Club Med crowd, the Sandals crowd, or even for the cruise crowd. If you are the type of traveler who wants to get out and see the island and really experience it, then this is a wonderful place to stay. If you prefer to stay on the resort the entire time you are vacationing, then you will find this particular resort to be limited in its offerings. When I come to Sugar Bay, I pay for the all-inclusive package because I like the ability to have a quick breakfast each day without paying out of pocket for it. I like the freedom of going to the resort's beach or pool and being able to order drinks and lunch without carrying money. I do not eat dinner on the property because my favorite part of traveling is experiencing the amazing restaurants in the area. St. Thomas has many excellent restaurants. As other reviewers have pointed out, the dining options at Sugar Bay are limited and are fewer than the web site would lead you to believe. For me, that is an incentive to get out and try the real restaurants and to see the island. St. Thomas is a fantastic place to visit, but if your plan is to stay at a resort the whole time, you're going to miss the true flavor of the island, and that would be a shame. Do yourself a favor. Rent a car, get out each day, and do not eat dinner at the hotel every night. Fewer than 10 minutes away from Sugar Bay is the town of Red Hook where there are dozens of choices for a delicious meal. ("But I paid for those dinners at the hotel! I'm getting ripped off if I don't eat them.") Big mistake. Get that idea out of your head. Trust me on this. I've done this many times. Go into this trip with the mindset of "I am buying the all-inclusive package for the convenience of breakfast, lunch, drinks, and snacks, but the real rip-off would be to go to an island and never really experience the local cuisine or talk to the residents." Do that, and you will give yourself license to cut the ties with the resort and have a real vacation. Think of the resort as a place to sleep and refuel and as place to use a great pool. It is your accommodations. It is not your vacation. I think that explains why so many people had a bad time at Sugar Bay. They wanted it to BE the vacation. I don't know about you, but my destination is St. Thomas, not the hotel. And all things considered, the accommodations were nice. Our room was cool and comfortable. It had been freshly painted and had a spectacular view. With the exception of the grumpy harridan who greeted us when we arrived and chastised us for unloading our luggage at the top of the hill at check-in, the staff was pleasant and accommodating. (They really should speak to that hostess at the front door. Luckily, this was not really our first impression of the resort, but I can see how that could turn off someone arriving for the first time.)

The hotel does its best to provide entertainment. Usually, there is a karaoke show run by Janet. She is one of the highlights of our trip. She is on hiatus until October, but the resort management hired a substitute in the meantime. I can't wait for Janet to come back though, as her show runs a lot more smoothly, and her personality really sets a warm and inviting tone for the show. It was disappointing not to see Janet, but as I said, you make your own fun on vacation. We ended up going off property to some other places like Iggie's Beach Club, and we had a great time. The hotel also puts on a Caribbean night and often has DJs in their Ocean Club room. But don't depend on the hotel staff to make your stay on the island enjoyable. You are in paradise. Go on excursions. Go sightseeing. Soak in the island life.

Here are a few tips that I learned that might help you on your trip:

1. If you don't rent a car, use the taxi system. If you catch the taxi at the hotel lobby, it will cost you more than if you hail an open-air public taxi on the road in front of the resort. (I'm talking about a savings of $8 to $14 per person. It is worth the free shuttle ride to the front of the property and a short wait for a taxi to save that much money.)
2. The hotel gift shop is lovely. I can't resist going in there every time I come to Sugar Bay. However, the alcohol they sell is drastically marked up. The grocery stores and K-Mart have it much cheaper. I recommend going to the Plaza Extra grocery store in Tutu for a huge savings. You can also get great deals at Havensight Mall near the cruise docks.
3. If you need a late night snack, the hotel bar in the casino has personal pizzas available after 10:30 when the regular kitchen closes. These are free to all-inclusive guests.
4. Right next door at Point Pleasant there is a great little open-air bar right on the water. It is called Panko right now. It used to be called Jack's and Fungi's before that. Regardless of the name, it is a very relaxing and beautiful spot that should not be missed.
5. Always greet the staff with a friendly "good morning", "good afternoon", or "good night". It is considered impersonal and rude simply to say "hi", and you'll get along much better with the locals if you respect their way of doing things. This includes greeting them in the manner to which they have grown accustomed.
6. Request a room on the second or third floor. The higher floors are in separate buildings behind the buildings containing floors 1, 2, and 3. If you stay on floors 4-7, then part of your view will be contaminated by the sight of the silver rooftop of the building containing the lower floors.
7. If you burn easily in the sun, get a base tan before you come to the tropics. The sun is much stronger here than it is in parts of the world that are farther from the equator.
8. Bring your passport. You don't need one to go to the USVI from the US mainland, but you will be close to the British Virgin Islands when you are here, and you can't go there without a passport.
9. If you are traveling from July thru November, consider purchasing travel insurance. I personally buy it no matter when I travel, but keep in mind that tropical storms or hurricanes in the summer and fall can derail your trip. If you are not insured, you could lose thousands of dollars. The insurance is typically less than $200 per person.
10. Get used to island time. Nothing gets done in a hurry on St. Thomas, but once you get used to it, that will be one of the things that you'll come to love about the island.

For those who came to Sugar Bay and had nothing but negative things to say, I can only respond that this particular resort is just not for you. I have had some of the most special times of my life on St. Thomas, and I hope you will, too. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude, and you will be glad you came.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sugar Bay Resort & Spa

Address: 6500 Estate Smith Bay, 00802, St. Thomas
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > East End
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in East End
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sugar Bay Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 294
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, you can enjoy amenities including gorgeous inter-connecting pools, an award-winning spa, and private balconies! This St. Thomas resort is located just 15 minutes from the famous Mahogany Run Golf Course. Sugar Bay Resort & Spa is located on a secluded white beach with breathtaking, panoramic ocean, bay, and mountain views. The Sugar Bay Resort & Spa is the perfect destination for your next St. Thomas vacation! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wyndham Sugar Bay Hotel
Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort St Thomas
Wyndham Hotel St Thomas
Wyndham St Thomas
Wyndham East End
East End Wyndham
Wyndham Sugar Bay St Thomas
Sugar Bay Resort & Spa St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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