Was skeptical coming to St. Thomas after reading TA reviews... who writes these reviews and are they miserable people?
I'll start with this - my husband and I have plans to visit every Caribbean island.. with that, and from our travels we have realized that each island is vastly different from the next. In the past four years we have been to to the Bahamas (Atlantis), Jamaica (Beaches Negril and Iberostar), Barbados (Sandals) and now St. Thomas (Dreams). If you have been to the mega luxury resorts in DR, Mexico and Jamaica, Dreams Sugar Bay will fall short of your expectations, if you compare to them, but that does not mean it is not worth visiting. Dreams Sugar Bay is the only all-inclusive on the island, not like Jamaica and the DR where AI's line the beaches and offer incredibly luxurious experiences to set their resort apart from the next. St. Thomas is down to earth, friendly and Americanized and I think Dreams Sugar Bay reflects the island's vibe. We had wonderful service but it was not the "walking-on-gold, cater-to-my-every-need" experience we have had in Jamaica.
1. The views! The hotel is nestled on a hillside. Almost every room has a water view and the views from the breakfast buffet are beautiful (ask to sit outside daily).
2. Hotel proximity to Red Hook, St. John and the BVI. Had views of St. John, Tortola and Jost Van Dyke from the beach and breakfast buffet.
3. Free paddle board (SUP's) and kayak rentals on the beach... first time I've seen SUP's at a resort.
4. Private beach, no vendors walking up and down selling items and no locals. Note: beach is a decent size but it's only for a hotel since the hotel is located on a small bay/inlet. If you like long walks for miles on the beach, this is not the beach for you.
5. Big blue mats (rafts) for use in the ocean and pool. We laid and tanned on those rafts in the ocean all day.
6. If you want to take a trip to St. John or the BVI, use the Daydreamer/Coconut (they have a hut right on the beach, they leave directly from the resort and they were awesome).
7. Beer in a can! No beer on tap but Corona, Coors Light, Bud and Heineken at every bar. Loved it.
8. Snorkel right off the beach, they have gear at the pool hut where you get your towels.
9. Most friendly people - the staff and guests.... we talked to everyone.
10. Bottled water at every bar.
11. Our fridge was stocked daily.
12. Plenty of beach chairs and never had a problem securing one. Yes, people leave towels on them and probably leave for the day. A few times we moved towels when we wanted a shaded spot and it was fine - no one came back for them.
13. Top shelf alcohol at the MAIN BARS in the lobby but not at the pool. At the pool they had Smirnoff, Cruzan rum, etc. but it makes sense because I don't really need Grey Goose in my fruity mixed drinks. Grey Goose, Belvedere, Ketel One, Captain Morgan, Johnny Walker, Tanguaray, etc. we were all available at the lobby and Himitsu bars. Champagne and Smirnoff vodkas were available at breakfast. If you are a mimosa lover, try a Maui-mosa with pineapple instead of OJ.
14. Large pool, one with a volley ball net, the other with a grotto area and pool bar and another that was mainly kids.
15. Even though the resort is a family resort, it was not overrun with kids during our stay and we still had romantic time to ourselves.
16. Karaoke every other night at the sports bar was good fun, go down have a drink and get into it. Some people were great and some were terrible but it was a fun time. Aside from karaoke the only other entertainment we came across was a DJ in the lobby bar (but no one was dancing), jazz bands by the pool bar and musicians in the lobby bar during dinner hours. Nice and low key, no "newlywed games" or shows that I have seen at other resorts.
1. The food. No, it was not terrible. Most of it was actually good but I've had better at other resorts. The breakfast buffet was small but make sure to get made-to-order omelets and pancakes. The lunch buffet was hit or miss but the poolside grill was wonderful (we recommend the burgers and wraps!) so make that is your go-to for lunch. We didn't eat at any of the buffets for dinner. The French restaurant was just OK - I had beef and my husband had duck. We liked Hitmitsu for Hibachi and sushi but did not like the regular restaurants main dishes. We did not get to eat at the Seaside Grill because it was closed our last night. Also, the menus did not change the 4 nights we were there so that could be a problem if you are staying for an extended period of time.
2. Pool bar and sports bar smelled like dirty bar - don't know it it was not cleaned property but it smelled terrible and other guests made the same comments in regards to the smell.
3. When our room was cleaned we weren't given fresh towels everyday and had to call housekeeping to have them brought up. One of the four nights we had new bath mat, bath towels and hand towels.... other days they took our dirty towels but did not replenish.
4. No seating area/couch in our room like shown in the room pictures...... we did have a chair that fit one person. Not a huge deal because we spent our time on the balcony. Did I mention the incredible views?
THINGS TO KNOW (not good or bad):
1. The toilet water is in the rooms is yellow - but that's normal on the island so don't worry! Antonio at the front desk was helpful and understanding when I called the front desk about this. I didn't believe that it was "normal" and had him show us in another room to prove it.
2. There are 2 ways to get to the beach/pool area - a shuttle that seemed to be running constantly or walking down about 100 stairs. We walked down those stairs numerous times daily and I liked the "workout."
3. We only saw 2 or 3 cats the entire time we were there and they didn't bother anyone. At the Iberostar in Jamaica the cats would rub up against your legs while you were eating at the outdoor restaurant. These cats kept to themselves!
4. Suntan lotion and aloe at the resort gift shop were $15 per bottle and Caribbean Breeze brand. We usually buy suntan lotion at the resort because we don't check bags but in this case I would have preferred to have brought a brand I trust from home. If you get burnt ask Kendall to show you where the aloe plants are! We picked fresh aloe leaves to rub all over our burnt bodies and it was amazing (and free).
5. Large iguana's roam the beach area - they terrified me at first but we were told by staff that they have no teeth so no worries. They made for awesome photos and my husband even pet them!
FOR DREAMS STAFF/MANAGEMENT.... Here are my recommendations!
1. Love the "newsletter" lists put out daily but only saw them at the front desk.. can you slip them under all guest doors in the morning so everyone knows about the daily activities and that restaurants are open, etc.
2. We did experience the pool bar and sports bar not having mixed drinks or Coronas for a few hours Monday morning... we were told it was "because my boss did not order enough to keep the bar stocked." Maybe it's best to not have your employees say that to guests?
3. Have your entertainment team get guests more involved - we saw them standing around a lot and not really interacting with the guests..... it's nice to have an activity schedule but not when it isn't talked up or mentioned. There were one or two guys that did ask to play volleyball but that was it. Also, who was the "task force" guy and what was his job?
Staff we encountered: Antonio at the front desk, Kendall from the hotel, Mae the hostess, Christian the restaurant manager, Lori the waitress at the breakfast buffet... all super friendly, helpful and wonderful. Saw maintenance crews on the beach clearing seaweed and cleaning the pool early each morning. Thanks for making our stay wonderful and memorable.
All in all, if you are still reading... wonderful property that I would give 3.5-4 stars. Can it use improvements in areas, yes. Is the lobby full of huge pillars and marble staircases, no. But we had a fantastic trip and absolutely loved the resort and the island. We would definetly come back and stay at this Dreams again. Don't let the negative reviews deter you. Finally, we spoke with a lot of guests who were also concerned reading the TA reviews but were also pleasantly surprised like us.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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
- Dreams Sugar Bay St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands