Having read the recent reviews on tripadvisor, I was a bit skeptical about what to expect at Sugar Ridge. I just returned from a 3-night stay there and while I do have some minor complaints, overall it was a very pleasant stay.
The good : the property is new and beautiful and very well maintained. I found the design to be very thoughtful and pretty zen. I loved the infinity pool (though a warning to unsuspecting travellers : none of their pools are heated!) I stayed in room 17, which had a vaulted ceiling and a large balcony with a spectacular view of the harbor but no plunge pool. Some travellers complained about the noise from the road, but it was not a nuissance to me. For one thing, there was little traffic on the road to begin with and I actually enjoyed watching what traffic there was. My package included breakfast and I thought the breakfast spread was among the very best I've experienced while travelling. Eggs and potatoes, breakfast meats, fruit and yogurt, cheese and grains, a trio of fruit juices, etc. My only small complaint about breakfast was that the coffee was a bit inconsistent, such as good one day and then too weak the next. The servers were very attentive and friendly, especially Carleen who was utterly charming and gave us a laugh every morning. I used the gym twice, which I thought was the most impressive boutique resort gym I've ever visited. Lots of cardio equipment and weights and a wonderful view of the lush green hillside to boot although to my disappointment, no elliptical machines! They even organize some fitness classes during the week, which I've never seen before at a boutique resort. I also used the spa twice, which was also very nice though I might recommend booking appointments in advance since they are a bit small and have limited staff and availabilities. I had dinner at Carmichael's one night, which was delicious and had attentive staff; my friend and I arrived early before their official opening hour and asked to be seated so we could enjoy the sunset, and they were very kind and accommodative to our request.
The bad : I think it is really important to have a friendly and attentive front desk staff, since they are on the front line to so many guest issues and experiences. At Sugar Ridge, I found the front desk to be wanting in friendliness - often when a guest would approach, they would be slow to acknowledge the guest and not exactly friendly about it either. While the design of the bathroom was aesthetically appealing, I found it not exactly functional as the round vessel sink was too high for shorter guests like myself and the shower had one of those half doors, which means that water gets all over within minutes of your shower and your bath mat gets constantly soaked. Since the resort is not on the beach and is stacked on a hill, you must rely on hotel shuttles to get you to the beach and up and down the hill to Carmichael's and to your room if you have heavy luggage, so on some days, you may feel like your wait is longer than it should be and the front desk can only tell you unsympathetically that someone is on their way.
While I had a very nice stay at Sugar Ridge, my friend and I agreed that on return to Antigua we would choose to stay somewhere else that was situated directly on the beach.