My husband and I stayed at Sugar Ridge from 21 to 29 December 2012 on an all-inclusive basis, having booked the holiday in July 2012. We assumed (wrongly) that most guests would also be staying all-inclusive. This was a mistake. The positives of our stay were a beautiful room and balcony. It is worth upgrading to an upper level room. The quality of the furnishings, and the bathroom were excellent. The bed was very comfortable. The views were fantastic. The housekeeping was carried out to a very high standard. The landscaping is beautiful. The cocktails were made to a high standard with a good choice. The evening entertainment was excellent and of a very good quality. It was useful having an Aveda Spa on site and availability of appointments was very good (although staff there were mixed in their attitude and one at least was "churlish" bordering on rude). Generally we found the food to be good and particularly enjoyed the sushi. The beaches were also good, although it did not seem to be possible to use all-inclusive to obtain food as suggested on the website. Vorn was polite and entertaining and we enjoyed our trips with him. Antigua is a beautiful island and compares very favourably with Barbados. The gym is really good and the manager very helpful.
The negatives almost outweighed the positives. The service in the restaurants fell far below what we expected from a hotel at this level. Service was often poor, we were regularly "forgotten", food was slow to arrive, and generally staff seemed to be badly-managed. There was one occasion when some sort of staff/union meeting was taking place very loudly in the bar area when we and other guests were sitting a matter of metres away and could hear all that was being said. This should not have been allowed to happen by those managing the staff. As all-inclusive guests we were treated badly at Carmichaels. The attitude of the front of house manager there seemed to be that all-inclusive guests were second-class (and resulted in a complaint to the hotel manager who seemed to be largely ineffective in dealing with problems). The best tables were almost always given to those who shouted loudest and were not staying all-inclusive. There was no attempt at fair rotation. We strongly recommend not using all-inclusive at this hotel.
The pool areas are concrete and soulless, and no effort was made to make Christmas a special occasion, in spite of the premium paid by us to be there at that time. Very disappointing. The pools were smaller than they appear on the hotel website and staff seemed keen not to encourage linger round the lower pool area. Drinks were rarely offered and loungers/umbrellas were put away long before sunset.
Sadly we would not recommend this hotel to others. This is a shame as we were ready to have a good time, and perhaps we were unlucky. This is a fantastic location and with a bit of effort a mediocre experience could easily be converted to a top rate experience which would encourage repeat custom. We will definitely not go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Antigua’s newest boutique hotel nestles in a sugar cane-bordered natural hillside with stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Designed in contemporary colonial style, rooms have private large verandas, plunge pool and full amenities. An Aveda™ spa provides the latest in holistic therapies; a gym, 3 swimming pools, trendy Sugar Club bar/restaurant and the more formal Carmichael’s, make Sugar Ridge the place to be. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sugar Ridge Hotel Jolly Harbour
- Sugar Ridge Antigua/Jolly Harbour