Had a fabulous time at Sugar Ridge. With some insider information, you can too. I read many of the reviews and felt prepared for what we would be experiencing. This is info that I think will be helpful for future guests:
OVERVIEW: staff were very friendly and professional, many smiles and always willing to answer questions; the property is built on a hill, so take advantage of the golf cart service, especially if going up to the Carmichael's restaurant; as is clear on the resort website, the property is not directly on the beach; in general a very nice location - is not a 5-star resort, but they don't claim to be; for what it is, a great experience
ROOMS: actually decent sized for a resort in the Caribbean. I'm not sure why people were complaining about them. King-sized bed very comfortable; mosquito netting pretty and romantic, but not necessary. Storage in 3-section closet and a large chest at the end of the bed. Safe worked fine. Didn't use the small fridge, nor take advantage of the mini-bar supplies inside. Vanity mirror/table outside of the bathroom provided extra space for the things we did not want to leave in the bathroom. The bathroom was well-appointed. The shower did spray some water, but there was a bathmat to collect it all. Some shelf space under the sink, but not terribly convenient. Our room faced to the west and could see the registration building and Sugar Club space. It was nice to come back in the afternoon and relax on the balcony and in the plunge pool. If our room faced in a different direction and we did not have the sun in the afternoon, we probably would not have used the balcony as much.
ELECTRICITY: standard north american outlets
NOISE: we used the air conditioner each night. It really was not that loud. Not sure why people were complaining about this in previous reviews. The noise from the road is not too bad. There is not much traffic, especially later at night. There is music at the Sugar Club a few nights per week. This was pretty loud, but ended by 10 pm one night and a little after 11 pm the other night. We were still awake so was not a problem for us.
BUGS: were not problematic while we were there. I ended up with only 2 mosquito bites, and I am usually the one at the center of the swarm when bugs are around. The resort sprays for bugs several times per week. This is always posted in the registration area and is also listed in a letter you get upon checkin with all of the information about the resort.
ALL INCLUSIVE: we did not select the all-inclusive option, and am very satisfied with this. There are up-charges for many of the menu items even with the all-inclusive (understandably due to the high cost of obtaining food on the island) and we wanted different wines than what was offered with the package. Also, you lose out if you opt to eat at any of the restaurants in the area and do not take all of your meals at the resort. Breakfast was included and this was satisfying though offered essentially the same options each day.
TIPS: 10% is included in all charges to cover gratuity which is shared across all staff, so you do not need to add more if you don't want to; we often did add a bit more; thinking back now, I wish we had thought to bring more $1 and $5 bills to leave as tip, rather than adding it to the room charge; there would have been a great chance that our waitperson would have gotten the money
RESTAURANTS: we ate twice at Carmichael's and a few times at Sugar Club. The experience at Carmichael's certainly better, and the food moderately more gourmet. One night we did have an unpleasant waitress who barely said two words to us and charged us for items we did not actually order. She was surly when asked to remove them, but did so without additional issue. The bar at Carmichael's is very comfortable and we made a point to spend time in there each time we went to the restaurant. The liquor/wine selections are better at Carmichael's than at Sugar Club.
POOLS: the pools are not particularly large, but the resort was not crowded when we were there, so was not an issue. The infinity pool up at Carmichael's had a great view. Unfortunately, the restaurant is not open during the day, so any food you order up there actually comes from down below in the Sugar Club kitchens. We opted to only spend time at the pool by Sugar Club.
The pools are not heated, so they seem cold at first. But once in it is very pleasant, especially on a hot day in the sun. We were always able to get an umbrella in addition to our lounge chairs. They do provide beach towels, which you can exchange as needed. We brought out own towels as well, and I am glad we did just to have the extra towel when laying out. You can order drinks and food when at the pool. They come around regularly to see if you are in need of anything.
AIRPORT TRANSFER: The airport is about 20-30 minutes away, depending on traffic. We arranged for a private car/driver both ways through the resort. This cost US$55 total (not per person). This was especially convenient upon arrival because we were able to meet our driver and leave immediately - did not have to wait for other passengers to retrieve luggage and find the stand. They also offer a shared vehicle for US$45 total. Our drivers both ways were friendly and provided us with much information about the island, its history, and the people.
AIRPORT: be careful on what day you arrive. Apparently Weds, Fri and Sat are extremely busy with multiple international flights coming in at the same time and disgorging all of their passengers. You can stand in line for more than 3 hours to get through customs. We arrived on a Monday and were the only flight at the time so everyone got through in less than 30 minutes. When departing, the airport has very little in the way of food selections - a bar with some basic beers and warmed up frozen pizza. There are a few gift shops, but no other options for substantial food.
BEACHES: there are many beautiful beaches in the area. Be sure to check some of them out! The way they are structured is that a stretch of beach is owned by a particular outfit. They rent chairs, umbrellas and usually have a snack bar/restaurant. Some can get extremely crowded when the cruise ships are in port. The way I understand it, the resort has an agreement with several local beaches and will transport you there. This agreement is an extension of the all-inclusive package so that you do not have to pay for the chairs or umbrellas. This is why they focus on only the certain beaches. We were not on the all-inclusive package and did not want to stay at the very crowded beaches originally offered to us. The driver happily took us to check out several smaller beaches when we explained this to him and helped us select one that worked for us.
MONEY: we took US dollars with us, as this is accepted everywhere. You will receive change in the local currency. I think all checks/bills we received also showed the price in US dollars. Everything at the resort can be put on your room charge and paid when you leave.
JOLLY HARBOUR: the area down by the marina at Jolly Harbour is fun to check out. We spent time at the beach near the Castaways bar - very busy, many people, lots to check out. We ate at al Porto restaurant. Great pizza ad pasta. We went without a reservation - but I would recommend getting one. It's a popular place and got crowded soon after we arrived. There is a grocery store at the entrance to the marina area. We purchased some snacks, wine and water to have in the room. It was nice to have this option when we did not want a full meal from the resort restaurants.
We liked our west-facing room to get the sun in the afternoon. That allowed up to use the plunge poo...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.