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“Finest on the island” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sugar Ridge

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Sugar Ridge
4.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   PO Box 153, Jolly Harbour, Antigua   |  
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Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Jolly Harbour
Cleveland, Ohio
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Finest on the island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

This is a beautiful hotel with amazing service. We got moved to a room with a view instead of the room with a plunge pool, which was a blessing. The plunge pools were not even close to the photos on the website and were really tiny. I wasn't sure if I would like staying away from the beach, but I didn't miss it all. There are regular shuttles to the beaches close by and if you don't feel like waiting it is a 5 min walk to The Nest beach. It really felt like paradise! Everywhere you looked there were flowers and lush green landscapes and views of the turquoise water from the hills were Sugar Ridge is located.

Our rooms were really clean and had aveda products. But make sure you put down the mosoquito nets at night or you might have hard time sleeping.

We decided against going to the Aveda spa and instead got massages on the beach for a lot less. I can get Aveda anywhere, but I can't get the real sounds of the ocean in the background back home.

The food was fine and acceptable, but nothing to write home about. It was kind of pricey but what i would expect at a resort. We ate at both Carmichaels and the Sugar club. The included hot breakfast and buffet was perfect and kept us going for most of the day. We always grabbed lunch on the beach and then a smaller dinner at night back at the hotel.

A few things to keep in mind...the wifi was spotty everywhere but the lobby, so don't count on it! Also, you will have to walk up lots of hills and stairs during your stay so bring comfortable shoes. And, if you go to Shirley Heights on Sunday for the big party, keep in mind it is a good 45 mins away but the views alone are worth it!

Overall, our stay was close to perfect and i would recommend Sugar Ridge to anyone visiting Antigua! As everyone we met on the island said once they heard we are staying at Sugar Ridge.."wow, that is the finest on the island!"

Room Tip: Choose a room with a view and avoid the rooms with the plunge pool.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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553 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (221)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Great food and a lovely spot but I wonder if Sugar Ridge is finding times tough? Perhaps there were just too few staff to offer a great service or maybe we were unlucky and our trip coincided with a lavish wedding for the owner of the resort but we were left feeling less than special for our anniversary trip. On arrival we were 'processed' rather than welcomed - a list of requirements and a yellow plastic tag to specify our 'all inclusive' status (was that really necessary, we had to sign every bill to our room and we felt that it signalled us out for less attentive service?)
We tried in vain to elicit something special for our anniversary - OK it was a Sunday when most things are shut and we weren't asking for freebies (though on other anniversary trips we've enjoyed bubbly and flowers in our room) but the special table chosen for dinner was given away and we were shown to a table set for four and it took half an hour to find a bottle of champagne - which we were paying for.
We knew we'd chosen a hotel which was not on the beach but the promised shuttle was pretty random and involved a lot of hanging about.
So many small touches, which would be easy to fix were missing - room cleaning often didn't happen till mid afternoon, they frequently ran out of plates at breakfast, no jam or spread of any kind, one toaster of which only half the slots were working, meals service where you were forgotten about or the main course arrived whilst still eating the starter, pool towels available from reception rather than the pool and only at certain times of day, signs saying the pool was closed left up till lunchtime. It sounds picky but so many things add up to a less than perfect experience.
I agree with the previous reviewer - very disappointed by what was described as a suite which was very small with no internal seating, a tiny shower room and a plunge pool that you couldn't even stretch out in.
The food was really superb and all inclusive was a fantastic deal, looking at the prices - perhaps that was why they are economising on staff!
All in all a quirky boutique hotel which shouldn't be trying to compete with the slicker resort hotels on the island - choose carefully and don't expect too much in the way of service despite the individual members of staff being friendly and charming. This is the first time I've ever felt moved to write a review on trip advisor as I'm not used to having to moan. Jenny P

Room Tip: Don't pay extra for a room with plunge pool - they are tiny.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Brooklyn, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

Just stayed at Sugar Ridge last week - what a wonderful week!

First - one downer: The website's photos of the rooms ARE just a BIT misleading - the rooms with the plunge pool are VERY small and the pool itself is quite small, and we barely used it anyway. I would say to spring for a room without one.

Everything else was wonderful - the front desk personnel are so SO helpful and pleasant, espeically Janine, and they took care of EVERYTHING for us.
The staff at the bars are friendly, funny and super helpful - Dave made a bunch of suggestions about which beaches to avoid on certain days (cruise ships - ugh) and which ones are more private - and he was RIGHT. Wow.

I traveled with my husband and my cousin and his wife - all three of them are vegetarian and I am a vegan - the resort was SO accomodating! We ate very well at every dinner and they did their best to make sure I had a good breakfast too (we ate lunch off the resort every day so I did not get to try their lunch sampling!) The food is a little pricey by my standards- even at the Sugar Club - since I am a vegan I think that over $15.00 for an entree is a little ridiculous - and I'm from NYC! So there was that.
The mountaintop resturant, Carmichel's, was AMAZING but a little out of our budget. We ate there one night and it was a wonderful meal, but again, for vegetables it was a ridiculous amount of money! I don't recommend eating there as a vegan or vegetarian, its just dones't feel valuable - especially compared to some of the upscale vegetarian and vegan dining establihsments in NYC, if I am going to pay top dollar I would expect more exotic vegan fare. Not trying to sound whiney, because everything was beautiful and most importantly delicious, but I think its important to know what you are getting into!

The shuttle service to the beach was really great and reliable - though many things move on "island time." :) We had no problem with that, since we were there to relax!
Resort was quiet, bed was very VERY comfortable and the room was clean. There was a wedding there near the end of our trip - so that can be slightly annoying for guests not involved in the wedding, those folks tend to be loud and racous but they never stayed in one place for too long so they didn't get in our way too much. The resort was good about trying to keep other guests in the loop and we appreciated that!

We had messages at the Aveda spa and that was heavenly - very clean and a beautiful relaxing space.

Did not use the gym (forgot my sneakers!!!!) but was really hoping I could have, it was a great facility and I had been looking forward to it :(
Overall, this was so worth it. What a beautiful setting, a helpful and friendly staff, we would DEFINTIELY go back.

Room Tip: Avoid the plunge pool rooms, I think the other rooms are bigger and the hotel controls the settings...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

This is a beautifully run, wonderfully relaxing boutique hotel/resort. Although it does not seem suitable for couples with children. The staff is fantastic and could not be more helpful. The beaches are a short jitney ride away, the food is terrific (especially at Carmichael's, the big restaurant at the top of the ridge) and the rooms are appealing. All of them have great terraces and some even have private wading pools. Although, the way the place is laid out, those private wading pools are not quite private enough for more than wading. But that's not to take away from the overall experience. This is one of those rare places where everyone, from the front desk staff to the guys who drive the golf carts so you can get up and down the hill, are focused on getting you whatever you want. The Caribbean has changed so much in recent years that it is a real treat to find someplace so beautiful, so good and so welcoming. This is as good as it gets./ JR

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastchester, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

My husband and I decided to renew our vows in Antigua. We contacted Sugar Ridge less than 14 days before our event. We spoke with Jolie Watkins who turned out to be Wedding Planner Extraordinaire!! Ms. Watkins was always pleasant, she responded to our numerous emails immediately, took every phone call and treated us like our event was the only thing that mattered.
This was our first time visiting sugar ridge and it definitely will not be the last. The location of our cottage, nestled in the lush hillside gave way to privacy and the untouched beauty of the Antiguan countryside. Cottage #60 was phenomenal, I lack words that would do our views and amenities proper justice. Our room was very comfortable, clean, mini bar fully stocked, fresh local flowers filled the air with a sweet aroma and the aveda products in our bath, well that was icing on the cake!

We dinned at Carmichael's where the food deserves 5 stars and it's location had the best sunsets we've seen during our stay on island.The staff was very polite and professional, very happy people. Sugar Ridge seemed to be surrounded by fantastic views from all points by design. The staff at sugar ridge went above and beyond to make our stay memorable and our event magical.

Ruben & I will never forget their kindness.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

Just returned from a lovely week's break at Sugar Ridge. It's important to stress that this is a boutique hotel NOT a resort. It's not a place you could spend the whole holiday just hanging out and definitely not for children. It's well positioned for exploring the island, being close to Jolly Harbour, St Johns, some gorgeous beaches and decent restaurants. It's very easy to get a taxi from the hotel. Taxis on the island are not cheap so factor this into your budget.

We stayed in Room 3 which is on the lowest level. We didn't need the buggies but the climb is pretty steep. Older guests or those with mobility problems would definitely need to use the buggies to get around and these can take a while to turn up. The room itself was pleasant and clean with a large veranda, comfortable beds and a wet room style bathroom with Aveda products. The air conditioning unit is very noisy so bring ear plugs if you sleep light. There isn't a great deal of storage and the 3 part sliding wardrobe doors are lethal, so mind your fingers! The mini bar is not automatically restocked - you have to request this and pay a daily charge for its use on top of the cost of items! No bottles of drinking water were provided beyond those in the mini bar. It would be nice if these were provided daily and included in the room price.

Much was made of the hotel's setting by our agent and I must confess I was disappointed. The views of the sea are pretty but the photos in the promotional material are carefully composed to omit all the buildings, car parks, roads and general sprawl sitting below the horizon line. The gardens have lots of potential, with many beautiful plants but this needs to be developed. It feels quite sterile and built up rather than a tropical paradise. As nature lovers, we enjoyed seeing hummingbirds, lizards and insect life in the gardens.

We ate several times at the Sugar Club and really enjoyed the food. The cocktail bar is fun, friendly and serves a mean rum punch! Room service was also excellent, with all our orders taken accurately and delivered promptly by friendly, helpful staff. The breakfast buffet is ok but don't expect a mouth watering smorgasbord of tropical fruits! There are more interesting options available on the a la carte menu if you don't mind waiting.
You can have breakfast on your veranda if you order the night before. This starts at 7:30 so if you need to get out early for excursions, I'd recommend going down to the Sugar Club for breakfast to ensure you get out on time.

We did not eat at Carmichaels but it's a lovely setting for sundown cocktails and snacks, with a charming(if tiny) infinity pool. We didn't use the swimming pools but the pool area at Sugar Club was clean and attractive with comfortable sun loungers and a bar. The pools are very small and subsequently very quiet. Again, didn't use the gym or Aveda spa but both looked lovely.

Sugar Ridge is not on a beach but there are many lovely public beaches close by. The hotel reception provides beach towels on request. There is a free shuttle service to the beaches. This supposedly runs every 30 minutes on a timetable. In reality it comes and goes whenever the driver can be bothered. We seemed to waste a lot of time waiting for the shuttle, often giving up and paying for a taxi instead. Even on our last day when we requested a specific pick up time from the beach in order to get back in time to leave for the airport, the driver would not accept this and told us to get the beach bar staff to call when we were ready! The shuttle itself is open sided with no seat belts. Again, people with mobility problems will find it difficult to get in and out.

The beaches are lovely but very public. They are not affiliated with the hotel. You can get sun loungers for free but they are basic, uncomfortable frames that tend to collapse. You often have to pay extra for a beach umbrella ($10 US). There are many vendors on the beaches who will descend on you when you arrive but then leave you in peace. They are generally very polite. I'd recommend Valley Church beach - very beautiful indeed. Turners beach is also gorgeous.

The staff at the hotel were generally helpful and friendly, especially Janine at reception and Clayon at the Sugar Club. It is the Caribbean though so everything is a bit slow and you have to ask for everything you need as nothing is anticipated. There are some nice boutiques and an arts shop which is worth a visit for local gifts. John Henry and Vincent were the taxi drivers we used most and they were brilliant! Really reliable, interesting, friendly guys who taught us lots about the island.

We did excursions to St Johns, Nelson's Dockyard, Shirley Heights, English Harbour and Stingray City. We also cruised around the island on the Excellence and took a day trip to Barbuda. We enjoyed all of these and would thoroughly recommend.

Overall, although we enjoyed our time at Sugar Ridge, I don't think we would stay there again. This is simply because I prefer to stay on the beach with comfortable sun loungers and pretty gardens! I think some of the beach resorts on the island represent better value when everything is taken into consideration. It's a lovely, stylish grown up hotel, ideal if you're not into the beach, but it really needs to offer exceptional service to compensate for what it lacks.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Keith M, General Manager at Sugar Ridge, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
We were of delighted to read that overall you very much enjoyed holiday. We note you were particularly impressed with the food and service from Sugar Club and with Room Service, however, I have taken your comments on board as to the lack of tropical fruits on offer and will look into adding more. You singled out a few members of staff for particular praise and we have ensured they have been made aware. We have also noted your comments about delays in getting to and from beaches by our complimentary shuttle which I have since discussed with our two drivers. Thank you again for taking so much time to give such an informed review
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tiverton, England, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

What a stunning 10 day honeymoon, would highly recommend. All rooms have a fabulous sea view of the turquoise waters, great for sunsets too. Carmichaels resturant, as well as the excellent menu and superb food, is also an excellent spot to watch the sun go down, cocktail in hand. The view from there is one you'd certainly never tire of! Staff are very friendly and eager to please. Sugar club also has a good and varied menu which we couldn't fault although Carmichaels was definately our favourite. The Aveda Spa also excellent, would definately recommend the 60 minute full body massage....very relaxing, great way to chill out. good location and very resonable car hire which you can arrange onsite. Didnt use the gym (we were on honeymoon) but certainly looked to be well equipted....dont miss this place!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sugar Ridge

Address: PO Box 153, Jolly Harbour, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary Parish > Jolly Harbour
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Jolly Harbour
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sugar Ridge 4*
Number of rooms: 60
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

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