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“Fabulous!” 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
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Fabulous!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2010

We've just arrived back today from a week at Sugar Ridge in Antigua . We got a really good deal on our room rates from a special offer from Destinology via Travelzoo.
This hotel is absolutely fantastic in all ways. Like another reviewer we got bitten quite alot from sandflies on the various beaches, and not enough DEET on the legs when eating out at night, but even that didn't really infringe on our enjoyment of the holiday, alot of which was down to Sugar Ridge.
We arrived at 5pm in our rental jeep, and were welcomed with a fruit punch, speedy check-in, and a golf buggy up to our room. Our room had a plunge pool (excellent for abating sunburn) and everything about the room was perfect. The bed was (really ridiculously) large and comfortable, the aircon blew out lovely cool air, everything was beautifully clean and well designed, plus there were flowers scattered around on our first day. There is a small fridge (not a minibar, though I think you can ask for one if you really want) in the wardrobes to keep your water (and punch) cool in.
The verandah had great views, and it was lovely to sit on the out-bed and watch the hummingbirds and ghekos going about their business. The bathroom was great, though I could have done with a little more hot water pressure in the shower, though perhaps I'd not been patient enough with the controls...
We cannot fault the staff at this hotel. They were all, without exception, polite, friendly, helpful, and just great. Kevin, Michelle, Shirlene, and the guys at the pool, were among the many staff who made our stay so perfect. The food in both the Sugar Club and Carmichaels was interesting, tasty, and well presented. We'd recommend going up to the Carmichael's infinity pool for sunset.
There was a Management Cocktail Party on the Tuesday night, which was a good opportunitiy to meet the management and ask questions.
I'd recommend this hotel more for couples. I suspect kids over 2 would get bored, because it is all about the peace, quiet, beautiful views, and (for me) rum punches. The Sugar Club also has some really good live music. There was a couple with a young child there when we stayed, and from afar it seemed the hotel was very helpful and attentive to their needs, so I think it is fair to say this hotel is for everyone who wants a blissfully peaceful holiday in Antigua. We saw some other hotels on the island (incluing Sandals) and had a lovely smug feeling that we felt we were staying in the best hotel on the island.
We had a rental car, which meant we missed out on the full Vorn-experience, but did chat with him everynow and again and got some good tips. But the car meant we could see the whole island, from the excellent local beaches (Darkwood, Turner's, and Ffryes - Jolly Beach was too crowded for my liking) to the idyllic Half Moon Bay in the south east of the island, and the historic sites on the island such as Betty's Hope, Devil's Bridge, and Nelson's Dockyard.
This is a fabulous hotel with fantastic staff. We will, without doubt, stay at this hotel again when we next go to Antigua.

  • Stayed November 2010, 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
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611 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (251)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2010

The hotel and customer service were very nice but there was not enough variety of restaurants on the property. The views were beautiful and the hotel well kept. However, I would not return because of the bugs. I returned home with more than 40 bug bites on my body. I spent most of my honeymoon scratching and putting on Alcohol. It's unfortunate b/c we really enjoyed everything else. Room# 60 has the best views.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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US_PR_Rep-SJGR, Public Relations Manager at Sugar Ridge, responded to this review, November 23, 2010
I was delighted to read that you were very happy with Sugar Ridge with the exception of bugs. We are in the tropics and mosquitoes can be an issue as they clearly were in your case to the extent that it seems to have spoiled your honeymoon. For that I am indeed very sorry. We do maintain a weekly control program which normally ensures any issues are minimal, fortunately as we move into the dry season the presence of mosquitoes becomes a much smaller issue for us all. In spite of what happened I hope you will still think of returning on a future occasion.

Keith Martel
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2010

Cut a long story short this is a good hotel! The problem is that it markets itself as a top rated hotel that prides itself on the quality and standards of service. Unfortunately the service is wholy inconsistent.
The food in the main restaurant was boring and comparable to a two star hotel. The second restaurant Charmichaels was better, although overpriced for what they offered.
Staff were ill trained, very disorganized and found chasing their tale quite a bit. That having been said there is quite a bit of raw talent there, eg. Kevin.
To summarize, if they cared more about what we thought they would have a great hotel on their hands. The problem is they don't.
All in all we had a great time but it seems a shame that there is jewel here that is yet to be polished and deservedly charge the rates it does.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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US_PR_Rep-SJGR, Public Relations Manager at Sugar Ridge, responded to this review, November 23, 2010
Although I was pleased to read that you were impressed with the quality of the facilities that we have created at Sugar Ridge, I was very concerned and disappointed to read of your comments relating to food quality and service in Sugar Club, our main restaurant. We always recommend making concerns known immediately which gives us the opportunity to address and correct any concerns. I apologize for the shortcomings you experienced which do not reflect the normal remarks that we receive from many guests who complete our guest comment forms prior to their departure. Our restaurants which include Carmichael’s are open to the general public and as such must compete locally in terms of quality of service and price. I am sorry that you considered Carmichael’s to be overpriced.

Keith Martel
General Manager
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Wexford, Ireland
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2010

This hotel was a great find. We arrived late afternoon and received a warm welcome at reception before being whisked up to our room on a golf buggy. Once we had settled in we headed over to the bar and restaurant where we started to meet some of the staff. We stayed for 2 weeks in this hotel and not once did we get anything except for excellent and friendly service. I think it is important to note the staff who particularly stood out...Carleen in the restaurant, the 2 guys who served the pool area, Glaive and Sherwin and Vorn who looks after all the guests as if they were his own family. Vorn's flexibility and availability in taking us to the beach and Jolly harbour and his seemingly endless enthusiasm for his work and Antigua enhanced our whole experience. (Vorn, if you read this, it is still Ireland Gold, Antigua Silver, USA Bronze!!!)
The room had amazing views and was a decent size. The bed was very comfortable. Our room was kept spotlessly clean during our stay.
The hotel is located in the hills just a short walk from the beach and Jolly Harbour and although this was a worry before the trip once we arrived we actually preferred being away from the beach. Even though the hotel is not on the beach it is incredibly easy to access the beach as the hotel runs a jeep to the beach throughout the day. Again, Vorn looks after you and gets you sunbeds and umbrellas free of charge. We tended to divide our time between the beach and the pool. The pool service was excellent and the other thing to note is great sushi and tapas served after 3pm.
There are 2 restaurants - the one in the main part of the hotel is where breakfast is served. This was our one disappointment. We had booked B&B and found on arrival that this was a continental breakfast and unfortunately the variety of foods available under this were disappointing to say the least.
Carmichaels is excellent and we had a number of truly fantastic meals. The service was usually good but on one occasion the service was terrible and when we were asked how things were by the Manager and we said not great, he did not do anything!

We loved just about everything about this hotel.
The thing we liked least was the poor quality continental breakfast.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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US_PR_Rep-SJGR, Public Relations Manager at Sugar Ridge, responded to this review, November 10, 2010
Many thanks for taking the time to give a comprehensive and positive review following your recent stay with us. It is always very encouraging when particular members of staff who have clearly gone the extra distance are singled out and I will ensure they each receive a copy of your review. You did express some disappointment with breakfast being just Continental. This formed part of the package you booked, however it seems from the comments you made, that you were not given the opportunity to upgrade to a Full Breakfast, for which I sincerely apologize. Your disappointing experience on one occasion in Carmichael's has also been noted. The Restaurant Manager is usually extremely attentive, so the reaction you received was very much out of character though no less excusable. Thanks again for making you views known and I hope we will have the opportunity of welcoming you back to Sugar Ridge next year.

Keith Martel
General Manager
Sugar Ridge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvington, New Jersey
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2010

Got there a couple of days before my birthday and I must say that from when we cleared customs we were in nothing but awe. We felt like a king and queen. The staff made us feel like we belonged. The resort was clean, staff (from reception down to the chefs) were friendly, pleasant and would go above and beyond for you. We arrived a few days or so after the hurricane but no major damage was seen as we did an island tour the next day we arrived.
Room was well made, linens & towels clean as a whistle. You were provided (which was rare) ur very own iron board and iron. You had your own what they call it "plunge pool" right outside on ur deck which really wasn't in plain view of everyone else so there was room for more than privacy.
Everything was beautiful about this resort but the only draw back I found was that they could have added at ;east one of their local dish to the menu. One for dinner and one for breakfast.
They have 2 beautiful restaurant (a bit pricey) but the food was worth trying there before venturing outside the grounds.
I can't find anything bad to tell you about this hotel really. But I find it was not necessarily kid friendly and I saw a couple with kids there, which I thought was not where they should have gone in the 1st place. The villas/rooms sits on semi steep hills, so if you are really over weight have heart problems, knee or any other ailments, this resort would not be for you. Other than that, it's a terrific and beautiful resort. Equipped with a gift shop, spa, full service gym 3 pools, 2 restaurants and about 60 villas/rooms. Their is really no significant night life at the hotel nor on the island for that matter. But they did provide jazz one evening, a live bad and singer on another evening and Saturday nights a DJ where he spins the music and u r able to dance. We didn't experience that because they had an event that evening and by the time the folks left and we went to check out the music etc, he wasn't playing anything to our liking. I think he went as far back as the 50's or 60's :-)
They are not a particularly all inclusive hotel but offer packages such as that. I already have at least 2 couples saying that will be their next visit.

No photos as yet, but will post some soon. One major plus about this island..The beaches are to die for!!!!!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sussex
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

We were looking for a really special place that wasn't all inclusive and not part of a chain and we could not have been happier with our stay (we stayed early May 2010).
All the good comments already have covered the great rooms, the great food and beautiful setting. To some i guess the lack of a beach on the doorstep is a big deal - it never really bothered us, it was a 15min walk, past the supermarket, to the beach next to the Jolly Beach resort. Voorn, the friendly driver will take you up the road to a couple of the other beaches. Both times we went to the local beaches we were almost the only people there !
If you go to Jolly Beach, be warned that if you turn left at Castaways most of the beach chairs are for all the various hotels along that strip, although we spent a few afternoons on the Jolly Beach resort's chairs and nobody seemed that bothered!
Castaways is a great little bar and restaurant - fantastic Goat Curry !
CJ's and Dennis's are also great, authentic local places to eat.
As has been mentioned before, Carmichaels is fantastic and the food in the Sugar Club is good too.
A lot has been said about the service - we found the staff to be really helpful and friendly. I never had a problem getting a drink by the pool - yes i will admit that sometimes it was a bit slow, but it always turned up ! The service in the restaurants was also good - Carmichaels especially.
Our room was always kept clean with the bed turned down in the evenings. All i can think of to criticise it was that, yes, the shower tended to have a mind of it's own. But i got over it.
The pools aren't huge but i didn't go on holiday to swim lengths ! The plunge pool up by Carmichaels was our favourite and was deserted for most of our stay and has an amazing view.
We did hire a car for a few days to explore and it is definitely worth it. The roads are interesting ! Watch out for potholes and the road signs are a bit vague, but we always found our destination. St Johns is worth a visit for a morning, the small museum is informative, and have lunch at Hemingways and watch the world go by. The strip by the boat terminals is a bit tacky, much nicer is Redcliffe Quay, just down the road. There isn't much else in St Johns and parking is a bit tricky, so get a taxi. We also did the Paddles tour which was the highlight of our stay, run by a really lovely couple, Conrad and Jenny, you kyak round mangroves then do some snorkelling. It's a lovely part of the island and you're greeted back at their lovely fisherman's hut with some punch and banana bread (and sweetpea the parrot).
We also did the Stingray City trip (which is right next door to Paddles) which is fun - though not for the faint hearted.
We drove up to Dickenson Bay, where the Sandals Resort is located and it made us very smug that we were at Sugar Ridge. It looked like Disneyworld with free watersports and an endless buffet. Once you drive back down to Sugar Ridge you realise it's not only one of the finest hotels on the island but it is also at the nicest part of the island too. I would never tire of the view of the lush tropical hills from our room, with the luminous blue strip of sea across the road and the hummingbirds buzzing amongst the flowers.
A word about Barbuda. All the guide books recommend it for it's remote pink sand beaches (which are amazing) but there is not a lot else there, it is very flat, windswept, remote and exposed. The journey to it is arduous to say the least (and not cheap). It is a 90min boat ride in the open atlantic in a small ferry, and the day we went (which may just be a rarity) it was very rough. I've got fairly good sea legs and was just about keeping it together - my poor girlfriend suffered badly with sea sickness. If you really want to go and have the money, fly there !
So, if you want a beautiful, relaxed ,modern hotel with access to great beaches, great food onsite and locally, staffed by friendly people then go to Sugar Ridge, book it now, go on.
I've never stayed anywhere where i want to go back without any question and that's a recommendation.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
trinidad
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2010

sugar ridge was suggested to me by a friend and upon reviewing the site it seemed to be a nice place so i booked immediately. Upon arrival you are greeted with a complimentary fruit punch. We arrived earlier than check in and were graciously accommodated and for that kudos are in order but it is the opposite for check out. In order to check out later than required you have to pay extra.
The Rooms: the rooms were smaller than expected and not quite laid out properly as the TV is in such a bad spot that it is difficult to view if more than one person is watching. Also the bed is the focal point and as such took up most of the room - this was fine except that there was no place to store luggage and luggage was always in the way. Also the temperature of the water while showering was ALWAYS an issue as the mixer does not work very good so the temperature is always one of two extremes. The plunge pool was nice but isn't worth the extra you have to pay for it as the rooms without the pool are the rooms above the rooms with pool. I for one would rather a good view than a plunge pool.
Sugar Club - breakfast at sugar club was always good - food, service, cleanliness could have been more of a priority as our table was almost always sticky when we got to it. Food at sugar club was good but not great.
Carmichael's - loveddd the coconut crush, and the view but food and service was very poor and i complained about my salmon being too salty and was told salmon is a salty fish. it was so salty i couldn't eat it.
All in all we decided to rent a car as Sugar Ridge is not that close to beaches to walk - even though they had a shuttle service - we opted for the car in order to move on our own timing. Also i had an issue with reception as they were very curt with responses. The hotel itself is lovely to visit but i'm not sure i'll stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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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