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“Splendid - And I'll Tell you Why”
Review of Sugar Ridge

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Sugar Ridge
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Jolly Harbour
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Splendid - And I'll Tell you Why”
Reviewed August 25, 2011

Quite plainly, phenomenal. I visited Sugar Ridge with my mother and aunt to unwind after a brutal examination. As such, I was looking for a charming hotel with superb food and a boutique feel. Sugar Ridge delivered on every level. We were all-inclusive guests and the experience was worth every penny and then some.

The Staff - Extremely accommodating, as no request was too unreasonable. We had early flights into Antigua and late flights out. We had no reason whatsoever to worry about check-in and check-out, as Iesha at the front desk was welcoming and understanding. Unparalleled politeness and courtesy from each staff member, from Clayon at breakfast, to Cynthia in the spa, to Rodayne and Kevin on the golf carts to Sparkle with our drinks. Vorn even took us to see the seafood fest that was taking place that weekend. Even the General Manager took time out on two occasions to chat with us and ensure that our holiday was satisfactory. I would name everyone if I could - we were that impressed!

The Hotel - For our purposes, it was perfect. The bedrooms have a very zen-like feel - chic, relaxing and airy. The bed was glorious, the toiletries were ample and the storage space was more than adequate. For those looking for more storage, the foot-stool doubles as a trunk. Just untie the net at night so there's no need to fret about the mosquitoes. We did not use the pool but Sherwin offered us pool-side service, even though we were quite a few feet away from the pool area. If you stay for four nights or more, please take advantage of the complimentary treatment at the spa - heavenly. The gym instructor is a darling. I was peeping through the glass walls of the gym and she invited us in and explained the array of activities - zumba, yoga, and the list goes on. The grounds are even more beautiful in person than in the pictures - Kudos to the ground-staff.

Food and Drinks - We dined at Sugar Club, Carmichael's and two beach bars: Turner's and the Nest (all of which were included in the AI package). All dishes at Sugar Club (with exception of the risotto) were exquisite and the manager was consistently attentive, asking you about what you liked/did not like about your meal. The sushi rivals that which I had in Hong Kong - it's that good. The Ridge Roll in particular was divine. We are a laugh-loving trio and Kiwaan at Sugar Club had us doubling over at our tables on many an occasion.

This is debatable but for me, Carmichael's offered more in ambiance than it did in food. It was still lovely and I had the best mango margaritas there. Great hot wings and beastly cold Carib at the Nest and wonderful fish cakes at Turners. Drinks were mixed exceptionally well and if you can't choose, the bartenders are willing to concoct something tasty for you.

If you aren't high strung about trivialities, and you want a luxurious spot with savory food, great service and a relaxing atmosphere, this is the place for you. My mother is already planning her return trip and we've told everyone who will listen about the fantastic time spent.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KismetG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2011

Having just returned home from one of the most amazing breaks I’ve ever had and I feel compelled to write this review about Suger Ridge.
Not only has Suger Ridge been very tastefully designed, with its clean modern feel , but everything from the rooms, the food, the gym, the golf buggy rides and especially the staff made this, for us, one amazing holiday.

My friend and I were looking to go somewhere nice and peaceful to get away from the stress of the workplace and enjoy some hot weather.

When booking Suger Ridge I was concerned that it didn’t access a beach directly, as I love the beach. However, I must say the service they provide to compensate for this far exceeded my expectations. The lovely Vaughn drives you daily to a beach of your choice, which in my opinion is so much better. Antigua has the most amazing beaches; we visited Turners, The Nest, Dark Wood and Castaways. They were all very clean with beautiful white sands and clear blue sea, stunning and within a 10 minute drive! Suger Ridge have also made arrangements with the restaurants and bars at Turners and The Nest to ensure any holiday maker can use their all inclusive package so there is no need to head back to the resort for lunch or dinner if you don’t want to. The Sugar Club also provided us with a picnic when we visited other beaches, all we had to do was let them know the night before.

The food in both The Sugar Club and Carmicheal’s was beautiful, it was a real treat every night. As well at this I must mention the Sushi, I am a sushi lover, and the Sushi was some of the best sushi I’ve ever eaten. I suppose the only advice I would offer regarding the menu is that it would be nice to see some changes to the menu for those people staying for longer than a week.
The most special aspect of our holiday was how helpful and personable the staff were. In the Sugar Club Sparkle, Rose, Janine, Charlene and Clayon were fantastic, very attentive and their attention to detail was exceptional. Prince on the bar is the main man for cocktails. Rudy and Kevin drove the golf buggies to ferry us back and forth from our room (to be honest you can walk to most rooms easily, but this is great service). I can’t thank the staff enough for making our holiday so special.

Room Tip: when booking shop around we saved over £1000.00 by booking through Destinology rather than Hayes and...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 247review
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2011

This is an excellent hotel in a beautiful place. I can't recommend it highly enough. Friendly, helpful and professional staff. Beautiful rooms and verandas. Massive and comfortable beds, incredible views.

The rooms are all landscaped up the hill, facing the sea. There are buggies to take you up if you're not able to negotiate the steps, or just feeling lazy. It's good value for what it is. There's a colonial style bar, which is very laid back, but the barman cared enough to find us an important premier league game on the TV that we didn't want to miss!

Meals were OK, it isn't michelin star stuff, but it's tasty enough, good breakfasts. Antigua is a place of sunshine, snorkeling, natural beauty, desert island beaches, not high culture or haute cuisine. The perfect chill out holiday - you can do it in a week, but you'd prefer 10 days!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GGGlobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
anniemcc, General Manager at Sugar Ridge, responded to this review, January 12, 2012
Deal Valued Guest
Thankyou so much for your wonderful comments .
We look forward to seeing you again in the future .
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
1 review
Reviewed August 17, 2011

My finace and I just returned from a week in Antigua at the Sugar Ridge resort and we were very impressed. Sugar Ridge is a small boutique hotel. The grounds and rooms are gorgoues and very well kept. We were in room 13 which did not have a plung pool, but had an outstanding view. It is also one of the lower rooms so we had a short walk to the Sugar Club. I would recommned one of the lower rooms so that you do not have to wait for a golf cart when you want to leave your room. We enjoyed the view more than we would the plunge pool, but this is definelty up to the individual.
We ate dinner at Carmicheal's one night and were not terribly impressed with the food. The view and decor of the restaurant is absolutely amazing. We did very much enjoy the Sunday brunch at Carmicheal's. If we return we will definelty being returning for Sunday brunch at Carmicheal's. We did enjoy the food at Sugar Club, especially the lamb shank, burger, and sushi. Breakfast at Sugar Club was also delicous and very inexpensive. We did not do the all inclusive plan but decided to have breakfast at Sugar Club every morning becasue it was inexpensive and delicious.
A few reviews have complained about service. Here is the truth... the Caribean is different from Europe, Hawaii, or any where else you may have traveled. They are on "Island Time" as it was put to us. It may take longer to get your food or place your order then we are used to in the states, but it is part of the island expereince. Besides you are on vacation, so use this time to relax and enjoy the view or get to know something about your partner that you may have never thought to ask. My fiance and I came home and promised eachother that we would do our best to stay on "Island Time" and not worry so much about getting to point B and instead just relax and enjoy the moment.
All of the staff at Sugar Ridge are incredibly friendly. If you make an effort to get to know them and talk with them it will pay off because they will look after you and give you great insider tips. We especially enjoyed Vorn, Prince, Caylon, and Sparkle! Get to know them and they will make your trip!
All the beaches Vorn takes you to are beautiful. It may seem that he has an agenda and he does, it is to take you to the best beaches!! He knows everyone at every beach, so don't think he is taking you to certain beaches becasue he has connections there. He knows everyone on Antigua. Just trust him. Our favorite beach was Valley Church. They have the best coconut shrimp and curry chicken in Antigua! Turner's was also a nice beach to visit.
If you would like to have dinner away from the resort I would recommend Porto in Jolly Harbor. It is a delicous Italian restaurant that is owend by the fiance of the Sugar Ridge owner. The mussels and Forno pizza were memorable.
We went to the Sunday barbecue at Shirley Heights. This was nice but not a must do in my opinion. The bands were good, but the food was just ok. It took almost an hour to get there and in my opinion was not worth the taxi ride. Sugar Ridge has great bands a couple nights a week that we really enjoyed more then Shirley Heights.
My only complaint about Sugar Ridge was that they only clean the room once during a one week stay. I think they do this to be green which is admirable, but our floor was sandy and our trash cans were full by day two. You can pay extra to have them clean everyday.
I hope you enjoy your stay at Sugar Ridge we certainly did! We loved it so much we are considering returning soon!

Room Tip: Ask for a lower room on the second floor. You will have an excellent view and a short walk to the Su...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rdigiglio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager1201, General Manager at Sugar Ridge, responded to this review, September 12, 2011
Dear Valued Guest,

We are delighted you had such an amazing experience at Sugar Ridge. It sounds like you were able to take full advantage of our amazing cuisine, views and enjoyed exploring Antigua and interacting with the locals. We agree that the people of Antigua are what make this place special.

I noticed your comment about the room cleaning and just wanted to clarify this for future reference. Cleaning service is included in regular bookings but since you booked through one of two timeshare operators, the special rate that was offered included one cleaning service with daily cleaning available for a small supplemental fee of $20. This was stated on the booking confirmation but we will make it a point to remind guests upon check-in who book this option.

Thank you for staying with us and hope you can return soon.

Best regards,
Keith Martel
General Manager
Sugar Ridge, Antigua
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hayward, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2011

I so owe Sugar Ridge a review. It's been months since we stayed here for my birthday and there are many things I need to say, most of them good. First off, I need to warn you that Antigua is hot HOT HOTTT! I've been all over the world, and I never burn and did I get a bad sunburn on this trip! Please, definitely pack a high SPF sunscreen, I had 50 and that wasn't enough! We split our trip between two hotels, and this place blew the other one away (Grand Pineapple Beach in their most expensive room). At Sugar Ridge, we stayed in a top floor room, which meant we didn't have a jacuzzi but we did have an amazingly large balcony and lovely views of the most beautiful blue ocean I have ever seen (Jolly Beach). The pros of the downstairs unit is that you can cool off in the convenience of your own place, but having that amazing view and all that space to lounge, relax and read is also pretty neat...so really depends on what you think you'll do more often. Either way, you cannot go wrong. The room was fantastic with the high ceiling, comfy beds, and marble bath with larger sized Aveda amenities. I remember the soap bar wasn't Aveda but a local brand but it was wonderful, wish I can purchase some for home. The two pools are perfectly sized, the main one great for socializing and the infinity pool near Carmichaels great for relaxation. When we were there we were always the only couple at the infinity pool and one of three at the main one. Poolside service was fine but you did have to wait for a server to come down from the restaurant. The calamari was out of this world, some of the best I've had anywhere! The gym is fully equipped and locals do use it as part of a membership. We never had problems using any machines as there were plenty...my husband and I said that if we ever built a home gym then this is what we want it to look like! The Aveda spa was lovely, and the woman who gave me my massage was kind enough to give me this Aveda gel for my sunburned skin, for free because she was so concerned! Definitely make time for a service and the prices are on par with other Aveda spas in the states. One of my favorite things about this place is the food. OMG, Carmichaels is a gem of a restaurant! Who knew you could find such fine dining in Antigua? We ate here every night except for one, it's that good. They also made me this humongous cake for my birthday dinner, service was exceptional and the menu, though limited, was inspired. The other restaurant onsite was quite disappointing, but only because we ordered sushi. Most of the other items ranged from okay to good, but the sushi...wow, it was awful, some of the worst I've had. We saw the owner everyday at lunch, he'd order some food and taste it and I thought it was cool that he was doing that. But he also needs to eat the sushi at dinner because that needs a lot of improvement. The downside of this hotel is that it's not beachfront, and you have to catch a shuttle ride as walking would be pretty far and even dangerous depending on which direction you go. We did walk the last day (huge mistake as it was 100 degrees outside without a single cloud in the sky) and the walk was well over 25 minutes each way. I forget the gentleman's name who takes you to the beaches, but he was a little aggressive in taking you to Turner's Beach where his sister works. Turners Beach was like a European hell...in the sense that everywhere you turned there were people from the cruise ships, and they were smoking butts and it's just not a relaxing atmosphere at all! There were also nude sunbathers which could be an issue for some families travelling with children, etc. There was a big dropoff in the sand so some caution entering and exiting the ocean, one of our newly made friends had tripped and lost her Gucci sunglasses. So the only negative about staying here for us is that we didn't get to explore the other nearby beautiful beaches. I would definitely stay here if I ever decide to come back and brave the Antiguan sun again.

Room Tip: Upstairs unit has a large balcony and amazing pool, downstairs unit a jacuzzi but much smaller area
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  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MonkeyNPrinceTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2011

We have just returned to the UK having spent the previous week at Sugar Ridge. Our first holiday together as a couple will long be remembered as an amazing holiday experience. The quality of the facilities are exceptional and, like so many previous reviews, the attentive and professional staff are the main stand-out in resort. The accommodation provided is of an excellent standard and will definitiely not disappoint even the most discerning of traveller. One surprise was the location - as, from the website images, we expected the hotel to be set further up the hillside. This is not the case and provides relatively easy access to the Jolly Harbour area, which includes a useful supermarket. We utilised the effervescent services of the hotel shuttle bus driver (Vorn) on several occassions (this guy knows ALL there is to know about Antigua and is certainly the 'go-to' man locally). The view, food, refreshments (try the Mojitos!), service and atmosphere of the Carmichael's restaurant is not to be missed - and as for the sunsets (?), well, words alone couldn't do them justice! Having flown home only 10 hours ago, the fact that we have felt compelled to write this review so soon, should tell you ALL you need to know. Congratulations to GM Keith and his staff for providing a truly world class destination. Campbell and Samantha - 6th August 2011

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Campbell06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2011

I've never reviewed a hotel on TripAdvisor, but I def feel the need to after my visit to SR. My friend and I went to Antigua with the goal of eating, sleeping, relaxing, drinking and tanning.
I want to start of by saying that the hotel itself is very nice it's modern and very clean. My biggest issue with SR is the lack of staff and poor management. Upon arrival we had to wait and then switch cart/ trolly (transportation) up to our room because the cart was not charged and it took a good 15/20 min to our room in the heat in the cart. Approx less then 5 min later we get a knock from a gentlemen stating he had to fix our safe. This took over an hour! We had just arrived all we wanted to do was lay out and get sun... We had a reservation shouldn't the safe have been fixed before we arrived???
Almost 1.5 hour later we finally made it down to the pool that had NO SERVICE!!!!!
We had to flag someone down for drinks we were so irritated. No towels by the pool we had to walk to front desk for towels or hope that we saw a staff member. One lady told me to go to the front or gym for a towel. Mind you the resort is not busy... So that was our intro to the pool and that's how it remained for the rest of the stay... I have never in all my vacations experienced such a thing. While the server was very nice we still had to flag him or anyone we could find for drinks and service. No pool side menu no snacks it was basically the lunch menu from restaurant Sugar Club and room service menu which was the same and needs more variety. If you like finger foods and snacks i.e guacamole, chips, dips, wraps u won't find it here. Another issue we were informed after complaining about the food and lack of variety that Carmichael's the second restaurant at the resort was closed sun-tues...
We were hoping to enjoy authentic West Indian food that didn't happen at SR.
Room service forgot to send utensils. Frankly it was just a bunch of little things that should not occur at a resort of this caliber. Oh and breakfast ends at 10/10:30! So if your out late the night before be sure to get up early for breakfast or order the night before because u can not order in the morning. I tried ordering in the morning on a day we woke up early to do activities. We thought let's sit in our veranda eat and enjoy the view. That didn't happen we were told we would have to wait til after 10:30 because they are to busy at the restaurant!!!!! So unless u call the night before and order to have delivered before they get busy your out of luck... The Spa experience was decent both my friend and I had good massages but the facials were not good. Also the same person that does your massage does your facial. This was new to me again I never experienced such a thing. Not good especially when your paying 65 US for a half hour. Probably because the lack of staff and poor management. I kept telling myself it's low season this is the problem, but that's not our problem we still should have enjoyed our vacation regardless. The main front desk woman has a nasty attitude. My friend and I had a full conversation with a woman at the beach about her attitude. I had a short encounter with a manager I don't know his name because he never introduced himself and didn't bother to check on us after complaining about poor service at the pool... I can say that the Chef of Sugar Club was very nice and eager to please. He went out of his way to check on us and cater to our food needs the best he could. The couple of gentlemen working at the restaurant, bell hop, room service were very nice and did what they could to please us. But overall I would not go back. As I told the manager the only reason we were still at SR is because Hermitage Bay had no vacancies!

Room Tip: The rooms at the very top where we stood have great views but poor wifi, and it's a hike to go u...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mikaeva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager1201, General Manager at Sugar Ridge, responded to this review, August 16, 2011
Dear Valued Guest,

I am very sorry to read that you were disappointed during your stay at Sugar Ridge. Your comments relating to staffing levels and poor management are not reflective of the comments we normally receive, therefore, I would like to specifically address a few of your comments and offer the following explanations.

We always have a fleet of environmentally friendly electric golf carts, but unfortunately, we did experience a series of technical problems during your visit and sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. We do carry spares, but in this circumstance, parts had to be air freighted to the resort which caused a delay in the availability of carts for a few days.

In terms of the menu choices offered poolside, guests are normally very satisfied with the options including wraps; however, we will certainly consider your suggestion to include some dips. Carmichael’s is open for an extended lunch on Sundays taking last orders at 4.30pm. We have found this to be popular among our guests as they like to go to Shirley Heights on Sunday evenings and enjoy the music. Carmichaels is only closed on Monday’s. Sugar Club takes breakfast orders until 10.30 am, which often means that guests are still having breakfast after 11.00am. Sugar Club also has a wide choice of menu items on offer such as tapas and sushi every night and seafood menu on Friday evenings.

At our Aveda Spa we employ four therapists who are skilled in performing all of our spa treatments; however, this shouldn’t have detracted from the standard of treatment offered.

Thank you for making your concerns known to us and we apologize that your experience at Sugar Ridge fell short of your expectations.

Best Regards,
Keith Martel
General Manager
Sugar Ridge, Antigua
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sugar Ridge

Property: Sugar Ridge
Address: PO Box 153, Jolly Harbour, Antigua
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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