We have just got back from 11 wonderful days at Sugar Ridge and can't wait to return! We have been to some fantastic hotels in the Caribbean and this was by far the best so far.
The best thing about this hotel was the attentive and friendly service from its staff. They are its greatest asset and something to be proud of. I really can't understand some of the reviews to the contrary as we found that they really couldn't do enough for us, took the time to get to know us and the service was always impeccable.
I really must say thanks to the staff for making our holiday so wonderful. Shirwin, Sparkle, Troy, Natasha, Rose, Clayon, Prince, Karleen, Oneill and everybody else there do a fantastic job.
The hotel is not located on the beach, but this really doesn't matter. The views from the rooms are great as you are in an elevated position and you never have to wait too long for the frequent shuttles to the nearby beaches, which are gorgeous. We preferred to sit and relax by the Sugar Club pool but did visit The Nest (Valley Church Beach) a couple of times.
The only potentially negative thing about being nestled into a hillside is that there can be a fair amount of walking / steps involved to get from your room to the facilities, but Sugar Ridge have thought of that and have a fleet of golf buggies with drivers who will take you wherever you want to go!
The food was out of this world. Carmichaels is a must; add in the spectacular view of the sunsets and you get a very special evening indeed. The only gripe we had was with the Sugar Club menu, which we were told would change every 6 days but didn't so you could get a bit of "menu fatigue" with there only being 2 restaurants.
There are only 60 ish rooms in the hotel which means it is very quiet and relaxing. It also means the place is very quiet in the evenings, so if you are looking for a party you may have to go outside of the resort. They do have entertainment on most nights, but again there weren't many people around.
A few suggestions to make the place even better:
1. Install a small outside bar at the Sugar Club pool. This would save the poor staff from traipsing upstairs to get trays full of food and drink in the intense heat! It would also make the service quicker and maybe attract more outside guests to use the facilities
2. More clarity is needed with the all inclusive option. We did query a few times what was included and what wasn't (e.g. is room service included / are the mini bar items chargable) and found that actually more was included than we had first thought. But more clarity would be better. We actually found the all-inclusive to be great and the supplements at Carmichaels were very reasonable (e.g. US$3 for scallop starter, US$14 for fillet steak). It's a different experience to other all inclusive resorts as you do see the prices of what you have had (you have to sign off your $0 bill each time, which is fine) so you do feel like you are getting value for money! There is no need to wear a wrist band for the AI plan, unless you go to the beaches.
3. We found that the AC units in the rooms were a bit too noisy to be left on all night. It would be worth installing quieter ones to ensure a cool night's sleep.
Thanks to all of you at Sugar Ridge for such a great holiday.
- 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