We stayed one week at Sugar Beach in July, and now we mark time by how long it's been since we were there! It was our first extended vacation without our young kids!! I'm not sure you could find a more beautiful setting--every view is amazing. The cottages and common buildings are built to the quality of luxury homes and do not obstruct the natural beauty of the rain forest, mountains, and Caribbean. The staff was outstanding. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. Our cottage was in the 300's, and had the perfect view of everything--I sat by my private pool overlooking the Caribbean and the Petit Piton in the midst of a tropical rain forest on a mountain. The cottage was duplex style but we never saw or heard our neighbors. Our patio/pool was semi-private--in view of other cottages, but we never saw people in them.
The resort is not very walkable due to the steep hills and lack of paths--you do have to get used to the idea that you have to call for a golf cart for every jaunt to the beach or a restaurant. But in no time at all you realize they are so quick and efficient it's not a problem. We often called and by the time we locked up and walked out, a driver was already there.
If you are trying to decide between a luxury resort like Sugar Beach and a cheaper option, I would absolutely recommend splurging. Having a cottage instead of a hotel-type room makes a world of difference. The resort is THE prime location of the island. Everything, furnishings inside and out, are top quality. Down at the beach, you can sit on a comfortable, upholstered lounge, where attendants will spread out fresh towels and bring you bottled water and cold cloths. People come from other resorts to snorkel at the reef, but as a guest, without reservations or an additional charge, you can walk up at your leisure to request snorkeling equipment. Having that flexibility is SO nice when you are on a relaxing vacation and don't want to have to punch the clock for every little activity. Kayaks, paddleboards, and hobie cats are also readily available to guests. We snorkeled every day--how nice to be able to walk right into the water and see the amazing tropical fish and reef! In the swimming area, the bottom is rocky and there's no surf, and the water is blue and clear.
Our reservations included breakfast and dinner in the cost of our trip, and because the menu is very pricey we felt that was a good idea. The breakfast selection was enormous and excellent. The view from the breakfast dining area is breathtaking. We preferred dinner at the Great Room to the Bayside (you get an appetizer, entree, and dessert with the inclusive meal plan). Every meal was outstanding and the portions were very large. I would've liked to see a bit more variety on the menu as I ended up ordering the same thing on multiple occasions. The drinks are very expensive and not included in the meal plan option. Early in our stay we took a taxi to a grocery store and stocked up on wine, rum, and snacks at reasonable prices. Because the breakfast and dinner were so enormous, we didn't really want lunch anyway! The only difficulty we had was that it was hard to know when and how much to tip. For the inclusive plan, you receive a bill of $0 to which you can add a tip. But the room bill will add a service charge in the end. We had no idea whether we were over- or under-tipping in the restaurants. Staff will of course be vague on the subject of tipping, so asking doesn't really help.
My favorite outing was hiking the Gros Piton. It's definitely a challenge. There are many conflicting reviews about the difficulty--I actually read one that said it's great for all ages; that has to be written by someone that doesn't have kids. Or parents. Our guide, Damascus, kept a very brisk pace. You will be scrambling over rocks and boulders which are in piles at 45 degree angles--or steeper. There are intermittent flat dirt paths, but mostly it's very rocky terrain, often slippery due to the rain, and my old-school flat soled tennis shoes didn't cut it. If you like CrossFit style exercise, you will love it. If you don't exercise regularly, you will be lucky to make it halfway. The views are, of course, amazing, you can munch on fresh mangoes along the way, and I enjoyed the history lessons from the knowledgeable guides, who will tell you the role the mountain has played in the history of St. Lucia.
As far as outings, I also loved zip-lining, the Botanical gardens, and the waterfalls. We didn't make it to the "big"city, Castries--maybe next time! The only outing I wouldn't recommend would be the "Bean to bar" cocoa plantation activity. The place was (of course) gorgeous, and I enjoyed making my own chocolate, but in the end, it was crazy overpriced. Basically we spent $120 for 4 candy bars. Maybe if there had been more to tour and see it would have been worth it.
The spa at Sugar Beach was amazing, and perfect for a massage after climbing the mountain!! The rain forest path around the spa is just beautiful and a nice walk even if you don't have a massage scheduled.
I'm sure I'm leaving out many of the wonderful aspects of Sugar Beach, but we were just blown away. This is a pricier option than a Sandals type resort. But it is absolutely worth it. I have been recommending Sugar Beach and St. Lucia to all my friends. I had the same conversation with a few different staff members: "So, do you realize you live in paradise?" "Oh yes, we know! We don't take it for granted!"
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort is set amidst more than 100 acres of tropical rainforest on the island's scenic Caribbean coast. Embraced by St Lucia's majestic World Heritage-listed Pitons, the resort's 96 Luxury Sugar Mill Rooms, Cottages, Villas and Luxury Beachfront Bungalows boast elegant styling, private plunge pool, four poster bed, luxurious Egyptian cotton linens, every possible modern amenity, and personalised butler service. Two stunning white sand beaches, beautiful Rainforest Spa with tree house treatment rooms, full PADI dive facility, and superb waterfront dining ensure the ultimate vacation experience with space enough for honeymooners and families alike. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jalousie Plantation Hotel Soufrière
- Jalousie Plantation Soufrière
- Jalousie Plantation St Lucia
- Jalousie Hilton
- Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort St. Lucia/Soufriere