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“Great resort and facilities let down by very inconsistent service”

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Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great resort and facilities let down by very inconsistent service”
Reviewed 31 July 2014

I found our stay here very frustrating. This place has the potential to be truly magical. The pool, rooms and properties are all beautiful and everywhere is kept spotlessly clean. I also think the quality of the food was very good, particularly the more local dishes. We were upgraded to all inclusive and I genuinely can’t comprehend what it must have been like to stay there otherwise given the often crazy prices for relatively basic stuff (like the bbq and cold breakfast).

Unfortunately, the standard of service was literally all over the place. Having stayed in places like the Oberoi in Mauritius, this is truly a million miles away and yet it is certainly no cheaper… Some staff were a delight, and we tipped generously in those cases, but some were night and day and that’s what made the experience so bizarre. Some specific examples to bring this to life:
- My wife was actually brought to tears by the barman in the cane bar after he launched into a tirade about the plight of the locals compared with westerners when she was just trying to make conversation.
- The butler service was truly shambolic. They are not butlers. Stay at a suite at Claridges in London and see what a butler is, i.e. ONE person who looks after you completely. Here it is a pool of people who are basically OK so long as all you want to do is order a tuk tuk. Anything else was usually met with an “I’ll call you back” before being abruptly cut off. They NEVER once EVER called us back on anything. We wasted a whole morning where I asked for someone to come to our room to go through trips. I had to call 4 times and eventually someone came running up the hill complaining that he had asked someone else to do it and they hadn’t (how this is my problem I don’t know). There was no apology. We went through the trips we wanted to do, two were easy to book so he did that there and then, the others, which included fishing, he said he’d get back to us. He never did. On a random morning in our second week I got a call from them saying my boat was ready for the fishing trip. No one had told me it was booked, how much it would cost or anything so I missed out. The other trip we asked for never materialised on any basis.
- We asked for a table at the Bay side restaurant to be booked – “I’ll call you back”. Obviously he never did and I had to make the reservation myself.
- We went down for 8pm to the Bayside restaurant at our appointed time for the women on the desk to look at us as if we’d just thrown something unpleasant at her. “We expected you at 6.30”. We explained that this was yesterday and our butler obviously booked the wrong day. No apology, just a very rude shrug and she set off towards a table, presumably for us to follow. Such rude service would be unacceptable in a Little Chef, let alone a £10k a stay resort.
- Frequently, our orders would go awry and there would NEVER be an apology. As an example, I ordered extra hash browns with my breakfast. We waited the customary age for it to arrive and I had none at all. I queried this and the waitress said “oh – they’re all gone”, turned her back on me and walked off. No apology, no, “I’m sorry sir, those aren’t available now, would you like something else”. No basic service at all to be honest, just more outright rudeness.
- On one morning, the person who was presumably supposed to be taking our ordered never materialised. Since we were starving, we asked one of the other members of staff who was loitering at the entrance. The look we got was truly something to behold. You’d have thought we’d asked her to clean our toilet and with a shrug and not a word said, she set off to argue with the person who should have taken it.

I could go on and on with examples but won’t. The point is that the staff are often not just delivering bad service, but actually being downright rude and insulting. I genuinely don’t think this is deliberate or an attitude issue, it’s just basically a lack of any proper training.

As a balance to this, the service in the main formal restaurant was significantly better and we had no real problems there. One dish had to be sent back (which could happen anywhere) and there was no apology again, but by this stage we were not exactly surprised.

One final thought on the place as compared with other top world resorts we’ve been to: It has always been very apparent to us who the hotel manager is. At the Grand Hotel Residencia in Gran Canarias, the Oberoi etc etc the manager greets you and is always present. At the Sugar Beach we had no idea who he/she was and I wonder if this is where the difference maybe lies.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Teldar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ABoersma, General Manager at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, responded to this review, 12 August 2014
Good day,
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort stay.
I am disappointed to hear of the lapses in service that you have highlighted. The experience that you have described is very unusual. I would like to apologize for the unacceptable encounters that you were faced with.
As the general manager of this resort, I am very much concerned about the experience of every guest. Every day, during lunch, I visit the Bayside restaurant and introduce myself to all the guests dining at that time. I do the same at our Managers Cocktail on Monday from 5pm-6pm. You may have visited a time when I was off island on business or vacation but in this instance, one of our senior managers would have done the same.
Your comments about the service in our restaurants and the lapses in our butler team have been discussed with the relevant department heads to ensure that refresher training is implemented where necessary as a matter of urgency. From the feedback we generally receive it would appear that the experiences you encountered were the exception, rather than the norm and I want to ensure future guests enjoy our normally flawless service.
I do hope the service issues you described have not left an indelible mark and that you will consider a return visit to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort at some point in the future. We would welcome the opportunity to serve you at our best.
Regards,

André Boersma
General Manager
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Location: can't be beat. Not too far from Airport. Beachfront. Between the two Pitons. Hands down best location on Island.

Best snorkeling is at Sugar Beach. I've seen fish here that I haven't seen in other caribbean islands.

You need to prepare yourself for how much things cost. Not just at Sugar Beach, but on the whole island. Save up ahead of time so you can relax & enjoy all the spoils of Sugar Beach, as well as other restaurant/beach/activities.

Take a water taxi with Randolph to Anse Chastenet/Anse Mamin for a burger and a quieter beach. Costs about $25/pp for roundtrip taxi.

We did not venture into Castries, because why would we want to leave the solitude at Sugar Beach?? Just relax and enjoy the amazing beach & views of Pitons.

Best hotel on the island. Hands down. I've seen the others either by water taxi or eating at their restaurants, and Sugar Beach puts the other Soufriere hotels to shame.

Oh and get on your iPad every morning to see if the Spa is offering 50% off massages. Don't pre-book!!!!!!

Room Tip: We booked a Sugar Mill Room for the least expensive option, and we were upgraded to a villa, which w...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lyokem1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ABoersma, General Manager at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, responded to this review, 12 August 2014
Good day,
Thank you for taking the time to comment on your stay at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort.
We try our best to create remarkable experiences for everyone who stays. It is such a pleasure to know that our resort provided you with the highest level of service and that our team provided all the special touches to ensure you returned home with memories to cherish.
Once again, thank you for your comments and business. We look forward to your return visit.
Regards,

André Boersma
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado Springs
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014 via mobile

I was here attending a wedding and the service was outstanding and the personalized butler service was unique, I almost thought I was rich for a minute. The rooms were immaculate and air-conditioned everything was refreshing. Our bathroom was very large and spacious the whole place was beautiful inside and out and the private beach is only a few steps away. Snorkeling was fantastic as well as learning to sail the Hobbie boats which is all part of the resort. The food was absolutely perfect after a long day in the sun, we really enjoyed the service and the food although the service is not United States fast but who cares when you're on vacation. Just meant we had more time to talk face to face. Sorry, no texting here. We also went zip lining which is just a few miles away. We can't wait to go back and make more memories.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank jbetz78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ABoersma, General Manager at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Good day,
Thank you for your positive feedback after your stay as a wedding guest at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort.
It brings us great satisfaction to know that you were blown away by the high level of service and quality accommodation that we provide. Your review serves as proof that we provide top notch services that goes hand in hand with our stunning setting. We are happy that we made your time with us memorable for all the right reasons.
We are looking forward to your return visit soon hope to see you again soon.
Regards,

André Boersma
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

A 9-day honeymoon stay at Sugar Beach Resort was the perfect way to unwind after the excitement and stresses of planning for our special day. The resort is nestled between the Pitons with spectacular views of Saint Lucia's defining landscape and the Caribbean Sea. The grounds are sprawling from beachfront to luxurious villas that dot the mountainous setting of the resort. The service at Sugar Beach is impeccable and unlike anything we have ever experienced. Kind, attentive, and always aiming to please - we were wowed by the personal attention and friendly nature of the many locals that are employed at the resort. People like Shawn (butler), Michael and Terry (resort shuttle drivers), Linus (wait staff), and Michelle (spa) greeted us with smiles and superior service in everything they do for their guests. Our luxury villa (700s) was a private oasis - hidden by lush natural landscape, and complete with plunge pool, spectacular views and a massive shower retreat (indoor and out). The resort grounds and properties were well maintained and very natural in their setting. The restaurants and bars were excellent, well run, and had varied choices to keep the menu interesting meal after meal. We especially loved sushi at Cane Bar (with a Cuban cigar and local rum night cap), but Bayside and breakfast at Terrace were excellent, too. The spa services were fabulous and in a very cool tree house setting. The resort pool was incredible - infinity style with beautiful beach, sea and Piton views. The beach was meticulously maintained and the wait staff at the pool and beach kept the drinks flowing. The resort is well positioned to activities and restaurants in the town of Soufriere (e.g., Piton hike, Sulphur mud bath). Sugar Beach is top notch and 5-star luxury in every way. Very, very impressed.

Room Tip: We liked 700s, but 300s and 500s seemed very popular with resort guests, too. The higher the number...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TheGrec67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ABoersma, General Manager at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Good day,

Thank you for your wonderful comments about your honeymoon at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort.

We are committed to providing a high level of service to all of our guests and it is truly satisfying that your honeymoon was all you hoped it would be.
Again, we thank you for your comments and business. We hope to see you back for anniversary celebrations to come.
Regards,

André Boersma
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
231 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We have just returned from this resort after a 10 day stay and wish we were back there. Everything about the resort was first class. The location, service, food, and accommodation.
The hotel is about a 1 hour drive from the airport by private transfer. When we arrived we were taken straight to our villa by our butler who dealt with all the paperwork of registration, as well as giving us a tour of the villa we had been upgraded to. We had a total of 3 butlers looking after us on 8 hour shifts. They were all superb, MONTY, DWIGHT and KURT. We were given a mobile phone to contact them at anytime day or night. VERY HANDY !
The resort is spread out over an area between the 2 Pitons called Sugar Beach. It is quite hilly but an on demand shuttle is available to take you to any part of the resort you want to go to.
Again the drivers could not have been nicer and quickly got to know us by name which was a very nice touch. We ate at the Bayside once but preferred the fine dining experience of The Great Room . The food was freshly prepared and presented beautifully by staff who could not do enough for you. We raised a laugh each evening by ordering the same dessert a beautifully cooked Grand Marnier Soufle, so much so that the staff didn't bother bringing the dessert menu for the last three nights of our stay.
On exiting the restaurant we were greeted by SHERMAN who had spotted us leaving the Great Room and had already ordered a shuttle to take us back to our villa. Now that's what I call service. He was another one of the staff who knew us by name and was a great character complimenting my wife every evening on her dresses. Breakfast was served on The Terrace and again was fantastic with a good selection of freshly prepared dishes as well as a well stocked buffet.
The villa was beautifully appointed in true Caribbean style and was spotlessly clean and well serviced. The only slight drawback were the mosquitos who loved us, however the staff sprayed the room daily and did everything they could to solve the problem.
We felt the resort was a little remote and you had to rely on water taxis or normal taxi if you did not hire a car and this was expensive as were most of the tours from the resort.
All in all we would not hesitate to return to Sugar Beach on the half board package which offered good value for money.

Room Tip: Deluxe rooms are located close to the main dining areas, whereas the villas require the use of the...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ian f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ABoersma, General Manager at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Good day,
Thank you for taking the time out to share your feedback about your vacation at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort.
We take great delight in reading reviews such as yours and in knowing you appreciated the small touches and attention to details that made for a truly relaxing stay,
We fully understand your comments about taxi fares around the island. Unfortunately, the fares are set by the island’s taxi associations and as such, we have little control over the prices they charge for their services. The water taxi operators also set their own rates. We continue to work with them to try to negotiate better rates on behalf of our guests and the dialogue is on-going.
We hope that you will consider a return visit to us soon. Thank you for your review.
Best Regards,

André Boersma
General Manager
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London, UK
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

My wife and i spent 9 days here last November in a basic Sugar Mill Room,. Of all the resorts i have been to in the past this hotel must top the bill for the sheer wow factor as you wander around the resort with Petit and Gros Piton rising dramatically either side of the bay. There really is no point in bothering to leave , although we did visit the main town by water taxi which was a waste of a morning relaxing on the beach. The food was of a very high standard in all restaurants ,i think buying the meal plan is a worthwhile thing to do. The guy who ran the gym and fitness classes deserves a mention as he was incredibly good, (knowledgeable and funny) and all the other staff were very friendly too. The room was a little shabby but it didn't cost that much ! The main downsides to it was the noisy aircon unit that was on its last legs in the rear garden area of the room that really did make a racket and cat faeces in the borders of the front garden from stray cats that roam around , the room could have done with a lick of paint too, the walls were quite badly scratched. The shabby room however didn't detract from a great stay and they do have the advantage of being a 10 yard walk to the main building . Free water-sports were also great. I would return in a nano second.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JMBZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ABoersma, General Manager at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Good day,
Thank you for taking the time to comment on your stay at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort.
I am sorry to hear that your accommodation did not meet your expectations. If we were aware of your concerns, I am certain that we would have gladly offered you another accommodation and set to work fixing the issues you described in your room. I would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused.
I am also sorry that your air condition unit was noisy. We are reviewing our service standards to ensure that all air conditioning units are functioning correctly at all times.
Once again, thank you for your comments and business. We would welcome the opportunity to serve you again, and to share firsthand the improvements made in light of your concerns.
Regards,

André Boersma
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Island City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

From the drive onto the Sugar Beach Resort's property to entering the Lobby, you will be swept away and not really want to leave - ever. Every detail has been thought of, even a cleaner of sunglasses on the beach! Everyone is charming and eager to help. The water sports team are savvy and fun (our snuba instructor Joseph is nicknamed "the blue marlin"); and there are great places to visit. P.S. Executive Chef Jacques Chretien is a Maître Cuisinier de France (French Master Chef) and his food is yummy!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Karen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ABoersma, General Manager at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Good day,
Thank you for your glowing comments about your stay at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort.
We are pleased that you had a great time with us and that your expectations were exceeded in all areas. The staff will be commended for a job well done. Chef Jacques will be very happy you enjoyed his food.
Once again, thank you for your comments and business. We are looking forward to your return visit soon.
Regards,

André Boersma
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

Property: Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
Address: Sugar Beach, Val des Pitons, Soufriere, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Soufriere Quarter > Soufriere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Soufriere
#2 Family Hotel in Soufriere
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Soufriere
#3 Spa Hotel in Soufriere
#3 Luxury Hotel in Soufriere
#4 Romantic Hotel in Soufriere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 96
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

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