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“Glorious Vacation at the Sugar Mill”
Review of Sugar Mill Hotel

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Sugar Mill Hotel
Ranked #2 of 25 Hotels in Tortola
Certificate of Excellence
baltimore
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Glorious Vacation at the Sugar Mill”
Reviewed 24 March 2006

My Daughter and I just returned from a great week at the Sugar Mill. We had their "Adventure Package," which made for a perfect introduction to the beautiful BVI's. Our package included four (delicious!) dinners at their beautiful restaurant, scuba lessons and dives, a day sail, a flight to Anegada with lobster lunch, a 6-day jeep rental, a castaway picnic lunch, and a nice room. It was perfect for a trip with a 20-year old; plenty of activity and plenty of relaxation.

It's a great little hotel. Our room was on the lower floor, the furthest away, at the top of the hill. A short but challenging hike for the out-of-shape me, but a pretty walk. The first night there a low-growing palm blocked our view of the ocean. Next day, we looked out and someone had hacked of the lower branches and we had a view. But even without the view, we liked the privacy. The rooms are spotless clean, and very comfortable. The whole place felt very homey. It's quiet, except for the roosters crowing. Still, we never turned on the air conditioner or shut the windows, and the roosters didn't keep us awake. But they do crow and crow, all over the island. I never saw housekeeping people, never. One time I saw a man sweeping up steps. They were excellent, invisible staff. No bathtub, but very nice roomy shower. Room has a toaster and microwave and coffee pot and fridge in a tidy little kitchen alcove. I made coffee, never used the kitchen. Too many beautiful places to eat on the water in Tortola to be toasting bagels in the room! But you could easily save some money if you wanted to cook light meals in the room.

The staff doesn't gush over you, they just take care of you. We arrived too late for lunch, and the consierge (who multitasks like a champ) said that perhaps when the dinner staff came on they could make us "a ham and cheese or a turkey and cheese sandwich." Sure, we said. It took a while, maybe an hour and a half. But we hung on the little beach, and then our room was ready, we unpacked, and then got the call that our sandwiches were ready. We walked down to the restaurant to find two plates with ham and cheese club sandwiches, pretty fruit, and slices of pie, key lime on one and a coconut pie on the other. We joyfully ate them in the gazebo. Fabulous. Now we could have griped that they took too long to feed us, and jumped in the car and rushed out for food. But we would have missed out on a real treat. It's Island Time, mon.

That night was my birthday; at the restaurant they had prepared special menus with a happy birthday message on them for me, a sweet souvenir. And they brought my desert with a candle and sang a Happy Birthday that was actually in tune and beautiful. That's the kind of special service you get. Restarant food is excellent and the service is terrific.

The pool area is lovely and usually it was empty, good for a stop on the way to the room for a dip and a swing in the hammocks. The beach area is tiny but very very nice with those gorgeous views. Big beaches are a short drive away in either direction. You can walk to Bomba's Shack, or Sebastians, or Coco Plums.

Can you tell that we adored the Sugar Mill? I had the pleasure of staying at Peter Island Resort four years ago, and had a glorious time. However, after experiencing the wonderfully rich island of Tortola, the terrific people there, and the lovely Sugar Mill Hotel, I'll take the smaller, simpler, and far cheaper path of the Sugar Mill. It was just grand.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank elrae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (208)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mystic, CT
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2006

We recently returned from our honeymoon in Tortola and the Sugar Mill Hotel. We stayed in their cottage, which was very nice. The room was very clean and we loved the outdoor stone shower. The property itself looks very nice due to all of the lush plant life they have used in their landscaping. The hotel is in a great location, 5 minutes from Long Bay and 10 from Cane Garden, where we spent the majority of our time. The beach at the hotel was great too, if my husband had enough of the beach we would go back to the hotel and he could relax while I made my way down to their little beach to catch some more rays. My only complaint is that I feel the restaurant was a bit overrated/overpriced. The food was ok and the service was fine, but not exceptionally friendly. All in all I think the Sugar Mill is a great place to stay, but for the money I guess I was expecting a bit more.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank kerrie044
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
152 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2006

We first visited the Sugar Mill 23 years ago when the Morgans were just taking over ownership. In the interim they have re-invested in up-grading the facliities while still retaining the original charm. We found the food excellent (probably the best in the Eastern Caribbean) and the MAP to be of great value. The rooms are clean and comfortable, the pool well maintained, the grounds continually grooomed and the service is outstanding. What more could one want?

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ottawans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2006

The Sugar Mill is a very nice small island hotel. We have stayed there because of what it is not: it is NOT a large sprawling noisy resort without a personality. It is not for high maintenance people who expect every possible amenity and refinement in every location they visit. It IS for those people who want to be comfortable in a more intimate atmosphere that has personality, convenience, comfort, and very good food by caribbean standards.

Key thought: Our experience has been that the hotel is COMPATIBLE with the island. It did not feel like a transplated West Palm/Naples Resort or hotel. We'd go to those places if we wanted that!

We are well travelled having stayed with almost every luxury resort and hotel chain, small hotels and resorts, as well as in middle of the road and budget hotels as well. The Sugar Mill fills a niche on Tortola by offering a pleasant lodgings in pretty tropical setting with a great location on the island. The Sugar Mill is not a Four Seasons, a Ritz Carlton or a "Connaught" style hotel.

Some thoughts:

Dinner: The restaurant is extremely charming being built out of the ruins of an old sugar mill. It is covered and open air which adds to the atmosphere. If you have been to the islands, you know that air conditioning is not always necessary with the trade winds and dining al fresco in the evening can be a pleasure (especially if you come from a cold climate). We feel the best time to visit is winter since it can be 8 or 10 degrees hotter in the summer and more humid. We have eaten at the Mill several times and have never been uncomfortable and have enjoyed it. We even bought the cookbook written by the hotel's owners on our return home. Note that "Bobbie Flay" is not in the kitchen and its not the "French Laundry" but we find the cuisine to be quite good for Tortola

Rooms: Our rooms have been clean and comfortable and attractive. In fact we prefer the Sugar Mill's rooms to others (more expensive) that we have stayed in on the island. One room we had was in the first building from the road to the right of the restaurant. I was at first concerned about the road on my first visit since I am a light sleeper but didn't hear the traffic. In fact, on the night of a famous full moon party at a beach bar down the road (which we attended), i expected lots of noise but was pleased to return to the room never to hear any road noise. And in the evenings, there is little or no traffic at all.

Lunch Spot: The Islands as it is called is a small but nice place for lunch right on the water. And if you like Pina Coladas, they make good ones! A nice added touch is their use of local Sunny Carribee Hot Sauces on the table. YUM!

The Beach: OK Sugar Mill, if you read this, don't even bother marketing your hotel by saying you have a beach. There is probably more sand in my shoes when i get home!! But we knew the beach was small before we visited the first time. Ok its not that small BUT there are just so many better beaches on the Island. If you want a quieter beautiful beach, check out Long Bay. Or Smugglers Cove. Or for Bar hopping fun, Cane Garden Bay. Rent a Jeep for your island stay unless you really want to stay put and just plant your body on the same beach every day. If that's all you want to do, then stay at Long Bay. One other point: generally there is no such thing as a private beach in parts of the caribbean. On Tortola you can enjoy all of them on the map freely/legally from what we have found but there is a chance there might be one we missed that has a fence around it or something.

Staff: We found the restaurant waitresses to be nice. The check-in staff were very businesslike and prompt and don't attempt to feign excitement about your visit. When we had a request, it was granted. You do notice a lack on smiles but we attribute this to formality of the British influence (not that Brits aren't nice, they are great people!)

Pool: We walked by it but simply don't use pools in the islands. You can find pools in Cleveland, Gary, Milwaukee, Detroit, well you get the idea. The SM pool is small and looks comfortable enough for a quick dip.

So overall we think this place is an excellent hotel for Tortola and definitely above average by caribbean standards considering the wide range of accommodatations you can find yourself in.
So if you try the Sugar Mill, don't expect a keyed concierge to set your alarm clock for you or expect to find over-indulgent amenities. Having that would detract from the casual laid back island atmosphere and brings too much civilization into the place. You can get the amenities on your next business trip to Chicago or trip to Naples.

Stayed February 2005
Helpful?
10 Thank snowshoeguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, OH
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2006

Checking into this wonderful, charming hotel, I felt my blood pressure drop 20 points. What a peaceful, relaxing hotel for a quiet tropical getaway!!!

The staff was extraordinarily friendly and sincerely wanted to please my wife and me. They're very well trained and most have been there a number of years. The restaraunt is located in a 300+ year old sugar mill and the chef provides a variety of very good meals at reasonable prices. All hotel rooms, dining room and lobby are tastefully decorated with the watercolors of the owner who has a wonderful eye for Caribbean landscapes. Most hotel rooms seem to have outstanding views of Jost Van Dyke. The pool is adequate and the beach is small but well maintained. Snorkeling is OK, but not great, off the beach.

We would recommend this very highly to couples. Looking forward to our next visit to the Sugar Mill Hotel.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PatHudson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 20 December 2005

If you're expecting pampering and every amenity, the Sugar Mill is not the place for you. However, if you want stunning architecture, comfortable and clean rooms, a small, boutique feel and a retreat to revitalize yourself, then make the Sugar Mill your home.

Not being a big fan of tropic locations, I had low expectations when my wife and I checked into the Sugar Mill. We arrived in the evening, right as the kitchen was closing (9pm) and they held it open for us, even providing time to unload into our room, etc.

The next few days were great. Like I stated before, it was a retreat. Almost vacant beach, no overcrowding at the small hotel, amazing food.

While still not a fan of hot weather, I give the Sugar Mill my highest compliment in saying that I'd come back again. A true revealation.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MD/DC Area
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2005

We just returned from our second trip to Tortola and a repeat stay at the Sugar Mill. The 4 night package made a long weekend get-away very "do-able". Tortola and the surrounding bvi is an amazing and absolutely beautiful place. The Sugar Mill can act as your personal day trip and activity planner or leave you to your own peaceful stay. The food, as always, is absolutely amazing and a must! The staff are very friendly and there to help you in any way they can. The addition of internet availability at the main bar makes it easy to stay connected at home, if need be. The location of the Sugar Mill, 20 minutes by car to Road Town, offers a great spot for general island exploration and access to the West End Ferries, Soper's Hole and The Jolly Roger (good food on its own) and "easy" routes to Cane Garden Bay, Brewer's Bay, Smuggler's Cove, Sky World and other amazingly beautiful sites. The Sugar Mill makes a great home-base while taking in everything the bvi has to offer; Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda (the Baths AND Savannah Bay), Anegada, Peter & Norman Island, Soper's Hole, Road Town, and East end with its gorgeous Long Bay, Trellis Bay and The Last Resort. The knowledge of the Sugar Mill staff with the rest of the bvi is also invaluable and has surely made our trips more enjoyable than they would have been otherwise. I have seen some focus on the sizes of the rooms and pool as well as the beach at the Sugar Mill. Frankly, if you plan to go to Tortola and stay in your room and at your hotel pool, save some money and stay at a Holiday Inn Express. Tortola has dozens of beaches to experience and the rooms are clean and comfortable. As for the Sugar Mill's pool, it is perfect; we enjoyed a few late night swims all by ourselves - after enjoying the unbelievable, indescribable, absolutely mouth-watering Key-Lime Pie. We will be back without question. Thanks again Sugar Mill

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank RIMMILLER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sugar Mill Hotel

Property: Sugar Mill Hotel
Address: | Apple Bay, Tortola
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Tortola
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Tortola
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Tortola
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A sea side boutique hotel with a world standard restaurant. Set amid lush tropical surroundings, the Sugar Mill is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beautiful British Virgin Islands. All our rooms have balconies or terraces and panoramic sea views. From January 2016 our refurbished rooms will include free wi fi, refrigerators, safes, dressing gowns and slippers, iron and board, hairdryers, flat screen TVs , mobile device charging points, luxurious new european bedding and new tropical designer furniture. We have on site the BVI's Number One fine dining restaurant offering fresh lobsters, succulent steaks, crispy belly pork, rack of lamp, scallops in champagne sauce and other mouth watering fare served in the dining room which has been restored from the Rum House of a 400 year old sugar mill. We also have a casual beach restaurant right alongside the hotel. Our small secluded beach offers luxurious loungers and umbrellas with bar and snack service right at your bedside. Alternatively our fresh water circular pool is set among swaying palm trees with a help your self honour bar. Check out our new for 2016 our Five Star All Inclusive option. Everything you need for a perfect vacation at one fixed price. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sugar Mill Tortola
Hotel Sugar Mill
Sugar Mill Hotel Tortola, British Virgin Islands

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