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“A very nice place, with few weaknesses---and GREAT service”
Review of Sugar Ridge

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Sugar Ridge
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Jolly Harbour
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 May 2014

Depending on what you are looking for, you may find this hotel to be fabulous, or mildly disappointing. First, I would like to argue in opposition to some complaints about the service here that others have offered. I have stayed in hundreds of hotels over the last quarter century, with dozens of these being five star resorts. I am not sure that I have ever seen more friendly, gracious, and helpful staff. To a person, they were a joy to deal with. Yes, at times the front desk was mildly understaffed, and we had to wait a minute or so. But this is true everywhere.

The rooms are simple and functional. Not fancy, but they had all the comforts one could reasonably expect. The bed was comfy. The shower was spacious enough for two. The wifi worked. The outdoor patio was pleasant. Everything was clean and modern and tasteful.

We ate at both the main restaurant and at Carmichael's, the fancier alternative. Go to the latter once for the view and the atmosphere, but the food was only marginally better. If your night vision is weak, bring the iPhone "over 40" app, so you can read the menu in the dim light. And get there in time to wAtch the sunset. The view is fantastic.

The food in both restaurants was very good, but not excellent. Tasty and well prepared, but not creAtive, exotic, or memorable. The service, like service everywhere in the hotel, was vey friendly and efficient. We were there at the transition from high to low season (mid may), and apparently they switch from "buffet or menu" to "menu only" mode for breakfast. But this was fine, as the menu options were good and cost effective.


Complaints? I can think of only two. First, the portable A/C units were loud. Second, the wifi went out periodically. The maintenance team was quick to reset it to fix the problem. I suspect it was related to the periodic power outages that the island seems prone to.

It is important to understand that the hotel is NOT in the beach. To compensate:

- they have a small. Unpleasant pool.
- you are just a twenty minute walk from the Jolly Harbour beach, which is clean and beautiful with pristine sand and water.
- they run regular shuttles to other beaches.

Room Tip: Lower numbered rooms will be closer to the restaurant and lobby and have better views. Limited wa...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank CWR01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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581 - 587 of 1,090 reviews

Reviewed 24 May 2014

The friendly and helpful staff are what makes this hotel so good - particularly the front desk receptionists and the Sugar Club waiters and waitresses. (I never made it to the other restaurant at the top of the mountain.)

Yes, there are a lot of steps, but they prevent you from putting on too much weight from the enormous breakfasts. However, I wouldn't recommend this hotel to anyone with a disability.

There are always loungers available by the pools and the pools never seem to get too crowded. The lower pool is quite a bit cooler than the upper pool, so there is a choice of water temperatures to suit just about everybody, and if you do get tired of the pools - I never did - you can take the shuttle to the beach.

Many of the guests were AI, but I wouldn't recommend this as there are so many restaurants a short walk or a short taxi ride away. My favourites were Dennis's - phenomenal goat curry and rum and raisin ice-cream made with real rum - and The Tamarind Tree at Curtain Bluff Hotel when I felt like splashing out.

There were a few minor niggles: the bathrooms are a little on the cramped side and there was a problem with my smoke alarm, but this was quickly fixed. Also, it would have been nice to have a comfortable chair in the room.

But, all in all, a very enjoyable and relaxing stay. Marcia at reception is one of the nicest ladies I have ever met and Rodayne even let me use the front desk computer when the guest computer wouldn't behave itself.

Would I go back? Definitely.

Room Tip: The lower numbered rooms are further from the main road.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Berbician
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

I stayed at Sugar Ridge for a week all inclusive in a deluxe room and I had a hot stone massage.

My highlights:
Food at Carmichaels Restaurant. Delicious, well presented and impeccable service

Small private pool in the deluxe room balcony. This is the place to hang out in the afternoon!

Gym: One of the largest and best kitted out Hotel gyms i have seen. Probably because locals
can be members so it has better facilities. Classes are included. I had a one on one Pilates class which was great and at a good time of day.

Staff: Very friendly, attentive and timely at service.

Infinity pool and loungers: Peaceful, worth the walk to get to and very comfortable sun beds with shade or direct sun

Heads up:
Steps: This resort has a lot of steps to use and they are steep. You have to walk up to the infinity pool and one of the restaurants, or down to the reception and main pool. I saw it as good exercise, but in the heat it can be tiring! However, there are little cars that can give you a lift.

Beach: There are plenty of good beaches a short shuttle ride or taxi ride away but this hotel is not on a beach

All inclusive - one of the most sophisticated All Inclusives i have stayed at. Drinks are served in glasses, all prepared freshly (not like the mass hotel resorts in plastic cups). Food is served sit down with with service (not buffet style) and the cocktails were delicious.

Overall. I would recommend this to any singletons, couples, business groups or groups of friends visiting Antigua.

Probably not so great for Children as it is focused around adult relaxation and there are no childrens facilities (that i could see). Also not great if you don't like walking or are disabled.

Would i return?. Yes, in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: Book the deluxe room which includes your own private balcony plunge pool. If you are travelling her...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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3  Thank missdix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

Sugar Ridge is the nicest boutique hotel on Island for those who prefer to stay away from the resort traps. The bungalows give you a sense of privacy. The rest of the grounds are elegant and peaceful adding to a sense of tranquility. The staff is wonderful and the service is 5-star. Carmichael´s offers you a more formal setting for dinner while the Sugar Club is relaxed and fun. They have a fantastic gym with quality equipment and is just across the street from Jolly Harbour where you can find anything you need.

Now, where it falls short. Only stay here if you are in Antigua on a romantic getaway. Antigua was named numerous times as the most romantic travel destination in the World, and Sugar Ridge was built with that concept in mind. Usually only couples and newlyweds on the property and everyone generally keeps to them selves. The evening activities are pleasant and quite and generally end early. The rooms are pretty standard with only bed (big, nice and comfortable) with TV. With the Bungalow concept - instead of main building with rooms, you have individual bungalows which host 4 rooms spread out throughout the property - it would be ideal if rooms had a kitchenette. There is no business corner which makes for quite an unproductive stay. Internet is shoddy and the lamps on the bedside tables are so big that there is hardly any space for you to place your items - find this frustrating. Also, lack of power outlets. For leisure stays - the pool area is too small and cramped and the property is not beach front, although the beach is a 2 min drive away and they have shuttles to accommodate guests.

If you are looking for a quite, romantic stay with your significant other then this is exactly where you want to stay.

Room Tip: Rooms with plunge pools on the balcony get worse Wifi reception. Although if you are there on vacat...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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2  Thank kal3o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

We chose Sugar Ridge for its Boutique-like characteristics: smaller (60 rooms), option to opt-in or out of the all-inclusive package, restaurants and location. We were not disappointed! In addition, the staff was welcoming and relaxed. (Thanks for the great fun Troy! Thanks for the love Carleen!) It was a perfect hotel for what we were looking for! Many beaches surround the area and we appreciated the walk to the beach or we took the free shuttle offered by the hotel. Best of all was the view from our room. We opted for a higher room on the hill and this had us getting up early, even on vacation, to relax and read in the peace of the garden around us, loving the ocean and landscape views. As we did not do the all inclusive deal, we went out to a few surrounding restaurants which were great and there is a grocery store in Jolly Harbour, about a 5-10 minute walk away from Sugar Ridge, for water, snacks or for prepping a picnic for your balcony or for the beach. Little splurge: Massages at the Hotel Spa (Aveda) were among the top massages we've had!

Room Tip: Higher up in the hill is more private and offers a view you will never forget!
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Mathieu M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

I chose to stay at Sugar Ridge having spotted it on a previous trip to Antigua with the family. On my own this time - I wanted a catered holiday, and Sugar Ridge seemed to offer everything I wanted this time - nice rooms, choice of restaurants serving food a la carte as opposed to the ubiquitous buffet, but having stayed here, what has really made my holiday has been the fantastic and extremely helpful staff.

From the moment I arrived until now when I am winding down to leave, every single member of staff has been efficient and friendly. So what if at times service in the restaurant is a bit slow..... Chill, man you're on holiday in the Caribbean - take it easy yourself - it's really "no big ting!"

Rooms are good sized with nicely appointed shower rooms, and the dark wood and white decor really suits the area. They are serviced daily by ever cheerful maids, and are extremely comfortable, with huge balconies ( mine had my own private plunge pool) complete with table and 2 chairs and a daybed.

As I said all the staff are friendly and willing to make your holiday the best ever, and I single out Janine and Marcia on Reception, Carleen in the Sugar Club, and Troy the barman in Carmichaels for special mention, and all the "buggy" drivers who were willing and ready to whiz up and down the long and winding road to the room or Carmichaels at all times of the day or night.

Food wise, the a la carte option was great for me - I enjoyed being able eat from a menu and have my meal cooked to order rather than abandon my bag whilst I joined the ravening hordes at a buffet of stale and overheated food, and the choice of 6 wines as well as most other drinks and cocktails was good too.

Would I come back? You betcha! And the sooner the better - it will feel like coming home!

Room Tip: Higher numbered rooms are higher up the hill and therefore further from the action, but quieter for...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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6  Thank CarolynUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Too much of the wrong things can never be good for you, but, ah the good stuff - likeliness SugarRidge style - now, that's a different story....
Fairy tales abound with the symbolic presence of the number three, and we would concur, since this was our third visit at this sweet spot, and indeed magical it was: from our "Welcome home!" greeting from Marcia to our last hug and handshake with Vorn at our departure, our stay was n enchanted foray from the cold realities of life in the north.
Mornings were blissfully indolent, with abundant breakfasts delivered to our room, where we enjoyed variety of egg dishes, rolls, or,toast, fresh fruits and coffee, al fresco, contemplating the morning sun over Jolly Harbour or the antics of the bananaquits.
Then we would head off to our daily sojourn of a breathtaking beach -usually Valley Church or Turner's, and spend the day swimming in calm waters, walking, reading, and gazing dreamily at the splendid Cornucopia of restful colours, like light turquoise water, and baby blue skies.
Lunch was easy and convenient, since the AI plan allowed us to nosh at the beach restaurants without worrying about carrying cash.
If we needed any items throughout the day, Vorn, Glendon or Kevin would run us over to JH, and either wait or retrieve us later. All we had to do was ask - better than the fairly tells, because here wishes could be granted without the accompanying nasty moral! Kettle in the suite - no problem! Umbrella? Taxi? Something from the gift shop? Everything appeared with ease and celerity.
Evening meals were a little longer in appearing, but they were compensated by the charming presence of the staff who were only happy when you were, like Dino g with old friends.
The menus have been revamped and change frequently to add variety, although I felt there was enough choice from previous visits. Some of the best dishes are the prawns, snapper, soups, and desserts that make you forget that you ever worried about your waistline!
Isn't that what holidays are for - escape, indulge and otherwise throw off the burdens of the everyday?
The staff here, are so focussed on the NOW, the needs of the individual guest that you realize how sweet life can be: kudos to the GM Keith Martel who creates the magic. not only does SR ensure us the same room for each visit, but, as per our request, now offer a screened-in veranda, so we can indulge in the blissful trade wind breezes!
Short of winning the 649, what can a Canadian wish for?

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank MelvaOntario_Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sugar Ridge

Address: PO Box 153, Jolly Harbour, Antigua
Region: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary Parish > Jolly Harbour
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre 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: £173 - £387 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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