What We Love
- The 6,000-square-foot Aveda spa
- On-site yoga and Pilates classes
- First-floor rooms have private plunge pools
- Free WiFi
- Infinity pool with beautiful island views
What To Know
- It’s a short distance from the beach, but there’s a free shuttle
- The hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Carmichael’s is closed on Sunday and Monday evenings
- A 10 percent service charge per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Located on a sugarcane-covered hillside, between mountains dotted with villages and the untouched forest on the island’s dramatic coastal highlands, Sugar Ridge appeals to aesthetes with its modern architecture and clean palette of crisp whites against dark woods. And while it’s not directly on the beach, it’s tough to beat the views its hillside location affords of Antigua’s palm-lined shore, the Caribbean Sea and neighboring islands of Redonda, Nevis and St. Kitts.
Bed and Bath
The property’s 60 spacious rooms are in groups of four, each with its own entrance and modern interiors done up in earth tones. Upper rooms have large verandas, dining decks and daybeds, while each lower room comes with a private plunge pool. Decks have panoramic views of the island’s lush landscape, and four-poster beds draped in white mosquito netting add to the air of romance.
For a small property, the dining options are eclectic. Carmichael’s is an open-air hilltop restaurant with a menu devised to make the most of what’s fresh at Antigua’s local market; expect dishes such as jerk pork tenderloin and Antiguan lobster. At Sugar Club, the more informal eatery and social center of the resort, head chef Andrew Jean takes a modern, fusion approach to Caribbean cuisine, adding such categories as tapas, sushi and pizza to the mix. Highlighting Sugar Ridge’s emphasis on wellness and relaxation, the 6,000-square-foot Aveda spa has a full menu of rejuvenating treatments, including holistic therapies, body wraps using mint and rosemary, and chakra-balancing massages. For fitness fans, there are aerobics classes and a Pilates and yoga studio, and an 82-foot lap pool.
In the Area
The hotel overlooks Jolly Harbour Marina, from which boat excursions, scuba dives and fishing trips depart. We like Miramar Sailing, which offers a sunset cruise that includes champagne and snacks. Active types can get an up-close look at the island’s lush rain forest with the Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour, a two-and-a-half-hour zipline adventure. For Antigua’s most famous view, visit Shirley Heights, also known for the delicious barbecue served at the Lookout restaurant and for hosting the biggest and best boat party every Sunday.
How to Get There
I totally loved this place. The beautiful beds with mosquito nets were so cool and the staff was so nice. We loved the live music next to the restaurant and had a fantastic time dancing with them. Nobody else seemed interested in dancing but we had a blast. The nice lady in the restaurant for breakfast was the sweetest and worked so hard to accommodate us and make sure our breakfast was perfect even when we were a few minutes late for breakfast. I love the whole island but this hotel made it extra special. I don't normally stay at places that aren't right on the beach but this was such a special place that the easy walk to the beach was hardly noticeable.
We stayed at Sugar Ridge for three nights in July 2019. This was our second stay at Sugar Ridge, both times through the Aveda Pure Privilege rewards program. Our room rate and breakfast meals were covered and we received a complimentary couples massage.
While we had a lovely stay, I couldn’t help but compare to the last time we were at the property in 2015. In comparison, the grounds and furnishings felt quite tired and in need of some updates. There is beautiful white stone all around the pools and main building that needs a good power washing. Most of the wood (railings, outdoor furniture, floors) need to be re-stained and poly’d. A few areas of wood floor - namely the bar area at Carmichael’s and a few spots in the Sugar Club - need to be repaired or replaced. I thought my foot was going to go straight thru the floor on more than one occasion! Some of the outdoor fixtures are rusted and there is some peeling paint. The spa was nice but I found it strange and a little sad how empty the shelves were of product. It looked like a “going out of business” liquidation sale. All in all it’s still a lovely property, just not the shiny and stunning place I remember from a few years ago.
The food and drinks were still wonderful, and service was better this time than we remember before. I think this can be attributed to the fact that the hotel was nearly empty - I counted ten couples/groups max the whole time we were there. We appreciated being treated like VIPs considering the low occupancy at the time!
Our absolute favorite spot at Sugar Ridge is the infinity pool up by Carmichael’s. The view is out of this world and the privacy is great. We had the pools all to our self both days we were there. They had live music - a piano player - one night at the Sugar Club while we were there. He was incredible and it almost felt like a private concert!
There was little to no nightlife but that was okay with us. We were looking for low-key R&R and always went to bed early, but I could see someone being disappointed if they were looking for some sort of scene. One thing we really wish they had was a hot tub / spa to enjoy at night. That would have been perfect! (We didn’t have a plunge pool at our room this time. We did last time, and found that it was always much too cold to get in, especially at night.)
All in all it was a great trip, but we probably won’t be back unless we earn another free stay through the Aveda program.
Upon arrival you will be greeted with the warmest smiles and a glass of bubbly
The suites are amazing and the views will have you wishing you never have to leave
Having my own private plunge pool made the accommodations top notch
Dining at the restaurant at the top of the resort is spectacular and you will want to eat there nightly
They are not on the beach but not that far away and offer shuttle service to the beach with a staff member who is there to provide you with great service while you lounge on the beautiful beach
I look forward to my next visit