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
Overall the stay at Sugar Ridge was good. The staff was friendly and helpful. On the day we checked out we had booked a car to take us to the airport. Driver did not show up and they got another taxi in 10 minutes. If you get John Henry as your driver he is very good.
Aveda spa was nice. The pool area is nice. Heads up to Americans the pool is not heated. Overall our room was clean and we did not have issues like other reviews. Yes there was some car noise but it’s the main road going through town.
Some suggestions would be better up keep of the grounds near the rooms. The breakfast could use some improvement. I hear some people complain about the room price but one has to realize this is not a beach town but an area with high net worth people outside of Antigua.
We just got back from a quick trip and a 3 night stay at Sugar Ridge. We did the all inclusive option and we were greeted with rum punch which was a nice touch. We splurged on a plunge pool room but ours was on the lower side near the reception so we really didn’t have much of a view at all but hey we didn’t have to walk but maybe 5 uphill steps so that was nice. We really enjoyed the bar menu and sugar club lounge in the afternoons- fish tacos and gooey cheese fries were so good and so was the grilled cheese chicken sandwich and they would make u any drink you asked for anywhere at the resort bars or by the pools. We noticed that the drinks at Carmichael’s up top were always super super strong! And the drinks down below at the other bar and pools were weak and tolerable. I have to say I didn’t love the all inclusive food for breakfast and dinner- it was so so and the service was always extremely slow and several other couples were commenting on this as a draw back- I get that we are on island time but I also don’t want to spend 2 hours trying to eat dinner or breakfast- I’d rather be out exploring! We did splurge on a night at Carmichael’s it was a $40 extra per person supplement even on the all inclusive plan- BUT the view was amazing and the food was to die for- I had the catch of the day and husband had surf and turf both very very good. The sunset at Carmichael’s infinity pool is also amazing. The downsides would be the resort is very close to the road so traffic noise is pretty loud and it’s hard to feel like your relaxing plus barking dogs from the neighbors kinds constant morning and evening. The waitresses weren’t always friendly some were super nice and overly friendly and others were just plain annoyed and pissy....so that was weird. Usually after the housekeeping cleans your room you come back to a beautiful clean room but bags of your dirty towels are left outside on the side walk or your porch every day...kinda odd. The shuttle was cool to the beaches fun beautiful ride with breathtaking views- we only made it to turners beach but the shuttle rotated between turners and valley church beach every other day. Food was good but limited with all inclusive at the beach and the bartenders basically rolled their eyes when you said you were from Sugar ridge...it’s like they were always pissed off to serve us and pissed about all inclusive but whatever. Beaches were stunning. Also I want to note the hotel staff and reception will go out of their way to keep you comfortable and get you anything you need- I got bad sunburnt one day and the staff offered to stop at the pharmacy and get me a fresh Aloe Vera leaf- that was pretty awesome. Also if you go eat at Carmichael’s ask for a ride up from reception because one day we walked up there and dear lord all the stairs make you both out of breath and dizzy haha and we are young and active! Over all a fun stay. Check out Creole Antigua Tours- we did a snorkel and lobster day with them and it was amazing and was my Fav meal on the whole trip. Also rooms were very clean at sugar ridge sheets are paper thin but beds were comfortable and AC worked so so well! Next time I will try somewhere actually on the beach to stay at with less noise and probably not do all inclusive but over all a great stay on our first time on the island. Also your taxi ride from airport be prepared you go through a lot of poverty areas and the roads are extremely bumpy and full of pot holes!
We had high hopes for our stay at Sugar Ridge, however we were sincerely let down. We had to change rooms after the first room we checked into smelled like mold, had stains on the upholstery and bed spread, along with rips and tears. We were also sitting right on top of the main road, where the noise was loud and overwhelming. Our second room was nicer and farther from the road. The food was over priced, and underwhelming. Walking around the resort was difficult, even for young people like us who enjoy hiking! However there is a shuttle service provided which helps. We payed extra for a private plunge pool, however it was gross, disappointing, and we didn't even use it. Good parts about Sugar Ridge- the staff was and friendly and accommodating and the view watching the sun set from the infinity pool was great. Overall, this hotel is not cheap and in my opinion not worth the price.
There are a few positive things I can say about Sugar Ridge. There is free yoga in a outdoor pavilion at the top of the resort in the morning and early evening. The infinity pool is great to watch the sunset. Bath robes are provided in the rooms. There is a towel service for the beach (yellow) and the pool (blue). The complimentary massage was very good.
I was redeeming my Aveda points for the 3 free night and paid for a fourth night and splurged on a room with a plunge pool.
We arrived late on a Monday night. There were several people at the reception area to greet us. I do not recall a "greeting" per se. I was asked
almost immediately for a credit card and our passports. They gave my husband some rum punch. The options were rum punch, juice or water.
I was disappointed that beer was not an option.
Our neighbors to the right were smokers. Since you are not permitted to smoke in the rooms, our neighbors spent a lot of time on their porch. We could not enjoy our porch when they were on their porch because of the smoke blowing in our direction.
The room was small and the lighting is very poor. We felt cramped in the room and could not read at night because the lamps were not bright enough.
The mattress and pillows were very uncomfortable. I did not sleep for 4 nights. I laid on my left side until my hip hurt. I would then roll to my back.
As I am not comfortable sleeping on my back, I would then roll to my right. I would remain on my right until there was so much pain in my hip I would have to roll to my left again. And that is how all 4 of my nights there played out, "resting" but never sleeping. And let me add that I did not sleep by the pool or at the beach all afternoon. I drank coffee with breakfast and ingested no other caffeinated beverages throughout the day.
The breakfast was okay. The service was very slow. After ordering our food, it took a minimum of 30 minutes for it to be served. There was one morning when I ordered plain pancakes because pumpkin pancakes were not available. They were inedible. I was thinking they should have been served with a steak knife. But, after tasting them, I realized I could not eat them. There were 2 mornings when they did not have bananas to put in the fruit salad.
Carmichael's is the restaurant at the top of the resort. It is a beautiful setting. Both of our meals were served lukewarm. It was tempting to send the food back but I did not want it heated in a microwave and after waiting more than 30 minutes for the food, I just wanted to eat and go back to the room.
I noticed broken glass at the top of our steps on Tuesday. I reported it to the grounds crew. The glass remained there for the duration of our stay.
While visiting the bar at the Infinity pool, my husband ordered a drink and I asked for a glass of ice water. The bartender said he could not serve me ice water. He offered me a cup of tap water. When I mentioned to him that I thought the tap water was not safe to drink, he got really angry. I walked away. My husband stayed but said it was very uncomfortable.
The housekeeping staff has a really difficult job at this resort. There is no rolling cart with all of their supplies. They have to carry all of their mops and supplies up steep walkways and down very rough steps. The towels for our stay were kept in a big plastic bag on our porch. There was a lot
of condensation inside the bag. I think the towels must have had some moisture in them when they were placed there. The clean towels that were left in the room everyday had a peculiar odor.
On Thursday we were locked out of our room. When we went down to reception, we were told it was because we were booked under 2 reservations as if that is a valid excuse. I paid over $600 for 1 night plus the plunge pool upgrade for a room that is now selling for ~$300. That same day we came back to the room to get ready for dinner and the door to our room was ajar. The housekeeping staff forgot to close the door when they were done cleaning our room.
There is a lot a traffic noise. Cars drive very fast along road where the resort is located. There is a little shopping center with a grocery store and several restaurants. But, it is not a pedestrian friendly walk.
There are sick cats on the resort. They say that the cats are feral but they are not. The cats would follow us and meow as we walked back to our room after dinner. There were 2 kittens that allowed me to pet them. I do not know if the cats are fed by kitchen staff or if they raid the trash cans. The cats need to be vetted. The kittens had goop coming out of their eyes. And one of them had a distended belly, probably from worms. If you aren't going to take care for the animals on your property, have them removed.
We went on the "nature walk" with Vorn. The man is really out there. I had burrs all over my clothing, scratches all over my legs and I had to leave my running shoes there because I stepped in cow dung. We passed a cow chained to the ground in the hot sun with no access to food or water.
It was very distressing to see that mistreatment of an animal. Maybe it is the culture of the country.
We got a shuttle ride to 2 beaches. My husband swam in the ocean but there was very poor visibility. At one beach, you had to pay $10 for an umbrella but they would give you a chair. At the other beach there were permanent umbrellas but you had to pay $10 for the chair. I had no cash with me so I made due finding shade from trees and sat on my yellow towels. At the second beach a busload of French tourists were dropped off. I spent the duration of my time there seeking shade where I was not downwind of their secondhand smoke.
In my opinion Sugar Ridge really misses the mark as a 5 star resort.
Overall the design of the hotel is nice and depending on where your room is located you can end up with a great view. The hotel is on a cliff so there are a lot of stairs but there is a shuttle you can use to get to the restaurant/pool on the top of the cliff. Areas of growth: some of the furniture is worn, there was rust on the towel rack in the shower, some of the throw pillows had rips in them, and some of the towels I received were torn/ripped. The only meals I ate here was the breakfast which was below average in my opinion.
The staff here is great and they make the place worth coming to. They will go out of their way to help you and provide anything you need.