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 had researched other hotels on the island and decided on Sugar Ridge based on the value it provided in terms of price, location, and amenities we were looking for our holiday. Price was excellant compared to similar hotels located directly on the water. We visited Coco Bay, Hawksbill Resort, Keyonna and Star Fish Jolly Harbor and can say that Sugar Ridge was the best overall. While the hotel does offer shuttle service to two Turner’s Beach and Valley beach, I would highly suggest renting a car to explore the many great beaches nearby beach our favorites being Ffreyes and Jolly Beach. Our favorite beach was Eden Beach which is an almost deserted, undeveloped and beautifull stretch of beach on the far left of the Hawksbill Resort. It is clothing optional, very safe amd very nice to visit. The hotel is geared for couples rather than families with children. The infinity pool at Carmichaels was incredible and being November, we had the pool and choice or canopy beds to ourselves every day. The main pool area is very nice as well with pool bar, chairs and changeing rooms showers for your last day if you have a late flight. No complaints about the rooms with huge showers, comfortable large bed with mosquito netting surround (needed, bring heavy duty mosquito spray) and large patio with plunge pool. I don’t think i would pay the extra money to get a room higher up for a better view. Take in the view anytime (sunset especially) for free up at Carmichaels. Our room was #50 which was a few minute walk (shuttle is provided up or down anytime you dont want to walk) from the main lobby and Sugar Club eating area which gave us more privacy not overlooking the main areas. The service was good and everyone was pleasant but being in the Carribean, I did notice there was not a huge sense of urgency to refill drinks, or get food served. The entertainment was top notch, very classy and we really enjoyed the Steel Drum band on Monday. We ate at Sugar Club and Carmichael’s once each and thought the food was very good. There are many great restaurants closeby so again, renting a car is the way to go. We reccomend Sheer Rocks for lunch or a snack (tapas menu at lunch) with an incredible view and access to infinity pools to cool off and being on Ffryes beach, Miracles Carribean is within walking distance and was great. OJ’s on Turner’s beach had the best grilled whole red snapper ever. Jacqui O’s was expensive but one night of fine dining prices is ok. The chef is from Spain and many dishes have a Spanish influence. My Paella was the best I have had outside of Spain. Castaways is casual beach spot on Jolly beach with excellent curry along with a full non curry menu. Mellini’s was our choice for breakfast almost every day and it was very good (Dinner and Lunch menu looked great but we only ate breakfast there). Epicurian Fine food supermarket is right done the road to pick up whatever is needed as well. With all the local restaurants, I was glad I did not add in the ALL-INCLUSIVE option at Sugar Ridge. So great to get out and explore and at $167.50 USD per person per day for all inclusive, I dont think I could have ate or drank that much at Sugar Ridge to make it worth while. Our total food, alcohol and snack was far less than what we would have spent doing the all inclusive and we certainly did not hold back and had many good meals and lots to drink.
Bottom line, Sugar Ridge is a well kept, small resort that has everything you need to relax and is close to the best beaches. I can say that the pictures on the hotel website are an accurate view of what the hotel really looks like.
My husband and I enjoyed 3 nights at this beautiful resort. The staff is friendly and welcoming and the rooms are clean and comfortable.
We hired a private transfer from the airport to the resort and this was a great way to learn about the island from a local.
This resort is literally on the side of a hill so be prepared to walk to stairs. They also have transportation that will take you up to your room and to the top of the hill which features a restaurant and infinity pool.
Our room had a King-size bed with soft linens. The lanai and splash pool were great to enjoy while watching the gorgeous Antigua sunsets.
The restaurants were good and the burger was extremely flavorful.
We did get massages at the Aveda Concepts Spa. I was slightly disappointed with the spa. I felt the stock of Aveda products was really low and when I got my massage there was no music so all I heard was massage therapist's tummy rumbling.
Do Not miss the beach!! It is GORGEOUS!!! Don't forget your sunscreen as the sun 8s very intense.
If you are looking for a high-energy party-type resort....this isn't it. If you want to relax, unwind, and disconnect I would highly recommend Sugar Ridge.
Would totally recommend a stay at The Sugar Ridge if staying in Antigua. Travelling as a single female I felt welcomed immediately and taken care of by the staff every step of the way. The Shed is an amazing space for yoga and meditation. Take a visit to the Aveda Spa for nice massage, and the complimentary shuttles to the beach were fantastic. I only stayed for four days, but will definitely be back. Hopefully sooner than later ❤️ If your looking for a beautiful safe location to enjoy the carribean and embrace some “me time” engaging in Yoga this is the place for you.. book now x Namaste 🧘♀️
We were staying with family elsewhere in Antigua, as it was my birthday we decided to spend a night at Sugar Ridge.
The check in process was slow, and even though we arrived at 3pm, we weren't taken to our room for about 45 minutes as there weren't any cars available.
The room itself was nice, with a good sized terrace. The plunge pool was a bit on the small side.
A Best Western is being constructed across the road and it is rather noisy, our room more or less looked over the site. We only stayed a night, so we weren't overly concerned, however if I was staying for a week or more, then I wouldn't be too impressed.
We were staying on a Monday, so Carmichaels was closed, but we really enjoyed the Caribbean buffet at the main restaurant, the staff were all very friendly and welcoming, especially Carleen.
Breakfast was good too, we both went for the Antiguan breakfast.
We had hoped to spend the morning lounging by the pool, but unfortunately the weather had other ideas, so we just sat at Carmichaels and enjoyed the view.
This hotel is a good mid range option.
We stayed at this property as part of a reward trip. The common areas and the staff make this a 5 star property. However, the property and grounds are in need of some maintenance. The first thing one should be made aware of is Sugar Ridge is NOT anywhere near the beach. There also also many uneven and winding stairs everywhere. Most without railing. If one has a disability please think twice about booking and possibly contact the staff. The checkin process went very well and a porter helps get guests to the room. Most importantly the porter gets your luggage into the room.
Apparently we were visiting during slow season so the restaurant openings both on and off property were spotty. Overall the food was very good. Most of the staff were engaging with guests. Carmichael’s was excellent but was only open twice during our stay. The second time we dined there was the national Independence Day holiday. I am certainly happy they were open the it was a bit of a skeleton crew who were a bit withdrawn.
Sugar Ridge will take guests down to a beach. Apparently they have an arrangement with the people at Nelson’s. BE WARNED. There will not only be cruise ship passengers there but you will be spotted by your yellow towels that SHOUT Sugar Ridge to everyone on the beach (and island for that matter). No one really helped us. In fact I had to go get our beach chairs and drag them across the beach. Then the shuffle began...all sorts of locals kept approaching us asking for us to buy CDs, make donations, buy coconuts, jewelry, etc. my wife would not get in the ocean out of fear someone would take our belongings. We ate lunch at Nelson’s. The food was good but the service was SLOW and disinterested. I had to get up and ask for everything. Sugar Ridge needs to do something to fix this part of the guest experience. Getting to the beach should not be a chore. Guests are always going to want to visit the beach. The yellow towel announcement to everyone is annoying. Sugar Ridge should probably have a staff member working at the beach when guests are there in order that they get the proper service.
Finally, be aware that all rooms may not have a view of the sea. During the first half of the week all we could see were trees and power lines. Then we had two days of chainsaws. The end result was a new view of the ocean.
There were large patches of bare dirt outside our room. There were areas of exposed pipes and drains. I think there needs to be significant investment to the landscaping around the property. Guests are expecting that Caribbean tropical look.
The rooms are also showing some age. They smell a bit musty. Our bathroom sink was starting to separate from the wall.
We went to the Aveda spa twice. Again it seemed a little rundown and empty.
The live entertainment is worth attending. The steel drum band and Jashau and the 365 Live Band were outstanding.
Lastly, there are cats on the property. We love cats and enjoyed seeing them. They were certainly no trouble to us at all. However, I think the management should have a humane population control solution through spaying and neutering. They should also explain to guests that the cats are being fed regularly. Thanks for a fun stay. We hope to return.