Sugar Mill Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Sugar Mill Hotel Tortola
Lovely, can't go wrong at the Sugar Mill
Was here from March 23rd to the 26th. I went with my girlfriend, we are late 20's, early thirties, and spent the first half of our week at Little Dix Bay, (very lux, but $$$$, and love it there too) and couldn't decide where we enjoyed more. Sugar Mill is Charming. The staff really made the place, the best way to describe the staff: Caribbean laid back, yet professional and efficient. I mean everyone's laid back in the islands, but the staff here was also very friendly and accomodating without being intrusive. A rarity at a lot of places I have found.
Anyway the rooms were basic, clean and the beds were fine. The bathrooms were small but adequate, and our room had a small kitchenette if you wanted to do your own food and drink. We had a nice balcony, with a few chairs, overlooking the water, a perfect spot to watch the sunset. And then head to thier resturant for a great dinner. Its a lovely setting in an old sugar mill, with nice food and an always changing menu. Also nice for breakfast.
I really liked the location of this place, it was quiet yet close to great beaches. There is a small beach at the hotel, which was great for our last day since we had to leave that evening for the airport. Its generally known as a surfers beach, but by no means rough. They have a great lunch spot right on the beach that serves food from 12-2. But there are better beaches a short drive away. We took our rental car to Smugglers cove which was a great beach, and although we didnt go, Cane Garden Bay is very close, although it may be easier to take a cab there because I was a little scared driving up and down the steep hills.
The sugar mill is also a short walk to Bombas Shack, a place everyone should check out. From the hotel it is only a 10 minute ride to the ferry, and one of the days we kicked in Jost Van Dyke for the day. Back at the Sugar mill they had a small pool which was fine to take a quick dip in after a day at the beach.
It was just really nice, relaxing and charming to stay here. I really liked the resturaunt, and there weren't kids running around everywhere. No this place was not a four seasons, but it was very special to us. Nice competent staff, and good food, in a charming setting, without screaming kids, and close to great beaches, all contributed to a perfect stay for us. For couples looking to get away, and stay in a comfortable setting, while maybe seeing a little bit of Tortola, and its great beaches, this is a place for you. At 300 or so a night, a relative bargain.
Good but not "luxury"
It's a quaint hotel with friendly service.
Walking distance from the full moon party bar.
Good restaurant, especially for the caribbean.
THE BEACH IS ACROSS THE STREET!!!!
The way to the room was on a busted up road.
No views of anything.
Basically is a good option if you are just staying one night.
We stayed here after a week long sailboat charter. It was perfect for a nice dinner and clean shower, we took a taxi to Cane Garden Bay (beach) for the day though.
A really great hotel in the BVI
It has been three years since I visited the Sugar Mill Hotel in the BVI and I still have wonderful memories of this hotel. The private beach that guests have access to across the road is truly magnificent and the white sands, palm trees and warm breezes on this beach will make your vacation in the BVI one to remember for the rest of your life. The rooms are luxurious by BVI standards and the food was good.
I would not hesitate to book another stay at the Sugar Mill again!
Best of Tortola
We just returned from a 7 night "honeymoon package" stay at the Sugar Mill (June 2004). This is the nicest place to stay on the Island of Tortola. Like I read in the other reviews, the accommodations were nice, but the personal touch the staff adds makes the stay so enjoyable. We felt like part of their family while staying there. They will take care of booking all your needs and desires and are very knowledgeable of everything going on. Their restaurant IS the best on the Island. The two nights we had dinner there were spectacular. The service is five star. We were not waiting for things nor were we rushed. Of course, the food was excellent. Their homemade ice cream is to die for. This is a "must stop" for dinner on the Island. We also had dinner at a several different places during our stay and found the Island food to be very good where ever we went (Sugar Mill was not hesitant to suggest other great dining locations). We would also recommend "The Dove" in Road Town for dinner, a newly opened wine bar (with A/C).
We extended our vehicle rental for the full time we were there. It is worth not having to deal with getting a taxi every time you want to go somewhere. From what I read and have now experienced, I believe roads have improved over the last year or so, but the Islanders drive pretty crazy. A local singer in Cane Garden Bay told us of a friend that died in a car accident the week before we showed up. Our rental vehicle had a sticker that said "keep left and honk horn frequently." The road signs are a bit lacking in telling you where to turn. I did engage 4wd twice, but these were not roads typically traveled.
Places we visited for beach life/snorkeling:
First, the coral reef right in front of the Sugar Mill was actually really good. I saw a beautiful blue eel which was covered with black spots. To get to a good clear section of the reef, one must swim out through the shallow part first (can be a little hairy with surf and no chest protection). I would say about 75 yards out it starts to get good. You can see how the reef ends and begins again further out when looking from shore or from a higher sea view (like out our room's deck). Here the reef was 5 to 10 feet down and the water was much clearer then when closer to shore.
Up the Island is Cane Garden Bay. There is a lot of beachfront activity with bars, a few restaurants, and gift shops. Snorkeling here was ok, but there are a lot of boats around and I was a bit weary swimming out too far. There is a ship wreck here that is snorkelable, but I did not check it out. Ask the guys at the dive shop (In Cane Garden Bay where I bought my gear) for info.
Further up the Island from CGB is Brewers Bay, my favorite. This is a little trickier to drive to, but is a much quieter beach with only one bar that serves lunch and rents beach chairs for $5. One day when I was here, the water was quite cloudy and I didn't see much. However, we came back another day and it was beautiful. I saw some barracuda in action attacking small fish. I was told there were old pirate canons still lying in the reef covered in coral, but didn't see any.
Down the Island past the Long Bay Beach resort is Smugglers Cove. Some locals had an outdoor shop, BBQ, and bar service going. This is a nice little cove with a bit more surf then other places, but still snorkelable. It is pretty if you continue your drive around the west point of the Island and back up into West End.
Other activities we did:
We wasted an afternoon traveling by ferry from West End to St. John. There were some nice little shops but not worth the trip. We would have been better off going on another day sail. Commercialization here is starting to take over as it has in St. Thomas (CA of the V.I.)
The Day Sail was awesome. We went on the White Squall II out of Road Town. These people running this boat were really great and super friendly. Visit their website for more info ---------------. It worked out that the two snorkel stops we made on Norman Island we saw sea turtles at both, not to mention beautiful coral reefs and sea life. These people know what they are doing and the BBQ lunch was great. We can't say enough nice things about this crew.
One afternoon we went up and hiked Sage Mountain. This was well worth it. There are some beautiful views and some great hiking. Parts of it are almost jungle like. Take your hiking shoes or runners with you for this and if it is warm you should carry some water for your hike.
Our complaints about the trip: The wife didn't like that there was no bath tub (water is a conserved on the Island and I'm told that a lot of locals live off of rain water although there is a desalination plant there). Prepare to pay a little more then usual for everything. Don't be in a rush to do anything. The Islanders are extremely laid back and we had to go up to pay our check at a few locations just to get out of there establishment. All of the "pets" (cats and dogs) are skin and bones starving. The cats beg for food and most are flea ridden. Most dogs are tied up and look abused because I'm told the Islanders are afraid of them. Livestock are loose wondering around. While driving, I almost hit a pig running into the middle of the road at night in a blind corner. There are chickens EVERYWHERE it seems. They have no predators and roosters could be heard throughout the day. The mosquitoes were not horrible, but were very very sneaky and didn't really bite above the waist. By the end of our trip we probably had 20 bites on our legs. They are so small you can't feel them land or bite. Knowing this now, we would have worn bug spray in the morning and evening on our legs.
My final comments are if you go to Tortola, the Sugar Mill is the place to stay. However, this Island is under construction everywhere. There is a new indoor shopping center going up south of Road Town. New houses are going up all over the Island, many in remote locations. I hate to think of what this Island may become in ten years. Their roads, especially near Road Town, will not support much more traffic then what exists today.
Best place for rest, relaxation and renewal
We just returned from a wonderful stay at the Sugar Mill and it was just what the doctor ordered. We had just experienced a very cold and uncomfortable winter in the northeast and wanted to go someplace that was low-keyed, pretty, quiet, and warm. The Sugar Mill's online reviews led us to the right place. It is an extremely relaxing environment with a beautiful pool, nice restaurant on the premises, and a short walk to the small but pretty beach. Our room was airy, comfortable and clean. And the view from the terrace was divine. All the staff were excellent - warm, friendly and helpful. We loved seeing and hearing the roosters that seem to be all over the island, and enjoyed too all the goats roaming around the hills. We found driving on the roads a bit daunting and so didn't venture too far away after dark. But that was o.k. as far as we were concerned. In addition to the on premises restaurant, there is a small grocery store nearby and another restaurant down the road at Sebastians which are both walking distance, or a quick ride. I really loved Tortola, and would love to return to the Sugar Mill again in the future.
A relaxing stay at the Sugar Mill
My wife and I just returned from a wonderful 6 night stay at the Sugar Mill Hotel. We stayed in a king bedded room on the 2nd floor, with kitchenette and balcony with views of the water. The room was clean and comfortable, but not opulent. There is an A/C but we preferred the ceiling fan. The hotel has a quiet relaxed atmosphere. Not a great place for kids because the pool and beach are small, but perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The main restaurant is open for dinner only and is a highlight. Don't miss it even if you don't stay here. Breakfast is served on a terrace and lunch is available at the small beach area.
Both are fine but there were some flies around on some days. We rented a jeep and braved the narrow winding roads which was well worth the effort. Cabs are expensive and once you get used to it, the driving can be fun, if challenging. If you are looking for fantastic uncrowded beaches with great snorkeling, Tortola is your place, but you have to drive to the 2 best beaches, Brewers Bay and Smugglers Cove. Neither has a hotel directly on the beach so both are quiet. Brewers Bay has one restaurant and you can rent beach chairs. There are some shady areas available. It was our favorite. Smugglers Cove is accessed via a washed out dirt road, really a challenge even with 4 wheel drive. It has a small beverage bar that is just reopening. They say they are adding a lunch menu shortly. No beach chairs available and shady spots are tougher to find. Both have calm sandy bottom swimming and great reefs for snorkelling just off to the side of the swimming areas. Other large beaches are Long Bay and Cane Garden Bay. Long Bay is more crowded due to the Long Bay Hotel, had lots of coral, and had more surf. Cane Garden Bay is also more crowded because it is easily accessible from a main road and the cruise lines send passengers there on mini buses, but it does have several nice restaurants including Myett's and Quito's. It also has rentals of chairs, kayaks, and paddle boats. Snorkelling is more limited. This would be the choice for kids.
A word on Long Bay resort, which gets mixed reviews on this site. We met some folks staying there and we went to look around. Their room on the beach side of the road was nice and clean. There are 2 pools, one near the beach, which is not maintained and is dirty, but a newer one near the main part of the hotel that has a swim up bar and water slide that loooked fine. There are several tennis courts with a carpet like surface which were in use and looked OK, but 1 court near the beach was closed. The par 3 golf course does not really exist, just some flag sticks stuck in the ground with unmowed grass surrounding them. The spa was clean and open to non-guests. My wife enjoyed a massage there. The main restaurant looked nice, but was not open every night. We did not eat there, but heard that the food was fine. I think this hotel would be a good choice for families. It has a resort atmosphere with plenty of areas to explore and more activity than the quieter Sugar Mill, but I think the service level is questionable.
The most relaxing time of our lives!
We just returned from 10 nights at the Sugar Mill Hotel in Tortola for our honeymoon, it was their off-season (Oct. 1-10, 2003) and we thought this was the perfect time to go! We felt like we had our own island all to ourselves.I really researched the BVI before we settled on the Sugar Mill and these reviews were very helpful to me, there was not one bad review of the Sugar Mill which is why we chose it. Well, everyone was right! We stayed in the 1 bedroom villa which is set atop a hill overlooking the water and unbelievable scenery. The accomodations were perfect, far better than we imagined, and the service was the best! We felt like we made some really great friends at the Sugar Mill, the staff wear big smiles on their faces always and will go out of their way to make sure everything is just perfect for you. We love the Sugar Mill and are already planning a trip back next year!As for the island of Tortola, if you are looking to just get away from it all, this is the place. If you are looking for a wild and crazy party time, this is not the place to go. Most of the time, we were the only people in the restaurant and bars which we thought was great because it really gave us a chance to get to see how the island really lives and we met so many great people!!Our only complaint was Road Town which is the main part of the island, the people there were openly rude and pretty much ignored us. We gave it several attempts and each time got more annoyed so we vowed not to go back to Road Town, which we didn't.Make sure to go to Quitos in Cane Garden Bay for awesome music, food, and drinks...Myetts, Bomba Shack, Brewers Bay, Long Bay, Smugglers Cove...we took a daysail on the White SquallII to Virgin Gorodn to snorkel at the Baths which was awesome, we also took a ferry to St. John for the day which was short but fun!One other recommendation, rent a car because the taxi's aren't cheap and really start to add up. Beware, the roads are really tough! If you're scared of heights, be warned!! But they're safe enough if you're careful and remember to drive on the left!
Outstanding vacation experience
My wife and I just returned from our second stay in two years at the Sugar Mill Hotel. This is one of the most charming and beautiful locations we have seen. We love the small private beach with spectacular views and a covered bar area specializing in banana daiquiris and other frozen delights. The hotel staff go above and beyond to ensure guest comfort. For example, I discovered that our mattress was too soft for my bad back and I asked for a piece of plywood to put under the mattress. The next thing we knew, a couple of the staff breexed in carrying a brand new King size mattress and replaced our existing one. The new mattress was just right. In another instance, our room's VCR broke just as we had rented three tapes from the video store in town and were preparing to enjoy them over the weekend. The staff came in on a Sunday and tried to fix it. When they could not, they brought one of their personal VCRs to replace it, as there were no spare ones at the hotel. This is a special place!
Really special place
The Sugar Mill is a beautiful spot and every room has an incredible view of the ocean and sunsets. The dining room is expensive but very memorable and creates a feeling that you're all alone there in a magical place. The staff is very special - they are friendly, competent, and intelligent. You do need a car to get anywhere from the Sugar Mill. There are some wonderful destinations within a few minute drive, but walking is prohibitive. The beach is very small and the water is full of seaweed and grass, so choose another beach for those types of activities.We would go back to Tortola in a heartbeat, and would definitely stay at the Sugar Mill.
although it's been a few years since my trip to Tortola....i still remember the great service i recieved at the 'Sugar Mill'....felt like family instead of 'guests'....food was great...loved it
TripAdvisor Reviews Sugar Mill Hotel Tortola
Travel Blogs from Tortola
We said our goodbyes to the Happy Time crew, Bryan and Ava, and to our extended McCalla crew. Sheila and I took the ferry from Jost Van Dyke to West End, Tortola. Happy Time left us to carry the kids back to St. Thomas to catch their flights back to the real world.
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