10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"The finest hotel I have stayed in, period. Not because it was the most stylish, or the grandest, but because it had character, charm, and a real genuine feel to it, as well as all the little luxuries I like when I go on holiday! The staff are fantastic, the views from the rooms are gorgeous, and the restaurant is the best restaurant I have ever been to. Ever. The food is awesome, it really is. The rooms themselves are spacious and beautifully decorated. If you're looking for somewhere to get away from it all, avoid the tourist traps, but still get pampered a little, then this is the place for you. We went for 11 nights at the beginning of March this year, and I came back so relaxed it took me a month to get back into the rat race! We loved it, so much so that I don't want to recommend it too much just in case everyone goes! One thing I would recommend is that you hire a four wheel drive on Tortola (the road is steep in places) as there are some stunning bays and coves to visit. This place is worth every penny."
- Travel date: 26th September 2005
Perfect, but not for everyone
"What can I say that hasn't been said in previous reviews? It's all true. For our honeymoon, this was the perfect place. Yes, the rooms are average but clean. Yes, the beach is small and in fact we never went. Yes, the pool is small ..... but if you don't have kids, why would you want a pool on a caribbean island? You must have a car. Rented the jeep for a week and used it every day. There was absolutely no traffic when we were there (mid-June) so driving was actually fun. Roads are steep but since they're deserted it makes no difference. beaches are beautiful and completely unspoiled. Tortola is a magnificant island and the west end is by far the best part. Road town is a generic caribbean capital, much akin to st thomas or other duty free towns. And the east end seemed much dirtier and poorer, so we did not frequent it but once. Wonderful food, great staff for an island and just a splendid experience."
- Travel date: 11th September 2005
Rent a villa when staying in Tortola
"My husband enjoyed a wonderful week in Tortola last December. We stayed at the Sugar Mill. Cute dining rooms and fabulous food, but rooms and facilities are mediocre. The pool and beach are non-existant. Sugar Mill is one of the nicest hotels on the island. It's just not an island with hotels that offer typical caribbean resort amentities. With that said, I highly recommend that you consider renting a villa instead of staying at a hotel. The island is very hilly and most homes have exceptional views and private pools. We love Tortola. It's a great island. But we'll definately go villa next time we visit."
- Travel date: 12th August 2005
"My husband and I enjoyed our honeymoon at the Sugar Mill from June 27 - July 4, 2005 and wish we were still there. We can't say enough good things about the people and the beauty of Tortola - and no where could the experience be more rejuvinating than at the Sugar Mill. The island is full of friendly people - people who seem to want to get to know you just because.....literally for no other reason than to make a new friend. We encountered people like this everywhere - from the taxi driver who introduced us to his twin children, to the couple on Little Thatch island, from whom we rented a powerboat one day and then invited us to share "pizzas on the beach" for dinner, to the owners and manager of the Sugar Mill Hotel. Speaking of the owners, we had the pleasure of meeting the Morgans on our last night there, and when they found out we were honeymooning, they and their friends who had dined with them that evening at the Sugar Mill Restaurant even serenaded us with a few Irish love songs. Were we dreaming? No, but it wasn't the only time that week we felt like we needed to pinch ourselves to make sure. As for the food at the Sugar Mill Restaurant, there is no need to dine anywhere else on the island. At every meal, so many of our bites ended with the word "amazing". Their filet minon is straight from Omaha, their lobster straight from the nearby island of Anegada. We've been back for over a week and we're still longing for their pina coladas sprinkled with nutmeg and fresh swordfish with pineapple salsa. And their key lime pie is like no other - we attempted to save room for it almost every night. Breakfast is equally stunning. Mango waffles anyone?? Their two restaurant are practically right on the water and the combined melody of the lapping waves mixed with the song of frogs and chirping crickets in the evening was like heaven on earth. As for excursions off the hotel property (which offers a beach and pool onsite) - we opted for a package that included a rental car (jeep) for 3 days and it was well worth it. That way, we were able to explore the island on our own schedule and snorkel off various (practically deserted) beaches all around the island. Among other activities, definitely take a day sail on the White Squall II, an 80 foot schooner that has daily trips to neighboring islands for snorkeling (and not to mention drinks and another exceptional lunch). One of our favorite memories from the whole week was diving off the bow into 50 feet of crystal clear water and swimming to shore for a beer, only to swim back for lunch and more snorkeling. Chris, the yacht's captain, is a hilarious and genuinely nice person - he greatly helped us out when we ran into him a day after our sail, when my husband was stung by a sea wasp in Virgin Gorda. His First Mate on our sail, Deb, is also a phenomenal snorkel guide with a fun, laid-back personality. We also rented sea kayaks from Bareboats BVI on Beef Island (a relatively short drive from the Sugar Mill, right on the tip of Tortola near the airport). From there, we paddled to another nearby deserted beach and felt like the only two people on earth. Tortola is refreshing, inside and out. Being from a big city where friendly people seem harder and harder to come by, the people of Tortola renewed my faith in humanity and the island rejuvinated my soul. Swimming with sea turtles, parrot fish and even an octopus literally right off the shore, coupled with hazy orange sunsets every night made for a honeymoon neither one of us expected could be so beautiful and relaxing, and at the same time, so affordable (relatively) and easy to travel to. Not to mention feeling like we have 10 genuine new friends to keep in touch with... just because."
- Travel date: 11th July 2005
A Great Little Hotel in Paradise
"We stayed 4 nights at the Sugar Mill, and were very impressed. The service was great, the restaurant was outstanding, and the location was fabulous. The sunsets from the property were just amazing. The grounds were quite large for a resort with only 23 rooms, making for a very peaceful setting. Seldom did you see anyone around, except for the evening of the owner's reception. We stayed in a suite with a sitting room/kitchenette and a bedroom. The pictures on the web site did show rooms that looked "nicer" then the one that we stayed in. Not that ours wasn't clean and functional, it just wasn't as bright and up-to-date. I did not really mind, especially since all else exceeded our expectations. Oh, and fresh flowers every day in the room was a very nice touch!"
- Travel date: 27th June 2005
Sugar Mill Leaves a Bitter Taste
"We recently returned from 7 days at the Sugar Mill Hotel situated on the island of Tortola, British West Indies. I am so sorry not to be able to give this hotel a better review. I had very high expectations because so many of the reviews I had read were so good. We have travelled a lot, so perhaps we expect more than some. The property is clean, and our room was very nice. We had the Plantation Suite on the second floor, which we were told overlooked a "small country road" and the beach. Unfortunately this is the only road that circumnavigates the island, so it is very, very busy with cars and trucks gearing down to go over the speed bump. I found it quite noisy to sit out on the balcony, which was disappointing. The room furnishings were nice, as was the artwork and the bed was comfortable. The bathroom was large but had no tub. The balcony was nice and large and had a hammock which I did not use because of the noise from the cars. The kitchen alcove was very tiny, but adequate, though our toaster did not work. The pool area was fairly nice, though there was never any service at the pool bar - we never once saw a person in that area, even when ther were people swimming in the pool or lazing in the chairs or hammocks. It was an exercise in patience to try and get fresh pool towels - they gave you two fresh ones in the morning and expected that to be enough for you all day, even after going to the beach and getting sand all over them and then wanting to swim in the pool. They would get you fresh ones, but made it clear they were not too happy about it, and you would have to wait until it was convenient for them to go and get you the towels. The beach is small, which we knew from photo's we'd seen, but it was pretty and was lovely to swim in - nice and sandy. I did some snorkelling and though the reef is not very colourful I did see some interesting fish. Thoug the hotel tries to portray the beach as a private beach for hotel guests, this could not be further from the truth, and one or two days we did not use the beach as there were so many local families with small children using it. One of the days was an island holiday, so they were having family picnics. I don't begrudge them the right to use their beaches, but the hotel should not falsely give the impression that it is a private beach.. Our biggest disappontment was with the level of service. The front desk staff seemed always to be doing ten things at once, and any request usually brought forth a frown and a sigh. They use the term "concierge", but I don't think they have a concept of what that means. Her concept of being a concierge was to push the very inadequate Activities Binder over to us. She would also be mixing drinks, answering the phone, helping out in the restaurant whenever we tried to talk to her, so we eventually gave up and organized things ourselves. We never felt that the staff knew who we were or that they were happy to have us stay there. On our last day, I went down to the restaurant early in the morning to request a specific table for dinner, one that had a fan over it as my husband had almost passed out from the heat on a previous night. The kitchen staff told me to ask the conciere for Table #9. But when I asked the conciere, she gave me a long explanation of how we couldn't reserve a table as they choose different tables depending on how many people sign up for dinner and that table might not be available. I said I didn't understand why they just couldn't set aside this one table for us, as we were guests at the hotel and it would really make us happy just to know we would be under a fan. I said I didn't understand why it had to be so complicated. With an irritated sigh she placed her hands on her hips and I was told haughtily that "it's not complicated. You just can't reserve a table". So when we went down for dinner, we had a table in the corner, with no fan. A family of four, not guests of the hotel, had the table I had requested. There were tables set up out on the patio in a more outdoor area where there was a breeze, overlooking the beach. I asked our hostess for one of those but she told us they were "reserved". It seemed everybody but us could reserve a table! When our server came over, I told her how unhappy we were, and I told her we would sit at this table in the corner, but we were not happy guests, and they were not giving themselves a very good reputation. After thinking about this for a few moments, she decided to give us a table in a breezy spot out on the patio. Lunch at the restaurant on the beach is a very expensive affair - my husband had a hamburger for $13.00 US and I had Ribs (I think there were three or four small ribs on my plate) for $17.00 US. The beach bar is only open for two hours a day. When I asked for one of their signature drinks, the Swashbuckler, the waitress told me they didn't make those drinksat the beach bar, only at the main bar. She would not cross the little country road to get me the hotel's signature drink, which would have taken about two minutes and would have made a guest very happy. Instead she preferred to stand, laughing and talking with the two other waitresses, all of them serving just the two of us and one other couple. She never checked during our meal to see if everything was allright or if we wanted anything else. And we were charged a mandatory 15% service charge, which I found really sad. We went for drinks to the bar almost every night, and we always had to sit and wait in the gazebo area for a long time before someone would come to offer us a drink, and they would never act like they recognized us, even by our last night! There were one or two staff who were pleasant - Civilla, the lady who madeup our room was always greeting us with a smile, and Sharon who worked sometimes at the front desk, was nicer than the rest of them. But all in all, I did not feel have the feeling that we were welcome at all. I certainly don't expect anyone to "kowtow" to me, but especially at a smaller, intimate hotel, one which portrays itself as upscale, I would expect the staff to be trained to make guests feel welcome. I don't regret having stayed at the Sugar Mill, but I regret that it wasn't as great an experience as I was expecting. I think it could have been, with just some effort on the part of the staff."
- Travel date: 12th June 2005
A wonderful end to our BVI honeymoon
"We stayed at the Sugar Mill after a few days at Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda. The Sugar Mill is quite different from Little Dix Bay, but we loved it just as much. Our room was very spacious and clean, and we had a lovely view. The beach was a bit small but nice, it is across the street from the hotel... but that wasn't a huge problem in our book. We did spend a bit of time at the pool, but that was just for a change of pace from the beach. The food at the Sugar Mill is phenomenal. We still talk about it, and our honeymoon was a year ago. We didn't have a bad meal in the four nights we stayed at the Sugar Mill, and we ate both breakfast and dinner there each day. The hotel is down the street from the Bomba Shack, which is renown for its full-moon parties. We missed the full-moon party but there are other party nights there, too. You can hear them from the hotel but it shouldn't keep you up too late. We got a deal from the Sugar Mill for a Jeep rental, so we were able to drive around and explore Tortola. Driving can be somewhat difficult here, because you're driving on the left-hand side of the road in an American car that's meant to be driven on the right. Also there are a good number of animals roaming freely -- you may have to wait for goats, cows, chickens or whatever to cross the street. That may bother some people, but to us, that just added to the island's charm. In my opinion, among the best things about the BVI is its lack of pretense and shortage of "super-clubs" -- those ultra-luxury tourist resorts on other islands. While there's a cruise ship port here at Road Town, it's not a major destination for cruise ships, either, so you don't have a lot of duty-free shops selling rum or anything like that. If you're looking for that kind of experience, you ought not look here. But if you're looking to set your own pace and really relax, you should definitely check out the BVI."
- Travel date: 4th June 2005
"Just returned home from 8 blissful days at the Sugar Mill. Let me just begin by saying this is one of the best run and nicest hotels I've ever been to. It is not extravagant by any means, but it is clean, beautiful and more than adequate. The staff and service however are what really makes this place stand out. They cannot do enough for you to make your stay enjoyable, and that little extra effort goes a long way to making you feel special!!!! The view from the rooms are fantastic. I have posted a couple of pictures as I notices there was only 1 for this hotel and it only showed the sun. Unfortuantely mine did not come out great, but hopfully it will give you a little better picture of what to expect. The beach is nothing special, but it is adequate. Gentle surf and beautiful water. Never crowded and a great view of Jost. Yes, it's across the street, but trust me, this is not a problem. It is a small road and there is not problem crossing it. The restaurant is simply incredible. The setting is beautiful and the food is 5 star. It is pricey, ($100 per couple for drinks, apps. and dinner), but it is well worth it. Only complaint is that it tends to get very warm in the restaurant. Although it's open air, there is not much of a breeze so it can get stuffy. However, we were informed that it was much more humid then normal, so that may have played a part in it. The rooms are very nice and really make you feel like you are in the Carribean. Simple, but nice! We were upgraded from a delux room to a suite at no charge because all the rooms were booked. As I mentioned above, and you'll see in the picture, the view is great, and is almost the same not matter which room or suite you are in. In all, if you're looking for a quite, relaxing vacation, then I highly recommend the Sugar Mill. If your looking for loads of excitement and a party atmosphere, then I wouldn't even recommend Tortola.... Enjoy, E"
- Travel date: 30th May 2005
The Sugar Mill, the best
"My husband and I spent 4 nights at The Sugar Mill. A a very quiet, relaxing place with a beautiful white sand beach just across the street which also has a nice restaurant that's open for lunch only. It's a great snorkeling place and you have a chance to swim with the pelicans. The rooms are spacious, very comfortable bed, bathrooms are beautifully tiled. We enjoyed the deck both in the morning over a cup of coffee watching the boats and in the evening sharing a bottle of wine or a bottle of Sugar Mill Rum that was complimentary. The restaurant was very good, some people thought a little pricey. But we found that it wasn't out of line with other restaurants on the island. The Sugar Mill is a distance from Road Town, but easy to drive to or take a taxi. Or they can arrange for a private tour of the island and they would be happy to drop you off in Road town if you would like to shop. We had an opportunity to meet the owners who had a get together for the people at the resort, served drinks and finger food by the pool. It was a great way to end our stay at The Sugar Mill."
- Travel date: 11th May 2005
Wonderful stay at the Sugar Mill Hotel
"my husband and i just returned from a weeks stay at the sugar mill hotel in Tortola.we have nothing but great things to say about the whole experience.our room was a basic deluxe with a balcony overlooking the ocean and a very comfortable king bed.we had breakfast at the sugar mill every day and one dish was better than the other!(don't miss the rum french toast).we rented a 4 wheel drive jeep with the help of Narissa at the front desk whom was very helpful throughout our entire stay. smugglers cove was awesome;just a bit of a scary drive to get to but well worth the trip.cane garden bay was also nice but not as secluded as smugglers cove.we took a ferry from sopers hole to jost van dyke and spent the day at white bay beach,this was another great day trip;save time to go to foxy's before catching the last ferry back at 5:00!we had dinner at pussers west end a couple of nights just to get out a bit;but the food at the sugarmill was so great it was hard to leave!we stayed at little dix 2 years ago and the food and service at the sugar mill was every bit as good if not better!can't wait to go back next year!"
- Travel date: 13th April 2005
Sugar Mill Hotel is also called
- sugar mill tortola
- hotel sugar mill
- tortola hotels