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“An Excellent Tortola hotel for Non-Resort Types”
Review of Sugar Mill Hotel

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Sugar Mill Hotel
Ranked #1 of 25 Hotels in Tortola
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 January 2006

The Sugar Mill is a very nice small island hotel. We have stayed there because of what it is not: it is NOT a large sprawling noisy resort without a personality. It is not for high maintenance people who expect every possible amenity and refinement in every location they visit. It IS for those people who want to be comfortable in a more intimate atmosphere that has personality, convenience, comfort, and very good food by caribbean standards.

Key thought: Our experience has been that the hotel is COMPATIBLE with the island. It did not feel like a transplated West Palm/Naples Resort or hotel. We'd go to those places if we wanted that!

We are well travelled having stayed with almost every luxury resort and hotel chain, small hotels and resorts, as well as in middle of the road and budget hotels as well. The Sugar Mill fills a niche on Tortola by offering a pleasant lodgings in pretty tropical setting with a great location on the island. The Sugar Mill is not a Four Seasons, a Ritz Carlton or a "Connaught" style hotel.

Some thoughts:

Dinner: The restaurant is extremely charming being built out of the ruins of an old sugar mill. It is covered and open air which adds to the atmosphere. If you have been to the islands, you know that air conditioning is not always necessary with the trade winds and dining al fresco in the evening can be a pleasure (especially if you come from a cold climate). We feel the best time to visit is winter since it can be 8 or 10 degrees hotter in the summer and more humid. We have eaten at the Mill several times and have never been uncomfortable and have enjoyed it. We even bought the cookbook written by the hotel's owners on our return home. Note that "Bobbie Flay" is not in the kitchen and its not the "French Laundry" but we find the cuisine to be quite good for Tortola

Rooms: Our rooms have been clean and comfortable and attractive. In fact we prefer the Sugar Mill's rooms to others (more expensive) that we have stayed in on the island. One room we had was in the first building from the road to the right of the restaurant. I was at first concerned about the road on my first visit since I am a light sleeper but didn't hear the traffic. In fact, on the night of a famous full moon party at a beach bar down the road (which we attended), i expected lots of noise but was pleased to return to the room never to hear any road noise. And in the evenings, there is little or no traffic at all.

Lunch Spot: The Islands as it is called is a small but nice place for lunch right on the water. And if you like Pina Coladas, they make good ones! A nice added touch is their use of local Sunny Carribee Hot Sauces on the table. YUM!

The Beach: OK Sugar Mill, if you read this, don't even bother marketing your hotel by saying you have a beach. There is probably more sand in my shoes when i get home!! But we knew the beach was small before we visited the first time. Ok its not that small BUT there are just so many better beaches on the Island. If you want a quieter beautiful beach, check out Long Bay. Or Smugglers Cove. Or for Bar hopping fun, Cane Garden Bay. Rent a Jeep for your island stay unless you really want to stay put and just plant your body on the same beach every day. If that's all you want to do, then stay at Long Bay. One other point: generally there is no such thing as a private beach in parts of the caribbean. On Tortola you can enjoy all of them on the map freely/legally from what we have found but there is a chance there might be one we missed that has a fence around it or something.

Staff: We found the restaurant waitresses to be nice. The check-in staff were very businesslike and prompt and don't attempt to feign excitement about your visit. When we had a request, it was granted. You do notice a lack on smiles but we attribute this to formality of the British influence (not that Brits aren't nice, they are great people!)

Pool: We walked by it but simply don't use pools in the islands. You can find pools in Cleveland, Gary, Milwaukee, Detroit, well you get the idea. The SM pool is small and looks comfortable enough for a quick dip.

So overall we think this place is an excellent hotel for Tortola and definitely above average by caribbean standards considering the wide range of accommodatations you can find yourself in.
So if you try the Sugar Mill, don't expect a keyed concierge to set your alarm clock for you or expect to find over-indulgent amenities. Having that would detract from the casual laid back island atmosphere and brings too much civilization into the place. You can get the amenities on your next business trip to Chicago or trip to Naples.

Stayed: February 2005
10  Thank snowshoeguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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621 - 627 of 653 reviews

Reviewed 9 January 2006

Checking into this wonderful, charming hotel, I felt my blood pressure drop 20 points. What a peaceful, relaxing hotel for a quiet tropical getaway!!!

The staff was extraordinarily friendly and sincerely wanted to please my wife and me. They're very well trained and most have been there a number of years. The restaraunt is located in a 300+ year old sugar mill and the chef provides a variety of very good meals at reasonable prices. All hotel rooms, dining room and lobby are tastefully decorated with the watercolors of the owner who has a wonderful eye for Caribbean landscapes. Most hotel rooms seem to have outstanding views of Jost Van Dyke. The pool is adequate and the beach is small but well maintained. Snorkeling is OK, but not great, off the beach.

We would recommend this very highly to couples. Looking forward to our next visit to the Sugar Mill Hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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3  Thank PatHudson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, Illinois - USA
14
Reviewed 19 December 2005

If you're expecting pampering and every amenity, the Sugar Mill is not the place for you. However, if you want stunning architecture, comfortable and clean rooms, a small, boutique feel and a retreat to revitalize yourself, then make the Sugar Mill your home.

Not being a big fan of tropic locations, I had low expectations when my wife and I checked into the Sugar Mill. We arrived in the evening, right as the kitchen was closing (9pm) and they held it open for us, even providing time to unload into our room, etc.

The next few days were great. Like I stated before, it was a retreat. Almost vacant beach, no overcrowding at the small hotel, amazing food.

While still not a fan of hot weather, I give the Sugar Mill my highest compliment in saying that I'd come back again. A true revealation.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2005

We just returned from our second trip to Tortola and a repeat stay at the Sugar Mill. The 4 night package made a long weekend get-away very "do-able". Tortola and the surrounding bvi is an amazing and absolutely beautiful place. The Sugar Mill can act as your personal day trip and activity planner or leave you to your own peaceful stay. The food, as always, is absolutely amazing and a must! The staff are very friendly and there to help you in any way they can. The addition of internet availability at the main bar makes it easy to stay connected at home, if need be. The location of the Sugar Mill, 20 minutes by car to Road Town, offers a great spot for general island exploration and access to the West End Ferries, Soper's Hole and The Jolly Roger (good food on its own) and "easy" routes to Cane Garden Bay, Brewer's Bay, Smuggler's Cove, Sky World and other amazingly beautiful sites. The Sugar Mill makes a great home-base while taking in everything the bvi has to offer; Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda (the Baths AND Savannah Bay), Anegada, Peter & Norman Island, Soper's Hole, Road Town, and East end with its gorgeous Long Bay, Trellis Bay and The Last Resort. The knowledge of the Sugar Mill staff with the rest of the bvi is also invaluable and has surely made our trips more enjoyable than they would have been otherwise. I have seen some focus on the sizes of the rooms and pool as well as the beach at the Sugar Mill. Frankly, if you plan to go to Tortola and stay in your room and at your hotel pool, save some money and stay at a Holiday Inn Express. Tortola has dozens of beaches to experience and the rooms are clean and comfortable. As for the Sugar Mill's pool, it is perfect; we enjoyed a few late night swims all by ourselves - after enjoying the unbelievable, indescribable, absolutely mouth-watering Key-Lime Pie. We will be back without question. Thanks again Sugar Mill

  • Stayed: November 2005
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6  Thank RIMMILLER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2005

My husband I stayed here for 10 days last year. We decided upon the Sugar Mill as it looked small and cute and the reviews were all pretty good. We stayed in a double room that was simply furnished with a view of mainly the busy road and a little of the sea if you craned your neck! The bar and restaurant were Ok but lacked any kind of atmosphere and the food was over-rated. Some of the staff were helpful and the up keep of the hotel in general was OK. The pool area is small and the 'pool bar' was never open. If a beach is important then you need to consider that this really has no beach and the beach side restaurant is very simple and the service is quite slow and has limited hours. I need to point out that this is probably the best hotel on Tortola which is quite underdeveloped therefore lacks any kind of sophistication but it depends what you are after. I wasn't very impressed with The Sugar Mill and woudl not consider visting again.

  • Stayed: November 2004
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8  Thank SG1912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2005

4  Thank Longfellow71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2005

  • Stayed: June 2005
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8  Thank AcousticEng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sugar Mill Hotel

Address: | Apple Bay, Tortola
Region: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Tortola
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Tortola
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Tortola
Price Range: $318 - $868 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A sea side boutique hotel with a world standard restaurant. Set amid lush tropical surroundings, the Sugar Mill is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beautiful British Virgin Islands. All our rooms have balconies or terraces and panoramic sea views. From January 2016 our refurbished rooms will include free wi fi, refrigerators, safes, dressing gowns and slippers, iron and board, hairdryers, flat screen TVs , mobile device charging points, luxurious new european bedding and new tropical designer furniture. We have on site the BVI's Number One fine dining restaurant offering fresh lobsters, succulent steaks, crispy belly pork, rack of lamp, scallops in champagne sauce and other mouth watering fare served in the dining room which has been restored from the Rum House of a 400 year old sugar mill. We also have a casual beach restaurant right alongside the hotel. Our small secluded beach offers luxurious loungers and umbrellas with bar and snack service right at your bedside. Alternatively our fresh water circular pool is set among swaying palm trees with a help your self honour bar. Check out our new for 2016 our Five Star All Inclusive option. Everything you need for a perfect vacation at one fixed price. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sugar Mill Tortola
Hotel Sugar Mill
Sugar Mill Hotel Tortola, British Virgin Islands

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