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.
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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sugar Mill Tortola
- Hotel Sugar Mill
- Sugar Mill Hotel Tortola, British Virgin Islands