TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews
Much better than the negative reviews suggest
Just returned from a 5-night (July 24 - 29), very fun, vacation with my sister (we are both in our 50's). I want to echo everything in the excellent review of TripAdvisor user VinceCuraro. He...
Just returned from a 5-night (July 24 - 29), very fun, vacation with my sister (we are both in our 50's). I want to echo everything in the excellent review of TripAdvisor user VinceCuraro. He really said it all best. This is a resort in transition and with AM Resorts taking over and making (much needed) improvements, the Sugar Bay Resort (which I believe will become Dreams Sugar Bay Resort) is going to be phenomenal.
Like I said, my sister and I had a very good time. Our room (432) was large and clean, though still in the process of being renovated. It was fine, though I can understand if you're honeymooners you want something that is completely refurbished. Then again, what did you pay? I'm more than happy to disclose that we paid $810 per person, all-inclusive (meaning all meals, drinks...alcoholic and non-alcoholic...and non-motorized watersports) for 5 nights. That's pretty darn good. For that price, I certainly did not expect the Ritz, nor even the Marriott. This isn't a resort that is trying to pass itself off as 5-star. I'd say it's a solid 3-star property and when all the renovations and upgrades to the entertainment are complete, it'll probably be a 4-star.
A few more comments about our room: We always had plenty of towels; the a/c worked perfectly; the shower had plenty of pressure and it was properly cleaned every day. We only slept and changed there. The category was Bay View, which means that you do have a water view (looked like just about every room on the property has a water view), but it's a little obstructed. We could see clear out to the ocean, but we also could clearly see the roof of the building in front of us.
Food: With the exception of the hibachi restaurant (which you had to pay for even if you're on the all-inclusive plan, though given a 10% discount...whoop-di-do), the offerings are all buffet. But you know what? It was actually quite good! There was always plenty to choose from and prepared well. The desserts were out-of-this-world good, though I do know they come from a bakery on the island. But still, kudos for hiring a bakery that makes such fantastic confections. My only real gripe is that if you went late (7:30, 8:00...which I didn't really consider that late), they already started taking food away and many of those delicious desserts would be almost gone, with no replenishment. Lastly, I thought it strange that they used regular old paper napkins, like the ones we use in our own homes. But as long as the food was good and the staff pleasant, it was easy enough to overlook the shortcomings.
Drinks: Never had a problem getting one, and they were good, too. Sometimes they were out of certain ingredients to make a drink I wanted, which I thought was kind of ridiculous. But I just chocked it up to the resort being in transition, but doing the best it can. Not to worry, always found a tasty libation. I'd also like to give a shout out to Julie, the hardest working (and most creative) bartender at Sugar Bay. They are lucky to have her.
Beach/pool: A lovely area, though never went in the pools. We came for a beach vacation and that's exactly what we did, though mostly to other (very beautiful) beaches either on St. Thomas (Magens Bay, Secret Harbor) or on St. John (Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay). The beach at Sugar Bay is small and has a very rocky entry into the water. So either bring water shoes or just go all the way down to the far left side of the beach, which is much less rocky. Still, the scenery was pretty, so can't complain. Also liked that the lounge chairs on the beach had comfy cushions.
The staff: Never encountered anyone with an attitude problem...at all. Everyone was always kind, said good morning (or afternoon, or evening) and gave service with a smile. Did not have an issue at the front desk at check-in either.
I do want to touch upon what I think is the best way to book a vacation. I am a travel agent and, even for my own trips, I book through a tour operator (also called wholesalers). I have one that I have been using for years and years (they are a large company that has been in business for well over 50 years). I deal one-on-one when I call them, i.e. I always speak to a human (who knows me b/c I've been dealing with them for so long). I find the pricing on their travel agent site, but I always actually make the booking over the phone. I've never ever had an issue with a client being turned away from a resort/hotel in which they were booked and confirmed (and paid for in full).
Lastly, I have to comment about the night time entertainment. It's lacking, but I think they know it...but they do try. This isn't a cruise ship, so you can't expect lavish production shows or comedians.
Still, both my sister and I had a really good time, met so many nice people (both staff and guests), enjoyed what the resort had to offer, and especially the beauty of the USVI.
Great Value and will be better with AM Resorts/Dreams Resorts take over
This resort is a secret paradise in the beautiful St. Thomas, USVI. Hold back on all the other reviews that try to isolate this resort and compare it to the Ritz Carlton or Waldorf Astoria. The...
This resort is a secret paradise in the beautiful St. Thomas, USVI. Hold back on all the other reviews that try to isolate this resort and compare it to the Ritz Carlton or Waldorf Astoria. The beauty of the Caribbean is the culture and look of the Caribbean. Don't expect it to be all modern looking.
I have seen a lot of complaints lately about oversold situations. If you book through a travel agent or a discount travel website it is up to that agent or site to send your reservation information. If they do not the resort will attempt to make contact with the agent to correct the problem but if the resort is already oversold, it is too late. Don't blame the resort for that, blame who you booked through and ask why your info was not send timely. I suggest booking through the Resort website direct. You can find specials that they are having as well as special pricing for AARP, AAA, Military, etc.
The resort has been taken over as of July by AM Resorts which have 36 resort under multiple labels in Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. The Sugar Bay in St. Thomas will be added under there Dreams Resorts label. The company is well known for their elegant ambiance and attention to keeping their guests entertained. They have already begun the upgrade of the rooms at Sugar Bay without much inconvenience to the guests.
The rooms will be getting a wood looking ceramic slate that is beautiful. Other improvements in design to the rooms are being made as well. There is many ideas for adding much more entertainment and activities for the day and night. I have spoken with the new management staff from AM Resorts and we spoke about many of these additions.
As for our stay, the first thing everyone should remember when coming to the island of St. Thomas, good morning, afternoon and evening goes a very long way here and earns the respect of the locals. The staff was very friendly and always accommodating.
Centered around there amazing pool area is their daytime entertainment. The fabulous staff that needs very high compliments are Jennifer, Kendall, and Maria. They were attentive to everyone needs and took care of all the fun and entertainment. Thursday's Carnival Night is one not to miss, although plans for which night may change with the new management. The bartenders were all great. How they kept up with all the guests and the orders was unbelievable. Mixed specialty drinks tasted a little watered down but I think that was from all the crushed ice that was in the drinks. Also, you can have as many as you want so drink up and enjoy. There were plenty of guest that were feeling really good day and night. As for the all-inclusive plan, the food was mostly buffet type with the food changing daily. Having meats, seafood, chicken, vegetables, soups, salads, just about everything needed to keep everyone happy. The food was always fresh. Overall the food was very good. Although with the new management changes that are coming, I understand that the food may change with the segmenting of multiple types of restaurants (Steakhouse, French, Italian, Seafood).
The resort is a beautiful gem in St. Thomas as it stands right now. The new company is very big with lots of money that they plan on putting into to resort to improve it to the quality of their other resorts. Once finished and fully opened again (November 2014), this resort will be the diamond in the rough on the island of St. Thomas and it will clearly stand above all the rest.
This was my third trip there and it has gotten better every time. They are in the middle of remodeling, but it has not gotten in the way. Love the all inclusive-food and drinks all day. Nice pool...
This was my third trip there and it has gotten better every time. They are in the middle of remodeling, but it has not gotten in the way. Love the all inclusive-food and drinks all day. Nice pool bar, beautiful views, clean rooms. The chef is fabulous.
Mike and Ron are doing a great job. Looking forward to going back next year.
I am very disappointed in this hotel and establishment!!!
I received a confirmation email from Sugar Bay on the Monday before I was arriving in St Thomas to stay at Sugar Bay. When I arrived on...
I am very disappointed in this hotel and establishment!!!
I received a confirmation email from Sugar Bay on the Monday before I was arriving in St Thomas to stay at Sugar Bay. When I arrived on Thursday evening to check in to the hotel, I was turned away and told that they had overbooked rooms and that there were no longer any rooms available. Mind you, I traveled a long way and was traveling with a young child. It was very frustrating and stressful, caused much confusion and pretty much ruined our vacation.
While the manager did indicate that there was a room available in another establishment, that hotel was of a lower quality and did not have the same resort features and amenities. Additionally, when I arrived at the other hotel, they indicated that there was no room available and that the rate that Sugar Bay indicated they were charging me was much higher than the rates that this replacement hotel charges. I am astounded that Sugar Bay would overbook and not inform us ahead of time and then insulted that they would send us to a lower quality hotel and attempt to charge us a higher rate than that hotel would typically charge (Sugar Bay apparently prepaid the other hotel and then provided me a rate that they were going to charge me). This is very shady and unethical business practices.
Even after this horrible experience, I continue to receive emails thanking me for staying there and asking how my stay was.
Your establishment pretty much ruined our vacation and caused much trouble for me and my young daughter!!! Sugar Bay was the ones who made the mistake and instead of being sorry, accommodating or trying to rectify the situation, they only offered to pay the taxi for us to get to another hotel of lesser quality while charging us a higher rate than that hotel normally charges. BEWARE!!
Wasn't the worse but was not the best
Basically if you could care less about the food and waitstaff this is the place for you. The room was good nice and clean ( make sure you get the newly renovated ones). The pool is very far away I...
Basically if you could care less about the food and waitstaff this is the place for you. The room was good nice and clean ( make sure you get the newly renovated ones). The pool is very far away I took the steps down (99 steps probably more) and the shuttle up to the main building. The beach had lots of rocks but it was still very pretty and nice to go in. Entertainment is non-existent at night. Casino is as big as my closet . Pool entertainment is ok but it depends on the crowd that is there..They basically do bingo every day at 3 and a basketball shoot out...sometimes flip cup and bobbing for beers.....DO NOT GO HERE FOR YOUR HONEYMOON !!!!
comments and opinions on this Ratings and Reviews section of our website
are the views and opinions of TripAdvisor members and Apple
Vacations.passengers. They are providied 'as is' and we accept no
responsibility for any loss, injury, inconvenience or other damage
resulting from this information. You should verify critical information
(for example passports and visas, and customs) with the relevant
authorities, and review our Fair Trade Contract and Things To Know
Before You Go (including our Health and Safety Tips For Travelers)
before you travel.