Sugar Ridge is much about the view. One of those rare Caribbean hotels that doesn’t sit at the edge of the sand, this boutique luxury resort, ranging up a hillside on Antigua’s west coast, not only overlooks palm-lined beaches and the marina at Jolly Harbour but also looks out across the greens and blues of the Caribbean toward St. Kitts, Nevis, and Redonda. The rooms, in clusters of four, two upstairs, two down, are Caribbean modern, with a focus on the four-poster, netting-draped, king-size beds. There are two restaurants, two pools, an Aveda Spa, and a fitness center so large it’s almost as if they were expecting a sports team to show up. And beach lovers fear not. A complimentary shuttle will have you down to the shore in minutes.
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Jolly Harbour, with its marina and shops and headquarters for all sorts of excursions, is only two minutes away by shuttle. Jolly Harbour even has a golf course, though there’s a better one at Cedar Valley Golf Club, near St. John’s. Get out on the water with Antigua Adventure, which can arrange a round-island eco-tour or a ride aboard a classic Antiguan sailing craft. Or get under the water with Indigo Divers, which has programs for scuba divers of all levels.
Need to Know
Rooms: 60 rooms. From $168 low season, $203 high season. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The best views in the hotel are from Carmichael’s, the more formal of the two restaurants, where a sunset cocktail easily leads to a fusion of Caribbean and continental dishes that might include grilled jerk pork tenderloin or spinach and goat cheese cannelloni. Down the hill, the more relaxed Sugar Club, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is popular for its tapas and sushi, which at least three times a week is accompanied by live music. Spa and gym details: The excellent Aveda Concept Spa, one of the few in the Caribbean, has four treatment rooms (one for couples), a hair salon, pedicure stations, and a studio for yoga and Pilates. The surprise here, though, is the Fitness Center, which is huge.
Who’s it for: Couples who believe that the Caribbean is not all about the beach, but want one nearby in case they change their mind. Our favorite rooms: Numbers 56–60, higher up, have the best views and most privacy. Top floors, with their large verandas, have better views, but bottom floors have private plunge pools, which, though hardly bigger than a bathtub, can feel refreshing after a climb up the hill. Easy access: Guests who find the trek up to Carmichael’s and the higher rooms a challenge can always get a ride in a golf cart from the concierge.