The Sugar Mill began life as a rum distillery way back in the 1600s.
It may seem trite to describe the Sugar Mill Hotel as hitting “the sweet spot”, but that is exactly what it does.
With its friendly staff and an efficient, present management, along with a prime location on Tortola’s northwest shore, the Sugar Mill draws both vacationers and locals in search of a serene holiday, a gourmet meal or a stylish cocktail.
Built on the grounds of a 400-year-old sugar mill and former rum distillery, the hotel has done a remarkable job of restoring the historic features of the property, including old stone pathways and rusted relics of the original sugar processing equipment.
The Sugar Mill Hotel has been an accommodation staple on Tortola, the largest and busiest of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) since the 1960s. UK restaurateurs Dennis and Mary Carmedy bought and took over operation of the Sugar Mill in 2016. It was well established, but like many hotel properties throughout the Caribbean, needed a revamp. Upgrades were made, including the addition of a new restaurant on the beach, across the road from the main hotel.
Then Hurricane Irma all but levelled much of the hotel property, along with so many buildings throughout the BVI. And when the Sugar Mill was almost repaired, the pandemic arrived, virtually shutting down the islands to outside visitors.
Many would have walked away, but thanks to the Carmedys’ tenacity, the Sugar Mill is once again the hub of fine wining and dining on Tortola, providing visitors with cozy rooms with beautiful views and a curated vacation experience.
The Sugar Mill Hotel is ideally located on the northwest shore of Tortola, known locally as the Emerald Coast due to its lush greenery.
With 24 rooms in eight buildings, the staff pride themselves on offering personal service. The entire team is a delight. The Sugar Mill restaurant is still the main draw each evening, for hotel guests and island residents alike, from the creative pre-dinner cocktails at the bar to the extensive menu of well-prepared meals. Breakfast, weekend brunch and lunch are taken at Tramonti, the new open-air pavilion on Apple Bay beach.
Choosing from among five different room categories, we opted to stay in a Signature Room in the Plantation House, which featured a small inside sitting area and a spacious balcony with mesmerizing views across to neighbouring Jost Van Dyke or toward the iconic Belmont Hill at Long Bay.
You can enjoy different styles of vacation at Sugar Mill – doing the absolute minimum, shuffling from the pool to the beach (with trips to the bar or restaurants in between) or viewing it as a base to enjoy the many pleasures of Tortola and the BVI. The staff can arrange car rentals, day sails and other excursions while offering practical advice on travel between the BVI and the USVI. With the operational expertise from managers Rupert and Andrea Starkey, the hotel runs like clockwork.
It’s no surprise that the hotel features many charming old-school ‘Brit’ touches, including an honour bar at the pool, a lending library and a lively cocktail hour.
The Sugar Mill has its own small, secluded beach located beside their waterside lunch restaurant, Tramonti.
The Sugar Mill hotels offers up relaxation, tranquility and good food. It is an excellent base from which to explore the gorgeous British Virgin Islands, or simply stay put and chill out.