Editors' Picks

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

Beachfront, gorgeous views, spread-out

Val Des Pitons, Soufriere 00000


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At a Glance

Sugar Beach is a sprawling, luxurious oceanfront resort with an incredible setting.

Indagare Loves

  • The resort’s varied accommodation options, great for both families and couples
  • The remarkable, almost 10,000-square-foot Rainforest Spa, with treatments performed in outdoor treehouse canopies
  • That so many outdoor water activities, including sea kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing and scuba diving are available right on the property
  • Drinking a mojito from the resort’s Cane bar


Nestled in the valley between St. Lucia’s iconic Piton Mountains—the so-called “Val de Pitons”—Sugar Beach enjoys the most picturesque and historically rich piece of real estate on St. Lucia, and perhaps in all of the Caribbean. Situated at the base of the island’s volcano, this UNESCO World Heritage site boasts more than 100 acres of lush tropical rainforest and the only white-sand beach in the surrounding area, bordered by a National Marine Preserve just offshore. Deeply rooted in its heritage, Sugar Beach evokes a dreamy, almost spiritual atmosphere unlike anything else in the Caribbean.

While still trying to maintain its sense of place, the resort burst onto the luxury travel scene, thanks to a three-year, $100 million makeover (which was completed in late 2012), spearheaded by the Viceroy Hotel Group, known for chic beachside properties in Santa Monica, Mexico and Miami. The physical transformation has included a gut renovation of its villa accommodations, new entry-level Sugar Mill rooms, the construction of a destination spa called Rainforest and, of course, the re-branding of the entire resort.

Clustered throughout the property, Sugar Beach’s fifty-nine plush new villas are designed in a minimalist style (think plantation-elegant-meets Southampton-cottage). Interiors are predominantly white, but stylishly accented with dark hardwood floors and black-and-white photographs. The cloud-like four-poster beds are piled high with Posturepedic pillow-top mattresses, down featherbeds and crisp 700-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens. All rooms are outfitted with flat screen televisions, Nespresso coffee makers and complimentary Wi-Fi, and feature deluxe amenities such as Victorian claw-footed bathtubs, plunge pools and outdoor deck furniture.

The hillside Luxury Villas are the largest and most desirable accommodations and offer views of the surrounding foliage and mountainside (ocean views may be available upon request, but cannot be guaranteed). Superior and Grand Luxury Villas have the added benefit of a living room with a queen sleeper sofa, and a handful of them are equipped with half bathrooms.

The resort’s Sugar Mill Rooms are housed in pink concrete buildings within close proximity of the hotel’s main facilities (pool, beach and restaurants). These rooms have the same décor as the Luxury Villas and include a small plunge pool and garden, while Superior Sugar Mill Rooms have the added luxury of a roof terrace. (Keep in mind that Sugar Mill Rooms are the smallest accommodations and do not have ocean views, and none of them connect, so they are not ideal for families.)

Those who want to step out of their villa and onto a beach may be disappointed at Sugar Beach. Almost all accommodations are located up a nearly vertical hill, a shuttle drive from the resort’s main facilities. Shuttles must be called in advance to take guests anywhere on the property – an inconvenience for those who want to fall out of bed and onto the beach. Each villa cluster has very distinct characteristics: some are best for families with children and others are ideal for couples who want privacy, so be specific about your needs when booking. Service throughout the resort, especially the villa's butlers, is extraordinary.

The remarkable 9,427-square-foot Rainforest Spa is composed of treehouse-like gazebos built into the rainforest canopy. Spa treatments incorporate the surrounding environment and all-natural rituals of the island’s first Amazonian inhabitants. Highlights include a Temascal, an earthen steam room warmed by volcanic spring water and once used for health and religious purposes, as well as an open-air relaxation gazebo, suspended over running water at the base of the Petit Piton. Many of the spa’s signature treatments incorporate locally sourced products such as sulfur straight from the volcanic springs, as well as fruit and herbs grown on the Sugar Beach estate. The spa also uses top-of-the-line organic skin care products from Environ of South Africa and Academie France, as well as anti-aging treatments from UK-based Caci. The resort’s Rainforest Spa is a destination in and of itself and a must-visit for any spa sophisticate.

Located on the southwestern side of St. Lucia, Sugar Beach is just three miles from the historic town of Soufrière, and a forty-five-minute drive from Hewannorra International Airport. There are non-stop flights to Hewannorra from New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Montreal and London.

Who Should Stay

Sugar Beach is best suited for nature enthusiasts. The resort is a five-minute drive from the island’s main attractions, which include a drive-in volcano, botanical gardens, zip-lining, waterfalls and sulfur springs. On property, guests can participate in sea kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing and scuba diving in the National Marine Reserve, just steps from the beach. The resort is well suited to families, but can work for couples provided they snag a highly coveted and uber-romantic ocean view villa.

Written by Indagare

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