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Reviewed 10 January 2021

Let’s be very clear about what the Sugar Apple Lodging is and what it is not. It is three apartments located on the ground floor of a two-story house. The owner’s apartment, when in residence, is located upstairs. Since it is an apartment, do not expect to find anything you might find at a resort, or “lodge”. It is bare-bones and provides a place to stay while on Harbour Island. If you are looking for more than a place to stay, I would suggest you look elsewhere.

Being an apartment, it’s simple to write a report addressing the primary resources you would expect to find in an apartment. You can decide what “star” rating it is, but from my family’s experience from extensive traveling, this apartment would be more appropriately rated somewhere between 1-2 stars. It should never have been listed at 3-star by Expedia.

Our week-long stay is quite likely to be different than others because we believe we were the first guests to arrive after the Bahamas closed down for Covid. We made our reservation on 11/5, after the island opened for travelers, and our reservation was for 12/19. This provided a six-week window for the owner to prepare the apartment. Sadly, it was far from ready when we arrived.

The apartment owner was not in residence and completely relied on a local contact for maintaining the units. Our biggest complaint is that whenever we didn’t have water pressure, didn’t have hot water, didn’t have internet, didn’t have the usual items that come with a kitchen apartment, didn’t have clean towels, floors, sheets—we had to contact the local (“Ms. Thelma”) and she would contact the owner, who would then decide what actions would be taken. However, in every case, the owner would deny the problem existed. Eventually, I had to text the owner, but it still resulted in the owner denying there was a problem. In every case, it required having a “friend of the owner” come by the apartment and VERIFY that the problem existed before any resolution would be attempted. Videos and pictures helped tremendously. I have included them for examples.

Electricity: This was turned off when we arrived. Granted, the check-in time is 3pm, and the two flights per day arrive at either noon or 1pm, so it’s all but guaranteed you will arrive on Harbour Island before 3pm. We didn’t set any speed records and still arrived at the apartment by 2pm. There was no one there. We later learned we were not the first guests to have this problem.
Upon arrival Saturday afternoon, there was no one on the premises to “check us in.” (see picture) Our cab driver shouts up to the house: “Thelma, you have guests.” When no one appeared, he contacted Thelma and eventually, Thelma showed up. Thelma is the local contact for the Sugar Apple Lodge, the owner, Rosie, was in Kenya

Ms. Thelma then scrambled to find an electrician to turn on the electricity. Power on the islands can be sketchy. All the resorts have backup generators and it seems many, many homes have them as well. This is not the case for Sugar Apple apartments. Once we had electricity, it was time to check out the next resource…

Water: The town water is not considered potable for tourists and you will want to stock up on bottled water. You might expect to find a “welcome bottle” upon arrival (2-star+ lodging) but there was no drinkable water in the apartment. Town water can also be turned off by the water authority for various reasons, so most lodging and homes also have backup wells. Sugar Apple did, but the pump required to provide pressure for the well water is almost inoperative (see video) During the week, we went from well water to town water, back to well water, back to town water. In light of Covid, not having running water for their guests to wash their hands! Unbelievable. We did finally get running water, but hot water was a different story. After our first night, we figured the hot water would have had plenty of time to heat, but the first shower showed it was barely lukewarm, and just a trickle, not enough pressure– even the luke-warm water ran out after one shower—there were three of us (it’s a two-bedroom apartment!). After considerable texting and denials from the owner, the owner informed us that she had recently installed a new heater and that it was “all she could find” in some short amount of time. (See the photo). This heater is 10 gallons, enough to barely get one hot shower. When the plumber installed it, the plumber later told us he was told to keep the heat down to avoid scalding. The problem is that means you run through the luke-warm water even quicker. It took yet another day to get it set higher (day 4 now) to have enough hot water for two quick showers. We never were able to get three showers worth of hot water.

Cleanliness: The apartment had not been cleaned in quite some time, so when we arrived, everything was dusty and smelled of stale, moistness. There was also sand on the bathroom floor, smelly towels, etc. While I cannot say for certain, it appeared the place had been cleaned after the last guests from the spring had left, but nothing had been done to prepare the apartment for our arrival. The owner had six weeks to prepare. We had to request a full cleaning. Apparently it was our responsibility to point out to the owner that the place was not clean for guests.

Internet: While my family were on vacation and not “working remotely” we relied on having at least SOME internet to avoid paying the international fees for cell phones. Upon checking in on Saturday, we asked Thelma to make sure that we had internet for our son to work on Monday. THERE WAS NO INTERNET WHEN WE ARRIVED. The owner of, Sugar Apple, Rosie, was in Kenya; but apparently has an apartment upstairs. Being Saturday, the internet company didn’t arrive until Monday to resolve the problem While Thelma, did get the internet turned on, our son was not able to work as the connection was constantly dropped. This was a daily battle w/Rosie and my husband. She just refused to believe that the internet wasn’t working. Not until a phone call was dropped between a maintenance worker Darren, who was on the phone w/Rosie, when he walked inside the house, did Rosie finally believe my husband. Our son finally returned to Miami. Meanwhile, my wife and I were forced to pay $20/day each, to receive internet on our phones so we could text Rosie about our problems!

To be fair we got great internet outside. But you can’t expect guests to only use a laptop outside! And that wasn’t until day five, that the cushions to the lawn furniture were brought out from storage. Come to find out, all Rosie needed to do, on day one or even BEFORE, was to move the access point from her apartment upstairs into our rental downstairs. Such a small step would have kept our son on the island w/us.

Finally, In order to flush the toilet after a bowel movement, it was necessary to open the tank, push the float down, to allow enough water in for it to fully flush the bowel movement. It turns out the toilet float that had been installed was incorrectly sized and would shutoff the water filling the tank prematurely.

As for room noise, well, let's just say don't expect to fall asleep until after 11-midnight as the road is only 50 feet away. The roosters are part of the "charm" of the island and eventually you get used to them, but they simply help you get up in the morning to go exploring.

To be clear, we were constantly battling for the basics, running water, hot water, internet, clean apartment, outdoor cushions to sit on lawn furniture. The owner has a real attitude problem She does not have the hospitality gene. Perhaps she did in the past, but in our case she does the bare minimum in hopes that she can collect her rent money and then escape to Kenya. If you contact the local real estate firms or other travel services, we expect you can do a lot better. We used Expedia and they were of little help and only offered to rebook into a location not located on Harbour Island, for twice the price.

We paid a three star price for a 2 star (1 Star?!) lodging. No vacation should be a “battle for the basics.”

Room tip: If you want B&B or resort, look elsewhere. This is like Air BnB rental. Consider local real estate firms for similar accommodations.
Date of stay: December 2020
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 706kena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2016

We gave this one star only because zero wasn't an option. Large cockroaches in the bathroom that I had to kill and take pictures of. There were a number of other bugs as well. Not how a relaxing holiday should be spent ever. Dirty sheets also.

There was no one around to look after us when we arrived. A random stranger pointed to our door with the key inside when we got there and said this is your room. After complaining about the bug infested room and the owner agreeing to change us to a different room upstairs: that room while appearing cleaner had no hot water and the cleaning lady told us not to look in the cabinets as they were filthy under the sink. We told the owner we would try the room out for the night to make sure it was alright before deciding on staying there for the rest of the trip. The owner proceeded to state that we had to make a decision before we even had a chance to stay in the room. All we were able to do was give it a quick once over because the cleaning lady was slow to arrive and clean it well past the time she was told to by the owner. So we decided this headache wasn't worth it and had the help of a good travel agent to get us off this island as quickly as possible. This marred our entire trip as it changed our logistics completely.

We will never go back here or to The Bahamas and the only good part was when we left this island and the entire region and came home. To her credit the owner gave us a full refund. That's the only positive of all of this. But that was also a challenge to obtain. All in all a horrible experience that we will never forget.

Room tip: Do not stay here.
Date of stay: March 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank garylK1411QF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2015

An amazing stay. Rosita was wonderful and took care of all our needs to make our stay perfect. She made us feel like family. The grounds are beautiful. We loved our morning coffee on the deck under the palms Our room was comfortable and clean. The beautiful Pink Sands beaches and great restaurants are close by. We would definitely stay again. We loved it!

Date of stay: January 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Laurie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RositaK, Manager at Sugar Apple Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 7 January 2016

Thank you so much for staying with us we are appreciative that you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to hosting your stay again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2015

It was not a Bed & Breakfast as advertised....no breakfast provided and nothing close by. We were told breakfast was NOT included in our rate we paid upon arrival, but was provided a muffin and cup of coffee 1 day complimentary. There was NO option when booking if we wanted Breakfast or Not! It was advertised that it had a front desk open from 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, closed on Sunday. There was no front desk and we didn't see anyone on the premises after we once checked in. The hotel was clean and the garden in the back was lovely.

Date of stay: February 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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3  Thank tia7217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RositaK, Manager at Sugar Apple Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 7 January 2016

We do offer several lodging options breakfast can be included at the time of reservation. In regards to our staff we like to give our guest space and privacy. However we also enjoy mingling with our guest so that they can experience the local hospitality.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2012

Very friendly and hospitable landlady,she has prepared for us every day fresh and delicious pastries taken directly from the bakery.
The b&b is very nice with an interior garden to relax, decorated with shells and sea ornaments, strategic position to reach both the city centre and the beautiful Pink Sand Beach. We strongly recommend it if you wish to spend a relaxing holiday enjoying the natrual beauty of the island and the warmth of its inhabitants. We thank Rose for her kindness and we hope to come back soon to this amazing place!

Date of stay: March 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank CamillaModena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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