St. Kitts still retains the old Caribbean charm with sugar cane swaying in the breeze, lush landscapes including rain forests, roadways covered in pot holes and shacks on the beach they call restaurants. The Kittitians are extremely friendly and welcoming which makes for a fun vacation.
The St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Marriott Vacation Club’s St. Kitts Beach Club sits prominently on the west side of the island on Frigate Bay. The Beach Club is comprised of 8 three-story “outbuildings” on the sprawling hotel property. There is a small pool by these buildings but it is only a short walk to the main pool and beach area shared with the hotel guests.
Each set of 3 villas have their own separate entrance with one villa on each floor. There are no elevators so make sure you request a ground floor if you can not easily manage stairs. The 2- and 3- bedroom villas are some of the largest I have been in and the most soundproof. Usually I request a top floor at purpose-built Marriott Vacation Club properties since you can hear people above you but these villas were converted from hotel use so they were solidly built. We were on the second floor and never heard noise from above or below.
There are Garden View and Oceanview rooms. We were on the second floor with a view over the pool and a sliver of the ocean. I would request an ocean view before check-in but ask not to be in the Turtle Bay House —you are close to the ocean but in your sights is a broken down old fence which would mar any views you may have.
This modern resort is comprised of a hotel, casino, timeshare, and golf course. The beach is adequate, but the sand is darker and denser than you usually find. There are lots of permanent hut-like structures strewn along the beach so you can catch some shade. The hotel is on the Atlantic Ocean so the water can be a little rough for swimming.
Connected with the hotel is a challenging 18-hole golf course. Five of the holes offer great ocean views. Rates drop after 2pm and hotel guests get a discount. In May, they offered a great twilight rate of $115 including clubs and shoe rentals, 2 sleeves of balls and a glove. At these rates you don’t have to hassle with bringing your clubs.
There are several restaurants on property that I heard were good but we never tried them. A short walk down the road are several good choices—we quite liked Rock Lobster for seafood and believe it or not, Tex-Mex. (After eating seafood for a week, I was ready for something different.) A $6 cab ride away are the shacks on the beach that I alluded to earlier—and I mean shacks. The menus are all pretty similar at these so-called restaurants—ribs, lobster and chicken. Not much variety. My favorite shack is Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack. The food was good—try the Lobster—and on Friday night the live entertainment was excellent. We tried to go on Thursday night when they have their bonfire night but the place was so packed we couldn’t get a seat so go early if you want to check this event out.
For a special dinner, I strongly recommend The Beach House. This was by far our favorite restaurant on island. The restaurant is open-air and beautifully decorated. Food was excellent and the service was outstanding. Ask for Chantelle, she was terrific. It is a bit of a hike from the hotel—about 30 minutes drive—but worth it.
To really get a feeling for the island and the people, I would suggest an island tour. We met Ava with Venus Taxi. She has lived on the island her entire life and had great stories to tell. She took us to Brimstone Hill Fortress, a wonderfully preserved old British fortress built in 1690s.
Ava, below with my friend Beth, also took us to Black Rock.
She showed us where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea and the unusual waves created by this convergence. We drove around the entire island and visited historical Ottley Plantation Inn. This historical hideaway is comprised of a restored 1832 great house and free-standing cottages offering sweeping views of the Caribbean sea. For a more intimate experience than the Marriott, I would check out Ottley’s and also their highly rated restaurant, the Royal Palms.
Ava was knowledgeable and FUN. To arrange your island tour, call Ava at 869-665-8790 or email her at Venustaxi@hotmail.com. For $80/cab it is well worth your time.
St. Kitts offers limited shopping. There is a small area with shops by the port to serve the cruise ship customers where alcohol was very reasonable. The main town, Basseterre, is quaint but mostly offers services for the local people.
Although it is difficult to get to St. Kitts due to the limited number of airlines that fly here, Marriott’s St. Kitt’s Beach Club is worth the trek if you enjoy island type vacations.