For Your Next Caribbean Vacation Visit St. Kitts
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere and are looking to escape the cold, rainy and snowy winter months in the North, or need a temperate break from summer heat, consider heading south to Saint Kitts in the West Indies. Temperatures on the island are in the comfortable 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 29 degrees Celsius) all year ‘round.
Don't dismiss St. Kitts as a destination for relaxation just because it is small. During the 2017 hurricane season, it experienced light damage, yet its beauty remains untouched. While there, you will witness genuine culture and a life-style removed from typical Western norms, and experience a getaway that refreshes the senses.
The island community is charming and unpretentious. Pride of ownership is evident in the small townships, the city, and even in the industrial areas. Kittitians are proud of their local farms, allowing for less dependence on imported fresh food. Also, a governmental structure shows in the cities and countryside with well maintain roads and the absence of trash and property clutter.
Tourism helps the economy and provides jobs for the island’s residents, many of whom are local. As a result, friendly and professional service can be experienced at hotels, restaurants and excursions. Unlike St. Thomas the island does not attract a big expat resident population, so the atmosphere is authentic and not overcrowded.
St. Kitts Travel Review Content
- Basseterre - Capital of St. Kitts and Nevis
- Island Views and Townships
- St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino
- Restaurants and Food Shopping
- Hurricane Irma 2017
St. Kitts is two miles (3 kilometers) adjacent to the island of Nevis, and together they comprise a single country known as The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Their capital, Basseterre is the largest city in the country and one of the oldest in the Caribbean islands.
Be sure to take a couple hours and see as much of Basseterre as possible and enjoy a restaurant or museum. The city is captivating and a breath of fresh air because it does not in any way look like our Westernized cities in the US or Europe. For example, not one intersection traffic light exists on the island. (As of February, 2018 three have been installed.) During business hours the city is lively with traffic and pediatricians.
In the CityClick thumbnail to view full-size
Island Views and Townships
There is one two lane road that circles the island along the coast weaving through townships. If everyone depended on this road, traffic would soon be a problem. In any case, many residents cannot afford cars sold on the island. The majority of the cars sold are imported used vehicles. Instead, a public bus system and central train takes riders to their towns located on the shore line.
International students are a big presence on the island; many of them attend veterinary schools. One can see them hanging out in any food establishment that has wi-fi; a laptop open for viewing.
Education is very important for the general population and the literacy rate is over 97%. Twenty-five primary schools, one or two visible in every township on the island, ensure local instruction for youngest students.
Island Views of St. KittsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Because St. Kitts is a volcanic rock, there are not many beach side sand and surf havens. Much of the coastline is black rock and craggy low cliffs. If sand and swimming is what you are craving, on the southern part of the island is Turtle Beach and Raggae Bay. There except to find restaurants, lounges for rent, food and drinks for ocean side leisure and swimming. They offer wi-fi, friendly service, restrooms and a variety of water rentals, such as jets skis, and paddle boards.
Gorgeous BeachesClick thumbnail to view full-size
What to Expect at the Marriott Resort
The Marriott Resort is wide and open with room for long walks and views of the shore. The hotel anchors the complex in the center with villas on each side near the beach. Vacation Club villas include beach view and garden view villas.
The villas are three stories tall and unfortunately do not have elevators. The units are clean and well-appointed but not luxury. Service and cleaning equals other Marriott locales and the maids are friendly, quiet and respectful. We enjoyed an organized poolside gathering mid-week at the Vacation Club. Cheese and wine were served by friendly staff with games and prizes designed for audience appreciation. High cafe tables allowed for easy guest mingling and conversation.
There are three pool areas on the resort. All three areas have lounges with individual shades attached to regulate your own sun coverage. The main pool in the center of the resort has a pool side pizzeria and a cafe for lunch and dinner. Also a swim-up drinks bar, and an additional bar near the beach access. Our visit was off season and pool and beach servers were not available. Ask about high season pool servers when booking your stay.
The Marriott at St. Kitts
St. Kitt's Best Beach ResortClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Vacation Club side has a nice pool but the spa was in need of some tile repairs. From all pool areas is easy access to the beach with low roofed cabanas and lounges. At the beach explore snorkeling next to black rocks near shore and paddle boards and wind surfing further out. No body surfing or wave hopping because the surf is low and calm.
For those who travel with family and young children a full service game and kids activities center is located in the Garden Villas on the Vacation Club side of the resort. An Easter egg hunt was hosted during our visit. Books are available or reserve a board game for a quiet evening in the villa.
Adult entertainment includes the Royal Beach Casino located on the main floor lobby of the Hotel opposite of the reservations desk. The casino is well appointed and offers slots, black jack and poker. There is a one time registration process to play during your stay.
Have You Enjoyed the St. Kitts Marriott Resort?
Where to Buy Meals
The resort has two finer restaurants, a beach side eatery for lunch, a pizzeria and the Café Calypso in the Hotel. Our visit was off season, so we felt that the dining choices were limited
- Café Calypso - Casual dining, buffet breakfast, sandwiches, espresso coffee, pastries, fruit and ice cream. Veterinarian students like to spend quiet hours inside and outside in the patio.
- Pizza Shack - Walk up window for pizza, sodas and ice cream. The pizza is very good. You can take it to your villa or eat at the outdoor patio. Beware of the Golden Crown egret who will snatch a slice right from your hand!
- Bohemia Beach Pool Bar & Grille - Fish and Chips, salads, burgers and more. Refreshing, tall iced cocktails served at a swim-up bar. Every entree I ordered was very good.
- Blu Seafood Restaurant - Sea food dishes with a touch of elegance and friendly St. Kitts service.
- Convenience store in lobby well stocked with sandwiches, snacks, drinks souvenir items.
Off Site Locales:
- Ram's Convenience Market - This market stocks sundry needs, breakfast groceries and snacks. I also saw plenty of spaghetti making sauces and pastas. The market location is walking distance and includes small shops and cafes. Take a cab ride to buy groceries at the full scale Ram's Supermarket for fixings to make meals in your villa kitchen.
- Sprat Net - Located on the beach, this restaurant features special prices on Thursday evenings. Their specialties are fresh catch lobster, fish, sausages and chicken. You will dine with local families and a large crowd of vet students while the local band plays music—a super lively experience.
- Restaurant Strip - The Strip is located a short mile from the resort and features several restaurants, eateries and pubs. According to our cab drivers Shiggidy Shack is popular for food and drinks. Next door is a new Mexican fare eatery that is very good with outdoor patio dining and walk up bar.
Where Is St. Kitts
Cloth dying and clothing factory on a historical sugar plantation. Beautifully kept grounds and coral constructed building ruins.
Get basics for cooking. Easy walk from the Marriott Resort.
Black Rocks volcanic beach
Hurricane Irma 2017
Considering the devastation that the U.S. Virgin Islands sustained during Hurricane Irma and Maria, in 2017, St. Kitts managed to escape virtually unscathed. While many islands in the region witnessed all of their foliage stripped and buildings destroyed, on St. Kitts the power, water and the airport sustained only minor damage and the airport reopened the next day after the biggest storm. Luckily recovery was easy, so you can still keep St. Kitts on your list as your next vacation alternative.
Hurricane Irma and Marriott Vacation Club Villas
© 2017 Sherry Venegas