After the kind of winter than gives me chills just thinking about it, I was pretty excited to hop on a plane and head to sunny, warm, and welcoming St. Kitts in the Caribbean’s West Indies. Just two short flights from New York City, St. Kitts is a dream for vacationing couples, families, and gal-pals alike, and was the ideal place to take a short break this March. I packed by bags, said farewell to freezing NYC, and put myself on island time!
Immediately upon checking into the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino, located in Frigate Bay, I was struck by how unbelievably welcoming, friendly, and helpful the Kittitian people are – willing to answer all of my questions and offer suggestions for what I should be to sure check out while I was on the island. Guests can opt to stay in the resort’s main building, the Frigate Bay House, or in one of the Garden Houses surrounding the property which feature a mix of guest rooms, and 1 and 2-bedroom suites – many of which have private patios or balconies that offer views of the island’s green mountainside and the deep blue Atlantic.
The resort is large enough that, even at near capacity, it never once felt crowded, and small enough that anything you could possibly want is just a few steps away. For anyone who, like me, just wants to be pointed to the nearest lounge chair, there are many options to get your (sun-safe) sun time on; the Frigate Bay Beach, the large main pool with Bohemia’s Swim-Up Bar (hello piña colada!), and two additional outdoor pools to the north and south of the resort, which are quieter options for anyone looking to have some QT with their Kindle. Get your beach body in tip-top lounging shape with classes and activities offered by the resort including outdoor morning yoga, horseback riding, spin classes, and more!
When hunger strikes, there are eight different dining options at the resort for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as room-service. Not to be missed: Wednesday Night Mojito Night at Keys Rum Bar. The beautiful outdoor terrace is a perfect location for sipping on the night’s signature drink, enjoying some live Caribbean tunes, and taking in the warm island breezes. The great dining options in St. Kitts don’t end there! For lunch, hit up a local favorite, El Fredo’s, for some mouth-watering traditional Kittitian fare like mashed bananas (unbelievable!) and goat water stew, a tomato-based stew with a mix of goat, breadfruit, papaya, and dumplings. Plus, spice things up with the restaurant’s hot sauce, not for the faint of heart but definitely a must for anyone who likes their food with a kick! For dinner stop by Carambola Beach Club, which operates a daytime beach club for soaking in the sun and scenery, and a nighttime restaurant and sushi bar with perhaps the best bread pudding this gal has ever had.
A stand out among the dining options is for sure Spice Mill. The authentically Caribbean menu is rivaled only by the restaurant’s unique indigenous decor (think: hanging crayfish traps as lighting fixtures) and gorgeous setting (views of neighboring Nevis feel as though they are just an arm’s length away!). Enjoy a drink under the stars at the beach bar before heading inside for a meal you’ll remember long after you leave the island. Want to continue the party after dinner? Look no further than the lively beach bars that speckle The Strip along Frigate Bay. With the island music pumping and drinks flowing it’s impossible to do anything but bust a move or two. Head back to the resort and try your luck at the on-site 35,000-square-foot casino before calling it a night!
Wining and dining aren’t the only things St. Kitts has to offer, adventure is everywhere! Take it to the seas with Blue Water Safaris and head over to the sister island of Nevis on a catamaran cruise for a beach-side BBQ with a stop along the way for some snorkeling action. By the end of your trip you’ll likely meet your new best friend – Rum Punch is the the drink of choice after snorkeling. If you’re not ready to stretch your sea legs you must make a reservation with Greg’s Safaris for the half-day “Valley of Giants” Rainforest Hike (perfect for kids and adults, alike). Greg (pictured showing us some bananas!) will pick you up in his open air truck and take you on a short drive (complete with interesting stories about Kittitian history along the way) to the Wingfield River Valley where you will enjoy an educational 45-minute hike through the rainforest – sans mosquitos (which was a real treat for me, because usually I am lunch!). The options don’t end there, check with the resort’s concierge to plan the perfect day or nighttime excursion during your stay!
After all of your adventure it’s time to unwind and the resort’s 15,000-square-foot Emerald Mist Spa is at your service. The spa sanctuary features separate relaxation lounges for men and women, where you can take in an aroma steam, enjoy the sauna and healing hydrotherapy areas with hot whirlpools and cold plunge pools. The spa has nine treatment rooms, two Vichy shower rooms, two couple’s suites, and two outdoor garden cabanas, and a beach cabana in case you’d like to spa al fresco. As well, there is a full service salon for hair, nail, and makeup services. Relax with a signature Bamboo Massage, a 50-minute ($129) or 80-minute ($174) speciality of the spa which utilizes warm bamboo stalks, symbolizing life and energy, to relax and soothe while a deep tissue massage helps to work out the kinks.
Despite is small size, just 18 miles long and 5 miles across, St. Kitts packs in some big adventure – from catamaran cruises to rainforest treks to just kicking back and enjoying a Ting with a Sting made with local rum, there’s something for everyone in Sugar City!