The only St. Kitts resort sitting directly on a Caribbean beach is incomparably located and restful, a great budget find thanks to smiling service and simple but sizable apartments. Comfortable town-house-style units can be blocked off to form standard rooms. The oldest buildings right on the beach are larger and airier, with predictably better views. Third-floor units also have breathtaking vistas, but beware the steep climb. It's an authentic island experience, from the verdant hillside setting to the line-drying sheets flapping in the breeze. Though you get ants on the march during damp weather (don't leave food out!), bananaquits and bullfinches also share your patio breakfast. Rattling air-conditioners can detract from the idyllic atmosphere, but sparkling bathrooms with granite counters and rain showers make up for it. On the beach are the appealing Sunset Café and the Dock, with live music weekends.
Nov 10, 2009
Great location on the calm Caribbean side of Frigate Bay. The kitchen was small but adequate for making a couple dinners. We were traveling with a 10 and 7 year old and eating out every meal gets tedious. We ate about half our breakfasts at the hotel restaurant, the only place open for breakfast near the hotel. Our favorite was the veggie omelets—delicious home grown veggies everywhere we went. The kids enjoyed the ‘smoothies’ – virgin
daiquiris and coladas with fresh fruit. It didn’t open until 9 am, so I recommend those who like coffee and like to get an earlier start to their day, should bring their own coffee! I.e., Kenneth’s Dive Shop picked us up between 8-8:30 for three days of two-tank diving for my husband and I. They also swung by our hotel dock, to pick-up our 10 year old new diver, for the 2nd shallower dive—many good sites close to the shore with short travel times! They even had a mini tank for our son! We really enjoyed diving with them. Brett spent time in the pool training our son and he loved him. Vaija (sp?) was the Dive Master and he was great at pointing out all the wildlife to us. I do hope that the government of St. Kitts decides to protect the great diving and snorkeling sites! I saw my first reef squid and octopi on this trip and we have made previous snorkeling and dive trips to the Caribbean (St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Key Largo, the Bahamas and St. John). Unfortunately, the fishing and lack of protected status showed in the lack of larger fish. We did enjoy eating them however. We saw the reef squid, a pod of 15!, just to the south of the dock at our hotel and the octopi at “Reggae Beach,” on the map it is called Cockleshell Bay--$50 round-trip for 4 adults two kids. ‘Island Time’ did not apply to taxis, all were very prompt. Dining out however requires an effort in relaxing for us Northeasterners. We had the Snapper (excellent), Caribbean lobster (good), and ribs at Mr. X’s Shiggity Shack and were very entertained at the Thursday night bonfire and show. Cathy’s served the best ribs according to my son. The walking distance ‘shacks’ on the beach had delicious food, were reasonably priced and had a great view. We enjoyed them so much we never got around to any finer dining. Bertram gave us an island tour to all the highlights. Our favorites were the Brimstone Hill Fort with great views and the kids loved exploring. We also bought lots of stuff at the Batik factory, and the demonstration of how it was done the kids liked too. Everyone we met was friendly and very polite, with the exception of a couple grumpy waitresses at the hotel. Juliette at the hotel restaurant, however, spoiled my kids rotten and they loved her. The women at the front desk were always ready to help with a friendly smile. The highlight of the trip for my daughter (since she can’t dive) was the catamaran day trip with Leeward Island Charters to Nevis with a snorkeling stop at Shitten Bay were we also saw reef squid. The guys on the boat wouldn’t let you go thirsty, let the kids ‘captain’ the boat, took family pictures, danced with the kids (and adults) and made every effort to make sure everyone had fun—which we did! We checked out the Marriott while we were there and if you are trying to decide, the beach on the Atlantic side definitely has more waves, it is a long walk to the beach through the very nice pool area, but you probably wouldn’t have to deal with ants or flat pillows. You would also miss out on the cats, which my kids all named, and the wonderful balcony views watching the sunsets over the ocean and monkeys gallivanting on the lawn. A beautiful island with beautiful people, I wish them the best of luck as they go forward with the growth of the tourist industry (protect the reefs they are a great asset!).