St. Kitts or Nevis?

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Oct 28th, 2009, 12:45 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I think one of the challenges with St. Kitts is that it could use some more good choices of places to stay on the beach. There just aren't too many good ones. We stayed at the Marriott, which has a nice wide beach but is, in my opinion, a charmless mega-resort totally out of place. We stayed free on points which made it okay and the golf is good but I like smaller, more charming resorts. I checked out TBR and was very underwhelmed but I know some people like it. I didn't think the beach was nice at all. On Nevis, we stayed at Nisbet which we love and which has a wonderful beach, not huge but with great views, hammocks, fairly white sand, etc. It sounds like you have your heart set on the Hermitage but just wanted to let you know Oualie Beach Resort on Nevis is on skyauction and has been going for a bargain price and that beach is nicer than the ones on St. Kitts, in my opinion. I like St. Kitts and am waiting for the day a really nice, boutique resort on the beach opens!
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Oct 28th, 2009, 08:20 PM
  #22
 
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eileen, could you elaborate on Marriott being a "charmless mega resort". How mega? We may have an opportunity to stay in a 2BR condo @ Marriott St. Kitts Beach Resort for a week in February, 2010. Any input you cld give would be greatly appreciated. What is the beach area like in front of Marriott?
Is it crowded? Is it tough to find a chair/palapa?
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Oct 29th, 2009, 05:27 AM
  #23
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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4Carolina - I think you must be thinking of Oualie too with the Nevis resort. We ate lunch there and enjoyed the food a great deal!!! We also stayed on their beach a bit but for some reason it wasn't a fit for us...you get to sit and look at St.Kitts and that was lovely in the same way it is lovely when you are in the SE Peninsula of St.Kitts...But the beach just seemed a bit squishy...there was quite a bit of seaweed - but that could have been the weather. None of us swam...but we were a bit underwhelmed by our day to Nevis....more to do with one of those off days.

TBR - with regard to this hotel I do believe that what cw is saying is true. People likely think that as it is a TB "Resort" that is should be so much more - much more like Marriott....TBR is a hotel. It has a variety of rooms that offer different amenities for a traveller. We have only stayed in a one bedroom, they do have two and three bedrooms. These units have kitchens...but sometimes they are missing cutlery or dishes but if you call down to the front desk they will give them to you. The units are mostly owned and they are more small hotel West Indian than big monster resort. There is no grand marble entrance (like at Marriott) there is a small front office with local Kittians working there....but unlike the bigger mega resorts this feels more like a place that the staff are truly a part of take an invested stock in, like personal attention - know your name you know theirs because they are the same staff most days....I find at places like Marriott there is a larger staff base adn they all wear the uniforms and are taught how to interact with the guests etc....they may remember you but likely not and as you have seen many of them you likely don't remember them....I like the personal touches of TBR.

We did not in our two years of staying there have a problem with cleanliness but I know some people complain of this. Our housekeeper is the same woman minus her days off - the whole stay there and you develop a bit of a relationship with her too so maybe we got lucky and she thought our son was cute and she did an impeccable job on our room....but she was really one of those women who you would have watch your child as much as sit and chat about life with....she did a great job and we hope we tipped her accordingly.

The units we were in were very large and could not be found at Marriott for a reasonable price. We had a VERY large bedroom with a large living room, small dining area and galley style kitchen and LARGE patio...this is the part I talk up the most because at the end of the day I don;t know many places in the Caribbean that offer what this patio has. We are getting better at knowing what units to chose from so God willing if they are available we sit on our very large patio with the lovely NEW outdoor furniture to have cocktails each night adn watch the killer sunsets EACH night. My son and I can sit at the outdoor table and do arts adn crafts or eat a meal - which we do a lot of at TBR to keep our cost down so we can dine out guilt free in the evening...my husband can lounge on the two loungers while we eat....that is how generous these patios are!

The other unique qualities about TBR are again the staff but after our first visit and the love my son evoked in many of the staff we returned the following year - I highlight ONE Year later...and Juliet a staff in the restaurant - remembered my son BY NAME! And he loved her despite his shyness as much as the year before....we will see how she does this year!!

The restaurant is a nice place but not BIG resort style...it is open air on the water with great Pina Colada's and Roti or other favorites...(those are mine)! On the beach are all the hotests places to be day or night...understand when I say hot I mean as according to my standards (a Mum of a 5 year old and baby on the way) and the men we travel with to include my Mother(who is a more high end high standard traveller). But also great for young people travelling to party too - complicated achievement - yes but they pull it off.

We all feel safe at TBR and enjoy being able to access the beach bars for cheap cheerful toes in the sand meals....they serve food like burgers and fries to Red Snapper and Ginger Chicken...the beach itself is a good size so you can do the standard happy to be in the Caribbean beach walk....it is beige sand and there are deeper parts to swim or shallower parts to wade in slowly. There is a long dock at TBR that allows you views back over the beach and also the dry land approach to snorkelling as there are so many fish milling about you can sit and watch the tropical fish for a long time without ever getting wet.

Mr.X's offers watersports and yet it doesn't get too hectic.

With all of this I don't like to bash other places because most places have something to offer everyone...the Marriott is not for me esp. in St.Kitts because it hasn't been an island that I have ever felt like I need to be kept safe in...Marriott has very redeeming qualities to it like a beautiful pool with swim up bar. (TBR has a sweet little pool but basic - clean and perfect for us but not extravagant). They have amenities on site and they have worked very hard to make their beach on the notoriously rough Atlantic a safe little place to swim. The beach there is lovely and you can also walk a good distance. We just dont feel a need in St.KItts for that level of mega resort. It is about a 15 - 25 minute walk to Caribbean side with TBR....which my family and I do most mornings for the joy of it...quietly watching that part of the island wake up - hearing the birds and enjoying the sites. Things are more expensive at the Marriott than in other locations on the island so be warned - for example alcohol costs a great deal more in their store than just down the road a touch. There are some nice high end stores there for shopping...but it feels a bit like the shopping in the States...which is perfect for a Canadian in the States but in the Caribbean?

My Mother who I mentioned earlier - expects more, travels broadly and can be very high maintenance - shhhh I did not just say that. But with all of that in mind TBR is our only option every year in St.Kitts....its pros far outweigh the cons for us and that includes Marriott where Mum would be more inclined to go in the States...but it gives you an idea of context about some peoples complaints about cleanliness....she would not stand for disgusting hotels and everyone would hear about it if it were a real problem.

OK - I am chatty but just to be clear - I am not a representative of TBR - I just love love love it! But if you are going to the Marriott as long as you make sure to get out and enjoy the island, all it has to offer and the incredible people and community and culture - it really becomes a personal choice. My vote though - still for TBR!
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Oct 29th, 2009, 06:22 AM
  #24
 
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Regarding the Marriott -- we were there in high season 2007 and it was not very crowded, since that was before the economy crashed I can't imagine how it is getting by now -- there are a ton of palapas on the beach, the facilities are huge so you don't have to worry too much about crowds. They have now opened timeshare units so that might keep more people coming to the resort. We had a lovely 1 bedroom suite (I happen to know someone in Marriott management so we got upgraded -- even though we were on points) and it had all the bells and whistles you would expect from a Marriott. However, in my opinion there is no Caribbean/tropical flare to the resort, and the design does not do a good job of integrating the indoors/with the outdoors as all nice tropical resorts should. It's one huge building, set quite a ways back from the beach and between that the huge pools, then the garden villas (timeshare units) and the beach. There's a beach bar/restaurant but the resort overall just does not have that open/outdoor feel of a resort in the Caribbean. It could be anywhere. In addition, there were no little comfortable nooks/smaller areas with seating or hammocks or anything that would make the huge resort feel more charming and personable. I much prefer the Curacao Marriott, it's a low-rise, much more open air, more charming design. We went for the golf and because we had points and we then went on to a wonderful stay at Nisbet on Nevis but the Marriott St. Kitts just wasn't our cup of tea. If you have a chance to go through a timeshare trade or free then I wouldn't discourage you! And we liked St. Kitts and all the fun beach bars/restaurants not far from the Marriott.
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Oct 29th, 2009, 08:07 PM
  #25
 
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eileen & Caribheart, Thanks for your comments. Yes, I wld be doing a Marriott Timeshare trade if we go to St. Kitts. Maybe I shd be looking @ Curacao...but how to get there from Toronto?? That is my problem.
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Oct 30th, 2009, 04:05 AM
  #26
 
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If I were doing a timeshare trade I would go! It's a perfectly nice resort with all the amenities. It's just that we have been to some pretty nice Caribbean resorts and it's not really the type of resort we like for our romantic, once a year trip without the kids. It's a good destination for kids though. Unfortunately, Curacao Marriott does not have timeshare units. Although I do think Curacao is a good value in high season (and we actually paid for it!)
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