St. Kitts or St. Lucia?

Old Sep 12th, 2002, 06:55 AM
  #1  
Sherrie
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St. Kitts or St. Lucia?

My husband and I are planning a one week trip in March to the Caribbean and are considering St. Kitts or St. Lucia. How do these two islands compare? We are interested in getting value for our money. We do not like big resorts and were thinking about the villa, apartment, or small hotel options. We like to explore on our own, and are concerned about safety and cleanliness. Also important to us is good snorkeling, and plenty of off-beach sights as well. We are in our 40's. This is my 1st Caribbean experience. Thanks for any input!
 
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 08:38 AM
  #2  
xxx
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I have been to both islands and had a great time at both. On St. Kitt's we stayed at Jack Tar Village. There they offered a day cruise to near by Nevis which included a snorlkling stop along a reef. They boat stopped on the shores of the Four Seasons and again you can spend the afternoon snorkling and swiming. The island is small and you can drive around the whole island in a day trip that was really fun.

St. Lucia is such a beautiful island. There I stayed at Jalouise Hilton. The property is huge and it has private villas up in the mountains with your own plunge pool. There is a 24 hrs shuttle that takes you around the grounds because some of the villas are way up the mountain. There is plenty to do if you just check with the conceirge ie horseback ridinig thru a volcano and a jeep safari to a rain forest where you can swim in waterfalls. I wouldn't want to drive around St. Lucia by myself though. The roads are HORRIBLE. Small winding road that look straight down the sides of mountains. Beautiful ride but also a little scary.

There have been many other posts about St. Lucia and Jalouise itself. Just search either one in the above box.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 09:40 AM
  #3  
Nancy
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Sherrie,
xxx gives you a lot of very good info re both islands.
I have been to both as well, and many of my impressions are very similar to xxx's.
For snorkeling, St. Lucia, especially the Anse Chastanet area, is really wonderful and far outstrips St. Kitts.
As far as safety and cleanliness go, if this is your first Caribbean experience, you may be a bit dismayed or overwhelmed at some of the things other travelers find charming about many of the islands.
Most of the people on both islands are extremely hard-working but poor. Many of the homes are small - in some cases - one room, and there are many farm animals roaming free. (They are let out to graze all day, and they return home in the evenings.) The people take a lot of pride in their property and many keep small vegetable gardens.
In some common areas, such as in town or along the roadside, you will find garbage.
On St. Lucia, the southern part of the island - where Soufriere is located - has been the subject of recent posts re unfriendly/confrontational attitudes toward tourists.
Villas are available on both islands, but I believe St. Kitts may have more to offer in that regard.
I hate to deter you from choosing either of those islands, because I have been to both several times and plan to return, and I'm sure my opinions are not the same as others may have, but since it is your first trip, I think it's good to know all you can about where you're going - especially if you have concerns.
If you do decide to go to the Caribbean, an open mind, a friendly smile and a relaxed attitude will go a long way toward making it a vacation you will love immensely.

 
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 09:52 AM
  #4  
anon
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Personnally, I wouldn't pick either as a first-timer Caribbean destination. Are you set on one or the other?
 
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 09:58 AM
  #5  
qqq
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I have been to both Islands too.
Only a short stay on SLU and twice a year visits to St. Kitts.
SLU is very tropical in its vegetation and has the beautiful Pitons. It is amazing how much food they grow for themselves there.
We stayed in the Rodney Bay area, and took the cruise down to the Pitons.We met many interesting people from around the World and locals too. We were approached too many times by vendors and unemployed people looking for money to feel real comfortable. People will say that a polite, firm "no thank-you" will suffice, but it didn't most the time and we recieved some crude replies to our (non)interest in what was being offered.
I do not like to feel that I need to avoid locals, just the opposite, but I grew tired of being asked for basically a hand out.
There are others on this board who can give you their insight based on more time spent there than I, but we will not return to SLU. I do read their newspaper "The Star" every week though.

http://www.stluciastar.com/

This is one way to get a feel of an island during your research.

St. Kitts / Nevis for us is paradise.
It is not quite as green as SLU, but it does have rain forests, vast sugarcane fields, and the remote South East Peninsula.
The beaches are equally as good on either island.
We feel comfortable exploring around in a rental car and going into town.
Nevis is just a 45 min ferry ride away too.
We feel more welcomed here.
The St. Kitts paper can be found here:

http://www.caribbean-search.com/news.htm#newspapers

plus this.......

http://www.stkittsnevis.net/media.html

Above all check out as many other forums as possible...........





 
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 11:30 AM
  #6  
Mary
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qqq: I totally agree with your analysis of the locals in the Soufrierre area (STL). Never again.

Sherrie: If you choose St. Lucia I would pick the north part of the island with a day trip to the south to see the sights. Mainly cuz it's your first time in the Caribbean. The north is a tad more touristy, commercialized, with friendlier locals, and much more to see and do.

Sorry, don't know much about St. Kitts. I do know, however, that neither island will give you that rainbow of turquiose blue waters that I always dreamed about when I was younger. ST. Lucia has a few spots but they're very few and far between. Not sure if this is important to you but just in case....
 
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 01:59 PM
  #7  
Sherrie
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Thanks for all the great insight! Deciding on an island is making me nuts! I guess that's what I get for waiting 10 years to go away for more than just a few days without kids with my husband. I want it to be a really special trip without spending a fortune. I had pretty much decided on Timothy Beach Hotel on St. Kitts, when my friend was raving about St. Lucia. We'd like to go somewhere where we can see some interesting sights in addition to beautiful beaches and water sports. We want a low-key, non-touristy type place. Now I'm interested in Grenada too! For those of you who would not recommend St. Kitts or St. Lucia as a 1st time Caribbean destination, where would you suggest? We have traveled some, so we can appreciate a little "charm" with the locals. The begging situation in St. Lucia sounds excessive, though. Thanks for the great info!
 
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 02:18 PM
  #8  
Mary
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Actually, I didn't encounter any begging while in the north part of the island of St. Lucia (spent one week on each side, two separate vacations), only the south.

Have you considered a villa or condo in Akumal, Mexico? South of Cancun, not nearly as touristy or commercialized, and close to the ruins and other sights. Decent snorkeling too.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 04:57 PM
  #9  
beenthere
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Sherrie,

I would definitely recommend either St Kitts or Grenada as first time caribbean trips, but definitely not St Lucia. We have been to SK 4 times and are planning to go again with our 4yr old. We just returned from a 10day trip to Grenada last Sunday and we loved it. We were married 5yrs ago in St Lucia and would never return (but we did have a beautiful wedding that went off w/o a hitch).

St. Kitts: Mountainous, rain forest, sugarcane fields, friendly people, nice beaches (esp. S. Friars), easy to get around by yourself, decent snorkeling, day trips to Nevis, Brimstone Hill Fortress, good restaurants (Marshalls, Sprat Net, Ballyhoos), generally have always felt safe there.

Grenada: Mountainous, lots of rainforest, good beaches, good restaurants (Nutmeg, Aquarium), day trips to the Grenadines or Carriacou, spice "factories", waterfalls, fairly easy to get around by yourself, friendly people but VERY aggressive vendors (we even avoided the spice market because of this), general safe feeling, but we were with someone who lived there so we knew where NOT to go.

St. Lucia: mountainous, lots of rainforest, ok beaches, no comment on restaurants because we were at A/I, VERY difficult to get around...crazy driving and expensive taxis, offered drugs ALOT, we were told by the car rental agency not to take the top off our jeep because people would jump in back and would not get out unless you pay them, and then, they would probably rob us. We had a nice wedding at the resort (yes, we ventured off the resort almost every day) and I'm very glad we went, but I would never again return. There are much nicer, friendly islands out there that I would rather support their economy.

St. Kitts and Grenada both have villas or small hotels, or large hotels if you prefer. Grenada is more touristy than SK, but not by a whole lot. They are equally as difficult (i.e. long day) to get to, so that shouldn't be a factor in deciding which to pick. I would still recommend SK as more closely resembling what you are looking for.

Hope this helps.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 09:29 PM
  #10  
xxx
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Give up on stinky St. Lucia!
 
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 04:51 AM
  #11  
Maryjane
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Definitely St. Kitts over St. Lucia. Strongly recommend either staying in the Frigate Bay area at Timothy Beach Resort (right on the carribean), Island Paradise Beach Village (on the Atlantic), or Half Moon Bay Villa, which is not on the beach, but a short simple drive away with an outstanding view. You would not be disappointed staying at any of those choices. They are all immaculate places with much to offer and are reasonable in price.
 
Old Sep 20th, 2002, 09:52 AM
  #12  
lisa
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Sherrie,

Why don't you go to Nevis? My husband and I went there in Jan. and had a great time. We didn't think that St. Kitts was as nice. You can either take a ferry or a small plane (5 min. flight) to Nevis.

The beaches in Kitts/Nevis are not as spectacular as other islands but we rented a car and enjoyed driving around to check out other beaches.

Feel free to email me for more info.
 
Old Sep 21st, 2002, 12:34 AM
  #13  
GM
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I HIGHLY disagree about St. Lucia, because Le Sport in No. St. Lucia is the best and you get the most for your dollars. Private beach, very safe, and the best that includes 2x daily spa treatments, 3x gourmet meals, High Tea, all premium liquors, beautiful clean rooms, and nightly entertainment. Not much to do around the rest of the island, tho, except for the Pitons. I do agree that Souffriere is not the place to go, but I'd consider the Jalousie Hilton besides Le Sport. St. Kitts is TOO quiet. Stay away from Sandals in St. Lucia, as well as Rendezvous. Check out the Le Sport website. For a 1st timer, tho, I recommend the US Virgin Islands. We are in our 40's also and love the Caribbean. Hope this helps.
 
Old Sep 21st, 2002, 02:12 AM
  #14  
xxx
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GM,

What do you have against Rendezvous??? I got married there earlier on this year and it was absolutly fantastic.
I admit it was my first caribbean visit but other than that I'm pretty well traveled, and I'm not very easy to please.
SLU is a beautiful island , but I wouldn't visit the south again, it was horrible! The only good things about it were the Pitons and the diamond falls,
I'm glad I saw them as we're going again next year but its North only for us.
 
Old Sep 22nd, 2002, 11:31 AM
  #15  
GM
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For xxx, re: Rendezvous, I'm sure your wedding was fantastic, and I'm not putting down your wedding experience. As you stated, this WAS your 1st trip to the Caribbean, so you are not aware. We begged the Gen'l Mgr. of Rendezvous to get us out of there and send us up to the Le Sport. Reasons: The furnishings of the rooms are worn/tired, the beach is public and when we were there last year the locals left garbage and brought their pets which roamed around to the various guests. The smaller pool (not the main one with the bar) needed MAJOR cleaning from the foiliage and cigarettes. But above all, I am HIGHLY allergic to smoke of any kind, and the dining area offers no relief anywhere from smokers, especially in the Restaurant. If you ever go to Rendezvous again and travel up to LeSport for dinner you'll see the difference, resort-wise and property-wise. Rendezvous is a scandal compared to its 'sister' resorts, Le Sport and La Source; it needs major revamping. Hope you consider one of the sister resorts one time and see what I mean.
 
Old Sep 22nd, 2002, 01:53 PM
  #16  
sue
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Hi,
My husband and myself went to the caribbean for the first time last year.We went to Grenada and had a fantastic time there,really beautiful island,went on some great trips to the grenadines,carriacou,and into the rain forest.We did'nt find the vendors to much of a problem,we stayed at the Rex Grenadian .We had a brilliant holiday in Grenada.
sue
 
Old Sep 22nd, 2002, 06:37 PM
  #17  
Patsy
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The sea is always angry in St. Lucia and even if you are a pool person, I wouldn't recommend the island. I haven't been to St. Kitts, but if this is your first Caribbean trip, I would choose even the Bahama's over St. Lucia
 
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #18  
Melanie
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Please reconsider before you pick ST. Lucia.

St. Barts, St. John, USVI and Bermuda are lovely, safe, clean islands. Lots to do. 3 beautiful islands. Check them out before you decide. Look into renting a villa. It is something else to consider.
 
Old Sep 24th, 2002, 08:19 PM
  #19  
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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All of the naysayers concerning St. Lucia are giving you a false image of this beautiful island. St. Lucia is not unsafe, not dirty, not stinky, does not have an "angry sea" everywhere you go, as some have said in previous posts. St. Lucia is a unique island in that there are several upscale luxury resorts (Ladera, Jalousie, LeSport) on an island that is not nearly as commercialized as some of the better known islands-- the natural beauty of St' Lucia's rain forests and waterfalls is still intact. Many other islands might have the beaches and resorts, but if you want this and MORE (the tropical rain forest, waterfalls, plus the incomparable Pitons), St. Lucia is the most incredible place in the Caribbean. Of course, some Caribbean vacationers just want to beach themselves on some white sand and hoist their flag and have some waiter in a dinner jacket keep bringing rum punches to them beachside until they can't hold anymore. For those people, the natural beauty of an island like St. Lucia doesn't matter and they are happy to settle for where everyone else is going. If you want a real Caribbean experience that is filled with awesome scenery you will never forget, go to St. Lucia and leave the typical Caribbean experiences to the typical Caribbean vacationer. I stayed in the south at the Jalousie and I was rarely approached for a handout-- no more so than any other island I've been to. Look, most of the Caribbean has poverty and it's just not a big deal to say no to people who are are trying to sell something or wanting a handout. Other posters act like St. Lucia is the only place this happens which is a big lie. Considering the stunning beauty of this island, the few times you might get approached to buy something you don't want is a small price to pay. Just go to St. Lucia and see for yourself. It's worth it!
 
Old Sep 25th, 2002, 05:53 AM
  #20  
Sherrie
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Sue: I was also checking out the Rex Grenadian. In my book it only has two stars, but I like the price. Was is clean and nice? Did you go for the All-Inclusive? If so, would you recommend it? Thanks!
 

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