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St. KittsNovember 7, 2008 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
While attending the recent Small Hotels Retreat hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association in St. Kitts, we were lucky enough to take a crash course on the destination. Over the course of a nearly 12-hour tour, we saw everything from historical sites to shopping areas to some great old-fashioned hotels. To save you the same 12-hour tour, here’s what you need to share with clients looking to visit St. Kitts.
The pool at Ottley's Plantation
Best Properties for Romantics
Our favorite property for romantics in St. Kitts was Ottley’s Plantation Inn. The property has 24 rooms on a 35-acre site. We saw a Supreme Room and a Deluxe Room. The master bedroom in each Royal Suite Cottage may be reserved individually as a Supreme Room. These come with a king or queen bed, a Jacuzzi and a patio with a deck and private plunge pool. The Deluxe Rooms also offer ocean and garden views, and most have king-size beds, while the others have two queens or twin beds. Agents can call owner Karen Keusch (869-465-7234, [email protected]).
|Bright yellow and white create a warm and relaxing ambiance on the veranda of the Golden Lemon|
Coming in at a close second for romantics in St. Kitts was the Golden Lemon. This is a smaller option for your romantic clients who don’t want to stay on such a massive property as Ottley’s. All of the property’s 26 rooms and suites are unique, but the one thing most rooms have in common is the bright colors. In the “Great House,” clients can sleep on mahogany poster beds, which are so high that you need steps to get into them, or antique metal beds replete with colorful hangings. The villa bedrooms in the Great House are the best, featuring individual plunge pools. Agents should call either Martin Kreiner or Arthur Leaman at the Golden Lemon (869-465-7260, [email protected]).
Where We Stayed
The Marriott St. Kitts Resort & Royal Beach Casino wasn’t exactly part of our island tour, except for the fact that we met in the property’s lobby. It was, however, our host hotel for the conference. Because it was the first major U.S. brand to set up shop in St. Kitts, this Marriott is said to be responsible for putting the destination on U.S. agents’ radars. So, naturally, any St. Kitts story would be incomplete without an update.
We stayed in room #4304, located in the property’s Turtle Bay House. It was a bit of a walk from the main lobby, but was perhaps the quietest area of the hotel because it was a distance away from the pool and beach areas. The room has a king-size bed and a balcony that offers views of the garden and partial ocean vistas. Advise your clients that even if they are shy about asking for bellhop service, they should do so here. There are no elevators at the different blocks and we would have had to carry two pieces of luggage up three flights of stairs had we not had assistance.
Whereas the first two properties mentioned are best suited for romantic clients, pitch this to families and business travelers. Then again, if your clients can’t live without TV for a week, or just don’t like the whole retro vibe and want something a bit more modern, this property is the safest pitch (both of the other two are TV-free).
Some History in St. Kitts
Besides the fascinating war stories behind the fort at the top of Brimstone Hill, this historical site offers perhaps the greatest views on the island. It is about 800 feet above sea level, and the uphill climb to the top of the fort is good exercise for your more fit clients. The top of the fort, where old cannons still sit, offers views of not only St. Kitts, but of Caribbean neighbors Nevis, Montserrat, Saba, St. Martin and St. Barts.
Shopping in St. Kitts
Clients looking to shop should head to Basseterre, the capital, which is full of small shops and malls, including the Pelican Mall and the TDC Mall. This is the best spot to get local items at non-tourist prices. You can buy locally designed clothing, including the popular batik prints from Island Hopper, and artwork from local galleries. You can also buy local crafts at the Craft House. Duty-free shops also surround the Circus, which was modeled after Piccadilly Circus in London.