Caribbean Travel + St. Kitts & Nevis + Intimate Retreats
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St. Kitts Hotels

Resorts and Intimate Retreats

By Hal Peat

It was the earliest of British colonies in the Caribbean, and nowadays the colonial style remains strong in independent St. Kitts - along with a pleasing, low-key style of guest accommodation, no high-density presence of rows of all-inclusives along the beaches here. Resort development at the very high end of accommodation has been coming along to St. Kitts's narrow southern peninsula, with the arrival of villa and marina enclaves that will provide both exclusive private community style living but also another guest accommodation option away from the urban area of Basseterre and popular Frigate Bay. But for now, wherever you stay on St. Kitts retains an enduring relaxed and intimate feel to it - the choice really has to do with your personal preference in guest amenities, active options, and what's nearby to explore.

The North and Central:

Rawlins Plantation Inn - A tranquil inland country Caribbean inn built from the ruins of a seventeenth-century sugar plantation and located within 12 acres of exquisitely landscaped grounds and nearby rolling fields of sugar cane, Rawlins Plantation nowadays accommodates guest in 10 distinctive stone cottages. Furnished with antiques throughout, guests rooms are in charming cottages created from old plantation out-buildings that are scattered among the grounds with the honeymoon suite located in the old windmill. Each offers four poster mahogany beds, wicker chairs, hardwood flooring and plenty of privacy. Facilities include a spring-fed swimming pool, grass tennis court, croquet lawn, boules, local artist Kate Spencer's studio and tropical gardens of mango, hibiscus, papaya, oleander, banana, passionfruit and more that are ideal for a leisurely stroll.

Ottley's Plantation Inn - Situated a few miles south of Black Rocks and on 35 unspoiled acres abundant with tropical flora and fauna, this eighteenth-century sugar plantation has been transformed into an intimate family owned and operated inn of colonial grandeur where guests are always made to feel at home. Widely regarded as one of the most exclusive and visually stunning places to stay on St. Kitts, its 24 rooms in the Caribbean cottages or Great House are gracefully appointed in period style, and all rooms provide either ocean or mountain-view vistas. Ottley's also boasts a 66-foot pool fed by warm springs nestled into the remaining walls of the old sugar factory, winding trails through the adjacent rainforest ravine, secluded Mango Orchard Spa Retreat, croquet lawn and tennis courts. Adjacent to the pool and sharing the remaining walls of the sugar factory is the open-air Royal Palm restaurant, which was awarded Fielding's Five Star Restaurant Award, serving upscale Caribbean fare that blends tastes from around the world.

Frigate Bay:

St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino - Set on the beach along Frigate Bay, the 573-room Marriott opened on St. Kitts in February 2003. It features state-of-art guest accommodation, most with private balconies spread over five floors, and also a wealth of public spaces and venues including eight restaurants serving Italian, Caribbean and Continental cuisine, 38,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and function space, three swimming pools, nine bars and lounges, Tigers nightclub, three specialty lounges, business center, water sports, salon, gift shop, kid's club, 15,000 square foot Emerald Mist Spa and the 35,000 square foot Royal Beach Casino, the exclusive casino on the island. In November 2004, the resort's private country club style clubhouse opened to service the 18-hole Royal St. Kitts Golf Club championship course. Somewhat large by St. Kitts standards and lacking the island touch in its design and atmosphere, you can still choose to get in touch with the natural side of St. Kitts at the nearby ocean's edge or enjoying a round of golf,

Basseterre - The Capital:

Ocean Terrace Inn - With its understated style and location, Ocean Terrace Inn remains one of the most popular places to stay in the capital area, the Ocean Terrace Inn is set on the historic Fortlands of St. Kitts overlooking the capital city of Basseterre and picturesque Basseterre Bay. Each of the property's 71 rooms and suites features memorable bay views from an individual private terrace or balcony as well as cozy, Caribbean-style decor. Among the on-site features that make this such an excellent centrally-located hideaway: a boutique gift shop, Pro Divers PADI scuba facility on the wharf, state-of-the-art fitness center, sauna, beauty salon, 2,500 square foot Conference Center, business center and three generously-sized swimming pools, two of which feature swim-up bars and one Natural Fantasy Pool with waterfalls and a Jacuzzi set amongst tropical gardens. In addition to a poolside snack bar and terrace bar, the Ocean Terrace Inn features two fine dining establishments, the famous harborside Fisherman's Wharf serving fresh meats and seafoods in an elegant atmosphere and the refurbished Waterfalls, an open air restaurant with an eclectic upscale menu that changes daily.

The Southeast:

Turtle Beach Bungalows - The style is "bungalow chic" meaning ultimate privacy amidst breathtaking but with all the world-class travel amenities on hand. The first to welcome guests within the grand Christophe Harbour development down on the spectacular twist of the southeastern coast and right on the dunes at Turtle Beach, the property accommodation consists of four enchanting bungalows with names like Aloe and Plumbago are made of hand-hewn logs, wooden shutters, glass wrap-around doors, and marble slab baths with rain showers - each with a private plunge pool and seaside cabana. The sense of seclusion amidst unspoiled tropical landscape is enhanced by the surrounding palms and bougainvillea, while inside interiors continue the natural emphasis with a sea of soft pillows and comforts among the furnishings of wood, stone, bamboo and seagrass. The on-site concierge and her team can arrange for every accommodation at the Turtle Beach bungalows, dinners at The Beach House, and an array of excursions from snorkel cruises to massages.

The nearby 9.400 square foot Beach Club at Sandy Bank Bay., an open-air venue that includes a swimming pool, changing area and covered beach bar and grille, is set to open in early summer 2011. The Beach Club's architecture will have an open structure inspired by St. Kitts & Nevis defined by romantic pathway entrances, stone arches, fireplaces, private dining patios, natural-edged pools and waterfall showers. In addition to the pool and lounge areas, the Beach Club will provide direct access to Sandy Bank Bay beach and the Atlantic Ocean. Overlooking the water, the Beach Club will join the Beach House restaurant as another dining option, serving light continental breakfast and lunch. Further development plans for Christophe Harbour include a mega-yacht harbor, marina, Tom Fazio championship golf course and an impressive collection of restaurants, shops, boutiques, five-star hotels, oceanfront and hillside homesites and villas.

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