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Home > Destinations > St. Kitts and Nevis > Trip Reports > Trip Report

St. Kitts and Nevis - Trip Reports

Marriott & Island of St. Kitts

What a relaxing but visually invigorating island. The local people were gracious , friendly , willing to help wherever we went. I visited with my aunt so we did not do the bar or casino scene. I came to St Kitts to renew my soul, my body & my spirit and to get away from the stresses of a very busy & demanding job.

Hotel: MARRIOTT-Stay in the villas if you can. You get a cottage type environment without the the conventional hotel atmosphere. Excellent views, food,service.Poor swimming & snorkeling beach. Too rough .STAFF WAS WONDERFUL. TOWL TIP:MARRIOTT: check out 1-2 towels each day for the beach, sailing, snorkeling or dive trips. Be sure to have the towels back before 6:00pm so you don't get charged the 25.00 per towel. This saves you from towels that aren't quite dry and from carrying extras in your suitcase.

Fitness /GYM: excellent facility .
Exercise Classes & Fitness walks daily
Golf Course: 9 holes are open-170.00 US
Spa- very expensive-145.00 US for a massage!

Rental Car: TDC Thrifty DID NOT show up at the airport( nor did they call the hotel after I left a message) with the car so we took a cab to the Marriott( 12.00-15.00US) and rented form AVIS the next day. Avis matched my rate. Be sure to get a jeep and take out the $15.00 US per day collision insurance. The roads are rough , the drivers aggressive and the beaches all have dirt roads with large ruts . Rent for 3 or more days and Avis will let you rent a car on Nevis for 20.00 EC ( the price of gas) with NoŽl's garage. Be sure to confirm the reservation with NoŽl's so they know what time the ferry will arrive . We took a cab to NoŽl's & they paid for it. I don't drive manual shift so they rented me a Toyota Corolla - I did not like as much as the jeep . We scraped bottom several times.

ACTIVITES:

SAILING TRIP -Spirit of St Kitts -excellent -however there is only 1 HOUR of snorkeling( Shitten's bay) & 3 HOURS on Pinneys beach in Nevis.If you tire of swimming you can walk to Sunshine's( bar & restaurant or the Four Season's Resort) Cost if you call direct is 70.00 US . There is a 5.00 fee extra for Credit cards. No fee for Travelers Checks. If you book through the Marriott Tour desk -it would be 85.00 . 869-466-8620 or saillic@thecable.net. It sails out of Port Zante -downtown Basseterre near the cruise ships docks.

VOLCANO HIKE: Royston 869-663-4529 Work. Depends on the weather . This is a hard hike especially when you adjusting to the altitude. It was too rainy for me to go-I did the rainforest hike instead but will definitely go next time.

HORSEBACK RIDING: Trinity Stables. EXCELLENT! Anthony was our guide & is local jockey. Treats his horses well-the rides lasts about 2 1/2 hours through the sugar cane fields & rainforest. The cost $55.00 US . Owners: Wilf & Ruth Walters. 869-465-3226/ trinity@caribsurf.com

They will pick you up at your hotel or villa .They also have rental apts available and do rainforest tours. The Sugar train tracks go right past their stables.

KAYAKING TOURS: Rick & Penny 869-469-9094 penny@caribsurf.comturtle beach are the best . 3-3/12 hours of snorkeling and kayaking along the southeast peninsula. They have several routes depending on the weather. Rick grew up in St Kitts and was educated in Canada, Florida & London. He is also a real estate agent during the slow season. Wonderful people . One of their guides, Dave will also give you a rainforest or volcano tour if business is slow.

KAYAK RENTALS : Mr K's @ Timothy Beach Resort

SNORKELING: BEST OVERALL FROM THE BEACH- South Friar's beach . Go The rock outcrop by Godfather bar & Grill. You can easily spend 2 1/2 -3 hours snorkel along the rocky coast. Eventually this becomes the Timothy beach Resort so you could really start at either end. This is a volcanic rock reef. Soft corals are just starting to grow. masses of fish. I saw just as many or more fish here than snorkeling of the boat @ Shitten's bay . I even saw a hawksbill turtle, schools of squid, an octopus, spotted eels, squirrel fish ,lobster, trumpet fish, sea urchins, blue tang,puffer fish, flounder,sea snakes, lizard fish ,angels, grunts, snapper, grouper, parrot fish etc. but no Nemo's or sharks! At the far end of the beach by Shipwreck bar the are more rocks and more fish but this a shallower spot. lots of shells too.

BEST CORAL REEF SNORKELING: TURTLE BEACH . To the lefty of the floating dock is wonderful coral reef with lot's of fish , rays, turtles and sea lavender and some softer corals.There is another smaller coral reef closer to shore. The problem with this beach is the current. When it is windy , it is too rough to snorkel and the rain stirs up the sand. Due to the hurricanes in the late 1990's much of the reef was damaged-it is slowly coming back .

Best Diving: Pro Divers @ Turtle beach

Best Lobster on the beach : SOUTH FRIARS @ SUNSET BAR & GRILL ( purple & white umbrella). Lobster with rice & salad is around 17.00-18.00 US . For For 13.00 EC you also get an umbrella & 2 beach lounge chairs all day. If you don't drink alcohol they also serve a fruity drink called SORREL . Tastes like cherries. Excellent.

Beaches: My Favorite was South Friars. The only person trying to sell anything was a man with Aloe Vera stems offering aloe rub-downs for people with sunburns .....the concession stands looks as though they would blow away with next storm but it is very relaxing and the snorkeling was great . The are some Port-a-potty's available now too.

Banana Bay Beach: Shallow snorkeling , lot's of grass. saw barracuda, eels, lizards fish, grunts,lobster ( around the point the point) Lot's of Pelicans hang out here. This is the site of a previous resort that was destroyed by a Hurricane. Sandals resorts owns the property.

Whitehouse Bay: Extremely rocky . Were beach shoes at all times.There is an old shipwreck here with old cannons that are visible and some fish . Conditions have to be calm , low wind .

Sandy bank bay: Nice walking beach on the Atlantic side. On calm days there is a reef out towards the opening to the beach . I would wait until spring or summer to snorkel here.

Cockleshell bay beach: Abandoned resort . Nice swimming. Lot's of Goats & Cows & pelicans.

Major Bay/ Beach. Nice to walk on. Old Rusted tanker that is used as a fishing pier now. Goats & cows are there to share your views.

Dieppe Bay/ beach: Very rough snorkeling . I was swimming by myself-too dangerous-I did not go all the way to the outer reef . There are strong currents here. Go with someone or get a fisherman to take you to the reef in a small boat.

PLANTATIONS & Garden's:

OTTLEY's -very upscale . Dinner around $60.00 US per person. They wanted $ 120.00 US each just for New Year's Eve. Nice grounds. great place for a wedding, graduation or party. Food is excellent. Great House & Gardens: Within 1/2 mile of Ottley's Not really opened yet but we stopped by anyways. Soon to be a restaurant -the bar is open. Beautiful gardens. The owner runs a jeep safari to the volcano from here too.

GOLDEN LEMON: Great Sunday Brunch (approx: $25.00 US . The Passion Fruit Sorbet is the best dessert I had the entire trip. Nice gardens. Doesn't have the ambiance as the other plantations. I did not like the beach very well. Need to go the southern peninsula for the best sandy beaches and calm surf..

RAWLIN's : Fabulous. Loved the gardens and the food. We went for Brunch ( make reservations-$25.00 US ) so that we could enjoy the surroundings during the day . Be sure to stop at Kate Spencer's Gallery on the way. More Gardens, fabulous original artwork plus other nice surprises. There is also a Kate's Design Shop in town.

ROMNEY MANOR: Beautiful Gardens. Interesting plants. Fantastic views. Shopping at the batik store is also fun.

Stop by Wingate estate ruins on the way up. The caretaker Glen ( you may be approached by his lovely children) will take you on a short rainforest tour( 1-2 hours) for a reasonable price. We did get to see monkey's in their habitat here. You don't have to worry about snakes-there aren't any . The mongoose has eradicated them !

Brimstone Hill : A beautiful View and interesting history lesson. You may see monkeys here open every day. Admission is $5.00 US Additional restaurants we liked:

FAVORITE: Island Spice. Just opened in December. Service is slow but food is phenomenal . My aunt has allergies to dairy ( including butter) and they would alter all of their recipes. Our favorite is the ISLAND SPICE LOBSTER. Their soups and desserts are also excellent. Second best: MARSHALL's - it is an upscale restaurant with a fabulous view, especially for a sunset . The food is the same quality as Island Spice -just a little more expensive 4.00-6.00 per entrťe..

LOCAL HANGOUT: SPRATNET -lobster, fish, chicken ribs. Same menu every Wed-Sunday. 15.00 US . Nothing fancy . You can watch the sunset here.

Indian Food: STAR OF INDIA- try the goat ( listed as mutton) very good. They also have a wide variety of vegetarian dishes.

Beach Food: Sunset bar & Grill & Shipwreck Bar & Grill .

Breakfast: Marriott Buffet@ the Calypso restaurant. They even have spinach available for their omelets.Large arrays of foods. Very accommodating to all dietary needs. 15.00 US -includes coffee, herb teas & juice.

If you like Indian Food- you can buy Roti almost everywhere & it is inexpensive.

FRESH FRUIT & VEGGIES: Marketplace downtown Basseterre on Saturday mornings and all day Monday. The avocadoes, pineapple, and bananas are excellent. The monkeys eat a lot of the fruit. We never had fresh mangoes or guava.

NOTES: I did eat at other popular restaurants listed in this newsgroup like PJ's , or Dolce Cabana since I have special dietary needs and do not eat wheat , corn or white potatoes. Pasta & Pizza were out for me . The menu's did look good. The Italian restaurant in the Marriott was also superb but expensive.

NEVIS FOOD: Sunshine's has good lobster & other Caribbean dishes but service is very slow. We also ate the Golden Rock after 2 hours of hiking in the rainforest( highly recommend) The snapper was good-came with salad & rice for $23.00 US. The gardens were beautiful & there were several monkeys on the grounds.

UTELLA's was recommended but only offered traditional American breakfasts-nothing native. The Jade Garden was closed but I heard it is good. Of course the Four Season's is excellent if you want to splurge.

FERRY ALERT: Be sure when buying ferry tickets that you buy the EXTRA PORT TAX TICKET-they cost 1.00 US each way. FERRY PRICES 12.00 ROUNDTRIP per person. We found out the hard way. WATER TIP : You do not have to buy lot's of bottled water. This is the cleanest water I have ever had on an island- directly from the Volcano . Pure right our of the tap! Amazing.

Do Not Visit here if you want busy nightlife.

The new nightclub Tiger's just opened at the Marriott and of course the Casino is open.

That's about it. Even the Carnival was tame.
Store's open early and shut down early around 4:00pm..
This is a beautiful ,conservative and working class island.
Let's keep it that way!

Thanks to Sally for this trip report ...
January 2004


 
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