> Destinations > St. Kitts and Nevis > Trip Reports > Trip Report
Prior to vacationing at the St. Kitts Marriott, I read with great concern
the many negative experiences posted on this site. I am glad to report that
our experience during our 2/6 - 2/12 stay was very good. While we did
experience some disappointments, the overall experience was very good. The
resort is beautiful. We found the staff generally very friendly and trying
to do their best to satify guests.
I will say that reading this board helped recalibrate our expectations,
which I'm sure helped a lot. We "managed" the hotel staff by proactively
keeping them engaged. For example, if service in the was slow, we asked
anyone who was walking by for help. This was very effective. Also, every
time someone brought something to the table, we asked them for the next
thing - i.e. when drinks were delieverd, we asked to order; when our final
course was served, we asked for the check, etc. In most cases, we were in
and out of the restarants in less than 1 hour (there were 2 of us).
The italian resturant was our favorite, followed by the seafood (Blu).
However, the A/C system at Blu was not working properly so the temp in the
restaurant was a bit warm. The steakhouse was a bit disappointing. A few
other people we came to know highly recommended the steakhouse, but our
experience was average at best. The prices here were the highest we paid
The best of the Marriott was the cigar bar! Their selection of fine cigars
was the best I have ever seen - with several top rated Cubans. The also had
excellent non-Cubans as well. The bar was quiet and the converstation
always fun - whether it was from the friendly bar tenders or other guests.
The Spa gets mixed reviews. Both my wife and I had a message, and the
treatment was top notch (my therapist previously was at the Four Seasons),
but the facilities - while beautiful - had significant problems. Both the
men's and women's steamrooms were not working. The men's sauna was at 80
degrees max, as was the hot tub/whirlpool. My therapist was Helen and I
highly recommend her. My wife's therapist was Gina - also highly
The gym was very good, with top notch equipment - both cardio and weight
The main pool was very nice, with the water surprisingly cool - but
refreshing. Cocktail service was spotty - but again, if no one responded to
the lounge chair flag in 10 mins, I simply walked up to the pool bar and
was greeted with an apology and a smile. Drinks and food were delivered
There was no construction noise during our entire week there, with no work
being done on the beach or within ear shot of the pool.
To summarize - the resort has all the raw materials to be great. They have
invested big money into the place and everything is top quality. The
biggest challenge is the getting the locals to deliver the quality of
service that Marriott vacationers expect. While they are still a long way
from being where they need to be, the people are really trying their best.
We found that with a little patience and proactivity, they were very eager
to please. We did observe guests who got angry at the lack of pampering -
which only made the service worse.
I had the opportunity to talk to one of the managers who has been at the
resort since before the opening, and he told me that they have had their
challenges, but they are making real progress. The process of training so
many locals how to provide 4-star service cannot be accomplished overnight.
The manager pointed out that the Four Seasons has a 14-year head start on
the Marriott. Others on this board have accurately pointed out that service
at other non-Marriott establishments is much better - and that was our
experience as well. However, these establishments are generaly small and
don't have the scale challenges faced by the Marriott.
I'm not trying to defend Marriott - I am a Platnum level staying at least
75 nights per year at various hotels across the U.S. I am just providing my
experiences at the resort compared with some of the negative postings on
this board for the purpose of proving some perspective and balance.
I stayed using my Marriott points, as did several other guests I met. There
was also a special for $168/night - which is a great price for this resort.
I considered staying at the Four Seasons - but the best rate I could get
was $600/night. If the Marriott was charging more than $400/night, then I'd
stay at the Four Seasons. Anything less than that, the Marriott is a
Bottom-line: I highly recommend the Marriott as long as your rate is
reasonable and your expectations are set properly!
Thanks to George for this trip report ...