This article brought to you by St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino. All opinions are 100% the author’s.
Looking to spend your travel dollars on a romantic beach getaway? If affordable luxury sounds like romance to you, then you’re going to want to follow your heart to St. Kitts, a beautiful backdrop on the eastern edge of the Caribbean, a 3.5 hour flight from Miami.
What’s interesting about St. Kitts is that the island has long been associated with luxury; Christopher Columbus spotted it in 1493, but it wasn’t colonized until the British took over in 1623. Despite the high value sugar trade that advanced the island’s economy quite rapidly, the island is still mostly national parks, with fewer high rises and hotels than other Caribbean islands.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the sights and experiences you can enjoy in St. Kitts.
The Great Outdoors
As I mentioned earlier, though the island is just 176 square miles, 25 percent of it is national parks. Curious fact: St. Kitts is home to one of the few rainforests in the world that is actually expanding.
If you are interested in a guided tours of the rainforest, Greg’s Safaris offer fun, well-curated options, from volcano crater hikes to plantation house tours. You can also catch an enjoyable guided walk tour from Belmont Estate to Mount Liamuiga (don’t miss heading to the Black Rocks where there are wonderful views, and you can also grab a nice snack). Consider yourself warned, some of these hikes are pretty intense, especially the volcano one, so read the tour descriptions thoroughly before signing up.
For a more relaxing exploration of the countryside, you should experience the St. Kitts Scenic Railway – it’s an old converted sugar train. While it is cheesy, you can’t find anything like it in the Caribbean and the train has some historic charms. Give it three hours; you’ll enjoy it.
Snorkeling, fishing, and diving are all also popular on the island, but the best spot requires a short boat ride to Shitten Bay. If you’re interested in just a beach excursion, try the breakwater at Marriott Beach, or South Frigate Bay. No matter where you’re exploring, be careful to note the strong tidal currents surrounding the island, and be sure to swim with a partner.
A Touch of History
Like many Caribbean islands, history tells a much more fascinating tale than pioneers relaxing by the beach shore. In the island’s capital, Basseterre, take a walk past the many Georgian buildings, some that are fading away and others recently restored. The people watching is also quite good in the capital city. The most well-restored building in the city is the French colonial mansion – it was built in 1701 and lovingly restored, leaving you dreaming about a fantasy island life as you wander the immense gardens. It is also home to a fantastic restaurant, Nirvana (see you can book one of their wonderful cooking classes!).
You will likely want to take a tour through the National Museum, an excellent overview of the nation’s heritage and culture, and then pop over to the Treasury Building which is adjacent to a craft market where you pick up a few souvenirs. Brimstone Hill Fortress is also a must – the island’s well-known UNESCO World Heritage Site and wonderful for both the history and the views.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
You’ve come along way, so get a good night’s sleep at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino. Located in sunny Frigate Bay, the property has a top shelf spa, not to mention 8 restaurants and one of the most gorgeous pools I have ever seen.
The St. Kitts Marriott offers both all inclusive and a la carte packages – you’ll find the all inclusive to be quite a good value. The hotel is very clean and in a good location just a short taxi from the city and other attractions, though if you are taking one of the guided tours, they will pick you up (tours are also bookable from the concierge desk in the lobby).
Don’t miss the St. Kitts Marriott Super Sand Dollars offer: Stay four nights and get the fifth, sixth, and seventh nights free!