St. Kitts — Part I

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In February, Bill and I spent almost a week on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. (Click here for a map of the island.) We thoroughly enjoyed the combination of spending time touring the island (including the rain forest), swimming in the Atlantic and reading/relaxing on the beach, drinking lots of rum punch (since the beer selection there was lousy), and three times eating freshly caught lobster. Almost everywhere was evidence of St. Kitts’ sugarcane industry and plantations of the past. The daytime temperatures were pretty consistently in the lower 80s; nighttime in the lower 70s.

We stayed at the Marriott on the Atlantic-side’s Frigate Bay. Because of our pleasant experience and not having stayed anywhere else on St. Kitts to use for comparison, I would probably stay at the Marriott again. (Although, if just Bill and I returned without family and wanted a more isolated and serene destination, Ottley’s Plantation Inn* would warrant investigation.) Our Mariott room had a view of the ocean which, of course, was wonderful. The beach was fine, especially because it was dotted with available cabana-type structures. (The Marriott’s chaise lounges were not all that comfortable). The main drawback, in our opinions, of the Marriott was that the quality of its restaurant food wasn’t all that good. We ate our evening meals off-site whenever possible.

Our first full day on the island included a four-hour tour with Mr. Edwin Burt (or, “Burt” as he called himself) of Greg’s Safaris. The second day was Valentine’s Day and included morning meetings for Bill, time at the spa, and a dinner overlooking the Caribbean at the Serendipity restaurant. Our third day included a full-day tour around the entire perimeter of the island and dinner at the Marriott. This day we explored the impressive Brimstone Hill Fortress. The fourth day was simply spent at the beach, later having a sunset dinner (with entertainment and bonfire) at the Shiggidy-Shack beachside restaurant on the Caribbean side of the island. The morning of the fifth full day was spent retracing some of our paths of previous days so that I could practice photography. That afternoon we were beach-bound again followed by another beachside dinner, this time at the Beach House restaurant.**

The trip was very scenic and calm with action to be found when we wanted it. Within a couple of years or so, the Christophe Harbour development on the southern peninsula should be completed. Time will tell how much this affects the current non-touristy-feeling of the island.

If we were to go back, we’d probably try to take in a day-trip to the neighboring island of Nevis and an extra day at the beach.

Bill and I are not golfers. However, we heard from friends that the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club has a spectacular setting spanning between the Caribbean and the Atlantic. We also heard that Marshalls restaurant and the Carambola Beach Club restaurant are highly recommended, and that the catamaran excursions are fun and lovely. Some other possible activities include zip lining, a tour by train (on which several people recommended we not go), snorkeling, tours ascending a volcano, ATV tours, horseback rides, hiking in the rain forest, and I’m sure much, much more.

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Me, Arthur Jones (our "new best friend" St. Kitts taxi/tour driver) and Bill.

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Except for our Jeep safari day, all of our transportation (including our day-long tour on day three) was provided by Arthur Jones. The motto of Arthur’s taxi service is, “One day at a time.” His cell phone number is 869-663-7845. (Yes, I do have Arthur’s permission to post it here.) Arthur aims to please. He’s friendly and very knowledgable about the island and beyond. His business card says, “Island Tours, Southeast Peninsula Tours, Rain Forest Tours, Downtown Shopping, Dining-out, and much more.”

To enlarge any of these photos, click on them once, or maybe even twice.

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Pictured is St. Kitts' Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport. The arrow points to the terminal. We were lucky to be included in a charter flight. Otherwise, with regularly scheduled flights, it would have taken us approximately 20 hours of travel time to get from Iowa to St. Kitts.

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Mr. Edwin Burt of Greg's Safaris took us on a four-hour Jeep tour that included the rain forest, which we are just about to enter in this photo. We also enjoyed his rum punch picnic!

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This photo was taken before we entered the depths of the rain forest.

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I’ll continue to add photos from our trip.

* * * * * * * * 

*One of our lunches was at Ottley’s Royal Palm Restaurant. The grounds seemed very lovely. While it is probably more isolated and serene than we might like, my Lonely Planet book rates Ottley’s as “Top Choice.” Also, during our lunch at Ottleys, a woman who is assisting with a book about 100 places to stay in the Caribbean said that Ottley’s Plantation Inn is the only place on St. Kitts that will be included in the next edition of the book. She said that two places (on St. Kitts) in the last edition of the book did not past muster and will not be included in the next edition.

**At the Beach House restaurant, we had a 7:30 reservation. If we had it to do over again, we would make a reservation for a half-hour before sunset.

For “St. Kitts — Part I” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part II: Vervet Monkeys” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part III: Lobster” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part IV: Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part V: Mr X’s Shiggidy Shack” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part VI: Brimstone Hill Fortress” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part VII: The Beach(es)” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part VIII: Plant Life” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part IX: Miscellaneous” click here.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

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3 Responses to “St. Kitts — Part I”

  1. Jeff Moore Says:

    Sounds delightful! Especially the beach, the lobster, and the rain forest. Lucky for you it wasn’t “a three hour tour!” Do you recall that Josh worked for Lonely Planet when he was in Australia?

  2. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Hilarious, Jeff! Yes! So good it wasn’t “a three hour tour!” I’ll have to be sure to tell Bill of your comment. Oh boy, I’d hate to have to figure out if I had the part of Mary Ann or Ginger or Mrs. Howell!

    I had forgotten that Josh worked for Lonely Planet. He sure has had interesting jobs and travels.

  3. Marti Gunderson Carlson Says:

    What a lovely vacation. We’ve been to St. Kitts, and I concur that it’s a great place.

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