The St. Kitts Marriott Resort is undoubtedly the most popular hotel on the east Caribbean island of St. Kitts. And on the neighboring sister island of Nevis, of course, it's all about the very luxurious Four Seasons Resort Nevis. These two hotels also happen to be the ones most likely to pop up on any search for resorts on the two islands.
So I always like to learn about lesser-known hotel addresses in the Caribbean, such as the Ocean Terrace Inn in St. Kitts. The property is terraced in varying levels down a hillside overlooking the sweeping bay of Basseterre, St. Kitts' biggest town. It's an easy walk from here to the bars and restaurants lining the waterfront and surrounding the clock tower in the town's main square. You can also walk to the cruise port, not to mention see the massive ships in port from the balcony of your room.
Rooms are tiled and spacious, with big bathrooms with attached dressing areas that make for a nice privacy touch. And on Friday nights, there's live steel drum music on the terrace overlooking the harbor and an authentic Kittitian buffet at the hotel's popular Waterfalls restaurant. Ocean Terrace Inn makes for a great location for exploring the island's northern highlights, such as Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, as well as reaching the beautiful beaches of the southern peninsula.
Next time you're in St. Kitts, be sure to put the following fun on your agenda:
- Dive the fish-frenzied wreck of the River Taw with one of the island's three dive shops (Pro Divers runs boats right from the Ocean Terrace Inn), and keep an eye out for green turtles and octopuses hiding in shell mounds.
- Sky Safaris zip lining adventures operates near the ruins of a 17th century rum distillery and has some thrilling 1000-foot-long routes that sweep you high over the rainforest canopy.
- Kantours runs exciting ATV excursions through the rough and tumble terrain behind the Fairview Great House that lead to one of the best viewpoints on the island.
- Hit the Reggae Beach Bar on the island's rugged southeastern peninsula to sip rum punches on beautiful Cockleshell Beach and rent Jet Skis and new personal RIB boats for offshore views of St. Kitts' rolling, technicolor green terrain.
- The best ribs on the island and enormous locally caught spiny lobsters are served to the lively backdrop of reggae and soca music and fire performances at Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack, the island's nightlife nucleus.
- In downtown Basseterre, feast on local fare like curried shrimp, goat water (a local soup), stewed mutton and conch fritters at Ballahoo restaurant and El Fredo's.
- Make a special night of it with a candle-lit dinner and fabulous selection of wines and champagnes at the Carambola Beach Club and Restaurant at South Friar's Bay.
- And shop for some hand printed Batik souvenirs to bring home at Caribelle Batik
Image courtesy Terry Ward