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St. Kitts: hotels, restaurants and exploring the island

Toronto, Canada
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23 posts
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St. Kitts: hotels, restaurants and exploring the island

Hi,

After visiting so many islands, we decided to try St. Kitts this year. It is our first time and we are looking to get to know people, some activities, laid back atmosphere, local food and good beaches. I would appreciate some help with the following:

1. Hotel

Air Canada sells Marriott, Timothy Beach, Bird Rock, Sugar Bay Club and Ocean Terrace Inn. I was really surprised that the price for these hotels is almost the same for one week. The difference is more or less $100 for the entire week, regardless which one you choose (flight + hotel). I was thinking about Marriott but read that the beach is not that great (strong wind + strong underwater currant) which I find very disappointing. Is this the case? If so, what would be the 2nd best option? I called Marriott but could not really get the answer. Any suggestions? We are not spoiled but we are looking for a good beach, good location for exploring the island and certainly a clean place with some friendly people.

2. Restaurants where locals eat

We would also love to try some places where locals eat; not really into fancy restaurants when we travel but rather prefer to stay with locals and explore the culture.

4. Reasonably priced grocery/liquor stores

What would be the best place/grocery store for buying some food and liquor on the island?

5. Excursions of the beaten path

We are also thinking to rent a car or perhaps get a taxi for 2-3 days to go around the island. Any recommendations? Can we do the volcano tour on our own?

6. Nevis

Can we do it on our own? Say cross with the ferry and hire someone local over there to give us a day tour and stop by a couple of beaches? Or perhaps stay overnight?

Many thanks and greetings from (still freezing cold) Toronto.

Annie's Caribbean Tours and Excursions
Historical & Heritage Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Walking Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Royston Tours
Sightseeing Tours
Nevis
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for Nevis
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1. Re: St. Kitts: hotels, restaurants and exploring the island

I'll try to answer your questions;

1) The Marriott is on the Atlantic (Windward) side of the island. It beach itself is quite large with plenty of shade palapas and lounge chairs for the guests. Water can be a bit wavy at times but there are some man-made breakwaters just off shore to break up the wavy action. All of the places you listed can be described as having "friendly" staff and "clean" rooms. FYI - The Marriott is the most upscale of the ones on your list.

2) There are lots of restaurants around the island in just about every price range. Use the "Restaurants" link at the top of this page you'll find a list of 69 different places all with scores of reviews. You'll also find plenty of roadside stands around the island (especially on Friday & Saturday nights) selling "real" local foods at very reasonable prices .

3) You can by wines & liquors in the grocery stores and there are two wine & liquor specialty shops diagonally across from each other just down the street from the Marriott. As for grocery stores you have IGA Valu-Mart on the outskirts of Basseterre not too far from the airport, Ram's in the center of Basseterre across from Pelican Mall and Best Buy on the main island road north of Basseterre (on the way to Ross university). Prices for groceries and wines & liquors won't vary much between stores but whether or not you find prices "reasonable" depends on your definition of "reasonable". Wines & Liquors will probably be lower in price than back in Toronto. Food prices will be somewhat higher.

4) When you rent a car ask for a free map. All the major points of interest on the island will be clearly marked. You should have no difficulty exploring on your own. Use the "Things to do list" at the top of this page for some interesting ideas. DO NOT do the volcano hike on your own - hire a local guide. The concierge or Activities Director at your hotel will gladly arrange a guide for you. Or contact Greg's Safaris (www.gregsafaris.com) or Royston's Tours (www.roystontoursstkitts.com).

5) Easy to do a day trip to Nevis. You can take the Passenger Ferry from the Marina in Basseterre to Charlestown then hire a taxi driver/guide (there will be plenty waiting at the ferry dock) for a 3 hour tour of the island. At the end of the tour have the driver drop you off at either Chrishi Beach or Pinney's Beach where you can have lunch and some beach time. Tell the drive what time you want to get back to the ferry for the trip over to Basseterre and he/she will be there to pick you up. Another alternative would be to take your rental car over to Nevis on the Seabridge Car Ferry and drive yourself around Nevis. If you want to take this approach make sure you clear it with your car rental company - some allow you to take the car over to Nevis, some don't. If you are renting a car from TDC (aka Thrifty) just let them know what day you'll be be going to Nevis and you can take the Passenger Ferry (much cheaper than the car ferry) and they will have a car waiting for you to use on Nevis at no extra cost. lastly, there's certainly nothing to stop you from staying a night or two on Nevis during your stay - that's totally up to you.

Toronto, Canada
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23 posts
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2. Re: St. Kitts: hotels, restaurants and exploring the island

Thank you very much CaribSurfer. Marriott sounds like a good option for the price offered ($850 pp incl flight and hotel, hard to believe), we like the hotel, I really hope that the beach is not that bad. I consider myself a good swimmer but do not like undertows at all; it is hard to control your movements in the water making you feel like you are going to end up at the bottom of the ocean :-). Or maybe I just panic in those moments....

I like the idea of getting a car from Thrifty which we can also get after we cross to Navis, great tip, thank you so much for the info! I also came across some local company called Bullseye Auto Rental, they appear to be professional and kind....

Nevis
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3. Re: St. Kitts: hotels, restaurants and exploring the island

Bullseye is very reputable - they consistently get good reviews. They will allow you to take the car over to Nevis on the Car Ferry so that's a plus.

Still, if you are only going to Nevis for the day, it makes great sense to go by passenger ferry and hire a taxi driver/guide rather than drive yourself - you'll make more efficient use of your time and be able to see more since you won't have to figure out where you want to go, what you want to see and how to get there. You can leave all that up to your driver/guide - he/she will know the island like the back of their hand.

I've been all over the world and have taken private guided tours in a great many places - never once have I regretted doing so.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: St. Kitts: hotels, restaurants and exploring the island

Anyone local that you could recommend as positive, reliable and knowledgeable?

I normally either rent a car or go with a local tour guide, totally agree with you. Travelling off the beaten path is certainly my style, just I thought perhaps I could do my own thing since Navis is so small (my last trip was in Jamaica 3 months ago and the experience with the local guide was absolutely amazing).

St. Kitts
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5. Re: St. Kitts: hotels, restaurants and exploring the island

Gods Blessing! Here in St. Kitts is so thankful for Caribsurfer, "Thanks ! on doing a great job.

For Taxi Services try < Annie's Caribbean Tours/ Taxi Services, E-Mail: anniestours@gmail.com, or telephone # 1869-668-5425

6. Re: St. Kitts: hotels, restaurants and exploring the island

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