This isn't a review about staying at the Banyan Tree; we never made it there. It's about their deposit policy. We made reservations for a three night stay in December, before high season when things were slow. The Rose's (owners) required us to pay for 2 nights in advance, by sending our check to their address in Vermont, which we did.
We stayed at the Marriott on St. Kitts for a week. Then the came time for us to go over to Nevis on our arrival day for our three night stay. We drove to the car ferry around 10:30 and lined up with about 15 or so other cars for the 11:00 ferry. The ferry is scheduled every 2 hours.
Well, we waited for nearly 7 hours and no ferry. We kept talking with the locals who were in contact with the captain or a crew member by cell phone. It was a series of excuses - mechanical problems, a second ferry is coming, it's at Nevis now, etc., etc. But no ferry. We called and kept in touch with Anne Rose and let her know of our plight - and ran up about $50 in cell phone roaming charges in the process.
As the sun began to set, we finally gave up since we needed to get a hotel room before dark, letting Anne Rose know, and we asked for her consideration in refunding our deposit since our inability to get to Nevis was beyond our control. Indeed, we had spent (wasted) an entire day waiting for the ferry. Her response was that the ferry wasn't her problem or her fault, so we would lose half our deposit for failing to show. All we could think was "You know, a hurricane isn't your fault either. Does you still penalize people for not showing when they can't get there?" We were pissed!
We told everyone we met on St. Kitts, bellmen, restaurant workers, cab drivers, about our experience, and the universal reaction was that they were appalled, and they all kept apologizing for the bad manners of the owners of the Banyan Tree. In case you aren't aware of it, the folks on St. Kitts are the friendliest in the Caribbean, and we've been to a LOT of islands. Anyway, they all wanted to know what property this was so that they would be sure not to send anyone there. We all had a good laugh when they learned that the owners were Americans, not locals.
Anyway, I understand that this is anecdotal and I usually dismiss anecdotal experiences since they aren't typical, but I think that anyone who wants to book at the Banyan Tree B&B ought to be aware of their deposit policy just in case the ferry isn't running, you have an illness, there's a hurricane, whatever, that isn't the Rose's fault or their concern. You too will probably lose some money. Do yourself a favor and book with the locals!
- Also Known As:
- Banyan Tree Bed And Breakfast Nevis, St. Kitts And Nevis