I visited St Kitts and Nevis over the December (New Year’s) holiday period between 2019 and 2020 with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, wife, kids (age 5 and 2). We went on this trip for six days / seven nights (which is two days more than we typically go) but it was great given the quality family time and given that December is our favorite time to decompress and relax. Beyond the company, this was such a great trip for several logistical reasons - the weather was perfect during this period (low 80s every day), the flight from the east coast is quick (4 hours plus/minus depending on the direction) and direct from NYC a few days a week. The Island is more pristine than the more well-traveled islands, feels very safe and feels a bit less traveled for now (fewer direct flights and less pervasive accommodation options). There are many nice dining and activity options around the Island and transportation is easily organized by the hotel. Every place / person takes US dollars so that was easy and the island’s biggest industry is tourism so everyone aims to please and ensure that trips are as memorable as possible.
We chose to stay at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour and we were so glad we did it! The hotel had been open for just over two years which is a perfect amount of time for the property to be fully functioning with all of the kinks out and for early learnings to be incorporated. The hotel is located on a wonderful beach - and while no beach on the island is private, it feels very secluded, the water is warm and the water activities are plentiful (see below). The hotel also has an amazing spa and fitness facility with daily activities branded as the Miraval Life in Balance Spa. When people often talk about St. Kitts they reference the Four Seasons Nevis as the default choice. That hotel has been around much longer (and of course has the undeniable benefit of the Four Seasons name) and is on Nevis, which is a ferry ride from the main island. It also has more activities like Golf and Tennis on property. However, Park Hyatt is our favorite Hyatt brand and we were eager to explore this brand new, super family-friendly property on the main island where many activities are possible. From the Park Hyatt harbor, a ferry ride to Nevis was less than 10 minutes so Nevis excursions were easy to organize and execute.
- Dining: There were many options around the island that we enjoyed even if seafood and meat is more prevalent (most of our group is vegetarian). Some favorites included Salt Plage (the best sunset spot from 5pm and great tapas), Marshalls (covered but outdoor ambiance for international), Ciao Restaurant (for truly authentic and non-pretentious Italian), Tiranga Restaurant (for Indian) and Chinchilla’s Restaurant (for Mexican by the bustling waterfront in Basseterre). Our favorite dinner on St. Kitts was at Marshall’s but on Nevis we totally loved Yachtsman Grill (pizza and international) which is reachable via water taxi from our harbor directly to the restaurant and we loved our New Year’s Eve dinner and celebration at the Park Hyatt Great House.
- Activities: The Park Hyatt itself – primarily through its recreation hut - was home to so many of our favorite activities from the trip and some firsts for the kids. We especially ring-toss, cornhole, relaxing in the pool with noodles, rafts, balls to toss around. Every day there are also free guided aquatic tours from the beach which we loved including Paddleboarding – Recreation Hut, Kayaking – Recreation Hut and Snorkeling – Recreation Hut. Beyond the hotel, we loved doing a relaxing Sunset Cruise – Diamond Boat Services, playing golf at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club and even doing a “Best of St Kitts Tour” for four hours one day where we visited the Brimstone Hill National Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Caribelle Batik & Romney Manor, Black Rocks and Bloody Point.
We would certainly recommend the St. Kitts and Nevis island for a retreat. Outside of the December holidays, I think 4 nights is certainly fine especially given the short flight – also nothing calls for a need to be extended more than any other Caribbean island although six days can be and were filled easily. Next time if we go we may stay at the Four Seasons to try it out but we will certainly test out the tennis facilities and the Four Seasons Golf Course. We will also explore St. Kitts through the highly recommended E-Bikes St Kitts company (the kids are a bit too young to try this although a very popular adult activity). As with every destination, make sure to reserve everything ahead – including water taxis, excursions, dining etc. and have a wonderful trip!