The St. Kitts Marriott is a sweet luxury resort offering fun in the sun, a relaxing setting and much more, including interesting environmental programs for kids.
The local Kittitians call their small island home in the Eastern Caribbean “Sugar City.” Of course, the real reason for this loving nickname is because St. Kitts is famous for its delicious sugar cane; however, locals like to believe it is because everything about this 68-square-mile island in the West Indies is sweet.
And even a visitor can tell you that local lore holds true. Everything about St. Kitts: the people, the scenery, the history, the culture is truly sweet. But, the icing on this Caribbean Rum cake, nestled in Frigate Bay, just a few miles away from the airport and St. Kitts’ capital Basseterre, is the Marriott St. Kitts Resort & Royal Beach Casino. A 26-acre paradise, with three outdoor swimming pools (each with its own whirlpool) and a beautiful sandy beach facing the calm, crystal clear blue waters of the Atlantic, this resort provides guests with warm and attentive service and a Caribbean style that make for an easy-going and family-friendly vacation.
Activities For All Ages
Families can do it all at the St. Kitts Marriott: yoga, tennis, aqua aerobics, water polo, bingo, dance lessons, karaoke and even introductory scuba lessons. Every day there is a range of new activities that are hosted by the resort’s energetic staff. A copy of the daily schedule, which starts every morning at 8am with a morning walk or hike through the hills of Frigate Bay, is left under the room door every morning.
For more family fun, make sure to check out the Activities Center adjacent to the main pool. Here guests can pick up their pool towels and rental equipment for a plethora of games, sports and activities. Kayaks, water bikes, pedal boats and the water trampoline can also be picked up here. Those interested in using the tennis courts should make sure to inquire about reservations and rental; there is a fee for use of the courts.
If kids and adults want some alone time, the St. Kitts Marriott’s Pirates Kids Club is an option for children aged 5-12. Priding itself as one of the most fun and educational kid’s programs in all of the Caribbean, the club offers new and fresh daily themes, such as Mystery Monday, Kid Caribbean Carnival Tuesday, Deep Sea Discovery Wednesday, Sports-o-Rama Saturday and Kittitian Brunch Sunday. The program, run by Chrisdale Woodley, is supervised by a total of 250 employees, all of whom are CPR certified and have successfully completed Corporate Marriott’s Standard Staff Training.
Activities for the kids include beach Olympics, arts and crafts, nature walks and other games inside the big and colorful Kid’s Lounge. A sense of camaraderie and friendship is fostered among the children in the Kids Club. Once a month, the staff stretches out a huge piece of white paper on the floor and then has all the children stamp their handprints with different color paints. These imprints then become the murals that adorn the walls of the Kids Club making for a heartwarming story and pretty interesting art.
The Kid’s Club also features a theater which includes several bean bag chairs and large flat screen television. Usually, during the day, the staff pops in an impromptu cartoon, but every Tuesday from 7-9pm is Family Movie Night, where both parents and children can snuggle up in the comfy chairs, watch a movie and enjoy some free, freshly popped popcorn.
Reservations for the Pirates Club are required by 6pm the day before participation. A full day, including lunch, runs from 9am-4pm and in 2010 cost $40 per child; a half day, from 9am-12pm or 1-4pm (lunch not included), costs $25 per child. Evening programs are also held every Wednesday and Friday night from 6-9pm for $30.
Put-Put Time on St. Kitts Golf Course
On separate grounds adjacent to the resort is the beautiful Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, the only course in the Caribbean that has holes on both the Atlantic and Caribbean Seas. In walking distance from the main resort complex, this 18-hole course offers golfing for the whole family. Several years ago, Marriott Resorts introduced their “Kids Golf-4-Free” program, designed to promote the game of golf for people aged 15 and younger. As part of this program, after 3pm, all children in this age group who are accompanied by a full paying adult can play for free. Also, if the parent opts for lessons, children are able to participate and learn the game from a Marriott Golf Instructor.
In addition, every Wednesday from 3 to 4pm, the Golf Club offers Junior Clinics. Parents can sit on the beautiful veranda that overlooks the course and enjoy a happy hour drink or have a light afternoon snack at the Clubhouse Grille (the lemonade is delicious), while their children can hit the driving range for a one-hour clinic with a golf professional.
No matter how much fun, activities can become tiring and the Emerald Mist Spa, located right next door to the Kid’s Club, is the perfect place to unwind. And, it is not just a place for parents and adults as kids can come along and be pampered too. Hair and nails services are offered for kids aged 6-17. Girls can get their full head braided or get an exfoliating manicure and pedicure. Staff members in the spa also say that even the young boys join in the fun, sometimes getting a deep conditioning hair treatment or even a manicure with some clear polish. A Mini Teen Facial is also offered for teens aged 13-17, although the spa requires that a parent be present for the duration of the session. Held next door in the Kid’s Club are Youth Chair Massages, a 15-minute treatment in which the spa goes to the child. Even a kid as young as 5 can indulge, but make sure to make a reservation at the spa first.
Finally, the Marriott offers two signature child and teen packages: Princess for a Day and the Teen Escape. The former is available for any girl between the ages of 6 and 16. The 105-minute session includes a manicure, pedicure, fancy up do and glitter makeup. The latter is for both boys and girls from age 16-18 and consists of a classic pedicure and a herbal deep cleansing facial.
And while the kids are being taken care of, make sure to pamper yourself. The Kittitian Massage is an island specialty which incorporates long flowing strokes that resemble the Swedish variety. Designed to improve circulation, the Kittitian Massage is 50 minutes of heaven. The Emerald Mist Spa also features a state-of-the-art steam room, sauna, hot and cold plunge pools, Jacuzzis, and a Roman bath. Finally, there is one couples room with a private Jacuzzi.
St. Kitts Marriott Accommodations
This Marriott offers a myriad of choices when it comes to its beautiful and spacious rooms. Families can choose to stay in the main, four-story Frigate Bay House in order to be closer to the majority of restaurants, front desk, spa, the Kids Club, casino and arcade. Or, for a more secluded get-a-way, with much quicker access to the beach and pools (a smart choice for those with younger children), families may opt for a stay in one of the 19 three-story garden houses spread throughout the resort’s grounds.
Each of the 315 guestrooms and 78 suites is designed with a West Indies influenced dÃ©cor and since cots and cribs are available upon request, a small family can easily fit in one of the oversized rooms. However, if you feel as though your family might need or want more space or privacy, inquire about the Marriott’s connecting rooms. Most of these options are located in the garden villas around the resort.
And Then There’s the Food
The cuisine at the St. Kitts Marriott is fantastic. Executive Chef Andreas Mahl makes the dining experience come alive at the resort’s eight eateries. Kids will enjoy casual dining at the Calypso Restaurant and CafÃ©, which is the most popular spot for families. Located inside the lobby, it features both buffet and a la carte options and highlights local fruits, such as delicious mangoes, coconuts and papayas. For outdoor family eating, have lunch at the Bohemia Beach Bar & Grille which features an swim up bar and yummy burgers or get the little ones personal pizzas at the Pizza Shack. Both are located around the main pool area.
Families should also try some of the more elegant restaurants: Blu, La Cucina and the Royal Grille Steakhouse. Although the menu is geared more towards the adult crowd, the restaurants are more than happy to accommodate families and younger children, offering a kids menu and high chairs on request. And no matter how fancy, crayons and coloring books are kept handy so that the children can keep busy while parents savor fine wine and gourmet selections.
Dining every night on the resort premise, however, may get expensive. Keep that in mind when booking and consider inquiring about the St. Kitts Marriot all-inclusive options. Not having to worry about that check at the end of a meal or after a round of drinks for adults in the The Keys Cigar & Rum Bar may make this sweet vacation spot sweeter than it already is.
Learn more about and its sister Caribbean resorts at www.Marriott.com.
Resort Report Card
|Name:||St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino|
St. Kitts and Nevis
|Phone:||800/228-9290 , 869/466-1200|
|Seasonal Rates:||$ – $$$$|
|Choice of Activities:||A|
|Quality of Amenities:||A|
|Bonus:||Everyone is happy and the first thing that guests will tell you: the staff never stops smiling.|
|Note:||Rumor has it that fathers spend more time in the arcade than in the 35,000 square foot casino; so moms, get your quarters ready!|
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