The taxi journey from the airport on St Kitts to the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino lasted about 15 minutes and cost $16, US dollars. I was quickly in to the hotel with the super friendly doorman introducing himself and taking my bags to the front desk, through the large airy lobby.
The front desk staff confirmed my rate, length of stay and gave me a bottle of water. They confirmed that I had been upgraded to an Executive Suite from my normal suite as a Marriott Rewards Gold member. For Marriott resorts this is about all you get as a Gold – no free breakfast, no lounge (there wasn’t one) and I wished I had been staying at a Hyatt. The room was on the ground floor of the block furthest from Reception. Equipped with a map I set off to find my room.
All the buildings are labelled and there are signs to help. There are no lifts between floors in the blocks so you may need assistance if you get a first or second floor room.
My room was on the ground floor but had a disappointing view of the wall which divided the property from the beach. The hotel has ignored by preference for a high floor.
The room was in three sections, the bedroom, large bathroom and then the kitchen and sitting area. There were large TV’s in both the bedroom and living room.
The kitchen contained a stove, fridge/freezer and lots of plates and utensils, glasses, cups and plates. The living room had a large sofa and a dining table to seat 6. This was the ‘view’ from my room:
I went to explore the hotel on the first afternoon. There is a small shop with souvenirs and a limited range of snacks and sodas. A 330ml can of coke was $2, only chargeable to the room. (I later found that the same can was $3 when bought from the hotel outlets). There are several pools and as it was low season, they were not busy. The large main building houses most of the rooms, whereas the three story villa buildings house the suites.
On the first evening I ordered room service which arrived in about 30 minutes. The pizza was hot and tasty, although it contained bacon, as did almost everything I ate at the resort. The TV had a wide range of US and international channels including some amazing one – classes for school kids on mathematics, priests and nuns reading the bible and teaching scripture as well as BBC News.
I had a good nights sleep – there was no outside noise at all and the bed was very comfortable. A nice bathe and I was ready for breakfast. Walking back to the main building I was able to explore the grounds a little more.
I wandered on to the beach, and although it was cloudy and there was a bit of wind. It was warm and pleasant even at 7am. You can see in the second picture how green and lush the island is:
There was no wait at the restaurant and I was quickly seated. Coffee and orange juice appeared and I selected the buffet. There was a good range of hot and cold items and there was an omelette station.
The staff were friendly and attentive and provided a ‘to go’ cup when I had some coffee left in my flask. At about $24 it was fairly good value, especially if you filled up for the rest of the day.
I had some time outside whilst most of the resort roused itself for the day ahead. Getting back to my room, I discovered that ants had discovered the piece of pizza I had left from the night before’s meal. The front desk sent someone who sprayed everywhere along the floor and soon there were only dead ants visible. I should learn about being somewhere tropical.
I popped to the cafe for lunch where I purchased a hugely overpriced sandwich!
On returning to my room I found this guy (about 4 inches long) trying to get in to the block:
Heavens know what it was.
The afternoon passed pleasantly with a broad application of Factor 50. I wandered around, find the galleon under reception, the pizza shack and some of the other areas in the hotel:
I had an early start to get to the first American Airlines flight of the morning and so had an early night. Getting up for 5am meant I left in the dark. The cab ride is more expensive outside normal hours and so was $20 back to the airport. The driver went like a bat out of hell, and I assumed that the islands police force was asleep at that hour, or at least he thought so.
I booked several months in advance and so got a standard suite for US$179 which was pretty good value. Ordinary rooms were going for more than that by the time I stayed. Much of the hotel seemed to be under maintenance which was fine as all the common features – pools for example, were full open.
It is a large resort which means that it can be a little impersonal. The staff tried to be friendly and provided good service. I was pleased that it was low season as you didn’t bump in to many people and there were no queues. Some of the restaurants were not open but the staff made it clear which were and for which meals. Both nights they had a good range of upscale and more economy offerings. If I were there longer I would have ventured further to a supermarket for supplies, assuming that the any problem had been resolved of course.
I didn’t venture in to the Casino so cannot report on what it was like.
It was an interesting and usual for me, two night stay. It was relaxing but I am not sure whether I would need to visit again. It was not somewhere that I fell in love with, not for any negative reasons but I perhaps simply didn’t get it.